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On this 9 Day tour, you will experience Central Mongolian culture, and how the Khalkh people live. The richly historic Orkhon river basin is the cradle of Central Asia’s unique nomadic culture which has developed in harmony with the natural landscape and social environment since prehistoric times. There are a variety of historic sites and ruins, including monuments, monasteries and temples of outstanding cultural value. On this tour you will see Mongolia’s natural wildlife including the Takhi horses, camels, hawks and much more. Visit Kharkorin (the ancient capital of Mongolia) and venture into the ‘mini Gobi’ where you will have the opportunity to ride camels, and enjoy horse riding at the Great White Lake. Stay with a nomadic family in gers, and experience the incredible Naadam Festival in the countryside.
Basic (As Per this itinerary – Western Style amenities will be available on most days)
Departure Time & Place
Tour departure times can be flexible, however 8 am on the morning of departure is recommended. The driver and guide can pick you up from the airport, train station, or your accommodation to suit your requirements.
Date : July 8, 2020
Time : 7:00 AM
Hustai National Park - Khogno Khaan Nature ReserveThe tour begins at 7am with the drive out of Ulaanbaatar. The first stop will be Hustai National Park. The park is home to the successfully reintroduced Przewalski or “Takhi” Horse, which are some of the last truly wild horses in the world. You will enjoy a picnic lunch in the mountains of Hustai. Your final destination for the day will be Khogno Khan Nature Reserve where you will stay with a local family in one of their gers and enjoy dinner. Khogno Khan Natural Reserve is a beautiful series of rocky hills that rise above the otherwise flat landscape and sand dunes. You can visit the ruins of the Uvgun Khiid monastery, that was destroyed in 1937 by the Stalin Purges, and even spot a snow leopard if you are lucky.
Date : July 9, 2020
Ulaantsutgalan WaterfallsYour day will begin with riding the two-humped Bactrian Camel for an hour along the sand dunes. Breakfast will be ready by the time you finish your ride. You will then leave at 9 am for the next destination. The drive will be about 130 km on half paved and half dirt road. Lunch will be in Hujirt town, a town famous for its local hot springs and healing services. ‘Red Flows’ is the English translation for this river. The area was formed by volcanic activity that dates back 20,000 years. This location is amazing for trekking, horse riding, fishing, relaxing, and indulging your inner photographer. Depending on the weather and your mood, you may ride a horse after dinner or before, or even the next morning. Stay in the local family ger camp, where you can take a shower.
Date : July 10, 2020
Tuvhun Monastery - KharkhorinBreakfast will be at 7:30am, drive straight after breakfast to visit Tuvkhun Monastery. When you arrive at the foot of the mountain, start the 2 km hike to the uphill temple and trek back 2 km. You may hire a horse from locals for the trek if preferred (although this is not inlcuded in the tour price). After returning from the hike, enjoy a picnic lunch. In 1653, believers who gathered in Erdene Zuu Monastery decided to build a special Monastery for Zanabazar. Following this decision, the Monastery Tuvkhun was built at Shireet Ulaan, the most beautiful scenery in the Khangai Mountains. This monastery is located in densely forested and picturesque mountains at an elevation of 2000m above sea level. Please note that heavy rains can make the Tuvkhun Monastery inaccessible, in which case our travel plans may be altered. Next you will start heading towards Kharkhorin for about 70 km Kharkhorin is the ancient capital built by Chinggis Khan in the 13th century. Visit the magnificent Erdene Zuu monastery, Kharkhorin museum, as well as some of the rock monuments in the town. After a big day exploring have a nice dinner at a local family restaurant. Shower available at the guesthouse.
Date : July 11, 2020
Naadam FestivalAfter 8am breakfast, the day begins with the drive to Tsetserleg town, where you will spend a day celebrating the amazing Mongol Naadam festival. Mongolian Naadam is a festival celebrating Mongolian tradition with games, parades and celebrations. The highlights are the ‘three manly games’ of wrestling, archery and horse racing. Naadam is a truly amazing spectacle not to be missed. Like all great festivities, it all begins with an opening ceremony. Dancers and musicians delight the watching crowds, and athletes and horse riders march across the Arkhangai Naadam arena. After the spectacular ceremony, the competitions begin. Stay in Fairfield Hostel run by the local community.
Date : July 12, 2020
July 12-13 Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur - Great White LakeThe day starts with the drive to Tsetserleg town, where the guide will buy fresh food for the upcoming days. Visit Arkhangai Museum, and have lunch in the Fairfield Cafe run by the local community. Then continue to Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur where you will spend 2 nights, a volcanic lake ringed by stark rocky mountains. On the way we will take you to Chuluut River and the Khorgo Volcano. There are many natural highlights to explore in this area. Horse riding into the volcanic mountains for amazing views. Have a relaxing day to yourself. Washing and laundry services might be available at one of the camps - please ask your guide for the details of extra services. Stay at a family ger camp.
Date : July 14, 2020
Nomadic Family StayAfter breakfast by the beautiful lake, begin the drive towards Bulgan province where you will spend the day with a nomadic family and learn more about their culture, including assisting with herding livestock, learn to make dairy products and Mongolia food. Nomadic family stay.
Date : February 15, 2020
Ogii LakeThis easy day starts with a 9am breakfast, before driving to Ogii Lake. You will have a picnic lunch on the road prepared by your guide. Today’s drive continues for only 100km. Ogii Lake is a freshwater lake 1,387 meters above sea level and covers an area of 27 square km. The lake abounds in various types of fish and birds, which creates incredible natural beauty. Have a walk around or a swim. Boat hire is also available but not included in the tour price. You will stay in a local family ger camp.
Date : July 16, 2020
Ogii Lake - UlaanbaatarAfter breakfast at 9am you will start driving towards Ulaanbaatar. On the way, we will visit Khar Bukhiin Balgas, a fortress that was inhabited by the Kitan Dynasty from 917 to 1120. Then return to Ulaanbaatar with nothing but fond memories, enjoying a picnic lunch on the way and one last day in the wild. Breakfast and lunch included.
✔️Transport (Tour Distance covered – 1800 km)
✔️Airport/Train station pick up and drop off
✔️English speaking tour Guide (preferred language on request)
✔️Accommodation at family run guesthouse and nomadic family Gers
✔️Most meals a day (Breakfast x 9 Lunch-9 Dinner-8)
✔️Entrance Fees/Local Taxes
✔️Horse & camel riding 1 hour each
❌Alcoholic & soft drinks
❌Any other personal expenses or additional services
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We will be cooking our meals on portable stoves. We will have to stock up on food provisions in the cities, so even that will limit some of your options.
All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for food will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en-route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads or local restaurants. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes. Our GUIDE will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here.
Please note that snacks, soft drinks and alcohol are not included in the tour, so please bring your own. You’ll be able to stock up on supplies at the several small towns where we stop for breaks along the way.
Mongolia is a country of extreme weather conditions. Depending on the time of year you go you should pack accordingly. The summers are very warm, but packing a warm layer or two would be very useful at any time of year, as in both the city and the countryside the evenings can get a little chilly.
Pack your favourite books for the long drive and a notebook to record your thoughts as you look out over the endless, sun-drenched Mongolian wilderness.
It is a good idea to include small gifts in your packing list, as you will inevitably be visiting local nomadic families in the county. It is polite to offer them some small gifts to show your gratitude in return for their hospitality.
Educational gifts for the nomadic children would be a good idea. Colouring books, crayons, colouring pencils, any children books and school stationery. You can buy all these from the department store in Ulaanbaatar after you arrive.
Other suggested gifts for the families are
Tea towel or fridge magnet from your home country and a head torch are very useful.
Sunscreen, long and short underwear, comfortable footwear, lip balm, sanitary hand wipes, sunglasses, prescription medications (if needed), rain gear & a hat
If you forgot something essential, don't worry. You can buy everything you need in Mongolia’s Department Stores and travel shops.
Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements can be catered for but need to be specified prior to arrival.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is still possible for you to enjoy Mongolia. There are more vegetables being grown in Mongolia today than there were 10 years ago, but Mongolians eat meat, so that is what is mostly available. We will go out of our way to find veggies, but the selection will be limited.
In the countryside it's going to be as rustic as it gets. There are very few paved roads in Mongolia, and most of those are not in great shape, so much of the driving will be done on tracks, which are really nothing more than paths through the steppe that people have driven over many times to pack the dirt down. Tracks are NOT for fast travel, they constantly change because of being washed out by the heavy rains or because they get too beat-up, so the going is slow and far from being smooth. Please consider that travelling in the countryside of Mongolia can be quite remote. There are often no paved roads so driving can be bumpy and can take a little longer than you might be used to. Also, given the remoteness, western style comforts may not be available.
Most of the vehicles we will use are very basic 4-wheel drive vans and jeeps because of the harsh terrain. These vehicles may not look like much, but they are rugged and when they do break down it's fairly easy to repair them which out on the steppe is important!
Russian Van: Steel Russian vans with seats facing each other, ideal for adventure seeking travelers (max 6 people) No seat belts & air conditioner in the van. (Most affordable option)
Japanese Van: Family type van with comfortable seats and air conditioning (max 3 people)
Land Cruiser: Comfortable speedy ride with air conditioning (max 2 people)
Accommodation is very basic in the countryside; you will be sleeping in tents or in the gers of local families. As nomads do not have their own running water supply we may not be able to have a daily shower and going to the bathroom means using some place just outside of camp (nomadic families rarely dig a pit toilet since they move so often).
Western style and luxury options are available in some parts of Mongolia in the form of Tourist ger camps. Ger camps have comfortable beds, hot showers and western style amenities. These are not included in the price quoted in this itinerary. However, if you think that you would prefer to have access to these western style comforts then please let us know and we can adjust the quote for your itinerary.
Once you are in the countryside exploring Mongolia it is our preference to stay with local nomadic families if they have an extra Ger. Gers will be shared by 5 people when we stay with a local family. As a Mongolian company we prefer to support these families financially, and help support their livelihood. We are sure this resonates with our travelers who enjoy engaging with their culture and way of life on the steppe. As well as directly supporting local herders, you can experience this rich traditional way of life first hand. On some nights we will be camping under millions of stars at our favourite camping spots, though if you’d prefer to camp more often you’re more than welcome to pitch a tent every night. All necessary camping equipment will be included in the tours.
For the invitation letter we will need the following information:
- Full Name
- Passport #
- Clear scanned copy of your passport
- Name of the City & Country where you are applying for your visa.
- Date of arrival & departure from Mongolia
In some cases, if there is not a Mongolian embassy in your country, it is possible to apply for permission to obtain a visa on arrival at Chinggis Khan International Airport. We can also help you to arrange this if you provide us with similar information as above.
Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions regarding your visit Mongolia via email at email@example.com