Asia  Mongolia

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Duration: 9 days and 8 nights

Description: This once forgotten part of Asia is now one of the most sought-after holiday destinations, simply because Mongolia is so much more than never-ending steppes, gers and nomadic herders. After the seemingly endless Gobi, snow-capped mountains and unpolluted lakes, Ulaanbaatar proves a pleasant break for urban hospitality against a stunning ancient background. A healthy democracy with mysterious ruins and Buddhist temples, the Mongolia that was once Genghis Khan’s territory, is now renowned for its legendary hospitality and pristine landscapes.

Day 1: Ulaanbaatar
Arrive at the Chinggis Khan International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel by our representative.
After checking in at your hotel, you will be free to spend your day exploring the unmatched sights and sounds that make Ulaanbaatar as unique as it is.
Ulaanbaatar: The skyline in UB, as Ulaanbaatar is known by locals, has changed dramatically in the last decade or so. Much of what Mongolia is known for to the rest of the world, its untouched serene countryside, lies in stark contrast to the big city that Ulaanbaatar now is. A huge cultural and social hub, UB is a center of pulsating commerce and some seriously sociable nightlife.

Day 2: Wild Horses National Park
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
After breakfast, take a drive to the Khustain Nuruu National Park.
Khustain Nuruu National Park: This is where herds of the wild horse, Przevalskii, have been released into the wild (from breeding programs at zoos) after facing near extinction. Just over 100 km from Ulaanbaatar, the Khustain Nuruu National Park is home to not just wild horses (called tahki) but also various flora and fauna including the steppe gazelle, Asiatic red deer, wild cat and lynx.
Have lunch at a restaurant in the national park and visit the natural museum.
Stay overnight at a Ger camp. 

Day 3: Mongol Els Sand Dunes
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After a healthy breakfast, begin a 5-6 hour drive covering 210 km to the Elsen tasarhai sand dunes. This dramatic drive through the vast Gobi desert, leads to an unforgettable visit to a horse breeder’s family discussing their nomadic lives and traditions.
After lunch, you might want to try the official Mongolian national drink, Airag (fermented mare’s milk). Spend the day living the life of a local Mongolian with an hour’s worth of horseback riding.
A sumptuous dinner later, take a walk through the changing sand dunes with some fantastic scenery and vegetation.
Stay overnight at the tourist camp or tent camping.

Day 4: Kharakhorum
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After breakfast, drive to Kharakhorim town.
The ancient ruins of Kharakhorum, which was the capital of the 13th century Mongol empire, lies in what is now the town of Kharakhorim. After lunch, explore the Erdene Zuu Monastery Museum, part of the World Heritage Site that was damaged by warfare in the 1680s but was rebuilt in the 18th century to have nearly 62 temples by 1872. An interesting sight is the Turtle rock, believed to be a symbol of immortality.
Enjoy authentic Mongolian cuisine with a barbecue picnic.
Stay overnight at a tourist camp.

Day 5: Turkish Monument – Ugii Lake
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Finish breakfast and take a morning drive to Ugii Lake. Take a break at ruins of an ancient Turkish city, Khoshoo Tsaidam, on the banks of the Orkhon River. Here lie two magnificent monuments, rock inscriptions, to the Turkish prince Kul-Tegin (638-721) and his brother Bilge-Khan (716-734).
Drive on to the Ugii clear-water lake where you will be served lunch. Spend time walking or hiking along the lakeshore, staying overnight at a tourist camp after a splendid dinner.

Day 6: Ulaanbaatar
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Start the long drive back to Ulaanbaatar after breakfast, a drive that covers 380 km on paved road and takes about 8-9 hours. Have a packed lunch on the way.
Overnight stay at the hotel in UB.

Day 7: Terelj National Park
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After breakfast, drive to the Terelj National Park, about 80 km away from Ulaanbaatar. A picturesque landscape of dense pine forests and rocky granite hills set against bright blue skies present an impression of nature in tranquility with the world. Trek around the park, strolling through green meadows to explore the fascinating rock formations and ancient temple ruins. Have lunch at the Terelj tourist camp with a half-hour break.
Spend the evening with some practice archery shooting or trying out the traditional Mongolian ‘shagai’ games.
After dinner, spend the night at a tourist camp 

Day 8: Ulaanbaatar city tour
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Head back to Ulaanbaatar soon after breakfast.
Upon arrival back at UB, go on a city tour that includes visits to the Gandantegchilen Monastery and the National History Museum.
Have a quick lunch and continue with your tour of the Museum of Natural History, which has an array of interesting exhibits including complete dinosaur skeletons, petrified wood and dinosaur eggs.
Stop at the Square Sukhbaatar, Friendship Monument on Zaisan hill. You may spend the rest of your evening shopping at handicraft and art centers or enjoy a traditional folklore performance with throat singing and the tsam mask dance.
After dinner, spend the night at your hotel in UB.

Day 9: Departure
Meals: Breakfast
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Chinggis Khan International Airport for your flight home.