Mongolia classic tour: A Land of Mystic Serene Steppes

ULAANBAATAR - TUV - SELENGE - BULGAN - ARKHANGAI - KHARKHORIN - ORKHON -KHUJIRT - BAYANZAG/FLAMMING CLIFFS - KHONGOR - YOL VALLEY - GOBI DESERT - GOBI GURVAN SAIKHAN NATIONAL PARK

Endless blue skies, a picturesque plateau, vast desert and welcoming nomadic hospitality - this Mongolia classic tour has it all. This 13-day in-depth scenic and cultural Mongolia tour will take you to explore the country's spectacular and unspoilt scenery, while experiencing local customs up close and staying in traditional ger tents. You will experience Mongolia's rich cultural heritage and history while visiting ancient monasteries and Ongi, seach out the wildlife that calls Mongolia home at Nationa Parks, climb to the top of the sweeping sand dunes of Khogoriin Els. Enjoy the immersive local experience and warm nomadic hospitality among many other memorable experiences this Mongolia classic tour has to offer. 

Adventure Level: Moderate

Total driving km: 3100 km

Vehicle type: 4WD

Trip code : MGLCS13

Duration : 13 days

Destination : Mongolia

Travel Dates : 2020/2021

  • Look out over the spectacular scenery of the Flaming Cliffs
  • Sleep in traditional Mongolia ger tents
  • Discover Mongolia's rich cultural heritage and history while visiting ancient monasteries of Amarbayasgalant and Ongi
  • Search out the wildlife that calls Mongolia home at Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park
  • Climb to the top of the giant sweeping sand dunes of Khogoriin Els and experience "singing dunes"
  • Enjoy the immersive local experience and warm nomadic hospitality

 

 
You will be picked up at the “Chinggis Khan” international airport and transferred to your hotel.

After loosen up from your flight, we start our first day roaming excursion around Ulaanbaatar, the nation’s capital starting from Sukhbaatar square. This smooth square is the spirit of the capital and famous for its surroundings including Parliament House, National Opera Theatre, Cultural Palace and House of City Council.

Our next move is Zaisan Hill; the cute small hill provides a bird-eye view of the Ulaanbaatar. From there we visit the Natural History Museum which is well-known for its precious findings of Dinosaur eggs and bones.

After the busy afternoon, we will witness a fascinating performance of traditional folk songs, throat singing, beautiful melody of horse-headed fiddle, ethnic dances and arty contortion.

Overnight in the hotel.
After breakfast, we start our adventure to cross Mongolia.

We drive north toward the Amarbayasgalant Monastery. On the way we witness the forest steppe landscape with Siberian larch, birch, and willow. We drive by Darkhan town, the second largest town of Mongolia and lunch there.

Our day highlight is Amarbayasgalant Monastery-the Monastery of Tranquil Felicity, once one of the three largest Buddhist centers in Mongolia, is located near the Selenge River. It is one of the most impressive and startling places and was built between 1727 and 1736 by Zanabazar, the first Bogd Khaan Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, a religious and cultural leader. Unlike other monasteries, Amarbayasgalant shows great class of style. The overall design is Chinese despite some Mongolian and Tibetan influence.

Amarbayasgalant monastery is a 2 storey building that covers an area of 87 hectares. In the early 1900s, the 8000 monks were practiced Buddhist philosophy, astrology and medicine. In 1937, all high ranked monks and religious leaders and intellectuals were executed and holy monastery Amarbayasgalant was abandoned for 50 sad years.

Overnight in the ger camp.
We continue our journey to Bulgan province.

Most of the province is covered with thick forests and magnificent pastureland. More than one million livestock feed on these grasses. Arid steppe lands dominate the southern part of the province. Agriculture is facilitated by the presence of fertile soils, wide valleys and low mountains and gentle slops. Bulgan province is famous for its horsemanship and taste of Mongolian traditional drink airag – fermented mare’s milk.

We experience everyday life of horse breeder’s family and taste the airag. Overnight in a ger camp.
After having breakfast in the camp, we start our ride to Ugii Lake, located at the edge of Bulgan province.

This amazing lake has 27km sq with average depth 7m. Delicate sand, whetstone coast and soft wave offer fantastic opportunity for bird watching, boating, kayaking, swimming, fishing and sunbathing. There are 150 species of rare migrated birds and 14 species of fish belonged to North Atlantic Ocean. Overnight in the ger camp near the lake.
After a late and relaxed breakfast at the camp, we start driving to the Turkish stone site of Khushuu Tsaidam. Khushuu Tsaidam are made up of four memorial complexes including those erected in honor of Bilge Khan, a famous leader of Turkic Empire (d.734) and Kul Tegin, a general of Turkish army (d. 731).

These memorials are the most important known archeological remains of the Turkic Empire which extended across Central Asia in the 6-8 centuries AD.

Then we drive to the Shankh Monastery, the oldest monastery in Mongolia, founded in 1647 by Zanabazar, a revered sculptor, politician, religious teacher, diplomat and living Buddha, who became Mongolia’s first Bogd Khaan. Known as the West Monastery, it was one of the foremost seats of Buddhist teaching and practice in the country for almost three centuries. Shankh Monastery consisted of several schools specialized in Tantric rituals, philosophy and astrology. In 1937, the monastery was closed, its temples burned and monks were executed or sent to labor camps in Siberia.

Overnight in the ger camp in Kharkhorin.
After breakfast, we have a full busy day excursion around Kharkhorin; an ancient Capital of Great Mongolian Empire and main treasure of Mongolian Buddhism, an Erdenezuu Monastery.

Kharkhorin was established in the valley of Orkhon river in 1220. It was one of the stop points of legendary Silk Road for 140 years. Kharkhorin played a significant role in Mongolian history and was a capital city of the Mongolian Great Empire until Khubilai Khaan, a grandson of Chinggis Khaan moved the capital to Beijing of Yuan Dynasty. We witness the almost 800 years old worshipping Turtle Rock near the temple. Erdenezuu Monastery – the first Buddhist monastery was founded by Avtai Sain Khaan, descendant of Chinggis Khaan, on the ruins of Kharkhorin in 1586. The monastery is surrounded by beautiful looking white walls with 108 stupas. For centuries it was a spiritual and intellectual centre of Mongolia and there are extraordinary collection of Buddhist paintings, priceless religious objects, special dresses for Tsama religious dance and excellently made Buddhist iconography with true Mongolian and Tibetan style.

Then we drive to Tsenkher hot spring, a sulphur spring that emerges from the ground at 85 Celsius degree, were outfitted for visitors in 1996. The facility includes outdoor and indoor baths, showers and accommodations.

Overnight in the ger.
We start to discover a land of Mongolian ancient khans and aristocrats: Orkhon river and its valley.

The Orkhon valley contains the mystery of Mongolian history. Interesting and essential historical events happened here many centuries ago. On the way we see pleasing Khangai mountain scenery with lots of gorgeous Alpine wild flowers and pine tree forests. Furthermore, we witness hundreds of horses, yaks and cattle herds which peacefully graze in the green meadows between the mountains and the nomads.

In the afternoon we visit the picturesque Orkhon waterfall which is situated in the Orkhon river, that flows an 1120km; the longest river in Mongolia. The local name of the waterfall is Ulaan Tsutgalan and the height is 24m, waterfall was formed by a unique combination of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes about 20 000 years ago. The water level of the waterfall depends on the rainfall. Hiking opportunities to the bottom of the gorge.

Overnight in the ger camp.
After breakfast, we start our drive to Khujirt resort which is situated on the bank of Khujirt river at 1758m above the sea level.

The Khujirt resort is famous for its therapeutic magic for kidneys, joints and various traumas among Mongolians. The temperature varies from +40 to 55 degrees Celsius. There is a wonderful story about deer that related to the magic water.

In the afternoon, we drive to the direction of the ruins of Ongiin Khiid Monastery. We visit the ruins of the Ongi monastery and small local ger museum up there and experience a stunning sunset from the top of a nearby hill.

Overnight in the ger camp.
Today is a day to explore the place called Bayanzag known as a Flamming Cliffs to the world.

Through the journey we witness the dramatic changes of steppe landscape to the arid desert including camel herds and herding families.

Picnic lunch on the soil of Gobi.

In the afternoon we arrive in the ancient red rock creation, Bayanzag, formed 60-70 million years ago. Its name Flamming Cliifs was named by Roy Andrew Chapman, an American explorer who visited Mongolia in 1920s. The striking red Bayanzag cliffs have dinosaur fossils, eggs and bones all over the place and neighbored by bushy Saxual tree forests.

We do trekking around surrounding areas and overnight in the ger camp.
We start driving to the sand dunes. We will drive through amazing desert scenery with a plain, stony and sandy landscape; arid land vegetation, countless interesting rock structure and herds of speedy wild antelopes across the land of desert. We will reach the dunes in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, we will spot marvelous Khongoriin Els dunes that stretch for an extraordinary 180 kms, sometimes as wide as 7-20km. The dunes lie on the northern part of beautifully formed mountain range Servei and Zuulun. The sound of masses of wind-blown sand can be heard from the long distance. This sound is so melodic so 200m high sand dunes called as “Singing Dunes” or “Sand that sings”.

There is an oasis called Khongor river with stunning greenery in the summer. Here we have an opportunity to ride two humped Bacterian camel named by locals “Living Dinosaurs” and “Prince of Gobi” and see camel breeder’s every day life.

Overnight at the ger camp.
After breakfast, we drive to the majestic Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park where we will enjoy incredible “Yol Valley”.

In the afternoon we will explore the valley. The valley is the unusual narrow canyon of a river that flows through the Zuun Saikhan Mountain. The sheer rock walls stand 200m and the canyon has stunning green meadows with thick glacier layer that is deeply set between the walls. During the summer rainfall water runs from the top of the walls forming waterfalls.

We can trek along the canyon and may have an opportunity to glimpse rarely found wild sheep Argali, mountain goat Ibex and Yol Lammergeier.

Overnight in the ger camp.
After breakfast, we relax and enjoy the last minutes of Gobi sunshine before transfering to the airport to catch a domestic flight back to Ulaanbaatar. After checking in, free time till dinner.

Overnight in the hotel.
Our crossing adventure in Mongolia is now complete and we end up our adventurous journeys by transferring to the “Chinggis Khaan” International Airport with professional Juulchin World Tours Team.

  • Transfer to/from 4-star hotel 
  • 3 meals a day during the trip
  • English speaking guide
  • Transportation in the countryside (4-wheel drive on Japanese jeep)
  • Visit ancient monastery  
  • Accommodation at Mongolian 4 bedded ger camps 
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees to museum and National Park
  • Cultural performance
  • One way domestic airfare

 

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