Hiking in Naiman Nuur- Navel Eight Lakes

Naiman Nuur- Navel Eight Lakes, which was created by volcanic eruptions centuries ago and is now part of the 11,500 hectare Khuisiin Naiman Lake Natural Reserve. The lakes are 70 km south-west of Orkhon waterfall, but the roads are often virtually impassable.  The road between  Kharkorum and Eight lake is one of the best places in the country to see falcons and hawks, particularly the saraa moon  hawk.


The capital, Ulaanbaatar is full of surprises and offers far better places to stay and eat than the countryside. It is home to the largest Naadam Festival, Mongolia’s famous three-day sports event, and has fascinating monasteries and many museums and art galleries. It’s also the best place to see a performance of traditional music dance, which should not be missed.

Ulaanbaatar capital city has a population over 1 mln (since April 2007) which is over 30% of country's total 2.9 mln people. Located along Tuul river, city is surrounded by magnificient 4 mountains - Bogd Khaan, Bayan-Zurkh, Songino-Khairkhan and Chingeltei. Most notable Bogd Khaan mountain is located to the sough of the city, is also one of oldest National Parks.


Population 1'144'500 (May 2013)
Area 470'000 hectars
Altitude 1350m
Average temperature 2.2°С
Annual citation 242.7mm
Average humidity 69%


First official capital city of Mongolia was Kharkhorin, established in 1220 by Ugudei Khaan, 3rd son of Chinggis Khaan. Kharkhorin exusted 140 years, 32 of them as a capital of Mongol Empire. Later new city was founded in 1639 under name of Urguu. Over time it became religious, political and major trade center. Since founding, city has changed name and location several times. In 1639-1706 name of city was Urguu, 1706-1911 changed to Ikh Khuree, Da Khuree or just Khuree. After independence of 1911 capital city name changed to Niislel Khuree. Renamed to Ulaanbaatar in 1924, meaning Ulaan - red, baatar - hero in the memory of Sukhbaatar Damdin. Other names are Kulun, Kyren, Urga. Nowadays sometimes referred as Ulan-Bator according Russian spelling. Sometimes unofficial shortened term UB is used, mostly by foreigners.

During the communist/socialist era most of it's monasteries and temples are destroyed (as well as throughout the country), but remaining few gives unique insight to the old times.

Modern Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar is fast developing city, it's country's cultural, economical and political center. City is a mixture of traditional and modern, despite that it has relaxed, small-town atmosphere. Ulaanbaatar is pleasant place to visit and relax, has some interesting monasteries, museums and excellent cultural shows, so it is recommended to spend some time here before heading out to the glorious valleys, steppes and desert of Mongolia.

Ulaanbaatar is one of coldiest cities in winter - average temperature is -19°C. But summer average temperature is 15°C, spring - 5°C, fall - 7°C.