Tour Scope: Eastern Mongolia Tour Route: UB-Choibalsan-Menen Steppe-Buir Lake-UB
Highlights: Menen Steppe, Buir Lake, Dornod Mongol Tal Strictly Protected Area, Choibalsan town
Tour Season: 15 May- 15 September Tour Level: Adventure Total Driving km: 800 km (500 miles)
Day 1. Ulaanbaatar
Day 2. Flight to Choibalsan
Day 3. Menen Steppe
Day 4. Buir Lake
Day 5. Dornod Mongol Tal Strictly Protected Area
Day 6. Dornod Mongol Tal Strictly Protected Area
Day 7. Shaazan Lake
Day 8. Flight to Ulaanbaatar
Day 9. Ulaanbaatar-Departure
Accommodations: 3 nights in hotels, 1 nights in ger camp and 4 nights in tent Meals: Inclusive meals are indicated in itinerary (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Transport: 4WD Japanese Minivan or 4WD Japanese Jeep Optional activities: Camel riding, 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 downtown Ulaanbaatar. After freshening up from your flight, we start our first day around Ulaanbaatar starting from 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 a hotel. (L,D)
DAY 2 ULAANBAATAR/CHOIBALSAN
Flight to the Choibalsan, the capital of Dornod province. This land of plains is one of the largest, undisturbed steppe ecosystems in the world and the core habitat of the Mongolian gazelle. Stay overnight in local hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 CHOIBALSAN/MENEN STEPPE
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 200 km, 5-6 hours.
After breakfast, drive to famious steppe Menen. This is dry steppe, unspoiled by man. In 1992 a Strictly Protected Area of 5,704 square kilometers was declared, primarily to safeguard the largest undisturbed steppe ecosystem in the world, and protect one of the greatest wildlife sights in Central Asia-the massive herds of Mongolian Gazelle (Procarpa gutturosa). Stay overnight in tent. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 MENEN STEPPE/BUIR LAKE
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 160 km, 4-5 hours.
After breakfast, we drive to the Buir Lake. Buir Lake is not only a very beautiful lake, but also is the largest in the east Mongolia, 21 kilometers wide, 40 kilometers long and covering 615 square kilometers. The lake is home to Mirror Carp, Taimen, Chub, Lenok, Amur Graying, Pike, Khadary, Silver Carp, Amur Catfish, Burbot, Whitefish, and Golden Carp. A fishery has been developed, and an estimated 300 tones may be landed annually. The main gamefish are Amur Carp. Black Stork, White Spoonbill and Little Whimbrel. Stay overnight in tent. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 BUIR LAKE/ DORNOD MONGOL TAL STRICTLY PROTECTED AREA
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 180 km, 5-6 hours.
After breakfast, we drive to the land of the Gazelle, Badam steppe at Dornod Mongol Tal Strictly Protected Area. Dominated by Mongolian white gazelle, this is one of the greatest wildlife sites on earth, and is home to 25 species of mammals. Between 300,000 to 1 million gazelle, one of Asia’s largest remaining wildlife populations, inhabit the steppes. Herds of up to 40,000 animals pass through the reserve during the late fall. The protected area is inhabited by 125 species of birds including the endangered great bustard and steppe eagles, upland buzzard and the rough-legged harrier. Stay overnight in tent. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 DORNOD MONGOL TAL STRICTLY PROTECTED AREA
Today is a day of photography. Stay overnight in tent. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 DORNOD MONGOL TAL / SHAAZAN LAKE
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 200 km, 5-6 hours.
Drive to the Shaazan Lake which is located 22 km from Choibalsan. Stay overnight in herder’s eco ger camp. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 CHOIBALSAN/ULAANBAATAR
Flight to Ulaanbaatar. Arrive in UB. Shopping for souvenirs and cashmere is optional. Farewell dinner. Overnight in hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 ULAANBAATAR/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.