DAY 1 ULAANBAATAR CITY
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. You’ll be greeted at the airport and escorted to 3* hotel. City tour: National History Museum, Gandan Monastery, National Mongolian traditional show concert.
DAY 2 IKH GAZAR CHULUU NATIONAL PARK
Drive to Ikh Gazar Chuluu National Park. Ikh Gazriin Chuluu is a mountain of granite rock in the Gobi desert with a peak of 1706m high. There is an open theatre of national Long song. These Rocky Mountains are situated in Dundgov aimag. They spread out from west to east covering about 20 kilometers. There are many interesting stories about local historic people who had lived or had been hidden in caves from the royalties of that time. These caves are usually named after those people. It has a rich family of plants and is a home to many wild animals.
DAY 3 YOL VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Drive to Yol National Park. Visit Tsagaa Suvarga / White Stupa / National Park. The scarp of Tsagaan Suvarga is located in Ulziit soum of Dundgovi province. It is interesting to see the sheer slope, facing east, which from a distance seems to be the ruins of the ancient city. The cliff is 30 meters high and 100 meters wide. Over thousands of years the wind has created this amazing structure. It is sheer slope and was an old seabed with sedimentary structure created by millions years and the different colors of the ground represent different times.
The formation is over 50m in its highest point and continues 400m. There is 2 famous sites for explore. First one is a interesting cave which is 70 m long Khevtee Bosoo agui (Lie and Stand Cave) and not so far from the site. Second option is exploring Del uul (Back Mountain) for seeing rock drawings of Bronze Age. This is considered to be largest site of Rock drawings in Central Asia.
It is comprised of 27 million hectares in area. The land of caves and mountains is 2,400-2,600 meters above sea level.
The Khongor Sand Dune is one of the Mongolian longest sand dunes and continues 180 kilometers from northwest into southeastern in Sevrei and Bayandalai sumsof Umnugobi province. Zuunsaikhan, Dundsaikhan, Baruunsaikhan, Bayandalai, Zuulun, Sevrei and Nemegt of the Gobi-Altai mountain grows the special flower and plants. Southern cool plants and Central Asian dry plants are found in this mountains range. The area is rich in Fauna. There are mountain sheep, goats, leopards, black-tailed marten of cliffs, lynx, wildcats, squirrels, white gazelles and other mammal animals.
Yol Valley (Vulture Valley): is situated in east north part of Zuun Saikhan mountain. This area has been main attraction of tourists for many decades. Very wide at the entrance, it narrows gradually into a remarkable gorge. A spring two or three kilometers long winds its way through the defile and in July, freezing into a thick corridor of ice that stretches along a considerable distance.
DAY 4 KHONGOR SAND NATIONAL PARK
Drive to Khongor Sand National Park. Visit Dungeneegyn Am: is located in southwestern part of Zuunsaikhan and Bayandalai soum. The area’s length is 12 kilometers. There are cliff, canyon, caves and rivers. It is one of the tourist attractions. Tourists can see mountain sheep and mountain goat in here.
Khongor Sand Dunes: are the largest and most spectacular sand dunes situated in Sevrei soum. Also known as the “singing dunes”, they are up to 800 m high, 20 km wide and about 100 km long. The spectacular dunes are bordered by lush green vegetation supported by a small river Khongor, which is fed by underground sources from surrounding mountains.
DAY 5 ONGI TEMPLE
Drive to Ongi Temple. Visit Bayanzag / Flaming Cliffs /. One of the famous places is Bayanzag, Ancient Sea bed which excited 60-70 million years ago where a lot of Palentological findings have been discovered. The place is known as Flaming Cliffs so named by Roy Andrew Chapman American explorer, who had visited Mongolia in 1920. During the 2 years he searched through the Mongolian Gobi Desert and he found Dinosaur fossils from Bayanzag, Nemekht Mountain. He brought his palentological findings on 70 camels. Chapman presented Mongolia one large skeleton on show in the Ulaanbaatar Natural History Museum. He discoverd to the science, about 10 different kinds of dinosaurs and eight of them were found from Mongolia.
“The Flaming Cliffs and Bayan Zag – saxaul forest is situated around 85 km from the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan national park.
The barren cliffs look strikingly as if they are aflame during sunset. Not so far from the Flaming Cliffs, there is a forest of saxaul trees –Gobi trees with extremely deep roots. There are some sand dunes about 20 km from the Flaming Cliffs and a small hill called Tugrugiin Shiree, northwest from Bayan Zag, famous for its findings of protoceratops dinosaur fossils.
Formerly one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia, Ongi monastery was founded in 1660 and consisted of two temple complexes on the North and South banks of the Ong river. The older southern complex consisted of various administrative buildings as well as 11 temples. The northern complex built in the 18th century, consisted of 17 temples-among them one of the largest temples in all Mongolia. The Ongi monastery grounds also 4 Buddhist universities and could accommodate over one thousand monks at a time. During the 1930’s communism spread throughout Mongolia. As part of their ideological campaign and rise to power, communists arrested most monks around Mongolia. In 1939 Ongi monastery was completely destroyed over 200 monks were killed and many surviving monks were imprisoned pr forced to join the communist controlled army.
DAY 6-7 HUIS NAIMAN LAKE NATIONAL PARK
Drive to Shireet Lake. Naiman Nuur National Park is located in the province of Ovorkhangai, in the Khangai range, and it has the typical landscapes of the Mongolian high mountains with their large forests of larches.
The area of Naiman Nuur, ”Eight lakes”, formed behind the volcanic eruptions that occurred all along the centuries. The park is 2400 meters (1,5 mile) above the sea level.
The eight lakes in question are lakes Shireet, the largest and the most beautiful, Khaliut, Bugat, Khaya, Khuis, Onon, Doroo and Bayan Uul. Two of the smallest lakes are completely dry, and the second largest lake, Khuis Nuur, is 90% dry.
The national park is located in a high mountains area comprising alpine meadows and forests of conifers (Siberian pines and Siberian larches). In the North of the protected area, we can see entire valleys strewn with volcanic stones. The peaks of the mountains are arid.
The place is very cool and there can be snowstorms in June or August. In the heart of Summer, temperatures rarely go until 20°C during the day. 400 to 500 millimetres (16 – 32 inches) of rain fall each year.
Inside the national park, we can see 50 species of birds, such as the black-throated loon, great cormorant, bar-headed goose, or whooper swan.
DAY 8-9 ORKHON VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Drive to Orkhon Waterfall. Orkhon Falls or ”Orkhonii Khurkhree”, white waves flowing on the black stone, transformed in rainbow by sunrays… These 16-metres (52,5 feet) high and 5-metres (16 feet) wide waterfalls are just magic. Orkhon waterfalls formed 20.000 years ago after a unique combination of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In the heart of summer, their flow is very important, but they can dry up during spring. It’s the Ulaan Tsutgalaan River, ”Red Confluence”, which forms these falls by flowing into the Orkhon River. From the camp of the families living in the surroundings, they can be an ideal hike along the river, or a ride among the steppes.
Stay at Nomadic Family from the valley. During your stay, you will discover their way of life and you will be proposed many activities, such as milking, making traditional dairy products, or rounding up the animals with a horse. You will also attend the preparation of a Mongolian barbecue that you will enjoy with yours hosts.
DAY 10 TSENKHER HOT SPRING
Drive to Tsenkher Hot Spring Spa. Visit Erdenezuu Monastery. The first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, Erdene Zuu was established on the ruins of ancient Khar khorin city in 1586 by Avtai Sain khan, probably the most ancient surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. The monastery located Kharkhorin soum, Uvurkhangai province. It is surrounded by fortress wall sized 420m each side, with 108 stupas. In 1792, it housed 62 temples, Mongolian lords tried to have own named temple inside of wall of monastery because it means they have high reputation.
Also in 1658, the biggest ger consists of 35 walls, 1700 long pole and could contain 200 people, was built up at the middle space of monastery wall. During the communist era this monastery nearly destroyed, nowadays it contains 3 main temples, other some smaller temples, 2 tombs which were dedicated to Avtai sain Khan and his son Tusheet khan Gombodorj and the biggest stupa in Mongolia named “Golden stupa”. The temples became museums in 1947 because Erdene Zuu was allowed to exist as a museum only; the only functioning monastery in Mongolia was Gandantegchinlen Monastery in Ulaanbaatar. However, after the fall of Communism in Mongolia in 1990, the monastery was turned over to the lamas and Erdene Zuu again became a place of worship.
Three main temples are named west zuu, middle zuu and east zuu. Zuu means respectful name of Buddha. So we can see Buddha’s different images such as past time Buddha, future time Buddha, present time Buddha, his child image, adult image, old aged image and his sapient pupils in these temples. These temples have double wall, for encapsulate warm and cool and kind of praying named “Goroo”. Today this monastery could become active monastery again and open for local believers and visitors. This is one of the places where we can learn more about religious and cultural traditions of Mongolia.
DAY 11 TERKH TSAGAAN LAKE NATIONAL PARK
Drive to Terkh Tsagaan Lake. Visit Zaya Gegeen Monastery, Khorgo Volcano. The landscape changes as quickly as we approach the Khorgo Volcano. We ride on a very black and very difficult soil, made of dry lava. The landscape is original and doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen so far. The vegetation around us is essentially made of high larches ; it formed on the lava rejected here more than 8000 years ago. In the morning we reach the Khorgo volcano where we dismount and tie our horses to make the ascent of the summit, 2210 meters (1,37 mile) above the sea level. After a few minutes of ascent, the view is already wonderful.
We can already see the white lake. Here, the region is more touristic and once we get back downhill, we can taste local fruit juices sold in small stands. Around noon, we ride again following the track at a slow pace. We go to the cave of Zaluus and visit it before reaching Terkhiin Tsaagaan Nuur, the “White Lake of the Terkh River”, located 2060 meters (1,28 mile) above the sea level. It’s the jewel of Arkhangai and one of the most beautiful lakes of the country.
DAY 12 ZUUN LAKE
Drive to Zuun Lake. Visiting Zuun Nuur (also known as Zuun Lake in English) is the highlight of our Day 4 Mongolia adventure tour. Zuun Nuur lake is situated about 2000 meters above sea level and it can be really cold (below 13 degrees) in the evening even during summer time.
DAY 13-14 KHOVSGOL NATIONAL PARK
Drive to Khovsgol Lake. Visit Deer Stone, Mongolia Experts speculate that north-central Mongolian stone engravings, such as this representation of a deer, were created more than three thousand years ago. Originally thought to guide ancient people across the open steppe, a recent discovery has swayed opinion about the markers. An ancient human, with skin intact, was found buried north of Siberia. His skin bore tattoos similar to the Mongolian deer carving. Researchers now believe that these stones are grave markers and each engraving echoes a tattoo found on the person buried in the frozen earth below. I illuminated this engraving with a headlamp to enhance the mystery of these iconic stones. The artificial light brought out the detail of the beautiful lines, highlighting them against the waning light in the western sky.
Khovsgol Lake, freshest and deepest lake in Central Asia, is positioned in a North South direction with an oval shape. Its length is 133.4 km from north to south while widest is 39.5 km from west to east. This lake has a volume of 380 km3 and it is second in Asia and 14th largest in the world. Khuvsgul Lake contains 93.6 % of total surface fresh water of Mongolia and 1% of world fresh water. Khuvsgul Lake is surrounded by beautiful high mountains of the Khoridol Saridag and Bayan Mountain Ranges, along the west shore. Many mountain rivers flow into this lake including 17 rivers flowing during the whole year. Flat-topped mountains with sloping mountainsides, covered by forests, lie on the east shore of the lake and those mountains are sources of 29 rivers flowing into Khuvsgul Lake. The Munkh Saridag Mountain Range, the highest mountains in Khuvsgul province, are along the north shore of this lake. South part of Khuvsgul Lake becomes narrow and the Eg River starts out here. Drainage basin of the lake is 5,300 sq km that holds 46 rivers and streams. 69% of South side of Khuvsgul lake is deeper than 100 m. The lake water is coldest in Mongolia, with +18 Celsius of water surface in summer, because of its deepness. It starts to freeze in September but completely covered by 1.0-1.5 m thick ice in November while it starts to melt in May but sometimes it keeps its ice until beginning of July. Water visibility is up to 22.9 m in the middle, but it is 14.3 m near the shore.
There are 4 islands namely Modon Khui, Khadan Khui, Dalain Khui and Baga Khui. The largest one of them is Dalain Khui Island with a 5.8 sq km area, 70 km from north shore. Nine species of fish inhabit Khuvsgul including omul, herring, lenok, grayling, perch and roach.
DAY 15 KHAUI RIVER
Drive to Khanui River. The Khanuy Gol (also spelled Hanui or Hanuy Gol) volcanic field is also known as the Khanuj Gol or Bulgan volcanic field. It consists of a group of 10 olivine-basaltic lava and cinder cones in west-central Mongolia about 150 km WNW of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. The field covers a 3500 km2 flat-lying plain along the Khanuy River and in drainage’s to the east. The cones, including the well-preserved Togo cones about 50 km E of Khanuy, north of the settlement of Bulgan, range from about 30 to 190 m in height. The Togo cones, rich in ilmenite megacrysts and altered peridotite xenoliths, include Ikh Togo Uul (“Great Togo Mountain”) and Baga Togo Uul “Big Togo Mountain’). The volcanic field was considered to be of late-Pleistocene to Holocene age (IAVCEI, 1973), although no precise age dates are available.
DAY 16 AMARBAYASGALANT MONASTERY
Drive to Amarbayasgalant Monastery. “Monastery of Tranquil Felicity”, is one of the three largest Buddhist monastic centers in Mongolia. The monastery complex is located in the Iven Valley near the Selenge River, at the foot of Mount Buren-Khaan in Baruunbüren sum (district) of Selenge Province in northern Mongolia. The nearest town is Erdenet which is about 60 km to the southwest.
The monastery was established and funded by order of Manchu emperor Kang Xi or Enkh-Amgalan Khan to serve as a final resting place for Zanabazar (1635–1723), the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, or spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism for the Khalkha in Outer Mongolia. According to tradition, while searching for an appropriate site to build the monastery, the exploratory group came across two young boys, Amur and Bayasqulangtu, playing in a field on the steppe. They were inspired to build the monastery on that very spot and to name it after the two children, Amur-Bayasqulangtu. Construction took place between 1727 and 1736 and Zanabazar’s remains were transferred to a newly created temple in 1788.
DAY 17 BACK TO THE ULAANBAATAR CITY
Drive to Ulaanbaatar. Rest of the day free. With our guide, you can go shopping in the center of the city.
DAY 18 HAVE A GOOD JOURNEY AND SEE YOU SOON
Breakfast at the hotel. We go with you to the international airport of Ulaanbaatar. The transfer can be organized at the time you want, according to the schedule of your flight.
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Mongolia Horse Trails Travel