The entrance to the Gobi desert is within easy reach. It is an easy-to-reach destination, whether you are coming from China or Ulaanbaatar, the capital.
Book a hotel if you have just crossed the border between China and Mongolia - the train to Zamyn Ud (in the south of Mongolia) arrives at Saynshand at one o'clock in the morning! And there are not many taxis!
Don't come here for the town! It is a 'desert town' with four big main roads, and that's all. I thought of making this my starting point for crossing the desert but I was strongly advised against it! People come to Saynshand for what there is around it - the holy site of Shambala, the Ikh Nartiin Chuluu nature reserve and the Suikhent Petrified Forest (further away).
The outskirts of the town are completely desert-like, and from time to time you spot the yurts of nomads, camels, herds of goats - all very exotic! The town itself gives you a good glimpse of what day-to-day life is like in the desert, but it does not take long to see it and it lacks any kind of charm.
I stayed there for two days, enough time for one excursion per day, and then I continued on my travels. You could do the same, or simply pass straight by!