The Journey to Enigmatic Gobi (9 days 8 nights)
This tour takes you on a unique journey as you are taken out to meet a nomadic family. You’ll have the opportunity to dine with the family as you learn all about their lifestyle and culture.
You will stroll in the surrounding area as you enjoy the scenery and nature around the family’s home. You can even admire the landscape from camel and horseback riding as you relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Gobi Desert and the unique culture of the nomads.
The length of the trip can be adjusted according to your schedule.
The scenery ranged from arid to very arid, from steppes to patchy onion grass to gravel and to rocks. Before arrival at the ger camp you will stop at the rock formation from which the camp, about 5 miles away, takes its name. Very impressive cliffs, with amazing colours in bands in the rock. Lots of swifts swooping around, and small raptors, like falcons.
The meters-thick "eternal" ice of Yolyn Am (Vulture's Mouth) is not the only attraction in this dramatic and scenic valley in the middle of the Gobi desert, 46 km west of Dalanzadgad. You can walk on the ice, but take care not to slip. There is a small nature museum at the gate on the main road to Yolyn Am that has a collection of dinosaur eggs and bones, stuffed birds and a snow leopard. There is also the ethnographic museum in a ger, petrified wood lying by the roadside, opportunity to buy some good souvenirs and opportunity to hike and spot wildlife.
Khongor Sand Dunes
About 180 km from Dalanzadgad are some of the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. With the largest dunes at the northwest corner of the range, Hongoryn Els is up to 800 m high, 12 km wide and about 100 km long. It is possible to climb to the top of the dunes and slide back down. You can catch an awesome view of the desert from the top. There is an information ger near the parking area at the base of the dunes. An overnight stay in the desert is usually necessary to properly explore the area.
Commonly known as the "Flaming Cliffs," Bayanzag is renowned worldwide for the number of dinosaur bones and eggs found in the area. It is located 65 km north-west of Dalanzadgad. The name "Flaming Cliffs" was given to it by American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960) who said: "The romance of the desert will be destroyed. Tourists will sit in heated cars, eating the food of Europe, reading week-old newspapers, and comprehending not at all the glorious history, the tragedy and romance of the Gobi trails." Literally "rich in saxaul shrubs," the eerie beauty of the Bayanzag landscape is enchanting.
Exploring the cliffs is an exciting activity. The desert with its rocks, red sands, scrub, sun and awesome emptiness is a wonderful sight. There is no need to talk about the significance of the place to 'dinophiles.
The ruins of Ongi Khiid Monastery are found in Saikhan Ovoo soum of Dundgovi (Middle Gobi) province. It used to be a big Buddhist monastery compound built by Bari Yonzon Khamba Lamaist bishop at the Ongi river, a river that takes source from the Khangai Mountain range in Ovorkhangai province and flows into the Ulaan Nuur lake of Gobi. The monastery was built on a steep rocky slope of a mountain in a Nepalese architectural fashion and used to house over a thousand of Buddhist monks. Unfortunately, the Ongi Khiid Monastery had the same fate of destruction during the communist purges of 1930s as other 700 Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia. There is a tourist ger camp at the Ongi Khiid Monastery, which has a suitable location for traveling between Gobi desert and Kharkhorin. For instance, the distance from Bayanzag to Ongi Khiid is 160 km; and from Ongi Khiid to Kharkhorin is 250 km.
The Orkhon Waterfall water flows for remarkable 1120 km to the North and lies in the historically significant Orkhon Valley. The waterfall formed by combination volcanic eruption and earthquakes some 20000 years ago cascades down from a height 27 meters. The Orkhon, longest river in Mongolia, begins at the state worshipped mountain Suvraga Khairkhan in the Khangai mountain range. Families will offer horse riding. Overnight at Nomadic family.
Interested in treasures of lost civilizations?...Mongolia has a great present for you. Consider visiting Kharkhorin town located in central Mongolia. In 1220, it was a flourishing capital of Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire called Karakorum.
Ogodei Khaan had built the "Tumen Amgalant" Palace, which occupied an area of 2,500 square meters. The palace was built in 1235 and it was the most beautiful part of the capital. It had a large hall with 64 columns where the khans received foreign ambassadors and guests.
Day 1: Tsagaan Suvraga
Start the day by heading to Tsagaan Suvarga, we drive approximately 450km paved for 8 hours. Tsagaan Suvraga found in the middle Gobi with its unique landscape of desert steppes. Look for ancient rock paintings along the way.
Day 2: Yoliin Am
After breakfast we will drive to Dalanzadgad City before travelling to Yolyn Am for quick shower. Yoliin Am a wonderfully picturesque place with ice even in summer, and surrounded by sheer rocky walls, forming incredible canyons. These areas are situated in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park that encompasses the "Three Beauties" peaks and the most easterly points of the Altai Mountains.
Day 3: Khongor Sand Dunes
Today you will drive through the beautiful Khongor Sand Dunes (approximately 4 hours) with its towering sand dunes that seemingly stretch on for as far as the eye can see. Reach your Khongor Sand Dunes before nightfall and settle into Gobi Tugul tourist ger camp and enjoy an authentic Mongolian dinner under the stars.
Day 4: Khongor Sand Dunes
Wake up early to watch the sunrise before breakfast (optional). Then, ride your camel to the main road. Your driver will be waiting for you at the nomadic family.
Day 5: Bayanzag - Ongi Monastery
Following breakfast at Nomadic family breakfast and take 3 hours’ drive further south to the Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag, a world-famous site for excavating dinosaur fossils especially renowned for yielding the first discovery of dinosaur eggs.
Your journey today will continue another 3 hours of driving to the south to Ongi monastery ruins through the Gobi steppes. Arrive and transfer to your ger camp. Spend the balance of the day visiting the monastery ruins either by foot.
Day 6: Orkhon Valley
Leave Ongi Monastery to Orkhon Valley Spend time in stunning Orkhon Valley and visit nearby waterfalls. Hike to the 17th-century Tuvkhon Monastery for a spectacular view of this verdant valley.
Overnight in traditional Mongolian gers.
Day 7: Orkhon Valley
Today’s ride takes you around Orkhon Valley, through the forest. We stop to rest the horses before we ascend into the mountains. The trail is about 2-3 m wide and well graded with some exposed sections (where the downhill side is very steep) but just trust your horse and look out at the amazing views! There will be other users here since this trail is for hikers and mountain bikers as well. We arrive at the camping where we going to spend a night under the stars.
Day 8: Kharkhorum
After breakfast you will make an early drive to the lost capital of Genghis Khan at Karakorum (approximately 6-7 hours) and visit the magnificent Erdene Zuu Monastery, where you will see a distinct mixing of the styles of Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhism.
Day 9: Ulaanbaatar
Drive back to the capital for last minute sightseeing.
9 days/8 nights prices
Quotation based on solo travel: 1932 USD or 1694 EURO
Quotation based on 2 participants: 1102 USD or 966 EURO per person
Quotation based on 3 participants: 825 USD or 723 EURO per person
Quotation based on 4 participants: 686 USD or 602 EURO per person
Quotation based on 5 participants: 603 USD or 529 EURO per person
Airport/train station pick up, drop off service, 4-wheel drive car, driver, English speaking guide (9 days), 8 night’s accommodation: 3 tourist ger camp + 5 family guest ger (sleeping gear provided), all meals, horse/camel riding, entrance to museums, national parks and monasteries.
Accommodation/meals in Ulaanbaatar City, travel/health insurance, snacks and alcohol beverages.
You need to have a good level of fitness and be in excellent health to take part in this trip. It's important that you are able to hike a long distance. You also need to be able to cope with varying temperature as we will be experiencing climates from warm days to cold nights. Travel days can also be long, rough and in cramped conditions. Also, if you have any special food diet, allergy etc don’t forget to mention it on your application.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs are strictly forbidden on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the country, 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 travelers. Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We do not tolerate any form of sexual harassment, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a guide or driver and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately, please inform us immediately by contacting us.
Our Basic type of trips are designed for travelers who want exceptional experience, plenty of free time and having the flexibility to choose where and how their time and money is spent. By working plenty of free time into the itineraries and keeping many of the activities optional, we aim to make travel possible for those on even the slenderest of budgets. After all, why pay for an activity or excursion you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in?
Hotline: (+976) 9908 9478