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Anchored between past and present, the capital city of Ulaanbaatar is redefining itself in an exciting new world with massive investment money flowing in for the rapidly growing mining and minerals industry. Ulaanbaatar's tiny stock exchange located right on the central Sukhbatar Square is one of the world's fastest growing bourses.
Echoes of its Communist past reverberate through Ulaanbaatar, as Soviet-era architecture and signs in Cyrillic sit alongside glass-and-steel hotels and shopping centers, with traditional Buddhist temples just steps away. Ulaanbaatar serves as a gateway to Mongolia's fabled lands, but with its tremendous contrast between old and new is in and of itself a fascinating jumping off point to the rest of the country.
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Our co-founder Jay Tindall's favourite Mongolia experiences include off-road driving through lunar landscapes, meeting nomad families, and the spectacular Naadam festival.
Explore the Gandan Monastery with an expert in Buddhism and learn about the religion’s tumultuous history in Mongolia. Have tea with one of Gandan’s head monks in his private chambers, and chat with him about his life and Buddhism in Mongolia today.
Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
Have a privately guided tour of the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts, led by an expert in Mongolian history. Part of UNESCO’s Programme for the Preservation of Endangered Movable Cultural Properties and Museum Development, the Zanabazar displays art and artifacts from ancient Mongolia through the 20th century, with a special focus on the sculptures of Gombodorjiin Zanabazar (1635-1723), considered Mongolia’s greatest artist.
Stroll through Sukhbaatar Square, named after Damdiny Sukhbaatar, Mongolia’s national hero, who laid the groundwork for the Mongol revolution and subsequent allegiance with Russia. Today, it is an economic hub of Ulaanbaatar and a perfect example of the clash between Mongolia’s newfound wealth and its history; stark, Soviet-era architecture sits alongside Central Tower, a modern shopping complex replete with a Louis Vuitton boutique and a VIP room designed to resemble a traditional Mongolian yurt.
Every July the spectacular Naadam festival takes place in Ulaanbaatar, with competitions featuring The Three Manly Sports of archery, wrestling, and horseback riding. Naadam originated from military parades and folk celebrations. However, it now commemorates the 1921 revolution in which Mongolia declared itself a free country. Note that smaller Naadams are held in other towns throughout Mongolia around the same time as the large Naadam in UB, and we recommend attending both types if possible.
Museum of Natural History
Visit the Museum of Natural History, whose star attraction is a complete dinosaur skeleton - the giant, 50- foot long carnivorous Tarbosaurus. This is an actual skeleton unearthed in the Gobi Desert - not a replica like at so many other museums. The museum also has a small Velociraptor skeleton and a striking painting of a 26-foot tall duck-billed herbivore, Saurolophus.
Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan
Explore the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, the only remaining residence of the last emperor of Mongolia, who died in 1924. The complex includes six temples and displays many possessions of the Bogd Khan, including a large ceremonial ger, his throne, and a pair of boots given to him by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Explore the Naraan Tuul Market, also known as the Black Market (open everyday except Tuesday). Not quite as illicit
as the name suggests, this huge bazaar sells just about everything, from camping gear to riding saddles, handicrafts to antiques. It’s a good place to purchase gifts and traditional Mongolian clothing to take home as a souvenir.
Discover a world far off the beaten path on this exhilarating 9-day luxury Mongolia adventure. You’ll ride a camel through the Gobi desert, partake in the important Naadam festival, visit fascinating museums, and look for rare roamers in the Yol Valley, while staying in traditional-yet-luxurious Mongolia hotels.
This 9-day itinerary features the very best of Siberia and Mongolia. Experience the extremes of this region, from rustic villages, hidden within the Altai mountains, to awe-inspiring landscapes and the raw natural beauty of the Chuysky Tract Highway.
This 10-day itinerary promises to bring you to your senses as you travel through a world of contrasts from Siberia and over the Mongolian border. Crossing over mountains and past mysterious lakes, you will encounter awe-inspiring archaeological remains and carvings that make for a rewarding journey.
Thoroughly explore Mongolia's mysterious East Gobi and Khan Khentii by private jet. In 7 days, you will stroll the streets of the busy capital, Ulaanbaatar, chat with local herders in the rural Ikh Nart and get in touch with nature in the Khan Khentii wildlife preserve. Stay in comfortable, authentic Ger-style camps.
Venture where few travelers have gone before - isolated Siberia and the rural South Gobi Desert in this 16-day tour through Russia and Mongolia. Meet isolated cultures in the desert and learn about Soviet-era times from within an authentic setting as you stay in luxurious hotels and camp underneath the stars.
Take a quick and exciting 3-day journey into Mongolia’s fascinating history on this luxury tour of Hustai National Park. You’ll pursue the elusive wild takhi horse, hike through verdant steppe mountains, discover ancient Neolithic gravesites, and stay in luxurious Mongolian traditional Ger tents.
Cross the rugged terrain of remote Mongolia on this exhilarating 7-day luxury adventure. You’ll explore the Northern Gobi desert on the back of a camel, ride horseback through lush pastures, stop at ancient, historically-important sites, and stay in luxurious-yet-traditional Mongolian Ger tents.
Explore Mongolia’s incredible South Gobi region on this remarkable 4-day journey. You’ll catch glimpses of rare wildlife like the snow leopard, explore the iconic sand dunes, marvel at dinosaur remains, and meet local herders, while staying at the ultra-luxurious Three Camel Lodge.
Spend 6 days exploring the diverse terrain of the Gobi desert. You’ll stay in comfortable, luxurious Ger tents, plod across the rugged terrain on the back of a camel, scale the “Flaming Cliffs,” watch for Mongolian wildlife, and listen for the song of the Singing Dunes on this epic luxury Mongolia journey.
Take an exciting 4-day expedition into Mongolia’s beautiful backyard, the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area. You’ll hike the picturesque Hentii mountains, watch for exotic wildlife like wild boar, red deer, and moose, and make friends with herdsmen, while staying in traditional-yet-luxurious Mongolian Ger tents.
Step into Mongolia’s wilderness on this thrilling 4-day luxury journey. You’ll explore Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve, where you’ll spot unique Mongolian wildlife, trek across parts of the Gobi desert, encounter and interact with local herders, and sleep in traditional, luxurious Mongolian Ger tents.
Explore the thrilling North Gobi steppe on this 4-day luxury Mongolia adventure. You’ll sit down to an epic picnic on the Gobi steppes, trek across the desert on camelback, and interact with local herdsmen you’re sure to meet along the way, all the while staying in traditional, luxurious Mongolian Ger tents.
Embark on the world’s most famous overland journey from Moscow to Beijing, delving deep into the Siberian wilderness along the way. Cross three countries and two continents - accumulating almost 3,500 miles, all whilst bunking down for the night in the train, waking up to an ever-evolving landscape each morning.
Spend an incredible 13-days exploring Mongolia’s wildside, as you make your way through the East and the iconic Gobi desert. You’ll travel to the very edge of Siberia, explore the grasslands on foot and horseback, visit remote, traditional communities, and sleep in some of Mongolia’s best accommodation.
Journey through untamed, historic Mongolia on a thrilling 8-day luxury tour. You’ll visit some of the country’s oldest religious sites, explore a UNESCO-protected valley, look for wild horses, trek around the lush, stunning Lake Hovsgol, and stay in luxury accommodation including traditional-style Mongolian tents.
Travel through Mongolia’s exhilarating wilderness on this 9-day luxury adventure. You’ll make your way from Ulaanbaatar, to the Gobi Desert, Hustai National Park and Terelj National Park, interacting with locals, shopping at the Black Market, and staying in luxury Mongolia accommodation like the Three Camel Lodge.
Passengers traveling the Trans-Siberian railway with a two-week journey on the Golden Eagle can choose to traverse from East to West or vice versa, starting in either Moscow or Vladivostok. Along the way, they will experience all the wonders of these fabulous cities and the natural scenic beauty in between, from Lake Baikal to the yurts of Ulaan Baatar. On days not spent exploring, passengers can relax in their beautiful, comfortable private cabins, attend a lecture on local history or Russian language or simply enjoy the scenery as it glides by. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served on-board in the train’s dining car, including an exclusive gala caviar dinner and there is a generous drinks allowance for guests to take advantage of at dinner or in the bar. Alternatively, in-cabin dining can be arranged for ultimate comfort. All the amenities of this luxury hotel on rails are at the fingertips of its passengers.
In the heart of the capital of Mongolia, Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar is an urban oasis, ready to pamper business and leisure guests alike with its spacious suites, exquisite restaurants and expansive health club. The hotel features nearly 300 rooms and suites, each with an impressive vista over downtown Ulaanbaatar, and is in within walking distance of the city’s best shops, restaurants, and historical sights. Fusing contemporary and traditional design, the hotel also offers much for guests to do within its walls, from enjoying a meal and culinary show in the open-kitchen Café Park to enjoying a steam bath and jacuzzi in the luxurious health club.
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.
Khan Palace Kempinski Hotel
The Khan Palace Kempinski Hotel, located in the center of Ulaan Baatar, is the first truly luxury property within the city. All rooms and suites in the Khan Palace Kempinski Hotel have broadband or wireless Internet connectivity. The hotelâ€™s restaurants are Kharakhorum, serving traditional Mongolian cuisine as well as international fare, and the Japanese restaurant Sakura. The Khan Palace also features a modern fitness center and beauty salon. The Kempinski Khan Palace is located approximately 30 minutes from Chinggis Khaan Airport (ULN).