Sep 15- Oct 03, 2013
(18 nights 19 days)
Creating her favorites, Mother Nature touches them up with particular thorough and vests absolute power in them. Land of Mongolia and Lake Baikal are undoubtedly fall in this category. Join us on this journey to lesser known lands on this planet. Beware, this is only for true travel enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
This land of the legend of Genghis Khan, Mongolia is a large landlocked country with 45% of its population living in its capital. For a long period, it had a closed economy and was pretty much cut off from the world. Mongolia has seen much upheaval in last millennium with the rule of the great khans to Qing dynasty to Buddhist and Soviet influences. Today’s Mongolia represents only part of the Mongols' historical homeland; more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China than in Mongolia. The land is sparsely populated region with hot summer and cold winters. The northern part of Mongolia is mainly Steppes and southern part is mainly Desert. Economic activity in Mongolia was traditionally based on herding and agriculture - Mongolia's extensive mineral deposits, however, have attracted foreign investors, and the country is undergoing an economic transformation through its mining boom.
Baikal lake is a whole universe, for more than 30 million years developing its own way, keeping many secrets deep in the dark waters and leaving unforgettable impressions in the heart of the each human ever visited its shores. Baikal's coastline stretches for over 1300 miles. The lake contains 20% of world’s fresh water reserves. It has several endemic animals and plants that are only here and nowhere else on earth.
- Day 1: Sep 15, Sun Delhi- Beijing- Ulaanbaatar Report at IGI airport at 0015 hrs for flight to Ulaanbaatar.
CA 948 DEL PEK 0315-1225
OM 224 PEK ULN 2110-2335
Reach Ulaanbaatar late in the evening. Clear customs and drive to the hotel. Night stay in Ulaanbaatar.
- Day 2: Sep 16, Mon Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and city tour- 50 kms Take a city tour to Gandan Monastery where you will see huge gold plated Buddha, a symbol of Mongolian national pride and cultural revival and visit National Museum of Mongolian History, where you will see artifacts from Mongolia and Central Asia from the Stone Age to the present. Excursion to Zaisan Hill War Memorial to get your bearings with a panoramic view of the whole city. (B+L+D)
- Day 3: Sep 17, Tue Tour to Middle Gobi- 260 kms/ 4-5 hrs After breakfast, drive to Middle Gobi Province. On the way, visit Baga Gazriin Chuluu where we will visit a spring with water that is good for the eyes. Then, we visit ruins of a temple from the 18th century and a crystal-lined cave. Overnight in tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 4: Sep 18, Wed Eagle valley in South Gobi- 360 kms/ 5-6 hrs After an early morning breakfast, drive to Yol Am (also called The Eagle valley) – a wonderfully picturesque place with ice even in summers, and surrounded by sheer rocky walls, forming incredible canyons. These areas are situated in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park that encompasses the "Three Beauties" peaks and the most easterly points of the Altai Mountains. Overnight in tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 5: Sep 19, Thur Khongor sand dunes 180 kms/ 4 hrs After breakfast, drive to Khongor sand dunes. These are Mongolia's largest sand dunes, reaching a height of 300 meters in some areas. The sand dunes change color with each hour of the day, from yellow to silver to rose-color at (sunrise or sunset). On the way, see Dungene valley – a wonderfully picturesque place and surrounded by sheer rocky walls, forming incredible canyons. Enjoy a short hike and photograph the charming landscape and wildlife. Overnight in tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 6: Sep 20, Fri Camel ride and Nomad family Today you will be riding on Bactrian camel (two humped camels) to explore the Khongor sand dunes area. Our camel guide will lead you safely through the sand dunes. Plus, you will have an opportunity to visit a camel herdsman family to experience their lifestyle, culture and traditions. Overnight in tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 7: Sep 21, Sat Bayanzag, land of the Dinosaurs- 170 kms/ 3-4 hrs Today we will drive to Bayanzag, (known as Flaming Cliffs) where the first nest of dinosaur eggs ever discovered was found in 1922) a site famous for the remains of the Dinosaurs which lived here 60 million years ago. What a chance to walk around where the Dinosaurs once roamed and also get to know Saksaul trees and other classic desert vegetation. Overnight in tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 8: Sep 22, Sun Ongi Temple Ruins- 180 kms/ 3-4 hrs After breakfast, we will drive to Ongi Temple ruins which had about thousand lamas. It is a ruin of big monastery Bari Yonzon Hamba on the bank of a river. On the way, we will enjoy the vast steppe of the country. Participate in traditional games and Overnight in the tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 9: Sep 23, Mon Karakorum and Erden-Zuu- 240 kms/ 5 hrs After breakfast, continue driving to Karakorum, the symbolic ruins of the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire. On the way, we will enjoy beautifully changing landscape from semi desert Gobi into forest steppe. Visit Erdene-Zuu, the oldest monastery, with 108 stupas, built in 1586. Then visit Karakorum museum and see the Great Mongol state period, Stone Age, Bronze Age, Ancient state period halls. Overnight in tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 10: Sep 24, Tue See Takhi, the Asian wild horse- 260 kms/ 5 hrs Early morning drive to Hustai National Park and see Takhi, the Asian wild horse. You might be able to ssee wolf, argali sheep and deer too. Enjoy a short hike and photograph the charming landscape and wildlife. Visit Takhi's small museum and enjoy an hour’s horse riding. Overnight in tourist camp. (B+L+D)
- Day 11: Sep 25, Wed Bogd Khan Mountain national park- 160 kms/ 3 hrs After breakfast, drive to Bogd Khan Mountain National Park and visit the Manzhir Khid 18th century monastery in the southern reserve. Horse ride trial and visit a nomad family and their culture and traditions. Overnight in Ger (camp). (B+ L+D)
- Day 12: Sep 26, Thur Hiking through Bogd Khan Mountain National park- 60 kms/ 1 hr Today we hike up to Tsetse Gun (2200m), the highest point of Bogd Khan Mountain. Once at the summit eat a packed lunch and enjoy the view! Then the hike continues to the tourist camp. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. (B+L)
- Day 13: Sep 27, Fri Ulaanbaatar- Irkutsk by train- 20 minutes to the station Morning at leisure. Around 1100 hrs, transfer to the railway station to board train to Irkutsk leaving at 1350 hrs. (B)
- Day 14: Sep 28, Sat Irkutsk- Olkhon (Baikal lake)- 6 hrs Reach Irkutsk at 1540 hrs. Upon meeting we drive to Olkhon. Arrive late in the evening. Dinner enroute at the road cafe or guesthouse. Accommodation in guesthouse. Olkhon is the biggest island on Baikal Lake. (D- café dinner)
- Day 15: Sep 29, Sun Olkhon In the morning tour the area. Visit the Burkhan cape and after depart by Russian military jeeps UAZ to explore Olkhon Island and classic Lake Baikal vistas. Heading north and make stops at Sagaan-Khushun Cape, coastal caves and stretches of beach along the way, including the 200m/650'-high cliffs of Khoboy Cape at the northern tip of the island. After a picnic-lunch made on fire in Uzuri bay, return to Khuzir village. Dinner and night in the guesthouse in Khuzir. Banya/steam bath in the evening. (B, L, D)
- Day 16: Sep 30, Mon Olkhon After breakfast drive by jeeps south. Visit the observation spot and make a stop en route at Shara-Nur Lake on the island. After lunch, rendezvous in Tashkiney Pad' with the diesel-powered Yaroslavets-class charter boat. Our vessel is staffed with three crewmembers and the representative from Irkutsk. 14:00 cruise departure north along the shore to Uhan cape area. Set up the camp on the uninhabited shore (no way to travel by land, no roads and no people), prepare woods and food. Tents and all necessary camping equipment are provided. Free evening. (B, L, D)
- Day 17: Oct 01, Tue Olkhonsky- Irkutsk- 4 hrs After breakfast. departure by boat south to Olkhonsky strait. After 4 hours disembark at the road- head and meet our guide in a Toyota minibus. Drive 4 hours to Irkutsk. En route make stop for lunch at the village of Elantsi. Approximate arrival time in Irkutsk is 17:00. Drive around the city center and historical part to see the 18th and 19th Century wooden houses built without a nail and ornamented with wood carvings, the Spasskaya Church and Epiphany Cathedral, white stone churches in the Siberian Baroque style, and dozens of other cultural and historic buildings in the center of the city. (B,L,D- café lunch)
Transfer to the airport at 2230 hrs. Departure for Delhi.
- Day 18: Oct 02: Wed Irkutsk- Beijing- Board flight to beijing S7 509 IKT PEK 0200-0345
CA 947 PEK DEL 2050-0140+1
- Day 19: Oct 03, Thurs Land at Delhi airport at 0140 hrs
COST PER PERSON ON TWIN SHARE: INR 240,000/- + AIRFARE (INR 72,500 APPROX.)
Please note all costs are based on current rates of exchange of Rubles and dollars. It is doubtful that this will change adversely but cannot be guaranteed hence, the cost is liable to a bit of change in case of change in exchange rate.
Services included in the price:
· 3 nights stay on twin share in a dlx hotel in Ulaanbaatar including breakfast in hotel.
Tourist Ger camp:
· Shared accommodate on in tourist ger camp
· Ger (traditional dwelling) has 2 to 4 beds – very interesting and unique
· Western style toilets and hot shower facility is separate block – shared
· The restaurant serve usually Western and Mongolian meals
· Single supplement cannot be guaranteed but possible
Private Transfers on each day:
· Air conditioned and comfortable Mitsubishi Delica 4x4 off road van
· Highly skilled driver
· Airports pick up and drop off service
· English speaking guiding service
· Local guides for horse and camel ride trials
· All meals as listed in the itinerary
· Finest Western and Mongolian meals, desserts
· Authentic Mongolian Barbecue
· Daily supply of bottled water: 3 x 0.5 bottle per day
· Dinner on last night of your stay in Ulaan Baatar is not included.
· To all scenic spots as listed in the itinerary such as museums, monasteries, strictly protected areas, parks, concert, road fees and Horse ride – 1 hour
BAIKAL LAKE/ SOUTH SIBERIA
· Guest House accommodation in Khuzir/Olkhon 2 nights / twin.
· Ground Transport from Irkutsk- Olkhon- Irkutsk as per itinerary.
· Guides English-speaking guide to accompany group at all times; local non-English-speaking guides as required.
· Charter boat and crew for 1 night, 2 days.
· 0.5 liters of bottled water per day.
· Activities Tours, activities and visits as specified in itinerary.
· Equipment: all necessary camping to include tents, sleeping bags, cooking.
· Meals As specified in itinerary, to include non-alcoholic beverages: (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner).
· Airport / Railway station Transfers All transfers pointed in the itinerary.
· Permits & admission Fees for access to special areas and sites.
· Train ticket in second class from Ulanbator to Irkutsk is included. But meals while on train are not included. This will cost you about 40-80 usd for total of 4 meals).
· Single entry visa to Mongolia and Russia is included.
Services not included in the price:
· Evening tea on any day is not included.
· International airfare.
· Personal expenses such as laundry, beverages, alcoholic drinks, telephone calls, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the tour itinerary.
· Travel insurance. You are recommended to get travel insurance coverage from their local insurance companies before traveling.
· Meals while on train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (This will cost you about 40-80 usd for total of 4 meals).
Tips- You can budget for about 120 USD towards tipping in Mongolia. No one expects tips in Russia.