Gobi Desert and Khangai Mountains

The route we will follow has never been offered before and few foreigners have ever been in the area. The area traverses from Mongolia’s biggest sand-dunes to one of the country’s highest mountain ranges. We will be in an exceptionally remote area and contact with the outside world during the trek will not be possible. Sandwiched between the dark forests of Siberia and the wastelands of the northern China frontier, Mongolia is a large country (three times the size of France) of huge contrasts. Ice covered mountains sit above saltwater marshes. Rolling grasslands abut mountainous sand-dunes. Swift rivers vanish into the sand. The great Gobi desert, though remote and barren, is a landscape of eerie, ghostly beauty. Renowned for its history of conquerors, little is known by westerners about Mongolia. This trip will provide a taste of Mongolia’s nomadic traditions, wildlife and pristine scenery.

Day 1              Arrival in Ulaanbaatar – sightseeing & shopping - dinner

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 a light lunch in the hotel there will be a program of sightseeing in the afternoon, including the Bogd Khan Palace, which is a series of beautifultraditional buildings in which the last religious King of Mongolia resided. We will have dinner at a local restaurant and return to the hotel for a well-earned rest.


Day 2 Fly to Uliastai

Today we will get a flight to Uliastai town either in the morning or afternoon depending on the domestic flight schedule. On arrival in Uliastai town we will meet our local staff and driver and drive about 10 km. Dinner will be served and we will have our first tented night in the wilderness in this area.

Day 3 Mukhart River

After breakfast we will drive about 90 km to reach the Mukhart River where we will meet our horsemen and today we will ride for some time in the area to get acquainted with our horses. Overnight in tents.

Day 4 Bor Khyaryn sand-dunes

We start early in the morning from the Mukhart Gol River and ride through the enormous and picturesque sand-dunes at Bor khyaryn. The Bor khyaryn sand-dunes are 150km long and are the biggest sand-dunes in Mongolia. A packed lunch will be served on the way. During the ride we will have an opportunity to see theRock Gate or Senjit Tsokhio, a natural gate formed by sun and wind erosion. We can also see many unusual rock formations in this area.

Day 5 Lake Jaahan and Lake Khar

We ride across Tasarhai Pass and reach Lake Jaahan Nuur . Lake Jaahan Nuur is a beautiful lake surrounded by golden sand-dunes. It is a paradise for thousands of birds. We will set up our base camp on the shore of Lake Khar Nuur.

Day 6 Children’s Ovoo

Today we ride along the shore of Lake Khar Nuur and visit the Children’s Ovoo - shamanist worship site. This ovoo, or holy rock mound, is worshipped on June 1 every year in honour of children. There are two year old horse races and a wrestling competition held for children at this worship ceremony. Lake Khar Nuur is a picturesque lake surrounded by sand-dunes and huge impressive mountains. It is 3 - 8km wide, 25km long, 57m deep and is 1,980m above sea level. Right in the middle of Lake Khar Nuur there are two beautiful islands, known as the Big and Small Avgash, which are rich with different types of trees and bushes and different species of wonderful wild flowers which form a huge carpet across the islands. Birds gather here and spend the whole summer on these islands. They include cormorants, swans and one ususual species of duck which in Mongolian is called Angir. It is a great place to do birdwatching. Today’s whole ride will take about 30 km. Dinner and overnight at our base camp.

Day 7 Mod Tolgoin Ar

We leave the sand-dunes behind us and drive for 160 km to “Mod Tolgoin Ar” near the base of Mt. Otgontenger. We set our campsite near the Uujmiin Bulan of Mod Tolgoin Ar. Today we will meet our horsemen and horses.

Days 8 Tsagaan Bulan

Today’s ride will take about 25 km. Our cars and kitchen truck will follow us on this day and lunch will be served on the way.

Days 9-10 Otgon Hot Spa and Chuluutyn Pass

Today we will ride about 17-18 km and on the way to will visit hot spring. Early in the morning we horseback ride to Otgon Hot Spa. We arrive at the spa in the early afternoon. This spa is good for fighting off diseases affecting internal organs and joints (rheumatism). Those who come here for treatment are mostly from the western part of Mongolia. Here we will get camels for our luggage to carry for the next few days of our horseback riding. Dinner and overnight in tents around the hot spa.

Day 11 Chuluutin Am to Chuluutyn River

Today we will pack our horses and camels and continue our horseback ride. Here we will have an opportunity to see one very special flower found there with the name vansumberuu. During the summer months, devotees travel long distances to pray to these rare and unique flowers. Pilgrims travelling to Mt. Otgontenger outnumber the local population. These pilgrims, along with some of the local people, believe these flowers to be holy. They think the flowers can cure diseases and that wishes will be granted if they whisper into the ear of the flower. Trekking to Mt. Otgontenger is challenging and involves climbing above a 2,000m elevation to where vansemberuu grows. Lovers come to the area because it is believed that the vansemberuu blesses those in love.

The majestic vansemberuu grows only in pairs (known as the king and queen) in only a few rocky mountain areas. It has a circular brown head which is silky smooth and grows to a full height of 30 – 40 centimeters.

Day 12 Mt. Otgontenger (4,031m/13,225ft)

The Khangai mountains in central Mongolia and the Altai Range in the southwest are the higest mountains in the country. Mt. Otgontenger, the highest peak in the Khangai Range, forms the centre of the newly created Otgontenger Strictly Protected Area and is one of three holy mountains in Mongolia. The mountain has an abundance of many different flowers, plants used for medicinal purposes and wildlife. History says that Chinggis Khaan’s funeral procession travelled from Tangad state to this holy mountain. There is golden sand found near this mountain which is thought to be good for internal organs and believed to melt in the mouth of humans. There is a lake nearby which is called Duut Nuur. Different shaped stones tossed ashore by the waves are also said to melt in the mouth. Five types of fragrant herbs grow on Mt. Otgontenger. Burning these fragrant herbs once is said to be equivalent to reciting a Buddhist prayer one thousand times. Overnight nearby at the Bogd River. We explore the area today, possibly as far as one of Otgontenger’s glaciers. Lake Batar Khundaga is located on the lower slopes of Mt. Otgontenger. In the past, Mongolians offered silver and gold ingots here so that blessings and bounty were delivered to them and today we will also explore the site of saint Ochirvaan’ God which is the shuteen of this holy moutain. We will camp after passing Shar Davaa in a beautiful valley next to a small stream.

Day 13 Khukh Nuur or Blue Lake

In the morning we will start riding to Khukh Nuur for about 30 km.

Day 14 Lake Nart and Lake Tsagaan

In the morning we leave Khukh Nuur to reach Nart Nuur we will ride for about 18 km and there we will meet our trucks and have our base camp. Lake Nart is a beautiful lake surrounded by forests and the name of this lake means “Sunny lake”, because at that spot you can see the sun first compared to other areas. There you have a great opportunity to see the peak of Mt. Otgontenger from a distance, and to hike and ride your horses for the last time during your trip. For dinner, we will have the Mongolian traditional meal of “Khorkhog”.

Day 15 Uliastai Town

After a relaxed morning, we will drive to Uliastai town. In town we will visit Javkhlant Tolgoi Hill where we will see nine memorial stupas for nine Buddhist saints. These saints were all born in this province.

Day 16 Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast we will take a local flight back to Ulaanbaatar. The flight takes one and a half hours and your guide will accompany you. On arrival, you will be taken to your hotel.


Day 17 Sightseeing & shopping in Ulaanbaatar – evening cultural program

Today will be a full day of sightseeing in the city including Gandan Monastery and the National History Museum. After lunch at the hotel we will visit the Fine Arts Museum and have some time for art and cashmere shopping. The evening program will include a folklore show followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight will be at a 4-star hotel.


Day 18  Departure

In the morning you will be taken to the airport for your departure.

Departure code and date:
NRT-008, 15 Jul -1 Aug, 2018
Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD4.061

Single Supplement: USD250

Prices include the following

2 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, 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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