Tourist Map of Gobi Desert

Tourist Map of Gobi Desert

Above: Map of Gobi Desert (Mongolia)

Use the tourist map of the Gobi desert above to help you plan your trip.

The photo key below shows you what you will find in each of the numbered locations.

Photo Guide to Gobi Desert Map

Photos of Gobi Desert

Map of Gobi Desert Mini Guide

  1. Sand dunes form a small part of the Gobi; make sure your guide knows they appear on your must-see list. In Khongoryn Els, the dunes rise more than 800 meters. The locals call them the 'singing dunes' because of the sound the wind makes as it sculpts the sand. Spectacular, but go prepared—wind and sand do not usually combine well.
  2. The Trans-Mongolian line branches of the trans-Siberian, connecting Mongolia with Russia and China. A Gobi bound train hoots and chugs its way past my home several times a week. One of the more romantic ways to reach the Gobi!
  3. Two-humped camels come from Mongolia but are an endangered species. Tell your tour guide in advance if you want to ensure a camel ride forms part of your itinerary.
  4. Bayanzag or the "Flaming Cliffs" contain a lot of iron-oxide and turn into an orange shimmer in the evening sun. Have your camera at the ready—it's an area of outstanding natural beauty.

    The dinosaurs loved this area as well. The real-life Indiana Jones battled bandits in Bayanzag as he collected the world's first fossilised dinosaur eggs. Fossils hunters still find fossils lying on the sand.

  5. The Mongolian Death Worm legend has been explored in science-fiction novels and Hollywood movies. Witnesses say it can electrocute people from a distance of some meters.
  6. Khongiin Khiid started life as a Tibetan-Buddhist Monastery. Destroyed by troops in the early twentieth century it now looks like the ruins of a 2000 year old city. Bring a metal detector and you might uncover some of the treasures buried before the troops arrived.
  7. Khamar Monastery, Sainshand—Buddhism has experienced resurgence in recent years as Mongolia has rebuilt and renovated monasteries. You will find the Khamar Monastery at Sainshand.
  8. A Glacier in the Gobi. Gobi temperatures drop well below freezing in winter and warm up nicely in the summer. But parts of the Gobi receive little light and remain cool year round. The Yolyn Am is a deep valley which retains a deep field of winter ice year round. Not a glacier, as indicated in many guide books, but an unexpected sight in the hot summer!

    See my Mongolian weather page to discover the best time to visit.

  9. Gobi bears and snow leopards both appear on Mongolian and international endangered lists. The Gobi bear is the only desert bear in the world. The snow leopard only intrudes on the desert's fringes. You are unlikely to see either, unless you take part in a specialized tour.
  10. Gobi desert plants—Plants appear all over the Gobi and in the most unlikely places. Many Gobi desert plants are leafless to prevent loss of water; others have long roots to tap deep water supplies.
  11. Gobi desert roads are rarer than the Gobi bear. If you plan on traveling through the Gobi without a guide, then read my Mongolian road map page first!
  12. Nomads—Nomadic herders live in the Gobi raising goats, camels and horses. Make sure you meet them—with or without a translator.
  13. Ger camps—If you stay at a camp in the Gobi then it will likely be a ger camp. Gers are a nomad's home—made of a wooden lattice and felt, they suit all weather conditions. A good tourist map of Gobi desert will show you exactly where they are.

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