Duration: 9 Days/ 8 Nights
Tour Routine: Ulaanbaatar Gandan Monastery – Migjid Janraisig – Gurvan Bulag – Khar Bukhiin Balgas – Archery – High-end eco-lodge – Try milk tea, homemade dairy products – Hiking, milking animals – Learn shagai ankle bones game – Sand dunes – Catch wild horses – Khogno Khan conservation area, Buddhist temple of Erdenekhamba, Khogno Khan mountain, Uvguun Khiid, Khognokhaan ger camp – Camel herder household, 1-2 hour ride on camels, Ikh Mongol Els – The Erdene Zuu Monastery, Mongolian Buddhist temple complex, Monument of the Three Kings, Kharakhorum ger camp – Tsenkher Valleys, Hike hills & woodlands to explore steams of hot springs – Orkhon Valley, Temeen Chuluu, Uurtiin Tokhoi Canyon, Khangai hills – Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes, National Park, wild Takhi (Przewalski) horses – Hustai National Park, Ulaanbaatar
Intended Travel Date: Optional (Available all time)
Pick-up/Drop-off: Ulaanbaatar Gandan Monastery/Hustai National Park
Tour Style: Natural and Landscape, History and Culture
Guides: Local Guide (English Speaking Guide, Other Languages upon Request)
Transportation: Private First-class Air-conditioned Vehicles
Day 1: Ulaanbaatar, Gandan Monastery, Migjid Janraisig, Gurvan Bulag, Khar Bukhiin Balgas
Day 2: Try milk tea, homemade dairy products – Hiking, milking animals – Learn shagai ankle bones game – Catch wild horses
Day 3: Khogno Khan conservation area, Buddhist temple of Erdenekhamba, Khogno Khan mountain, Uvguun Khiid, Khognokhaan ger camp
Day 4: Camel herder household, 1-2 hour ride on camels, Ikh Mongol Els
Day 5: The Erdene Zuu Monastery, Mongolian Buddhist temple complex, Monument of the Three Kings, Kharakhorum ger camp
Day 6: Tsenkher Valleys, Hike hills & woodlands to explore steams of hot springs
Day 7: Orkhon Valley, Temeen Chuluu, Uurtiin Tokhoi Canyon, Khangai hills
Day 8: Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes, National Park, wild Takhi (Przewalski) horses
Day 9: Hustai National Park, Ulaanbaatar
Day 1: Visit Gandan Monastery and Gurvanbulag, Entertaining Time With Shagai Games or Archery
You will be picked up at a pre-arranged Ulaanbaatar location at a time suitable for you; we recommend leaving around 9:00 AM to make the most of the day. Jump in the vehicle with your guide and stop at. Gandan Monastery – explore the temples, especially the Migjid Janraisig with its massive golden Buddha figure. Listen to the chanting rites that take place in the historic temple complex in the middle of the morning. After that, reboard the car and drive 280 kilometers west to Gurvan Bulag. On the journey, you will stop briefly to see the Khar Bukhiin Balgas, which are the remains of an ancient fortress used by nomadic tribes going back to the 10th century.
Upon arrival, you will have the opportunity to hike or horse riding in the surrounding hills and visit the nearby sand dunes, or you can stay behind and learn the shagai ankle bones game with the locals. You can also try your hand at archery with traditional Mongolian bows and arrows, which your guide and driver would be happy to teach you and join you in an archery competition. After dinner, check into the high-end eco-lodge, the community-owned Gurvanbulag Ger Camp, and spend your first night in a ger.
Day 2: Hike To Sand Dunes At Gurvanbulag And Spend A Day With Local People
Visit people in their gers in the morning to experience their way of life and their friendliness. Try milk tea, and homemade dairy products like yogurt and dry curds, or try your hand at making it yourself! Spend the day enjoying the peace and quiet of the open countryside, hiking, milking animals, or sharing stories with the nomads over homemade vodka or ‘airag’ – fermented mare’s milk.
In the afternoon, hike 6km with your guide to nearby sand dunes for some wonderful photos and even dune sliding if possible. In the evening, return to the nomads’ gers for a traditional dinner of khorkhog – mutton and vegetables seared and boiled with red hot stones from the fire. After dinner, watch a horse capturing demonstration by talented locals, who will use “urgaa,” the traditional wooden lasso, to catch wild horses who have never been ridden before – and attempt to teach them to ride for the first time. After that, you’ll return to the nearby eco-lodge and relax in your ger for the night.
Day 3: Exploring the Sacred Khognokhaan Mountain
Today you will head to the Khogno Khan conservation area, where you may tour the Buddhist temple of Erdenekhamba, which is nestled in an exquisite setting at the foothills of the sacred Khogno Khan mountain. Explore the bottom temple complex of Uvguun Khiid, including the restored temples, prayer wheel, and ruins. Then, depending on the time of year, we recommend taking the 45-minute climb up to the ancient destroyed temple complex in the hills – the scenery is spectacular, and wildflowers may be in abundance. Return to the valley plain, where you will spend the night in the Khognokhaan ger camp.
Day 4: Experience Camel Ride And Travel To Kharakhorum
After a leisurely breakfast, drive a short distance to a camel herder household. While your camels are being prepared, enter their ger and enjoy local tea with their friendliness. Then, following a little instruction, embark on a 1-2 hour ride on a double-humped Bactrian camel across the sand dunes of Ikh Mongol Els.
After lunch at the herder’s family ger, bid farewell to your hosts and travel 90 kilometers west to Kharakhorum, the ancient capital of Chinggis Khan, where you will overnight in a unique ger camp. We hope you will be able to enjoy a performance of traditional music and dance in the evening, depending on availability, either in the ger camp where you are staying or at a local camp down the road.
Day 5: Travel Around Mongolia’s Ancient Capital, Kharakhorum
The Erdene Zuu Monastery, the largest and oldest Mongolian Buddhist temple complex constructed on the remains of 16th-century Kharakhorum city, will be your first stop today. Arrive in time to hear the monks chanting in the morning. Walk around the grounds and have a guided tour of the main temples.
After lunch, visit the attractive local museum, the local market, the Monument of the Three Kings overlooking the Orkhon River, the fertility stone on the outskirts of town, and lastly the local felt cooperative workshop to watch the felt-making process.
Tonight, we’ll stay in a ger camp in Kharakhorum.
Day 6: Enjoy Hot Springs in the Tsenkher Valleys
We recommend leaving at 8 a.m. for the drive to Tsenkher Valleys. The majority of the trip is off-road, but the scenery is spectacular, with a vast steppe and mountains in the background. After arriving, have lunch and go on a hike into the surrounding hills and woodlands to explore steams of hot springs. The sulfuric scent will alert you that you are near natural supplies of geothermal water. In the afternoon, relax and have a natural warm bath in one of the ponds at the ger camp where you will be staying.
Day 7: Visit Orkhon Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Orkhon Valley in the morning. The valley, located in the center of Mongolia, is the cradle of nomadic civilizations that have thrived on the Eurasian steppe, such as the Huns or Mongols. Stop along the road at the Temeen Chuluu, which are old Bronze Age burial stones. Then continue to Uurtiin Tokhoi Canyon. This rocky cliff, Mongolian for “Eternal Elbow,” borders a right-angled bend of the river. The cliff presents a spectacular view of Orkhon Valley. You can do these things before arriving at camp or later in the afternoon – it’s all up to you.
After a picnic lunch, your guide can take you on a 2-hour climb up into the Khangai hills, or a short walk in the valley near the camp. You will be rewarded with stunning landscapes and photo chances. Enjoy dinner in your camp before retiring to your cozy ger for the night.
Day 8: Travel to Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes and Hustai National Park – Home Of The Takhi Wild Horses
After breakfast, board the car for the long drive back east to Hustai. You will stop for a picnic lunch along the way, possibly at the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes, and then rest briefly at the ger camp where you will spend the night. The camp is located at the National Park’s entrance. Drive into the park at nightfall to witness the wild Takhi (Przewalski) horses; this is the time they gather to drink at streams, so you have a better chance of seeing them up close and in accessible areas. If you wish to combine your vacation with a long walk in the park, you should depart a little earlier. Talk to your tour leader about your preferences. After that, return to camp for dinner and your final night in a ger.
Day 9: Wildlife Tracking at Hustai National Park in Ulaanbaatar
Drive back into the park in the morning to see the variety of wildlife. Your guide will connect with park staff to locate the animals – big herds of deer, takhi horses, foxes, or even wolves can be seen – and there are also historic monuments to visit as a side attraction. Return to the camp for a brief lecture in the camp’s information center about Hustai National Park and the species that may be found there. After lunch, return to Ulaanbaatar and be dropped off at your hotel or another location of your choice. End of the tour. Thank you for traveling with Go Mongolia Tours!