Mongolia is one of the few untouched places on Earth, where we can still travel too and live the way our ancestors from centuries ago used to. Once the largest empire in the World, today reduced to infinitely shaped steppes, stroked by lakes and rivers of many century old tales. In this intense trip, we’ll have the chance to observe Buddhist rituals in ancient temples, share the daily routines of a nomad lifestyle, trek to volcano craters, horse riding and tasting local foods. A unique opportunity to fully live a culture that is so different from the one we live in urban areas, where we will defy all things we take for granted, welcoming a new way of living, a whole new culture.
- 22 July to 4 August 2017 * €1580 * book now!
- Terelj National Park
- Khögnö Khan Uul Nature Reserve
- Orkhon Valley
- Tsenkher Hot Springs
- Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
- Shine Ider
- Khovsgol Lake
- Khutag Undur
- Amarbayasgalant Monastery
- 13 nights accommodation: x3 in hotels; x2 in guesthouses; x4 in family gers; x2 wildcamping.
- Transports: 4x4 in Mongolia; horseback riding in Mongolia; airport transfers.
- 35 Meals: 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches e 11 dinners
- Activities: all activities mentioned on the programme;
- Insurance during the days of the programme;
- Local guide/translator in Mongolia
- Monitoring and guidance throughout the journey by myself
- Limited spaces!!
- July 2017 5 (minimum) to 11 (maximum)
- International airfare
- Non specified meals
- Exrta activities
- Personal expenses
- Tips and gratitudes
DAY 1 - ULAANBAATAR
Welcome to UlaanBaatar!
More than 60% of the entire population in Mongolia live here. UlaanBaatar is a fast-growing city, and is now a major Asian capital like any other, a growth that has been stepping up in the past four years. This is a great time to absorb this new city’s energy, which is very contrasty from the rest of the country.
DAY 2 - TERELJ NATIONAL PARK
Today we’ll embrace the Mongolian culture and lifestyle to the fullest, whilst still enjoying the comfort of a nice bed and a hot shower at our hotel, as well as being able to choose what and where to eat.
Early morning we’ll make our departure through one of the 16 paved roads of Mongolia, towards Terelj National Park, where we’ll also visit the Ghenghiis Khaan Complex statue.
By night, on our way back to UlaanBaatar, we will watch the Tumen Ekh Ensemble show, a Mongolian classic featuring traditional throat singing, dancing, theatre and acrobatics.
DAY 3 - Khögnö Khan Uul
This is the day where we start our nomadic lifestyle tour across Mongolia. We’ll head towards Khögnö Khan Uul. Road trips in Mongolia are as fun as they are harsh. The Russian made 4x4 UAZ vans, from the 60’s, were built to last. They are the most common vehicle around the area - such as horses, camels and motorcycles - due to their durability, reliability, and for being extremely easy to fix anywhere on the road - which, by the way, is a common sight along Mongolian roads!
Overnight, we’ll stay with a nomadic family near the reserve, on our first contact with this way of living.
DAY 4 - ORKHON VALLEY
Today we get up early, and after a well-deserved restoring breakfast, we keep going on our Mongolian road trip, heading towards the Erdenezuu temple-museum. Its construction started in 1586, and took over 300 years to be completed. The stones used for the building of the original temple came all the way from the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire, Kharkhorin, and 60 temples were built within its walls. Unfortunately, during the Soviet Union takeover, Mongolia was severely destroyed, and from those 60 temples, today we can only see what’s left from 18 of them. The monastery is open to Buddhist prayers, but travellers are also welcome to come in - just keep in mind the respect and Buddhist rules in temples. Most times, they will ask for a small “tip” to go in.
After visiting the temple, we will continue our journey. Overnight, we will stay with another nomadic family in their gers, but before that, we will get the chance for trek near the Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfalls.
DAY 5 - Tsenkher Hot Springs
Our destination for today is the Tsenkher Hot Springs, where we will have the opportunity to take a hot bath in its thermal waters. Mongolia has an endlessly flat landscape, alternated by mountains, sand dunes, and these waterfalls are a rare sight amongst its geographic features.
Tonight, we will stay in a ger camp.
DAY 6 - Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
Continuing on our clockwise trip, today we drive in the sunset’s direction. Destination: Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park, commonly known as the White Lake. We will stay here for the next two nights, with a nomadic family and their hundreds of goats and sheep, near the lake.
Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park was originally created to protect the local fauna and flora, which holds countless endangered species. A landscape of extinct volcanos and several lakes, the peaks here can reach up to 3000m in altitude. Some of the volcano craters provide us unusual sights of crystal clear blue waters.
DAY 7 - Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park
Today will be a good free day, so we can explore the national park. We’ll hike up to the Khorgo volcano, at about 2210m high, and will walk around its larger crater. Later we’ll also walk around the White Lake, where the sunset will greet us with a palette of orange pantones, reflecting on the lakes still waters. It’s the perfect time to take in this Mongol slow way of living, and savour its costumes.
DAY 8 - SHINE IDER
We’ll say goodbye to our lake family, and change the direction of our trip, heading towards north. We will camp overnight near Shine Ider, in full communion with nature and the Mongolia’s infinite starry sky.
But before we get there, we stop on the way for a picnic, prepared for us by our Mongol guide, and walk around the area.
DAY 9 - Khovsgol Lake
Today we reach the northernness point on our trip. On the way, we will perhaps get the opportunity to ob-serve the beautiful Mongolian reindeers. Lake Khovsgol is the largest in Mongolia, and the second largest in Asia. 96 rivers come in to the lake, and one river - the Egiin river - starts here its journey that will end up in Lake Baikal, in Siberia. Besides being one of the largest lakes in the world, during winter time it’s usually completely frozen, mostly due to its altitude: 1645m above sea level.
When we reach our destination, we check in to the guesthouse where we will be staying for the next couple nights.
DAY 10 - Khovsgol Lake
The lakeside life is ideal to absorb the Mongolian lifestyle. Today we’ll be doing horse riding and trek-king all day. It’s commonly said that all horses in Mongolia are direct descendent of Ghenghiis Khaan’s horses. These horses are somewhat different to those that in Europe we are used to: shorter legs and big rounded bellies, not quite as elegant but surely just as agile, despite a slower rhythm but easy to ride!
DAY 11 - Khutag Undur
We’ll say farewell to the stunning Khovsgol lake as we commence our way back to UlaanBaatar. To-night, we will be camping again, in the Khutag Undur area. This will be our longest day driving.
DAY 12 - Amarbayasgalant Monastery
The incredible Amarbayasgalant Monastery will be our last stop on this road trip. This is the largest, and most impressive monastery in Mongolia. The whole Selenge area is impressive, shaped by rivers and the great Burenkhan mountains.
We’ll be staying, once again, with a nomadic family, the perfect way to say goodbye to our nomadic lifestyle experience through wild Mongolia. Why not sip through a warm suutei tsai (Tibetan tea) and eat some aaruul (dehydrated curd) for the last time, as we embrace the wide starry night sky above us, one last time?
DAY 13 - ULAANBAATAR
e get up early to start our last journey back to UlaanBaatar. Saying goodbye to the family that hosted us, we start our long way drive back to the city. Once back to the hotel, we enjoy a nice hot water running shower, and we walk back on the paved roads of this buzzing Asian capital city. Tonight, we can each choose where to eat, and what to eat.
DAY 14 - RETURN HOME
Our Mongolian experience trip ends today. If you still have time before your flights, why not pop in the market to purchase the last souvenirs, or enjoy one of the “lost” temples amongst skyscrapers in the city?
See you again on a future adventure!
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