See the world’s largest equestrian statue, eat lunch with a local family, visit a mountainside meditation temple, and get to know Mongolia on what I consider to be the best day trip from Ulaanbaatar.
It is true what they say – bigger is better and there’s something magnificent about seeing Chinggis Khaan (or Genghis Khan, as many of you know him) standing 40 meters tall in all his eternal glory in the middle of the steppe.
Pair the sight of the great Khaan with an afternoon exploring Terelj National Park, where you’ll visit Aryabal Monastery, Turtle Rock, and not only do you have yourself one of the best things to do in Ulaanbaatar, but you have also yourself the perfect introduction to the Land of the Eternal Blue Sky.
This day trip from Ulaanbaatar starts at 9 a.m. when you leave the hustle and bustle of the capital behind and make the 1.5 hour drive out to your first stop, the Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue. You’ll make your way up into the head of the famous Khaan’s steed where you’ll have 365-degree views of the steppe and get as close to the Khaan as you’ll ever get.
From the top of the statue, you’ll make your way to the basement of the complex, where a museum with ancient artifacts and walls adorned with Mongolian history awaits.
Next, you’ll head towards Turtle Rock where you’ll finally set foot on Terelj National Park soil.
Inside the national park you’ll first visit the country’s most famous rock before heading off on an easy hike to Aryabal Meditation Center, a quiet and beautiful meditation center tucked back in the mountains within the park. This is where your guide will walk you through the history of the area and explain how Mongolians were first introduced to Buddhism and how most of these incredible temples, centers, and monasteries were sadly destroyed during communist times.
If you’re still keen for more adventure, you’ll also have the option to jump on a horse and really channel your inner Chinggis Khaan within the park. This isn’t included in the tour, but it can easily be arranged with one of the local families if you really want to see what Mongolian horses are made of.
Following our day at the statue and in the national park we’ll head back to the city just in time for dinner. We can drop you back off at your hotel or maybe even one of Ulaanbaatar’s best restaurants, if the day’s trip – and jetlag – didn’t get the best of you.
This tour to the Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue and Terelj National Park includes:
Optional: Horseback and camel riding are not included in the tour, but can be arranged. The price is typically 50,000 Mongolian Tugrik or less. You will pay the herder directly for this activity.
For this trip comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended. Please dress according to the weather, bringing a rain jacket if necessary. You will be spending a lot of this day tour outside.
Additionally, I recommend packing bottled water, tissues or wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and wearing sunscreen.
You will have the chance to stop at a convenience/grocery store on your way out of the city and to the park. You are also welcome to purchase these items then.
When it comes to having money on hand, I also suggest bringing at least 100,000 Mongolian Tugrik with you. If you’d like to do any of the optional activities, such as horseback or camel riding, you will need cash.
The price for horseback riding is typically 50,000 Mongolian Tugrik with a local herder as your guide. Your trip guide will not join you on the ride.
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