Chinggis Khaan conquered more of the world than any human being who has ever existed, but his origins – as a refugee and hunter-gatherer living off of berries and mice – can be traced to the junction of the Onon and Balj rivers. Here in Dadal (Дадал) sum (district), near the town of the same name, the man who would be khaan (emperor) was born in an area that was remote even during his lifetime. A patchwork of dark pine forests, clear rivers and howling winds – the latter a playground for enormous ravens – was the geographic heritage inscribed on the memory of the future khaan.
Modern Dadal encompasses several sites associated with Chinggis, plus hiking opportunities, log cabins and a population of ethnic Buriats. With its shadowy blanket of taiga forest and deep blue skies, it's one of the highlights of a trip to eastern Mongolia.