AUD 2227 / pp

DATES & RATES

Nomadic Life & Gobi Desert

Mongolia

The ancient culture at its best

Charming Mongolia is always open for everyone who dreams to go deeper into local life and discover secret spots of great historical heritage. The versatile culture developed since ancient times and today it can surprise even the experienced tourist. Here you will find a unique blend of ancient traditions, magnificent landscapes, heartily nomadic people and versatile culture. Join us and explore the best mysterious Mongolia has to offer.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer directly to Terelj National park, one of the most scenic areas in Mongolia. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome traditional Mongolian dinner and for a tour introduction. Time at leisure. Overnight at Terelj Lodge Ger camp.

Day 2: Terelj National Park

After breakfast, meet the guide and we will start our tour around Terelj National Park. Our first stop is Chinggis Khaan Statue Monument and 40 m tall statue of Great King, the highest equestrian statue in the world. We will visit the 13th-century museum of the Great Mongol Empire and the Bronze Age Museum. After we will make a stop at the Turtle rock and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding area. Enjoy a light hiking tour to Ariyabal meditation temple surrounded by scenic mountains with massive rock formations where you can sit at top of the mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views. Overnight at the camp where you will experience traditional yet modern nomadic life while staying in a yurt and enjoy traditional Mongolian dinner.

Day 3: Back to Ulaanbaatar – City tour

After breakfast, travel back to Ulaanbaatar to start your day city tour. Places to visit: Gandan Monastery, one of a few Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries which survived Communist fight with the religion back in 1930s. After lunch at a restaurant, visit the National History Museum and Chinggis Khaan square. In the evening, at 6 pm meet the driver to watch famous Tumen Ekh traditional show of traditional Mongolian arts: dance, throat singing, music played on an instrument called morin khuur. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Gobi Nomad Lodge Ger camp

After breakfast early in the morning, meet the guide, take a transfer to the airport to take an early flight to Dalanzadgad. The flight takes an hour and a half. Drive to Ger camp. After lunch, visit Yol Valley in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Enjoy hiking and photographing the charming landscape and wildlife. Visit local Gobi museum. Overnight at Gobi Nomad Lodge Ger camp.

Day 5: Khongor Sand Dunes - Camel trek

After breakfast at the camp, we travel through the Gobi Desert to see amazing the Khongor Sand Dunes at sunset. The Gobi desert is one of the world's greatest, it is a no-sand desert of gravel plains and rocky outcrops. Great Gobi National Park is one of the largest World Biospheres, with an area larger than Switzerland. It contains the last remaining wild Bactrian (two-humped) camels and a small population of Gobi bears, the only desert-inhabiting bear. The Khongor Sand Dunes are some of the largest and most impressive white sand dunes in Mongolia with the largest dunes up to 800 metres high. The dunes make a sound like a plane engine on a windy day so it has been named as "Singing Dunes". Visit the local camel herding nomad family and experience the nomadic life in the Gobi, have a camel ride through the sand dunes of Khongori. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 6: Bayanzag & Flaming Cliffs

After breakfast at the camp, you will go further to Bayanzag, known as Flaming Cliffs. We shall hike through the cliffs (east trail, suitable for any fitness level) to see the Gobi tree grove named “Bayanzag”.The American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews arrived here in 1922, on an expedition for the American Museum of Natural History. His team found hundreds of fossilised remains, and Bayanzag became known as a dinosaur graveyard. After lunch, we will watch a short documentary about these excavations. We will return to the camp and have time at leisure. After dinner, we will go back to the Bayanzag to see the sunset, find out why the area is called Flaming Cliffs. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 7: Ongi Temple ruins

After breakfast at the camp, you will continue your journey to discover Ongi Monastery ruins through the great Ongi steppe. Ongi monastery was one of the 7 biggest Mongolian monasteries. There are 2 temple ruins which were built up in 1780s. During repression in 1930s’, these two temples were destroyed and over 200 monks were killed, and many surviving monks were imprisoned. In the 1990s, it was decided to rebuild the monastery. The first temple was inaugurated in 2004. There is a small museum in a ger in front of it. One of the stupas has just been reconstructed as well. Transfer to the camp. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 8: Karakorum – Erdene Zuu Monastery

After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and drive towards to Kharkhorin, formerly known as Karakorum. Embrace the wilderness of Mongolia when visiting Khogno Khan Nature Reserve with mountains, steppes, Gobi-type desert and mineral water sources all in one location, Uvgun monastery or Erdene Khamba khiid. After lunch, continue to travel to Kharkhorin, the legendary city founded by Genghis Khan in 1220 in Orkhon Valley, on the Silk Road. Those days it was a political, economic, administrative and religious centre. But after Khublai Khaan moved the Mongolian capital to Beijing, Karakorum was abandoned and then completely destroyed by Chinese soldiers in 1388. There we shall visit Kharkhorin museum, and the Mongolian oldest and largest monastery Erdene Zuu. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 9: Travel back to Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, meet the driver and take a transfer to return back to Ulaanbaatar, make a stop for picnic lunch on the road. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Check-in at the hotel. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in one of the authentic restaurants in the city. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Departure

After breakfast, check out of the hotel. The driver will take you to the airport.

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Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer directly to Terelj National park, one of the most scenic areas in Mongolia. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome traditional Mongolian dinner and for a tour introduction. Time at leisure. Overnight in Terelj Lodge Ger camp.

Day 2: Terelj National Park

After breakfast, meet the guide and we will start our tour around Terelj National Park. Our first stop is Chinggis Khaan Statue Monument and 40 m tall statue of Great King, the highest equestrian statue in the world. We will visit the 13th-century museum of the Great Mongol Empire and the Bronze Age Museum. After we will make a stop at the Turtle rock and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding area. Enjoy a light hiking tour to Ariyabal meditation temple surrounded by scenic mountains with massive rock formations where you can sit at top of the mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views. Overnight in the camp where you will experience traditional yet modern nomadic life while staying in a yurt and enjoy traditional Mongolian dinner.

Day 3: Back to Ulaanbaatar – City tour

After breakfast, travel back to Ulaanbaatar to start your day city tour. Places to visit: Gandan Monastery, one of a few Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries which survived Communist fight with the religion back in 1930s. After lunch at a restaurant, visit the National History Museum and Chinggis Khaan square. In the evening, at 6 pm meet the driver to watch famous Tumen Ekh traditional show of traditional Mongolian arts: dance, throat singing, music played on an instrument called morin khuur. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Baga Gazriin Chuluu

After breakfast, meet the guide and drive to Baga Gazriin Chuluu known as Earth stone. We will drive around 260 km through steppe by an overview of land-sea and grandiose formation of rocks and basalts of Baga Gazriin Chuluu. Places to see: Surtiin am, the ruin of a stone temple and the site of 2 Gers where monks lived and meditated since the seventeenth century. There is a 20 m long cave near to the Surtiin Am. Crystals can be found around the cave. Also, the spring water which comes from under source is good for eye illness. You will arrive at Baga Gazriin Chuluu in the afternoon, and the rest of the day you will spend hiking and exploring the area. Overnight in the camp.

Day 5: Yol Valley & Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park

After breakfast, meet the guide and continue the journey to Yol Valley in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Enjoy hiking and photographing the charming landscape and wildlife. Visit local Gobi museum. Overnight in the camp.

Day 6: Khongor Sand Dunes - Camel trek

After breakfast at the camp, we travel through the Gobi Desert to see amazing the Khongor sand dune at sunset. The Gobi desert is one of the world's greatest, it is a no-sand desert of gravel plains and rocky outcrops. Great Gobi National Park is one of the largest World Biospheres, with an area larger than Switzerland. It contains the last remaining wild Bactrian (two-humped) camels and a small population of Gobi bears, the only desert-inhabiting bear. The Khongor Sand Dunes are some of the largest and most impressive white sand dunes in Mongolia with the largest dunes up to 800 metres high. The dunes make a sound like a plane engine on a windy day so it has been named as "Singing Dunes". Visit the local camel herding nomad family and experience the nomadic life in the Gobi, have a camel ride through the sand dunes of Khongori. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 7: Bayanzag & Ongi Temple ruins

After breakfast at the camp, you will go further to Bayanzag, known as Flaming Cliffs. We shall hike through the cliffs (east trail, suitable for any fitness level) to see the Gobi tree grove named “Bayanzag”. After lunch at the camp, continue our way driving to Ongi Temple ruins. Ongi monastery was one of the 7 biggest Mongolian monasteries. There are 2 temple ruins which were built up in 1780s. During repression in 1930s’, these two temples were destroyed and over 200 monks were killed, and many surviving monks were imprisoned. In the 1990s, it was decided to rebuild the monastery. The first temple was inaugurated in 2004. There is a small museum in a ger in front of it. One of the stupas has just been reconstructed as well. After sightseeing of Ongiin khiid, stay at the Ger camp for overnight.

Day 8: Karakorum – Erdene Zuu Monastery

After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and drive towards to Kharkhorin, formerly known as Karakorum. Embrace the wilderness of Mongolia when visiting Khogno Khan Nature Reserve with mountains, steppes, Gobi-type desert and mineral water sources all in one location, Uvgun monastery or Erdene Khamba khiid. After lunch, continue to travel to Kharkhorin, the legendary city founded by Genghis Khan in 1220 in Orkhon Valley, on the Silk Road. Those days it was a political, economic, administrative and religious centre. But after Khublai Khaan moved the Mongolian capital to Beijing, Karakorum was abandoned and then completely destroyed by Chinese soldiers in 1388. There we shall visit Kharkhorin museum, and the Mongolian oldest and largest monastery Erdene Zuu. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 9: Travel back to Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, travel back to Ulaanbaatar, make a stop for picnic lunch on the road. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Check-in at the hotel. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Departure

After breakfast, check out of the hotel. The driver will take you to the airport.

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Mongolia

To apply for a visa, citizens of the UK should apply personally through an authorized company (40 GBP for a standard visa, issued in 5 days). Сitizens of New Zealand can apply for a visa only by mail (160 $ NZ for a standard visa, issued in 2-5 days). Citizens of Australia can apply for a visa by mail (230 AUD, issued in 4-5 days). Citizens of the USA and Canada can travel to Mongolia without a visa in case a travel period is less than 90 days.

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Accommodation

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What's included

Accommodation

For Group tour #1 and private tours in July & August:

2 nights at Deluxe Ger camps with en-suite facilities in Terelj National Park (days 1, 2)

2 nights at the hotel in Ulaanbaatar (days 3, 9)

4 nights at Deluxe Ger camps with en-suite facilities (days 4, 5, 6, 8)

1 night at the comfort Ger camp (twin-share) (day 7) with shared facilities. The bathrooms are located in a separate building with basic toilets and showers. Such camps can be considered as a highlight of the journey to experience read nomads way of life.

For Group tour #2 and private tours in May, June, September:

2 nights at Deluxe Ger camps with en-suite facilities in Terelj National Park (days 1, 2)

2 nights at the hotel in Ulaanbaatar (days 3, 9)

3 nights at Deluxe Ger camps with en-suite facilities (days 5, 6, 8)

2 nights at comfort Ger camps (twin-share) (day 4, 7) with shared facilities. The bathrooms are located in a separate building with basic toilets and showers. Such camps can be considered as a highlight of the journey to experience read nomads way of life.

Meals

Breakfasts on days 2-10

Lunches on days 2-9

Dinners on days 1-9 including welcome traditional Mongolian dinner and farewell dinner.

A bottle of mineral water each day

Guided tours

Tour is fully escorted by an experienced English-speaking guide

Terelj National Park guided tour

Uvgun monastery guided tour

Kharkhorin guided tour

Ongi Monastery guided tour

Bayanzag guided tour

the Gobi Desert guided tour

Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park guided tour

City tour in Ulaanbaatar

Khongor Khan Nature Reserve guided tour

A light hiking tour to Ariyabal meditation temple

Baga Gazriin Chuluu guided tour (Group tour #2 and private tours in May, June, September)

Transportation

Services of comfortable transportation on tours and airport - hotel - airport transfers

4WD vehicles in the countryside of Mongolia, 3 persons per car (private tour for 3 pax - Mitsubishi Delica minivan)

Local flight tickets (economy class) from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad (Group tours and private tours in July, August)

Support

24/7 phone/WhatsApp support line

The group tour is fully escorted by English speaking tour director

Entrance tickets

Terelj National park

3th-century museum of the Great Mongol Empire

the Bronze Age Museum

Ariyabal meditation temple

the National History Museum

Tumen Ekh traditional show

Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park

Great Gobi National Park

museum at Ongi Monastery

Ongiin khiid stupa

Kharkhorin museum

Erdene Zuu monastery

Tumen Ekh folklore performance

Camel ride 1 hour

Not Included

Travel insurance

Visa fees

International flights

Meals not mentioned

Optional tours and activities

Personal expenditures

Highlights

Real Gear Camp Experience

Avalokitesvara and the museum of the Great Mongol Empire

Amazing Terelj National Park

Ancient Erdene Zuu Monastery

Flaming Cliffs

Khongor sand dunes

Book

Our reviews

Andrew Weifler

Australia

I decided to use the Tour Service of the World Cup after some extensive research into the tour alternatives. These guys seemed to differentiate its tour Service by providing a more culturally based service with a healthy dose of Football and Fun. My experience was that it as well run ie they delivered on their promises. They have a health mix of local staff and Australian staff. The Russian staff had a great empathy for the challenges for us Aussies traveling in a country where you had no language skills they bridged that gap with there wonderful help. I know there are many alternative tours but this one certainly lived up to its name. I felt I discovered part of Russia but there’s plenty more to go!’ Overall just a great experience

Chris Balogh

Australia

These guys has made my World Cup dream a reality and also provided a spectecular tour of Kazan, Samara & Sochi along the way! The team who made it happen were fantastic, organised, attentive and even fulfilled requests like having window seats on all 3 of my domestic flights not to mention the smooth transportations to and from airports. If you ever want to visit FIFA World Cup, “World of Dsicoveries” is the best way to go!!!!

William Watt

Australia

I am a Sydney-based journalist who travelled to the 2018 World Cup with Discovery Russia, the sister company of World of Discoveries. Following is my review of that fabulous experience ... What a trip ... the World Cup, five cities, amazing camaraderie, and great tour leadership against the background of one of the globe’s most amazing countries ... Russia. My World Cup tour with Discovery Russia was one of the great experiences of my travel life. The Discovery Russia team provided a wonderful platform with an itinerary both practical and flexible. The local tours in each of the venue cities - Moscow, Kazan, Samara, Sochi and St Petersburg were informative and, importantly, fun. Considering the accommodation pressures created by the huge influx of Cup tourists, the hotels selected by Discovery Russia were more than adequate. Special mention goes to the Grand Hotel Tchaikovsky In St Petersburg. The tour leadership provided by the company was both expert and considerate. Importantly each traveller’s individual enjoyment and safety appeared to be the paramount consideration. This World Cup holiday was meant to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience for me but I am now planning for the next Cup. Bring on 2022 in Qatar!

Lyn Lennard

Australia

We have finished our trip in Mongolia and I busted to say thank you very much for all your assistance while we were on the ground in Russia. By far the best guide we had was Yuri in Moscow - he was excellent. We had a very good visit to Novgorod where Natalia was an excellent guide too, and we learnt much about Russian history: It was very good to have the car to take us around the Golden Circle and Victor was a good driver. and the guide in Peterhof and Faberge museum was very nice, approachable, taxis were always waiting for us when we got off the boat etc. We both had a very good holiday and learnt a lot about Russian history and culture: thanks again.

Alison Danesh

Iran / USA

We just returned from the World Cup in Russia where we followed Team Iran. This involved travel to three different stadiums many miles apart. Thank goodness we booked through World of Discoveries (Discovery Russia branch)! They arranged our lodging and transport. They even set us up with local English speaking guides to take us to see the interesting and historical sights of this beautiful land. We had a blast. We met new friends, ate great food, drank great vodka and cheered our team on. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Irma Rubenstain

Amazing trip to Mongolia

I can't sing the praises loud enough for the operator and their true welcoming, accommodating and approach. From the time I landed and was met by a driver at the airport to take me to my hotel, to fabulous guide, Boloryuya, who worked, it seemed, 24/7 to make sure this trip was everything I dreamed of. From seeking Takhi wild horses with local resident Neema, to meeting reindeer herdsman while in Lake Kovsgol area, from horse back riding and camel rides to a yurt stay at Gobi desert, everything went as planned and exceeded expectations. September seemed a perfect choice to visit Mongolia. Everything from planning and booking, till the farewell transfer to airport, every team member went above and beyond to make it happened the way it was and I’m sending my appraisal too all of you guys. Choose World of Discoveries when you are in need of adventure beyond the ordinary. You name it, they find a way to make it happen. It was truly amazing.

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