Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
A country with a unique and fascinating history, Mongolia is an amazing travel destination for those up for a one-of-a-kind experience. See sights unlike anywhere else in the world, where children’s schoolbooks are put to life. See the best of this thrilling, exotic country with our 9-day luxury Classic Mongolia itinerary.
Sit back on a short flight from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar. Arrive before lunchtime to begin enjoying what this Soviet Era-style capital has to offer. Meander through Sukhbaatar Square, named for the country’s hero, and spot the Parliament Building, the Mongolian Stock Exchange and the Royal Ballet House. Stand in awe at the famous larger-than-life Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton that was found in the Gobi desert and is now on display in the square. Later that day, go see the traditional and unusual Naadam games outside the city. The games are similar to horse races but with 6- to 12-year-old jockeys. Return to the city for dinner at City Nomads restaurant and you may be lucky enough to enjoy traditional music and dance performances. Catch some shut-eye at your modern hotel, the Blue Sky Tower. The blue glass exterior is shaped like a sail.
If you are in Ulaanbaatar during midsummer, you’re in for a cultural treat! The yearly Naadam festival is the most important in Mongolian culture. The three central games are traditional wrestling, horse racing and archery. If you’re traveling outside of this time frame, it’s the perfect day to tour the impressive Gandan and Choijin Lama Monasteries. The monasteries contain important pieces of cultural artwork. Sample traditional Mongolian barbeque in the town center and people watch near the main square before you call it a full day.
If you’re in the city during the Naadam games, it’s highly-recommended that you attend the games for two days, to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the events. For those of you traveling outside this time frame, walk up to the Zaisan Memorial commemorating the Mongolian soldiers who fought in WWI and WWII. The memorial offers a stunning view of the city below. The Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts offers art dating all the way back to the Stone Age. Feel free to pamper yourself with an inexpensive massage that can be found in any of the numerous spas on Peace Avenue.
Depart Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad, and then drive one hour into the Gobi Desert. Set up camp at the Three Camel Lodge - awarded the prestige of being one of the top 50 eco-lodges in the world. This is luxury camping with a private double Ger and private connected toilet. Take a drive to Bulgan Soum, a small town built near a natural spring. Fruits and vegetables grow plentifully in this area. Enjoy a fresh, local and organic meal back at the lodge, prepared from all nomadic family farms.
Step off the map and take a full-day excursion to the Yol Valley. The valley is a deep, narrow gorge etched through the Saikhan Mountains in the Southern Gobi. Sometimes the gorge is coated in a slab of ice. If you’re lucky you may spot a Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture. The valley is one of the only homes for this rare species.
Have the experience of a lifetime as you cast eyes upon the incredible Petroglyphs at Havtsgait. The rock carvings are estimated to be between 5,000 to 6,000 years old and are worth the steep climb to the top. Next, take a drive out to Bayanzag. Bayanzag is also referred to as the Flaming Cliffs or the Southern Gobi. The red rocks jut into the sky sharply, and are an incredible sight in the tangerine sunlight. The day continues as you visit the Moltsog Els sand dunes at the edge of the cliffs. On your way back to the Three Camel Lodge, visit a camel herding farm and chat with the local family. Climb aboard your new humped friend as the family takes you on a trek through the neighboring sand dunes.
Savor your last morning in the Gobi desert before departing for Khaan Khentii, a strictly-protected, lush, green area in Eastern Mongolia. This sacred area is three times the size of Yellowstone National Park. Get comfortable at your authentic private Ger camp set up by a local family. This special, unique experience is rare to come by!
Find your adventurous streak and go “yak-cart rafting” in the Tuul River. Your yak will pull you to Arctic Ocean. Take a quick dip in the Tuul River where the water is considered sacred by Mongols. Hike to the lookout point at Hifte Gatsaa and gain an aerial view over the river you just swam in! End the day with a soak in a personal jacuzzi provided for you by your guide.
Spend your last day in Khaan Khentii exploring the Naran Tuul Market where you will find almost any good your heart desires. The market is also called the “Black Market,” but have no fear, this is simply referring to the mass array of goods available - not any actual foul play. Learn more about Mongolian culture and tradition at the National Museum of History. Pick up cashmere treasures at the local shops before hopping a flight back to Beijing. You will spend the night at the luxury Hilton Beijing Capital Airport Hotel before flying home the next day.