Tour description: The feature of this program is to introduce western Mongolian life and environment and introduce khazah people life. We will supported by local 4wd vehicles. It is usually very stable weather patterns this time of the year, with blue skies. However any change to the worse will be dramatic and you should be prepared for a snow storm at the worst. During the journey we will make short hikes, sometimes supported by camels and horses. Camels are used to reach the Potanina glacier.
Tour length: 13 nights and 14 days.
Day 1 Ulaanbaatar city tour
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. On arrival, you are welcomed by a representative from Enjoy Mongolia Travel and are transferred to your hotel. City sightseeing tour including a visit Central square, where all central departments including Government house and Chinggis khaan’s statue situated on. Visit to Gandantegchilen monastery. On to Zaisan Hill War Memorial. Next to the memorial, there is a Buddha garden and statue. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 2 Fligh to Khovd
Fly to the Khovd city. (two and a half hour flight). Visit the monuments of Galdanboshigt Khaan and Ard Ayush. Visit the local Museum which includes some rare artifacts such as ethnic clothes, rare stones, stuffed animals, photos and exhibitions of Manchu. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2-4 Khar Us Nuur National Park
We have 1 days of explorations for Khar Us Nuur National Park. The largest of the lakes is Khar Us Nuur (Black Water Lake). We will try local hospitality at Jargalant Hairhan Mountain and hike into Rashantiin Am (Spring Valley), a sacred valley. Here is a sacred spring which is being said to have medicinal properties, including good for eye diseases Jargalant Hairhan is a snow-capped mountain, which is the back drop of Khar Us Lake. We will visit the families. It is possible we can also visit Chandman soum, where they claim throat singing originates. On the last day we will drive to and arrive at Tsambagarav snow-capped mountain area and pitch camp at Tavan Belchir (five pastures). We will view the glaciers here and meet some nomadic families. Overnight in tent.
Day 5-6 To Tsambagarav National Park
We will drive around this national park and have our picnic lunch by the small crystal clear lakes by Tsast Mountain. Both Tsambagarav and Tsast are eternally snow-capped peaks. Overnight in tents.
Day 7 Ulgii city
Drive to Ulgii, the small town which is the “capital” of Bayan-Ulgii province, which has many ethnic minorities, but predominantly Kazakh. Kazakhs, unlike the buddhist Mongols are muslims, and speak a Turkic language. There are some hidden handicraft shops. There is a recently refurbished mosque instead of a monastery, and there is a bazaar instead of a market. Overnigh in hotel.
Day 8 Drive to Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
We will drive further west. Bayan-Ulgii is rich in archaeological remains, as a reminder of the Bronze Ages and the time of the Huns and Turkic invasions. At Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where numerous Tuvan nomads live, in Altai Tavanbogd National Park, we will pitch our camp. Shiveet Hairhan is holy for them, so there are about 400 Ibexes there. Sometimes seen, sometimes not seen. Overnight in tents.
Day 9-10 Potanina Glacier and Altai Tavan Bogd Peaks
We will do hikes in the area. In the mountains here, there are some 20 glaciers and this is one of the few locations in the world where camels are used as pack animals in glacier areas. Should weather conditions be difficult we will not be able to see the glaciers. Tavanbogd means “the Holy Five” referring to the five highest peaks, of which Huiten Uul is the highest in Mongolia, 4374 meters above sea level. Quite a considerable height at this latitude.
Day 11 Altai Tavanbogd
Trek back on the other side of the Tsagaan River (White River) to Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where the Tuva people live. Here we will now be able to view the biggest petrolgyphs from the period of the Huns (approx 200 B.C.). The Huns were the reason for the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to build the Great Wall of China.
Day 12 Ulgii city
Drive a short day to Ulgii town. Overnight in hotel. (Canat’s Ger Camp/BLD)
Day 13 Ulaanbaatar
Visit the most interesting local museum of Ulgii, with comprehensive information of flora and fauna of Bayan-Ulgii as well as it colourful traditional costumes. Visit a handicraft shop. Flight to Ulaanbaatar.
Day 14 Departure