The Terelj National Park is located in a spectacular valley at only 1.5 hours (80 kilometres) from Ulaanbaatar. This park is the closest to the capital compared with other parks, making it much visited by travellers who spend a shorter time in Mongolia.
Turtle Rock and Aryapala Monastery
The hilly landscape is dotted with pine trees and fascinating rock formations. One of those is the Turtle Rock; a rock in the shape of a turtle (which officially is called Frog Rock but it does not look like a frog).
Not far away from the rock is the picturesque Aryapala Buddhist temple and meditation centre. Walk to the top of the hill, where you can look at the inside of the beautiful monastery and have a wonderful view over the valley. Through this valley there is a path with Buddhist texts along the side. By turning a wheel, fate plays you a number that corresponds to one of these texts.
Sleeping in a ger
Terelj National Park is nice to visit as a day trip from Ulaanbaatar. But the most fun is of course to spend the night in a ger, the traditional house of a nomadic family. Because Terelj is more touristy than most other parks in Mongolia, you do not you sleep with the nomad families themselves. The ger camps are really set up for tourism, but it goes hand in hand with a bit more comfort and you still have the ‘ger experience’.