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Adventure Tours   >   Asia Adventure Tours   >  Discover Mongolia

Discover Mongolia Adventure Tour

Asia

  • Mongolia

Mongolia's sublime beauty reveals itself in endless expanses of steppe and sky and an age-old nomadic culture that joins the people with the land. Journey through this remote, seldom-travelled region of Asia, from sprawling Ulaanbaatar to green, grassy plains where wild horses roam. Discover the country's surviving Buddhist heritage on visits to historic temples and monasteries; walk across the rocks and sands of the sweeping Gobi, which conceal troves of dinosaur fossils; and get a taste of traditional Mongolian life.


Detailed Trip Notes  

Mongolia is a fascinating destination to visit, full of natural, wild beauty and traditional life. Travel is becoming easier for foreigners but please be aware that English is still not widely spoken outside the large cities and that accommodation, toilet facilities and some transportation is not yet at the same level as you would expect in developed countries. If you are able to bring with you a lot of patience, a great sense of humour and a willingness to try and interact with the local people, your travel experience will be greatly enhanced.


Laundry  

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.


Solo Travellers  

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


What's Included  

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Dinosaur Museum Visit, Ulaanbaatar
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Erdene Zhu Buddhist Monastery Visit, Kharkhorin
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Goat & Sheep Family Farm Experience, Orkhon Valley
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nomadic Family Desert Experience, Khongoryn Els
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Archery Lesson & Show, Khongoryn Els
Your G for Good Moment: Cafe No Limits Visit, Ulaanbaatar
Your Wellness Moment: 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. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Local Flights  

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Group Leader Description  

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.


Health  

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug.

When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.


Important Notes  

ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Itinerary Notes  

Please note that the June 28th departure will run in reverse to accommodate the Nadaam Festival.

There are new Health & Safety Protocols for National Geographic Journeys tours. Please see here for full details and up-to-date requirements as they may change.

The June 28- July 13 and July 10-25 departures in 2024 include the Nadaam Festival and are 16-days long - please book international flights accordingly. All other departures outside the Nadaam Festival follow the 14-day itinerary.


Group Size Notes  

Max 14, avg 12


Accommodation  

Hotels (3 nts), Ger camps (10 nts).


Meals  

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.


Transport  

Private vehicles, 4x4, walking, hiking.


Travel Insurance  

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Local Dress  

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the day and can be layered in cool evenings. In predominately Buddhist countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or other holy sites.


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


Meals Included  

13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Highlights  

Tour many of Ulaanbaatar's historic sites, enjoy the scenery of Khustai National Park, learn about Lama Buddhism from a head monk, Visit with nomadic families, Explore historic monasteries, See Western Gobi's biggest sand dunes


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.


Max Pax  

14


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


What to Take  

We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage and this trip covers a lot of ground. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 mintues with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Hard suitcases are not recommended, most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!). You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones.


Departure Tax  

International Departure tax is included in the flight ticket.


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Tipping  

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $2-$3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.


Optional Activities  

No optional activities


About Accommodation  

Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite - all camps have shared facilities with toilette's/sinks/showers. Most ger camps have 24 hour electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11pm they cut electricity until morning.


Joining Instructions  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

When arriving at Ulaan Baatar International Airport you will notice that the airport is actually very close to the city.

An arrival transfer is included on this trip, and a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. Details on where to meet your transfer can be found in your voucher notes or on the G Adventures app. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. You can find this number under the "Emergency Contact" of this Tour details page.

If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi following the below instructions: After you exit from the baggage hall follow the taxi signs and you will find a queue outside the terminal building. Taxis in Mongolia are metered but you may have to bargain for one from the airport. The fare to our starting point hotel will be about 30 USD and should take about 30-40 minutes.


Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day.

Upon arrival to your Joining Hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon), look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don't see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.


My Own Room  

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Mongolia. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.
Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here

If you require a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to apply for a Mongolia visa, please fill out & submit the following request form

Information accurate as of March 28th, 2022


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change or flight cancellation within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please call the emergency contact number to advise of your new arrival flight information. If you do not, we will not be able to rearrange your arrival transfer and you will need to make your own way to the starting hotel at your own expense.

If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area, please try the contact below first. If you do not receive a response, we ask that you please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Representative directly at:

Ms. Otgon Tsend
Mobile: +976 99118295

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

Mr Laziz Otayarov (Operations Manager - Central Asia)
Mobile 1: +99890 963 4779 (24h)
Mobile 2: +99897 921 7087 (24h)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Packing List  

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Snow Boots
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Warm waterproof jacket

Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test

Light Hiking:
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet

Sleep Sheet:
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet

Smart Dress:
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear


Money Exchange  

The currency used in Mongolia is the Mongolian Tugriks (MNT).

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travellers cheques in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.

One of the main things to remember is that Mongolian Tugriks can't be exchanged outside Mongolia.

Because of bank regulations and exchange rate the best USD notes to have are $50 and $100 without any marks/stamps/holes or stains on them. If a banknote has a mark it might be refused to be exchanged.

Day 1 Ulaanbaatar

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2 Ulaanbaatar

Enjoy a morning tour of Mongolia's bustling capital. Visit Gandan Monastery, one of the country's most important Buddhist sanctuaries, and wander the rooms and temples of Bogd Khan's Winter Palace, the former home of Mongolia's last king. Climb up to the Zaisan Memorial, a Soviet Era monument which commemorates Russian soldiers killed in World War II, and take in sweeping views of the city from the hilltop. Afterwards, pop in for a visit to No Limits Cafe and enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks prepared and served by local youth with Down Syndrome, and their mothers. Later, admire the world-class collection of fossils at the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs, dedicated to preserving Mongolia's paleontological heritage.

Day 3 ULAANBAATAR/HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK

Travel by 4x4 to Hustai National Park, where some of the Earth's last wild horses roam. The takhi or Przewalski's horse native to these grasslands had nearly vanished from the wild, until the species was reintroduced here as a result of a successful captive breeding program. Meet with park staff to learn about the takhi reintroduction project, and keep an eye out for these stocky, coffee-coloured horses that have never been domesticated. Settle into a ger tonight, a round, felt-covered tent with basic furniture. We will stay in traditional Mongolian lodgings like gers through day 12 of the trip.

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.

Accommodation from day 3 to 12 will be in gers. Gers are traditional Mongolian tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt. The camps we stay at will have 2 beds with mattresses, linens, and extra blankets. The tent is on a platform and while simple, is quite comfortable and offers a truly unique experience. Our locations are remote and gers do not have built-in ensuite - all camps have shared facilities with toilette's/sinks/showers. Most ger camps have 24 hour electricity with a couple of exceptions that have generators which after 11pm they cut electricity until morning.

Day 4 HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK/KHARKHORIN

Drive to the city of Kharkhorin and onward to nearby Karakorum, Mongolia's ancient capital. Here, Genghis Khan established his headquarters in the early 13th century. Explore the remains of the Erdeni Dzu Monastery, considered Mongolia's earliest centre of Buddhism, and meet with the head monk to learn about the communist purges that decimated much of the country's Buddhist heritage. Later, visit the Karakorum Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the 13th and 14th centuries as well as a scale model of the ancient capital.

Day 5 Kharkhorin/Tsenkher

Arrive at Tsenkher in the afternoon, the site of natural hot springs surrounded by serene, forest-covered hills. Popular with tourists and locals alike, these springs have long been known for their therapeutic benefits. Take a soak in one of the outdoor pools, or choose the privacy of an indoor bath.

Day 6 Tsenkher/Orkhon Valley

Drive to the breathtaking Orkhon Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site that encompasses rolling hills and pastureland, traditional pastoral societies, and archaeological remains. Set out on a hike to the lofty Tuvkhun Monastery, founded by the Mongol Buddhist leader Zanabzar in the mid-17th century. Explore the monastery's wooden temples, integrated with a natural system of caves, and enjoy beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and surrounding pine forests.

Day 7 Orkhon Valley

Immerse yourself in traditional Mongolian culture on a visit to a local family's goat and sheep farm. Learn about daily life from the family and see how they make some of their food. Then, sample some of their products, including curd and yogurt. Later, enjoy a hike to a picturesque waterfall before returning to your ger camp for a traditional Mongolian barbecue, prepared over hot stones.

Day 8 ORKHON VALLEY/ONGIIN KHIID

Today, we make our way to the Gobi, one of the world's largest deserts, which covers much of the southern part of Mongolia. Visit the ruins of Ongiin Khiid, a complex of Buddhist monasteries and universities which were tragically destroyed during the communist purges. Tour the site and learn about the monks who have returned here in recent years, bringing new life to the complex.

Day 9 ONGIIN KHIID/BAYANZAG

Venture to the Flaming Cliffs or Bayanzag, a rust-coloured sandstone landscape where a vast amount of dinosaur fossils have been found. Spend time exploring the dramatic crags and canyons.

Day 10 Bayanzag/Khongoryn Els

Today, the group will drive to the spectacular sand dunes of Khongoryn Els in the western Gobi, popularly known as the “singing sands.” In the afternoon, spend time with a desert nomadic family and gain a greater understanding of how they survive in the harsh environment of the Gobi. Witness their simple, and incredible way of life. Afterwards, clamber up the wave-like peaks for stunning views of the golden landscape, and Altai mountain range. Listen for the musical sound the dunes produce when the wind blows over them. In the evening the group will witness a demonstration of archery, one of Mongolia's national sports. Learn the basics of this time-honoured tradition during a hands-on lesson.

Day 11 Khongoryn Els/Yolyn Am

Drive through the magnificent gorges of the Altay Mountains to the Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a vast protected area that comprises canyons, sand dunes, and a steppe. Stop for a hike in rugged Yolyn Am, the “valley of the eagles,” keeping an eye out for ibex, gazelles, argali sheep, and countless species of birds. Later, pay a visit to the Yolyn Am museum, where the group can admire a collection of dinosaur bones and eggs.

Day 12 Yolyn Am/Baga Gadzrïn Chuluu

Continue onwards as the group drives to the Dungobi Aimag region-Middle Gobi-and witness the astonishing granitic formations of Baga Gazriin Chuluu. Arrive in the afternoon, set off on a hike around the national park, and visit the site of ruins of an old temple dating from the 17th century.

Day 13 Baga Gadzrïn Chuluu/Ulaanbaatar

Spend driving through the Mongolian countryside to Ulaanbaatar. The drive is long and the group will arrive by the early evening. Enjoy a farewell dinner accompanied by a memorable performance of traditional Mongolian song and dance.

Day 14 Ulaanbaatar

Depart at any time.

Details

Prices from: €3999.00

Duration: 14 Days

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Physical Grading: 3 - Average

Service Level: Upgraded

Trip Type: Small Group



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TRAVEL AWARE - STAYING SAFE AND HEALTHY ABROAD

The Department of Foreign Affairs has up-to-date advice for Irish citizens on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more security, local laws, health, passport and visa information see https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ and follow dfatravelwise