Discover Mongolia


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    Discover one of Asia’s most under-explored regions on a two-week adventure through Mongolia. Walk through the remote and mysterious Erdene Zhu monastery with a Lama Buddhist monk; visit the dramatic Flaming Cliffs, a world-renowned paleontology site famous for its amount of dinosaur eggs and bones; and drop by the home of a welcoming camel-herding family for an afternoon you’ll always remember. Embrace your inner nomad in this timeless place.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Ulaanbaatar 
    Arrive at any time, the adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group.  This trip covers a lot of ground and we will do so in 4×4 vehicles but there is a lot of driving on some very rough and unmaintained roads. A large part of Mongolia’s appeal is its wild, untouched nature and, as such, accommodation and infrastructure can be very basic in nature. As such, hot water and electricity can be uncertain. Mongolia is a country which is very different to anything you will have experienced before and while this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special. Accommodation from day 3 to 12 will be in Gers. Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. Most Ger camps have 24 hours electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11 pm they cut electricity until morning.

    Day 2 Ulaanbaatar
    Enjoy a morning city tour including visits to the Gandan Monastery, Bogd Khan Palace, and Zaisan Hill.  Later, take a tour of the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs and learn about the dinosaurs of the Gobi desert from a docent.  Visit the highlights of Ulaanbaatar with a guided tour to the Gandan Monastery, Bogd Khan Palace, and Zaisan Hill – where you can take in a bird’s eye view of the city. (B)

    Day 3 Ulaanbaatar/Khustai National Park
    Travel to Khustai National Park — home of Mongolia’s wild horses. Here, meet with park staff and learn about the wild horse reintroduction project. Keep an eye out for Takhi horses in their natural habitat. (B, L, D)

    Day 4 Khustai National Park/Kharkhorin
    Drive to Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia. Visit the Erdene Zhu Monastery, the nation’s first centre of Lama Buddhism, and meet with a head monk for an in-depth lesson in Buddhism. Later, visit Karakorum Museum. (B, L, D)

    Day 5 Kharkhorin/Tsenkher
    Arrive at Tsenkher Hot Springs in the afternoon. Visit the springs for a relaxing soak and benefit from its healing powers.  (B, L, D)

    Day 6 Tsenkher/Orkhon Valley
    Drive to Orkhon and enjoy a hiking excursion to the Tuvkhun Monastery, established in the 1650s by Zanabazar, one of Mongolia’s most respected religious leaders. The monastery’s wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched near a hilltop, from which you can take in beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and surrounding pine forests. (B, L, D)

    Day 7 Orkhon Valley
    Visit a local family’s horse and yak breeding farm. Learn about their daily life and how they make cheese and butter. Sample some of their products, including yak cream and yogurt, and watch their famed horse riding and herding techniques. After, enjoy a hike to a waterfall before returning to the ger camp for a traditional Mongolian barbecue prepared over hot stones. (B, L, D)

    Day 8 Orkhon Valley/Ongiin Hiid
    Drive into the Gobi, one of the world’s great deserts which covers much of the southern part of Mongolia. Here we visit the ruins of the Hoshuu and Ongiin Khiid monasteries. (B, L, D)

    Day 9 Ongiin Hiid/Bayanzag
    Explore the Flaming Cliffs palaeontology site, world-renowned for the vast amount of dinosaur bones and eggs found here. (B, L, D)

    Day 10 Bayanzag/Khongoryn Els
    Drive to Khongoryn Els and explore more of the Gobi desert. Hike through Mongolia’s largest dunes, often called the “Singing Sands”. (B, L, D)

    Day 11 Khongoryn Els
    In Khongoriin Els we have the unique opportunity to visit a Nomadic family to learn about their daily life. The Gobi desert being the coldest desert of the world with cold wind blowing pretty much throughout whole autumn, winter and spring without any shelter exposed in plains demands extreme survival method of living. Also enjoy a demonstration of Archery, which is a sport as ancient as the history of Mongolia. In ancient days bows and arrows were primarily used for hunting animals for food and protecting the tribe from outside threats. Over centuries, the uses of archery changed and the tradition passed down to become one of the most practiced sports with the main competition being held during the Naadam Festivals.  (B, L, D)

    Day 12 Khongoryn Els/Yolyn Am
    Drive through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain in Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, passing through the green valleys of Yolyn Am and Dungeness Am. Stop to hike along the way and keep an eye out for wild Argali sheep, ibex, desert gazelles, and golden eagles. Later, pay a visit to the park museum where you can admire a collection of dinosaur bones. (B, L, D)

    Day 13 Yolyn Am/Ulaanbaatar
    Catch a flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Enjoy an evening of song and dance at the Mongolian Cultural Show. The show includes 15 different performances, including traditional songs, dancing, throat singing, and contortionists. (B, D)

    Day 14 Ulaanbaatar
    Depart at any time after breakfast. (B)

    GAD-AMENG

    Images courtesy of G-Adventures