Travel Overland across Mongolia to trek and explore this country’s rich and vibrant history renown for its imperial ancestry that transformed this nomadic civilization into a country of kings and queens with monasteries that flowed across this nation. Ongiin Monastery is one of over 900 monasteries that were established during Mongolia’s flourishing and is today a historically significant location of early Mongol history. This is a great overland travel opportunity for those soft adventure travelers that wish to learn more about the Gobi Desert’s “Middle Gobi” Region as well as truly take in a spectacular and a wonderful location for desert trekking and relaxation.
Day One – Overland by bus and rural vehicle towards the Gobi Desert’s Gurvansaihan Village (L, D – Overnight at Guesthouse): You will depart Ulaanbaatar City by rural bus and will start your southern overland journey to Mandagovi (the Provincial Center of the Middle Gobi) and as you travel you will witness the transforming power of the Gobi Desert. Before departing Mandalgovi on your overland jeep ride to Saihan Ovoo village, you will have your afternoon lunch. As you travel across the Middle Gobi you will experience vast distances where you will have very little human contact for hours at a given time. Upon arrival at Mr. Undral’s Ger, you will have dinner and overnight in the family’s extra ger.
Day Two – Trekking to the ancient ruins of Ongiin Monastery (B, L, D – Overnight at Ger Camp): After breakfast, you’ll have plenty of time to participate in the daily routine of nomadic lifestyle. After a hot nomadic lunch and traditional Mongolian tea – you will begin your ten kilometer trekking excursion to the ancient ruins of Ongiin Monastery and will visit the locally famous pierced rock called ‘Senjit’; where Chinggis Khan used to tie his horses too. Along the way, you will visit Zambaga Khairkhan that is a locally worshipped mountain and the historically significant cave that once served as refuge to Mongolia’s “Robin Hoods” from local authorities. After a brilliant day of trekking in these remote desert landscapes, redden by the desert sun, you will begin your journey back to Tsagaan Ovoo Ger Camp where you will have dinner and overnight.
Day Three – Trek around the Ongiin Monastery, Gobi Desert’s largest Archeological Ruins Site (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): Today is the day! After breakfast you are in walking distance of Ongiin Monastery, historically it was established 300 years ago and was the Gobi Desert’s largest monastery throughout the Gobi Desert Region. During the repression of 1930s, the monastery was completely destroyed and around 300 monks were persecuted by revolutionists – today its one of Mongolia’s most important gateways in between the central pastoral region and the internationally famous Khongor Sand Dunes in the deep southern region of Mongolia. After a wonderful afternoon of trekking around this amazing historical site, you will drive to your overnight destination at Mr. Jenkhuu’s Ger. Upon arrival you will have a wonderful opportunity to travel by horse surrounding area for 5-6km and learn a Mongolian traditional game called ‘Dembee’, which does involve the drinking of mare’s milk and most likely some singing! If you survive (a little joke), you will have a great dinner and stay overnight at families’ extra Ger.
Day Four – Departure back to Mandalgovi (B, L – Overnight at Hotel, Independent): After breakfast you will have the opportunity to learn how Mongolian nomads tie a halter and hobble for a horse by leather strap. After lunch, our local driver will pick you up and you will begin your 220 kilometer journey by Russian jeep back to Mandalgovi. Once you reach Mandalgovi, you can take the 1400 bus or overnight at the local hotel to catch the 0800 morning bus to Ulaanbaatar.