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An update from Evaneos

Karakorum (Mongolia)

Practical information about Karakorum

  • Encounters with locals
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Horse
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
8hrs by bus from Ulan Bator
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Karakorum

Marie Cavalié Travel writer
27 travel articles

Karakorum, capital of the Mongol Empire has lost a lot of its former glory. Today, all that remains is the Erdene Zuu monastery and two tortoise statues as reminders of its illustrious past.

My suggestion:
Even if you're there during summer, you'll still need warm clothes. Temperatures at night plummet! You'll notice that nomads keep their fires lit during the warmer months.

Having planned my holiday in Mongolia in advance, I quickly realised that it was all in vain as, due to transport problems that I'd not forseen, things weren't going to be that easy.

Karakorum was to be my departure point for a trip to the Orkhon Valley. Whether it's by Jeep or horse, travel is prohibitively expensive for solo travellers, so my plan was to find other tourists with whom I could share costs. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not...As for Karakorum, I met two Slovakians, which meant I could spend a few days touring the valley on horseback. One of the best memories of my trip.

Upon our return, we found Naadam in full swing. This festival celebrates Mongolia's independence and features a host of competitions. There's horse racing, where you'll even see tiny kids hurtling across the steppe, wrestling, archery...This is a traditional festival where the Mongolians dress up in their finest deel , sit down to plates of kushuur (meat doughnuts) and swig airag (fermented mare's milk), whilst playing games. It's a national celebration held during July that you shouldn't miss if you're there at the time.

The Naadam Festival
Travel writer
14 travel articles

The former capital of the Mongol Empire, Silk Road trading post and home to the great Genghis Khan, Karakorum is in Central Mongolia in the Arkhangaï region.

My suggestion:
Karakorum has a wealth of religious edifices, but that's about it...The rest of Mongolia awaits, arms open to the world. So saddle up and hit the steppes!

This is a large village not far from the beautiful, legendary Orkhon River. It's a great departure point for heading out on hikes, where you can meet nomadic communities and explore a number of large, culturally fascinating sites.

Karakorum is not exceptional in itself, but it offers a welcome change of scenery, far from what we're used to and one which won't leave you indifferent.

If you're a solo traveller, stop at the Morin Jim cafe. You'll be able to meet other travellers who've returned from treks and who'll be able to offer you useful tips regarding your own plans.

As it's one of Mongolia's most popular destinations, I suggest you head to Karakorum during Spring or Autumn to fully benefit from the Orkhon Valley. You'll find some riding gear at the market, but you're better off buying equipment beforehand.

Men playing billiards at Karakorum's market