Tour grade: Medium
Mongolian winter is the most incredible winter that one might experience and there is plenty to see and enjoy during a winter travel. Our dog sledding tour takes you into astounding Khentii Mountain, which is home to may endangered species of flora and fauna. This area is elevated up to 2500 meters above the sea level. Khan Khentii Range is a crossing land of Arctic and Pacific Oceans. In this area, Nomadic ethnic groups such as Khalkh and Buriads inhabited for hundreds of years by breeding Yak, Cow and Horses. Apart from Khalkh and Buriads ethnics, there are wild inhabitant like Red deer, Bear, Wolf, Antelope, and Wolverine. During our trip (journey) in Khentii province, we will sled over the biggest frozen river of Mongolia and the most importantly we will learn a lot about nomadic culture by having nomadic family homestay during the trip.
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia meet at the airport after custom formalities and transfer to the hotel. Hotel 3*
Ulaanbaatar- Terelj National Park- Dog sledding to Giant Chinggis statue
In the morning travel to Terelj. You will meet your guides, mushers and dogs upon arrival. This first day of dog sled (day 2) will allow you to get used to the sledge, on an easy way. Many nomads live in this valley, but still the area remains very wild and beautiful. Fauna is diversified and the silence intensified by low temperature creates a magnificent atmosphere. Here live a nomad family with whom we will share the warmth of the Ger. Nomadic Family stay B+L+D
Dog Sledding to two rivers
The ice of the Tuul River is more un-expectable than the one on Terelj river. It can be blue one day and dark another day, it can crackle a little bit under the sledges and make some strange noises. Sometimes, the water comes up to the surface through little cracks and creates small lagoons over the deep blue ice. In winter, this very wild area is almost not inhabited by nomads. For some months, only nature reigns over the place. On 3rd day, we will reach for the night at Bosgo bridge located just a hundred meters away from the river, where Gers and huts are mixed. Transfer to the ger camp where you will stay overnight.Ger camp B+L+D
Dog Sledding to Khar Us
The campsite is the last one of the valley. After that, only wolves, deers, bears, foxes and moose are inhabitant of these marvelous spaces. We go back on the Tuul for 500 m and pass under a wooden bridge which gave the name to the camp and marks the limit between Gorkhi-Terelj Park and Khan-Khentii National Park. The river calms down and divides itself in many small streams. We will stop at the beginning of the afternoon at camp of nomad family, to enjoy the meal in a warm place. This camp marks more or less the half of our journey. 15 more kilometers and we will reach the camp of Khar Us. Nomads don’t move during the whole winter. They even build some wooden shelters for the animals. They leave these shelters in spring to move closer to rivers and green lands for the summer season, and come back to the first place at the beginning of winter. At the end of the afternoon, you will share some times with our Mongolian hosts, and learn the nomadic way of life, peaceful and busy! Sharing sometime in the Ger is an unforgettable experience. We’ll discover a different world, a different culture combining ancient and modern habits in harmony, and a different notion of time. Sharing the Ger with a family is a privilege. Nomadic Family stay B+L+D
Day exploration at Khar Us
Day of exploration in the wildest part of the trip: no herders, only wolves, foxes, etc. At the end of the afternoon you come back to a settlement of a ger camp for a warm cup of tea and dinner. Ger camp B+L+D
Dog sledding back to Bosgo Bridge
It is always hard to leave this camp at «the end of the world», great people and their hospitality. But we still have to leave to make the 33 kilometers to Enkhtaïvan’s settlement! Dogs will be champing at the bit… They are used to work hard, in these winter conditions. They run on the ice without any fear, sniffing here and there wolves’ prints, always willing to go on. To reach the night camp, we will follow the same way back on the river. It will give us the opportunity to look at prints of wolves, foxes and rabbits that came on the river, once we left, to smell our track. They wonder who these strangers on their territory are. Late afternoon you will meet with our driver. Then drive to Ger camp where you would have a hot shower. Ger camp B+L+D
Terelj National park- Ulaanbaatar
Farewell to our dogs and dog sled guide then we head toward Ulaanbaatar with the stop at Turtle rock and temple of meditation. Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, transfer to your hotel for check in. Lunch at local restaurant. Free afternoon for rest or independent exploration of the city. Hotel 3* B+L
Transfer to the airport/train station after breakfast. B
Not Included in the Service
Accommodation on Selena Travel tours
Ulaanbaatar: Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia has many hotels ranging from basic 1* to high-end 5*. Some international hotel chains have opened such as Holiday Inn, Ramada, Kempinski, and Best Western, Shangri-La to name a few. Some of Selena Travel Mongolia tours do not include hotel accommodation in Ulaanbaatar, where clients are advised to take care of their own accommodation in Ulaanbaatar. Please refer to your tour program (Included services and Exclusions section) for more details.
Your Selena Travel advisor is happy to assist you with hotel booking on your request. Below you will find some suggested hotels in Ulaanbaatar:
· Hotel 9 ***
· Springs hotel ***
· Holiday inn ****
· Best Western Premier Tuushin ****
· Shangri-La *****
Outside Ulaanbaatar: Please take in mind that traveling in the countryside of Mongolia is often tough, a trip is conducted in remote areas where there’s no hotel and paved roads exist.
Outside of Ulaanbaatar, tourist Ger camps are the best accommodation for travelers. A Ger is Mongolian traditional dwelling made of felt layers and wooden construction, and the Mongols have lived in Gers since the time immemorial. Tourist Ger camps offer comfortable Gers with 1-4 beds with good bedding, and also have western style showers and WCs (mostly shared). A few Ger camps offer en-suite Gers at additional charge (please ask your Selena Travel advisor for this). Due to remoteness some tourist Ger camps may not excel in service, so travelers may not always expect high pressure showers, bubble baths or gourmet food etc. During the winter tour, you are maybe asked to stay overnight at nomadic family which is the real hands on experience which allows you to learn a lot about this unique lifestyle. As nomadic families don’t use western facilities due to their nomadic life, you are maybe asked to use wooden outhouse and basic washing facility during your stay.
Food on Selena Travel tours
During your tour in Mongolia you will be eating in good restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, we have a great variety in restaurants in the capital city. Once you are outside the capital, Ger restaurants in Ger camps and local cafes in the small towns and villages will be the places where you will be eating. Ger restaurants often have set menu, but their food is usually very good (Ger camps provide mostly continental breakfast, lunches consist of salad, soup, main course and dessert, whilst, dinners are usually salad, main course and dessert).
During your longer driving days you will take packed lunch from Ger camps (often vegetable salad, main course such as fried chicken/noodles/dumplings and a chocolate bar etc). Vegetarians are well taken care of both in Ulaanbaatar restaurants and tourist Ger camps.
Luggage allowance on Selena Travel tours
When you travelling overland in a vehicle (minivan & jeep), it would be suitable if you have 20kg luggage per person (max). However, please kindly note that domestic flight luggage allowance per person is 15 kg (10 kg for the check in luggage and 5 for the carryon luggage). For 1kg extra luggage you pay US$2 - 5.
DESTINATION & ATTRACTIONS BRIEF INFO
Terelj National Park is a great place for hiking, skiing and horse riding. Easily reached from Ulaanbaatar, Terelj is a favorite destination for both foreign and domestic tourists. There you can visit the wonderful Temple of Meditation and the interesting Turtle Rock.
by Rafaella, Benedetta, Lidia
by Margaret Suganda
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