Khamaryn Khiid

The Gobi

The main hall at this new-build compound that rises from blonde desert sands is an impressive ger-like structure with a golden tower. It can be reached by the sand-covered path lined with white stupas. The circular walls are engraved with the likenesses of the mythical masters from the Sutras, alongside vivid descriptions in English. There's also a shrine to the Dalai Lama where you can make offerings.

Before you leave, climb to the top level and pray to five golden bodhisattva statues in the lotus-shaped windows. From the monastery (turn left as you exit) a path, and more recently a paved road, leads for 2km to a bell tower which you must strike three times to announce your arrival at the ‘energy centre', known as Shambhala.

A taxi from Sainshand to Khamaryn Khiid costs T50,000 to T60,000 return, including waiting time.