Mongolia Travel Planning

Our recommendations for the Perfect week in Mongolia

camel herding woman


Within a week from capital Ulaanbaatar city in central Mongolia, to the Gobi Desert

It is safe to say that he vast majority of those who want to travel to Mongolia are interested in nomadic life and the Gobi Desert. This one-week tour covers three major features of Mongolian tourism, including the Gobi Desert, the vast flat plains, and the nomadic life.

In this trip, you will not only get to know the general geography of Mongolia, but also get a little understanding of how Mongolians have preserved their nomadic culture and create an unforgettable trip. Within a week from capital Ulaanbaatar city in central Mongolia, to the Gobi Desert, you may explore not only landscapes and natural beauty, but also historical monuments, museums, ruins and national parks.

The itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Gobi Desert – Bayanzag (flaming cliffs)

Cliffs in Gobi Desert

In the early morning, you will have a morning flight to the Gobi Desert – one of the most popular travel routes in Mongolia, the habitat of the rarest animals and a unique natural landscape. The area is often imagined as a lifeless desert like in many other parts of the world. In reality, most part of the Gobi Desert is a land of steppes, sands, mountains and it is the home for camel breeders rich with wildlife and vegetation.

In the early evening, take a short drive to the legendary Flaming Cliffs, well known for red tall hillocks formed as a result of wind and water erosion which look like fire in the middle of the desert from distance at sunrise and sunset. It was here in 1923 that American expedition leaded by Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews found the first nest of dinosaurs eggs the world had ever seen. Their findings proved to the world that dinosaurs laid eggs.

Day 2: Khongor, the largest sand dune in Gobi Desert

Gobi Desert in Mongolia
sand dune in Mongolia

The trip may continue driving west to the extraordinary sand dunes of Khongor through some incredible desert scenery with flat, stony plains; outcrops of vegetation; hills of interesting rock formations; and herds of wild antelope racing across the plains. This is one of the most scenic areas of Gobi. The dunes rise abruptly from the plain, in some places reaching a height of 300 meters, and extend over an area between 2-12 km in width and 180 km in length.

The Khongor sand dunes are the perfect place for Bactrian camel riding. Mongolia is home to 2/3 of the two-humped Bactrian camels in the world. You also have the opportunity to explore the area on the camel back. It is important to take safety intructions from your tour guide or local guide. There is also a beautiful green oasis known as Seruun bulag near the sand dune and Khongor River. Afterwards, it is nice to hike and climb up to the Singing Dune, one of the highest dunes. From the top of the sand dunes, the view of the desert is awesome and amazing sunshine panorama of sand dunes.

Day 3: Dungenee Canyon - Yol valley (Eagle valley)

Valley in Mongolia

You can wake early to the sight of the sun rising over the vast Gobi landscape. The Yol valley is the one of the beautiful natural secrets in “Three Beauties of Gobi” Mt. National Park and surrounded deep canyon with high rocky cliffs and keeps some ice at the end of a canyon until mid of July depending on warming. This valley is originally established to conserve birdlife in the region.

Once arrived at the Yol valley, you will enjoy hiking through grassy meadows, small streams, long and narrow valley covered with wild flowers and Gobi plants.  You may be lucky enough to spot wild sheep and goat, grazing high on the cliff walls. It takes over 2 hours for round way hiking through the valley and canyon. Don’t want to do hiking here, there are available to rent a bike and horse riding during summer time.

Day 4: Fly back to Ulaanbaatar – Hustai National Park (Wild Horse Park)

Mongolia wild horse

You will have a flight back to Ulaanbaatar city. On arrival at the city airport, you may depart for the Hustai National Park – 100km away from Ulaanbaatar. This area is home to the Mongolia’s wild horse known as a Perzevalski horse (takhi). The national park features mountain and steppe and has 450 species of vascular plants, 200 of which are medicinal. There is a small museum about the national park, wild horses and how they were reintroduced into the wild some years ago from European zoos.

The best time to observe these wild horses in their natural habitat is around 2-3hrs earlier than sunset, during they come down from mountains to stream for water. You will take a short drive and hiking to see the horses. There is a great opportunity to take photos for these endangered horses. Besides of the wild animals you can find here beautiful sceneries of the Mongolian nature that features mountain and steppe. It is best to stay overnight at the camp near or you can come back to the city and prepare tomorrow trip.

Day 5: Terelj National Park trip

National park around Ulaanbaatar

It is good to continue the trip to Terelj National Park, which is the most visited and interesting a National Park with natural beauty, forested alpine mountains and interesting rock formations very well known. The Terelj National Park is 80km away from Ulaanbaatar, opposite side of the Hustai National Park. In the afternoon, you will explore the national park and visit Turtle Rock, a natural interesting rock formation looking like a turtle. Continue to visit a Buddhist mediation temple with 108 stairs and a wire bridge, called Temple of Ariyabal. This temple surrounded by scenic mountains with massive rock formations. It is best to overnight at site, because the next destination is near to the Terelj National Park.

Day 6: Terelj National Park trip – Genghis Khan’s Statue Complex – UB

the biggest equestrian statue

Today, the trip will continue to Genghis Khan’s Statue Complex in Tsonjin boldog, which is the biggest (40m high) equestrian statue in the world. There are souvenir shops, small museum and some other monuments in the base structure. From here, visitors can walk up by stairs or take an elevator to a deck on horse’s head and see good panorama view over the complex area. And arrive in the city.

Day 7: Ulaanbaatar city tour

Sukhbaatar's Square

The last day is optional. Following connected link, we suggest some highlights in the Ulaanbaatar city. So you can choose where you would like to go and explore!


For more information, click here!

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