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The Silk Road – On the Trail of Nomad Herders

Discover cultural diversity and natural attractions of Mongolia spread along the Silk Road. The Silk Road is the oldest trade route in the world that connects east to west. Known as caravan road, the first caravan started around 100BC, with the shimmering fabric from China to the Mediterranean sea. According to the historical documents and scientific researches, part of ancient Silk Road had been crossing through the Ikh Mongol sand dunes in Central Mongolia. Nowadays, nomads who live in this region, offer an unique trip to experience a caravan culture while enjoying the camel riding trek. Besides enjoying camel riding you can visit some worth visiting places including Orkhon river valley-UNESCO world heritage site, ancient ruin of Great Mongol Empire’s capital city, first and one of the biggest Buddhist monastery, fresh blue lakes, last surviving species of wild horses and further more.

Length: 11nights / 12days
Tour starting: 05th of June

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  • Category: Cultural & Trekking tour Mongolia
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  • Travel places: Ulaanbaatar – Khognokhan Nature Reserve – Nomad community – Kharakhorum – Orkhon valley – Khuisiin Naiman Nuur National Park – Khuis Lake – Shireet Lake – Khujirt – Khustai National Park – Ulaanbaatar
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  • Activities: Learning nomad culture and traditions, yak caravan, exploring cultural heritage sites, hiking, camel riding and attending camel caravan
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  • Duration: 11nights / 12days
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  • Covering distance: 1490km
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  • Number of participants: min 3, max 12 people
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  • Season: June – mid September

You can experience a great variety of cultural diversity and natural attractions of Mongolia spread along the Silk Road. The Silk Road is the oldest trade route in the world that connects east to west. Known as caravan road, the first caravan started around 100BC, with the shimmering fabric from China to the Mediterranean sea. According to the historical documents and scientific researches, part of ancient Silk Road had been crossing through the Ikh Mongol sand dunes in Central Mongolia. Nowadays, nomads who live in this region, offer an unique trip to experience a caravan culture while enjoying the camel riding trek. Besides enjoying camel riding you can visit some worth visiting places including Orkhon river valley-UNESCO world heritage site, ancient ruin of Great Mongol Empire’s capital city, first and one of the biggest Buddhist monastery, fresh blue lakes, last surviving species of wild horses and further more.

Mongolie, province de Ovorkhangai, vallée Orkhon classée Patrimoine Mondial de l'UNESCO, Kharkhorin, monastère Erdene Zuu // Mongolia, Ovorkhangai, Kharkhorin, Erdene Zuu Monastery, Orkhon valley, Unesco world heritage

Orkhon Valley – Cultural Landscape The 121,967-ha Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape encompasses an extensive area of pastureland on both banks of the Orkhon River and includes numerous archaeological remains dating back to the 6th century. The site also includes Kharkhorum, the 13th- and 14th-century capital of Chingis (Genghis) Khan’s vast Empire. Collectively the remains in the site reflect the symbiotic links between nomadic, pastoral societies and their administrative and religious centres, and the importance of the Orkhon valley in the history of central Asia. The grassland is still grazed by Mongolian nomadic pastoralists.

Uwgun khiid- TourMongoliaKhogno Khan Natural Reserve – Khogno Khan Natural Reserve covers 46,990 hectares of land and is located just off the main Ulaanbaatar–Kharkhorin highway . The taiga and steppe plants grow in this area and represent two or three different natural zones. This is a magnificent place with mountains, forests, steppes, Gobi-type desert and mineral water sources all in one location. There are many wild animals such as wolves, deers, foxes and snow leopards inhabited here. You might also spot ibexes, various varieties of hawk, and even wolves. In Khogno Khan Natural Reserve, there is an extraordinary sand dunes called Elsen Tasarhai. “Elsen tasarhai” is a part of the Great Mongolian Sand dunes and extends about 80 km. The scenery is a perfect combination of desert, picturesque mountains, river and green grassland. This area is pleasant for many activities such as hiking, mountain climbing and horse riding. The arid terrain is good for short hikes (there’s plenty of rock clambering to be done), and there are old temples to explore, both ruined and active.

Day 1 Travel to Khognokhan & Camel riding
Pick up at your hotel and travel to Khognokhan mountain Nature reserve for 280kms. Afternoon arrival in the area. Camel breeder local guide will welcome and invite you to his Ger/Yurt for offering nomadic drinks and dairy products. Followed by a brief instruction for riding Mongolian two humped Bactrian camels, you will get acquainted with the camels and tacks. Enjoy 2hours warm up ride in the valley through the natural trail along the mountain. Stay overnight at tent. LD

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Day 2 Camel riding
After a hearty breakfast served, you will start pack up and continue the camel trek. Enjoy a day camel riding about 5-6hours along the sand dunes and mountain valley for 25-28kms. This evening our camel men and camels will leave the camp, get back to Khognokhan mountain. Gazing night stars. Stay overnight at tent. BLD

Day 3 Trekking to nomads
Today you will continue trekking adventure on foot to the nomad community in the valley of Gurvanbulag county where the landscape is incredibly beautiful with rolling steppe surrounded by sand dunes and rocky mountain. Trek will take about 3-4hours for 15-18kms. Afternoon arrival at community based Ger camp. Taking rest and refreshment. Evening enjoy and practice traditional games and archery. For dinner, you will have “Khorkhog”, is real Mongolian barbeque, meat and vegetables grilled with hot stones. Singing and dancing at bone-fire night. Stay overnight in community based eco Ger camp. BLD

erdene zuu khiidDay 4 Travel to Kharakhorum town
Morning you will have an opportunity to visit a nomad family and learn more in depth about nomad lifestyle. Then enjoy a demonstration by horsemen, to realize how Mongolian skillful cowboys catch horses by “uurga” – traditional wooden lasso and training an untamed horse that has never been ridden before. Attend a brief instruction on riding Mongolian horses, enjoy horseback riding for 1hour. Afternoon we will continue travel about 95kms to Kharakhorum, the city was founded in 1220 by an adoption of Chinggis Khaan and destroyed in 14th century. Later it rebuilt as a first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. We will visit the Buddhist temple complex of Erdene Zuu and Historical museum. Stay overnight in Ger camp. BLD

Day 5 Travel to Orkhon valley & Trekking
Morning we will travel to Orkhon valley for 120kms. On the way, we will see Orkhon waterfall, the waterfall formed by combination volcanic eruption and earthquakes some 20000 years ago cascades down from a height 27 meters. The Orkhon, longest river in Mongolia, begins at the state worshipped mountain Suvraga Khairkhan in the Khangai mountain range. Continue drive to Tsagaannuur valley for 15-20kms. Afternoon you will meet with your local assistants for trekking. They will care our entire luggage, camping equipment and food provisions for transporting by pack yaks. No vehicle will be supporting our trip for next four days. Trekking about 3hours until campsite. Stay overnight in tent nearby Khurdet mountain. BLD

naiman nuur.

Day 6 Trekking through Khuisiin Naiman Nuur Nature reserve
After hearty breakfast in the morning, we will trek through the Khuisiin Naiman nuur area for 18kms. Trekking to mountain pass Amgalan. Continue trekking through Tsagaan Azarga valley. On the way, we will cross the river with horses. Stay overnight in tent nearby Khukh Davaa. BLD

Day 7 Trekking to Shireet Lake
Today we will be trekking to Shireet Tsagaan Lake for 15-16km. Shireet Tsagaan is the largest lake of Khuisiin Naiman Nuur Nature reserve. Stay overnight in tent north side of the lake. BLD

Day 8 Half day trekking
Today we will trek for 12kms around the lake and surrounding area. Cross over a mountain pass Shireet. Meet with our drivers. After pack up our luggage at vehicles, we move for 10kms to a community camp. Arrive in community camp and have a resting. Stay overnight in guest Ger. BLD

ppd_598Day 9 Travel to Orkhon valley
Travel for 280kms to our next destination in Orkhon valley where we stay at eco Ger camp nearby Khujirt resort. On the way, we will pass center of Uyanga and Zuunbayan counties. Late afternoon rest and take a short hike. Stay overnight in Ger camp. BLD

Day 10 Travel to Khustai National Park
Morning we will drive for 310kms to Khustai National Park which covers about 50,620 sq.km area for preserving wild horses (known as Prezawalski horse) and other wild animals, pray birds and rich flora of steppe zone. Visit the Information Center for having an introductory presentation of the National Park. Stay overnight in Ger camp. BLD

khustai

Day 11 Trekking in Khustai National Park
This day you will enjoy a full day trekking at the park along the valley and cross over hills and forested mountain. You have plenty of opportunities to encounter wild horses and other animals such as herds of deer and marmots. At the end of trekking you will be taken by car to Ungut, a cultural site with ancient statues. Move to Ger camp. Stay overnight in Ger camp. BLD

Day 12 Travel to Ulaanbaatar
In the morning, we will travel for 100kms to Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to your hotel. End of the service. B

Date of departures 2017: (ex.Ulaanbaatar)
SR 01 05 Jun
SR 02 26 Jun
SR 03 17 Jul
SR 04 31 Jul

Price from:
USD 3090per person (2paying members)

Included: All activities described in the itinerary, Ger camp stay (6 nights), stay in Community based Ger camp (1 night) and Mongolian Ger stay (4 nights) in countryside, English speaking guide service, field cook, all camping equipment’s, sightseeing costs and entrance fees to Protected Areas, pack animals camel and yaks, all transfers by bus/mini bus/ in the city and by 4WD Russian minivan in the countryside. Meals of breakfast, lunch /picnic in countryside/ and dinner as mentioned per day itinerary.

Excluded: International transportation to and from Mongolia, hotel stay in Ulaanbaatar, travel insurance, mineral (bottled) water and alcoholic drinks, sleeping bag, tips and gratuities, laundry and items of a personal nature.

Note:
• We are happy to arrange your hotel and transfers in Ulaanbaatar, private car transportation to our destinations at discounted rate.
• International and domestic flight and train tickets would be arranged due to the clients’ requests and wishes with our pleasures.
• City sightseeing tours are offered as optional.
• Private departures are available on request.

Destinations brief info:
1. Khognokhan Nature Reserve– is located at 250 km from Ulan Bator, on the way to Kharkhorum. Covering an area of 47000 hectares, this park contains many historical monuments, forests of silver birches and poplar trees, and sources. The ecosystem of this park is particularly interesting because the semi-gobi, steppe and the taiga meet here. So, we can find a fauna and a flora that are characteristic of these ecosystems, and also some wonderful landscapes, with the granite formations of Khögno Khan.
2. Karakorum- used to be the capital of the Mongol Empire between 1235 and 1260. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Uvurkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today’s town of Kharkhorum, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery. They are part of the upper part of the World Heritage Site Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape.
3. The Khuisiin Naiman Nuur (8 lakes) Nature Reserve is located in central Mongolian not far from Orkhon waterfall. The area of these lakes was created by volcanic eruptions thousands year former  and about 3,150 meters above sea level and  covers 11,500 hectare. The road to these is quite bumpy, yet beautiful.
4. Khustai National Park. This park was established in 1993 and is about 100km southwest of Ulaanbaatar. The 50,620-hectare reserve protects Mongolia’s wild horse, the takhi, and the reserve’s steppe and forest-steppe environment. In addition to the takhi, there are populations of Asiatic red deer, steppe gazelle, deer, boar, manul (small wild cat), wolves and lynx. The information centre at the entrance to the park has a ger with displays on the park and the takhi, a small souvenir shop and videos that include a documentary on Mongolian horses.
Accommodation:
Ger camp: On this tour our clients will spend 6 nights in different tourist camps in Mongolian traditional dwelling “Ger”. These camps offers offer bath, shower and conventional washroom, serves with different types of foods in Ger restaurant, laundry service, musical performances and  some of them relaxing massage.
Tents:  During the active treks the spacious lightweight tents of 3 people will be provided on a twin share basis. A central dining tent is provided for groups with more than 6 parties. A double share based self inflatable sleeping mattress with ground sheet will be provided to each tent and the clients are recommended to bring their own sleeping bags for hygienic reasons.
Dining: Depending on clients flavor we’ll serve by various type of foods including Mongolian traditional, western and even some Asian foods. For those why have special diet or allergic we’ll serve by special foods.
Transportation:  Russian Minivans
In this tour we provide 4WD Russian minivans (UAZ 452 type) as we are traveling in remote countryside. They are most reliable and powerful cars and suitable for groups with up to 7 parties. Russian van’s spacious cabin and big trunk gives an advantage to travel with much luggage. Our drivers are most familiar with these vehicles in the case of breakdown and unmarked off-road.
Important info: This tour includes long camel riding and trekking days. Highly recommended to bring good trekking boots (poles) and clothes, sunglasses, sun cream and rain jacket. Better to be in good health conditions.

Reasons to love this trip

  1. Visiting varied natural landscape and cultural sites, nomad family, Buddhist monastery
  2. Learning Mongolian culture and tradition
  3. Camel riding, yak caravan
  4. Spotting Mongolian wildlife

Is this trip right for you?

  1. Professional staffs
  2. Nights in Mongolian traditional dwelling “Ger”
  3. Requires moderated level of fitness,
  4. Expect nature in all moods
  5. Some long driving days.

The Silk Road – On the Trail of Nomad Herders

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