Photography Mongolia

For landscape, nature and portrait photography, Mongolia is one of the most diverse countries in the world. In Mongolia you can photograph desert wilderness, majestic mountain peaks, peaceful forest and picturesque lakes, hundreds of sheep, horses on green steppe, authentic nomads’ life and Mongolian ethnic people. Mongolia is known as the land of blue sky there are 275 sunny days a year, so it is the great opportunity for photographers to shoot magnificent images on your camera and to collect beautiful memories in your mind. The view of landscapes and its colors are changing so you can see the diverse places through your lens while on the same trip.
This article can help you to choose the best photography locations in Mongolia. Ayan Travel is the specialist in photography tour and we provide useful information on our blog.
Here are the top 5 places to photograph in Mongolia with information of its location and description with photos taken by our director Batzaya Choijiljav.

Mongolia people

1. Gobi Desert of Mongolia and Camel Herding Nomads 

Mongolian Gobi is well known for travelers as its dinosaur fossil sites and camel herding nomadic lives, but also it is an iconic destination for landscape and night sky photographers. Locates in the southern part of Mongolia and includes often-photographed sights like flaming cliffs, Yol Valley, you can also collect the stunning images such as 2 humped camel caravan on bright sand dunes under clear blue sky. Although the conditions can be extreme, it is a popular location because of the amazing scenery. You can capture sand dunes, canyons, cliffs, flats as well as wildlife and birds.

If you are planning to visit to Mongolian Gobi you may want to check out this article.

Recommended Photography Tour to Mongolian Gobi: Classic Mongolia Photography Tour

Mongolia Gobi Image

Winter Mongolian Gobi

Gobi Mongolia

2. Mongolian Altai Mountains and Golden Eagle Hunters 
In the remotest and westernmost part of Mongolia there is a hidden treasure we name it Altai Tavan Bogs National Park. It is a truly spectacular and unique place that attracts photographers for its majestic peaks, scenic lakes, glaciers, mystic stone statues and ancient rock carvings. If you are a portrait photographer, then this is the right place to shoot strange faces of Mongolian ethic groups such As Kazakh and Tuva people who have been living there for hundreds of years in a nomadic way of life. And if you have time and really interested in wildlife photography the park is also home to endangered animals such as snow leopard, wild goats, sheep and other smaller wild ones. Finally, one of the most attractive objects to shoot is golden eagles and hunters. In the beginning of October the golden eagle festival is held in Ulgii city, the westernmost province of Mongolia. We can promise that you will have full of thrilling and beautiful moments in your camera. You can get more information about the park and Golden eagle Festival please visit here.
Recommended Photography Tour to Mongolian Gobi:

Golden Eagle Festival and Mongol Altai Mountains Photographic Expedition

Altai Mountain Mongolia

Golden Eagle Mongolia

Mongolia Altai Mountains

3. Lake Khuvsgul NP and Reindeer Herders

Because of its view, many travelers say that Lake Khuvsgul and its surrounding area is Mongolian Switzerland and Mongolian Blue pearl. That is true for its natural scenery. Lake Khuvsgul National park is located in northern Mongolia and offers picturesque clear lake, forested mountains, peaceful meadows and wildflowers attract  nature and landscape photographers. One of the uncommon images can be captured in the remote Taiga Mountains of Mongolia which would be the Tsaatan or Reindeer herders and their lifestyle. This is very new destination for both local and foreign travelers and photographers. As Ayan Travel we initiated the Extreme Winter Photo Tour in this exotic region. Our first photo journey to the reindeer people starts in winter of 2016 and we have got lots of experience in winter photography. You may interested in our photo tour please visit this page to find out more: Tsaatans and Reindeer people of Mongolia

tsaatan reindeer herder Mongolia

Taiga kids

4. Orkhon Cultural Valley and Historical Sites

Most visited cultural place for both Mongolian and world history and recognized by UNESCO’s World Heritage Site as Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape. Locates in central Mongolia, historical and cultural heritages makes it important place, and provides beautiful landscape with grasslands, wildflowers, rivers, waterfall and cultural sites including old monasteries and burial mounds to capture.

monastery Mongolia

Orkhon cultural land

5. Ulaanbaatar and its close locations /Hustai NP, Terelj NP and Chinggis Khan Statue/

Once you decided to take a trip to Mongolia, your tour will start form Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. It keeps modern and old, nomadic and civilization style view in itself. You can take a picture of some historical statues and Buddhist temple. Panoramic and architect photographers may interested in this contemporary city.
After your city photo tour you may wish to visit following places that will attract photographers and travelers and locates near the capital city.

Hustai National Park of Mongolia

Good place for wildlife photographing and locates 100km from Ulaanbaatar. The park is known for its population of wild horses /Prezewalski’s horse/ and home to red deer, wild boar, fox, grey wolf , marmot and rare birds. Also it gives us a good opportunity to capture wild flowers and ancient monuments and much more.

Przewalski's Horse Mongolia

Terelj National Park of Mongolia 

Locates 75 km from the capital city and one of the most popular attractions for its amazing natural scenery and rock formations.

National Parks of Mongolia

Chinggis Khan Equestrian Statue 

The largest horse statue in the world, locates on the way to Terelj NP. Visitors walk up to the head of the horse through its chest and neck, where you can take panoramic photos of the surrounding area.

f you need more information about these locations please visit following page.

Top Travel destinations of Mongolia

To conclude, Mongolia offers you to explore and capture its natural beauties, unique culture , great history and hospitable nomads.

 

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” -Abraham Lincoln

 

Tsaatans, known as Reindeer Herders, live in Khuvsgul Province in Northern Mongolia near the Russian border.  Their lives are divided into two parts of the Taiga, East and West.   It is said that there are approximately 500 Tsaatans living in Tsagaannur soum.

Last November, four of my friends and I went to a fenced off area in the mountains to take photos of reindeer

Mongolia Winter photography

 

 

There are only about 40 families and 1500 reindeers left in the East and West Taiga

Tsaatan Ganbaa, Northern Mongolian people

During their winter hibernation period, we visited East Taiga tribal leader, Mr. Ganbaa and his wife, Mrs. Purvee. On the first day of our arrival, we talked with Leader Ganbaa in his home, about life on the taiga. This year, he said there was a lot of snow in the taiga, but the Tsaatans come together in his home to share the latest news of Ulaanbaatar city and other news.

Tribal Leader Mr. Ganbaa prepared 20 reindeer and 3 guides for our trip

Photo Tour Mongolia

Reindeer persist in the snow, so the Tsaatans are happy when the Taiga is full of snow. Mongolian reindeer, semi-wild animals, are not fed any additional foods.

A young girl with her glossed lips, helps the family collect wood, but winter time is school time for children

Mongolia girls

Reindeer during the full moon. Although freed during the day, reindeer are tied in the evening to protect them from wild game

Grand Prix Photo of Mongolia

In the Taiga, the sun rises late in the morning and sets early in the evening

Mongolia photo tour

Watching and enjoying the sun rise from Grandma Suren’s teepee, urts. Grandma made a fire in the stove before we woke up which quickly warmed up the teepee.

Tsaatan life is centered around their reindeer. They have no other animals, except for a few horses which they use only in the summer

Photographer Batzaya Mongolia

For my first time riding a reindeer, it was completely different from riding a horse

Mongolian Northern Mongolia

As soon as you ride them, you feel their strong footing and they go faster than you expect.

Reindeer herder Mr. Sanchir, son of tribal Leader Mr. Ganbaa led us to a place in the mountains where the reindeer were fenced in

Tsaatan Sansar, East taiga, Khuvsgul Aimag, Mongolia

The reindeer smell similar to the human body, but it doesn’t protect them from their main enemy, the wolf. Even though there are less wild game animals in the area, reindeer are not able to protect themselves from wolves.

On our first day of our trip north, we arrived to the Tsaatan camp. After riding reindeer for almost 5 hours, we and our reindeer were tired

Darkhad valley Tsaatan People

For rider safety and to keep reindeer from hurting each other, Tsaatans cut the antlers of the reindeer

Mongolian Photo expedition

We reached our final destination just as the sun was setting. Although we were tired from our long 40 kilometer trip, once we saw the herd of reindeer, we were energized. That was the beginning of our experience with reindeer for the next few days.

Reindeer need more salt during the winter. We brought plenty of salt to feed them

Mongolian winter photography tour

Batkhuu, one of our local guides and a member of the Tsaatan minority group gives us a photogenic smileMongolian photography Tour

It is sad that modern development makes its’ way into their remote habitat. Their ancient traditions are now at risk of dying out.

Reindeer are able to find grass easily by cracking the thick snow with their front feet

Mongolia special tour

With the first snow and often covered with ice, come the white moss which provide food for the reindeer.

A city girl feeds the baby reindeer

Mongolia reindeer Herders

We brought salt to feed to the reindeer. It was the most appreciated gift by the Tsaatans. Our group members were so happy. Then we tried to feed the baby reindeer some chocolate. Can you imagine cute, baby reindeer eating Snickers?

Sacred animal, the reindeer play an important role in the Dukha’s shamanistic tradition

Mongolian Animals

The white reindeer is considered to be sacred.

Modern development makes its’ way into their remote habitat. Their ancient traditions are now at risk of dying out

Mongolia travel photography

The male reindeer are usually used for riding. A single reindeer can travel 30 kilometers or more in a single day

Mongolian winter photos

Til the Spring comes with the snow meltdown, the reindeer are left alone by the Tsaatans at the base of a huge mountainsideReindeer Photos by Batzaya

The reindeer are protected by huge mountains and thick snows. Tsaatans erase the footprints of reindeer to prevent wolf attacks.

Bulls are fighting each other. The main enemy of the reindeer is the wolf. The reindeer cannot defend itself against a wolfMongolian photographer Batzaya

The reindeer go down the pass to the south where the Tengis River flows. It’s a large river that does not completely freeze overMongolian winter trips