detailed description

Monk Praying
Erdene Zuu Monastery
Karakorum Temples

Karakorum

Today we will set off for a driving day to Karakorum also called Kharkhorin. Kharkhorin is the site of the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire created by Genghis Khan. The founding of Kharkhorin started on the ruins of Gokturk and Uigur cities in the Orkhon valley at the eastern end of the Khangai Mountains in 1220 by the Genghis Khan’s order. It completed 15 years later during the Ugedei Khaan’s reign. The town was a very cosmopolitan and religiously tolerant place. The silver tree, part of Mungke Khan’s palace has become the symbol of Kharkhorin. The highest peak of its prosperity was from 1220 to 1260. The specific feature of this stage is that Kharkhorin existed as the great capital of the Euro-Asian Empire with Mongolia as its core and as the centre of politics, economy, culture, religion, intellect, and diplomacy and the prominent tie of international relations.

At the arrival, we will visit one of the biggest Buddhist monastery Erdene Zuu.  Now Erdene Zuu Monastery is all that remains of what once was a huge monastery of 100 temples and about 1.000 lamas residing there. We will explore the grounds of Erdene Zuu Monastery surrounded by its massive 400 m X 400 m walls. We will be guided around the 3 remaining temples: Dalai Lama, Zuu of Buddha and Lavrin Temple. Another place we will visit will be Karakorum Archaeological Museum. It is a small museum but housed in a modern well-run building with good lighting and display cases with clear English labels. The exhibits include dozens of artefacts dating from the 13th and 14th centuries which were recovered from the immediate area, plus others that were found from archaeological sites in other parts of the provinces, including prehistoric stone tools. You’ll see pottery, bronzes, coins, religious statues and stone inscriptions. There’s also a half-excavated kiln sunk into the museum floor. Perhaps most interesting is the scale model of ancient Karakorum, which aims to represent the city as it may have looked in the 1250s, and is based on descriptions written by the French missionary William of Rubruck. Another chamber exhibits a Turkic noble tomb with wall paintings and artefacts, including gold items and jewellery. There is a short video of actual burial site. We will also see the Turtle Rock and the Phallic Rock, visit little market behind walls exposing local arts by locals.

(Ger camp L, D)

Tsetserleg

Today we will get up early for another driving day. We will pass through Tsetserleg, capital city of Arkhangai province. It is a lovely little town surrounded by forested hills. Here we will visit the Buyandelgeruulekh Monastery, the town main functioning monastery and the nice little Museum of Arkhangai located in Zayaiin Gegeenii Monastery. From the museum we will walk hill upward to a small abandoned monastery and enjoy the beautiful view we have from there over Tsetserleg and the surrounding hills. End of the afternoon we will reach the region of the Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur. We will meet or wrangler family.

(Family stay B, L, D)

Tsetserleg Monastery
Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur

Forest Trekking

Arkhangai Province in Central Mongolia is a beautiful part of the country and has some exciting geographical features and a lot of nomadic families living the traditional lifestyle. It is an area suitable for easy to moderate hiking, there are few steep slopes to climb and for the most part we can walk on rough jeep tracks. The White Lake and its surrounding area were influenced by volcanic activity thousands of years ago creating some dramatic sights.

This morning we start a six-day trek. Our first day will be a trek through beautiful forest and canyon.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

 

Khorgo-Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park

The Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur is one of the most beautiful lakes of the country. It is surrounded by extinct and craterous volcanoes, and was formed by lava flows from a volcanic eruption many millennia ago. As a result of the volcano eruptions the landscape is covered with black volcanic rocks. The marshes along the west end of the lake are an important and staging area for birds. The park is located in Tariat district of Arkhangai province. The lake is about 15 km long, has a maximum depth of 20 meters. The terrain immediately around lake is hills with steppe and forest steppe vegetation.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

White Lake

Khorgo Uul Volcano

We will climb the Khorgo Uul Volcano (2960 meters) and discover the area around the volcano. We will make an excursion to the top of Khorgo Uul Volcano and we will pass the gorges that lead from Tariat to the volcano. The volcano crater is 200 m wide and 100 m deep and is covered with trees at the back and around the opening of the crater. To the south of Khorgo there are numerous basaltic “gers” formed during the cooling of lava; some of the gers have gates and upper holes and reach 1.7 m high.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

 

Khorgo Uul

Relaxing and Swimming

Spend one day at the lake planning for some optional activities such as trekking in the valley, taking a boat on the lake, swimming, riding a horse or visiting a local family to get introduced to nomadic life.

(Tented camp B, L, D)

Ger Camp at Lake

Trek to Man Stone

We will have 2 more trekking days to reach the ancient Man-Stone.

(Tented Camp B, L, D)

Trekking in Central Mongolia

Darkhan Mountain

Today we will visit a cave in the Darkhan Mountain. In the evening we will stop at a nomad family and experience their warm hospitality. For dinner we will be offered a typical Mongolian barbeque that will be prepared by them. Those who want will have the opportunity to try the “airag” or fermented horse milk. Our guide – translator will help us to forge contact with the local population.

Tonight we will share Ger with the family.

(Family stay B, L, D)

River Cross

Ogii Lake

Our trek being finished we will head back to Ulaanbaatar. In the evening we will reach Ogii Lake, a small but beautiful lake located 1,337 meters above sea level. It covers 25 square kilometres is rich in perch and pike. Favourite fishing destination for locals. Swan Goose, White Spoonbill and Dalmatian Pelican have been recorded. 

(Ger camp B, L, D)

Camping in Wild Mongolia

Drive to Ulaanbaatar

We will have a driving day back to Ulaanbaatar. Afternoon is free time for last minute sightseeing. Opt to see the beautiful cultural show enjoy the colourful and rhythmic Mongolian dance, throat singing and admire the contortionists.

(B, L)

Central Grassland Mongolia

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