Release your inner Mongol: Camping in the Gobi Desert

One of the great camping trips to consider is the Gobi Desert. It is in an arid region, but is also one of the ‘cold deserts’ in the world as it also snows in winter. It’s hundreds of kilometers from the capital, that’s why most that go on this trip make a few stops before and after reaching the desert.

Here are the potential highlights of your trip to the Gobi.

The Rock Formation

This is one of the stops you’ll make en route to the Gobi Desert. Depending on the season you visit, snow may cover the otherwise dry landscape. Capped with white, the rock formations are still impressive. The whiteness will go as far as your eyes could see during a winter camping trip. Climb up the hill to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding steppes, plains and distant mountains.

ALL WHITE. The snow obscured the Rock Formation and the surrounding landscape during the first few days of my trip to the Gobi

ALL WHITE.

The snow obscured the Rock Formation and the surrounding landscape during the first few days of my trip to the Gobi

Yolyn Am

Also known as Ice Valley, Yolyn Am is a gorge that is a part of the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains in the southern region of the country. This attraction is part of the Gobi Desert that hardly gets any precipitation.

Despite this, it is famous for the accumulation of ice that stretches for kilometers along it during the region’s cold months.

The trek through the rock formations and mountains is quite an experience. It is easy as well, making it an ideal destination for all types of travelers. The sunrise in the tourist camping ground is also noteworthy; you’ll get to see the yellow, rolling hills turn into a fiery red and then an orange hue as the sun rises.

Bayanzag

Also known as Flaming Cliffs, this attraction got its name because of the fiery red color the rock formations turn into during sunset.

When you travel to this destination in winter, you’ll still the redness of the rocks and hills. You’ll feel like you’re in another planet because of the red color and arid surroundings.

Bayanzag is also a famous archaeological site where archaeologists discovered dinosaur eggs and other fossils. Take your time exploring and taking pictures; the best time to visit is blue hour until the sun sets. This is when the lighting is ideal for photography.

The blue hour  is the time after the sun goes below the horizon and the sky goes into deep blue for a while.

SUNRISE. The sunrise at the Yolyn Am campsite is nothing short of spectacular as the first rays of the sun will turn the rolling hills into a shade of orange.

SUNRISE. The sunrise at the Yolyn Am campsite is nothing short of spectacular as the first rays of the sun will turn the rolling hills into a shade of orange.

Gobi Desert

The reason you did this camping trip is to experience the desert; the Gobi will not disappoint.

The total area of this destination covers the southern region of Mongolia, and also some parts of north and northwestern China. The Altai Mountains, vast steppes and grasslands bound the desert in its northern section.

WAVE-LIKE DUNES. Spend an hour or so climbing the Gobi's dunes and wait until sunset to watch them turn red.

WAVE-LIKE DUNES. Spend an hour or so climbing the Gobi's dunes and wait until sunset to watch them turn red.

The Gobi is famous for the different sized sand dunes in it some of which are 80 to 300 meters high and 100 kilometers long. It got the name ‘Singing Sands’ because of the distinct sounds it makes when sections of the dunes collapse for various reasons. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to clamber up the dunes, slide or simply play around. Wait until sunset to see the dunes turn into red, ocean-like waves.

White Mountain

White Mountain is another noteworthy destination included in your trip to the Gobi Desert. This unique landform has a natural, picturesque beauty characterized by the mushroom and stupa-like rock formations, and the colorful lumps of earth just below it.

NATURE'S ART WORK. White Mountain has unique rock formations and landscape

NATURE'S ART WORK.

White Mountain has unique rock formations and landscape

Despite snow covering it during winter, you can still appreciate the landscape. Wait until blue hour and sunset to see the formations turn into a yellowish color.

Terelj National Park

SNOWY EXPERIENCE. The snow covered trees, rock formations and mountains of Terelj Park are picturesque

SNOWY EXPERIENCE.

The snow covered trees, rock formations and mountains of Terelj Park are picturesque

Terelj is a popular park to include in your itinerary for a Gobi Desert trip because of its proximity to the city. Its nearness makes it a go-to destination for visitors who don’t have much time in the country but want to experience camping, sleeping in a yurt and enjoying Mongolia’s countryside. The pine trees, towering rock formations and surrounding mountains are beautiful and picturesque. Depending on your agreement with the agency you booked with, you can go horse riding for around an hour. During winter, you’ll see snow covering the landscape, giving it a different appeal. This park is also the most developed in your trip. There is electricity and you can use the outlets to recharge your devices during your stay.

SUNSET. Stay until sunset to see the rock formations in Bayanzag turn into a bright red

SUNSET.

Stay until sunset to see the rock formations in Bayanzag turn into a bright red

 

Chinggis Khan Statue

This is another optional inclusion in a trip to the Gobi Desert. This attraction is a giant statue of Chinggis Khan, also known as Genghis Khan, is the founder of the Mongolian Empire.

This is a famous landmark in the country, where many locals and tourists go to as a day trip from the city. You can go inside and go up to a certain section of the statue to get an overlooking view of the surrounding steppes and mountains.

Mongolia has many other attractions worth visiting, if you have more days to spare. The Gobi Desert region is only one part of the country. Take time to explore the western and northern regions to see more of what Mongolia has to offer. – Rappler.com