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Mongolia – In The Footsteps Of Dinosaurs

Mongolia – in the Footsteps of Dinosaurs

Mongolia - in the Footsteps of Dinosaurs

HIGHLIGHTS

Authentic Mongolian culture, 4WD safari & Naadam Festival

FROM

US$5,515

DURATION

23 Days

TOUR FOCUS:

This Mongolian adventure takes you into the very heart of Mongolia and even getting there is an adventure. Travel is overland by well maintained and comfortable 4WD vehicles, rarely on sealed roads. You will travel across vast landscapes, wondering how the driver finds his way. Just as you think you must be due to drive off the end of the planet a Ger Camp appears on the horizon, your home for the night. The driving can be rough and dusty and days can be long sometimes over 300km and 6 hours a day. Other days are shorter and on occasions there are rest or alternative activity days such as horse or camel riding, or soaking in hot pools, where there will be little or no driving. What we can promise is amazing scenery, incredible photographic opportunities and memorable wilderness experiences.

This tour endeavours to include a day at a local Naadam Festival in 2020. However it may necessitate a tweak to the order in which we visit certain places. Any changes made will be to enhance the tour experience for our guests. Any unforeseen changes, such as train schedule changes, which are quite common, will be dealt with in the least disruptive way possible. Please be flexible and know that if things change beyond our control, we’ll be doing our best for you.

WEATHER:

The weather can be unpredictable and even though our tours are timed to take place in the warmer months the evenings can be cold and unseasonable snow storms can occur, so warm clothes ‘just in case’ are advisable. Spring is between May and June and Summer July through to September with an average temperature of 20 degrees C

ACCOMMODATION:

Accommodation is mostly in tourist ger camps with shared bathroom facilities. Ger are the traditional felt tents of the nomads and can sleep 2, 3 or 4 people so you will normally be sleeping twin share unless you have requested a single room (supplement will apply). Beds are comfortable, if a little hard with clean bedding and thick blankets. There is a pot belly stove in the ger and these are lit at night and early morning. Toilets and showers are communal. While some have hot water 24 hours others are run by generator and hot water is available only in the evening. A common comment is how clean the bathroom facilities are at the camps. On rare occasions you should expect that a generator may break down or a pipe burst and there may be no hot water. This needs to be accepted as part and parcel of travelling in the wilderness where servicemen can be several days away. While all hotels have en-suite bathrooms and are a 3 to 4 star standard.

YOUR TOUR LEADER:

Our tour leader accompanies you throughout the tour. This means you will always have someone to share a meal or a special experience with. You are certainly welcome to spend as much free time as you wish exploring by yourself, but it is always comforting to know there is someone to ask directions, suggest a restaurant, to lend advice or to help when the going gets tough. Our tour leaders have been chosen for their love of travel, their friendliness, people skills and for their ability to deal with whatever may come along. They are the battlers of bureaucracy, the advocate and first aider but they are also one of the group and they are there to make sure you have a wonderful time and a safe and friendly holiday.

SUITABILITY:

This adventure is suitable for all ages and while fitness is not essential there are several optional walks, horse riding and camel trekking which you will enjoy more if you have an average fitness level. As the roads can be rough, people with back problems may find the long rides difficult. You need to be adaptable and be prepared to spend several days away from towns and infrastructure as we know it. Internet is available only rarely and cell phone coverage is sparse so regular contact with home is not possible.

MEALS:

Most meals on this adventure are included. They are wholesome and varied and you will eat well. Breakfasts can be eggs, sausage, pancakes, sweet fritters and always bread and jam and occasionally cheese. Lunch is the main meal and normally consists of a vegetable salad (often cucumber and tomatoes) meat, lamb, beef and chicken and vegetable dishes finished off with a desert of cake or chocolate bar. Dinner is normally soup and a lighter meal. People with special dietary requirements and in particular vegetarians need to advise us in advance.

Bore water in most ger camps is drinkable. It is not advisable to drink tap water in the towns and in the Gobi desert as it can be saline. Beer, wine and bottled water are available at the camps and everywhere else.

*All our tours are non-smoking

Mongolia lies at the heart of Asia, between Eastern China, and the vast wilderness of Siberia in Russia. It is one of those countries you must visit to appreciate its considerable size. It is a mysterious country, well known to the world for its glorious ancient history, unique culture and arts, indigenous species of wildlife, untouched beautiful landscapes of diverse terrain: forested mountains, hilly steppes, the Gobi Desert, and the hospitable nomadic people. Landscape and cultural sightseeing blend easily in Mongolia – you will have the chance to visit families of nomads, remote Buddhist monasteries and traditional events and to take part in horse-riding or guided walking if you wish – there are also endless opportunities for photography.

This fantastic trip is specially designed to bring you all these unique Mongolian features.

TRIP SUMMARY

Duration: 23 days starting in Beijing and ending in Ulan Baatar
Trip focus: Vast landscapes, authentic Mongolian culture, wilderness and the outdoors
Accommodation: 7 nights hotels, 1 sleeper train, 14 nights Ger camp
Transport: 4WD vehicle, train
Group size: Minimum 6, Maximum 12 + tour leader *
Single supplement: US$706 applies to all singles
Operator: This tour is run by one of our trusted local partner

* Should we not reach our minimum numbers, we can still run this with a minimum of 2 passengers, run by local guides (no SET tour leader)

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • SET tour leader with 6 or more participants
  • Local guides and drivers
  • Flight Ulaan Baatar to South Gobi
  • Travel by mini bus and 4WD
  • Sleeper berth train from Beijing to Ulaan Baatar
  • 7 nights in hotel
  • 14 nights accommodation in Ger camps
  • Camel trek
  • Tips for guides and drivers – only if there is a minimum of 6 travellers
  • All entrances fees and permits
  • Meals as indicated

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • International Airfares
  • China and Mongolian visas – we can help arrange these
  • Meals and drinks on train from Beijing
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Early check in/late check out at hotels
  • Excess luggage charges
  • Mineral drinking water
  • Tips in hotels or for porters

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL DAY BEIJING

You will be met by the guide and transported to your Hotel. After check in and time to rest take a tour to the Summer Palace including a Boat Ride , visit the Garden of Virtue and Harmony and an exterior visit of Beijing Olympic Stadiums (Bird’s Nest and Water Cube). Return to Hotel.

Meals Included: None

DAY 2 – TIANANMEN SQUARE, TEMPLE OF HEAVEN & FORBIDDEN CITY

Visit Tiananmen Square and The Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and perhaps see the national flag raising ceremony. Tonight an introduction dinner of Roasted Duck at Fangzhuang (Dinner)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 3 – GREAT WALL OF CHINA

Full day tour to the Great Wall of China at Matianyu. The Mutianyu Great Wall was first built by the Northern Qi Dynasty in (550–577) over 1,400 years ago.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 4 – BEIJING to ULAAN BAATAR (Mongolia)

Morning transfer to train station for the overnight journey to Ulaanbaatar, departs at 07.27am. Our train journey travels north through China reaching the border at about 8.30pm. Here passports are collected and carriages are shunted into sidings while the bogies are changed to the narrower gauge used in Mongolia and Russia. You can choose to get off and wait or stay on board. The latter option allows you to watch this interesting process as the carriages (and you) are lifted up off the wheels and new wheels rolled in. After all this is completed the carriages are all shunted back together, passports are returned and you proceed through no-mans land and then into Mongolia. Passport control happens again here. It can be 1am or later before you get into bed and the train starts rolling across Mongolia toward Ulaanbaatar.

Overnight Train.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 5 – ARRIVE ULAAN BAATAR

Train arrives in Ulaanbaatar around 2.30pm, transfer to hotel. After a rest we will see a Traditional Mongolian Show at 6pm, and after dinner we will transfer you back to your hotel.

Meals Included: Dinner

DAY 6 – FLIGHT TO SOUTH GOBI - YOL VALLEY

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Southern Gobi and drive to Yol Valley (Vulture canyon). After arriving at the Canyon, we will take a 2 hour hike through the canyon, here it is possible to see parts of a glacier left over from the winter months. On our way in or out of the park we will visit the local Natural History Museum where dinosaur eggs and bones, petrified trees and a snow leopard are on display.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 7 – CAMEL TREKKING IN THE GOBI DESERT

The drive to the Khongor Sand Dunes will pass through vast desert badlands that span out into the furthest distance, where remote mountains line the horizon. Visit the beautiful sand dunes and the Khongor river streaming through the sands, try camel riding along the Khongor sand dunes. The two humped camels are very comfortable to ride as they walk slowly and gently, you will be well supported sitting comfortably between the humps. The camel man will lead you safely through the sand dunes and you choose how far you wish to ride.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 8 – BAYANZAG FLAMING CLIFFS

Visit to the Bayanzag area. Known as a Flaming Cliffs “Cradle of Dinosaurs” this is where the first nest of dinosaur eggs ever discovered was found in 1922. A site famous for the remains of dinosaur that lived here 60 million years ago. You can walk around where dinosaurs once roamed and see Saksaul trees and other classic desert vegetation. It is still possible to see dinosaur fossils although the area is being excavated. Camel riding is included, but optional, so you can walk if you wish.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 9 – ONGIIN KHIID MONASTERY

This monastery, with its temple Damba Darjaalan Sum, was built in the late 18th century to commemorate the first ever visit to Mongolia by a Dalai Lama.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 10 – DRIVE TO ORKHON WATERFALL

Today drive to the Orkhon Waterfall. We drive to the waterfall through good gravel and reasonably difficult dirt roads. Registered as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2005, this Orkhon River valley is known as the cradle of the Mongolian civilization. Here we will visit a nomadic family and go horse riding for an hour.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 11 – KHARKHORUM CITY AND ERDENEZUU MONASTERY

Drive to Karakorum in the morning and visit Erdenezuu monastery. Karakorum is the ancient capital of Ghengis Khaan’s Mongolia and was established in 1220. It served as the capital for 140 years. The Monastery was built in 1586 and is surrounded by a massive 400m x 400m wall.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 12 – LOCAL NADAAM FESTIVAL

We will visit a Local Naadam Festival here. In the late afternoon, we will drive to Tsenkher Hot Springs, and take a relaxing hot spring bath.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 13 – FREE DAY AT TSENKHER HOT SPRINGS

We will walk in the surrounding steppes, there are plenty of options for independent treks depending on how fit you are feeling.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 14 – KHORGO TSANGAAN NATIONAL PARK, VOLCANO

Travel beside the Chuluut River which has carved a deep canyon into the basalt rocks. This canyon is famous for its rich fishing grounds. Arrive Khorgo Volcano, an extinct volcano, covered with basalt lays to the east of Lake Terkhiin.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 15 – SHINE IDER, ZUUN NUUR SALT LAKE

Travel to Shine-Ider province across rolling steppes which are covered with wildflowers in spring and early summer. Zuun Nuur a small, beautiful salt water lake and is a haven for birds. Continue another 10kms to the camp Ulziit.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 16 – KHUVSGUL LAKE

Today we will drive to lovely Khuvsgul Lake, close to the Siberian border. Here you have the opportunity to truly understand the Mongolian way of life. Lake Khuvsgul is the second largest freshwater lake in the world, after Lake Baikal so be prepared to be impressed.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 17 – KHUVSGUL LAKE

Free day to explore the area. Optional horse riding and time to relax in this beautiful setting.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 18 – URAN TOGOO VOLCANO

We will drive to Uran Togoo Volcano. This extinct volcano has spectacular red rock formations and is surrounded by coniferous woods and wild flowers and has spectacular red rock formations. There is an opportunity to hike on the volcano.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 19 – AMARBAYASGALANT MONASTARY

Travel by road to Amarbayasgalant. Built between 1727 – 1736 this is one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia. The journey travels across the southern approaches of Siberia. The monastery is located in the beautiful Iven Gol River Valley at the foot of Burenkhan Mountain. It has amazing art and decorations and the incredible architectural construction makes it one of the most magnificent monasteries in Asia.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 20 – ULAAN BAATAR

After breakfast we drive back to Ulaanbaatar. We will have the lunch at a local café along the way.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 21 – VISIT TO GENGHIS KHAN EQUESTRIAN STATUE AND MARKET

After breakfast we will drive to Terelj National Park. On the way to the National Park, we will visit Chingiis Khaan Equestrian statue, the highest one in the world (It takes about 4 hours). In the National Park we will hike to a small temple Aryabal. Then we will drive back to Ulaanbaatar.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 22 – FREE DAY IN ULAAN BAATAR

A free day for any last minute shopping, exploring and getting ready for your early morning departure.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 23 – DEPARTURE DAY

Our amazing Mongolia and China Tour has come to an end. We hope it will leave you with memories of a lifetime. Transfer to the airport for your departure.

Meals included: Breakfast

HikingSightseeingWildlife WatchingCultural ExperiencesPlaneTrainBoatNature

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Beijing 3 Day Tour Including Great Wall
  • Train From Beijing To Ulaanbaatar
  • Traditional Throat Singing
  • Wildlife Of The Yol Valley
  • Camel Trek In The Gobi Desert
  • Flaming Cliffs “Cradle Of Dinosaurs”
  • Tsenkher Hot Springs
  • Zuun Nuur Salt Lake
  • Kharkhorum City
  • Mongolian BBQ dinner
  • Khuvsgul Lake
  • Stunning National Parks

DATES

Start Date End Date Availability Cost
27th Jun 2020 19th Jul 2020 AVAILABLE US$5,515
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