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The Jewels of Mongolia
 An Overland Expedition to the Highlights of Central and Northern Mongolia

Day 1. Arrival to Ulaanbaatar (D)
Arrival to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to hotel. Depending on time of arrival, we may have a short city sight-seeing tour. Evening welcome dinner. Overnight in a 4-star hotel.

Day 2. Ulaanbaatar/ Kharkhorin (B,L,D)
Built by Chinggis Khan about 800 years ago, Kharkhorin, better known as Karakorum, was famed throughout Asia as the capital of the Mongol Empire. Within the walls of this spectacular city kings were chosen, laws made and the fate of the next city to be conquered were determined. We will visit the ruins of the old city, the Erdene Zuu monastery and other historical monuments in the area. Overnight in a ger camp by the Orkhon River.

Day 3. Kharkhorin/ Tuvkhon Monastery/ The Red Waterfall (B,L,D)
From the Khangai Mountain Range the Orkhon River runs all the way to Lake Baikal in Siberia. Today we head south, driving along the river’s banks. Our first stop will be a two and a half hours trek (with its first one hour uphill) to Tuvkhon Monastery, established during the 1650’s by Zanabazar, one of Mongolia’s most respected religious leaders. The monastery’s wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched hear a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests. With its unique natural features, it was a perfect location for the great religious leader to meditate. Continuing south; we reach the Red Waterfall, where we make camp for the night. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 4. Red Waterfall/ The Tsenkher Hot Springs (B,L,D)
In the morning we head north, crossing the Khangai Nuruu mountains through a series of passes until we reach the area Mongolians call 'the paradise of the horse herders' for its lush grasses and open valleys. We drive to the Tsenkher hot springs, where water flows out of the ground at 82C, and where we can enjoy a relaxing soak. Overnight in ger camp.

Day 5. The Hot Springs/ Khorgo Volcano (B,L,D)
Driving out of the hot springs, we pass through Tsetserleg, the provincial capital, where we will make a short visit to the local market. Continuing west, we stop next to Taikhar Chuluu - a massive rock which is connected to local mythology. The last stop of the day will be next to a good observation point for the Chuluut Canyon, and the holy "100 branch tree" which has grown nearby for hundreds of years. Finally we arrive at Khorgo Volcano. Overnight in ger camp.

Day 6. Khorgo Volcano/ Terkhin Tsagaan Nuur/ Khorgo Volcano (B,L,D)
We spend this day hiking or horseback riding from the top of the Khorgo Volcano through basalt fields studded with pine trees, all down to the shores of Terkhin Tsagaan Lake. Overnight in the ger camp.

Day 7. Khorgo Volcano/ Zuun Lake (B,L,D)
Driving north on one of Mongolia's most beautiful routes, we cross high mountain passes, vast grasslands, and small creeks as we pass by remote villages. We finish the day next to Zuun Lake, a small alpine lake in the mountainous region of Huvsgul. Overnight in ger camp by the lake shore.

Day 8. Zuun Lake/ Erhil Lake/ Lake Huvsgul (B,L,D)
As we head north, we pass through the town of Murun, the provincial capital of Huvsgul. A short while later we arrive at an ancient burial site featuring Mongolia’s mysterious deerstones, memorial stones representing important leaders and warriors, carved with deer motifs. After visiting the site, we will continue our trip northward. One of the world's biggest fresh water sources, Lake Huvsgul and its amazing surroundings are home to several of Mongolia’s ethnic minorities as well as a refuge for a wide variety of wildlife. Huvsgul is truly a highlight of any trip to Mongolia. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 9. Lake Huvsgul – Tsaatan, the Reindeer People (B,L,D)
One of the most interesting ethnic groups living near the lake is the Tsaatan or as they are better known – ‘The Reindeer People’. A small tribe of Tsaatan consisting of about 40 families lives with its herds of reindeer in the forests around the lake. These graceful animals provide the tribe with all its basic needs - milk, transportation, meat, skins and bones and antlers used as building materials and for tools. As there are very few Tsaatan left and this is a mobile population, we will go look for them by foot and by horse. We cannot guarantee that we meet them, but the scenery of the area is well worth the exploration time! Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 10. Lake Huvsgul/ Murun (B,L,D)
In the morning we will take a hike around the forests and meadows near the lake. Lying at about 1650 meters above sea level, surrounded by mountains rising above 3100 meters, the waters of Huvsgul are deep and spectacularly clear and pure. We will hike through thick pine forests carpeted with flowers and explore the setting of Mongolia’s ‘Blue Pearl’. After lunch we will drive to Murun. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 11. Murun  Ulaanbaatar (B,L,D)
Taking the first available flight, we return to Ulaanbaatar and check in to the hotel. If time permits, we will go on a sightseeing tour of the city, and visit the Natural History Museum, which has on display dinosaur skeletons excavated in the Gobi desert. In the evening we shall view the city at night from Zaisan Hill, where a monument to Mongol–Russian cooperation is located. Overnight in hotel a 4-star hotel.

Day 12. Ulaanbaatar (B,L,D)
We begin the day with a few hours exploring the Black Market. This huge market contains every single item a Mongolian might need, whether they are nomads or urban apartment dwellers. Goods brought from all corners of Mongolia are here for sale. A visit to the market is a colorful experience which gives the visitor an insight to the everyday life of the people of Ulaanbaatar. After lunch we will visit the Bogd Khan Palace museum, the palace of the last Mongolian king, who was considered a living god. Free shopping time in the afternoon. Mongolia is world renowned for its fine cashmere and you will find this and many other souvenir items in the city. Overnight in a 4-star hotel.

Day 13. Departure from Ulaanbaatar (B)
After breakfast at our hotel, we will drive to the airport for our international departing flight.

Choose your type of journey in Mongolia:
Active Adventures
Overland Journeys in Mongolia
Trips to the Gobi Desert
Familiy Hollidays to Mongolia
Winter trips to Mongolia

Blue Bandana Expeditions Co. Ltd. --- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia --- --- Copyright 2012