Itinerary in brief
- DAY 1. ARRIVAL IN ULAANBAATAR, city sightseeing:
central hotel. After checking in, we take a tour of the city, including the Gandan Monastery, Museum of Mongolian National History and Genghis
Monument on the Sukhbaatar Square.
Mongolia introduction .
Mongolia, the 'Land of Blue Sky', home of the greatest empire the world has ever known and Asia's last undiscovered
wilderness. Awesome expanses of rolling steppe, home to Mongolia's famous horses and herdsmen, meet high glacial mountains, impenetrable forests and deep, crystal lakes. To the south the great Gobi Desert stretches to the horizon; empty save for deep canyons and sweeping dunes. Across much of this vast land little has changed since the days of Genghis Khan, and your visit here will truly be an experience beyond imagination - from the magnificent spectacle of Mongolian people’s hospitality to the unspoilt, breathtaking natural beauty that awaits you at every turn.
As urban capital of a nomadic nation Ulaanbaatar is something of a paradox, but with the modern world rapidly sweeping away the monolithic remnants of the Soviet era, the city has become a forward-looking, if laid-back, base from which to explore this remarkable country. Stretching along the valley of the Tuul
River and embraced by four sacred mountains, Ulaanbaatar hints at the adventure and open spaces of its nation beyond the peaks.
Tour of the city, including the Gandan Monastery and National History Museum. The city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26 meter high gilded statue of the Buddha. Your tour also takes you to the Genghis Khan monument on the Sukhbaatar square and the Museum of National History, which has a number of fascinating displays of traditional Mongolian clothing and weaponry, as well as exhibits charting the course of Genghis Khan's empire-building. 4* Chinggis Hotel or similar. L+D
- DAY 2. ULAANBAATAR – HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK.
- DAY 3. HUSTAI – ELSEN TASARKHAI.
AFTER breakfast we drive to Karakorum, the ancient capital city of Mongolia through the rolling steppes. We will stop at Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes and Khogno Khaan National park. Transfer to Hoyor Zagal camp. Lunch. Hiking in the region and visit the Ovgon monastery ruins enjoying the nature beauty. Hoyor Zagal camp. B+L+D
- DAY 4. ELSEN TASARHAI– KARAKORUM.
After having breakfast at the tourist camp we drive for 1 hour to Karakorum and visit the legendary Erdene Zuu Monastery from the 16th century and its surroundings: the ruins of Tumen Amgalant Palace of Ogoodei Khaan, the Turtle monuments and the Phallic Rock. Visit the Karakorum museum. Munkh Tenger camp. B+L+D
A potent echo of the lost Mongol Empire, Karakorum was chosen as Genghis Khan's new capital in 1220, serving in this role for only four decades before Hubilai Khan moved the centre of state to his seat in Beijing. The city flowered again during Mongolia's 16th century Buddhist renaissance with the construction of Erdene Zuu monastery, an expansive monastery complex. In these post-empire and postcommunism years, what remains of the monastery, and the older remnants of Karakorum, are in some ways a summation of all Mongolian history.
- DAY 5. A DAY EXCURSION TO TUVKHUN MONASTERY.
Tuvkhun Khiid Monastery ruins of an ancient temple partially restored, sits atop a mountain on the north of the Orkhon Valley. The temple gives a stunning view of the surrounding landscape to which one can get by hiking or horseback riding. Zanabazar, the first Mongolian Buddhist Saint, thinker and sculptor, built the temple in 1653 where he lived, worked, and meditated for 30 years. Munkh Tenger camp. B+L+D
- DAY 6. KARAKORUM – ONGI MONASTERY RUINS.
- DAY 7. ONGI MONASTERY RUINS - BAYANZAG.
South Gobi province (Omnogobi Aimag) introduction
This remote and arid region, located within the Omnogobi Aimag, holds a number of Mongolia's desert treasures, both geological and archaeological. The least populated region of Mongolia, with a density of less than 0.3 people per square mile, Omnogobi is also the hottest part of a hot country - mean average temperatures can be as high as 40'C. Fear not, however, it's quite possible to travel in relative comfort.The Gurvan Saikhan mountain range runs SE-NW through the desert, its highest peak at 9000 feet. The range is incorporated into the Gurvan Saikhan National Park, covering several thousand square kilometers,and including the glacial canyon at Yolyn Am. The desert reaches its finest moment in the high dunes of Khongoriin Els, whilst Mongolia's richest deposits of dinosaur remains were discovered amid the strange sand shapes of Bayanzag.
Introduction to Bayanzag.
Bayanzag, which in Mongolian means 'a place of many saxaul bushes', was first called 'The Flaming Cliffs' by Roy Chapman Andrews, the American dinosaur hunter and adventurer who made vital finds of dinosaur eggs and skeletons at the base of the vivid red bluffs, which stand alone in a vast empty expanse of land and sky.
Chapman himself was something of a rogue - said by some to be the man on whom the film character 'Indiana Jones' was based. He lived an adventurous, self-aggrandizing life across much of this part of the world. At Bayanzag it is the landscape, in addition to the rich dinosaur history, which is very impressive - an intense evocation of Mongolia's great emptiness. Gobi Tour camp. B+L+D
- DAY 8. BAYANZAG – YOLIIN AM.
Yolyn Am, 'The Vulture's Gorge’, commonly called Eagle Canyon by travellers, is a striking gorge in the deep desert, remarkable for the Microclimate that its formation creates. Sheer rock walls, up to 660 feet high, keep out the light and the heat, whilst four waterfalls pour into the canyon, chill as they leave the sun, and freeze. Yolyn Am is lined with ice almost year-round and at its narrowest point only two people (or animals - the canyon is a favored haunt of the wild Ibex and Argali) can pass abreast. Descent into the canyon is on foot or on horseback if you'd prefer. Gobi Discovery camp. B+L+D
- DAY 9. THE GOBI – ULAANBAATAR.
shopping: cashmere & souvenirs. We will enjoy traditional folk concert and farewell dinner this evening.
Bogd Khaan’s Palace Museum
Built between 1893 and 1903, the Winter Palace of Bogd Khaan is where Mongolia’s eighth Living Buddha, and last king, lived for 20 years. The palace museum is an excellent place to visit, with a great collection of priceless Buddhist art works and instruments. The Bogd Khaan’s penchant for unusual live animals explains the extraordinary array of stuffed animals in the palace – including an elephant that had to walk for three months from the Russian border to Ulaanbaatar!
4* Chinggis Hotel or similar. B+L+D
- DAY 10. DEPARTURE. You are transferred to the airport after breakfast. B
Full-time services of your English speaking local guide throughout the tour
Sightseeing and entrance fees according to the itinerary
Ticket to the Giant Genghis Monument Complex
Private transfers (4WD Japanese minivans + Experienced drivers) – 4-5 tourists in 1 van
Twin share in hotel**** in Ulaanbaatar, twin share at good tourist camps outside the capital
Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
A short camel riding fees in the Gobi
2 hr horse riding fees in Orkhon river valley
0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
Visa support invitation letter where applicable
Exclusive Discover True Mongolia souvenir!
Items of a personal nature such as laundry,
drinks, camera or video fees at any sites etc.
Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
Optional activities such as camel riding, archery, fishing etc
DEPARTURE in JULY (minimum 6 persons) Only: £1995 per person (single supplement £295) LAND ONLY -
International Flights - prices on request.