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Silk Route

Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar

21 DAYS THROUGH Mongolia
RATING:
PRICE FROM:
Was: $2,170 USD + 730 KITTY USD
Now: $1,736 (USD) + 730 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
21 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew in certain areas
ACCOM:
50%
50%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
ZUU
DEPOSIT:
$350 USD

Highlights

  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

  Wild camp in remote Orkhon Valley

  Stay in traditional ger encampments in the 'Paradise of the horse herders'

  Discover the nomadic lifestyle of local Mongul families

  Hike to the top of Khorgo volcano

  Hike around forests and meadows near Khovsgol Lake

  3 days overlanding and wild camping across central-northern Mongolia

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

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - 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 2 - 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 3 - 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 4 - 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 5-6 - 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 7-8 - 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 9 - 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 10 - 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 11 - 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 12-13 - 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 14-15 - 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 16-18 - 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 19 - 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 20 - 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 21 - 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.

DATES & PRICES

This group overland journey has multiple departures.
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Trip Notes
Departing: 14 May 2019
Returning: 3 Jun 2019
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$1,736 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Was $2170.00 - Save $434
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 14 Jun 2019
Returning: 4 Jul 2019
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$1,736 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Was $2170.00 - Save $434
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 28 Jun 2019
Returning: 18 Jul 2019
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$1,736 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Was $2170.00 - Save $434
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 26 Jul 2019
Returning: 15 Aug 2019
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$1,736 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Was $2170.00 - Save $434
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 19 May 2020
Returning: 8 Jun 2020
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$2,310 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 11 Jun 2020
Returning: 1 Jul 2020
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$2,310 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 19 Jun 2020
Returning: 9 Jul 2020
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$2,310 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 10 Jul 2020
Returning: 30 Jul 2020
Duration: 21 days
Route: Ulaanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar
$2,310 USD + $730 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.

WHAT OUR PASSENGERS SAY

It was great! I really really liked all: the truck, the guides, the tents!
Katja P
I loved traveling with a bunch of different people to very remote places, camping in the wild and always having our truck Tallulah as a sort of "home" on the road.
Karen K
Fantastic leaders, great truck, good range of ages of group - 18 to 78yrs! and a route which gave so many sites & sights - well worth long days so recommend no change of itinerary of Mongolia Loop.
Sheila B
Enjoyed the wide open spaces after superb 3 days in UB, seeing young animals with the various herds - especially yaks & foals, wild flowers, spectacular bush camps, so many varied visits ie Chuulut Gorge, Mongol Els (desert walk), deer stones and of course monasteries. For us the journey was perfect
Sheila B
The tour leaders were outstanding. Thoroughly professional and fun to be with. Mongolia presents barriers at every turn. Our tour leaders guided us with humour and flair. Close contact with Mongolian people. Especially enjoyed the meal prepared for us at the ger/camp.
William W
Really enjoyed staying in Gers, the visit to ger with the family. the bush camping, the drives, the fellow travellers and the crew were great. !!
Dale N
The trip leaders were excellent. They solved any problems that occurred with professional aplomb
Robert H
I loved the whole trip!! The team leaders were excellent! Couldn't have had a better pair! The group was awesome and so was Mongolia! Such a beautiful country. I really enjoyed it!
Holly-Ann P
I enjoyed most things about the trip - it pretty lived up to what I wanted and expected to see throughtout.
Garry K
Super organized, very nice crew,
Renate H
Really enjoyed the wild camping, volcano hiking and the horse riding.
Christopher R
I was new to overlanding. I was so happy with the experience and the way Dragoman organizes trips. Really enjoyed the wild camping in the countryside and the new experiences!
Lisa K
I really enjoyed the camping in beautiful suroundings.
Jacob B
Excellent experience, great scenery, excellent group of fellow travellers
Vivienne B
I had the time of my life (you sure can fit that in the brochure, right? - it´s actually true)
Marc R
Amazing as always. I enjoyed travelling with other people from all walks of life. I also enjoyed getting off the beaten track. Lake Khovsgol was a definite highlight but so was the rest of the trip.
Sacha W
It has been an absolutely fantastic trip!! Everything was really well planned and organized!
Silke W
I was a bit nervous about the bush camping but I loved it. Just being able to camp somewhere in the middle of nowhere is amazing.
Silke W
I loved traveling on the truck, riding on the roof seats, and getting to camp in such a beautiful country!
Katherine F
Loved the items not on the itinerary. Traditional cooking with a farmer. Crashing a wedding. Locals stopping by the campfire and singing.
James W
I would like to see less reliance on the truck for food. I would much prefer eating at local restaurants in small towns than doing shopping and cooking western food. I would also like to see less food stops in general. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is a lot of food stops and each one chews up hours in the day. We did not need to eat anywhere near as much as we did.
James W
Loved the GER accommodations
Melinda F
Well organised, stunning scenery, great team
Jacqueline D
Travelling overland in Mongolia with Dragoman was a fantastic adventure!
Janet I
Believe it or not, the highlight of the trip was getting bogged for 20 hours in an open field. We all worked together as a team to try and get out but when we realised we needed local help, we made the most of the delay and had a great time!
Janet I
Maybe get different tents - dome tents are more spacious than the current ridge tents.
Janet I
Lake Khovgsol was the highlight for me
John H
Loved staying with the nomadic families.
Annalise B
Genuinely enjoyed everything about the trip. Truck was great. It seems the years of dragoman experience in overlanding have been used thoughtfully.
Matthew R
Fantastic trip - professionally run, well organised, trip notes comprehensive and gave realistic expectations of trip. Amazing way for us to spend our honeymoon!
Sarah S
Wonderful tour leaders, super itinerary, one of the greatest trips ever.
Daniele K
Great trip, balancing enough time to enjoy each place with seeing the major sites. Enjoyed getting off the beaten track and seeing the real Mongolia. My travel companions were awesome. We were a complete mix of ages but it worked well. Fantastic memories!
Stuart M
Excellent leader.
Thomas D
Zoe was perfect combo of professionalism, adaptability, good leadership and a great sense of humor, fun
Katharine D
I was always comfortable in Zara (even in tough terrain) and even with a large group we had plenty of space. I slept well every night and I ate like a king!
Ray H
Roof seats are great fun!
Karin F
We had everything we needed and more. Everything was in good condition and easy to find/use.
Fiona J
Great trip, well run by a friendly crew, both Dragoman leaders and local guides.
Ray H
The crew Zoe and Jan were brilliant, nothing was to much bother for them, they really did make the trip enjoyable.
John H
This was one of the best travel experiences I have ever had - I loved everything about it!
Fiona J
Jan and Zoe were awesome, apart from the people in the group they really made the trip for me!!
Ramona Z
Zoe was awesome, the right amount of firm and fun, kept you moving without you feeling you were on a schedule! And great taste in music :-) Jan the man - never met a more laid back man who got as much done, nothing phased him! A gent!
Ray H
They were brilliant, one of the best crew I have travelled with.
John H
Zoe and Jan were amazing and really helped make the trip fun. They were both always available and helpful if you had any questions. I felt safe and relaxed all the time.
Fiona J
Great guys, always happy, always helpful and lots of fun!
Ramona Z
We had Tsogi as guide and Namjin as trainee. Both were excellent - Tsogi was so passionate and knowledgeable about his country and always gave you all the time in the world. Namjin was a little gem - such a happy warm guy, his smile always cheered me up and you could tell he wanted you to appreciate his country!
Ray H
First class!
John H
Both tourguides (Zoë and Jan) especially contributed to this experience lifting the trip from very good to excellent.
Dirk v
Guides were very helpful and enthousiastic, great guides through Mongolia.
Dirk v
The truck was brilliant.
LUKE H
Overall we had a brilliant time. The 2 trip leaders (Zoe and Jan) were strong leaders but still very relaxed, which was perfect. We particularly liked the positive approach to environmental issues (plastic bottles, toilet procedure etc.)
LUKE H
Both leaders were fantastic, they really made the trip for us.
LUKE H
Tsoogii was brilliant, spoke good English, very knowledgable and good fun to be with. Dorgoo was really helpful and friendly, though less knowledgeable and not as good spoken English. But this was his first experience as a guide, so to be expected!
LUKE H
It was a wonderful experience with wonderful people!
Heather T
Zoe and Jan were wonderful. There constant enthusiasm and support was greatly appreciated! I think it must be very difficult to be in charge of 22 tourists and I think that they did a wonderful job.
Heather T
Tsoogii did a great job and was wonderful to travel with.
Heather T
Very helpful, and very informative guide.
RONALD E S
Zoe and Jan were amazing. They were always kind, upbeat and amazing drivers and mechanics. I have hired many people throughout my career and you can not find better people than Zoe and Jan. They are truly excellent.
Marta Lucia D
Found all three crew very helpful and they made my very first trip trucking very enjoyiable and adventurous.
Urvashi P
Zoe was helpful and a friendly personality. One felt comfortable asking a question. Multi-talented lady! Hands-on repair when the truck needed and played a musical instrument with great keenness.
Vasudha M
Great team.
Niklaus M
Very helpful and knowledgeable Mongolian guides!
Marta Lucia D
Both guides in Mongolia and China were excellent.
Urvashi P
I like the construction of the truck - very smart and places for most things.
Jakob A
A delightful experience, which I like to do again with Dragoman!
Jakob A
Our local guide was a super nice person and can answer all sorts of questions.
Jakob A
Tsogi and Claire were excellent guides.
Anoopwattie D