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Silk Route and South East Asia

Luang Prabang - Ulaanbaatar

69 DAYS THROUGH China, Laos (+ 1 more countries)
RATING:
PRICE FROM:
Was: $7,250 USD + 2,230 KITTY USD
Now: $5,800 (USD) + 2,230 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
69 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Private bus, Taxi, Ferry, Overnight boat, Metro
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew in certain areas
ACCOM:
15%
85%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
ERP
DEPOSIT:
$700 USD

Highlights

  Visit the beautiful and ornate Black Dragon temple near Lijiashan

  Visit the three gorges dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world

  Visit the Chinese-style Buddhist monastery of Amarbayasgalant near the Selenge River

  Guided tour of Xi'an's world famous Terracotta Warriors

  Fully explore the awe-inspiring Great Wall of China at Jinshanling

  Discover the nomadic lifestyle of local Mongul families

  Head out to see Ulaanbaatar's Gandan Monastery and National Museum

  Spend a few hours exploring Ulaanbaatar's Mongolian Black Market

  Stay in a local nomadic ger encampment at Ogii Lake

  Visit ancient Karakoram, capital of the Mongol Empire at Kharkhorin

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - Luang Prabang ( 27th Mar 2019 )

Border Information: If joining in Luang Prabang, you will most likey enter Laos at Luang Prabang International Airport (IATA code: LPQ).

Today will be a free day to explore the beautiful city of Luang Prabang until the evening. There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader on arrival at the joining hotel with more information about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Luang Prabang before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Luang Prabang.

In Luang Prabang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Enjoy the tranquility of beautiful colonial city Luang Prabang

Free

Visit the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang, a fascinating blend of Lao and French architecture

LAK 30000

Learn how to prepare some local Lao specialities at one of Luang Prabang's excellent cooking classes

USD 25

Explore the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, the oldest and one of the most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang

LAK 20000

Witness the sunrise from the panoramic viewpoint at the summit of Phou Si hill

LAK 20000

Visit the incredible site of Kuang Si and explore its beautiful waterfalls and pools

LAK 20000
Learn all about the traditional art and lifestyles of Laos's many diverse ethnic groups at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
LAK 25000
Day 2-4 - Luang Namtha ( 28th Mar 2019 to 30th Mar 2019 )

This morning we drive through the stunning countryside of northern Laos to the small town of Luang Namtha.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

In Luang Namtha we will have two free days to enjoy the many optional activities available in and around Luang Namtha and the nearby Nam Ha National Park. Popular activities here include hiking and trekking in the National Park.

In Luang Namtha we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Cross the border into Laos and relax in peaceful Luang Nam Tha

USD 35

Optional rafting, kayaking and trekking in Nam Ha National Park

USD 25
Get into the heart of the Nam Ha national park by trekking deep into the forests and mountains of the area (1 or 2 day treks available)
USD 20
Take a relaxing river boat cruise down the Nam Ha or Nam Tha River to explore the beautiful national park from the water
USD 20
Learn how to prepare several unique northern Lao dishes at a cooking class in Luang Namtha
USD 30
Day 5 - Mohan ( 31st Mar 2019 )

Border Information: Exit Laos at Boten, enter China at Mengla.

This morning we will cross the border into China and begin our journey through the southern Chinese region of Xishuangbanna. We spend the next few days overlanding through this beautiful area, stopping off at towns, villages and local markets along the way.

Tonight we will stay in the border town of Mengla while your crew finalise the paperwork to enter our truck into China.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

Day 6 - Xishuangbanna ( 1st Apr 2019 )

Today will be a full day's drive through Yunnan province towards Kunming, most likely reaching the town of Mojiang or Yuxi en route.

Tonight we will stay in a local hotel en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

Day 7 - Shilin Stone Forest ( 2nd Apr 2019 )

This morning we will complete our drive to the incredible Shilin Stone Forest. We will have a free afternoon exploring the stunning and bizarre rock formations of the Stone Forest.

We will stay in a loel hotel tonight near to the Shilin Stone Forest.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the maze of limestone pinnacles in the Stone Forest

Included in Kitty
Day 8 - Kunming ( 3rd Apr 2019 )

Today we will drive to Kunming, the vibrant, modern capital of Yunnan province. We will have a free day to explore the city's sights.

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Overnight stay in Yunnan's laid back capital, Kunming

CNY 6
Visit the Yunnan University Wu Mayao Museum of Anthropology in Kunming, and learn all about the history of the province
Free
Learn all about the area's minorities at the Yunnan Provincial Museum, and visit the nearby markets
Free
Day 9 - Kunming ( 4th Apr 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Kunming, you will most likely enter China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG).

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Kunming, its museums and its parks.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kunming before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kunming.

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Overnight stay in Yunnan's laid back capital, Kunming

CNY 6
Visit the Yunnan University Wu Mayao Museum of Anthropology in Kunming, and learn all about the history of the province
Free
Learn all about the area's minorities at the Yunnan Provincial Museum, and visit the nearby markets
Free
Day 10-11 - Dali ( 5th Apr 2019 to 6th Apr 2019 )

Today our journey begins with a morning drive to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake.

In Dali we stay in a friendly hostel or guesthouse with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Time for sightseeing in the lakeside town of Dali, home to the minority Bai people

CNY 40

Learn how to make dumplings and traditional Yunnanese cuisine at one of Dali's fantastic cooking classes

CNY 150

Discover the ornate 9th-century Three Pagodas of Chongsheng, some of the tallest pagodas in China's history and the symbol of Dali

CNY 120

Head out by bicycle to explore the region in depth and visit various Bai villages and Qing Dynasty bridges en route

CNY 50
Experience the incredible ancient art of cormorant fishing with the fishermen of Xizhou on Lake Erhai
CNY 100
Day 12-14 - Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge ( 7th Apr 2019 to 9th Apr 2019 )

Today we drive further north through Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world-famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second). For those that don't want to do the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints.

In Lijiang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the beautiful natural scenery and traditional buildings in the Black Dragon Pool Park
CNY 80
Head out for a day of trekking around the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, taking in some of the most incredible scenery in China on a clear day
CNY 80
Explore the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area by cable car
CNY 280
See the incredible 'Impressions Lijiang' cultural show, demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area
CNY 270
Freely explore the area by bicycle and discover the Naxi villages surrounding Lijiang, such as the beautiful village of Baisha
CNY 20
Head out for a 2-day self-guided trek along the high ridge of the sensational Tiger Leaping Gorge
CNY 200
Go on a shorter trek along the flat base of Tiger Leaping Gorge to enjoy the scenery from below
CNY 125
Day 15 - Panzhihua ( 10th Apr 2019 )

Today we have a long drive north through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Sichuan province.

Tonight we will stay in a comfortable local hotel en route. 

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 16-17 - Emei Shan ( 11th Apr 2019 to 12th Apr 2019 )

Today we will continue our drive to the small town of Emei Shan.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead!

In Emei Shan we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Day trek up the lush mountain of Emei Shan, one of the most important pilgrimage treks in China

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a cable car ride to the top of Emei Shan

CNY 120
Day 18-19 - Chengdu, Leshan ( 13th Apr 2019 to 14th Apr 2019 )

Today we continue our journey north to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world!

After our visit we will continue to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city.

In Chengdu we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu

Included in Kitty
See the colossal Dafo Great Buddha in Leshan, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Ferry trip down the river to see the huge Dafo Buddha in Leshan

CNY 70

Explore the Jinsha Archeological Site, the capital of the Bronze Age Shu Kingdom who were one of the most ancient civilisations to settle in the area

CNY 80

Freely explore the narrow streets of the atmospheric Jinli Ancient Street and visit the nearby Wuhouci Shrine

CNY 60

Explore the cobbled streets of historic Lijang

CNY 85
Explore the mountain complex of Qingcheng, one of the ancient cradles of Taoism in China
CNY 190
Visit the impressive Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple of Wenshu, containing more than 450 Buddha statues
CNY 5
Head out for an evening performance of a traditional Sichuanese Opera
CNY 220
Day 20 - Dazu ( 15th Apr 2019 )

From Chengdu we will continue to the small village of Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings.

In Dazu we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Side trip to see the amazing sleeping Buddha in the Dazu Caves

CNY 135
Day 21 - Chongqing ( 16th Apr 2019 )

Today we will drive on the Chongqing, where we will have time to explore the city and prepare for tomorrow's ferry cruise on the mighty Yangtze River!

We will most likely stay in a local hotel in Chongqing tonight, but on occasion our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

Day 22-24 - Wanzhou, Three Gorges, Badong, Yichang ( 17th Apr 2019 to 19th Apr 2019 )

Today we embark on our Yangtze River Cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible.

The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.

We will arrive in the city of Yichang and disembark our ferry to rejoin our truck and co-driver and have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area.

We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, on the last day.

In Yichang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Cruise down the mighty Yangtze River for 3 nights on a local sleeper ferry
Included in Kitty
Stop off to visit the 1700-year-old Zhang Fei temple, famous for its exterior red-light decoration
Included in Kitty

The cruise visits the main sites of the Three Gorges & new Yangtze Dam

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Stop off at the White Emperor City, a very scenic spot featured on the Chinese 10 Yuan banknote!
CNY 180
Stop off to take a boat ride through the stunning Three Mini Gorges
CNY 220
Day 25 - Xiang Fan ( 20th Apr 2019 )

This morning we will have some free time in Yichang or visit the Three Gorges Dam if we did not have time yesterday. After lunch we will drive to the town of Xiang Fan, en route to Wudang Shan. 

In Xiang Fan we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Day 26-27 - Wudang Shan ( 21st Apr 2019 to 22nd Apr 2019 )

Today we will continue our journey with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route if time allows.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-4 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools.

In Wudang Shan we will stay in a local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Trek up the Tianzu Peak to visit the Taoist martial arts school and numerous temples on Wudang Shan

Included in Kitty
Day 28 - Xi'an ( 23rd Apr 2019 )

Today we will drive to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free afternoon on arrival to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 29 - Xi'an ( 24th Apr 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).

Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'!

There will be a group meeting today at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

This afternoon we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife

Included in Kitty
Day 30 - Xi'an ( 25th Apr 2019 )

Today we will have a free day to explore the city of Xi'an, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the ornate 14th-century Bell and Drum towers, which originally marked the sunrise and sunset

CNY 40

Wander through the atmospheric Muslim Quarter and visit the Xi'an Great Mosque, the first mosque constructed in China

CNY 30

Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an at the Shaanxi History Museum, without doubt one of the finest museums in China

CNY 30

Visit the mind-blowing Tomb of Emporer Jingdi of the Han Dynasty, containing 50,000 doll-sized terracotta figures

CNY 90

Walk or cycle around the Ming Dynasty Xi'an City Wall, the largest city wall in the world

CNY 80

Visit the impressive Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an's most famous landmark dating from the Tang and Ming Dynasties

CNY 80
Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057
CNY 50
Day 31 - Yan'an ( 26th Apr 2019 )

Today we make our way to the city of Yan'an. Yan'an is famous for being the ending point for those on the 'Long March', and became the CCP headquarters for a brief period. During our time here we have an included visit to the Revolutionary Museum and the CCP Headquarters site.

In Yan'an we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the Revolution Museum and the Yangjialing Headquarters site, the former headquarters of Mao Tse Tung's Communist Party during the revolution

Included in Kitty
Day 32 - Lijiashan ( 27th Apr 2019 )

Today we continue our journey to visit the ancient village of Lijiashan, famed for settlement of cave dwellers and still home to more than 600 families.

In Lijiashan we will stay in a cave room, run by a local family and set up for guests.

Please note that some caves include a traditional 'Kang Stove bed'. The Kang bed is a hollow platform made from bricks that is used both as a bed and as a work area, these are common in remote villages in Northern China. In winter a coal fire can be lit under the bed, providing a huge amount of warmth day and night and it is very common for the whole family to sleep on one large bed. This means there may be times that members of the group may have to share 1 large bed with others in the group.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Stay overnight in a local guesthouse built into a cave, in the cliff-side village of Lijiashan
Included in Kitty
Day 33-35 - Pingyao, Lijiashan ( 28th Apr 2019 to 30th Apr 2019 )

We will set off early this morning for an included visit to the Black Dragon Temple just outside of Lijiashan. We will then drive to China's best-preserved ancient walled town, Pingyao.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

We will stay for 3 nights in Pingyao, giving us plenty of time to explore this ancient town and surrounding sites such as the Mian Shan Mountain Resort and the Zhangbi Underground City.

In Pingyao we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the beautiful and ornate Black Dragon temple near Lijiashan

Included in Kitty

Freely explore the old town of Pingyao, a well preserved walled city that offers a fantastic glimpse into 'Old China'

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the incredible Shuanglin Temple near Pingyao, with its 2000 colourful sculptures of various gods and warriors

CNY 25

Visit the 10th-century Zhenguo Temple, one of the oldest wooden buildings in China

CNY 25
Take a day trip out to the impressive Wang family compound and the Zhang Bi underground village near Pingyao
CNY 205
Take a day trip to the photogenic Mian Shan Mountain Resort, and explore the incredible array of buildings and scenery there
CNY 160
Day 36-37 - Wutai Shan ( 1st May 2019 to 2nd May 2019 )

This morning we continue to the stunning mountainous area known as Wutai Shan, one of the holiest sites of Chinese Buddhism and a major centre of pilgrimage in the country.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the area and visit its incredible array of temples and religious sites.

In Wutai Shan we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the myriad of temples at Wutai Shan, one of the Four Sacred Mountains of Chinese Buddhism

Included in Kitty
Day 38-39 - Datong ( 3rd May 2019 to 4th May 2019 )

Today we will drive to the city of Datong. We will have an included visit to the incredible Hanging Monastery en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will head out of Datong in the truck on an included visit to the awe-inspiring Yungang Buddha Caves. 

In Datong we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

2 nights to explore Datong's Hanging Monastery and the stunning Yungang Caves

Included in Kitty
Explore the phenomenal site of the Yungang Caves, a network of 252 caves containing over 51,000 incredibly crafted sculptures of Buddha from the 5th and 6th centuries
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the beautiful and ornate Nine Dragon Screen, a screen of glazed tiles depicting nine multi-coloured interweaving dragons
CNY 10
Day 40 - Jinshanling ( 5th May 2019 )

This morning we will drive to one of the world's most incredible sights - the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China! We will have time this afternoon and the following morning to thoroughly explore and walk along the Great Wall.

In Jinshanling we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Fully explore the awe-inspiring Great Wall of China at Jinshanling, one of the most spectacular stone sections of the wall

Included in Kitty
Day 41-42 - Chengde ( 6th May 2019 to 7th May 2019 )

This morning we will spend some more time exploring the Great Wall of China. We will then continue with a short drive to the city of Chengde.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the Puning Temple and the famous Imperial Summer Resort.

In Chengde we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the Imperial city of Chengde, summer home to the Emperor's family

Included in Kitty
Explore the incredible Imperial Summer Resort in Chengde, a vast park with a variety of gardens, pagodas, temples and palaces from various regions of China
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the beautiful Putuo Zongcheng Temple, modelled after the famous Potala Palace in Tibet
CNY 80
Day 43-44 - Beijing ( 8th May 2019 to 9th May 2019 )

Today we complete our journey to China's chaotic and evocative capital, Beijing!

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will head out on the Beijing metro to the city centre's famous Tiananmen Square, which we will walk through and then take a tour of the Forbidden City. We will then have a free afternoon to fully explore the many sights, sounds and flavours of Beijing.

In Beijing we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Guided visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Discover all about the varied and interesting history of China at the National Museum, with its huge collection of over a million artifacts

Free

Head out to see an acrobatic or martial arts show in Beijing, always an incredible mix of athleticism and choreography

CNY 250

Explore the Ming Tombs

CNY 60
Explore the vast Temple of Heaven, once the site of an annual religious ceremony conducted by the Emporer to pray for a good harvest
CNY 10
Visit the beautiful Tibetan-style Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple) in Beijing
Free
See the iconic modern 'Bird's Nest' Stadium, the centrepiece of the 2008 Olympic Games
CNY 50
Day 45 - Beijing ( 10th May 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Beijing, you will most likely enter China at Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA code: PEK).

There will be a short group meeting today at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting. The rest of the day will be free to explore the incredible city of Beijing!

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Beijing before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Beijing.

In Beijing we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the Ming Tombs

CNY 60

Guided visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing

CNY 60

Discover all about the varied and interesting history of China at the National Museum, with its huge collection of over a million artifacts

Free

Head out to see an acrobatic or martial arts show in Beijing, always an incredible mix of athleticism and choreography

CNY 250
Explore the vast Temple of Heaven, once the site of an annual religious ceremony conducted by the Emporer to pray for a good harvest
CNY 10
Visit the beautiful Tibetan-style Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple) in Beijing
Free
See the iconic modern 'Bird's Nest' Stadium, the centrepiece of the 2008 Olympic Games
CNY 50
Day 46 - Erlian ( 11th May 2019 )

Today we leave the Chinese capital behind us as we begin our overland journey towards Mongolia. Today will be a long drive day to reach the border town of Erlian.

We will either wild camp outside Erlian or stay in a basic local hotel, depending on weather conditions and group preferences.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Day 47 - Sainshand ( 12th May 2019 )

Border information: Exit China at Erlian, enter Mongolia at Zamyn-Uud.

This morning we cross the border into Mongolia. Please be aware that border procedures can take around 5 hours here. Once we have made it into Mongolia we will continue our overland journey north.

We will aim to wild camp near the town of Sainshand tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the Khamaryn Khiid Monastery near Sainshand, dedicated to Danzan Ravjaa, a 19th-century religious leader of the 'Red Hat' branch of Buddhism
Free
Visit the modern working Buddhist monastery of Dechinchoinkhorlin Khiid, near Sainshand
Free
Day 48 - Ulaanbaatar ( 13th May 2019 )

This morning we may have the opportunity to visit the Dechinchoinkhorlin Monastery in Sainshand before we continue our drive to Mongolia's vibrant capital of Ulaanbaatar (please note this is not always open for visitors).

In Ulaanbaatar we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

Day 49 - Ulaanbaatar ( 14th May 2019 )

Border information: If you are joining in Ulaanbaatar, you will most likely enter Mongolia at Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan International Airport (IATA code: ULN).

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting, but please do not be alarmed if the note is not there as this is often a travel day for the tour leader and they may arrive in the afternoon. If you arrive early, the rest of the day will be free to explore the Mongolian capital!

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Ulaanbaatar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Ulaanbaatar.

In Ulaanbaatar we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Day 50 - Ulaanbaatar ( 15th May 2019 )

This morning we head out on a guided tour to see some of Ulaanbaatar's best and most treasured sights, including the Gandan Monastery and the National Museum.

This afternoon we will spend a few hours exploring the Black Market. This huge market contains every single item a Mongolian may need, so a trip here will certainly give visitors a fascinating insight into people's lives, whether they are nomads or urban apartment dwellers.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Take a guided tour of the Gandan Monastery, the largest Buddhist Monastery in Mongolia

Included in Kitty

Visit the infamous Black Market in Ulaanbaatar, and explore the traditional clothes stalls and saddle markets within

Included in Kitty

Explore the incredible history of the country from the Neolithic era to the present day, at the National Museum of Mongolia

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Head out for a cultural show or a performance from a traditional folk band, featuring the unique art of throat-singing

USD 12

Visit the intriguing International Intellectual Museum, dedicated to puzzles and games made by local artists

MNT 3000

Discover a remnant of Mongolia's imperial past at the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan

MNT 6000

See the superb collection of paintings, carvings and sculptures at The Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts

MNT 5000

Discover the unique showcase of religious art and learn about the Buddhist history of Mongolia at the Chojin Lama Temple Museum

MNT 5000

Visit the Grand Chinggis Khan Square and see the statue of Damdin Sukhbaatar, one of the leaders of the struggle for independence in the 1920s

Free

Climb to the Zaisan Memorial, an interesting remnant of Mongolia's communist past that affords incredible views over Ulaanbaatar

Free
Day 51 - Ögii Lake ( 16th May 2019 )

Today we drive out of the city and into the vast plains of Mongolia. We hope to arrive at Khar Bukh Balgas ruins in the early afternoon.

Khar Bukh Balgas was built during the Kitan period in about 1000CE, and was part of a chain of fortresses that were used to govern and control the northern region and borders of the Kitan state. Upon arrival at the site, we will explore the ruins and learn about the various kingdoms that dominated Mongolia during that era.

After our visit to the ruins we will drive to Ögii Lake where many nomadic families spend their summer. The lake is famed for it's great bird watching opportunities where it is not uncommon to spot at Swan Goose, White Spoonbill and Dalmatian Pelicans.

In Ögii Lake we will stay in a local nomadic ger-tent camp set up for guests. These are large gers, each usually containing 2 or 4 beds.

Please note that we cannot give any accurate drive time estimations for our Mongolia trip as the journey times are heavily dependent on the state of roads, which is in turn heavily dependent on the weather. The roads in Mongolia are mostly dirt tracks in very poor condition, which means that an even greater degree of flexibility is needed for this trip in all regards.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

See the ancient Orkhon Inscriptions, two large monoliths with inscriptions in Old Turkic script

Included in Kitty

Explore the ruins of the 10th-century Kitan fortress of Khar Bukh Balgas, an interesting slice of Mongolia's pre-Genghis Khan history

Included in Kitty
Day 52 - Kharkhorin ( 17th May 2019 )

Today we have an early start as we head to Mongolia's earliest capital, Kharkhorin (otherwise known as Karakoram).

Our first stop on the way to Kharkhorin will be at the Kultigen Monument. This massive stone tomb was built in honour of a Turkic prince and warrior killed in a nearby battle. We then continue on a fairly short drive to Kharkhorin.

Kharkhorin was famed throughout Asia at the capital of the Mongol Empire. We will visit the ruins of the old city, the Erdene Zuu monastery, and other historical monuments in the area.

In Kharkhorin we will stay in a ger camp.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the huge monastery of Erdene Zuu, Mongolia's oldest Buddhist monastery to survive the purges of the 1930s

Included in Kitty
Learn all about Karakorum, the former capital of the Mongol Empire that once stood here, at the Kharkhorin Museum
Included in Kitty
Day 53-54 - Orkhon Valley ( 18th May 2019 to 19th May 2019 )

Today we head south, driving into the stunning region of the Orkhon Valley. We will drive to the beautiful volcanic canyon that runs along the Orkhon River and we can take an easy hike along the canyon ending near a pool at the bottom of the Red Waterfalls where we can take a cool swim!

We will wild camp in a remote area of the Orkhon Valley tonight.

The following day we will continue our journey through the Orkhon Valley to the Tuvkhon Monastery, which we can embark on a two and a half hour trek to visit (the first hour will be uphill!). This monastery was established during the 1650s by Zanbazar, one of Mongolia's most respected religious leaders. The monastery's wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched near a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests.

After our visit we will wild camp nearby.

Please note that on occasion it is impossible to reach the Tuvkhon Monastery due to river flooding or the ground being impassable - the roads are in a particularly bad state here and are very susceptible to being rendered impossible to drive on if there has been rain recently. Although we will do our best to make this visit, your understanding is appreciated if we cannot.

Please also note that the order of our visits to the 2 main highlights in the Orkhon Valley is interchangable, depending on the road conditions.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Explore the stunning volcanic and forested landscapes of the Orkhon Valley and see Ulaan Tsutgalan, Mongolia's largest waterfall
Included in Kitty
Hike up through the forests to the beautiful Tuvkhon Monastery on the summit of Ulaan Uul mountain
Included in Kitty
Day 55-56 - Tsenkher ( 20th May 2019 to 21st May 2019 )

Today our trip heads north, crossing the Khangai Nuruu Mountains through a series of passes until we reach an area that Mongolians call 'The Paradise of the Horse Herders' due to its lush grasses and open valleys.

We drive to the Tsenkher hot springs, where water flows out of the ground at 82°C, and where we can enjoy a relaxing soak.

The following day we will take a short, easy walk to meet one of the many nomadic families that spend their summers in the region. The afternoon is free to explore the valley and surrounding hills either by foot or by horseback.

In Tsenkher we will stay at a ger camp.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Walk around the surrounding valley and visit one of the local nomadic families to learn all about their way of life (if available)

Included in Kitty

Enjoy a relaxing soak in the natural hot springs

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Head out horse riding through the incredible forest scenery surrounding Tsenkher (if helmets available)

USD 32
Day 57 - Tsetserleg, Tamir River ( 22nd May 2019 )

This morning we drive to Tsetserleg, the provincial capital, where we will make a short visit to the local market. If time permits, we will also visit the provincial museum.

We will then continue our journey north past the Tamir river, and will wild camp tonight.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
See the huge rock monolith of Taikhar Chuluu, covered in inscriptions in a myriad of different scripts dating from the 6th century to the modern era
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See a variety of fascinating exhibits about the Mongolian way of life at the Arkhangai Aimag Museum in Tsetserleg (if time allows)
MNT 5000
Day 58 - Chuulut Canyon ( 23rd May 2019 )

Today we continue noth past Taikhar Chuluu (a massive rock which is connected to local mythology) and the Chluulut Canyon to arrive at our ger camp near the Khorgo volcano.

In Chuulut Canyon we will stay at a nearby ger camp.

Day 59 - Khorgo ( 24th May 2019 )

This morning we will take a hike to the top of the Khorgo Volcano and take in the incredible views over its perfect crater. From the top of the volcano we continue our hike though fields studded with pine trees, stopping off en route at the Yellow Dog Cave, an interesting volcanic phenomenon.

We will then return to the truck and continue our journey north. We will aim wild camp tonight in the remote plains north of Khorgo.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the incredible volcanic landscape of Khorgo and Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake by foot

Included in Kitty
Day 60-61 - Zuun Lake, Mörön ( 25th May 2019 to 26th May 2019 )

Over the next few days we continue driving north on one of Mongolia's most beautiful routes, crossing high mountain passes, vast grasslands, and small creeks! We will pass by the beautiful alpine Lake Zuun en route. 

We hope to arrive at Mörön, the provincial capital, the following afternoon. We will visit the local market, Danzadarjaa Monastery and the local museum. If we don't have time on this section of the trip, then we can visit the town after coming back from Khövsgöl Lake.

We will aim to wild camp near Zuun Lake and near the town of Mörön.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Discover the mysterious ancient Deer Stones near Mörön, erected by Bronze Age nomads over 3000 years ago

Included in Kitty
Day 62-63 - Khövsgöl Lake ( 27th May 2019 to 28th May 2019 )

This morning we will drive out to an ancient burial site featuring Mongolia's mysterious deer stones, these are memorial stones representing important leaders and warriors, carved with deer motifs. After visiting the site, we continue our trip northward to one of the world's biggest fresh water sources, the stunning Khövsgöl Lake.

Khövsgöl Lake and its amazing surroundings are home to several of Mongolia's ethnic minorities as well as a refuge for a wide variety of wildlife. One of the most interesting ethnic groups living near the lake is the Tsaatan, also known as 'The Reindeer People'. A small tribe of Tsaatan consisting of about 40 families lives with its herds of reindeer in the forests around the lake. These graceful animals provide the tribe with all its basic needs - milk, meat and transportation. As there are very few Tsaatan left and this is a mobile population, we may meet them but there are no guarantees - however, the scenery of the area is well worth the exploration.

The following day we will take a hike around the forests and meadows near the lake. Lying at about 1650m above sea level, surrounded by mountains rising above 3100m, the waters of Khovsgol are deep and spectacularly clear and pure. We will hike through thick pine forests carpeted with flowers and explore the setting of Mongolia's 'Blue Pearl'.

In Khövsgöl Lake we will stay at a ger camp.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Walk through the beautiful area of Khovsgol and try to meet the local Tsataan Reindeer Herders (if available)

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a horse ride through the incredible Siberian forest scenery surrounding Khövsgöl Lake (if time allows)

MNT 10000
Day 64-66 - Selenge River, Bulgan ( 29th May 2019 to 31st May 2019 )

We will spend the next 3 days crossing central-northern Mongolia on our way back towards the capital of Ulaanbaatar. The long road offers diversified landscapes, from vast, open steppes to beautiful sand dunes.

We will aim to wildcamp in the plains east of Mörön on the first day of this journey, by the Selenge River on the next day, and on the outskirts of the town of Bulgan on the day after that.

Day 67 - Amarbayasgalant Monastery ( 1st Jun 2019 )

This morning we will try to visit the Amarbayasgalant Monastery. Built between 1727 and 1736 by the Manchu Emperor Enkh Amgalan, Amarbayasgalant is among the largest monasteries in Mongolia to have survived the purges of the 1930s. With about 60 monks living and studying here, the monastery functions today as one of Mongolia's central religious institutions, and consists of 29 different temples, all built in the classic Tibetan style.

Tonight we will wild camp near the monastery.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the Chinese-style Buddhist monastery of Amarbayasgalant near the Selenge River

Included in Kitty
Day 68 - Ulaanbaatar ( 2nd Jun 2019 )

Today we have a full day drive from northern Mongolia back to the city of Ulaanbaatar. This evening is free to relax and explore, and to have a well-earned final meal and drinks in one of the city's many restaurants!

In Ulaanbaatar we will stay in our comfortable joining hotel.

Day 69 - Ulaanbaatar ( 3rd Jun 2019 )

Border information: If you are leaving in Ulaanbaatar, you will most likely exit Mongolia at Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan International Airport (IATA code: ULN).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Ulaanbaatar. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

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Trip Notes
Departing: 27 Mar 2019
Returning: 3 Jun 2019
Duration: 69 days
Route: Luang Prabang - Ulaanbaatar
$5,800 USD + $2,230 Kitty (USD)
Was $7250.00 - Save $1450
Deposit: $700 USD
available
Departing: 1 Apr 2020
Returning: 8 Jun 2020
Duration: 69 days
Route: Luang Prabang - Ulaanbaatar
$7,935 USD + $2,230 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $700 USD
available
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.