Explore the untamed land of Gobi desert, enjoy camel ride, roam the rolling steppe on horseback, experience life in the yurts amongst nomadic folks, admire scenic volcanic lake and waterfall – embrace all these in the wilderness of Mongolia. Despite its vastness, Mongolia only has a population of some 3 million, mostly nomadic folks dependent on husbandry. Mongolia rewards travelers with unspoiled nature and hospitality, offering one the opportunity to blend in with the nature.
Board a late night flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, fly to Mongolia via Beijing (transit).
Early morning arrival in Beijing, connecting flight to Ulaanbaatar and arrive at destination around noon, transfer to hotel in city center. After lunch, take a rest at hotel to relief fatigue from the long flight. Around sunset, take a stroll at Chenghis Khan Square, a popular hang-out place for the locals.
Morning depart for the wilderness of Mongolia by UAZ (Russian jeep), destination of the day is Baga Gazryn Chuuluu, a picturesque mountain at the edge of Gobi desert. Admire the artwork of nature, centuries of wind erosion carved out impressive rock formation in this granite range measuring 1,768m above sea level. It is home to various wild animals, such as ibex, Siberian Argali, and vultures. Overnight in yurt camp.
Today’s destination is Tsagaan Suvarga, an impressive cliff range shaped by centuries of wind and water erosion. The rock formation here resembles Buddhism stupa, hence its namesake in Mongolian language. The cliffs appear in layering colors, indicating its formation through different times. From afar, the cliffs stand like the ruins from ancient civilization. Some caves here have rock paintings from Bronze Age.
Journey to Yolyn Am, also known as the Eagle Valley; it is a deep and narrow gorge in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains. This is a site for bird-watching and ibex-spotting, and notable for its glacier and icy river, although in summer the ice field size is relatively smaller. Take a hike in the valley to take in the scenic views at slow pace, the hike takes 2-3 hours.
Destination of the day is Bayanzag, the legendary “Flaming Cliff”. It was here in 1922 that American scientist Roy Chapman Andrew and his expedition team first discovered dinosaur skeletons and eggs, and the place gained world fame. The place is also known as Flaming Cliff for the rocks here appear in fiery red especially during sun set.
Arrive at the largest sand dune in Mongolian Gobi desert; the highest point of Khongoryn sand dunes could reach up to 800 meters. The locals call it the “Singing Dunes”, when the wind sweeping through the open space and sand shifting, it would produce various sounds, as if making music. The sand dunes look differently under various light conditions.
Remain for another day in the Gobi desert, at a yurt camp near Khongoryn Els. Activities of the day include camel riding, and exploring surrounding sand dunes. At night, sit idly in the quiet desert and gaze at the starry starry night.
Drive across the vast plain of Mongolia. When traveling in Mongolia, the best experiences and views usually take place “on the road”; grassland stretching into the horizon, dotted with yurts and sheep here and there, and local shepherds on horseback roaming the steppe. In addition, be impressed by the stunts a Russian Jeep could perform on rough terrains.
Journey to Orkhon Valley, a scenic place where Mongolia’s longest river and largest waterfall located, this is an ideal place to wind down. The Orkhon waterfall was formed by a unique combination of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes some 20,000 years ago. The fall is most impressive after heavy rain. It is a popular picnic and angling spot for local Mongolians.
Remain in Orkhon valley for one more day, activities include trekking in the waterfall surrounding areas, horse riding through the rolling steppe, visiting nomadic families and learn of local culture. One could also take an afternoon nap on the grassland, enjoy a slow day. At night, gather around bonfire for star gazing.
Visit Karakorum, the former imperial capital (12th century) of Mongolia. The country’s first and biggest Buddhism monastery Erdene Zuu Khiid is located here. Built in 1586, during its glory years, the monastery housed over 100 temples, surrounded by several hundred yurts, and resided by over 10,000 monks.
A long drive back to the capital city Ulaanbaatar, arrive in late afternoon, check-in to hotel in city center, back to the civilized world with modern facilities, one could have a good scrub down. For dinner, the capital city offers a wide selections, from local to international cuisines. At night, one may visit the pubs at the highest building in the city – the Blue Sky Tower; experience the sleek city life of Mongolia.
Free and easy day in Ulaanbaatar; one could go for souvenir shopping at the State Department store in city center, or visit the Museum of Natural History which houses dinosaur fossils. At night, arranged visit to the Mongolian National Song and Dance Academic for an hour long performances, including the unique Mongolian “throat singing”.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport, take a noon flight back to Kuala Lumpur via Beijing, arrival at destination in late night. End of tour.
A non-refundable deposit (unless tour cancelled by LevArt) of RM 2,000 is payable to secure booking. Balance fee RM 4,000 to be collected upon booking deadline or when the tour is fully booked.
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He is a semiconductor engineer by profession, but travel is his passion and a way of life. He likes backpacking, get upclose and engage with the locals during travel, as he appreciates true cultural exchange experiences. The destinations he has covered including western Europe, South East Asian countries, and the ancient Silk Road countries. He has previously stayed in France and Central Asia, and learnt basic French and Russian. In recent years, he is attracted to the high altitude, and has been exploring various hiking routes in Nepal.
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