Gorkhi-Terel national park is one of the national park in Mongolia and the nearest one to Ulaanbaatar. Many people have called it “the Switzerland of Mongolia”; it is and excellent place for relax, horse riding or hiking. We came there by bus from Ulaanbaatar and we would like to share with you our story.. 🙂
How to get from Ulaanbaatar to Gorkhi-Terelj national park by bus
The cheapest way is to use public transport. Despite the fact that a lot of information is written on the internet about the direct line XO 4 (which is supposed to go twice a day), this line didn´t exist anymore and for reasons of flexibility we recommend transfer in Nalaikh:
1) From UB take a bus XO 5-1 to the city Nalaikh
The bus departs from the station Oфицеруудын ордoн, runs every 20 minutes and is marked with the word Налаич. The price is 500 MNT per person (you will need to buy Money U city transport card for 3200 MNT, which you will charge and then pay for a beep on the bus).
2) From Nalaikh to the village Terelj
Minibuses go from Nalaikh to Terelj village every 2 hours at a cost 2000 MNT per person. The minibus will stop you anywhere, along the way (we decided to stop close to Turtle Rock). The second option is to take a taxi for 5000 MNT per person (you can even bargain, but under 10 000 MNT per car you probably will not get).
Where to overnight in Gorkhi-Terelj national park
We didn´t book any accommodation any advance since we knew that there is plenty of yurt. We found cheap accommodation right behind the turtle rock and it was great, especially the view:)
Best thing to see/do in Gorkhi-Terelj national park
Famous formation Turle rock is best known for shape its resembles. It was created into a turtle by only wind and rain water.
2. Aryapala Temple Meditation Center
Our walk further leads to the Aryapala Buddhist Temple, a meditation center 4 km away from the Turtle. The sun is shining and beautifully tinges the yellow-colored larches. Along the way we were hungry, so we had lunch overlooking the almost empty valley.
The temple impressed us with its architecture, but we still admire the colors of autumn and the view of the autumn valley.
If you have still some time you can walk through one ridge to the next valley. On the ridge we decided to take a photo here. There was also our most adventurous photoshooting because of strong wind. We suddenly saw how the wind dropped the camera, which falls from the rock and Anet jacket flew. Fortunately, the situation turned out well, nothing broke and we caught everything.
Genghis Khan Statue Complex (Chinggis Khaan statue)
This statue is currently the largest equestrian statue in the world so you cannot miss it if you are in Mongolia! Entrance fee for Genghis Khan Statue was 30 000 MNT but nobody was in the ticket window and guard told us to go so we didn´t pay.
How to get from Gorkhi-Terel national park to Genghis Khan Statue?
Unfortunately, there is no public transport from the National Park to the Statue. But you can hitch-hiking there! We came out of turtle rock for 20 minutes on the main road and hitchhiked from there. It is ideal to hitchhike to Nalaikh and from there to the statue, but it is possible that the driver will go straight to the statue. Hitchhiking was not time-consuming, of the 7 cars passing by, 4 stopped . The time spent waiting for the car was max 15 minutes – almost everyone stopped immediately. It is good to have a map or picture, but the words Nalaikh and Chinggis Khaan everyone understood and knew where you want to go 🙂
How to get from Genghis Khan Statue to Ulaanbaatar?
From there we hitchhiked again to the city Nalaikh (first car stopped) and then we took a public bus XO 5-1 back to Ulaanbaatar. Easy right?