Asia

Mongolia / Travel Story

In Mongolia, landmarks gradually fade away and give way to untouched territories, taking us beyond the infinite steppes, through landscapes without borders blown by the winds.

The raw nomad adventure between Central Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, brings on a true fusion with nature. It is in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, that our Mongolian journey begins, more precisely in the Buddhist Monastery Gandan where we attend with an intense feeling of humility, a private ceremony.

Still lulled by the pure religious songs, we visit the National Museum, real expression of the country’s culture. Escorted by an expert historian, we admire the craftsmanship of the Stone Age, ethnic customs and relics…

But soon the road takes us towards other horizons, those of the remains of Karakorum, the ancient capital city of the Mongols, one of the cities of the Silk Road, where the Erdene Zuu Monastery, erected in 1585, reveals sixty temples in ruins encircled by 108 stupas, the sacred Buddhist figure.

The nights are full of authenticity in the Mongolian “Ger” tent camps. Then a one-day journey leads us to the foothills of the Khangai mountain range in the Orkhon Valley, where the solitary monastery, Tovkhom Sacred, stands at 2,312 meters.

Finally, comes the long awaited moment of discovering the Desert of Gobi and its rocks of changing colors, its sand dust, its legendary aridity and mysterious mirages. The Yol Valley National Park offers indeed a surprising universe given it is located in a desert area.

Surrounded by high summits, the Yol Valley has a mild climate conducive to the richness of fauna and flora. Its immense canyon is so deep that the river which crosses it is, in some places, unreachable by the rays of the sun, so it remains frozen most of the time. Here we observe rare and unknown species, bearded vulture, Siberian ibex, snow leopards, Argali sheep, yaks, falcons, eagles…

The next day, we head towards the giant dunes of Kongoryn Els with pale yellow reflections, whose vertiginous heights can reach 300 meters and which the nomads call the “singing dunes”, because of the murmur of the wind.

The journey through Gobi continues with the coloured rock paintings, but also with the geological formations of de Bayanzag … The cliffs, called “Flaming Cliffs”, ignite with the purple glow of the sunset, transforming the contours of the landscape in a movie setting one would find in a Western movie! It is here that the paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews discovered fossils, bones and nests of dinosaurs.

Tonight, a private cocktail followed by a dinner are set up facing the sunset … This custom-made adventure, off the beaten track is orchestrated in collaboration with our partner, specialist of the nomadic expedition in Mongolia.

We also stay at Three Camel Lodge, property of our partner, whose yurts are located south of Gobi. The Three Camel Lodge is a peaceful place, remote from all telecommunications or other technological pollution, perfect for meditation. Built in wood and stone according to traditional methods, the furniture has been custom-made by local craftsmen.

Three Camel Lodge is home to a special Art of Living where Mongolian culinary specialties are prepared, and where organic vegetables and fruits used to cook are grown in the village of Bulgan. Bulgan has a natural spring and is home to the Thirsty Camel Bar which offer cocktails and Grand Crus of the owner!

The stars shine through the night in the translucent sky of the desert … Tomorrow, other private experiences are planned, a meeting with a family of nomads, horse riding, guided trekking…

 

Our Travel Story in Mongolia is a non exhaustive example. Thanks to our expertise and our partner’s expertise, we create custom-made itinerary, specific to the regions or the themes you are interested in. Do not hesitate to contact us by phone on + (33) 1 42 96 00 76 or by email at info@exclusifvoyages.com.