Fascination Orkhon (Setting in right after the worst rapids in the Orkhon Canyon - see Orkhon River Adventure and then continuing with the The Magic Tour) 15 Days including a visit to Amarbayersgalant Khiid Mongolia´s (according to Lonely Planet) most beautiful monastery
This tour is the most versatile tour we have on offer. We start right in the Orkhon Canyon, but after the worst rapids. The drive there is quite long so we stay overnight near Amarbayersgalant Khiid before we reach the Canyon on the second day.
The Canyon is a tremendous experience and the Canoeing is easy enough but we will have to get out at a place or two and take the Canoe on a "leash". After two days the landscape opens up and we pass the relics of a Soviet ghost town, a now abounded military base that was once the home of 15 000 soldiers and their families.
The next stretch of the river we call the “magic” tour because it shows all the different sides of this most famous of Mongolia's rivers. There are some rapids, not too easy but also not so dangerous that you have to get out of the canoe. There are wide valleys, but also steep canyon walls where the river rushes through. You will in fact experience every one of the major landscapes of central Mongolia. This is an outdoors tip meaning that there´s no car following the river and we´re bringing all supplies with us in the canoe. It´s also a fishing paradise as most of the river has never seen a fisherman. You´ re bound to meet nomads and be prepared to sample the famous kumiss or aireg the fermented horse milk that is everybody´s favorite in the summer. No canoeing experience needed and no special fitness. Moderate fitness and some swimming capabilities suffice.
Min.group 2 persons; Max. group 10 persons; Min.price per person: 1190$; Max.Price 1535$ - (Single room supplement 80$)
All accommodation (twin shared) in a tent unless otherwise stated, internal transportation, arrival & departure transfers, meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), sightseeing & environmental fees, camping equipment, dry sacks, and life vests, English speaking canoeing guide,
Travel insurance, departure taxes, excess luggage fees on internal flights, items of personal nature, meals not indicated, gratuities.
(Click on pictures to enlarge)
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY (Fifteen Days)
Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to a cozy hotel within easy walking distance of downtown. After a short briefing we explore the vibrant city of Ulaanbaatar, the Palace of the Last Mongolian Buddhist King followed by an hour of Folk Dance and Song performance. (L,D).
Day 2: We start at nine o´clock from UB and arrive at Amarbayersgalant Khiid late in the afternoon. This monastery was built in Chinese style in the 18.century and is set amidst the rolling steppe. Not only is it one of only a handful of monasteries to have survived the communistic period intact it is generally regarded as the most original and beautiful. (Lonely Planet includes it in its ten must-see attractions of Mongolia). Near the monastery we stay the night in a Mongolian Yurt, which is attached to a camp with showers and dining room. There we will have our dinner and in the morning breakfast.(B,L,D)
Day 3: After breakfast we visit the sprawling monastery and then start our drive to the set-in point. We arrive at our starting point late in the afternoon. We are on a green, grassy "peninsular" right in the heart of the canyon and all around us we see the majestic mountains of Bulgan. Here we pitch our tents. (B,L,D)
Day 4: We´re in a majestic valley with old twisted poplar trees and steep rocky mountain sides. At places where the sum never reaches we might even in July or August still find patches of ice on the mountain sides. And a few dozen meters away, where the sun reaches, there are flowers and wild onions. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Now the valley at times opens up and we glimpse the steppe above the hillsides. Then again we pass beneath strange rock formations of volcanic origin that have been twisted by the passage of time or eroded by the wind and the persistent work of the river. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Inhabited territory again, nomads grazing their flock by the river. Towards the very end we´ll see traces of a nearby Soviet ghost town – a military city of once 15 000 inhabitants with paved roads , but now completely abandoned. (B,L,D)
Day 7: The valley really opens up, the mountains recede and we´re back in the steppe. In the afternoon we pass a village and after another hour we get into the mountains again. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Yet more of mountainous scenery but in between a wide valley with some rapids.(B,L,D)
Day 9: A well deserved rest day. You may climb the nearby mountains, go fishing or for a swim and simply enjoy the day. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Rapidly changing landscape with stunning rock faces and wide valleys with huge herds of animals. Eagle and vulture territory.(B,L,D)
Day 11: First mountains then several hours a wide valley and then, towards the evening, yet more mountains soaring over the horizon. (B,L,D)
Day 12: We canoe between the mountains and towards the evening we pitch our tents at the start of a wide valley. (B,L,D)
Day 13: After breakfast we canoe for another two hours until we arrive at the place where the driver is waiting for us. Now we drive back to UB. (7 hours). There you check into your hotel and after a hot shower we will meet for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Leisure day in Ulaanbaatar
This is a spare day to be spend for shopping and self-exploration. You may refer to recommendations of our team in order to make the most out of it. (B)
Day 15: Transfer to the airport for your flight home (B)