Gurvan Saikhan National Park
With its iconic sand dunes, ice canyon, striped badlands and stunning mountain vistas, this is understandably one of Mongolia’s most popular national parks. Most travellers only see a fraction of it, sticking to the main sites – the standout one being the monstrous sand dunes known as Khongoryn Els.
Bayanzag, which means ‘rich in saxaul shrubs’, is more commonly known as the ‘Flaming Cliffs’, a name penned by the palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews. First excavated in 1922, it is renowned worldwide for the number of dinosaur bones and eggs found in the area, which you can see in museums around the world.
For 363 days of the year, the dusty, ramshackle village of Bulgan doesn't register on the tourist radar. But for two days in March (usually the 6th and 7th) visitors from around the country and beyond descend on the village for its annual camel festival (Temeeni Uraldaani Bayar). It's well worth making a detour to if you're around at the time.
Most travellers spend their time in the countryside around Dalanzadgad rather than in the town itself. While there is little of note besides fresh air and the empty grandeur, thanks to the relative proximity of both Yolyn Am and Bayanzag (the Flaming Cliffs), there are about 20 ger camps within 100km of Dalanzadgad.