Path to the Ancient Civilization

Marvel at the contrast between the ice gorge and sand-dunes of the Gobi desert, visit dinosaur excavation sites, and stay in gers, the traditional Mongolian circular, felt tents and visit the country’s most significant Buddhist temples. This trip combines the ancient traditions of Buddhism with a visit to Mongolia’s famous Gobi desert and to the beautiful Khangai Mountains. Mongolia’s Gobi desert holds a wealth of natural wonders. Here, you will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the paleontologists who discovered dinosaur remains by the Flaming Cliffs, to walk through the ice gorge at Eagle Valley, and to climb the sand-dunes of the southern Gobi. Mongolia is a Buddhist country, with ornate temples and active monasteries. On this trip, you will visit two monasteries: Erdenezuu and Ongiin Khiid. Long before the arrival of Buddhism in Mongolia, the Mongolians had a powerful connection to their land, and its spirits.

Day 1

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Today you will arrive in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. This city, once the Buddhist and spiritual heartland of the nomadic peoples of Mongolia, is now a thriving commercial and industrial centre. The monasteries still remain, even after the communist purges, yet they now rest alongside Internet cafes, nightclubs and streets teeming with rush hour traffic. However, Ulaanbaatar is still a capital where a grazing cow, a traditionally dressed nomad or a truck loaded with produce from the country can be found. It is amongst these fascinating juxtapositions that our journey begins. After arriving in Ulaanbaatar you will be met at the airport and transferred to a 4 star hotel. After  lunch at a local restau6rant  there will be a program of sightseeing in the afternoon, including the Bogd Khan Palace, which is a series of beautifultraditional buildings where the last religious King of Mongolia resided & the Dinosaurs Museum. We will have a welcoming dinner at a local restaurant and return to the hotel for night.

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Day 2

Khogno Khan

Today we will head west into the countryside. The scenery is wide-open steppe with rolling hills in the background. We will stop for lunch along the way and reach the mountain called ‘Khogno Khan’ in the late afternoon. It is about a 6-hour drive from Ulaanbaatar. This mountain is perfect for some afternoon hiking and there are remains of an ancient monastery, which should be explored. You will also visit to the ruins of Erdenekhamba monastery. Dinner and overnight will be at a ger camp.


Day 3

Karakorum

Today we will drive on to Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia. There is a small local township there now. This is about a 2-hour drive from Khogno Khan Mountain. On arrival the first and most obvious landmark are the remains of the Erdenezuu Monastery’s vast walls. This monastery was built in 1586 and is surrounded by a massive 400m x 400m wall. Not a single nail was used in the construction of the ornate temples, of which only a few remain standing after the communist purges. We will visit this monastery and then head on to the Karakorum ger camp. Dinner and overnight will be at a ger camp in the area.


Day 4

Orkhon Waterfall

Today we will make a trip to the Orkhon Waterfall, situated in the Orkhon Valley. This valley is known as the cradle of Mongolian civilization as many of Mongolia’s ancient monuments lie within its borders. Today we will visit some of its natural beauties. The Orkhon Waterfall marks the halfway point of the Orkhon River, the longest river in Mongolia. The area surrounding the waterfall is green and forested and we will spend the day walking in the area and having a picnic lunch. This area of Mongolia is well known for producing the best ‘airag’, or fermented mares’ milk, in the country. Many locals will love to challenge you to a singing game, the loser having to consume a whole bowl of the ‘airag’, so beware when visiting local families! The drive from Karakorum is about two-and-a-half hours, en route we will make a pilgrim trip to Tuvkhun monastery which is in the high mountains marking the north side of Orkhon valley. Dinner and overnight at a ger camp.


Day 5

Ongiin Khiid

Today we start driving north until we reach Ongi Gol. The scenery will change into the vast open steppe that meets with the horizon at the edge. We will visit the Ongiin Khiid, the ruin of big monastery of Bari Yonzon Khamba on the banks of the Ongiin River. East part of this monastery used to have many buildings on the south slope of the rocky mountain of the area and it looks like the country of Nepal and there are still some stupas haven’t broken until nowadays. This monastery had about thousand lamas. Here you will visit the spring of Bari Khamba which is an unfrozen space and takes it’s source from underground. It has composition of chloride, bi-carbonate, natrium and magnesium and used for treating internal diseases. Dinner and overnight in the ger camp.


Day 6

Khongoriin Els Sand dunes

Today we drive west along the Altai Mountain range until we reach Khongoriin Els. Reaching heights of 800m, these are Mongolia’s largest sand dunes. Locally they are called the ‘singing dunes’ because of the tons of sand which shift in the wind, making a strange sound similar to that of distant aircraft. The drive is about 6 hours long. We will stay overnight in Gobi discovery ger camp.


Day 7

Day at Singing dunes

Today we will have the opportunity to use a different type of transport. We will be riding on camels today to explore these massive sand dunes. The two-humped camels are very comfortable to ride, as they walk slowly and gently and we will be well supported by the humps, sitting comfortably between them. Our camel man will take us to the sand dunes. We will take our lunch with us and ride back to the camp in the evening. Overnight at the same ger camp.


Day 8

Bayanzag, the red flaming cliffs

Today we drive to the flaming, red cliffs at Bayanzag. The first discovery of dinosaur eggs, as well as bones, was made in this area in the famous American expedition of the 1920’s. There will be a chance to meet local nomadic people and to visit their gers as well as visit to the local archaeological museum. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp in the area.


Day 9

Day trip to Eagle valley /Moltsog els

Today we will drive to Yoliin Am (Eagle Valley). This is a long valley with high cliff walls, which shade some areas of the valley floor from the sun for the entire year, allowing the stunning ice sheets to form. We will walk through the valley and see the ibex grazing on the cliff faces. The wildlife in the area is abundant and the desert plants are vibrant and varied. The areas we will be visiting are situated in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, which encompasses the ‘Three Beauties’ peaks and the eastern-most points of the Altai Mountains. Later afternoon we have a trip to Moltsog els where we visit camel breeder’s family in the area. Overnight at a local ger camp.


Day 10

Tsagaan Suvraga

Today we will start driving to the north. Your destination is Tsagaan Suvarga, white limestone rock. It is about 30 meters tall & shaped strangely as a result of wind & water erosion. From afar, it can be mistaken for the ruins of an old city. Locals have long venerated this mountain, and have so much fear & respect for it that they refrain from saying its real name. They call it “Tsagaan Khairkhan”, which means “White darling” This eerie, eroded landscape was once beneath the sea and is rich in marine fossils. Overnight near the immense white limestone formations of Tsagaan Suvraga. If time allows you will have a chance to see rock painting which is about 1 kilometer long. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp.


Day 11

Baga Gazriin Chuluu

Today you will reach Baga Gazaryn Chuluu. This is granite rock in the middle of the dusty plains. There is a legend says in the 19th Century, two revered monks lived here in gers-remnants of their rock drawings can be found in the area. The rocks are worshipped by locals who sometimes make pilgrimages here. Naturally, there is a 'legend' that Chinggis Khaan stayed at the rocks. The mineral water springs and trees in the region make it a great spot to camp, and there are plenty of rocky hills, topped by ovoos, to explore. Also the ruins of a small monastery are on the south-east part of this rugged area. Overnight at the Baga Gazaryn Chuluu ger camp.


Day 12

“Tuul riverside” Lodge at Khentii Mountains

Today we continue our drive to the Tuul riverside Lodge at the border of Terelj National Park in the Khentii Mountains where great Chinggis Khaan grew up. Today is our last night in the countryside. For those who’d wish to ride a Mongolia horse welcome to ride with our horseman and you are welcome to hike around in the lodge area. Dinner and overnight at the lodge area.


Day 13

Drive to Ulaanbaatar

After a relaxed breakfast and morning we drive to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival we continue our city guided tour including Gandan Monastery, National History Museum, Fine Arts Museum. Evening program will be folklore performance followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the Palace hotel.

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Day 14

International Departure

After an early breakfast we will transfer you to the Chinggis Khaan international airport for your departure home.

Departure code and date:

NCA-008, 13-26 July, 2017

Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD2.374

Single Supplement: USD350
Prices include the following:

Domestic flights, transportation within Mongolia, twin accommodation in a 4 star hotel. Single accommodation can be arranged at an additional cost. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide, all sightseeing costs, transfers, camel or horse hire where specified, support staff including drivers, horse/camel men and camp assistants.


Prices do not include:

International transportation, travel insurance, visas, departure tax, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, items of a personal nature.

It is the responsibility of the client to be fully covered with travel and medical insurance while traveling in Mongolia.


Please note:

Upon request single supplement in the countryside can be provided at the additional cost. In case single accommodation in ger camps was not provided the amount would be calculated based on the missing nights and reimbursed. Nomads cannot be held responsible for over bookings, as long as the company can prove with sufficient documentation that overbooking has been the error of the third party.

Should circumstances beyond our control, such as the imposition of quarantine restrictions, any changes of domestic flight or train schedules, require a change of itinerary, we will inform your agent and propose an equivalent itinerary. Again, Nomads cannot take over the responsibility for the Airlines or the National Train Company. The traveler is responsible for having proper travel documents, such as a valid passport, proper visa and the necessary passport pictures.

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