Shiliin Bogd volcano
At 1778m, Shiliin Bogd Uul, about 70km east of Dariganga, is the highest peak in Sükhbaatar aimag. The extinct volcano is sacred to many Mongolians: the spirit of any man (and man only!) who climbs it, especially at sunrise, will be revived. The region is stunning, isolated and close to the Chinese border – so be careful.
A jeep can drive about halfway up the mountain, and then it’s a short, but blustery, walk to the top. There are plenty of ovoos and awesome views of craters all around. About 3km to the south, the fire break that squiggles into the distance is the border with China. If you are camping, Shiliin Bogd offers one of the greatest sunrises in a country full of great sunrises.
On the road between Dariganga and Shiliin Bogd, 8km past Ganga Nuur, look out for the statue of Toroi-Bandi, the Robin Hood of Mongolia, who stole horses from the local Manchurian rulers, then eluded them by hiding near Shiliin Bogd Uul. The statue, dedicated in 1999, pointedly faces China.
The only two roads to Shiliin Bogd start from Erdenetsagaan (70km) and Dariganga (70km). It’s better to go to Dariganga first, where you are more likely to find a jeep for hire or a lift.