Selena Travel

The Best of China & Mongolia tour


Tour grade: Easy

From: US$ 2,285

Style: Traveller

  • Beijing Highlights: The Great Wall, Forbidden City Tian An Men square, Temple of Heaven
  • Xi’an Highlights: Terra Cotta Warriors, Xian Ancient City Wall, Muslim Street, Shaanxi Provincial History Museum
  • Mongolia Highlights: Karakorum – ancient capital of Mongolian Empire, Hustai national park, Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes
  • Meet people and make friends! You will be part of a group of 4-8 people during the tour as it is a group departure.

Tour Overview

We invite you to travel China & Mongolia and explore its natural, historical and cultural wonders. You will visit Beijing, Xian - the most important 2 cities in Chinese history and Karakorum - ancient capital of Mongol Empires and admire the wonders. China has an ancient and abundant history that dates back more than 3000 years.
Beijing, an elegant modern city has been their capital for more than 800 year after Mongolian Khaan Khubilai made it the capital during the Mongols rule. Today Beijing has many historical memories like the Great Wall, Summer Palace, The Forbidden city and the famous Tiananmen square, where the hundreds of tragic students were killed in the late 20th century. Xi'an is another big place of the Chinese history. The Terracotta warriors, Wild Goose Pagoda, The Bell Tower and the Shaanxi Museum are considered the highlights of China as well.
In 1220 Genghis Khaan decided to move his capital from Khentii province to Karakorum, ~ 380 km southwest of modern day Ulaanbaatar. Permanent structure we only erected after Genghis death by his son Ogoodei Khaan. Karakorum served as the political, cultural and economic capital of the Mongols for only 40 years, before Khubilai  Khaan moved in Kanbalik, in what is now Beijing. In the history modern Beijing was the Mongolian capital in the 14th century and now it’s not only a highly development city of China, but also one of most attractive tourist destination of the World. You will have very great chance to visit historical cities of Mongolia and China.

Tour map

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Beijing
  • Day 2: Sightseeing tour in Beijing
  • Day 3: Sightseeing tour in Beijing
  • Day 4: Beijing-Xi’an by overnight soft-sleeper train Z19, 20
  • Day 5: Xi’an arrival
  • Day 6: Xi’an-Beijing by evening flight
  • Day 7: Beijing
  • Day 8: Beijing departure - Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 9: Ulaanbaatar - Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes
  • Day 10: Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes - Karakorum
  • Day 11: Karakorum  - Hustai national park
  • Day 12: Hustai national park - Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 13: Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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Tour images

Full Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in Beijing

Upon arrival at Beijing International Airport or Railway Station, you will be picked up by your private English-speaking guide at the luggage claim area or exit and transferred to your hotel. You will have the remainder of the day at leisure. Good  3* Hotel

Day 2:

Sightseeing tour in Beijing

Today you will visit Tiananmen Square that is the biggest square and also the most important in the world. Walking through it, you will come to the Forbidden City, the residence of Chinese emperors for more than 500 years. It’s the largest imperial palace and an UNESCO object. In the afternoon, you will visit the Temple of Heaven. Dating to the 15th century, the Temple of Heaven was where the emperor made an annual pilgrimage to pray for good harvests. Occupying an area of 273 hectares with four gates at the cardinal points, and walls to the north and east, it is China's largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial buildings. After that go to the Silk Market to make some cloths and shopping if you are interested. Good  3* Hotel B+L

Day 3:

Sightseeing tour in Beijing

The highlight today is to conquer the Badaling Great Wall, a symbol of the Chinese ancient civilization and is the spirit of Chinese people: Hardworking, Brave and Clever. You will have a walk up to the Wall and enjoy the views there (cable car is available but optional). After that you will stopover at Bird Nest and Water Cube on the way to downtown. You could take some photographs of them. Good  3* Hotel B+L

Day 4:

Beijing-Xi’an by overnight soft-sleeper train Z19, 20

The first highlight of today is to visit the largest and the best preserved royal park in China--- Summer Palace, which was a summer resort of Empress Dowager Cixi in Qing Dynasty. It is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design, integrating the natural landscape of hills and open water with man-made features into a harmonious and aesthetically exceptional whole. After that, you will have a Hutong Tour by taking a rickshaw through the various Hutongs to know more about old Beijing’s manners and customs. Finally, the guide will take you to stroll in the Houhai Park area. In the evening, take the overnight soft-sleeper train to Xi’an. On the train B+L

Day 5:

Xi’an arrival

Arriving at Xi’an railway station in the morning. Be met and transferred to Xi’an hotel. Today, you will visit the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum firstly. It is the first huge state museum with modern facilities in China, and given the reputation of "bright pearl of ancient city, treasure house of China." Exhibited in the main exhibition hall are 2,700 pieces works of art selected from all periods and show the development of civilization in this region. Then,  ahead to the Xian Ancient City Wall, which is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defense system in China. It is also one of the most important landmarks of the Xian city. The original foundation of the Xian City Wall was based on the ruins of the Imperial City Wall of Chang'an City--the capital of the Tang Dynasty (Bicycling on the City Wall is available but optional). After that, the guide will take you to stroll in the Muslim Street. Xian Moslem Street is a fascinating region to wander around. It is well known for serving Muslim food for centuries, with a wide diversity of tastes and strong ethnic delicacies. Good  3* Hotel  B+L

Day 6:

Xi’an-Beijing by evening flight

The highlight of today is Terra Cotta Army. Located east of Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum, the well-known Terra-cotta was buried underground to protect the afterlife of Emperor Qinshihuang from 2200 years ago. There are more than 8,000 life-size terra cotta figures of soldiers and horses excavated from this area. They are all displayed in the practical battle formation in 3 pits respectively.  The Terra Cotta Army is now regarded as the Eighth Wonder of the World. After that, you will visit the Terra Cotta Warriors making factory . Finally, you will be transferred to Xi’an airport for your departure flight to Beijing. Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, you will be picked up by the guide at the luggage claim area and transferred to your hotel. Good  3* Hotel B+L

Day 7:


Today you are free to explore the Beijing City by yourself. Good  3* Hotel  B

Day 8:

Beijing departure - Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

In the early morning, you will be transferred to the Beijing International airport to catch flight to Mongolia. Arrive in Ulaanbaatar after 2 hr flight, your guide and driver will meet you at the airport. We take a tour of the city, including the Gandan Monastery, Mongolian National Museum and Genghis Monument on the Sukhbaatar Square. Centrally located excellent hotel  3* B+L

Day 9:

Ulaanbaatar - Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes

After breakfast we will drive to one of beautiful picturesque place of Mongolia - Elsen Tasarkhai. It's a beautiful combination of rocky mountain and sand dunes. Visit the sand dunes and hiking there. Having some camel riding. Admire the beauty of the Gobi and Khangai natural zones combination. Overnight at Mongolian traditional accommodation which is called "Ger". Ger camp overnight B+L+D

Day 10:

Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes - Karakorum

Today we will drive to Ancient capital Karakorum for seeing them most famous monastery of Mongolia - we visit legendary monastery Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Central Mongolia founded in 1586, Museum of Karakorum and its surroundings the Turtle Rock and the phallic stone etc. enjoy dinner and rest at the ger camp. Ger camp overnight B+L+D

Day 11:

Karakorum  - Hustai national park

After breakfast we will drive to Hustai National park. Watch the documentary about the Takhi wild horses and the small museum. View the Wild horses from the closest dirtance in the wild nature, also and other wildlife such as the Red Deer etc are seen. We will overnight in ger camp. Ger camp overnight B+L+D

Day 12:

Hustai national park - Ulaanbaatar

We drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Arrive and transfer to hotel. Visit Palace museum of Bogd Khaan, Zaisan memorial and Buddha park. Enjoy folklore concert by Tumen Ekh ensemble followed by farewell dinner t. Centrally located excellent hotel  3* B+L+D

Day 13:

Departure from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

You are transferred to the airport/train station after breakfast. End of service. B

Date & Price

Single Supplement US$350

Included in services: 

  • Full-time services of your English speaking local guide throughout the tour except in the international flight
  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary.
  • Twin/double share at local 3-star accommodations with daily breakfast in Beijing, Xian and Ulaanbaatar.
  • Twin share at ger camps for 3 nights in Mongolia 
  • Meals as listed (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
  • Flight ticket—economic class: Xi’an/Beijing(One-way)
  • Overnight soft-sleeper train: Beijing/Xi’an(One-way)
  • Air-conditioned vehicles served in all transfers and tours.
  • 2 bottle of water per person per day in China 
  • 0.5 l x 3 bottled water per day
  • Government tax and city construction fee where applicable in China 
  • Visa support invitation letter where applicable
  • Exclusive China & Mongolia tour souvenir 
Not included in the Price: 
  • International airfare to/from China and to/from Mongolia 
  • Visa fees 
  • Meals not mentioned.
  • Personal expense.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, camera or video fees at any sites etc.
  • Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
  • Optional activities such as camel riding, archery, fishing etc


Tour Background

Accommodation on Selena Travel tours in Mongolia  
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 Kempinski, Ramada, and Best Western 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:  
  • Best Western Gobi Kelso ***
  • Springs hotel ***
  • Ramada hotel ****
  • Kempinski Khan Palace ****
  • Best Western Premier *****

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. 
Food on Selena Travel tours - in Mongolia 
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 carry on luggage). For 1kg extra luggage you pay US$2 - 5. 
The Great Wall of China, one of the eight ancient wonders of the world and the only man-made construction on earth that the astronauts can see in the moon. Starting out in the east on the banks of Yalu River in Liaoning Province, the Wall stretches westwards for 12,700 kilometers to Jiayuguan in the Gobi Desert. It was built as a defensive structure and gradually become the symbol of the ancient Chinese civilization. Then visit the Ming Tombs, which is a group of mausoleums of 13 Ming emperors and their empresses and concubines. Two of the tombs are open to the public. The most famous is the Dingling, an underground palace. The Tian An Men square, which is probably the biggest one of its kind in the world. With a total area of 440,000 square meters, the Tiananmen Square found in the center of Beijing boasts the largest of its kind. Over a hundred years, many ceremonies and demonstrations have been held here. Forbidden city (Gugong) the emperor's palace which was built between 1406 and 1420 with 9000 halls and rooms, containing many precious relics. Facing south and rising from a terrace, the largest palace in the world represents the supreme power and authority emperors enjoyed during the feudalistic dynasties as well as best exemplifies the elements of palace architecture.

Summer Palace in Beijing which was built in 1153 in northwest of Bejing. It is an outstanding example of imperial gardens in classical Chinese style, housing tens of thousands of precious cultural relics. Xi'an locates with an elevation of 500 metres, the Weihe Plain extends between Baoji in the west and Tongguan in the east and borders the Qinling Mountains in the south and the Huangtu Plateau in the north. Xi'an lies in the centre to the south of this plain, a favourable geographical location surrounded by water and hills. Shaanxi Provincial History Museum - one kilometre north-west of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian's southern suburb, the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum - a striking Tang-Dynasty style pavilion, houses a large collection of 113,000 historic and cultural artefacts unearthed in Shaanxi. It is an absolute must for every visitor to the city. The main complex is a mixture of ancient palaces and courtyard buildings, harmonious and graceful in hue, in simple and elegant style.

Terracotta warriors museum in Xi'an - The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum, Lintong County, Shaanxi province. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had work begun on his mausoleum.\

The Karakorum was flourished in the IV-IX century by the Kirgis tribe and in 1220 the great Emperor Chinghis Khaan declared it as the capital city of his vast Empire. Many other Mongolian Khaans used Karakorum as the capital of Great Mongolian Empire, however, the Chinese Ming soldiers burnt the city several times in 15-17th century. Today there are many interesting sites left to visit; the legendary turtle rock sculptures, Buddhist stupas and the ruins of this once great city to name a few. This is one of the best place for Mongolian cultural tours. 

Erdenezuu ("One Hundred Treasures") was the first Buddhist monastery in the Mongolian Empire. It was established in 1586 on the orders of Abtai Sain Khaan, a direct descendent from Genghis Khaan. The monastery has a massive square wall, 420 meters in length each side, a total of 108 Stupas and 17 temples. Today Erdenezuu monastery still shows its glory with collections of many priceless religious objects and incredibly beautiful Mongolian arts.

"Elsen tasarhai" is a part of the Great Mongolian Sand dunes and extends about 80 km. The scenery is a perfect combination of desert, picturesque mountains, river and green grassland and makes you feel like you are in heaven.
Hustai National park is the place where the wild Takhi- Przewalski horses have lived peacefully since 1993 when they were reintroduced to their native land Mongolia. Here we are able to see and photograph these beautiful wild horses at pasture and Red Deer, Wolf, Asian Marmot, various species of waterfawls and prey birds etc., as well. 

Tour Map

Tour Reviews

May 24, 2024.  The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer

Aug 10, 2012. Gobi & Karakorum Explorer tour Our recent "The Gobi & Karakorum Explorer" tour with you was excellent, everything exceeded our expectations! It was a super trip in our lives and we loved our Mongolia holiday so much. Our guide Joe was kind, well organised, accurate and informative, polite and caring and always provided us with timely information. And our driver Jack is super, very friendly, professional and always on time. We are wild travelers, having been to many places in the world - but Mongolia is still truly unspoiled and uncontaminated. Selena Travel's services were perfect right from the very first email. We would like to thank Selena Travel, our guide and our driver for having made this Mongolia experience a truly beautiful one with so many wonderful memories.

by Rafaella, Benedetta, Lidia

Aug 08, 2012.  Gobi & Karakorum customized 11 days tour

Sending you some of our nicer pictures. Some are chosen for their beautiful scenery while the rest are just us happily playing and goofing around. There are a couple of shots of us doing some Mongolian wrestling, as suggested by Oyuna since we missed out on the mini-Naadam festival. She said since we missed it, we might as well organise our own festival by playing some Mongolian games. Haha... We had so much fun playing those games!!! :)OK, I hope you like the pictures we send you. Best regards to everyone at Selena Travel and thank you once again for all your assistance.

by Margaret Suganda

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