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The Gobi, Karakorum Beyond Tour

The Gobi, Karakorum Beyond Tour

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Mongolia is famous for being the homeland of Genghis Khan, his mighty Mongol Empire and a nomadic people whose lives are not changed in many ways from the days of the Mongolian Empire. And this fantastic Mongolia tour will take you to the ancient capital Karakorum: legendary 16th century Erdene Zuu monastery, Karakorum town museum and the UNESCO world heritage Orkhon River Valley. Then you will travel to the Gobi Desert, where a three-day circuit explores the lofty sand dunes of Khongoriin Els, the glacial canyon of Yolyn Am, and the red cliffs of Bayanzag, where the world’s richest deposits of dinosaur fossils are found. Afterwards, the Mongolia tour will take you to Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, one of the best-preserved wildlife reserve in Mongolia, taking the opportunity to glimpse the rare Argali sheep and several rare bird species.

Best Season: Mid Jun. – Sep

12 Nights / 13 Days

Tour Plan


Day 01: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, meet at the airport after custom formalities and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is for you to get over jet lag and take a good rest before your wonderful journey across Mongolia. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02: Ulaanbaatar city tour: Gandan Monastery, The Genghis Square, National Museum & Bogd Khan’s Palace (06-07 hr excursion)

Meet your English speaking local guide at 9.00 in the morning in the hotel lobby and start the city tour. The city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26 meter high gilded statue of the Buddha. Your tour also takes you to the Genghis Khan monument on the square and the National Museum, which has a number of fascinating displays of traditional Mongolian clothing and weaponry, as well as exhibits charting the course of Genghis Khan's empire-building. Welcome lunch in a Mongolian restaurant. Then visit the Bogd Khaan’s Palace Museum – the residence of the last king of Mongolia, the Buddha Park and the Zaisan Memorial located on a pretty hill south of the city for a panoramic view of the nomadic capital and the Buddha Park. Transfer back to the hotel by 6pm. Dinner & overnight stay at hotel.

Day 03: Ulaanbaatar- Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes via Hustai National Park (280 km; 04-05 hrs)

After breakfast at the hotel, we pack the vehicles and depart to the west toward Karakorum, the ancient capital city of Mongolia. Drive to Hustai national park, view wild Przewalski horse Takhi. Enjoy optional hiking. Transfer to camp near the Mongol Els Sand Dunes. Optional hiking in Khogno Khaan with a visit to the Ovgon monastery ruins. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 04: Elsen Tasarkhai – Karakorum (100 km; 02 hr)

After Breakfast,we drive to ancient capital Karakorum. We visit legendary monastery Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Central Mongolia founded in 1586, Museum of Karakorum and its surroundings the Turtle Rock and the Phallic stone etc. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 05: Leisure day in Karakorum

In the morning, after breakfast we will visit the newly established Museum of Karakorum which gives a good introduction to Central Mongolia, its’ history and the UNESCO world heritage site Orkhon river valley. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 06: Karakorum – Ongi Monastery (280 km; 07-08 hr )

We drive through the Gobi steppes to the south to Ongi monastery ruins by the River Ongi. Visit to Ongi monastery ruins, optional walk. Transfer to tourist ger camp. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 07: Ongi Monastery Ruins – Bayanzag (180 km; 04-05 hr)

Today we visit the Bayanzag- the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolian fashion - on the back of a camel or alternatively by foot or car. Enjoy the wilderness and unique nature formations. Transfer to ger camp. Lunch, explore around for dinosaur remains and walking in the rich saxaul forest. You can even find real dinosaur bones and eggs yourself! Enjoy a short camel ride around the red cliffs. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 08: Bayanzag – Khongor Sand Dunes (210 km; 05-06 hr)

The drive to the dunes at Khongoriin takes between 3 and 4 hours, passing through vast desert badlands that span out into the furthest distances, where remote mountains line the horizon. Lone gers and nomads on camelback hang suspended in the mirages, whilst the desert floor is strewn with a range of colorful rocks and unusual minerals. This is the Gobi at its stark best - there are many opportunities to stop and take photographs of the landscapes and people. Visit the beautiful sand dunes and the Khongor river streaming through the sands, try camel riding along the Khongor sand dunes etc. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 09: Khongor Sand Dunes – Yoliin Am Gorge (250 km; 06-07 hr)

Today we take the southern road back through the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Park in a drive that takes five to six hours, stopping for photography and possibly lunch along the way. The road runs alongside the Khongor dunes for some time before the dunes disappear into a massive desert steppe, bounded by the last of the Altai Mountain Range. Eagles overhead scour the desert for prey, while below families of nomads gather for felt-making, or stand in groups beside their livestock at the scattered wells. Your route passes the 'Three Beauties', the final peaks of the range, and then cuts through the range itself, crossing between the crags of the spectacular Dungenee Pass as you make your way to Yolyn Am and onwards to the lodge. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 10: The Gobi Desert - Gun-Galuut nature reserve via Giant Genghis Monument (140 km; 02-03 hr)

We take the morning flight to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to serene Gun-Galuut nature reserve with a stop at the Giant Genghis Statue on the way. Arrive and transfer to Steppe Nomads tourist camp. Enjoy traditional Mongolian dinner Khorkhog – roasted mutton/beef with hot stones in hot pot and served with rice and vegetables. Dinner & Overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 11: Leisure Days at Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

Gun-Galuut is a home to many endangered species including the Argali wild mountain sheep and many more. We hike or enjoy some optional horse ride to Mt. Baits to view the gorgeous Argali mountain sheep and the White Napped Crane, Whooper Swan and other birds. Visit a nomadic family and learn their ways to tend their livestock. Moreover, we will enjoy a presentation about Mongolian Ger dwelling with a Ger construction show on one of the days. Optional fishing or kayaking on the river Kherlen. Dinner & overnight stay in Ger camp.

Day 12: Gun Galuut NR – Ulaanbaatar (140 km; 02-03 hr)

In the morning, we drive to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to the hotel. Optional souvenir or cashmere shopping if you wish. Enjoy traditional folklore concert by the magical Tumen Ekh ensemble. Farewell dinner & overnight stay in hotel.

Day 13: Ulaanbaatar – Final departure

You are transferred to the airport/train station after breakfast. Final departure.
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