Tour Scope: Central Mongolia Tour Route: UB-Karakorum-Tuvkhun – Elsen Tasarkhai-Tuv province-UB
Highlights: Gandan, Erdenezuu, Shankh, Tuvkhun, Uvgun and Manzshir monasteries, and Karakorum
Tour Season: 15 May- 15 October Tour Level: Moderate
Day 1. Ulaanbaatar
Day 2. Erdene-Zuu Monastery
Day 3. Shankh Monastery
Day 4. Tuvkhun Monastery
Day 5. Uvgun Monastery
Day 6. Manzshir Monastery
Day 7. Ulaanbaatar
Day 8. Departure
Accommodations: 2 nights in hotel and 5 nights in ger camps Meals: Inclusive meals are indicated in itinerary (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Transport: 4WD Japanese Minivan or 4WD Japanese Jeep Optional activities: Horse riding
Staffs: Visit Mongolia Team (Tour guide and driver)
DAY 1 ULAANBAATAR
Upon arrival at the Chinggis Khan International Airport in Mongolia, you will meet Visit Mongolia crew and transfer to the hotel, conveniently located in downtown Ulaanbaatar. After freshening up from your flight, we start our first day around Ulaanbaatar at Gandan Monastery, the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia with 500 monks. From here we will go to the National History Museum which tells the rich history of Mongolia. The heart of Ulaanbaatar, Sukhbaatar Square, is just a short walk away. Here we will see the Parliament House, National Opera and City Hall. Afterwards, we will visit Zaisan Hill, which offers great views of the city. In the evening, you will attend a performance of traditional dancing and khoomii (Mongolian throat singing). Overnight in hotel. (L,D)
DAY 2 ERDENE-ZUU MONASTERY
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 360 km, 5-6 hours
Travel to Karakorum, the former capital city of world’s greatest land empire, established by Chinggis Khan. Here we will tour the oldest Buddhist monastery, Erdenezuu, a religious complex spanning over 400 sq. meters surrounded by 108 stupas. It was first built on the ruins of Karakorum in 1586 by Abtai Sain Khan. The site has some of the best works of religious art and architecture in Mongolia. Visit Karakorum museum. Overnight in a ger camp “Munkhtenger-1”. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 SHANKH MONASTERY
We will start with a visit the popular monastery of Shankhiin hiid, formerly one of the largest Buddhist communities in Mongolia and the site where the black standard of Chinggis Khan continued to be kept and worshipped up until the 1930s. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 TUVKHUN MONASTERY
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 70 km, 3 hours
We continue our journey to Tuvkhun Monastery, located at the peak of a remote, wooded mountain, built by Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, a religious leader, philosopher, artist and sculptor in 1651 for his meditation. About 4 km hike up the mountain path leads to Tuvkhun Monastery. Here we enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the scenery and visit the caves located around the monastery. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 UVGUN MONASTERY
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 150 km, 3-4 hours
Travel to Bayangobi. It is unique place with many different forms of landscapes: Gobi sand dunes, forests, and rocky mountains. Visit Erdene Khambyn Khuree Monastery, which is located in the majestic Khugnu Khan mountains. The Uvgun and Zaluus temples were founded by Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, a religious leader, philosopher, artist and sculptor to honor his religious teacher and were destroyed by Galdan Boshigt, Oirad nobleman in 1688. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 MANZSHIR MONASTERY
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 320 km, 5-6 hours
Travel to Manzshir Monastery, located on the tree-lined southern slopes of the sacred Bogd Khan Mountain. We will hike among the ruins of this 18th-century monastery, exploring the restored main temple and numerous sacred images on the mountain face. Overnight in a ger camp (B, L, D)
DAY 7 ULAANBAATAR
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 45 km, 1 hour
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoon, we will visit some interesting museums including the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan and the Choijin Lama Temple Museum. The remainder of the day is free for shopping or independent touring. Farewell dinner. Overnight in hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 DEPARTURE
After breakfast transfer to departure (B)
Visit Mongolia’s policy is to provide top quality service to our customers at reasonable prices. We will pleased to provide detailed price quotes for those interested in specific tours.
Hotels are available in different ranges of quality and service. The package cost includes all services except accommodations in Ulaanbaatar (UB). We do give “choices” for our clients to pick their appropriate accommodations in Ulaanbaatar. However we encourage group travelers to pick the same property. We will provide hotel rates for Visit Mongolia customers for your selection. Please select hotel and room type and let us know.
In the Countryside:
– Ger Camps
While touring in the countryside, the most common accommodations outside cities on our tours are called ger camps. A ger is the traditional felt tent of nomadic herders. Accommodation in the ger camps is based on two people sharing one ger. Each ger is heated by a wood stove and has two wood-framed beds.
The camp restaurant and western-style toilet/shower facilities are located in the middle of the camp or close by. All camps supply towels. The ger camps provide all bedding and clients will not be expected to bring their own sleeping bags if they stay overnight in the ger camps. Staying in a ger is a memorable experience of Mongolian culture.
– Tented camping
We use tented camps on our adventure journeys to more remote areas. The tents are either 2 or 3 person tents. A sleeping mat will be provided to each person staying in a tent but clients are asked to bring their own sleeping bags. Our expedition staff sets up camps and prepares meals and takes care of all your needs. Tented camps allow you to interact more with the nature and visit the remotest areas of the country.
We use different types of vehicles depending on the nature of tours, destination and final number of travellers.
– For jeep overland adventure tours we use Japanese 4WD vans and SUV’s (Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan), which is the best available for its type
– A bus or mini-bus serves group tourists within Ulaanbaatar
– In some remote areas where we have to fly, we arrange local vehicles most of which are Russian 4WD jeeps or minivans. Daily driving distance will be appr. 200-250km.
– For sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar we use deluxe coaches, vans and sedans.
All Visit Mongolia drivers have many years of experience. They know their way around the Mongolian countryside including many places where they are no marked roads. They are all skilled mechanics which is crucial in remote places. Technical inspections on the vehicles are made regularly.
An English speaking Mongolian guide will accompany the entire time of your trip. The most of our guides have a wonderful and outstanding reputation among our clients. They have an in depth knowledge of Mongolian history, nomadic civilization, customs, traditions, and nature memories. After every tour we get feedbacks and emails about our guides.
Meals are included in the cost. Visit Mongolia provides the selection of the best available local restaurants on cities and popular destinations.
When you are in Ulaanbaatar, you can eat out in number of restaurants as serving Indian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, English, French, German, Russian, Latin American and of course Mongolian cuisines. FYI, basic foodstuffs for Mongolians are beef, mutton and noodles.
When you stay in tourist Ger camps, the most camps provide meals as western cuisine. During excursions to remote areas we provide services of professional chefs who normally accompany the group. Arrangements can be made for vegetarians and those with special dietary needs with advance notice.
Mongolia’s climate is continental and extreme. With more than two hundred days of full sun per year it has been given the nickname of ‘the’ Country of Blue Skies’.
The tourist season in Mongolia is between the months of May and September. The weather during this time varies considerably from region to region. The highest rainfall period is in July and August, however, there are still days of glorious sunshine during this time. The Gobi usually has the hottest temperatures. Summer evenings in the Gobi can be cool because of Mongolia’s high altitude. The best time to visit the Gobi is June and September. The spring is a time of strong winds, especially difficult in the sandy areas of the Gobi.
Most travelers come to Mongolia in mid-July for the annual National Naadam Festival.