Mongolia Adventure and Photo Tour
Free Spirit Outdoors Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM - Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Free Spirit Outdoors and NAPP invites you to a nomadic adventure in Mongolia. This adventure will feature activities such as horseback riding, biking, hiking.
We are going to have a professional photography instructor who will teach us how to make great photos of incredible landscapes, ruins, monasteries and nomadic culture. The photography part is for everyone: You can bring your point-and-shoot camera.
Description and Highlights:
- Discover the vastness of Gobi desert by traveling on a jeep.
- Stay in traditional gers (houses) with nomadic families.
- Climb to the top of the largest sand dunes in Mongolia
- Visit Buddhist monasteries
- Explore Flaming Cliffs - the most famous place for finding the first discovery of dinosaur fossils.
- Visit the symbolic ruins of Karakorum, the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire.
- Take beautiful photo shots of Orkhon Waterfall.
- Climb to Khorgo Volcano - an extinct volcano, which lies east of the volcanic lake that was created thousands of years ago by lava flows.
- Spot rare birds.
- Feel the heat of hot spring that emerges from the ground at a sizzling 89C.
Includes: Medical Insurance, Airport pickups and drop offs, US group leader, Guided city tour (Ulaanbaatar), Welcome dinner in Ulaanbaatar, Photography instructions, English Speaking Local Guide, All Accommodations throughout the trip, All transportation within Mongolia, Driver + 4 Wheel Drive vehicle + maintenance + petrol , All meals outside of Ulaanbaatar as per itinerary, Entrance fees, Folklore Performance Tickets
Does not include: International Airfare, Visa fee, Food/drinks in Ulaanbaatar, Alcoholic/soft drinks
Photography Instructor: Cem Guray (www.cemguray.com)
DAY1. ARRIVAL TO ULAANBAATAR
Arrive at any time to Ullanbaatar. Hotel check in. Night walk in the city center. Dinner.
DAY 2. ULAANBAATAR CITY TOUR AND PHOTO SHOOT
Spend the morning at a specially-arranged photo shoot at the Gandan Monastery, Mongolia’s largest functioning Buddhist monastery—one of the few to survive the Stalinist purges during the 1930s. Listen to the horns calling lamas and monks to temple, and capture the monks’ daily rituals while visiting the adjoining Megjid Janraisig and Kalachakra Temples. This afternoon, visit the National History Museum to get an overview of Mongolia’s history and culture. Examine exhibits on nomadic life, including Stone and Bronze Age artifacts, traditional costumes, and sacred relics. Then head to the magnificent Choijin Lama Temple for a tsam-mask dance ceremony, where photographic opportunities abound. In the evening, take in a performance of traditional Mongolian dance and khoomii, or throat singing,
followed by a welcome dinner.
DAY3. LEAVING ULAANBAATAR FOR BAGA GAZRIIN CHULUU
We will start with a full day trip out to the Baga Gazriin Chuluu Ruins. A picturesque Mountain Baga Gazriin Chuluu is one of the most attractive areas of the Gobi desert. With at an elevation of 1.768m, it is located in the granite belt. The ruins of a small monastery are on the south east part of the mountain. The area has got many species of wild animals and birds, such as ibex, argali, vultures, hawks and eagles. At the ruins, there are some mineral water springs and trees a top the many beautiful rocky hills. On the way we will stop for a lunch at Zorgol Khairkhan Mountain, and then we will continue to drive to the first campsite of our trip. Once we get there, we will have free time to wander around the mountains and do some hiking. We will camp overnight in this area. We will stay overnight with a family ger. (Lunch and Dinner)
DAY4. DRIVE TO TSAGAAN SUVARGA
After having breakfast at the campsite we will drive to Tsagaan Suvarga /White Stupa/. In the afternoon, we will reach the Tsagaan Suvarga and explore to see white stupa and go for hiking around. Tsagaan Suvarga, an amazing series of cliffs, white and pink limestone rock formations taking the appearance of stalagmites up to 30 meters high. It is an excellent site for taking photography of the beautiful panoramic views. We will stay overnight in a traditional ger camp. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY5. DRIVE TO YOLIIN AM (YOL VALLEY)
After having breakfast at the family, we will start driving to Yoliin Am, which is a deep narrow gorge in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains of the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, covering 70 sq.kms. There is a small natural museum at the entrance of the National park which exhibits a collection of dinosaur eggs, bones, stuffed birds and snow leopard. This place is also very rich by the rare plants. After we seeing the museum at the entrance we will drive about 10kms to get to the car parking where we leave our car there and walk a head to the ice gorge and stream for a several kms. In the winter time, the stream freezes several kms into the gorge. It remains frozen for most of the year, except late summer. We will see the ice gorge until end of the July. The ice remains usually disappear around early August. On the way we get to the Yoliin Am we will stop for a lunch in a huge flat steppe. Once we wandering around the gorge, we will get back to our car and drive to the next family we will stay there for tonight. We will stay overnight in a family ger. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY6. DRIVE TO KHONGORIN ELS SAND DUNES
After having breakfast, we will drive to the sand dunes called Khongoriin Els. The Khongoriin Els sand dunes lie north of the Baruunsaikhan Mountain in the northern part of the Sevrei and Zuulun Mountains. The Khongoriin Els is one of the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia and they are up to 200m high, 12km wide and about 100km long. The largest dunes are at the northwest corner of the range. You can climb to the top of the sand dunes and then slide back down on the plastic bags. The views of the desert from the top are wonderful. Climbing to the top of the dunes during the sunset gives you an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding desert, to the north lies the Khongoriin River. We will stay overnight in a family ger. We will stay overnight in a family ger. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY7. CLIMBING TO THE SAND DUNES
Today after breakfast, we can possibly arrange some optional camelback riding around the sand dunes before the lunch time. After having lunch at the family we will climb and hike to the top of the biggest sand dunes. We will stay overnight in a family ger tonight. We will stay overnight in a tourist ger camp. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY8. DRIVE TO BAYANZAG (FLAMING CLIFFS)
After having breakfast this morning, we will drive to the Bayanzag which is an important fossil finds have been made. It was given name by American paleontologist Roy Chapman who visited there in the 1920s. The area is the most famous place for finding the first discovery of dinosaur fossils. There is a picturesque saxaul forest the place is named after and colorful rocks which is brilliantly colorful. We will visit Mongolian family there and will staying overnight with their ger. We will stay overnight in a Mongolian family ger. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY9. DRIVE TO ONGIIN KHIID
After having breakfast in the family at the Bayanzag, we will head off to Saikhan Ovoo which is a small village in the Middle Gobi province. The bend in the river marks, the remains of two ruined monasteries, the Barlim Khiid on the north bank and the Khutagt Khiid on the south. The monastery used to have about 500 monks and built in the late 18th century for dedicating the first visit to Mongolia by a Dalai Lama. The monastery was reopened in 1990 and current Dalai Lama visited in 1992. We are going to staying in a tourist ger camp. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY10. DRIVE TO ORKHON WATERFALL
This morning after breakfast, we will drive to the Orkhon waterfall. In the afternoon, we will arrive to the waterfall called Ulaan Tsutgalan /Orkhon Waterfall/, enjoy spectacular view of the waterfall and surrounding area, where we will have chance to take some beautiful photo shots of Orkhon Waterfall. The Orkhon river drops into 20 kms volcanic crack thus forming the 24 meter high waterfall of Ulaan Tsutgalan, highlight of the area. We are having dinner and stay overnight in a ger. We will stay overnight in a family ger. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY11. DRIVE TO TSENKHER HOT SPRING
Today we will drive to Tsenkher hot spring after having breakfast in ger camp, a sulphur spring that emerges from the ground at a sizzing 89C. Facilities include outdoor and indoor baths, showers and accommodations. We will stay overnight in a tourist ger camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY12. DRIVE TO WHITE LAKE AND KHORGO VOLCANO
After having breakfast at the family we stayed, we will drive to Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (White lake) and Khorgo volcano. The Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur is also known as White Lake in the Khangai Mountain range in central Mongolia with relatively pure fresh water. The lake is 16 km wide, about 4-10m deep with its deepest point at 28m and over 20kms in a length. It is flooded 61sq.km and the lake has pike and other fishes. Rare birds are found here as well. This volcanic lake was created thousands of years ago by lava flows from the nearby Khorgo Mountain volcano. Khorgo Mountain is an extinct volcano, which lies east of the White lake. This area has been protected since 1965, fully in 1997. Once we arrive to the White Lake, we will visiting nomadic family there and walk around the lake. We can go for fishing and swimming before the dinner. We are going to staying in a Mongolian family ger. We will stay overnight in a tourist ger camp (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY13. CLIMBING TO THE KHORGO VOLCANO
Today after breakfast, we possibly arrange an optional horseback riding trek to the Khorgo volcano. Once we get there we will climb to a volcanic crater, the Khorgo at 2100m. From the summit there opens a splendid views over the landscape and the lake. We will ride back to the same family and stay overnight there. We will stay overnight in a tourist ger camp. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY14. DRIVING KHARKHORIN
After having breakfast in the tourist ger camp at the waterfall, we will head off to Saikhan Ovoo which is a small village in the Middle Gobi province. The bend in the river marks, the remains of two ruined monasteries, the Barlim Khiid on the north bank and the Khutagt Khiid on the south. The monastery used to have about 500 monks and built in the late 18th century for dedicating the first visit to Mongolia by a Dalai Lama. The monastery was reopened in 1990 and current Dalai Lama visited in 1992. After we explore the ruins of the Ongiin Khiid. We will stay overnight in a tourist ger camp. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
DAY15. VISIT ERDENEZUU MONASTERY AND DRIVE BACK TO ULAANBAATAR
After having breakfast at the hostel, we will visit Erdenezuu monastery. After visiting the monastery, we will drive back to Ulaanbaatar. On the way back to Ulaanbaatar we will stop by the sand dunes of Elsen Tasarkhai. When we arrive to Ulaanbaatar, we will be transferred to a hotel. Departure. (Breakfast and Lunch)