Mongolia

Vast, rugged expanses

Join us as we uncover the stories surrounding this enigmatic country

We have worked closely with our carefully-selected Mongolian partners to bring you a tour which is more than just a simple visit to their country; this will be a trip that is full of excitement, adventure, and unforgettable moments.

Mongolia is an amazing gem and one of my favourite places on earth both for landscapes and people. I have always felt that when I leave this region the sky never seems as blue, the mountains never as beautiful and the people never as interesting.

— Rich Beal, Koryo Tours

We have worked closely with our carefully-selected Mongolian partners to create tours that are more than just a simple visit to their country; our trips to Mongolia are full of excitement, adventure, and unforgettable moments. The journey will be unique, educational, and fun. For more information please contact us.

Our tours to Mongolia are led by one of our most experienced tour leaders, Rich Beal. Rich has led tours all over the world since 2004. He is personally attached to this particular area, as he has over ten years’ experience in running and designing tours to the region. He has been to Mongolia over 80 times and is incredibly knowledgeable about the country. And, he also happens to be a great storyteller — ask and he will tell you plenty of fascinating travel anecdotes from his many adventures!

Are you interested in travelling to Mongolia with us in 2019? See below for the various tours that we have on offer! If you have any questions about any of our tours or wish to join, please don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Video by Michael Van Gorkom, who travelled with us on our 'Beyond the Steppe' Tour in 2017.

March 2019

March 11 - March 18 2019

Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour

Beautiful, remote, stunning.
New for 2019!

Run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and experience
life among Mongolian reindeer herders in northern
Mongolia!

From 1,799 USD per person

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour

Beautiful, remote, stunning.
New for 2019!

Run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon
and experience life among Mongolian
reindeer herders in northern Mongolia!

From 1,799 USD per person

  • Overall

    A unique 8-day winter adventure to run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and experience life among Mongolian reindeer herders.

    We’ll travel from Ulaanbaatar across the snow-covered Mongolian Steppe, stopping in Soviet-era industrial towns and beautiful Buddhist monasteries, until we reach Khuvsgul National Park in the Taiga close, to the Russian border.

    In the far north, we’ll stay with Dukha (Tsaatan) herdsmen and their families to learn about the role of Mongolian reindeer in their traditional way of life, and take part in one of the world’s coldest marathons.

    Ice Marathon runners can join 10km, half marathon, or full marathon races across the frozen Khuvsgul Lake, then warm up in a cozy Mongolian ger.

    Tour leader Rich Beal has 15 years of experience leading tours to Mongolia, including remote areas of Mongolia’s far west and Gobi Desert.

    Want to add to your collection of bizarre and unique marathon runs? Join Koryo for the Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea on April 7 or the Dushanbe Half Marathon in Tajikistan on April 20.

    See below for the Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour highlights, itinerary, and notes.

    Highlights

    • Run in Mongolia's first Ice Marathon on frozen Khuvsgul Lake
    • Visit the north of Mongolia
    • Experience the culture of Mongolian reindeer herders and Ger living
    • Stop at Amarbayasgalant Monastery
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 8
    1. Monday 11th March

      Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

      When arriving into Ulaanbaatar (UB), all passengers will be met and taken to the group hotel.

      We meet early evening for a Pre-Tour Briefing followed by a group meal; those not feeling too jet-lagged can join us in one of UB’s famous bars.

      Meals | Dinner

      Overnight | Standard hotel; single room available
    2. Tuesday 12th March

      Drive Erdenet city and visit to Amarbayasgalant Monastery

      After an early start, we begin our adventure driving north out of Ulaanbaatar into the frozen Steppe of Mongolia. We will stop along the way to take photos of the magnificent scenery which appears to run endlessly into the distance. This 4-5 hr drive will take us into the stunning Mongolian countryside where rolling hills blanketed in snow offer vistas of unparalleled natural beauty.

      On our journey, we stop in Darkhan for lunch and a brief visit; once known as the Pittsburgh of Mongolia for its industrialization, Darkhan was also the embodiment of socialist town planning. Here we visit Kharaagiin Khiid. This small monastery takes on the unusual form of a rustic log cabin, a popular spot for locals to visit.


      We then continue our drive onwards this afternoon stopping to visit the picturesque Amarbayasgalant Monastery one of the three largest monastic centers in Mongolia, being one of the very few monasteries to have partly escaped destruction during the Stalinist purges in 1937. Located at the foot of Mount Büren-Khaan this beautiful yet remote temple offers us a great opportunity for photography before our drive onto Erdenet city.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Standard 3*hotel; single room available



    3. Wednesday 13th March

      Drive to Moron and Khatgul

      Erdenet was once known as 'Little Russia'. This relatively prosperous city has grown around Mongolia's largest copper mines (and the 4th largest mine in the world), which were once home to a large Russian population, although its numbers have declined in recent years since the mines have now become nationalised. Before saying goodbye to Mongolia’s largest city, we of course stop at the Communist Monument and the Karl Marx Mural along with a picture of Lenin.

      Driving west, we pass over the small Burengiin Nuruu Mountain Range taking photos as we go, from here all roads lead to Moron. This small town is our gateway into the Khuvsgul National Park area and in particular the small lakeside hamlet of Khatgul, our base for the next few days.

      Upon arrival, we will sort into our ger before driving onto the frozen lake. Here we will travel our Ice Marathon Route as well as utilizing the local horse sledges. The traditional horse sled has been taxiing locals across the frozen lake long before mechanisation reached this part of the world. Khuvsgul Lake starts to freeze in late September/ early October and remains frozen until May.

      Meals
      | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp: Ger, or traditional Mongolian tent – the way most locals still do. This tourist ger camp is purpose built with restaurant area. Although there is no running water in this region we have eco-toilets and a purpose built sauna. For those whom wish there are shower facilities only 5 minutes away in town. The ger may be a little chilly but our local hosts keep the fires regularly burning throughout the night.
    4. Thursday 14th March

      Travel to the Reindeer Herders.

      Today we leave the comfort of our ger as we drive into the Mongolian Taiga. The aim is to locate the local reindeer herders and spend some time learning about their fascinating existence. There are no roads and the drive will be long as we drive across the frozen lake and into heavily forested hills to the north of Khuvsgul. Be prepared for a bumpy yet amazing journey with cameras at the ready.

      Upon arrival, we will meet with Dukha herdsmen and their families. The Dukha way of life revolves entirely around the reindeer herd: their herd provides them with milk, cheese, meat, and even transportation. The clothes they traditionally wear are made from reindeer hair. Reindeer dung fuels their stoves for heat and cooking whilst antlers are fashioned to make tools and other ceremonial items.

      After spending time with them we will bed down for the night in the traditional tepee. It is maybe not the most comfortable sleep, so there will be a ger available for those who need it.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp/ Tepee

    5. Friday 15th March

      Return to Khatgul

      This morning after spending a little more time with our hosts we board our 4X4s and journey back towards our temporary home Khatgul.

      Along the way we will certainly stop for more photos of the Taiga and frozen lake areas. We will see the different areas of the lake and our local guide will explain how the lake takes on its surprisingly diverse frozen forms. In places, we will see where the waves of the lake have been frozen holding their rippled form until the season's end.

      As we near our tented home, you will have one final chance to see the Marathon route ready for tomorrow’s chilly adventure.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp

    6. Saturday 16th March

      Marathon Day

      Today is the day of the Mongolian Ice Marathon. You have the chance to run a 10km option, half marathon, or full marathon.

      The event will begin at 9am near to the small harbour whose ships remain held within the icy clutches of the lake.

      For the 10km event and half marathon, there will be a heated ger at each finish line. Those who wish to complete the full event will run the return course.

      There will be Russian 4X4s on hand to help out as well as horse sledges to aid runners returning to the start point. For those who are not running, you can cheer at the start line along with the locals or even help at one of the drink stations supplying heated beverages to our runners.

      Upon completion of the run, all who wish will be taken back to our ger camp immediately for a hot sauna and well-deserved rest.

      This afternoon is free for relaxing or one final look at the lake before this evening’s dinner and celebration.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight  | Ger camp
    7. Sunday 17th March

      Return to Ulaanbaatar

      Today we bid farewell to our amazing hosts as we drive to Moron airport for a flight back to Ulaanbaatar, the world’s coldest capital. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel.

      For those who want to see more, we can visit Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Ulaanbaatar’s largest Buddhist monastery, where we can see practising monks and learn about the role of Mongolia’s largest religion.

      Then it’s back to the city centre, where we’ll stop off for any last minute souvenir shopping at the State Department Store. Today privately owned, this is a throwback to the old Soviet sales system, where everything is under one roof, and you pay with multiple receipts before returning for your purchases. As we journey back to the hotel we will also be sure to stop at Sükhbaatar Square, the central square of UB.

      Tonight's farewell dinner will be a Mongolian BBQ.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | 3* hotel

    8. Monday 18th March

      Departure day

      We end our adventure in the morning, with transfers to the airport for international flights. Pack your souvenirs, your dirty clothes and your memories, and have a safe trip home!

      Meals | Breakfast

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      English-speaking local guide
      Western tour leader
      All meals outside Ulaanbaatar
      Internal flights
      Horse riding
      All included sightseeing
      All taxes & entrance fees to protected areas
    • Not included
      Optional extra 1: + $550 Flight from Beijing to Ulan Bator, and return by train
      Optional extra 2: + $650 Return flights Beijing–Ulan Bator and Ulan Bator–Beijing
      Sleeping bags
      International flights
      Any alcoholic beverages
      Meals where specified
      Medical insurance.
      Visas if needed
      Items of personal nature
  • Notes

    We meet and say goodbye in Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar. You will need to make your own way to and from Ulaanbaatar.

    Please note!

    This tour has been specifically arranged to visit these areas and it may have elements of an expedition about it due to the nature and ruggedness of the terrain. As such any change in itinerary at the time cannot be helped. We will keep to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible, although please be aware that things are subject to change, especially if we encounter any extreme weather conditions. Along the way, all tour decisions will rest with Rich (tour manager) and an expedition leader. We will also be taking advice from local people on the ground whose expertise will far exceed our own.

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

July 2019

July 1 - July 13 2019

Naadam Festival Mongolia Tour: Beyond the Steppe

Ulaanbaatar to Hovd and Bayan
Olgii in far western Mongolia

Explore Mongolia’s Wild West over the Naadam Festival. Meet Kazakh eagle hunters, hike
in the stunning Altai Mountains, and experience Mongolia’s largest holiday celebration.
Go beyond the Steppe!

From 2,900 USD per person

Please apply by 15th May, 2019.

Naadam Festival Mongolia Tour: Beyond the Steppe

Ulaanbaatar to Hovd and Bayan
Olgii in far western Mongolia

Explore Mongolia’s Wild West over the Naadam Festival. Meet
Kazakh eagle hunters, hike in the stunning Altai Mountains,
and experience Mongolia’s largest holiday celebration. Go
beyond the Steppe!

From 2,900 USD per person

  • Overall

    The summer Naadam Festival is one of the best times to travel to Mongolia for the annual games of horse racing, archery, and wrestling. It is also the busiest time to visit the country. We’ll get you to Mongolia’s far west to see how the Naadam Festival is celebrated away from the crowds.

    Starting in Ulaanbaatar, we’ll fly west to Hovd and travel overland to Bayan Olgii. Along the way, we’ll experience not only traditional Mongolian life, but also the culture of the Kazakh and Tuvan people. Meet and chat with eagle hunters, shamans, and nomads who live in the region.

    Traveling off road and sleeping in ger and tents, we'll also get our hands dirty in the great outdoors of the Altai mountains and have the chance to try out horseback riding.

    Come along for 12 unforgettable Mongolian summer nights over the Nadaam festival.

    Koryo Tours’ tour leader Rich Beal has been leading tours in Mongolia for 15 years and frequently travels beyond the capital Ulaanbatar to the country’s far west, far north, and south into the Gobi Desert.

    Looking to see more of Mongolia? Come along for Koryo Tours’ Gobi Explorer right after Naadam.

    See below for highlights, full itinerary, and additional information about the Naadam Festival Western Mongolia Tour - Beyond the Steppe.

    Highlights

    • Experience Nadaam -- the biggest festival of the year for Mongolians
    • Visit Mongolian, Kazak and Tuva nomadic families
    • Enjoy horseback riding
    • Hike the great mountains (with views across to Russia and China)
    • Swim in mountain lakes and rivers
    • Explore the Altai and Bayan Ulgii region of Mongolia
    • Construct and sleep in a traditional Mongolian ger (yurt)
    • Marvel at the skill of local eagle hunters
    • Stay with and learn from local Yak herders
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 13
    1. Monday 1 July

      Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

      Upon landing in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, we make our way to our centrally located hotel to recharge before our adventure begins. If you’re feeling energetic, you can take our optional walking tour to get your first taste of this fascinating city, before returning for our 6 pm hotel briefing.

      Here we’ll give you an overview of the country and culture, along with some etiquette tips for the trip, especially for visiting the homes of the shamans, Kazakhs, and Tuvan people we’ll meet along the way.

      Then, join us for another city walk after the briefing. Get a glimpse of Sükhbaatar Square, named after the revolutionary hero Damdinii Sükhbaatar; whose statue marks the place where his horse was seen urinating whilst on parade in 1921. The statues of Genghis Khan and Mongolian generals are even more impressive when all lit up.

      Meals | Dinner

      Overnight |
       Hotel 9, Ulaanbaatar. A local hotel situated in the heart of Ulaanbaatar, within 5 minutes walk from the main square. This hotel offers a great location from which to walk out and explore the city.
    2. Tuesday 2 July

      Tour of the city, and then fly to Bayan Olgii

      We start our day at Gandantegchinlen, Ulaanbaatar’s largest Buddhist monastery, where we can see practising monks and learn about the role of Mongolia’s largest religion. 

      Then it’s back to the city centre, where we’ll stop off for supplies at the State Department Store. Today privately owned, this is a throwback to the old Soviet sales system, where everything is under one roof, and you pay with multiple receipts before returning for your purchases. This is an ideal time to stock up on trip supplies, even outdoor gear, so if you’ve discovered your sleeping bag has a hole, now’s the time to upgrade. 

      We’ll then see Sükhbaatar Square by day and then head to the National Historical Museum, which takes us through Mongolian history from the Stone Age to the collapse of Communism. We’ll also see the Natural History Museum, filled with those dinosaur fossils the country is known for.

      After lunch, we’ll take a two-hour flight to Bayan Olgii and pile into Russian jeeps. We begin our drive as soon as we arrive out beyond Sagasi Village, near Khar Us Lake and the magnificent Altai Mountains. Bayan-Olgii (or Uglii) province, known locally as the ‘Roof of
      Mongolia’, is a remote land of glaciers and mountain peaks. Travellers can go for days without seeing a soul. This area is home to the Kazakh people, practising Muslims and Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority; here we’ll learn about how nomadic life in the mountains differs from life on the steppe.

      We’ll stop by mud brick winter houses that Kazakhs use when the temperature drops below minus-30, when even their felt-lined ger can’t keep out the cold. We can also ride horses and learn about eagle hunting – not what you think! Up here, food is scarce, and the locals need a little help. Most families keep their own golden eagles for hunting rabbit, hare, and even small deer; and they’re happy to show us how it’s done. 

      Then we’ll pitch our tents next to the local families and share a traditional dinner.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight |  Camping / Tent. We will build tents as a group next to a local family on this night with the assistance of our local team. 

    3. Wednesday 3 July

      Khurgan and Khoton Lakes

      Today’s journey takes us through the western Mongolian wild lands, over moraines (glacial debris) and ancient burial sites, with stone-age rock carvings of animals and hunting scenes covering the mountainside. The spectacular Khurgan and Khoton Lakes lie at an altitude of 2,073 metres and are surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

      We set up camp on the shores of Khoton Lake, and spend the afternoon relaxing, exploring, or swimming in crystalline waters. After dinner, we meet the local Kazakh people and see the comparative affluence (by Mongolian standards) of lakeside Kazakhs, with their multiple gers and fertile land.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight |  Camping / Tent. We will build tents as a group next to a local family on this night with the assistance of our local team.

    4. Thursday 4 July

      Khoton Lake

      Today is our day of leisure. Experience a little more of local life or relax after our long journey to the beautiful, yet secluded part of the world.

      Wake up early if you wish and you may help our host family to round the herd and do the milking. After breakfast, you have a chance to enjoy independent hiking in the surrounding hills or go for a dip in one the streams of the invigorating mountain river.


      This afternoon we will take horses, for those that wish, riding into the hills surrounding the lake. This 3 hr return trek will take us past some ger encampments through woodland up to Mongolia’s largest waterfall. The waterfall itself is beautifully framed against the mountains.

      Meals |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight |  Camping / Tent. We will build tents as a group next to a local family on this night with the assistance of our local team.

    5. Friday 5 July

      Tsagaan Gol and Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain

      After breakfast we work our way through the mountains to reach the mouth of Tsagaan Gol (White River), a mighty water source with enough limestone deposits to give the milky river its name. 

      We’ll stop for pictures at the stunning Shiveet Khairkhan, with more rock carvings and an unforgettable view of Tavan Bogd (Five Saints), a mountain massif on the border of Mongolia, China and Russia. To the indigenous minority Tuvan, Shiveet is sacred – as are the 400 mountain ibex, which are never hunted. Each year the Tuvan climb Shiveet’s summit and perform shamanistic rituals, making offerings to the local ghosts and paying ancestral respects. The Tuvan are herders, and known for their archery skills. This evening, they’ll teach us to cook some of their favorite dishes. And after days of having the locals watch us pitch our tents – and comment on how long it takes us, how thin the material is, and how we’ll never survive the night – today we’ll build our own felt-lined ger (with a little help), to see how the nomads do it.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Camping / tent. Camping on this night will be based around a pre-booked ger, offering us the chance to prepare meals and equipment ready for tomorrow's hike. The scenery here is amazing surrounded by snow-capped mountains, whilst listening to the roar of the white river.

    6. Saturday 6 July

      Hike to base camp of Altai Tavan Bogd

      Today we leave our vehicles and heaviest luggage behind, load everything else onto camels, and then trek up Tavan Bogd with a local Tuvan guide. It’s about 15 kilometres to our base camp (camels can also carry tired trekkers), which is located at the edge of Potanin Glacier, the longest in Mongolia – listen carefully, you might hear it cracking. Potanin is at the foot of Malchin Peak, one of Tavan Bogd’s five sacred mountains. This hike will take us through lush alpine tundra and herds of camels, providing fantastic views across the glacier to the peaks. Our camp is a great starting point to other area hikes in one of the world’s best trekking areas. We’ll also meet another Tuvan family, who can teach us more about raising and training golden eagles.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. 

      Overnight | Camping / tent. Camping at the Tavan Bogd base camp. Toilet facilities are provided and we will build a restaurant tent for dinner and breakfast. This area is remote, yet beautiful being at the base of the main mountain range and only a stone’s throw from the main glacier.

    7. Sunday 7 July

      Return trek to Tsagaan Gol (White River) and on to Tsengle

      Today we follow the camels back down to our camp in Tsagaan Gol. Passing through Tavan Bogd’s numerous valleys, we can see how the melting glacier transforms into the roaring White River. Upon arrival, we board our trucks once more as we drive on and continue the adventure. We will pass winter villages only cared for by a caretaker family, whom we will visit for tea.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. 

      Overnight | Camping / Tent. Tonight we pitch tents with another local family located near to the town of Tsengle in a low river valley. We look at life here and experience yet another regional variation in hospitality.

    8. Monday 8 July

      Drive through Bayan Olgii

      Today we bid farewell to our Nomadic friends and take a scenic drive back to Olgii, where we’ll spend the night in a Kazakh tourist camp, stopping for pictures and greeting nomad families along the way. If we’re lucky we may also catch a local festival nestled in this mountainous region. 

      This afternoon we will have time to explore the regional capital Olgii from its central square you may wish to visit its ageing museum, local market or just rest in one of the locally owned coffee shops after snapping up a few souvenirs.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Tourist Ger (yurt) Camp. We'll stay in one of the tourist ger areas found on the outskirts of Ulgii city. This camp offers a shower block with warm running water and wash facilities as well as a restaurant area from where our chief can provide some more delicious food.
    9. Tuesday 9 July

      Drive to Tolbo Lake

      After stopping for a few snacks we make our journey to Tolbo Lake. The drive today is a smooth run on the sealed road. Tolbo has an altitude of 2,080 meters, it is famous not only for its remote beauty but as the site of a crucial 1921 battle between the Bolshevik and White Russian forces – the locals still find belt buckles and buttons in the field. 

      We will stop for photographs along the way, as nomads lead their herds across the vast lands, or make their way to the Naadam Festival, then we’ll spend the night in a lakeside tourist camp where you can swim or bathe in the clear waters, or just unwind and take in the mountain views.  There will be time for some optional hiking in the surrounding mountains which offer stunning views over the lake.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

      Overnight | Tourist Ger (yurt) Camp. We'll stay in a tourist ger camp found on the shores of the lake where you may swim relax or enjoy a sauna. 

    10. Wednesday 10 July

      A morning swim, a Shaman visit and an afternoon around Hovd market

      This morning, after the brave amongst the group have taken a chilly early morning dip in the lake, its back into our Russian trucks for our drive to Hovd town. When we arrive in Hovd we will visit the local Uriankhai shaman and his family. Here we can witness some of the ancient and mysterious rituals that the community still holds dear, such as mirrors that repel evil spirits, or sacred fire and water. After our visit to the local shaman, we drive back to Hovd.

      This afternoon we drive back to Hovd town where we will settle into our gers in preparation for tomorrows Naadam festival. We will have time to pay a visit to the local market and catch the last rush as people to prepare their best clothes for the big day.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Tourist ger (yurt) Gamp. One of only two camps found around the city of Hovd. This camp has amazing views over the surrounding countryside whilst being situated on the outskirts of the main city. It has a separate shower block and facility for our chef to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    11. Thursday 11 July

      Experience the local Mongolian Naadam Festival

      We end our adventure with one of the world’s most fascinating festivals, an annual event that draws tribes from all over Mongolia to compete in traditional skills and feats of strength – especially wrestling, horse racing and archery. Here, families reconnect, share their news and favorite foods, have parties, and compete in games together. Naadam has become a world-famous tourist draw, but while Ulaanbaatar is filled with tour buses and day visitors, Hovd's event is still a local affair, virtually unchanged over generations. Hovd town is a rural town for many Mongolians gathering for this amazing event.

      Here we’ll learn the secrets of Naadam, such as the unusual wrestling costume of undershorts and an open waistcoat. Legend has it that a woman in disguise once outwrestled all the men, and to prevent future humiliation, outfits were altered – these tops have no secrets. 

      Also, if you see a sumo-sized wrestler defeated by a delicate youth, don’t be surprised; the loser is probably from another area, and it’s disrespectful to beat others at their own Naadam.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Ger (yurt) Tourist Camp.

    12. Friday 12 July

      Fly to Ulaanbaatar

      Leaving our horses, camels, and Russian jeeps behind for good, we board a plane and return to Ulaanbaatar. This is a free day where you can shop ‘til you drop at the city market – you’ll never find cheaper cashmere, and you might pick up a shamanistic, Buddhist artefact or a relic from Soviet times. 

      History lovers can stop by the winter palace of the Bogd Khan (1869-1922), who became Khagan (theocratic ruler) when the country split from China in 1911. Or you can simply relax with a coffee or cocktail at an outdoor café and watch this fascinating city unfold before you. Then we’ll meet up for dinner at a local family’s home, so we can see Mongolian home life away from the steppes.

      Meals | Breakfast, Dinner with city family

      Overnight | Hotel 9, Ulaanbaatar. 

    13. Saturday 13 July

      Departure day

      We end our adventure in the morning, with transfers to the airport for international flights. Pack your souvenirs, your dirty clothes and your memories, and have a safe trip home!

      For those adventurous souls that can’t stop travelling, you can also add the option to join our Gobi Explorer Tour. If you wish to add this please contact your tour manager for more information. 

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      English speaking guide
      Western tour leader
      All meals outside Ulaanbaatar
      Camels for luggage
      Internal flights
      Horse riding
      All included sight seeing
      All taxes & entrance fees to protected areas
      All camping equipment (not sleeping bags) All tents are on a two persons bases but single options are available upon booking.
    • Not included
      Sleeping bags
      Extra horse riding 30 - 60 USD
      International flights
      Any alcoholic beverages
      Meals (specified)
      Medical insurance (can be arranged.)
      Visas (if needed)
      Helmet rental 30 USD
      Sleeping bag hire (incl cleaning 30 USD for tour)
      Items of personal nature
  • Notes

    Please note!

    This tour has been specifically arranged to visit remote areas. As such it may have elements of an expedition about it, due to the nature and ruggedness of the terrain. Due to this, any change in itinerary at the time cannot be helped. We will do our best to keep to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible. However, please be aware that things are subject to change, especially if we encounter any extreme weather conditions. Along the way all tour decisions will rest with Rich (tour manager) and an expedition leader. We will also be taking advice from local people on the ground whose expertise will far exceed our own.

Please apply by 15th May, 2019.

July 12 - July 18 2019

The Gobi Explorer

Mongolia Gobi
Desert Explorer

This short tour into the vast Gobi Desert offers
a great insight into local life, geology and
scenery.

From 1,600 USD per person

Please apply by 20th June, 2019.

The Gobi Explorer

Mongolia Gobi
Desert Explorer

This short tour into the vast
Gobi Desert offers a great insight
into local life, geology and scenery.

From 1,600 USD per person

  • Overall

    A short adventure for those who wish to see the great Gobi Desert in a short space of time. Alternatively, it can be added to the 'Beyond the Steppes Tour' for an even bigger adventure.

  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. July 12 Friday

      Ulaanbaatar

      PM

      All the passengers joining this tour will be met at the airport and taken to the group hotel this evening, we will then join together as a group for a Pre-Tour Briefing followed by a Mongolian BBQ meal. Those not feeling too jet-lagged can join us in one of UB’s famous bars.
    2. Saturday 13 July

      Into the Gobi Desert 

      We start our adventure early as we have a long drive south towards the Gobi Desert. On the journey, we will see the lush green rolling hills of UB open up to the semi-arid middle Gobi region.

      For lunch, we will stop at a local restaurant in the regional capital Mandalagovi.  This desert town was once home to factories during the Soviet Union period and now survives mostly on farming and the local farming college. 

      Continuing the drive southwards we see more signs of desertification, as well as herds of camels roaming the desolate desert plains.

      Just as we cross from the Middle Gobi Region to the south, we turn to our destination for today - the White Stupa Cliffs, a rocky area of Tsagaan Suvarga National Park. The White Stupa Cliffs are so named as this massive feature is said from a distance to resemble a deserted city surrounded by crumbling white pagodas. In truth, its 60 meter high cliffs have been eroded by the winds and rain over 10 million years.  

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Tourist Ger Camp. We stay in tourist gers out in this desert region we have access to the restaurant area as well as bathroom facilities with hot showers and western style toilets.

    3. Sunday 14 July

      Those who wish to wake up early enough, you will be able to catch a glimpse of sunrise over the surrounding desert.

      After breakfast, we depart the Ger camp and make our bumpy drive back to the main road continuing south to the city of Dalanzadgad. This is our next regional capital at the heart of the South Gobi Province. We will check into our Ger camp, one of the best in the area where we will also eat lunch. 

      After finishing lunch, we will have a short drive to the deep and narrow Yol Am Valley, which is located in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range southern Mongolia. Before we set off on our hike, we will pay a visit to the small local natural history museum, this quirky museum has some strange exhibits along with some 10 million-year-old dinosaur eggs.

      We will then hike for around 2 ½ hrs through the beautiful Yol Valley. If we’re lucky, we'll see some of the local wildlife as well as catching a glimpse of the famous ice field, which is slowly disappearing. 

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Tourist Ger Camp. We stay in tourist Gers this is one of the best camps in the area and its lovely location means its great for relaxing.

    4. Sunday 14 July

      After a big breakfast, we set out off on the road again as we head deeper into the clutches of the Gobi desert. After a brief stop for fuel, it's off-road as we make our way to the Khongor Sand Dunes. These dunes are also known as the Singing dunes, due to the eerie noise the sand makes when swept by the wind. The dunes stretch from the Gobi all the way to the Altai Mountain Range some 180 km away.

      We arrive in time for our afternoon tea with a local nomadic family. When the heat of the afternoon has passed, we start our late afternoon camel riding to the base of the highest dunes. For those that can hike to the top of the largest dune, this affords us breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

      After this, we return to our dessert ger camp for a nice meal and the chance to enjoy a drink looking out over a Gobi sunset.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Tourist Ger Camp  We stay in tourist gers. This camp is another of the best camps in the area.

    5. Tuesday 16 July

      Today we will drive to Bayanzag, which bizarrely translates as ‘rich in saxual scrubs', but its other name 'the Red Flaming Cliffs' is more preferable. This area was first claimed to have been found in 1922 by Roy Chapman. It is known now for the discovery of many dinosaur fossils and as well as its beauty. It is named 'Flaming Cliffs' due to the rich red colouration of the clays and rocks which have been pushed up to form this landscape.

      We will spend some time enjoying this Mongolian grand canyon, taking photos whilst enjoying some short hiking. If you are lucky and do discover a fossil, don't forget these must now be declared.

      After we have enjoyed our time, its back in the cars for our return to Dalanzadgad and our relaxing Ger camp.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Tourist Ger camp

    6. Wednesday 17 July


      This morning we fly back to Ulaanbaatar.

      In the afternoon, we will have time for a visit to the largest statue of Chinggis Khan in Mongolia. At this silver giant, we can travel to the top of the horses head via an elevator for views over the surrounding countryside. This strange complex also houses souvenir shops and a small history museum.

      We return to Ulaanbaatar for our last group meal and a farewell drink.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Overnight | Hotel 9. 

    7. Thursday 18 July

      Departure day

      We end our adventure in the morning, with transfers to the airport for international flights. Pack your souvenirs, your dirty clothes and your memories, and have a safe trip home!

      Meals | Breakfast

Please apply by 20th June, 2019.

Next tour departure dates

Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour

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Naadam Festival Mongolia Tour: Beyond the Steppe

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The Gobi Explorer

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