Follow in American explorer Roy Andrew's footsteps in the Flaming Cliffs,
explore the golden sand dunes on camelback, visit a nomadic family,
hike through the spectacular gorge in the Yol Valley,
see stunning wildlife and feel the awesome space and freedom of the Gobi
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Day 1 Arrival - Ulaanbaatar
Upon arrival at the Buyant Ukhaa Airport in Ulaanbaatar, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel (3*) in downtown. We will visit the Mongolia's biggest Monastery Gandantegchilin which luckily survived the communist purges in 1930s. After lunch we will visit the Bogd Khaan's Winter Palace, a series of beautiful traditional buildings in which the eighth Living Buddha and the last king lived. It is now a museum displaying fascinating artifacts and costumes associated with the last king as well as his collection of stuffed animals. After the Museum, we will visit the nearby Zaisan Memorial dedicated to the Victory Day of WW II. This tall landmark in front of the city offers the best views of Ulaanbaatar and the surrounding nature of the Bogd Khan Mountain, the oldest nature preserve in the country, perhaps in the world, since 1778. In the evening, we will see a fascinating performance of traditional music and dance. The spectacular sounds of höömii accompanied by the cherished two-string horse-headed fiddle or morin khuur will be imprinted on your memory forever. Welcome dinner is arranged in one of the best restaurants in the city.
Day 2 - South Gobi - Bayanzag
Today we will fly to Dalanzadgad - the center of the South Gobi Aimag (Province). The flight takes one and a half hours. Upon arrival, our local driver will meet you at the airport and you'll drive to Bayanzag or Flaming Cliff - the world-renowned site for its findings of dinosaur bones and eggs discovered by the American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews in 1920s and displayed in Ulaanbaatar Museum of Natural History or in other museums around the world. Even if you are not crazy about dinosaurs, the supernatural beauty of the surrounding landscape is a good reason to visit. It is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs, sun and awesome emptiness. Bayanzag, as its name suggests, is strewn with saxaul trees. The huge forest of zag or saxaul tree once covered the area is remained today. Dinner and overnight stay in a Ger Camp.
Day 3 - Tugrogiin Shiree - Khongor Sand Dunes
After breakfast, we will drive west along the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain Range to the Khongor Sand Dunes with en route visit to Tugrogiin Shiree. This is another famous dinosaur graveyard. The famous 80 million-year-old fossil of fighting dinosaurs was discovered here in 1971 and it is now on display at the Museum of Natural History in Ulaanbaatar. Further we will drive to Khongor Sand Dunes and if you are lucky enough, on the way you can spot the non-human residents of the Gurvan Saikhan National Park such as the white gazelles, black-tailed antelopes and khulan or Asiatic wild asses grazing on the horizon that meets the edge of the sky. We will have a picnic lunch on the way, but dinner will be served at the Ger Camp near the dunes where you will stay overnight.
Day 4 - Khongor Sand Dunes
Today we will stay at the extraordinary Khongor Sand Dunes full day - the most scenic regions of the province. A pleasant 2-3 hour camel riding along the sand dunes will be arranged in the morning before the cruel sun heat. You don't have to be a master to ride a camel, it's very easy and enjoyable if you bear in mind some of our guidance for camel riding. The contours of the dunes give the impression of a beautiful silk scarf dropped in the middle of nowhere. The dark blue mountains of Zoelon and Sevrei lie to the south of the 180 km-long dunes and the Khongor River runs along the northern edges enabling lush green grass to grow, contrasting beautifully with the yellows of the dunes. In some parts, the dunes reach about 800 meters in height. You can climb to the top of the dunes to have wonderful views of the desert and then slide back down if you have plastic bags handy. The sound produced by the masses of moving sand can be heard from far as a sound of an airplane. Hence the sand is called Duut Mankhan or the Singing Dunes. The color of the sand dunes is magic. B, L & D will be at the same Ger Camp.
Day 5 - Yol Valley
After breakfast we will drive back to east (210 km) to the Yolyn Am (Lammergeier Valley) - famous for its breathtaking beauty and astonishing unusual scenery, thick ice in the middle of the Gobi Desert that exists for most of the year. We will check in a Ger Camp near the mountain and after lunch a short trip will take you to the entrance of the Gurvan Saikhan National Park where we will visit a small museum of nature where you will see a collection of dinosaur eggs and bones, stuffed birds and animals of the Gobi. From the museum, the road continues another 10 km to a parking area where a pleasant half-an-hour walk starts along the stream to a gorge full of ice that remains frozen until late July. The surrounding mountains are home to ibex, argali sheep, and many birds of prey including the ossifrage or lammergeier after which the valley is named, as well as numerous rodents particular to the Gobi. Keep your binocular handy. Dinner will be served at the Ger Camp where you'll stay overnight.
Day 6 - Flight to UB/Shopping
After breakfast we will drive back to Dalanzadgad and fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival in UB you will be met our city driver and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, go shopping and pick up some cashmere, souvenirs and other excellent products that will remind you Mongolia back home.
Day 7 - Ulaanbaatar City Tour
Today we will visit the Museum of Natural History where you can see a rich collection of dinosaur bones, skeletons and eggs found in the Mongolian Gobi, then visit Zanabazar Fine Art Museum that has a collection of world-class paintings, carvings and sculptures. If you are not an art lover, instead of the Fine Art Museum, you can visit the National Museum of History, or International Intellectual Museum with amazing puzzle toys. Lunch is included at one of the famous local restaurants for local cuisine. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Day 8 Departure
Free at leisure till your transfer to airport for your departure flight. Whisper "Bayartai!" to Mongolia to tell your fascinating stories about this mysterious and exotic country to your family and friends.
- End of tour -
Prices will include: 3 nights in double room in *** Hotel, 4 nights in Ger Camps, 2 domestic flights, transportation within Mongolia, 3 meals a day, all sightseeing costs, guide service, airport transfers, national park fees, camel and cameleer hire.
Prices do not include: Visas, International Airfare, Travel Insurance, Departure Tax, Alcohol drinks, Gratuities