• Into the West: Epic Overland Expeditions
  • Type: Adventure tours
    Destination: Kharkhorin, Arkhangai, Khuvsgul, Zavkhan, Gobi Altai and Khovd
    Highlights: Kharkhorin, Erdene Zuu Monastery, Khorgo Volcano, Khuvsgul lake, Otgontenger Mountain, Sharga Gobi and Khovd
    Lengths: 18 nights/ 19 days
    Adventure level: Extreme
    Total driving km: 3000 km
    Transportation: drive, (4 wheel driving Japanese jeep)
    Season: June 1 – September 1
  • Khovd is one of the most diverse provinces in terms of its various ethnic groups. The province is called “land of contrast” by Mongols because its inhabitants are quite ethnically and linguistically mixed. The Torguud, Zakhchin, Myangad and Kazakhs live peacefully and herd their livestock side by side. Khovd city was founded by Machju in 1718 on the bank of Khovd River. It consisted of two parts: the Old Town: Sangiin Kherem and the Modern Town of Khovd. Sangiin Kherem was square walls of five meters tall and two meters thick but there is very little wall left. Today's Khovd city is the important economic and cultural centre in the west.

  • Day 1.

    Ulaanbaatar. A professional Gucci World Tours team will meet you at the “Chinggis Khan” international airport and transfer to the one of hotels in downtown. After relax, we start our first day exploring Ulaanbaatar, the nation's capital. The Sukhbaatar square is spirit of the capital and famous for its surroundings including Parliament House, National Opera Theatre, Cultural Palace and House of City Council. We visit Zaisan Hill. This hill provides panoramic view of the Ulaanbaatar. We will visit the Natural History Museum which is well-known for its precious findings such as Dinosaur eggs and bones. Overnight in the hotel.

    Day 2.

    Middle Gobi. Drive to the Middle Gobi. We will continue our adventurous drive through the open lands to the Baga Gazriin Chuluu. This 1750m high basalt and granite rock formation is beautifully located in the middle of vast steppe. This rock mountain contains ruins of Buddhist meditation temple that dated back to the 17th century. We will enjoy some scenic photo opportunities and continue our drive to the Sum Huh Burd, a small island with ruins of ancient temple and home to many birds. Overnight in the ger camp.

    Day 3.

    Kharkhorin/Erdenezuu Monastery. We will start driving to the Kharkhorin city. On the way, we will observe the beautiful serene steppe landscape with herds of cattle, horses and sheep. We will visit the interesting inscribed rock of Prince Tsogt Taij which is located on the way to Kharkhorin. A well-known poet of the 17th century Prince Tsogt Taij carved his 30 lines of poems on the rock in 1626. This rock gained the name “Duut” because it rings like a steel boiler when hit. The inscription has been preserved as though written only yesterday. We will arrive in Kharkhorin in the late afternoon. Overnight in the ger camp.

    Day 4.

    Kharkhorin/TSenkher hot spring. We will tour in Kharkhorin; the ancient Capital of Great Mongolian Empire and Erdenezuu Monastery, main treasure of Mongolian Buddhism. Kharkhorin was established in the valley of Orkhon River in 1220. It was one of the stops along the legendary Silk Road for 140 years. Kharkhorin was a capital city of Mongolian Great Empire until Khubilai Khaan, a grandson of Chinggis Khaan moved the capital to Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty. For almost 800 years, people worship the Turtle Rock near the temple. Erdenezuu Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia was founded by Avtai Sain Khaan, a descendant of Chinggis Khaan, on the ruins of Kharkhorin in 1586. The monastery is surrounded by beautiful looking white walls with 108 stupas. We will drive to Tsenkher hot spring, a sulphur spring that emerges from the ground at 85 degrees Celsius. Facilities include outdoor and indoor baths, showers and accommodations. Overnight in the ger camp.

    Day 5.

    Taikhar Rock/Khorgo Volcano. Today, we will drive through Tsetserleg city. We will ride through a beautiful mountain pass and alpine landscape with many wild flowers. We visit Taikhar Rock, a peculiar boulder is 16 meter high and with 150 inscriptions and engravings in many languages is located on the bank of Tamir. We will pass by exceptional sites such as Zuun Mod (the Hundred Tree), a sacred tree hidden by thick layers of scarves deposited by worshipers and the stunning Chuluut River Gorge. Khorgo Volcano (2100 metres) is located on the east shore of Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan. The lake is about 20km long and was formed when volcanic lava dammed the Suman River. Overnight in the ger camp.

    Day 6.

    Shine Ider/Khuvsgul. We will start driving to the Khuvsgul Lake. We will see beautiful Khangai mountain range and its stunning alpine landscapes on the way. We see nomads and their hordes of cattle, horses, sheep and goats. Overnight in the tent camp.

    Day 7.

    Murun. We will drive to the capital of scenic Khuvsgul province. On the way we will visit Uishigiin Uvur Valley with many deer stones and rock carvings. Averaging 1-3m in height, these upright stone slabs are characterized by low-relief carvings of deer with flowing antlers. Over 550 have been identified in Mongolia's grassy steppe region. They are found singly and in small groups and are often associated with stone burial mounds called Khirigsuur. These monumental features have been dated back to the Late Bronze to Early Iron Age, approximately 3000 years ago. Overnight in the tent camp.

    Day 8.

    Khuvsgul Lake. We will continue our picturesque journey to Khuvsgul Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in the Central Asia with over one percent of the world's freshwater reserve and a maximum depth of 262m. This gorgeous lake is fed by 96 rivers and streams but only Egiin River flows out from the lake. The Egiin River joins the Selenge River on its way to Lake Baikal. This lake is surrounded by stunning mountains, thick pine forests and lush meadows with grazing yaks and horses. Overnight in the ger camp near the lake.

    Day 9.

    Tes River. Our journey will head to the northern edge of Khangai Mountain. The drive will be majestically beautiful with alpine landscape. We will have an opportunity to see wildlife, many birds and flora. We drive through the lush meadow of Tes River Valley and overnight on the bank of Tes River.

    Day 10.

    Telmen Lake. Today we will drive to the Uliastai, the capiltal of Zavkhan province. The mountains that surround this city make it one of the more attractive provincial capitals in the country. It was founded by Manchu in 1733 and served as a base for Manchu soldiers. Telmen is a scenic and slightly salty lake which hosts abundant birdlife. The lake lies near the boundary between the forest steppe and steppe ecosystems. It is surrounded by sand dunes, striking mountains with lush green forest and several small lakes and springs. Overnight in the tent.

    Day 11.

    Otgontenger Mountain. We will drive to the western side of Khangai Mountains. Otgontenger is located 100km east of Uliastai town on the plains. This is a sacred mountain forever snow capped at 4031m. Above the tree line, tundra, alpine-sedge meadows and highland swamps are present high mountain landscape. The mountains are across a stony area which opens up to a scenic glacial lake called Badar Khundaga. Overnight in a tent camp.

    Day 12.

    Gobi Altai. We will start drive to the Gobi Altai province. Gobi-Altai province is located in the western part of the country. It is a huge province of wind swept plains and high mountains. This is an area where Gobi steppes join the Altai mountain range. Stony plains crossed by dry riverbeds define the landscape of the Gobi. We will pass by a provincial capital Altai city which is located on the dry plain with high snow-capped mountains. Overnight in the tent camp on the steppe.

    Day 13.

    Sharga Gobi. Today we will explore one of the 33 Gobi of Mongolia - Sharga Gobi. The Shargiin Gobi is one of the two parts of the Natural Reserve called “Sharga Mankhanii Tal”. The reserve was created in 1994 to conserve the habitat of the endangered subspecies of the Saiga Antelope. This species is listed on the “International Red Data Book” and now widespread only in the Sharga Gobi. We may have an opportunity to see this beautiful and endangered species. Overnight in the tent.

    Day 14.

    Tsetseg Lake. We will start driving to the Khovd province. On the way, we will pass through the Tonkhil village that is located in the western corner of the Gobi Altai. We will drive through the beautiful looking mountain pass called Tonkhil. Our next attraction is Tsetseg Lake, a fine looking small salty lake surrounded by high mountains. Overnight in the tent.

    Day 15.

    Durgun Lake. We will continue our ride to the Durgun Lake. On the way, we will observe semi-arid steppe landscape and many unique natural wonders. By the afternoon we reach to Durgun Lake, the lake accommodates many species of water birds and waders. We will see unique combination of mountain, lake and small sand dunes around the lake. Overnight in the tent.

    Day 16.

    Khovd city. Today is our last day to continue our overland adventure in the west. We will drive to the direction of Khovd city. On the way, we will see the Khar Us Lake that lies at an altitude of 1157m and a length of 72km. This is a fresh water lake and has a low mineral content. Overnight in the tent.

    Day 17.

    Khovd city/Ulaanbaatar. We will drive to Khovd city and explore many ethnic minorities in the modern and old parts of the city. Transfer to the airport to catch a domestic flight to the capital city Ulaanbaatar. We will arrive in Ulaanbaatar in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel.

    Day 18.

    Ulaanbaatar. We will begin our last but unforgettable day from the Gandan Monastery a heart of Mongolian yellow head Buddhism. We will see the influence of Buddhism in Mongolia and the outstanding and impressive 24m golden plated statue of Buddha; Megjid Janraiseg. This monastery is the largest and most important monastery in Mongolia with 500 monks. We will head to the Central Market to see how locals shop and bargain goods. There is a section reserved for antiques and coin sellers which is the best reason to visit the market. Overnight in the hotel.

    Day 19.

    Departure. Our overland adventure in Mongolia is now complete and we will end our journeys by transferring to the “Chinggis Khan” International Airport with Gucci World Tours

    Tour includes. 3 nights in 4 star hotel, 5 nights in ger camps, 9 nights in tents, 3 meals per day, English, French, Italian, German, Japanese speaking guides, Domestic transportation, Local entry fees
    Tour excludes. Personal use, International travel, Travel insurance, Alcoholic drinks
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