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Discover Mongolia
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Naadam Festival Departures Jul 18 to Jul 18 Until Jun 18

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.

  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AMENG.A/205139
  • Starts: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Finishes: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
You will Visit
  • Ulaanbaatar
  • Khustai National Park
  • Kharkhorin
  • Tsenkher
  • Orkhon Valley
  • Ongiin Hiid
  • Bayanzag
  • Khongoryn Els
  • Yolyn Am

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Ulaanbaatar

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

02

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.

03

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.
This trip covers a lot of ground and we will do so in 4x4 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.

04

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.

05

Day 5: Kharkhorin/Tsenkher

Arrive at Tsenkher Hot Springs in the afternoon. Visit the springs for a relaxing soak in their healing powers.

06

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.

07

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.

08

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.

09

Day 9: Ongiin Hiid/Bayanzag

Explore the Flaming Cliffs paleontology site, world-renowned for the vast amount of dinosaur bones and eggs found here.

10

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".

11

Day 11: Khongoryn Els

Enjoy a visit with a nomadic camel-herding family, gaining insight into their very different way of life. Try your hand at some of the daily farming chores and opt for a camel ride. Take part in an archery lesson and demonstration with the family.
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.

12

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.

13

Day 13: Yolyn Am/Ulaanbaatar

Catch a flight back to Ulaanbaatar. This evening enjoy a folklore show and farewell dinner.

14

Day 14: Ulaanbaatar

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Dinosaur Museum Visit, Ulaanbaatar National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Erdene Zhu Buddhist Monastery Visit, Kharkhorin National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Yak Family Farm Experience, Orkhon Valley National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Nomadic family Experience, Khongoryn Els Recharge: Tsenkher Hot Springs Visit, Tsenkher
    • Arrival transfer
    • Ulaanbaatar city tour
    • Visit Khustai National Park
    • Visit the archaeological museum
    • Soak in hot springs
    • Hike to Tuvkhun Monastery
    • Orkhon waterfall hike
    • Visit Hoshuu and Ongiin Khiid monasteries
    • Flaming Cliffs excursion
    • Gobi desert excursion and dune hike
    • Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park excursion
    • Folklore show with dinner
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (3 nts), Ger camps (10 nts)
    • 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
    Transport
    • Private vehicles, 4x4, walking, hiking, plane
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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