Matt is an avid traveller and a keen photographer who showcases his work on Flickr & sells his images through Adobe Stock and Shutterstock.
The World's Largest Equestrian Statue
The Genghis Khan Statue Complex (or the Chinggis Khan Statue Complex as it is known to Mongolians) is a heritage site dedicated to the Mongol empire. At the heart of the complex, and it's stand-out feature is the 40 metre tall stainless steel statue of the legendary emperor, Genghis Khan, on horseback.
There's a museum and visitor centre attached to the base of the statue and you can go up to the open air viewing deck that sits atop of the horses head. Great views over the surrounding plains are a treat for the eyes.
The site is culturally and historically significant to the Mongolian people. There are ambitious plans to develop the area around the statue into a large tourist camp with mock villages and living exhibits depicting life as it was during the height of the Mongol empire.
How to Get There
If you're staying in Ulaanbaatar then you're best bet is to arrange a tour from a local company. You can either arrange your own private tour or join a larger group. There are no tours specifically to visit the Genghis Khan Statue Complex on it's own. It's generally included as part of a wider tour of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Expect to pay around $560USD for a private 2 day tour. This will include the entrance price into the statue complex.
An example itinerary of the 2-day tour is outlined below:
Day 1: Terelj National Park trip - Nomad family
• Pick up from your hotel at 9am.
• Drive to Terelj – the most visited and interesting National Park.
• On the way, stop at Ovoo – rock pile; used in worship of religion.
• First visit to Turtle Rock formation – the symbol of the National Park.
• Enjoy hiking to Ariyabal meditation temple - sits at top of the mountain.
• Lunch at tourist Guru Ger camp.
• In the afternoon, visit and stay with local nomad family, watch how they look after their animals and help them with daily workings
• Enjoy walking around, taking photos and watching wild flowers.
• Dinner and overnight at the nomad family.
Day 2: Genghis Khan’s Statue Complex – Kazakh family, Nalaikh - UB
• In the early morning, take a short drive to the Genghis Khan’s Statue Complex - the biggest (40m high) equestrian statue in the world.
• Explore the statue complex, have good panoramic view from the top of the statue.
• Drive to Nalaikh settlement to visit Kazakh family.
• Explore the lifestyle of Kazakh family – ethnic minority, well known as hospitability. Kazakh Gers a famous for their elaborate & decorative nomadic dwellings furnished with beautiful wall-hangings which add to the warmth of the family’s environment.
• After lunch with the Kazakh family drive back Ulaanbaatar
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Where to Stay in Ulaanbaatar
For any visit to the statue complex, you're likely to be setting off and returning to Mongolia's capital city, Ulaanbaatar. There area surprising amount of accommodation options in the city from the ultra basic budget rooms to the ultra high-end accommodation at the Shangri-La Hotel. A stay here isn't cheap but is better value than in other countries so you may want to take the opportunity to stay in superior luxury accommodation for less than you could anywhere else.
Aside from the Shangri-La there are a few other 5* hotels. One such hotel is the soaring Blue Sky Hotel and Tower. Rooms here are incredibly spacious and offer fantastic views across the city. Expect to pay around $80 per night.
Location on the Map
How Long to Spend at the Statue Complex
As of 2019 the complex is still relatively undeveloped. The main and only attraction at this time is the equestrian statue and surrounding park. A visit up to the viewing deck should keep you busy for around 30 minutes with a further 30 minutes in the museum. Add another 30 minutes to 60 minutes for getting some photos of the statue and surrounding landscapes and you're looking at around 2 hours maximum for your visit.
There are some additional activities that can be undertaken if you so wish. These include a short go-kart experience which takes you down a winding track from the base of the statue to the car park at the bottom. You can also pay to dress up in traditional Mongol warrior dress and ride a camel. There are better and more authentic locations to do these activities however in other parts of the Terelj National Park.
Genghis Khan Museum
The museum has a fairly basic collection of items including weapons, stoneware and everyday utensils such as pots, bowls etc. There are some model people wearing the traditional clothing of the time which is good at illustrating the period and bringing it to life for the visitor. Hopefully, in time, as visitor numbers increase the collection can grow in size. Many of the most important items are located in the National Museum of Mongolia located on Sukhbaatar Square in Ulaanbaatar.
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If you have enjoyed reading this article please take the time to leave me a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page. If you are interested in reading any of my other practical travel guides please click on one of the links below.
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Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 18, 2020:
No doubt this would be an interesting place to tour. I appreciate all the details in your article.
Liz Westwood from UK on January 18, 2020:
This is a well-illustrated and well laid out hub. It reminds me of the mounted statue of St Wenceslas in Wenceslas Square and the equestrian statue of Zizka by the National Memorial, both in Prague.