Mongolia, a nation bordered by China and Russia, is known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, centers around Genghis Khan Square, named for the notorious founder of the 13th- and 14th-century Mongol Empire. Mongolia has the lowest population density among all independent countries in the world, and it is this vast and majestic emptiness that is the country's enduring appeal. Enjoy awesome expanses of rolling steppe, home to Mongolia's famous horses and herdsmen. On this tour you will get an unique opportunity to experience the Mongolian culture, nomadic lifestyle and picturesque landscape. Included are major sightseeing highlights and fascinating cultural experiences. Isolated from modern influences for decades, and now on the brink of change, each of these destinations offers an opportunity for an exciting and fulfilling journey.

10 Days MONGOLIA - A JOURNEY OF ICONIC SIGHTS AND HIDDEN JEWELS

Mongolia, a nation bordered by China and Russia, is known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, centers around Genghis Khan Square, named for the notorious founder of the 13th- and 14th-century Mongol Empire. Mongolia has the lowest population density among all independent countries in the world, and it is this vast and majestic emptiness that is the country's enduring appeal. Enjoy awesome expanses of rolling steppe, home to Mongolia's famous horses and herdsmen. On this tour you will get an unique opportunity to experience the Mongolian culture, nomadic lifestyle and picturesque landscape. Included are major sightseeing highlights and fascinating cultural experiences. Isolated from modern influences for decades, and now on the brink of change, each of these destinations offers an opportunity for an exciting and fulfilling journey.


Day 1: Thursday, September 7, 2017 ARRIVE ULAANBAATAR

Arrive the Ulaanbaatar International Airport. Tavtai morilno uu! (Welcome) A member of our staff will welcome each guests directly upon arrival. Transfer to our luxury hotel:

SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

Remainder of day at leisure to recover from jet lag. NOTE: Arrangements can be made for an additional night for any who wish to arrive on Sept 6.



Day 2: Friday. September 8 ULAANBAATAR

Visit to Genghis Khan Square. Genghis Khan Square, previously known as Sükhbaatar Square, is the central square of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar. The official name was changed in 2013 in honour of the founding father of the Mongolian nation. A large colonnade monument to Genghis Khan dominates the square's north side directly in front of the Government Palace. The centre of the square features an equestrian statue of Damdin Sükhbaatar, one of the leaders of Mongolia's 1921 revolution. A photo stop will take place in front of the Parliament! Visit the National Museum of Mongolian History. This is an introduction to the old nomadic empire, exploring Mongolian history from the earliest times to the present. Lunch at THE GREEN OLIVE restaurant in the city center. Later traditional Mongolian Folkloric show at the Red Theatre. Traditional music concert of the Morin Khuur: a traditional Mongolian bowed stringed instrument. Singers will perform the “Long Song" in which each syllable of text is extended for a long duration. A four-minute song may only consist of ten words! They often use horses as a symbol or theme repeated throughout the singing.

Dinner of Mongolian’s specialties at Modern Nomads. Overnight at the SHANGRI-LA HOTEL


Day 3: Saturday. September 09 Ulaanbaatar – Bayan Gobi

Departure to the Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar. Warm welcome from the Buddhist monks of the monastery during the morning blessing. Gandan is a Tibetan-style monastery that was spared during the communist time. It literally means "Great Place of Complete Joy". Gandan is one of the most astonishing places in the capital with its 26-meter-high statue of Avalokiteshvara. The monastery has over 150 monks in residence who pray every day making their sacred singing resonate in the many temples of the place. Private visit of the library.

Lunch at a restaurant in Ulaanbaatar

Departure to Central Mongolia Out of Nowhere’s Geolodge, Sweet Gobi, is located at a 3h 30min drive from Ulaanbaatar, Only a few miles away from the geographic center of Mongolia, at the edge of Elsen Tasarhai sand dune. Welcome and installation at Sweet Gobi Geolodge. Arrival at the ger camp: Sweet Gobi, is situated in the magnificent Bayan Gobi. Ideally located in central Mongolia, close to Khangaï Nuruu nature reserve boundary, Sweet Gobi Geolodge introduces you to the wide diversity of Mongolian landscapes, all within easy access: golden sand dunes, huge prairies and stony steppes where ancient granite mountains suddenly emerge, await for you. This central region is a must-see thanks to its history but also because it registers the highest density of nomadic herders in Mongolia! A true cradle of nomadic civilization! The keys will be given to you by the camp team along with a personalized map to navigate the camp and find your Ger. A geolodge briefing (about Step & Spa service, dry toilets, wood-burner, breakfast schedule...) allows everyone to feel at home. This natural felt camp, at the edge of the Khanghai Nuruu National Park allows the guests to experience the nomadic life in the ger. Double King size bed, duvets, spacious gers decorated with Mongolian warm-coloured furniture, felt carpets, each ger doorstep lies opens on the infinite spaces of Central Asia. It is an immersion into the heart of the last nomadic herders’ who are the true heirs of Attila and Genghis Khan.

After a warm welcome it’s time to discover the pastoral activities (lighting of the wood-burner, buzz cooking in the Ger, milking of the animals with the woman and children, herd management with the men. Guests will also pay a visit to one of the numerous nomadic families around Sweet Gobi Geolodge. Before leaving the camp, guides explain the common customs to obey in the Ger. Back to the camp and free time before the dinner. Each Ger has a mini bar. Furthermore, the bar of the restaurant Ger welcomes the guests all day long. Buffet dinner in the Ger restaurant. On the menu, yak steak with pink salt from Mongolia and wild berries. Casserole lamb and pinion pine scented with herbs from the steppe. It is possible to customize menus. Allergies and special diets are taken into account with a month’s notice.

Peaceful night in a ger at SWEET GOBI GER CAMP


Day 4: Sun. September 10 Bayan Gobi – Elsen Tasarkhai - Khogno Khan

Continental breakfast at the restaurant ger. Epic camel ride in the sand dunes of Elsen Tasarkhai. The camel will be equipped with comfortable saddles and will be led by experienced riders who are the owners of the animals. The ride starts from Sweet Gobi. Guests are equipped with riding hat, gloves and gaiters Surprise! Refreshment in an Olzii tent. Behind a dune, guests discover a greenery oasis and a tent decorated with Olzii patterns where refreshments wait for them. The Olzii pattern is a masterpiece of Mongolian culture. This endless knot represents the eternal movement of the universe and is supposed to bring happiness and longevity. Return to Sweet Gobi and lunch at the restaurant ger

Depart to Khogno Khan sacred mounts. Guests walk to the Khogno Khan sacred mountain and its lunar landscape made of granitic rocks. (30 min). Visit of Erdene Hambiin Hiid monastery on the slopes of Khogno Khan Mountain. This monastery was rebuilt during the 90’s since its was destroyed during the soviet purges. The ruins of Ovgon Hiid monastery lie at the foot of the mountain. It was devastated during a great battle between Khalkha and Oirad tribes.

Time to try and communicate with the herders and understand a bit of their way of life-- an opportunity to learn more about the lifestyle of Genghis Khan’s inheritors. Late afternoon, departure to Ursa Major Geolodoge, situated in the majestic valley of the Orkhon and located about 30 minutes from the yak herders. Check-in at Ursa Major with the same design and structure as your previous lodge Dinner by candlelight in the restaurant ger. Observation of the moon and stars at nightfall.

Silent night in a ger at URSA MAJOR GER CAMP.


Day 6: Tues.- September 12 Orkhon valley – Tovkhon Monastery

Continental breakfast at the restaurant ger. Departure to one of the most important place of pilgrimage in Mongolia: ZANABAZAR retreat, a true jewel of Buddhist architecture. Zanabazar is an important figure of the history of Buddhism in Mongolia. In 1640 he was recognized by the Panchen Lama and the Dalai Lama as being a "reincarnate lama", and he received his seat at Örgöö, 400 miles from the present site of Ulaanbaatar, as head of the Gelug tradition in Mongolia. He was the first Buddhism leader in Mongolia.

Barbecue lunch at the Orkhon Valley with grilled meat. Easy hiking through a conifer forest to reach the monastery located on the heights of the Orkhon Valley, Tovkhon Khiid Monastery lies at 2,300m. It was built in 1654, and had 14 temples. It was in this monastery that Zanabazar created the Soyombo alphabet to write Mongolian. It can also be used to write Tibetan and Sanskrit. A special character of the script, the Soyombo symbol, became a national symbol of Mongolia, and has appeared on the national flag since 1921, and on the Emblem of Mongolia since 1960, as well as on money, stamps, etc. Visit of sacred trees, Oovoo, meditation cave, footprints in the stone of Zanabazar and 360 ° view on a clear day of three regions of the country! A high place of spirituality. Horse ride with the nomadic herders along the Orkhon Valley Escorted by the best riders in the world, the guests discover the best friend of the nomadic herders for an unforgettable ride in the Orkhon Valley, home to the graves of thousands of ancient warriors and nomadic ancestors. At a gallop or at a peaceful trop, depending on experience, they know their animals that have always been at the heart of Mongolian history.

The horses will be equipped with comfortable saddles and will be led by experienced riders, owners of the animals. The guests are equipped with riding hat, gloves and gaiters. For those who do not wish to ride, vehicles are available. Meet with an archer!

During the ride, participants will meet an archer who will introduce them to the parabolic bow! The Archery is one of the three manly sports along with Mongolian wrestling and horse racing. Traditional Mongolian music concert and regional dances In a dream like scenery, time seems to have stopped. Discover the traditional musical instruments and the stunning performance of singers who create the magic of Mongolian music while 2 to 4 dancers illustrate stories about Mongolian legends and pastoral life thanks to their dances. The morin khuur known as « a violin with horse’s head » is a true symbol of the Mongolian culture. Its sound resembles the neigh of wild horses ridding the steppe. Hoomi is the traditional song used by shamans to enter the spirit world. Long or short singing are very specific technics that belong to High Asia and request a very good technique. All the strings either bowed or plucked resonate and transport you into Mongolian landscapes and legends of the old. Return to Ursa Major camp. Dinner of Mongolian specialties. Observation of the moon and stars at nightfall. Peaceful night in a ger at URSA MAJOR GER CAMP


Day 7: Wed. September 13 Orkhon Valley – Freshwater Lake Ugii

Today we drive to the Ugii lake is located in the center of Mongolia, and in the territory of Arkhangai province is one of the biggest lakes of Mongolia and has 27 km square area. Average depth is 6.64m, in some sections 15.3m, coastal length is 23.5m. Ugii lake abounds in various types of fish and birds, which creates a incredible natural beauty. Ugii Lake also provides a favorable condition for research work and traveling. One of favourite destination for fishing in central Mongolia. More than 150 types rare species of birds dwelling in Ugii lake. Another lovely place of silence and tranquillity. Walking along the lake shore….and a boat ride. This is also a good time to practice your archery skills! Return to the camp for a dinner in the restaurant ger Mongolian Games: In the restaurant ger, introduction to Mongolian games: osselets or knucklebones, Mongolian cards … A pleasant evening after dinner!

Peaceful night in the KHATAN UGII GER CAMP.


Day 8: Thurs. September 14 Lake Ugii – Hustai National Park

Today we will drive to Hustai National Park. HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK/TAKHI HORSES (PRZEVALSKII HORSES) Also known as Khustain Nuruu (Birch Mountain Range), this park was established in 1993 and is about 100km southwest of Ulaanbaatar. The 50,620-hectare reserve protects Mongolian wild horse, the takhi, and the reserve’s steppe and forest-steppe environment. In addition to the takhi, there are populations of maral (Asiatic red deer), steppe gazelle, deer, boar, manul (small wild cat), wolf and lynx. You are most likely to see takhi and other wildlife at dusk or dawn. The park is run by the Hustai National Park Trust, which is supported by the Dutch government and the Mongolian Association for the Conservation of Nature and the Environment. The information centre at the entrance to Khustain National Park has a ger with displays on the park and the takhi, a small souvenir shop and videos that include a documentary on Mongolian horses, featuring Julia Roberts. Ten kilometres south into the park’s core area is the former park headquarters. Our excursions in to the park will include seeing the Przewalski horses (Takhi) Called Equus Przewalski, after the Polish explorer, Takhi is considered the world's only genuine wild horse. "Takhi" means "spirit" or "spiritual" in Mongolian and the species is a symbol of their national heritage. A Ranger accompanies the guests on a safari to observe the wild horses.

Dinner and overnight at the KHUSTAI GER CAMP


Day 9: Fri. September 15 Prjewalski Nature Park - Ulaanbaatar

Option: free morning- then departure to Ulaanbaatar after a last lunch at the restaurant ger. Departure by Land Cruiser to Ulaanbaatar. Check-in at the SHANGRI-LA HOTEL Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 10: Sat, September 16 Ulaanbaatar

Visit the workshops and meet with the artists at the Union of Mongolian Artists Participants will meet some artists who will present their works at the UMA, located at just of few steps from the Genghis Khan square. UMA hosts over 30 contemporary art exhibitions per years. The workshops allow more than 60 artists to do residencies and exhibit their works. Founded in 1942, the Union of Mongolian Artists is the largest Mongolian NGOs. The main objective of the "UMA" is to highlight the works of the Mongolian artists in Mongolia and facilitate international collaboration of artists with international partners. UMA contributes greatly to the development of fine arts in Mongolia. Visit to the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts. One of the essential visits in Ulaanbaatar. A perfect place for an immersion into the heart of popular culture of Mongolia. Founded in 1966, the museum has a fine collection of paintings and sculptures from the 18th to the 20th century. Lunch at the Shangri-La or in a city centre restaurant Free time for shopping! Small watercolors depicting the nomadic life, clothes made of felt or silk (del, khantas) traditional boots (gutal), painted furniture like in the ger, ornate saddles with silver cabochons: the choice is yours! Furthermore, Mongolia is the second largest producer of raw cashmere in the world after China so what a better place to buy this extraordinary soft wool! Optional - Visit of a cashmere factory. Mongolia is the second largest cashmere producer in the world after China! Farewell dinner at the Monet. Located on the 17th floor of a modern tower, this panoramic restaurant offers an impressive view over the Genghis Khan square and all the colours of the city at sunset. The restaurant has the best selection of wine of Ulaanbaatar for your enjoyment. Live music by a pianist and a singer, or a classical trio of the National orchestra.


Goodbye cocktail at Sky lounge. The Sky Lounge is located adjacent to the Monet restaurant. It's a cosy intimate place, perfect for a nightcap and frequented by the locals. Overnight at the SHANGRI-LA HOTEL


Day 11: Sun, September 17 Leave Ulaanbaatar

Morning transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

For more information and to book please call (800) 373 0388 or email info@worldviewtours.com