Gobi Desert & Central Mongolia
Tours in the Gobi Desert and Central Mongolia
Detailed Tours Description
Day 1: Yoliin and Dungenee Am, the Eagle Gorges or Vulture Mouth
After our arrival by plane in Dalandzadgat, 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 where you can admire a collection of dinosaur bones and .
Day 2: Khongoriin Els or the Singing Sand Dunes
Today we will head 200 km westwards to the Khongoriin Els. These are Mongolia's largest sand dunes. Those impressive dunes of 275 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.
Day 3: Ongiin and Khoshuu Monastery
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.
The monasteries were built in the 17th century and destroyed in 1937. They were amoung the largest temples in Mongolia and housed over 1000 monks.
Day 4: Karakorum
After an early wake up, we will set of for a long driving day to Karakorum (also called Kharhorin).
Kharkhrin is the site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Chinggis Khan. The founding of Karakorum started on the ruins of Turug and Uigur cities in the Orkhon valley at the eastern end of the Khanggai mountains in 1220 by the Chinggis Khaan's order. It completed 15 years later during the Ugedei Khaan's reign. The town was a very cosmopolitan and religiously tolerant place
The silver tree, part of Mngke Khan's palace has become the symbol of Karakorum.
The highest peak of its prosperity was from 1220 to 1260. The specific feature of this stage is that Karakorum existed as the great capital of the Euro-Asian Empire with Mongolia as its core and as the centre of politics, economy, culture, religion, intellect, and diplomacy and the prominent tie of international relations.
Between 1260 and 1380 Karakorum lost the status of the Great Mongolian Empire and became the capital of Mongolia. When Kublai Khan claimed the throne of the Mongol Empire in 1260, as did his younger brother, Ariq Boke, he relocated his capital to today's Beijing. Karakorum was reduced to the administrative centre of a provincial backwater of the Yuan Dynasty.
In 1368, the rule of Mongolian Yuan Dynasty collapsed and the centre of Mongolian government was shifted to its homeland after 110 years since Khubilai Khaan moved the Empire capital to China in 1260. It gave Karakorum a chance to prosper again.
In 1388, Ming troops under General Xu Da took and destroyed the town.
Today nothing is left from this legendary city.
In 1580, when Abtai Sain Khan together with his brother, lord Tumenkhen, visited the 3rd Dalai Lama and expressed their wish to build a temple in Mongolia, he advised them to reconstruct one old temple in Karakorum. The temple in Takhai ruins that was restored in 1588 according to the Dalai Lama's recommendation is the Main Zuu temple of Erdene Zuu monastery.
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. 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.
Day 5: Drive back to Ulaanbaatar
We will have a long day driving back to Ulaanbaatar.
Optional Day: Tovkhon Monastery and Orkhon Water Falls
Our next stop will be at Tuvhon Monastery, established during the 1650s by Zanabazar, one of Mongolias most respected religious leaders. The monasterys wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched hear a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests. On the top of the cliff, a pile of stones to worship a god of this mountain forms a hill. It is called Ovoo.
In the Quaternary era a volcano erupted near the beginning of the Tsagaan Azarga or White Stallion River and the lava flowed down the Orkhon valley forming the 10 meter thick layer of basaltic rocks. The basaltic layer was crosscut by the Orkhon River continuously and the canyon was formed as a result.
At the beginning of this canyon lays the 20 meters high, 10 meter wide waterfall. The most adventures of you will climb down the canyon and swim the lake located at the food of the waterfall.
Optional Day: Przewalski's Horse at Hustai National Park
Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii, also known as the Takhi horses) is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of central Asia. The Takhi became extinct in the middle of the 20th century. They then could only be found in the zoos. Special breeding programs increased their numbers. At one time extinct in the wild, it has been reintroduced to its native habitat in Mongolia at the Khustain Nuruu National Park, Takhin Tal Nature Reserve and Khomiin Tal. Khustai Nuruu National Park was declared reserve status (category III) for over 50,000 hectares of the Khustain Nuruu area in 1993 but after significant scientific field researches into the area it was upgraded to a national park in 1998. Khustai Nuruu National Park is located about 100 km southwest from Ulaanbaatar. It protects today Mongolian's Takhi wild horses. Today there are about 150 Takhi horses in Khustai. After arrival at the camp of the Khustai Nuruu National Park we will meet the staff of the park and be introduced to the project. In the afternoon we will explore the beauties of the Park by jeep, on food or on horseback.
Optional Day: Khogno Khan Mountains
We will drive to the foothills of the Khogno Khan Mountains (also written as Khungnu Khaan). It is an impressive massif of Paleozoic granite and magma rocks in the open steppes. We will visit the nice little Uvgun Monastery and the ruins of the old monastery. Those who want will have the opportunity to climb the sand dunes or to walk up the mountain and enjoy the incredible view over the plains, the sand dune and grasslands.
Not far from here runs the Tasarkhai Els (also named Mongol Els, Elsiin Tasarkhai), a 100 km long sand dune. Here you can ride a camel.
Optional Day: Bayanzag or the Flaming Cliffs
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.
Optional Day: Family Stay in the Gobi Desert and Camel Riding
The Family lives in the Gobi Desert. We will experience the warm hospitality offered by the Mongolian families. For dinner we will be offered a typical Mongolian meal 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.
Those interested will have the opportunity to do camel riding.
Optional Day: Family Stay in Central Mongolia and Horse Riding
The Family lives close to a river in the wide open Mongolian steps. We will experience the warm hospitality offered by the Mongolian families. For dinner we will be offered a typical Mongolian meal 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.
Those interested will have the opportunity to do horse riding.
We offer 3 different price categories for our tours:
Please contact us for the updated prices. We offer special discount prices for off season tours.
Service in Ulaanbaatar
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