After transferring to our hotel we will take a city tour of the capital Ulaanbaatar (Red Warrior) including the incredible Gandantegchinlen Monastery that houses a 26.5-meter-high golden statue of Avalokiteśvara, a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas, before our first group dinner together in the city.
On the way to the site of Genghis Khan’s ancient capital of the Mongol Empire Kharkhorin, we will visit Khustai National Park to watch Takhi (or Przevalski) wild horses; the only wild horse to survive in modern times. Once in the town we will take a tour of the stunning temples of the16th Century Erdene Zuu Buddhist Monastery, surrounded by monumental walls and 108 white stupas, before staying with local families in gers.
After a short drive out into the wild, forested steppe we will horse ride/hike up to Tovkhom Monastery, situated atop a small mountain with breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding area. This is where Zanabazar, the head and founder of Mongolian Buddhism, created his famous art works and also the national script ’soyombo’ in 16th Century. We continue our trip by car to where the Ulaan Tsutgalan (Red Convergence) River meets the Orkhon River in one of the biggest waterfalls in Mongolia before a night in gers.
We trek along the Orkhon valley before heading up into the mountain scenery, past numerous ger camps and pasturing livestock. The route takes us over small rivers and through valleys before ascending a forested mountain with a deep gash where a river cuts through it. We will stay with local families who will cook their traditional food for us and can help to bring in the herds of yaks and goats before nightfall when the stars come out in all their brilliance in this remote region. 4-5 hours riding.
Khuisiin Naiman Nuur means ‘eight lakes of the navel’ and we will see many of these lakes throughout our route. The area was created by volcanic eruptions 8000 years ago and is surrounded by the now extinct volcanoes. Our morning begins with a steep ascent up and over a pass before we make our way through a valley on a gentle incline up to Huis Nuur where we will stay with families who transport their gers here on yaks, with a wide vista of this absolutely stunning area. 4 hours riding.
After making our way across the valley surrounded by many smaller lakes we again ascend up through more forest until we come to the biggest of the lakes; Naiman Nuur itself. With a long, forested peninsular cutting through its waters and steep mountains rising from its banks, it feels like a Norwegian fjord, and it is a great treat to ride alongside its waters. We head up into the high national park where we will meet back up with our vehicles and stay for the night. 4-5 hours riding.
Today we drive to the desert ger camp of Bayan Gobi, situated on the edge of the Gobi Desert. We will ride enormous woolly Bactrian camels (two humps) across the sand dunes in this windswept, remote and beautiful spot, surrounded by mountains receding into the distance and the fearsome desert stretching for waterless miles upon miles to the south.
We head back to the capital to relax in our hotel before attending a cultural performance with traditional Mongolian dancing and music before finishing our adventure with a final group dinner in the city and exploring UB’s nightlife.
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