By jeep, mountain bike, on foot or on horseback, the natural and cultural wonders of Mongolia rival any in the world. Join us to explore the beauties of this country and the friendliness of its people. Make your own group, join one of our groups, design your own tour or choose one of our exciting destinations. Happy Camel offers flexibility and competitive prices without altering the quality of the services. The staff of Happy Camel is waiting to help you. In the countryside we will overnight in the gers of ger camps. Gers are the traditional felt tents of nomadic herders. Each ger is furnished with a wood stove and beautifully painted furniture such as beds, a table and stools. Each time we will travel far from the usual tourist tracks, we will have no other solution than to overnight in western style tents because no other accommodation is available.
Day 1: Upon arrival at the airport we will be welcomed by your guide. He will bring us to your comfortable, centrally located hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the Gandantegchinlen Monastery. It is the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia. We will scroll through the different monasteries, observe the daily rituals of the lamas and see the magnificent statue of Migjid Janraisig, a 82-food high statue gilded in gold and covered with silk cloths. In the evening enjoy a welcome diner in one of the best restaurants of Ulaanbaatar. (Hotel, L, D)
Day 2: After breakfast in our hotel restaurant we will leave Ulaanbaatar for the countryside. We will drive 7 hours westwards to reach end of the day Kharkhorin, also called Karakorin, site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Chinggis Khan. Very little is left from this legendary city. In the 16th century, Mongolia's biggest Monastery was build from the ruins of Kharkhorin. Now Erdene Zuu Monastery is all that remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residencing there. Overnight in a ger camp. (Ger Camp, B, L, D).
Day 3: After breakfast we will explore the grounds of Erdene Zuu Monastery surrounded by its massive 400 m X 400 m walls. We will be guided around the 3 remaining temples: Dalai Lama, Zuu of Buddha and Lavrin Temple. We will also see the Turtle Rock and the Phallic Rock. After a lunch at our Ger Camp, we will continue driving westward in the direction of Khangai Mountains. The green mountainsides and the network of smaller and larger rivers offer excellent pastureland for the herds of horses, yaks and cows.
Our next stop (6 hours driving) will be the Orkhon waterfalls, which is located in the Orkhon valley. The area surrounding the waterfall is a green, with forest covered mountainous area. The valley is known as the cradle of the Mongolian civilization. Many ancient Mongolian as well as Turkish monuments lie within its borders. In the evening we will put up our tents not far from the waterfalls. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 4: After breakfast we will hike around the waterfalls. We will hike down to the bottom of the gorges. The most courageous of you will jump into the river for a swim. In the afternoon we will head northweswards for Tsetserleg, capital city of Arkhangai province (180 km, 6 hours). It is a lovely little town surrounded by forested hills. Here we will visit the Buyandelgeruulekh Monastery, the town main functioning monastery and the nice little Museum of Arkhangai located in Zayaiin Gegeenii Monastery. From the museum we will walk hill upward to a small abandoned monastery and enjoy the beautiful view we have from there over Tsetserleg and the surrounding hills. We will drive slightly out of town to set up our tented camp. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 5: After a 200 km ride (6 hours) we will reach Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. It is one of the most beautiful lakes of the country. The lake is surrounded by extinct and craterous volcanoes, and was formed by lava flows from a volcanic eruption many millennia ago. As a result of the volcano eruptions the landscape is covered with black volcanic rocks. (Ger camp, B, L, D)
Day 6: Today we will relax around the lake. We will make an excursion to the top of Khorgo Uul Volcano and we will pass the gorges that lead from Tariat to the volcano. We will stay a second night next to the lake. (Ger camp, B, L, D)
Day 7: For three days we will drive northwards into the direction of Hovsgol Lake. We will drive through the central grasslands where you will see large herds of horses, cows and yaks. You will cross several rivers, smaller and larger ones, all full of fish. We will camp on the road to the North. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 8: After a second day of intensive driving we will reach Moron, capital city of Hovsgol province. We will stop at the local market to stock up food after what we will go on driving: in the evening we will arrive at the Uushig valley, site of the Ancient Graves. We will set up our tented camp in this valley. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 9: After 4 hours intensive driving on a path climbing up to the north we will at last reach the Mongolian blue pearl, the Hovsgol Lake. It is a huge 2.760 square km alpine lake (130 km in length and 30 km in width), surrounded by mountain chains of more than 2000 meters high, thick pine forests and lush meadow with grazing yaks and horses. More than 100 small rivers and streams feed the lake with crystal clear water. Water exits the lake through only one river, the Egiin, whose waters eventually reach the Baikal Lake.
The lake contains about 1.5% of the world's fresh water (excluding water contained in the icecaps). The lake and rivers are full of fish. Around a dozen species of fish inhabit the lake and rivers. The most well known are the sturgeon, grayling, lennok, salmon, taimon, etc. We will overnight in a ger camp located along the Western shore of the lake. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Day 10: We will spend a full day exploring the lakeshore and surrounding mountains. For those interested they will have the possibility to go horseback riding, visit Mongolian families, go hiking, go fishing, etc. Please bring your own rod and tackle, or buy it in Ulaanbaatar. (Ger camp, B, L, D)
Day 11: After having enjoyed a full day along the Hovsgol Lake, we will take the road again, southestwards to Amarbayasgalant Monastery. This trip will take us two days through the Mongolian grasslands. We will camp somewhere along the road. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Day 12: After a second day of intensive driving we will finally reach Amarbayasgalant Monastery. The monastery is set in an exquisite valley surrounded by mountains. After Erdene Zuu Monastery, Amarbayasgalant Monastery is considered as the second most important monastery and the most intact architectural complex of Mongolia. The monastery was built in the 18th century by the Manchu emperor Yongzheng and dedicated to the great Mongolian Buddhist Zanabazar.
In the evening we will set up our tents somewhere in the open valley of the monastery, close to a nomad family. We will experience the warm hospitality offered by the Mongolian families. For dinner we will be offered a typical Mongolian barbeque that will be prepared by nomads. Those who want will have the opportunity to try the "airag" or fermented horse milk. Our guide - translator will help us to forge contact with the local population. Tonight we will share the gers with the family. (Family Stay, B, L, D)
Day 13: After breakfast we will visit the monastery and do some hiking. In the beginning of the afternoon we will leave for Ulaanbaatar that we will reach after 6 hours of riding. (Hotel, B, L, D)
Day 14: We will have a full free day to stroll around in Ulaanbaatar and buy some souvenirs before heading back home. In the evening we will have a far well dinner in a good restaurant. (Hotel, B, D)
Day 15: After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure. (B)
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