Erdene Zuu and Kharakorum Museum
Orkhon Valley and Central Mongolia, Mongolia
Visit the remains of Kharakhorum, once the capital of the Mongol Empire and a vital city in the history of the Silk Road, whilst the nearby Erdene Zuu monastery harks back to this ancient time but still remains an active Buddhist monastery.
Spend the day exploring the roots of the Mongol empire with a visit to the Kharakhorum Museum, a fascinating museum housing the findings from the archaeological digs that unearthed the remains of Mongolia’s ancient capital city. Spend time exploring the two sections of the museum, one that houses the permanent exhibits and one for the more dynamic, recent findings from the ongoing excavations.
From there, visit the nearby Erdene Zuu Monastery, Mongolia’s largest and most ancient Buddhist monastery, reportedly built from the ruins of Kharakhorum in the 16th century. This hallowed site has been standing here in the desert for more than 500 years, richly decorated and surrounded by 108 stupas. Explore the grounds and temples of the monastery, listening to the chants of the monks as they go about their daily prayers and rituals, before visiting the site of a German archeological digs at the former sight of Kharakhorum.