Discover Gobi Desert and cultural journey through Northern Gobi to Karakorum


Discover the Gobi Desert and ancient capital of Genghis Khan, Karakorum.

11 days
  • Driving
  • Camel_riding
  • Family_stay
  • Ger_camp
  • Tented_camping

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Gobi Desert

Day 1:
Baga Gazryn Chuluu
After breakfast in our hotel restaurant, we will leave for the Mongolian countryside. Our first stop will be 250 km southward in the beautiful region of Baga Gazryn Chuluu. It is a huge granite formation in the middle of the Mongolian sandy plane.
On open plain we will visit the remains of a small monastery named Delgeriin Choir Monastery. You will be entering first time in a Ger, huge impressive 12 walls Ger richly decorated and carved used by monks to chant during colder season when the stone monastery gets too cold to be inside.
End of the afternoon we will drive and hike around in the area. We will visit the picturesque ruins of a small monastery that are hidden in a nice little protected valley and wander between huge endless piled granite rocky hills as if they were put.
(Ger Camp L, D)
Baga Gazriin Chuluu
Day 2:
Yoliin Am
Today we will drive to South Gobi province town Dalanzadgad. The Gobi Desert measures over 1,610 km from southwest to northeast and 800 km from north to south and stretches over Mongolia and China. It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 in area, making it fifth largest in the world and Asia's largest. Much of the Gobi is not sandy but is covered with bare rock.
The Gobi is a cold desert, with frost snow on its dunes during the winter months. Besides being quite far north, it is also located on a plateau roughly 910–1,520 meters above sea level, which further contributes to its low temperatures. An average of approximately 194 millimetres of rain falls per year in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes. These winds cause the Gobi to reach extremes of temperature ranging from –40°C in winter to +50°C in summer.
We will take a ride through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. We will pass through the Yoliin Am and the Dungenee Am both located in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Ancient rivers carved those green valleys.
We may catch a glimpse of the wild Argali sheep, the Ibex, the desert gazelles or the Golden Eagles. We will also pay a visit to the little museum of the park where you can admire a collection of dinosaur bones and local flora and fauna.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Yoliin Am
Day 3:
Khongor Sand Dune
After a good morning breakfast, we will drive 150 km westwards to the Khongoryn Els. These are Mongolia's largest sand dunes. Those impressive dunes of 275 meters high in some places, stretch from East to West over more than 100 km. Behind the sand dunes we will see the impressive black rocky mass of the Sevrey Mountain. Once you reach the top of the Singing Dune, the whole environment looks full of mysteries, and you get amazed how possibly the landscape can be. We will visit our host camel breeding family. All the nomadic families are famous for their hospitality. It is our tradition to offer food and drinks without asking the visitors.
(Family stay, B, L, D)
Khongor Sand Dune
Day 4:
Camel Riding to Red Hill
In the morning we will reach family where we load our luggage on the camels and start camel riding along the Singing Dune. We will be guided by experienced camel man from the host family during our 4 days’ camel journey. The Gobi is rich of antelopes and black-tailed gazelles. We might catch a glimpse. We will have enough time to wander around the area and then set up our first camp site. We will start to know how to water the camels and take care of them little bit as nomads do.
(Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Mongolian Camel
Day 5:
Camel Riding to Chono Kharaikh
We will continue the camel riding journey through rolling sand dunes of Gobi Desert. The first change of landscape will be a stream called Chono Kharaikh flows between sand dunes. There will be no sign of life except for us, camels and small animal tracks. With a breeze which is unavoidable in Mongolia it is a perfect place for overstressed city brain. At stream with a little chance we might observe some species of birds and antelopes as the latter one serves the main water supply for the many yet mostly unobserved wild animals in Gobi Desert.
(Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Deep into Sand Dunes
Day 6:
Camel Riding back to Red Hill
Today we will ride to the Red Hill going the same way back.
(Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Camel Riding
Day 7:
Camel Riding back to the Singing Dune
Our last day of the camel riding we will be heading back to the camel breeding family at the singing dune. We will get there in the afternoon and bid goodbye to the family members and leave to our ger camp where we stayed last time.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Singing Dune
Day 8:
Drive to Bayanzag/Flaming Cliffs
Today our drive will take us to Bayanzag also known as the "Flaming Cliffs" is the worldwide renowned place where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur bones and eggs in 1920s. The surrounding landscape is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs. Here we will spend some time exploring the cliffs.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Bayanzag
Day 9:
Drive to Ongi Monastery
Today we will continue driving to northwest to Ongiin Monastery. We will enjoy the peace and beauty of the Delger Khangai Mountains. We will explore the ruins of Hoshuu Monastery on one side of the river and the ruins of Ongiin Monastery on the other side of the river. We will hike around in this massive series of rocky hills cut by the river.
The monasteries were built in the 17th century and destroyed in 1937. They were among the largest temples in Mongolia and housed over 1000 monks.
Now day between ruins little monastery was built and in Ger museum are exhibited remains of old monasteries.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Ongi Monastery
Day 10:
Drive to Kharkhorin and visit Erdenezuu Monastery
After an early wake up, we will set off for a driving day to Kharkhorin (also called Kharkhorin). Kharkhorin is the site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Chinggis Khan. The founding of Kharkhorin started on the ruins of Turug and Uigur cities in the Orkhon valley at the eastern end of the Khangai Mountains in 1220 by the Chinggis Khaan's order. It was completed 15 years later during the Ugedei Khaan's reign. The town was a very cosmopolitan and religiously tolerant place. The silver tree, part of Möngke Khan's palace has become the symbol of Kharkhorin.
The highest peak of its prosperity was from 1220 to 1260. The specific feature of this stage is that Kharkhorin existed as the great capital of the Euro-Asian Empire with Mongolia as its core and as the centre of politics, economy, culture, religion, intellect, and diplomacy and the prominent tie of international relations.
Between 1260 and 1380 Kharkhorin lost the status of the Great Mongolian Empire and became the capital of Mongolia. When Kublai Khan claimed the throne of the Mongol Empire in 1260, as did his younger brother, Ariq Boke, he relocated his capital to today's Beijing. Kharkhorin was reduced to the administrative centre of a provincial backwater of the Yuan Dynasty.
In 1368, the rule of Mongolian Yuan Dynasty collapsed and the centre of Mongolian government was shifted to its homeland after 110 years since Khubilai Khaan moved the Empire capital to China in 1260. It gave Kharkhorin a chance to prosper again.
In 1388, Ming troops under General Xu Da took and destroyed the town.
Today nothing is left from this legendary city.
In 1580, when Abtai Sain Khan together with his brother, lord Tumenkhen, visited the 3rd Dalai Lama and expressed their wish to build a temple in Mongolia, he advised them to reconstruct one old temple in Kharkhorin. The temple in Takhai ruins that was restored in 1588 according to the Dalai Lama's recommendation is the Main Zuu temple of Erdene Zuu monastery.
Now Erdene Zuu Monastery is all that remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residing there. We will explore the grounds of Erdene Zuu Monastery surrounded by its massive 400 m X 400 m walls. We will be guided around the 3 remaining temples: Dalai Lama, Zuu of Buddha and Lavrin Temple.
Another place we will visit will be Kharkhorin's New Archaeological Museum. It is a small museum but housed in a modern well-run building with good lighting and display cases with clear English labels. The exhibits include dozens of artefacts dating from the 13th and 14th centuries which were recovered from the immediate area, plus others that were found from archaeological sites in other parts of the provinces, including prehistoric stone tools. You'll see pottery, bronzes, coins, religious statues and stone inscriptions. There's also a half-excavated kiln sunk into the museum floor. Perhaps most interesting is the scale model of ancient Kharkhorin, which aims to represent the city as it may have looked in the 1250s, and is based on descriptions written by the French missionary William of Rubruck. Another chamber exhibits a most recent addition, a Turkic noble tomb with wall paintings and artefacts, including gold items and jewellery. There is a short video of actual burial site.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Day 11: Drive to Ulaanbaatar
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. You may enjoy the free afternoon to catch up all the places you haven’t visited yet. You might as well check the beautiful cultural show enjoy the colourful and rhythmic Mongolian dance, throat singing & admire the contortionists.
(B, L)
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Gobi Desert

Day 1:
Baga Gazryn Chuluu
After breakfast in our hotel restaurant, we will leave for the Mongolian countryside. Our first stop will be 250 km southward in the beautiful region of Baga Gazryn Chuluu. It is a huge granite formation in the middle of the Mongolian sandy plane.
On open plain we will visit the remains of a small monastery named Delgeriin Choir Monastery. You will be entering first time in a Ger, huge impressive 12 walls Ger richly decorated and carved used by monks to chant during colder season when the stone monastery gets too cold to be inside.
End of the afternoon we will drive and hike around in the area. We will visit the picturesque ruins of a small monastery that are hidden in a nice little protected valley and wander between huge endless piled granite rocky hills as if they were put.
(Ger Camp L, D)
Baga Gazriin Chuluu
Day 2:
Yoliin Am
Today we will drive to South Gobi province town Dalanzadgad. The Gobi Desert measures over 1,610 km from southwest to northeast and 800 km from north to south and stretches over Mongolia and China. It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 in area, making it fifth largest in the world and Asia's largest. Much of the Gobi is not sandy but is covered with bare rock.
The Gobi is a cold desert, with frost snow on its dunes during the winter months. Besides being quite far north, it is also located on a plateau roughly 910–1,520 meters above sea level, which further contributes to its low temperatures. An average of approximately 194 millimetres of rain falls per year in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes. These winds cause the Gobi to reach extremes of temperature ranging from –40°C in winter to +50°C in summer.
We will take a ride through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. We will pass through the Yoliin Am and the Dungenee Am both located in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Ancient rivers carved those green valleys.
We may catch a glimpse of the wild Argali sheep, the Ibex, the desert gazelles or the Golden Eagles. We will also pay a visit to the little museum of the park where you can admire a collection of dinosaur bones and local flora and fauna.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Yoliin Am
Day 3:
Khongor Sand Dune
After a good morning breakfast, we will drive 150 km westwards to the Khongoryn Els. These are Mongolia's largest sand dunes. Those impressive dunes of 275 meters high in some places, stretch from East to West over more than 100 km. Behind the sand dunes we will see the impressive black rocky mass of the Sevrey Mountain. Once you reach the top of the Singing Dune, the whole environment looks full of mysteries, and you get amazed how possibly the landscape can be. We will visit our host camel breeding family. All the nomadic families are famous for their hospitality. It is our tradition to offer food and drinks without asking the visitors.
(Family stay, B, L, D)
Khongor Sand Dune
Day 4:
Camel Riding to Red Hill
In the morning we will reach family where we load our luggage on the camels and start camel riding along the Singing Dune. We will be guided by experienced camel man from the host family during our 4 days’ camel journey. The Gobi is rich of antelopes and black-tailed gazelles. We might catch a glimpse. We will have enough time to wander around the area and then set up our first camp site. We will start to know how to water the camels and take care of them little bit as nomads do.
(Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Mongolian Camel
Day 5:
Camel Riding to Chono Kharaikh
We will continue the camel riding journey through rolling sand dunes of Gobi Desert. The first change of landscape will be a stream called Chono Kharaikh flows between sand dunes. There will be no sign of life except for us, camels and small animal tracks. With a breeze which is unavoidable in Mongolia it is a perfect place for overstressed city brain. At stream with a little chance we might observe some species of birds and antelopes as the latter one serves the main water supply for the many yet mostly unobserved wild animals in Gobi Desert.
(Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Deep into Sand Dunes
Day 6:
Camel Riding back to Red Hill
Today we will ride to the Red Hill going the same way back.
(Tented Camp, B, L, D)
Camel Riding
Day 7:
Camel Riding back to the Singing Dune
Our last day of the camel riding we will be heading back to the camel breeding family at the singing dune. We will get there in the afternoon and bid goodbye to the family members and leave to our ger camp where we stayed last time.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Singing Dune
Day 8:
Drive to Bayanzag/Flaming Cliffs
Today our drive will take us to Bayanzag also known as the "Flaming Cliffs" is the worldwide renowned place where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur bones and eggs in 1920s. The surrounding landscape is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs. Here we will spend some time exploring the cliffs.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Bayanzag
Day 9:
Drive to Ongi Monastery
Today we will continue driving to northwest to Ongiin Monastery. We will enjoy the peace and beauty of the Delger Khangai Mountains. We will explore the ruins of Hoshuu Monastery on one side of the river and the ruins of Ongiin Monastery on the other side of the river. We will hike around in this massive series of rocky hills cut by the river.
The monasteries were built in the 17th century and destroyed in 1937. They were among the largest temples in Mongolia and housed over 1000 monks.
Now day between ruins little monastery was built and in Ger museum are exhibited remains of old monasteries.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Ongi Monastery
Day 10:
Drive to Kharkhorin and visit Erdenezuu Monastery
After an early wake up, we will set off for a driving day to Kharkhorin (also called Kharkhorin). Kharkhorin is the site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Chinggis Khan. The founding of Kharkhorin started on the ruins of Turug and Uigur cities in the Orkhon valley at the eastern end of the Khangai Mountains in 1220 by the Chinggis Khaan's order. It was completed 15 years later during the Ugedei Khaan's reign. The town was a very cosmopolitan and religiously tolerant place. The silver tree, part of Möngke Khan's palace has become the symbol of Kharkhorin.
The highest peak of its prosperity was from 1220 to 1260. The specific feature of this stage is that Kharkhorin existed as the great capital of the Euro-Asian Empire with Mongolia as its core and as the centre of politics, economy, culture, religion, intellect, and diplomacy and the prominent tie of international relations.
Between 1260 and 1380 Kharkhorin lost the status of the Great Mongolian Empire and became the capital of Mongolia. When Kublai Khan claimed the throne of the Mongol Empire in 1260, as did his younger brother, Ariq Boke, he relocated his capital to today's Beijing. Kharkhorin was reduced to the administrative centre of a provincial backwater of the Yuan Dynasty.
In 1368, the rule of Mongolian Yuan Dynasty collapsed and the centre of Mongolian government was shifted to its homeland after 110 years since Khubilai Khaan moved the Empire capital to China in 1260. It gave Kharkhorin a chance to prosper again.
In 1388, Ming troops under General Xu Da took and destroyed the town.
Today nothing is left from this legendary city.
In 1580, when Abtai Sain Khan together with his brother, lord Tumenkhen, visited the 3rd Dalai Lama and expressed their wish to build a temple in Mongolia, he advised them to reconstruct one old temple in Kharkhorin. The temple in Takhai ruins that was restored in 1588 according to the Dalai Lama's recommendation is the Main Zuu temple of Erdene Zuu monastery.
Now Erdene Zuu Monastery is all that remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residing there. We will explore the grounds of Erdene Zuu Monastery surrounded by its massive 400 m X 400 m walls. We will be guided around the 3 remaining temples: Dalai Lama, Zuu of Buddha and Lavrin Temple.
Another place we will visit will be Kharkhorin's New Archaeological Museum. It is a small museum but housed in a modern well-run building with good lighting and display cases with clear English labels. The exhibits include dozens of artefacts dating from the 13th and 14th centuries which were recovered from the immediate area, plus others that were found from archaeological sites in other parts of the provinces, including prehistoric stone tools. You'll see pottery, bronzes, coins, religious statues and stone inscriptions. There's also a half-excavated kiln sunk into the museum floor. Perhaps most interesting is the scale model of ancient Kharkhorin, which aims to represent the city as it may have looked in the 1250s, and is based on descriptions written by the French missionary William of Rubruck. Another chamber exhibits a most recent addition, a Turkic noble tomb with wall paintings and artefacts, including gold items and jewellery. There is a short video of actual burial site.
(Ger Camp, B, L, D)
Day 11: Drive to Ulaanbaatar
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. You may enjoy the free afternoon to catch up all the places you haven’t visited yet. You might as well check the beautiful cultural show enjoy the colourful and rhythmic Mongolian dance, throat singing & admire the contortionists.
(B, L)

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