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Visit the country’s natural highlights and landmarks of the Khangai region, including Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes, the ancient capital Kharkhorin city, Tuvkhun monastery, Orkhon waterfall, Tsenkher hot spring, Khorgo extinct volcano and freshwater Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur. Enjoy the spectacular view of the endless plain, sand dunes, grassland and rolling hills, while experiencing camelback and horseback riding, staying with last remaining nomads in the world.
Ulaanbaatar (hotel or airport pickup and drop-off)
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and check-in to a 3-star hotel. Half-day city tour – National History Museum, Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum, Zaisan Memorial Hill and Sukhbaatar Square. Visit the State Department Store/Ikh Delguur – or Great Shop – here we can stock up on last-minute provisions before starting the next day’s journey. (L/D)
Drive to Elsen Tasarhai sand dunes. Visit Erdene Khamba temple and Sky temple in Khugnu Khan Mountain. Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes located in Burd soum of Uvurhangai province, 270km west of Ulaanbaatar. The area is surrounded by sand dunes, a small lake, river and exotic granite mountains. It presents a unique combination of sand dunes and green oasis. Elsen Tasarhai can be conveniently combined with the excursion to Erdene Khamba monastery ruins and the camel trekking to the dunes. Enjoy hiking to the sand dunes or camelback riding in the surrounding area (for 1 hour), relaxing in peaceful nature. Overnight in local nomad family ger. (B/L/D)
Drive to Kharakhorin – the ancient capital of Mongolia which was established by Chinggis Khaan in the 13th century. Today, Kharkhorin is one of the biggest soums of Mongolia and the most famous tourist spots in the country. Visit Erdene Zuu monastery, the very first Buddhist monastery in Central Mongolia, which was established in 1586 and has been protected since 1944. The monastery, surrounded by the wall with 108 stupas, has an active temple and a worthy museum which displays Buddhist cultural heritages from 16-18th centuries. Then drive to the hill with Turtle stone where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Erdene Zuu monastery and whole Kharkhorin city. Overnight in tourist camp. (B/L/D)
Drive to Tuvkhun monastery and Orkhon waterfall. Optional horse riding to Tuvkhun monastery, located on the top of a high mountain. The Tuvkhun monastery was founded in 1654 by High Saint Zanabazar, the first head of Mongolian Buddhism, who lived, worked and meditated here for 30 years. Visit the Creation temple of the monastery and hiking around some interesting places of the monastery. Enjoy the spectacular view of nature, while driving to the next spot. Free walking around the Orkhon river basin and Orkhon waterfall, located in Bat-Ulzii soum of Uvurkhangai province. The waterfall is about 20m high and 10m wide, and looks more impressive in the rainy season. Overnight in tourist camp. (B/L/D)
Drive to Tsenkher hot spring. You can have a bath in the spring water. Hiking in the forest and admire the pretty wildflowers. Tsenkher hot spring is located between the beautiful forested mountains in Tsenkher soum of Arkhangai province. The spring composed of hydrogen sulfide, sodium carbonate, hydro carbonate, sulfate, and fluorite is 97C° hot (206.6F) and it’s good for treating fatigue, skin irritation, wound, articular and nervous system diseases and boost the immune system. Overnight in tourist camp. (B/L/D)
Drive to Khorgo – Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake National Park, which covers 773km², including Khorgo extinct volcano and freshwater lake Terkhiin Tsagaan, protected by the Government of Mongolia since 1965. The area boasts pristine nature, majestic landscape, crystal lake, plenty of small caves and a wonderful whole host of myths and legends. On the way to National Park, we will stop by the Chuluut river canyon and enjoy its spectacular formation. Visit Zuun Salaa Tree, the sacred tree by locals. Overnight in tourist camp. (B/L/D)
Today is a free day. Enjoy hiking to Khorgo extinct volcano crater, which was active about 8 thousand years ago, and a splendid panorama view over the whole region and the lake can be seen from the top of the volcano. Visit Yellow Dog’s cave, Ice cave and Youth’s cave. Watch the lake birds by the Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake. Free walking along the lakeshore and near the camp. You can be lucky enough to watch numerous of birds. Overnight in the tourist camp. (B/L/D)
Drive to Tsetserleg city, after breakfast. In town, we will visit Zaya Gegeenii Khiid, the local market and have lunch in the town. After lunch we drive to Taikhar Rock – a large rock stands out in the middle of a plain. The Taikhar Rock is covered with inscriptions dating back as far as the Turkic period in Mongolian territory. Those inscriptions were followed by more in the Mongolian language, then Tibetan, and even more modern graffiti. After visiting this site we drive to Tsenkher village and stay overnight in local nomad family ger (B/L/D).
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Lunch in Lun town of Tuv province. Check-in to a 3-star hotel. Spend the rest of the day on your own leisure. (B/L)
Visit the International Intellectual Museum, which displays over 11,000 intellectual items from 130 countries around the world, of which over 5,000 of them are puzzles. Most of the displays of the museum represent various branches of science in simplified form by using toys and puzzles. Visitors are allowed to touch and challenge themselves, solving the puzzles. Then go shopping for souvenirs, cashmere and wool products. Have your lunch on your own choice. In the evening enjoy the Mongolian traditional art concert of the Tumen Ekh Ensemble. After farewell dinner, you will be transferred to the airport/Departure. (B/D)