Mountains and Monasteries of Mongolia

The court of the Great Khaan was home to a number of different religions and churches, which competed for the Khaan's favor. The earliest surviving Buddhist monastery Erdene zuu as well as Monastary of Tranquil Felicity are in strong relation to Nomadic culture. As Buddhism is practiced throughout the entire nation, it has a reflection on people's life and daily activities. 

Route:

Ulaanbaatar – Middle Gobi – Kharkhorin Ancient Capital – Amarbayasgalant Monastery - Ulaanbaatar

Duration:

13 nights /14 days 

Price From:

US$ ***

Region:

Central and Southern Mongolia  

Tour highlights:

Middle Gobi – Kharkhorin Ancient Capital – Amarbayasgalant Monastery

The Mongolians have always been a people tolerant of different religions. The court of the Great Khan was home to a number of different religions and churches, which competed for the Khan’s favor. Tibetan Buddhism spread through Mongolia in the 16th century, and is now the dominant religion in the country. Shamanism and animist beliefs were prevalent in Mongolia before the 16th century and continue today in certain regions. During the communist purges of the 1930s more than 600 temples were destroyed and much of Mongolia’s religious heritage lost. However, in the 1990s restoration began on temples and lamaseries across the country and today there are numerous examples of unique Mongolian Buddhist architecture and cultural history.

  • Day 1. Ulaanbaatar. (B/L/D)
  • Day 2. Elsen Tasarkhai. 280km (B/L/D)
  • Day 3. Uvgun Khiid and Kharkhorin. 100km (B/L/D)
  • Day 4. Kharkhorin. (B/L/D)
  • Day 5. Middle Gobi. 300 km (B/L/D)
  • Day 6. Middle Gobi. (B/L/D)
  • Day 7. Ulaanbaatar. 290km (B/L/D)
  • Day 8. Terelj National Park. 80km (B/L/D)
  • Day 9. Amarbayasgalant Monastery. 340km (B/L/D)
  • Day 10. Amarbayasgalant Monastery. (B/L/D)
  • Day 11. Amarbayasgalant Monastery. (B/L/D)
  • Day 12. Ulaanbaatar. 340km (B/L/D)
  • Day 13. Ulaanbaatar. (B/L/D)
  • Day 14. Departure. (B)

Day 1. Ulaanbaatar. (B/L/D)

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia, and transfer to the hotel. Check in. Optional tour of the city if time permits. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Overnight at selected hotel

Day 2. Elsen Tasarkhai. 280km (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. Early morning drive to Bayangobi camp (280km) and arrive by midday. Local exploration and hiking along the sand dunes, which stretch for about 10km. Overnight in a Mongolian traditional dwelling, a ger.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 3. Uvgun Khiid and Karakorum. 100km (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the camp. Full day excursion to the Hugnu Haan Mountain, 20km away, and a visit to the nearby ruins of Uvgun Hiid Temple. Afternoon drive to Karakorum (80km) and overnight in gers at the Karakorum tourist camp.History: Uvguun Hiid Temple. Here there are the ruins of two monasteries, hidden behind the rocky ridges and cliffs of the Hugnu Haan Mountain. Undur Gegeen Zanabazar erected the two monasteries Uvgun and Zaluu for his teacher. But the soldiers of Galdanboshigt the Oirad King destroyed the monasteries in 1688 and assassinated all the monks. The temple was originally called the Khugnu Tarin Khiid, but has now been reopened as Uvguun Hiid Temple. Here tourists can visit a functioning temple and meet with local monks.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 4. Karakorum. (B/L/D)

Spend a full day exploring the Erdene-Zuu Monastery, built on the ruins of the ancient city of Karakorum in 1585 and symbolic ruins of the imperial capital of the Mongolian Empire in the 13th century. Overnight in gers at the Karakorum tourist camp.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 5. Middle Gobi. 300 km (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the camp. Drive to the Middle Gobi tourist camp (300km). En route pay a visit to the Sangiin Dalai temple. This temple was built in the 19th century, in commemoration of the Dalai Lama’s first visit to Mongolia. Arrive at the tourist camp late afternoon. History: More than 20 temples were originally built and they housed about 200 lamas. In 1937, during the communist purges most of the temples were destroyed. Up to the 1990s, when the revival of the Buddhist religion started, Sangiin Dalai temple was closed. At present, Sangiin Dalai temple, which was built without using a single iron nail, is a major center of Buddhism.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 6. Middle Gobi. (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the camp. Full day excursion to Baga Gazriin Chuluu Mountain and Sum Huh Burd. Drive back to camp for dinner and overnight in ger.
History: Baga Gazriin Chuluu is a sacred rocky mountain, 1760m above sea level, and is famous for its unique rock formations and beautiful natural environment. There is a small wood of elms, growing on rocky slopes. There is also a 20-meter-deep cave and a spring emerging from holes up to 60cm wide. It is located 75km from the camp. Sum Huh Burd is an oasis in the Gobi, with a small lake, which has an ancient stone fortress on an island in the center of the lake. The fortress, built during the 16th and 17th centuries, has walls 1.5 meters thick and no roof. Legend says that all attempts to build a roof were thwarted by lightning.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 7. Ulaanbaatar. 290km (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the camp. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar (290km) with stopover at the Gobi inn roadside food place for the lunch. Transfer to hotel.
Overnight at selected hotel

Day 8. Terelj National Park. 80km (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Terelj National park, 80km from Ulaanbaatar. Explore the famous Turtle rock and the mountains with their unique granite formations. Have lunch and drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Free time for leisure in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel in Ulaanbaatar.
Overnight at selected hotel

Day 9. Amarbayasgalant Monastery. 340km (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. Early morning drive to Amarbayasgalant. Packed lunch. Arrive at the camp in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 10. Amarbayasgalant Monastery. (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the camp. Drive 7km west of the camp and visit Amarbayasgalant Monastery, one of the most ancient and beautiful monastery complexes in Mongolia, dating back to 1727. The monastery survived through the centuries and even the communist purges of the 1930s during which about 700 monasteries and temples were completely destroyed. Thanks to restoration works, most temples of the monastery are functioning and ceremonies are regularly held inside them.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 11. Amarbayasgalant Monastery. (B/L/D)

Full day trekking to the nearby mountains with box lunch. Return in the late afternoon.
Overnight in tourist GER camp

Day 12. Ulaanbaatar. 340km (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the camp. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Free time for individual plans and shopping in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Overnight at selected hotel

Day 13. Ulaanbaatar. (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. Full day excursion in Ulaanbaatar. Visit the Museum of Natural History with its world-famous collection of dinosaur exhibits, including the huge complete skeleton of the Tarbosaurus, an Asian cousin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Overnight at the hotel in Ulaanbaatar. Overnight at selected hotel

Day 14. Departure. (B)

After an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for departure.

Tour available dates:

01 June – 15 October

Include:

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • English speaking guide at all times.
  • In the countryside all lodging will be in ger camps.
  • All meals are provided as stated in the itinerary.
  • Ground transportation: in the countryside by a chauffeur driven 4WD jeep, bus in the city area.
  • Park entrance fees
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • 1 liter of drinking water per day per person

 Exclude:

  • Accommodation in a hotel or hostel in Ulaanbaatar
  • Hotel extras, such as telephone calls, bar bills and laundry services
  • Travel insurance, medical insurance
  • Visa application fees
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses such as IDD call, internet, laundry, items of a personal nature
  • Gratuity to local guides and drivers
  • Airfare or train ticket
  • Airport taxes, excess baggage charges (over 44pound / 20kilo)
  • Changes of arrival/departure flights
  • Additional services
  • Any charges of major force beyond our control (e.g. imposition, quarantine restrictions, etc...)
  • Optional excursions unless stated in your itinerary, etc…

This is a suggested packing list, which you should feel free to adjust to suit your needs. Please refer to our travel guide for more detailed information.

 

  • backpack or soft bag
  • day pack
  • head lamp/flashlight
  • spare batteries/bulb
  • personal medications
  • hiking boots/shoes
  • rain jacket with hood
  • fleece jacket or wool jumper
  • cotton t-shirts
  • long sleeve shirts
  • lightweight trousers
  • shorts
  • warm hat
  • socks
  • underwear
  • sun hat
  • sandals
  • sun glasses
  • sun cream
  • spare glasses
  • insect repellent
  • plastic bags
  • binoculars/camera
  • wet tissues
  • watch/ alarm clock
  • money belt/ pouch
  • insurance confirmation copy
  • emergency contact number