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When you think of Mongolia, you may imagine a destination so far and remote that only the most experienced of travelers can travel. However, it is much easier than you think. Mongolia is a huge country, with different climate zones, and with various landscapes and can be divided into six different regions:
1. In the South lies the Gobi desert. This is a vast desert covering some one-third of the total land mass of Mongolia. There are numerous sites in the Gobi Desert, such as sand dunes and oases, archaeological and paleontology sites. The Gobi makes Mongolia a unique destination to visit for its famous discoveries, natural beauty and people.
Khongor sand dunes
2. In the West lies Altai Mountains, Mongolia's highest mountain range . The area is also inhabited by the largest number of ethnic groups in Mongolia. Many travelers visit western Mongolia to meet the Kazakhs, a Muslim minority that still practice and preserve the centuries-old tradition of hunting with Golden Eagles.
3. The highlight of northern Mongolia is Lake Khuvsgul, one of the world's largest fresh water reservoirs and its amazing surroundings are home to several of Mongolia’s ethnic minorities, including the Reindeer people, as well as a refuge for a wide variety of wildlife.
4. The Khan-Khentii mountain range lies to the north-east. This mighty mountain range, stretching all the way to the Russian border is the cradle of Mongolian society and culture as we know it today. This is the birth place of Temujin, the little brave boy who turned to be Chinggis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in history, and the forefather of the Mongolian nation. This is a land of fertile meadows, numerous lakes, and substantial rivers.
Khan Khentii mountain range
5. Eastern Mongolia comprises of vast open steppes, with rather monotonous landscapes.
6. Central Mongolia lies on the northern slopes of Khangai, Mongolia's second largest mountain range. This is a prosperious land of rivers, vast open meadows and forested rolling hills. Many Mongolian nomads graze their herds in the lush grown plains of Khangai.
Rolling hills of Central Mongolia
Each of these regions has a unique appeal. However, over the years we have found that central, southern and northern Mongolia are the most popular destinations, probably due to the relatively good travel-related infrastructure and the diversity of landscapes, as well as the ability to meet and visit nomadic families throughout the trip.