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Mongolia: Gobi and Grasslands

This 7-day itinerary traverses some of Mongolia's most remote and beautiful terrain. From the capital of Ulaanbaatar to the arid Gobi Desert to the fertile fields of Khan Khentii, you'll not only be immersed in nature, but in Mongolian culture. Much of rural Mongolia is undeveloped and the people here lead nomadic lifestyles, raising horses and other livestock, and living in ger camps. On this journey, you’ll have the chance to stay in a selection of different ger camps for a truly authentic Mongolian experience.  

Highlights   Pricing
  • A tour of historic landmarks – centuries-old monasteries, galleries, museums and more
  • A camel trek across the Northern Gobi Desert, meeting nomadic herdsmen
  • Staying in a ger camp with a nomadic family in the Gobi Desert
  • Horseback riding in the lush pastures of Khan Khentii
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

You begin your 7-day luxury itinerary in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Here you’ll orientate yourself with an architectural tour of Sükhbaatar Square where historic statues, Soviet buildings and sleek modern skyscrapers paint an intriguing picture of the city’s heritage. Next, you’ll delve further into Mongolia’s past with a visit to the Natural History Museum, where the 50-foot-long skeleton of a tarbosaurus is on display. The tarbosaurus is Asia’s equivalent to a tyrannosaurus, believed to have walked the Earth 70 million years ago. In the evening, settle into your luxurious Ulaanbaatar hotel - we recommend the modern Blue Sky Hotel.

Day 2

One of Mongolia’s must-see sites is the Gandan Monastery, which is where you’ll begin today’s activities. Construction here began in the early 1800s and continued for a hundred years. During communist rule much of it was destroyed, but in 1994, it was restored to its previous grand state and is now a protected site. Here, you can learn about the history of Buddhism in Mongolia and have tea with a resident monk who is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Next, head to the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts, where a collection of Mongolian art from prehistory to the early 1900s is on display in a converted 1905 mansion. After that, you’ll be treated to a Hoomi throat singing performance, a skill that involves complex vocalization to give the impression of multiple overtones sung at once. Tonight, return to your Ulaanbaatar hotel for the night.

Day 3
North Gobi

This morning, you will be on your way to the northernmost plains of the Gobi Desert. Your camp is situated approximately 90 miles south of Ulaanbaatar. After arrival, you’ll enjoy an iconic Mongolian experience - horseback riding across the vast steppes of Central Mongolia. You will have an opportunity to visit Zorgol Khairkhan Mountain, a sacred granite mountain with several springs, a diverse population of wildlife, and centuries of influence on the region’s traditions and culture. After that, spend time with a local nomadic family in their ger camp, where you will also be staying this evening. 

Day 4
North Gobi

Learn all about authentic Mongolian cuisine today in a cooking class. Mongolian recipes are heavily-influenced by Chinese and Russian cuisine and feature meat and dairy products – a reflection of the nomadic lifestyle of herdsmen. Today you'll prepare – and enjoy – your own hearty Mongolian meal in the camp. Next, you'll set out on a camel trek in the Northern Gobi, traversing vast plains and meeting herdsmen along the way. These nomads are more than happy to share their experiences with you, and will invite you into their ger to relax and swap stories. In the evening, you'll return to camp for another night in your cozy ger.   

Day 5

Today you'll be driven several hours northeast– or charter a flight– to the green pastures of Khan Khentii, a protected area within the Tuul River Valley where the landscape transitions from steppe to taiga forest. The fertile wilderness here is home to abundant wildlife and when you arrive, you'll be properly introduced the area on horseback. Horses are an integral part of Mongolian culture and locals are already skilled equestrians as young children. Exploring the rivers, forests and grassland of Khan Khentii by horseback is a rewarding and unforgettable experience. Tonight you'll stay at a ger camp in a paddock of wildflowers by the Tuul River. This eco-friendly camp is staffed by workers from local communities and offers private twin tents, hot showers and a cozy candlelit library.  

Day 6

Enjoy a departure from solid ground today with a Tuul River rafting expedition. Distinct from most rafting experiences, you and your inflatable raft will be transported from the camp to the river via yak-cart. A portable sauna will be set up so you can warm up before your trip down river. Next, you'll enjoy more of the beautiful countryside on a leisurely hike before meeting a nomad family and having lunch in their ger. In the evening, return to your own camp for the night, enjoying the serenity of the unspoilt Khan Khentii wilderness. 

Day 7

Head back to Ulaanbaatar today, where you have time to pamper yourself with spa treatments before flying home. There is a wide selection of world-class spas in Ulaanbaatar, and what better way to prepare for a long flight than with a relaxing massage or refreshing facial? A chauffeur will drive you to the airport in time for your departing flight.


Suggested Accommodations

The Blue Sky Hotel

The Blue Sky Hotel

This five-star contemporary hotel is situated in the city’s business district and more interestingly in Ulaanbaatar’s tallest building. The hotel, decorated in a classic European style, has many top quality facilities including an indoor pool, gym, wellness centre, sauna and a business centre. There are many services on offer to make your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible such as 24-hour room service, car rentals, currency exchange, laundry services, luggage storage, safety deposit boxes and a 24-hour front desk. Diners will be spoilt for choice with the Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and western food on offer at the hotel’s restaurants. The rooms feature free WiFi, flat-screen TVs with cable channels, en-suite bathrooms with a bathtub and shower facilities as well as a minibar luxury toiletries, hairdryers and slippers.

Ger Camp (North Gobi)

Ger Camp (North Gobi)

Experience the nomadic lifestyle staying in a Mongolian ger camp in the north of the Gobi Desert with a local host family. Situated in the northernmost sand dunes of the Gobi Desert this camp resides in the heartland of the Central Asian nomads. The landscape is a breathtaking mélange of wide-open plains, sand dunes and treeless rocky mountains. In this area there is no permanent development, and apart from the wolf, deer, Siberian ibex and other wildlife, the only other dwellers are the pastoralist families living in ger tents. A ger or yurt is a circular, wooden tent structure covered with layers of fabric and sheep's wool felt for weatherproofing and insulation. The local families raise horses, camel and other livestock and move their camp accordingly to the seasons. This area is relatively untouched and devoid of tourism. If you wish to stay in more refined accommodation than what’s available, Remote Lands can arrange for a luxury ger camp to be set up for your trip.
Ger Camp

Ger Camp

Stay in a low impact ger camp, in the heights of the Tuul River Valley, run by the principles of ecotourism. The camp is located in Jalman Meadows, next to Jalman Mountain, a vast meadow beside the Tuul River, which in the summer blooms with a profusion of wildflowers. This conservation area is within the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area, and stretches right up to the Russian-Siberian frontier. The camp is accessible from Ulaanbaatar by 4WD (approximately 3 hours) or by bus (approximately 3.5 hours).

The camp can accommodate a maximum of 30 guests in double occupancy tents. It prides itself on being a camp that is non-destructive towards the local environment and people. The camp contributes to local communities by creating employment based on traditional livelihoods. Local people work for the camp providing the provision of yak carts, packhorses, horse riding and labor. The camp is made up from fully collapsible ger tents, long drop style toilets which allow for natural decomposition, a cozy candle-lit library, portable hot water showers and a separate waste disposal unit. Some of the camp’s electricity is produced from solar panels and windmills. The hotel-camp can be relocated leaving no more effect on the land than a local nomadic family campsite would.
Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald recommends visiting Khan Khentii National park and remote corners of the Gobi Desert by private plane - the best way to see Mongolia.
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