Mongolia Tour Plan

Mongolia Tour Plan

As a country that starts with M listed on, Mongolia, a sparsely populated landlocked country in eastern Asia, borders Russia to the north and China to the south. Anyone who has a somewhat older atlas at home will find the term “Outer Mongolia” for the nomad state – in contrast to “Inner Mongolia”, which is part of China as an autonomous region. Until the constitutional amendment in July 1992, Mongolia described itself as the People’s Republic. Today it is proud to be a parliamentary republic, whose head of state is elected by the people every four years.

Mongolia 1

  • Day 1: Off to Ulaanbaatar!
  • Day 2: Welcome to Ulaanbaatar!
  • Day 3: Flight to Ölgii
  • Day 4: We drive to Lake Khurgan
  • Day 5: Circular hike towards the Chinese border
  • Day 6: We hike to Lake Khoton
  • Day 7: Our caravan accompanies us…
  • Day 8: Past the “Herzerl” lake
  • Day 9: Today we leave the river and hike into another valley
  • Day 10: We treat ourselves to a day without hiking
  • Day 11: We cross the Takhilt Pass
  • Day 12: The Tsagaan Glacier River
  • Day 13: To the Potaniin glacier base camp
  • Day 14: Ascent to the Malchin peak
  • 15th day: Descent – we hike back into the valley
  • Day 16: Drive to the eagle festival – the next highlight begins!
  • Day 17: the eagle festival!
  • Day 18: Another day at the festival
  • Day 19: Travel back to Ölgii
  • Day 20: Back to Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 21: One day in Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 22: Bayartay – Goodbye, Mongolia!

Larch forests, glaciers and clear lakes, an eagle circles above everything. The Baga Turgen, to which we are hiking today, is located at the westernmost point of Mongolia, on the border with China. We come to a waterfall and prehistoric rock carvings, there are numerous Paleolithic sites in the area. At Baga Turgen we also visit a Kazakh nomad family.

We’ll be traveling through Western Mongolia for a good two weeks, far away from cities, electricity and computers. Instead, camels accompany us, we meet herds of yaks, horses, sheep and goats. You sleep in the tent at a good 2,000 to 3,100 meters above sea level: once on the shore of a lake, then again at an estuary. If you want, you can climb the Malchin (4,051 m), one of the “Five Sacred Peaks” of the Mongols in the Altai Mountains. Along the Tsagaan Gol River, we cross the Shiveet Khairkhan valley with its many ibexes. The Shiveet Mountain is sacred to many Mongols, they honor the spirits here. We get to know a Tuva nomad family, the people are known for their shamanism and for the throaty “throat singing”.

On our last travel date we visit the Eagle Festival. The “golden eagles” are released from a cliff to grab a fox skin that the owner of the eagle pulls on horseback. The Kazakhs themselves knight around a goat skin that has to be snatched from a horse’s back.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Off to Ulaanbaatar!

Today we get on the plane to Ulaanbaatar. Our journey begins with a lot of anticipation in our luggage!

2nd day:

Welcome to Ulaanbaatar!

We are picked up from the airport and taken to the capital. The way leads us to our hotel, where we can freshen up and also freak out a bit. In the afternoon we meet to change money, as buying foreign currency in the hotel is more expensive. Then we visit a typical Mongolian dance event. Then we will have our first Mongolian dinner together.
Four sacred mountains surround Ulaanbaatar (1,530 m), they are the guardians of the capital: the Songino Khairkhan in the west, the Bayanzurh in the east, the Chingeltei Uul in the north and the backs of the Bogd Khan in the south.

Overnight in the hotel
(- / – / A)

3rd day:

Flight to Olgii

We are driven to the airport to fly to Ölgii (3 hours), the center of the Bajan-Ölgii province. Our guide accompanies us. The driver picks us up at the airport and takes us to our ger camp. If time permits, we will visit downtown Olgii.

Driving time: 30 min.
Overnight stay in Ger-Camp
(B / L / D)

4th day:

We drive to the Khurgan lake

Today we drive to the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Off to the pristine wilderness of western Mongolia! The ride on the Russian buses is exciting as we mostly drive over slopes. The cooking team that will accompany us is already waiting for us in Tsengel. We are amazed when we see the breathtaking reflections from neighboring snow-capped peaks, which are reflected on the surface of the lake. When we arrive at the lake, we stop at the Mongolian military base and are registered. We are near the Chinese border. We set up camp on the shores of Lake Khurgan.

Driving time: approx. 5 hours (150 km)
Overnight in tent (approx. 2,080 m)
(B / L / D)

5th day:

Circular hike towards the Chinese border

After breakfast we start our first real day of hiking. A circular hike awaits us. We’re getting pretty close to the border with China. We go in the valley and then hike up the mountain. We take our lunch up there, protected by a rock wall. Then we start a little ascent until we have a wonderful view of the lake and the vastness of Mongolia. Countless peaks soar into the air. A fantastic sight. Then we return to our tents.

Hike: 7 hours (24 km, +/- 450 m)
Overnight in a tent (approx. 2,100 m)
(B / L / D)

6th day:

We hike to Lake Khoton

In the morning we pack our things and tents and start our journey north. Past the military base we cross a bridge and walk on the northern side of the lake. The two lakes, Khurgan and Khoton, form an eight and so they are actually connected to each other. With a little luck we will meet our first nomad family. Hospitality includes offering milk tea, dried cheese, and yogurt. Our guide will then tell us about the life of the nomads. On our way we count countless herds of goats, yaks, cattle and horses. The snow-covered peaks (depending on the season) are reflected in the lake. Shortly before arriving at our new camp, the landscape changes. Huge boulders line our way. Next to our camp there are countless stones with rock paintings. Up to 700 have already been counted in this area. The camp is again in an idyllic location by the lake. If the weather is right, we can still take a bath.

Hike: 5 hours (17 km)
overnight in a tent
(B / L / D)

7th day:

Our caravan accompanies us…

In the morning we are woken up by the sounds of our new companions. The camel caravan has arrived and will be with us from today. We pack all of our luggage on the back of our camels. Together we visit some of the rock paintings and then we continue hiking. The white beaches of the lake make us believe that we are walking along the sea. We come to the end of the lake and hike along the Tsagaan Usnii Gol (the white water). The glacier river impresses with its white-bluish colors. We marvel at our leisurely companions who carry our tents, food and luggage, and we leave our tracks behind them when they catch up with us at noon. To our left is the Mongolian / Chinese border. In the afternoon we reach our current domicile, the tents are already set up,

Hike: 7 hours (21 km, +/- 178 m)
Overnight in a tent (approx. 2,100 m)
(B / L / D)

8th day:

Past the “Herzerl” lake

Today we start our hike with a small ascent. Then we go straight out again with a still impressive landscape. We take our lunch break at the river, where we will wait again for our caravan. Then comes a rocky but not difficult climb. The river accompanies us constantly and meanders wildly through the landscape. In the afternoon we reach the Nogoon Nur. From the very top the lake looks like a heart! After that we have to go a little further. The camels are already grazing and our camel drivers are already setting up our tents. We are happy to help! We can freshen up at the river.

Hike: 6.5 hours (17 km, +/- 413 m)
Overnight in a tent on the shore of the lake (approx. 2,200 m)
(B / L / D)

Day 9:

Today we leave the river and hike into another valley

We initially walk along the river and then turn right into another valley. We walk a little uphill and maybe turn around – the view is breathtaking! We follow a stream to a beautiful plateau, where our tents are already waiting for us. In the afternoon we enjoy coffee or tea and biscuits again. The tranquility is incredible here. You only hear the rushing water and the neighing of the horses of our camel drivers. A Milan circling above us is waiting for leftovers.

Hike: 4 hours (12 km, +500 m)
Overnight in a tent near the stream (approx. 2,600 m)
(B / L / D)

10th day:

We treat ourselves to a day without a hike

The many impressions of the last few days should be processed. We should therefore treat ourselves to a day of rest – relax in or in front of the tent, play cards, enjoy the stream and the wonderful surroundings. Tomorrow the hike will continue. In the late afternoon we get to know a traditional Mongolian dish and also help to prepare it.

Overnight in tent
(B / L / D)

11th day:

We cross the Takhilt Pass

Go on! Today we cross the Takhilt Pass. It may be that there is already snow in the summer. Good footwear is very important here (3,150 m). A narrow path leads us up to the top of the pass. The camel caravan follows us slowly. The ascent rewards us with a gigantic panorama. After crossing, we hike another 8-9 km into the Khar Salaa valley, which is surrounded by majestic mountains. Here we visit a Tuva nomad family. We will pitch our tents next to their ger. We enjoy the hospitality and are invited to milk tea.

Hike: 7 hours (15 km, +550 m / -650 m)
Overnight in a tent (2,500 m)
(B / L / D)

12th day:

The Tsagaan glacial river

Today’s destination is the Tsagaan Gol. We hike through the valley of the Shiveet Khairkhan. The Shiveet Mountain is sacred to the Mongols and is also home to many ibex. We might be lucky enough to see some of these proud animals. Every year the Mongols climb the mountain peaks and honor the local spirits. We can already see the first peaks of the mountain range. The Malchin is also already in view. We walk along the river and pitch our tents at the entrance of the Tavan Bogd National Park.

Hike: 5 hours (13 km, +100 m / -123 m)
Overnight in a tent (approx.2,400 m)
(B / L / D)

13th day:

To the Potaniin glacier base camp

We start the hike to the glacier base camp early. We will hike to the base camp on the edge of the Potaniin glacier at the foot of the Malchin. The path climbs steadily. The peaks are getting closer and closer to us. In the afternoon a mighty sight of the two glaciers awaits us, which merge into one. The huge moraine is a witness of a great, earlier ice age. To the right of this is the Malchin, which we may climb. To the left the highest peak, the Tavan Bogd.

Hike: 6-7 hours (16 km, +700 m)
Overnight in a tent (approx. 3,100 m)
(B / L / D)

14th day:

Ascent to the Malchin peak

Today we can optionally climb the Malchin. This depends on the weather and snow conditions. A technically not demanding, but long and sometimes tough day hike. In addition to the snow, the fresh glacier wind also blows. At 4,050 m, the Malchin peak is one of the highest peaks in Mongolia. It is one of the “Five Holy Peaks”. The breathtaking view over the extensive mountain range of the Tavan Bogd makes up for the long hike. This mountain lies on the border between Mongolia and Russia and also offers a nice overview of the Potanin Glacier. Back at the base camp, we relax and review today’s pictures.

Hike: 8 hours (+/- 950 m)
overnight in a tent
(B / L / D)

15th day:

Descent – we hike back into the valley

Today we enjoy the beautiful surroundings and let the trekking end relaxed. We hike down into the valley and look back with satisfaction. Tonight we say goodbye to our camel drivers and their camels.

Hike: 6-7 hours (16 km, +700 m)
Overnight in a tent (approx. 3,100 m)
(B / L / D)

16th day:

Drive to the eagle festival – the next highlight begins!

We pack up our hiking boots and enjoy today’s driving day. As in the last few days, the landscape changes its face. We are again aware of the diversity of Mongolia. Today we go to the place called “The Golden Lantern”. The Kazakh nomad family is already waiting for us. Here we spend the night in the guest ger of the nomads.

Driving time: 180 km
overnight stay in Ger
(B / L / D)

17th day:

The eagle festival!

We listen to the opening. The festival opens with a parade of participants on horseback with their eagles. The elaborate and beautiful clothes will be one of the highlights for the audience. The eagle hunters proudly present their eagles. Depending on the program, the Kazakhs show a wide variety of disciplines. The eagle is released at the summit and has to return to its “master”. Afterwards there is also a camel or horse race. The Kazakhs play their traditional game called “Kekbar”, in which they compete for a goat skin. You have to grab the goat skin off a horseback. With this they show their riding skills as well as strength and agility. In the evening we drive back to our gers.

Driving time: 10 min.
Overnight stay in Ger
(B / L / D)

18th day:

Another day at the festival

We are preparing for another exciting day! The “golden eagles” are released again from a cliff. Their task today is to grab a fox skin, which is pulled by the owner of the eagle sitting on horseback. Depending on their success, the eagles will “grab the fox” and judged on speed and “gripping ability”. You must demonstrate skill by picking up a piece of cloth from the ground at full gallop. There is much to see! In the afternoon, the winners of the festival will be announced and awarded.

Driving time: 10 min.
Overnight stay in Ger-Camp
(B / L / D)

19th day:

Travel back to Ölgii

Today it goes back to Ölgii town. Before that we say goodbye to our cooking team, who have provided us with excellent food for the past few days. We spend the last day in Ölgii before heading back to Ulaan Baatar. If time permits, we visit the market and the cashmere shop and can buy some souvenirs. In the evening we go out to eat together in a restaurant.

Driving time: 2 hours (40 km)
Overnight in hotel
(B / L / D)

20th day:

Back to Ulaanbaatar

Depending on the flight time it goes to the airport – we fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Arrived in Ulaanbaatar, we drive to our hotel. We freshen up and take a rest. Depending on how much time there is, we can do something together in the city center. In the evening we go out to eat together.

Overnight in hotel
(B / – / D)

21st day:

One day in Ulaanbaatar

We start our last day comfortably with breakfast. Then we visit the Buddhist Gandan monastery. We drive together to a cashmere shop and the Zaisan Memorial. If you want, you can stop by the “black market”. Otherwise the afternoon is free. We stroll down Peace Street and have a coffee. In the evening we meet at the hotel and have our last dinner together.

Overnight in hotel
(B / – / D)

22nd day:

Bayartay – Goodbye, Mongolia!

Today it is time to say goodbye to this wonderful country and its people. After breakfast we are brought to the airport and start our journey home to Europe.
Big country, big impact. We experienced sublime nature and met inspiring people. Hopefully, the many new experiences will enrich our everyday lives for a long time to come. Hopefully this beautiful country will remain unforgettable in our memories.

(F / – / -)

Mongolia 2