The Amazing Camel Riding Trek Experience through Vast Gobi Desert

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day 1: Baga Gazryn Chuluu

After breakfast in our hotel restaurant, we will leave for the Mongolian countryside. Our first stop will be 250 km southward in the beautiful region of Baga Gazryn Chuluu. It is a huge granite formation in the middle of the Mongolian sandy plane.
On open plain we will visit the remains of a small monastery named Delgeriin Choir Monastery. You will be entering first time in a Ger, huge impressive 12 walls Ger richly decorated and carved used by monks to chant during colder season when the stone monastery gets too cold to be inside.
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 and wander between huge endless piled granite rocky hills as if they were put.
(Ger Camp L, D)

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Day 2: Sum Khukh Burd and Tsagaan Suvarga

After breakfast, 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 250 km trip (5 hours driving) we will stop at some interesting spots. The first place we will visit is Sum Khukh Burd Monastery Ruin surrounded by tiny lake once used to be home to some remarkable bird life. Among others, the Mongolian lark, various species of prey birds, geese and swans come to this spring-fed lake. The ruins of Khukh Burd Monastery that was flattened during the Mongolian purge period. (1928 – 1939) From here we will head for Tsagaan Suvarga.
In the evening after long hours of driving we will reach Tsagaan Suvraga. The Cliff is 30 meters high and 100 meters wide. Over thousands of years the wind has created his amazing structure.
From a distance Tsagaan Suvraga resembles the ruins of an ancient town with crumbling buildings. Painted and carved on the rocks are ancient images of people hunting ibex with long bows and petroglyphs depicting wild animals and cattle. There are also Turkic inscriptions with different seals and images in the caves here.
A fissure running east to west from the upper slopes of a mountain down across the steppe. Looking into the fissure you will see high mud columns rising from the depths below. The yawning gap looks like the open jaws of some fabulous animal. Some of the caves are multi chambered one of which stretches back over 70 metres.
(Ger Camp B, L, D)

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Day 3: Yolyn and Dungenee Am

Today we will take arrive at Vulture and drive through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. We will pass through the Yolyn 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 where you can admire a collection of dinosaur bones and local flora and fauna.
(Ger Camp B, L, D)

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Day 4: Khongoryn Els

After a good morning breakfast, we will drive 150 km westwards to the Khongoryn Els. These are Mongolia’s largest sand dunes. Those impressive dunes of 275 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. Here we will visit two humped camel breeding family and get introduced to their simple, humble, hard yet amazing way of life. Gobi Desert being the coldest desert of the world with cold wind blowing pretty much throughout whole autumn, winter and spring without any shelter exposed in plains demands extreme survival method of living. Gobi nomads are well-known for their hard working quality in whole Mongolia.
(Family stay B, L, D)

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Day 5: Camel Riding in Khongoryn Els

For two days we will ride camels along the impressive Khongoryn Els sand dunes and explore its beauties. From family where we load our luggage on the camels and start camel riding along the dune. We will be guided by experienced camel man from the host family during our 4 days’ camel journey. The Gobi is rich of antelopes and black-tailed gazelles. We might catch a glimpse. We will start to know how to water the camels and take care of them little bit as nomads do. We will have enough time to wander around the area and then set up our first camp site. Enjoy your evening as the sun sets the desert cools rapidly.
We will have time to hike on the dunes and the most energetic of us will climb to the top of the sand dunes and enjoy one of the most amazing views of Mongolia.
(Tented camp B, L, D)

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Day 6: Camel Riding in Khongoryn Els

The camel riding will continue in Khongoryn Els sand dunes.
(Tented Camp, B, L, D)

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Day 7: Bayanzag and Flaming Cliffs

Today we will head 150 km to the 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 on foot. In the evening we will meet the camel man and his family. We will have a dinner together and overnight at his family ger.
(Ger Camp B, L, D)

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Day 8: Camel Riding in Bayazag, Moltsog Els

After a good breakfast we will set for a day camel trip in the direction of another sand dune, smaller than big dunes yet beautiful.
(Tented camp B, L, D)

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Day 9: Ongiin Monastery

Today we will continue driving to northwest to Ongiin Monastery. 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.
The monasteries were built in the 17th century and destroyed in 1937. They were among the largest temples in Mongolia and housed over 1000 monks.
Now day between ruins little monastery was built and in Ger museum are exhibited remains of old monasteries.
(Ger Camp B, L, D)

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Day 10: Camel Riding in Ongiin Monastery

Today we will set off with our camels for the peaceful Delger Khangai Mountains. Once arrived 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.
(Ger Camp B, L, D)

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Day 11: Orkhon Waterfall

In the Quaternary era a volcano erupted near the beginning of the Tsagaan Azarga or White Stallion River and the lava flowed down the Orkhon valley forming the 10-meter-thick layer of basaltic rocks. The basaltic layer was crosscut by the Orkhon River continuously and the canyon was formed as a result.
At the beginning of this canyon lays the 20 meters high, 10-meter-wide waterfall. The most adventures of you will climb down the canyon and swim the lake located at the foot of the waterfall. Orkhon valley is registered as world cultural heritage by UNESCO due to its ancient findings, artefacts related to early 6th century and even before that. As well as, 12th to 13th century great Mongol empire had expanded its capital Karakorum here. Moreover, pasture nomadic lifestyle still remains here and it keeps both historic and nomadic view of life. We will stay with nomadic horse breeding family. Your guide will help to forge contact with nomads and you will have better knowledge of their unique way of life by the time you say good bye to your hosts. We will get involved in many variety of daily activities of herders pursue. Milk sheep, goat, cows and horses. Process the milk to make butter, cheese & yogurt. Savour delicious, fresh dairy products you help producing. Fresh yak cream & yogurt with wild blueberry jam produced locally are the best you have ever tasted anywhere in the world. Not to miss as well is fermented mare milk.
(Family stay B, L, D)

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Day 12: Kharkhorin

Today we will set of for another driving day to Kharkhorin (also called Karakorum).
Kharkhorin is the site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Genghis Khan. The founding of Kharkhorin started on the ruins of Turug and Uigur cities in the Orkhon valley at the eastern end of the Khangai Mountains in 1220 by the Genghis Khan’s order. It was completed 15 years later during the Ugedei Khan’s reign. The town was a very cosmopolitan and religiously tolerant place.
The silver tree, part of Möngke Khan’s palace has become the symbol of Kharkhorin.
The highest peak of its prosperity was from 1220 to 1260. The specific feature of this stage is that Kharkhorin existed as the great capital of the Euro-Asian Empire with Mongolia as its core and as the centre of politics, economy, culture, religion, intellect, and diplomacy and the prominent tie of international relations.
Between 1260 and 1380 Kharkhorin lost the status of the Great Mongolian Empire and became the capital of Mongolia. When Kublai Khan claimed the throne of the Mongol Empire in 1260, as did his younger brother, Ariq Boke, he relocated his capital to today’s Beijing. Kharkhorin was reduced to the administrative centre of a provincial backwater of the Yuan Dynasty.
In 1368, the rule of Mongolian Yuan Dynasty collapsed and the centre of Mongolian government was shifted to its homeland after 110 years since Khubilai Khan moved the Empire capital to China in 1260. It gave Kharkhorin a chance to prosper again.
In 1388, Ming troops under General Xu Da took and destroyed the town.
Today nothing is left from this legendary city.
In 1580, when Abtai Sain Khan together with his brother, lord Tumenkhen, visited the 3rd Dalai Lama and expressed their wish to build a temple in Mongolia, he advised them to reconstruct one old temple in Kharkhorin. The temple in Takhai ruins that was restored in 1588 according to the Dalai Lama’s recommendation is the Main Zuu temple of Erdene Zuu monastery.
Now Erdene Zuu Monastery is all that remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residing there. 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.
Another place we will visit will be Kharkhorin’s New Archaeological Museum. It is a small museum but housed in a modern well-run building with good lighting and display cases with clear English labels. The exhibits include dozens of artefacts dating from the 13th and 14th centuries which were recovered from the immediate area, plus others that were found from archaeological sites in other parts of the provinces, including prehistoric stone tools. You’ll see pottery, bronzes, coins, religious statues and stone inscriptions. There’s also a half-excavated kiln sunk into the museum floor. Perhaps most interesting is the scale model of ancient Kharkhorin, which aims to represent the city as it may have looked in the 1250s, and is based on descriptions written by the French missionary William of Rub ruck. Another chamber exhibits a most recent addition, a Turkic noble tomb with wall paintings and artefacts, including gold items and jewellery. There is a short video of actual burial site.
We will also see the Turtle Rock and the Phallic Rock, visit little market behind walls exposing local arts by locals.
(Ger Camp B, L, D)

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Day 13: Drive back Ulaanbaatar via Khogno Khan Mountains and Elsen Tasarkhai

Today we will drive back to Ulaanbaatar. On the way we will stop Khogno Khan Mountains is an impressive massif in the open steppes. Not far from here runs the Tasarkhai Els, a 100 km long sand dune. Enjoy the incredible view over the plains, the sand dune and grasslands.
You may enjoy the late free afternoon to catch up all the places you haven’t visited yet. You might as well check the beautiful cultural show enjoy the colourful and rhythmic Mongolian dance, throat singing & admire the contortionists.
(B, L)

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included

  • Land transportation
  • Family stay
  • Tented camp
  • Ger camp stay
  • Meals 10B, 11L, 10D
  • Tour guides/Camel guide/Packing and Riding camels
  • Camping and kitchen equipment
  • National park entrance fees/Museum and Monasteries entrance tickets

not included

  • Hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • City touring
  • International transport
  • Passport and visa costs
  • Medical, trip insurance and evacuation costs
  • International airport taxes, excess baggage charges.
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Laundry
  • Telephone calls
  • Items of personal nature
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included

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