Location: 360 km from Ulaanbaatar in Uvurhangai province.
Features: A must-see place for those who want to walk the trails of the Mongolian Empire’s glory and fall, is the Orkhon Valley Protected area. The Ulaan Tsutgalan Waterfall, ruins of Karakorum built in 1220 by Chinggis Khaan, Erdenezuu monastery and its 108 Stupas, and Tuvkhun monastery on top of a mountain (you’ll need to hike 600 meters to reach it!) – are all located along the Orkhon river. The valley is 360 km from Ulaanbaatar. For thousands of years, this area was the center of powerful empires. A stone statue with inscriptions dedicated to Bilge Khan of the Turkic Empire is the oldest remaining relic that proves their history. Once you’re in the soum center, you can visit the Kharakhorum Museum that contains excellent artifacts such as the king’s crown, gold, and silver crafts found in this area.