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Introducing Zuunmod

In great contrast to the big city on the other side of the mountain, Zuunmod is a peanut-sized place, even smaller than most Mongolian provincial capitals. There is little reason to linger in the capital of Töv but you’ll probably pass through on the way to Mandshir Khiid in the Bogdkhan Uul Strictly Protected Area.

The main sight in town is the Aimag Museum, about 200m beyond the bus stand, and opposite the southeast corner of the park – look for the sign in English. There are exhibits on local history and a section of stuffed animals including an enormous moose. It also has some interesting black-and-white photos of Mandshir Khiid, including the once-regular tsam (lama dances, performed by monks wearing masks during religious ceremonies).

A minibus runs on a paved road to Zuunmod (T2000, one hour, hourly, 8am and 8pm) from Ulaanbaatar’s Dragon Avto Vaksal. From the bus stand in Zuunmod, keep walking straight and the museum will be on your right. Mandshir Khiid is a pleasant 6km hike northeast of here (beyond the town and up to your left).

A chartered taxi from Ulaanbaatar will cost at least US$20 one way. Taxis can be hired in Zuunmod from the taxi stand on the east side of the park (past the museum then left). The fare to Mandshir Khiid is around T15,000 plus waiting time.