Otgon at Backpacker Mongolia

Otgon's backpackers Trips

Ulaan Batar, Mongolia

Franais - Deutch

1st day

Upon arrival at the airport we will be welcomed by your guide. He will bring us to your comfortable, centrally located hotel.

In the afternoon we will visit the Bogd Khan's Winter Palace, a series of beautiful traditional buildings in which the eighth Living Buddha and the last king lived. It is now a museum displaying fascinating artefacts and costumes associated with the last king as well as his collection of stuffed animals.

2nd day

After breakfast in our hotel restaurant, we will leave for the Mongolian countryside. Our first stop will be 250 km (6 hours driving) southward in the beautiful region of Bag Gazrin Chuluu. It is a huge granite formation in the middle of the Mongolian sandy plane. At the foot of the formation we will visit the remains of a small monastery named Delgeriin Chior.

End of the afternoon we will drive and hike around in the area. We will visit the picturesque ruins of a small monastery that are hidden in a nice little protected valley.

As the place is far away from the usual tourist routes, there are no accommodation facilities. Therefore we will set up our tents in a beautiful natural scene of one of the valleys of the formation. Tents, pneumatic mattresses, etc. will be provided. You will have to bring your own sleeping bag. A barbecue accompanied with some fresh vegetables will wait for us at the camping spot.

3rd day

After a breakfast at the camp side, we will start driving towards the Gobi desert. Today we will see the landscape changing dramatically from the fertile grassland to the inhospitably rocky land. The number of families and cattle we will see along the road will gradually reduce. Camels will slowly replace cows.

During this nearly 300 km trip (8 hours driving) we will stop at some interesting spots.

The first place we will visit is Sangiin Dalai Nuur. This tiny lake shelters on its island the mighty ruins of a castle that was build here some 300 years ago. Here we will also observe some remarkable bird life. Among others, the Mongolian lark, various species of prey birds, geese and swans come to this spring-fed lake.

A little further on the road we will pass the ruins of Khukh Burd Monastery that was flattened during the Mongolian purge period. (1928 - 1939)

From here we will head for Saigan Ovoo Sum. This little town is located along a small desert river (Ongiin Gol) at the entrance of a beautiful mountainous region. A little further southward along the river, next to Hoshuu Monastery we will spend the night in a ger camp.

4th day

After the long and intensive trip of the day before, we will enjoy the peace and beauty of the Delger Khangai Mountains. We will explore the ruins of Hoshuu Monastery on one side of the river and the ruins of Ongiin Monastery on the other side of the river. We will hike around in this massive series of rocky hills cut by the river.

Breakfast, dinner and supper will be taken in the ger camp, and we will spend a second night here before facing a second driving intensive day through the Gobi desert.

5th day

Today the landscape will change once again. We will leave the mountainous region and drive the whole day (about 250 km, 6 hours) through a totally flat landscape. Soil will not be covered with sand but with small pebbles. If we are lucky we will be able to observe a mirage or some wild desert gazelles. Despite the appearance of a totally inhospitable area, we will see sporadically a family living there with their animals. On the road we will visit a camel breeding family. We will most probably have the chance to taste the fermented camel milk also called "camel airag", or the local tasty yoghurt. Be aware, the tastes are strong.

Via the small desert town of Mandel Ovoo we will drive southward to Bayanzag. Bayanzag also known as the "Flaming Cliffs" is the worldwide renowned place where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur bones and eggs. The surrounding landscape is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs. Here we will spend some time exploring the cliffs.

Next stop will be our ger camp close to Dalanzadgad.

6th day

Today we will drive to several places around the camp. We will take a ride through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. We will pass through the Yoliin Am and the Dungenee Am both located in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Ancient rivers carved those green valleys. We may catch a glimpse of the wild Argali sheep, the Ibex, the desert gazelles or the Golden Eagles. We will also pay a visit to the little museum of the park.

We will spend the night in the same camp as the night before.

7th day

Today we will head 200 km (6 hours) westwards to the Khongoriin Els. These are Mongolia's largest sand dunes. Those impressive dunes of 800 meters high in some places, stretch from East to West over more than 100 km. Behind the sand dunes we will see the impressive black rocky mass of the Sevrey Mountain.

We will explore the beauties of the sand dunes. The most energetic of us will climb to the top of the sand dunes and enjoy one of the most amazing views of Mongolia. We will have an overnight nearby in a ger camp.

8th day

Today we will drive 230 km (6 hours) to the north in the direction of the green steppes of Central Mongolia.

Before reaching those green areas we will have to cross a remote and unforgiving stretch of desert. We will also cross the arid rocky Arts Bogdiin Mountain, and pass trough breath-taking landscapes. On the way we will have a short stop at Bogd village.

As this road is far away from the normal tourist tracks, we will have to put up our tented camp for the night.

9th day

Today we will get up very early for our longest day. We will drive approximately 9 hours northwards to reach in the evening Kharkhorin, also called Karakorin, site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Chinggis Khan. Very little is left from this legendary city. In the 16th century, Mongolia's biggest Monastery was build from the ruins of Kharkhorin. Now Erdene Zuu Monastery is all that remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residencing there.

Overnight in a ger camp

10th day

After breakfast we will explore the grounds of Erdene Zuu Monastery surrounded by its massive 400 m X 400 m walls. We will be guided around the 3 remaining temples: Dalai Lama, Zuu of Buddha and Lavrin Temple. We will also see the Turtle Rock and the Phallic Rock.

After a lunch at our Ger Camp, we will continue driving westward in the direction of Khangai Mountains. The green mountainsides wit its network of smaller and larger rivers offer excellent pastureland for the herds of horses, yaks and cows.

Our next stop (6 hours driving) will be the Orkhon waterfalls, which is located in the Orkhon valley. The area surrounding the waterfall is a green, with forest covered mountainous area. The valley is known as the cradle of the Mongolian civilization. Many ancient Mongolian as well as Turkish monuments lie within its borders.

In the evening we will put up our tents not far from the waterfalls.

11th day

After breakfast we will hike around the waterfalls. We will hike down to the bottom of the gorges. The most courageous of you will jump into the river for a swim.

In the afternoon we will head northweswards for Tsetserleg, capital city of Arkhangai province (180 km, 6 hours). It is a lovely little town surrounded by forested hills. Here we will visit the Buyandelgeruulekh Monastery, the town main functioning monastery and the nice little Museum of Arkhangai located in Zayaiin Gegeenii Monastery. From the museum we will walk hill upward to a small abandoned monastery and enjoy the beautiful view we have from there over Tsetserleg and the surrounding hills.

We will drive slightly out of town to set up our tented camp.

12th day

After a 200 km ride (6 hours) we will reach Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. It is one of the most beautiful lakes of the country. The lake is surrounded by extinct and craterous volcanoes, and was formed by lava flows from a volcanic eruption many millennia ago. As a result of the volcano eruptions the landscape is covered with black volcanic rocks.

13th day

Today we will relax around the lake. We will make an excursion to the top of Khorgo Uul Volcano and we will pass the gorges that lead from Tariat to the volcano.

We will stay a second night next to the lake.

14th day

For three days we will drive northwards into the direction of Hovsgol Lake. We will drive through the central grasslands where you will see large herds of horses, cows and yaks. You will cross several rivers, smaller and larger ones, all full of fish.

We will camp on the road to the North.

15th day

After a second day of intensive driving we will reach Moron, capital city of Hovsgol province. We will stop at the local market to stock up food after what we will go on driving:

In the evening we will arrive at the Uushig valley, site of the Ancient Graves. We will set up our tented camp in this valley.

16th day

After 4 hours intensive driving on a path climbing up to the north we will at last reach the Mongolian blue pearl, the Hovsgol Lake. It is a huge 2760 square km alpine lake (130 km in length and 30 km in width), surrounded by mountain chains of more than 2000 meters high, thick pine forests and lush meadow with grazing yaks and horses. More than 100 small rivers and streams feed the lake with crystal clear water. Water exits the lake through only one river, the Egiin, whose waters eventually reach the Baikal Lake. The lake contains about 1.5% of the world's fresh water (excluding water contained in the icecaps).

The lake and rivers are full of fish. Around a dozen species of fish inhabit the lake and rivers. The most well known are the sturgeon, grayling, lennok, salmon, taimon, etc.

We will overnight in a ger camp located along the Western shore of the lake.

17th day

We will spend a full day exploring the lakeshore and surrounding mountains. For those interested they will have the possibility to go horseback riding, visit Mongolian families, go hiking, go fishing, etc. Please bring your own rod and tackle, or buy it in Ulaanbaatar.

18th day

After having enjoyed a full day along the Hovsgol Lake, we will take the road again, southestwards to Amarbayasgalant Monastery. This trip will take us two days through the Mongolian grasslands.

We will camp somewhere along the road.

19th day

After a second day of intensive driving we will finally reach Amarbayasgalant Monastery. The monastery is set in an exquisite valley surrounded by mountains. After Erdene Zuu Monastery, Amarbayasgalant Monastery is considered as the second most important monastery and the most intact architectural complex of Mongolia. The monastery was built in the 18th century by the Manchu emperor Yongzheng and dedicated to the great Mongolian Buddhist Zanabazar.

In the evening we will set up our tents somewhere in the open valley of the monastery, close to a nomad family. We will experience the warm hospitality offered by the Mongolian families. For dinner we will be offered a typical Mongolian barbeque that will be prepared by nomads. Those who want will have the opportunity to try the "airag" or fermented horse milk. Our guide - translator will help us to forge contact with the local population.

Tonight we will share the gers with the family.

20th day

After breakfast we will visit the monastery and do some hiking.

In the beginning of the afternoon we will leave for Ulaanbaatar that we will reach after 6 hours of riding. (Hotel, B, L, D)

21st day

We will have a full free day to stroll around in Ulaanbaatar and buy some souvenirs before heading back home. For those interested they can visit the Monastery of Choiji Lama, the latest state oracle. This monastery is known as the Religious Museum.

In the evening we will have a far well dinner in a good restaurant.

22nd day

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure

 

 

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