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  • The Secret of Gobi Desert and Winding Steppes of Mongolia – 12 Days
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Detailed Itinerary

Upon arrival at the airport you will be welcomed by our team. We will bring you to your comfortable, centrally located hotel. Ulaanbaatar is a fast-growing modern city with more than 1.3 million habitants. Depending on your arrival time, a city tour can be organised. City sightseeing includes Bogd Khan's Winter & Summer Palace, a series of beautiful traditional buildings in which the eighth Living Buddha and the last king lived. It is now a museum displaying fascinating artefacts and costumes associated with the last king as well as his collection of stuffed animals. We will stop at the Gandantegchinlen Monastery. It is the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia. We will scroll through the different monasteries and see the magnificent statue of Migjid Janraisig, an 82-food high statue gilded in gold and covered with silk cloths. We will finish city tour with Zaisan hill to have a view of whole Ulaanbaatar. The city sightseeing tour takes about 4 – 5 hours. In the evening your tour guide will give you a short briefing about the upcoming trip and answer all your questions before he takes you to a famous Mongolian restaurant for the first taste of Mongolian food.

The first stop will be 250 kilometers south in the lovely region of Baga Gazriin Chuluu. It’s a big granite formation smack dab in the center of Mongolia’s sandy plain. The remains of a small monastery known as Delgeriin Choir Monastery can be found on an open plain. You will be entering à Ger for the first time, and you will be greeted by a massive 12-walled structure. Monks use the ger, which is richly decorated and carved, to chant during the colder seasons when the stone monastery becomes too cold to be inside. You can drive and hike around the area in the late afternoon. You’ll walk between massive endlessly piled granite rocky hills that appear to be placed, and see the picturesque ruins of a small monastery hidden in a peaceful little protected valley. In the rocks of Baga Gazriin Chuluu, there is a small spring known for its eye-healing properties. Try dripping some magic water into your eyes to cure your eyes like the locals do.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Today we will be driving to the South Gobi province town Dalanzadgad. The Gobi Desert extends through Mongolia and China, measuring 1,610 kilometers from southwest to northeast and 800 kilometers from north to south. It covers an area of 1,295,000 km2, making it the world’s fifth largest desert and Asia’s largest although most of the Gobi is coated in bare rock rather than sand.
During the winter months, the Gobi is a cold desert with frost snow on its dunes. In addition to being far north, it is situated on a plateau between 910 and 1,520 meters above sea level, which leads to the cold temperatures. The Gobi receives around 194 millimetres of rain per year on average. In the winter, snow blown from the Siberian Steppes enters parts of the Gobi, providing additional moisture. The Gobi experiences temperature extremes ranging from –40°C in the winter to +50°C in the summer due to these winds.
We'll take a trip through the majestic Altai Mountain Range's breath-taking gorges. The Yolyn Am in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park will be visited. Those green valleys were carved by ancient rivers.
Wild Argali sheep, Ibex, desert gazelles, and Golden Eagles are also possible sightings. We'll also pay a visit to the park's small museum, which houses a collection of dinosaur bones as well as local flora and fauna.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, we'll travel 150 kilometers west to the Khongoryn Els. Mongolia's biggest sand dunes can be found here. The dunes, which can reach a height of 275 meters in some areas, extend for more than 100 kilometers from East to West. The sands have appealing curves that end in a sharp point, resulting in wave patterns on the sand. The impressive black rocky mass of Sevrey Mountain can be seen behind the sand dunes. The Gobi Desert is the world's coldest desert, with cold winds blowing almost the whole autumn, winter, and spring without any shelter uncovered in the plains, necessitating extreme survival methods of living. Gobi nomads are well-known in Mongolia for their dedication to hard work. Here, we'll meet two humped camel breeding families and learn about their sweet, modest, hard-working, but incredible way of life.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Today’s drive will take us to Bayanzag, also known as the “Flaming Cliffs,” the world-famous site where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews discovered dinosaur bones and eggs. The local scenery is a lovely blend of rocks, red sand, and scrubs. Spend some time exploring the cliffs while you’re here. We'll spend some time walking around the cliffs here.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Today you will travel to Ongi Monastery in the northwest. The ruins of two monasteries that face each other across the Ongi river in south-central Mongolia are known as Ongi.
The peace and beauty of the Delger Khangai Mountains will enchant you. On one side of the river, you'll visit the ruins of Ongi Monastery.
This vast series of rocky hills cut by the river can be explored on foot. The monastery's southern complex contains numerous administrative buildings as well as 11 temples. The northern complex, which was built in the 18th century, included 17 temples, including one of Mongolia's largest temples. There were four Buddhist universities situated on the grounds.
The monasteries were constructed in the 17th century and were demolished in 1937. They were among Mongolia's largest temples, housing over 1000 monks.
Today, a small monastery has been built between the ruins, and the remains of old monasteries are displayed in the Ger museum.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

UNESCO has designated the valley as a world cultural heritage site because of ancient artifacts dating back to the early 6th century and even earlier. Moreover, the great Mongol empire expanded its capital Karakorum here from the 12th to 13th centuries. Furthermore, the pasture nomadic lifestyle has persisted, preserving both the historic and nomadic perspectives on life.
During the Quaternary period, a volcano erupted near the mouth of the Tsagaan Azarga, also known as the White Stallion River, and the lava flowed down the Orkhon valley, creating a 10-meter-thick layer of basaltic rocks. The Orkhon River cut through the basaltic layer twice, resulting in the formation of the canyon.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Tovkhon Monastery was established during the 1650’s by Zanabazar, one of Mongolia’s most respected religious leaders. The monastery’s wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched near a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests. On the top of the cliff, a pile of stones to worship a god of this mountain forms a hill. It is called Ovoo.
After visiting the monastery, we will be driving westward in the direction of Khangai Mountains. The Khangai Mountain divides the arid Gobi Desert area of southern Mongolia from the lush rolling hills of northern Mongolia. The northern side of the mountain, with its numerous small rivers fed by melting snow, provides a lush, fertile environment for many nomads.
The Khangai Mountains are 2500-3000 meters above sea level and are largely made up of Palaeozoic period granite, intrusive chert, and sandstone. The Khangai Mountains stretch for about 800 kilometers from Zavkhan province to Tuv province. They act as the world’s water system’s continental divide.
In the evening we will reach Tsenkher hot spring resort. This resort has a large open-air pool at its customer's disposal. The hot water of the pool flows continuously in from the hot water spring. In the spring, the temperature of the water is over 80 ° C. A complex pipeline system regulates the water temperature. Some will spend hours sitting in the pool talking to their friends while staring at the stars or scanning the nightly nature around them.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur is one of the country’s most beautiful lakes. The lake was formed by lava flows from a millennia-old volcanic eruption and is surrounded by extinct and craterous volcanoes. The landscape is coated with black volcanic rocks as a result of the volcano eruptions. The lake is about 15 kilometers long and reaches a maximum depth of 20 meters. Hills with steppe and woodland steppe vegetation characterize the landscape immediately surrounding the lake.
Khorgo Peak, a volcanic field, is about 4 kilometers from the lake. The volcano crater is 200 meters wide and 100 meters deep, and it is surrounded by trees at the back and around the opening. There are numerous basaltic “Gers” formed during the cooling of lava to the south of Khorgo Mountain; some of the them have gates and upper holes and exceed 1.7 m in height.
We will also visit the Single Man cave, which is small on the outside but rather large on the inside. Afternoons are ideal for planning optional events such as valley trekking, lake boating, swimming, horseback riding, or visiting a nearby family to learn about nomadic life.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Today we will be driving to Karakorum (also called Kharkhorin). Karakorum was the capital of Genghis Khan’s Mongolian Empire in the thirteenth century. In 1220, Genghis Khan ordered the building of Karakorum on the ruins of Turug and Uigur cities in the Orkhon valley at the eastern end of the Khangai Mountains. During the reign of Ugedei Khan, it was completed 15 years later. The town was very multicultural and culturally accepting.
The silver tree, which was once part of Möngke Khan’s palace, has become Karakorum’s emblem. From 1220 to 1260, it was at its most prosperous. Karakorum existed as the great capital of the Euro-Asian Empire, with Mongolia at its heart, and as the epicenter of politics, trade, culture, faith, intellect, and diplomacy, as well as the most visible link in international relations.
Between 1260 and 1380, Karakorum lost its status as the capital of the Great Mongolian Empire and became Mongolia’s capital. When Kublai Khan and his younger brother, Ariq Boke, assumed the throne of the Mongol Empire in 1260, they moved their capital to what is now Beijing. Karakorum was reduced to the administrative center of a Yuan Dynasty provincial backwater.
After 110 years after Kublai Khan transferred the Empire capital to China in 1260, the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty fell in 1368, and the center of Mongolian government was shifted to its homeland. It allowed Karakorum to regain its former glory.
The town was captured and destroyed by Ming troops under General Xu Da in 1388. Nothing remains of this legendary city today.
When Abtai Sain Khan and his brother, Lord Tumenkhen, went to the 3rd Dalai Lama in 1580 to express their desire to create a temple in Mongolia, he advised them to restore an old temple in Karakorum. The Main Zuu temple of Erdene Zuu monastery is a temple in Takhai ruins that was restored in 1588 at the Dalai Lama’s suggestion.
Erdene Zuu Monastery is now all that is left of what was once a massive monastery with 100 temples and over 1.000 lamas. You’ll walk around the grounds of Erdene Zuu Monastery, which is encircled by huge 400 m X 400 m walls. You will be guided around the 3 remaining temples: The Dalai Lama, Zuu of Buddha and Lavrin Temple.
The Karakorum Archaeological Museum will be another stop on your itinerary. It’s a tiny museum, but it’s housed in a new, well-run structure with good lighting and simple English labels on display cases. The displays contain hundreds of artefacts from the 13th and 14th centuries that were discovered in the immediate region, as well as those from other provinces’ archaeological sites, including prehistoric stone tools. Pottery, bronzes, coins, religious sculptures, and stone inscriptions are among the objects on display. A half-excavated kiln is also sunk into the museum floor. The scale model of ancient Karakorum, which attempts to reflect the city as it would have existed in the 1250s and is based on descriptions written by the French missionary William of Rubruck, is perhaps the most intriguing. A Turkic noble tomb with wall paintings and artefacts, including gold objects and jewels, is on display in another chamber. A short video of the actual burial site is available.
You can also visit the Turtle Rock and the Phallic Rock, as well as a small market hidden behind walls that showcases local artists’ work.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

We will return to Ulaanbaatar today. We'll make a short stop at Khogno Khan National Park along the way. In the open steppes, the Khogno Khan mountain range is an impressive massif. Take in the breath-taking views of the plains, sand dunes, and grasslands.
You can use your free afternoon to see as you fit. You could always go see the lovely cultural show and admire the contortionists while watching colorful and rhythmic Mongolian dances.

Meal

Breakfast, lunch and Dinner

Transfer to the airport.

Meal

Breakfast only

Inclusions
  • Hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • Accommodation
  • All meals indicated
  • Local transportation
  • Airport transfers
  • Tour guide
  • National park entrance, museum, monastery entrance fees
  • City touring
Exclusions
  • Medical, trip insurance and
  • evacuation costs
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa cost
  • Items of personal nature
Notes

The tour is calculated with mid-range accommodation options. In Ulaanbaatar good 3star hotel and in the countryside the best available accommodations.

The tour can be arranged at slightly lower prices when we opt for home stay and tented camping.

Program Touring / Guide

Package program

Trip Highlights

Ulaanbaatar - Baga Gazriin Chuluu - Yolyn Am - Khongoryn Els - Bayanzag - Ongiin and Khoshuu monastery - Orkhon - Tovkhon Monastery - Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur - Karakorum - Ulaanbaatar

Departure Period
01 Jan, 2023 to 31 Oct, 2023

3 Star
AUD 3,789 P P twin share
AVAILABLE

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DS Payout Amount (Andreas)

# File Amount
H-PT-060423-582 AUD 150.00
H-PT-060423-582 AUD 150.00
H-PT-060423-582 AUD 150.00
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