The legendary story of the novel “The Green-Eyed Lama” takes you to Mongolia. But in this country where nomadism has been essential for thousands of years, what is the legacy left by tradition to today’s nomadic herders? What remains of the communist regime of the past century?
Here is a journey that allows you to relive the era when Shamanism and Buddhism coexisted and when people believed in the union of man and nature…
As you arrive at the Chinggis Khaan international airport in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, your guide-interpreter and driver will welcome you at the airport and lead you on to the city tour. The capital has plenty to offer. On the tour you will visit the Gandan Monastery, a historical and spiritual Buddhist temple in the city. Then you can walk around the National History Museum and the Chinggis Khaan Square in front of the Mongolian Parliament house to help you get a general knowledge and information about the Mongolian history and culture.
FB, Night in a tourist hotel
You leave the capital and move to the “Khogno Khan”, called the Central Gobi, one of the 33 “Gobi” (a local word for “Desert”) in Mongolia. Visit and set up with your host nomadic family, settled in the middle of the pastures. Upon the visit, you can have a taste of “White food” and notably Airag, a traditional drink made from fermented mare’s milk.
Continuing your trip, you will visit one of the country’s ancient Buddhist monasteries – The Erdene Khamba monastery, which is located in the sacred Mountain Khogno Khan. Upon arrival, you visit the temple ruins before spending your first night in a yurt, in a traditional yurt camp.
FB, Overnight in yurt camp
After breakfast, you leave in the direction of the Orkhon Valley. The Orkhon Valley was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage (one of a few in Mongolia) as representing the evolution of nomadic pastoral traditions and includes numerous archaeological remains dating back to the 6th century. The beauty of the natural site consists not only of green plains and hills bursting with basalt lines extending on both sides of the Orkhon River, but also of deer steles, hirgesuur (tombs in cairn), tombs with slabs, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic statues, ruins of ancient capitals.
You arrive at the “URSA MAJOR” geolodge camp, located on the valley, and this will be an opportunity for walking or horse riding for those who wish.
At night, when the sky is clear, you can stargaze by MEADE LX-200, the most powerful telescope in Mongolia. You can observe the stars, planets and galaxies from the steppes of the Orkhon Valley…
FB, Cozy night in a yurt at “URSA MAJOR” geolodge
Early in the morning, you will depart to Karakorum. Upon arrival start the tour of Karakorum, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire during the time of Chinggis Khaan (1162-1227). There are some remains of the city scattered to see around. However, most stones of the old buildings were later used to build the nearby “Erdene Zuu” Monastery.
Erdene Zuu means’ hundred treasures. The monastery dates from 1586 and once consisted of more than a hundred temples. Sadly, the complex has been subjected to many political ups and downs, at last being actively restored since 1990 around twenty remain today. It is one of the cultural and spiritual highlights in Mongolia. The complex is fully fenced and every fifteen meters there are stupas, 108 in total, in the walls.
Then you continue to Ogii Lake. When you arrive, you can walk around the lake and observe the birds that live there.
In the morning, you take the drive towards the village of Bayan-Agt which is on the edge of 3 provinces Khuvsgul, Arkhangai and Bulgan.
You spend a relaxing day hiking to visit the petroglyphs along the Balig river and observe the fauna and flora. In the afternoon, you’ll leave in a 4×4 to meet the local community “Zuulun alt” manufacturing small objects in felt.
FB, Overnight in a yurt camp
Today you head to the natural reserve of extinct volcanoes, the Uran Togoo. After a vigorous ascent you can enjoy its beautiful panoramic views.
FB, Overnight in a yurt camp.
You’ll take off in the direction of Chichin. This beautiful valley surrounded by conifers is a favorite place for summer settlement for nomad herders. Here you’ll visit the family of Erdenebileg’s. This family, whose wife is the descendant of Baasan, the green eyed lama, keeps objects steeped in the history of time.
Today, you’ll go back to the spring of Utugt. Very pure, these springs which take their source from the Utugt Mountains are famous for their good virtues for the intestines. You will be able to admire in this corner of the world taking in the natural smell of all the species of trees and medicinal plants in this Taiga.
You reach the Dayan Deerkh monastery, a monastery built in 1864 by Buddhist monks. Until the time of Baasan, the monk with green eyes, there was a large monastic center which housed 1,000 monks, but was destroyed due to the soviet purge…
With practically no possible access by car, you continue on horseback crossing the same river of Deerkh a few times to reach the cave of Dayan Deerkh. This cave is still venerated by Buddhist believers as the residence of the high spirits and divine protectors of the place…
From here, you’ll take off in the direction to Mongolia’s Blue Pearl, the Lake Khuvsgul. To cut the long route in half, you’ll spend the first night in the village of Chandmani Undur, a typical village of the region with 3000 inhabitants. The villagers who are always proud to be born in this beautiful place are renowned for their hospitality and the variety of dairy products, and you will always be welcome to come greet them and talk a little.
In the morning, your team will depart to the small town of Khatgal, in the south of Lake Khuvsgul. Like always, you’ll meet the herders with whom you can share warm moments. Once in Khatgal, you’ll spend the rest of the day by the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia, whose beauty you can admire on foot or on horseback.
FB, Night in a yurt camp
We reserved this full day for you to fully enjoy the region. In the morning you take your backpack and leave for a beautiful hike in the forest on the slopes of Mount Khyasa. You’ll picnic at the top with a grand view to the east on Lake Khuvsgul and to the west on the Khoridol Saridag mountain range.
In the afternoon, you return to the camp where you can take all your time to rest and make friends with the locals.
FB, Overnight in a yurt
Today you will visit the Murun village and take a local flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Before departure, this is an opportunity for you to explore the small town and stroll between the stalls of its typical market. When the plane lands, you may be somewhat disoriented by the hustle and bustle of the city, but quickly return to modern life…
FB, Overnight at the hotel
After having breakfast in the hotel, your team will drive you to the “Chinggis Khaan” international airport 2 hours before your departure.
Have a safe journey back!