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The Secrets of the Gobi Desert
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The Secrets of the Gobi Desert

offered by supplier M10055 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 15 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Mongolia  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1595 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1595 US Dollar (USD)

Happy Camel invites you to discover the natural and cultural wonders of Mongolia, one of the last remaining seldom-explored countries. Largely inaccessible to the Western world until only recently, Mongolia offers a rare glimpse into an ancient nomadic culture that has changed little over the centuries. The traveller will discover this untouched country and marvel at its unique combination of ancient Buddhist tradition with a nomadic horse-based culture. He will revel in her natural beauties such as the Gobi desert, the arid semi-desert regions of the West with snow-capped mountain peaks, alpine lakes such as Hovsgol, green fertile rolling hills with herds of horses and yaks, etc.

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.

Tour Itinerary:

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 Bogd Khan's Winter 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. (Hotel, L, D)

Day 2: After breakfast in our hotel restaurant, we will leave for the Mongolian countryside. Our first stop will be 250 km (6 hours driving) southward in the beautiful region of Bag Gazrin Chuluu. It is a huge granite formation in the middle of the Mongolian sandy plane. At the foot of the formation we will visit the remains of a small monastery named Delgeriin Chior. End of the afternoon we will drive and hike around in the area. We will visit the picturesque ruins of a small monastery that are hidden in a nice little protected valley. As the place is far away from the usual tourist routes, there are no accommodation facilities. Therefore we will set up our tents in a beautiful natural scene of one of the valleys of the formation. Tents, pneumatic mattresses, etc. will be provided. You will have to bring your own sleeping bag. A barbecue accompanied with some fresh vegetables will wait for us at the camping spot. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)

Day 3: After a breakfast at the camp side, we will start driving towards the Gobi desert. Today we will see the landscape changing dramatically from the fertile grassland to the inhospitably rocky land. The number of families and cattle we will see along the road will gradually reduce. Camels will slowly replace cows. During this nearly 300 km trip (8 hours driving) we will stop at some interesting spots. The first place we will visit is Sangiin Dalai Nuur. This tiny lake shelters on its island the mighty ruins of a castle that was build here some 300 years ago.

Here we will also observe some remarkable bird life. Among others, the Mongolian lark, various species of prey birds, geese and swans come to this spring-fed lake. A little further on the road we will pass the ruins of Khukh Burd Monastery that was flattened during the Mongolian purge period. (1928 – 1939). From here we will head for Saigan Ovoo Sum. This little town is located along a small desert river (Ongiin Gol) at the entrance of a beautiful mountainous region. A little further southward along the river, next to Hoshuu Monastery we will spend the night in a ger camp. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)

Day 4: After the long and intensive trip of the day before, we will enjoy the peace and beauty of the Delger Khangai Mountains. We will explore the ruins of Hoshuu Monastery on one side of the river and the ruins of Ongiin Monastery on the other side of the river. We will hike around in this massive series of rocky hills cut by the river. Breakfast, dinner and supper will be taken in the ger camp, and we will spend a second night here before facing a second driving intensive day through the Gobi desert. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)

Day 5: Today the landscape will change once again. We will leave the mountainous region and drive the whole day (about 250 km, 6 hours) through a totally flat landscape. Soil will not be covered with sand but with small pebbles. If we are lucky we will be able to observe a mirage or some wild desert gazelles. Despite the appearance of a totally inhospitable area, we will see sporadically a family living there with their animals. On the road we will visit a camel breeding family. We will most probably have the chance to taste the fermented camel milk also called "camel airag", or the local tasty yoghurt. Be aware, the tastes are strong.

Via the small desert town of Mandel Ovoo we will drive southward to Bayanzag. Bayanzag also known as the "Flaming Cliffs" is the worldwide renowned place where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur bones and eggs. The surrounding landscape is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs. Here we will spend some time exploring the cliffs. Next stop will be our ger camp close to Dalanzadgad. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)

Day 6: Today we will drive to several places around the camp. We will take a ride through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. We will pass through the Yoliin Am and the Dungenee Am both located in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Ancient rivers carved those green valleys. We may catch a glimpse of the wild Argali sheep, the Ibex, the desert gazelles or the Golden Eagles. We will also pay a visit to the little museum of the park. We will spend the night in the same camp as the night before. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)

Day 7: Today we will head 200 km (6 hours) westwards to the Khongoriin Els. These are Mongolia's largest sand dunes. Those impressive dunes of 800 meters high in some places, stretch from East to West over more than 100 km. Behind the sand dunes we will see the impressive black rocky mass of the Sevrey Mountain. We will have an overnight nearby in a ger camp. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)

Day 8: We will have a full day to explore the beauties of the sand dunes. The most energetic of us will climb to the top of the sand dunes and enjoy one of the most amazing views of Mongolia. We will also have the opportunity to ride a camel. We will spend the night in the same camp. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)

Day 9: Today we will drive 230 km (6 hours) to the north in the direction of the green steppes of Central Mongolia. Before reaching those green areas we will have to cross a remote and unforgiving stretch of desert. We will also cross the arid rocky Arts Bogdiin Mountain, and pass trough breath-taking landscapes. On the way we will have a short stop at Bogd village. As this road is far away from the normal tourist tracks, we will have to put up our tented camp for the night. We will visit some nomad families and experience their hospitality. Those who want will have the opportunity to try the "airag" or fermented horse milk. In the evening we will be offered a typical Mongolian barbecue that will be prepared by nomads. Our guide - translator will help us to forge contact with the local population. (Tented Camp, B, L, D)

Day 10: Our destination today will be Khujirt village that is well known for its hot water spring. To reach this place, we will have to head nearly 300 km (8 hours) more northwards. We will pass through Arvaikheer, capital city of Ovorkhangai province and some other small countryside towns. (Ger Camp, B, L, D)

Day 11: Today we will make a 70 km trip (3 hours) to 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. On the way we will see some ancient graves. In the afternoon we will hike around the waterfalls. We will hike down to the bottom of the gorges. (Ger Camp or Tented Camp, B, L, D)

Day 12: In the morning we will head for Kharkhorin (also called Karakorum, 130 km, 4 hours driving), 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 are the remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residencing there. 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. We will spend the night in a ger camp. (Ger camp, B, L, D)

Day 13: After our breakfast we will drive 7 hours eastwards, back to Ulaanbaatar. (Hotel, B, D)

Day 14: Today 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 farewell dinner in a good restaurant. (Hotel, B, D)

Day 15: After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure. (B)

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Photos: Next »
Location: Mongolia
Joined InfoHub: Nov 2003

M10055 invites you to discover the natural and cultural wonders of Mongolia, one of the last remaining seldom-explored countries. The traveler will discover this untouched country and marvel at its unique combination of ancient Buddhist tradition with a nomadic horse-based culture. He will revel in her natural beauties...

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