Western Mongolia and Lake Khuvsgul tour
Destination: Ulaanbaatar; Khuvsgul Province; Bayan-Olgii Province
Highlights: Tsaatan – reindeer herder ethnic group; Khuvsgul Lake; Bayan-Ulgii province, Kazakh nomadic culture; Eagle hunting family; Tuvan family; Terelj National Park;
Duration: 15 days, 14 nights
Best dates: June to August
Total driving distance: xxxx km
Price from: USD xxxx
Will be updated soon. Please see itinerary for details.
Day 1. Arrival to Ulaanbaatar
Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar (UB), English speaking professional tour guide will warmly welcome the travelers. Transfer to UB city center and check-in to hotel for overnight rest.
Day 2. Terelj National Park
After breakfast, transfer to “Tsonjin Boldog” (54 km), where the world’s biggest equestrian statue – Chinggis Khan Statue complex is located. Stop on the way for eagle holding pictures. Then transfer to Terelj National Park. Lunch is in a ger camp restaurant. Visit giant “Turtle rock” and other unique rock formations which are highlights of the area. Visit a local nomad family to learn about their lifestyle and participate in their daily chores when possible. Horse riding for about an hour. Transfer to the Ger. (B, L, D)
Day 3. Terelj National Park-Ulaanbaatar city
In the noon experience horse riding by Tuul River and hiking to Aryabal meditation temple will take about an hour’s excursion.
Return to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy the half day city tour including Gandan Monastery with the outstanding 24m golden plated statue of Buddha; Megjid Janraiseg. This monastery is the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia with 500 monks. And visit Mongolian National Museum which has many colorful exhibits; historical findings, traditional handicrafts and dressing and Centre of Shaman Eternal Heavenly Sophistication home of resident shaman Zorigtbaatar. In the evening enjoy the Folk concert (throat singer, contortionist, long and short songs, dances). Transfer to hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 3. Ulaanbaatar – Murun
Have breakfast at the hostel and take domestic flight to Murun, capital of Khuvsgul province. This flight allows you to bend distance of 680 km in just above hour and a half. Upon arrival, tour couch will pick you up from local airport and start to Khuvsgul Lakeshore.
On your way, stop by the ancient Deer Stones of “Uushgiin Uvur”. Lunch and dinner are in a ger camp by lakeshore. Upon arrival, we will meet with a local Tsaatan family and experience their most unique lifestyle and culture. Stay overnight at the camp. (B, L, D)
Day 4. Wishing Rock Island with plant identification.
After breakfast, have short boat trip to a nearby “wish granting rock” to make wishes, and see Mongolian ovoo – pile of stones forming a worshipping spot based on religious beliefs. Make a plant identification and medicine uses walk. After that, do some more hiking nearby mountain and hills. In the afternoon do boat tour by the Lake Khuvsgul. Stay at the camp. (B, L, D)
Day 5. Murun city/Ulaanbaatar city
In the morning drive back to Murun city for your domestic departure to Ulaanbaatar city. After arrival free time at your hotel. (B)
Day 6. Leisure day in Ulgii
In the morning, fly to Bayan-Ulgii, westernmost province of Mongolia and remote home of Kazakh nomads who hunt with trained Golden Eagles. Ulgii city tour including local museum, square and market place. Stay at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 7. Kazakh nomad family
In the morning transfer to Khoton Khurgan lakes area where many Kazakh nomads stay during summer. Arrive at the Kazakh nomadic family. Settle down there for the next couple of days camping. Overnight in a big ger. (Lakes area is with trees, snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes and mineral water rivers). Stay overnight at the ger. (B, L, D)
Day 8. Kazakh nomad family
We’ll get up at same time with the family and experience the morning ritual, or even help, in milking cows, goats and sheep, there will be plenty to see and do, such as riding with Kazakh herdsmen, watching how they take care of their animals, helping with processing of the dairy products and sample home-made yak cheese and yogurt. Also, we will assist in women of the household with cooking the traditional food. This way to explore the real way of how a nomadic family lives, and to personally experience their friendliness and hospitality. Before dinner, also see how Kazakh embroidery is made. We will take a few hours of embroidery lesson Kazakh women are celebrated for their colorful needlework used to decorate the interiors of their gers. We will also learn to make felt.
In the evening will slaughter a sheep and invite all other Kazakh neighbors and have “five fingers” feast. Sing songs and have fun with nomads. (Slaughtering a sheep is a tradition of Kazakh when they have important guests at their yurts). Camping at next to Kazakh yurt and experience nomadic life. Stay overnight at the tent. (B, L, D)
Day 9. Khoton Lake
Hike to Ikh Durgen valley to see the beautiful waterfall coming from glacier mountains on big rocks. Hike back to the nomadic family. Stop by Eagle hunter’s family on the way back. See golden eagles and learn about their methods of training eagles, sewing the special garments of hunter and bird and about their way of life. We will meet the remarkable eagle hunters and their birds, to learn about their techniques of capturing and training an eagle. We will join the hunters on horseback. Eagle hunting talk and demonstration with the host.
Same day you will do short driving to the west side and camp next to Khoton lake. Stay overnight at the tent. (B, L, D)
Day 10. Tavan Bogd National Park
We will drive out of Khoton lake heading towards to Ranger station of Tavan Bogd mountain. 3000 meters’ height from sea level. Arrive at the Ranger station where many Tuvan nomads spend their summer. Experience differences of nomadic lifestyle. On your way you will stop to see Deer Stones and Stop by snake river valley and see ancient burial mounds and deer stones. Stay overnight at the tent. (B, L, D)
Day 11. Tavan Bogd National Park
Today you will do half day of hiking and reach 20KM Potaniin glacier which is biggest glacier in Mongolia and You can see Altai Tavan Bogd mountain. Have lunch. After lunch come back at your camp there. Stay overnight at the tent. (B, L, D)
Day 12. Tavan Bogd National Park
You will visit Tuvan nomadic family and you can see their life style, help them daily work. (Shamanism is not available out there). Horseback riding and hiking. Stay overnight at the tent. (B, L, D).
Day 13. Ulgii city
Transfer back to Ulgii 5,6 hours. After arrival to Ulgii lunch with Imam to talk about Islamism. Visit local Mosque to see local Imam singing the call to prayer. Stay at local Hotel in Ulgii. (B, L, D)
Day 14. Fly back to Ulaanbaatar
After having breakfast fly back to Ulaanbaatar city. Visit state department store and cashmere outlet store. Free afternoon. Overnight stay at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 15. International departure
Following breakfast, transfer to the Chinggis Khaan international airport for your departure and conclude the tour. (B)
The price is based on *** hotel rate.
Upgrade to **** and ***** hotels are possible at your request.
Price for children aged 2-12 get discounted.
Infants travel free, with their own equipment.
Package price includes:
Package price includes:
- Airport or train station transfers in Ulaanbaatar
- Accommodation: Hotel***, ger camp*
- Your preferred language speaking guide
- Chaffeured transport during the tour
- Entrance fees to National Parks and protected areas
- Tickets to museums and art performances
- Meals as mentioned in itinerary
- Two bottles of 0,5 liter drinking water per day
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
Package price excludes:
- Visa application fee
- International airfare or train tickets
- Travel insurance
- Single room supplement
- Hotel extras (phone calls, laundry, minibar,. etc)
- Personal toiletries
- Gratuity to local guides and drivers
- Optional excursions unless stated in the itinerary
How to get a visa?
If you are a citizen of one of the 46 countries that has been granted “visa-free access” to Mongolia, or 41 countries covered in a 30 day visa-free visit regime until 31st December 2015, you do not need to present a visa when entering Mongolia for tourism purposes. With exception of those, visitors are required to have a valid visa issued by Mongolian diplomatic missions or honorary consuls abroad. The following materials are required to obtain a visa under grounds of tourism:
- Passport, valid for at least six months from the end of intended period of stay in Mongolia
- One passport size photo
- Completed and signed Visa Application Form for Tourists
- Invitation from Mongolia (Either an invitation of the receiving entity, or an official request of the sending country and the organization).
- Transit visa processing requires visa for next destination, and copy of onward tickets.
How to get to Mongolia?
By airways: Providing you with comfort flights, Mongolian national flag carrier MIAT – Mongolian airlines operate scheduled and chartered flights to Ulaanbaatar from Berlin, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka and Beijing. The Chinggis Khaan international airport, conveniently located 18 km southwest of the capital, hosts following carriers apart from MIAT:
- Hunnu Air
- Aeroflot Air
- Korean Air
- Turkish Airlines
We will always be happy to help arrange your international flights to Mongolia. By railways: If your holiday duration and plan allows, another great way to get to Mongolia is via trans-Mongolian train. This is possible either from Moscow or Beijing. The journey takes 4 nights and 5 days from Moscow, and 1 night and 2 days from Beijing. It is a magical journey which takes you from the heart of buzzing downtowns of metropolises into nomadic Mongolia, past the Great Wall of China through the Gobi desert, or Russian countryside villages through the Baikal Lake. Also trains to border cities run every day, as the cities of Ulaan-Ude (Russia) and Erlian (China) are both popular get-away destinations for locals, for a little cultural sightseeing and a bit of shopping. You can let us handle your international railway tickets, to make your travel plan even smoother.
What to bring? What to wear?
Yes, you would want to pack a few additional things to make your travel more comfortable.
- Your personal toiletries
- Summer hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
- Earplugs to use when camping in the countryside
- Small headlamp or a flashlight
- Portable battery charger for your phone, tablet, camera etc.,
Small first aid bag including following:
- Small adhesive bands
- Blister plasters
- Medicine to treat occasional diarrhea
- Lip balm
- Wet tissue
- Mosquito repellent cream
- Sleeping bag or sleeping sack
- Mosquito net
- After sun cream when possible
- Trekking shoes
- Weatherproof jacket
- Wool hat, gloves, scarf
- Spare pairs of socks and underwear
- Bathing or swimming suit
- Other casual clothing
Foreign currency can be exchanged at commercial banks into Mongolian national currency “Tugrug”, which are in notes of 1, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000. Credit cards are accepted at all the hotels, restaurants, and tourist shops, with exception of small scale places. Ulaanbaatar and other cities and towns have “ATM” – automatic teller machines, where you can withdraw cash from your card.
Mongolian nationwide electricity output is 220V/50HZ in a European style plug. Most likely all the wall sockets will feature 2 widely spaced round pins. But no worries if your device is different, because universal plug converter is commonly used, and found at relatively cheap price here in Mongolia.
Mongolians have several national holidays and celebrations, and when we talk about celebrating holidays, we mean to do it nationwide. Believe us, celebrations take festive forms in most cases, and some certain are following:
– New year’s eve — 31st Dec to 1st Jan
– Mongolian Lunar New Year — 3 days in January or February according to Lunar calendar
– International women`s day — 8th of March
– Children`s day — 1st of June
– Naadam Festival — 10-13th of July
– Birthday of Chinggis Khaan — National Pride day: 14th of November
– Independence day: 26th November
Like many modern societies, tipping is part of modern life in Mongolia. You can leave small amounts with meals, drinks and round off taxi fares. Tip concierges and bellboys for help with luggage, typically USD 1$ per bag. Tour guides and drivers are used to tips as well. However, giving small gift or present to nomadic families you have visited or stayed with, is preferable over tipping.