The place to search and investigate is "Google Earth" which has amazing satellite images of the whole world. I flew over Mongolia with "Google Earth" for hours, searching for what might be adventurous and challenging areas all from the comfort of my computer chair.
I found beautiful mountains, deep rivers, huge lakes, and an endless Gobi desert in southern Mongolia.
There was one strange spot in the Gobi that caught my eye. It looked like terrain similar to that on the moon. From the aerial images, it seemed like an almost perfect circle of rock, 35Km in diameter at the center of the great Gobi desert plains. (top image) A closer look revealed colorful rocks, several ruins; one of them had a Lotus shape, (second image) a few nomadic Ger's, several springs and even a frozen ice canyon. On the outskirts of this huge circle I saw a small village, with a 600Km dirt road leading to Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar. I only later found out its name is Khanbogd, a name I will never forget. To the west there was a very strange camp with many Ger's in straight rows. This camp did not appear on any of my maps. My imagination went wild, "maybe this is a secret camp hidden away in the Gobi," I thought. The deserted villages and ruins had a few large structures, and it was obvious that there must be an interesting story related to them.
The colored rocks hinted that this circle may very well be a geological gem.
The Mongolian tourist websites did not mention this area. All I could find was a blog of an American Buddhist monk who visited a remote place named "Demchig hiid". On his blog he had a photo of that same Lotus shape ruins that I located on the satellite image.
We spent many hours searching and mapping the area from these satellite images.
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By: Dan, author of To Mongolia