(15 days) Ox-Cart Trek
Trip Duration: 15 days
Group Size: 6-12 people
This trip will allow you to experience how the traditional nomadic mean of conveyance – yak carts – work in practice, while trekking through the magnificent Mongolian landscape in one of the most fertile regions of Central Mongolia. This way of traveling will give you a great opportunity to get an insight into an everyday life of nomads, you will encounter on the way. You will be able to learn how Mongolian people herd their livestock, participate in preparing traditional dairy products, as well as, get detailed info on local fauna and flora. You will also visit a local market to see, how nomads, who wish to sell their products, are dealing with the modern day economy.
Physical Rating: Average.
Trip Type: Small Group Small group experience; Max 12, avg 9.
Age requirement: 12+ All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Please let us know should you have further inquiries! We are looking forward to assist you with organizing your stay in Mongolia and answering any questions you might have about this tour. We want your holiday experience in Mongolia to be as amazing as it is possible.
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Day 1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
Today our representative will pick you up from the airport or train station and transfer to a hotel. If your flight/ train schedule allows it, after a short rest, your guide will take you for a city tour around Ulaanbaatar.
Day 2. Ugii Lake and Khoshuu Tsaidam Monument
In the morning you will leave Ulaanbaatar and drive west to the Ugii Lake. The Lake is located some 380 km away from the capital, and to get there you will drive on asphalt road through a typical Mongolian landscape – open steppe and rolling hills. After taking a short break to rest on the lake shores, you will drive further, to the Khoshuu Tsaidam, a place where two famous memorial installations erected by the Turkish people in the 8th century are located. You will visit a local museum and drive back for to the Ugii Lake, where you will spend the night in a tourist ger camp. Here you can try some fishing or rent a boat to take a ride on the lake.
Day3. Chuluut village
From the banks of Ugii Lake you will drive to the village of Chuluut, where local nomads will take you on a yak cart across the Chuluut River. You will ride briefly to their household where you will be served hot nomadic lunch. After a meal, you will have time to rest, relax, and explore the surrounding area. You will also have an opportunity to spend some time with the nomadic family, and learn about their everyday life. Traditional Mongolian dinner will be served before night rest. Overnight in tents.
Day 4. First day of trekking
After breakfast you will assist in loading baggage on a yak cart, and start a 22 km long trek towards Davaat Mountain. The scenic landscape of Chuluut River Valley will give you a wonderful opportunity to take some great shots. During the whole trek your personal belongings and camping equipment will be carried by the yak cart, so you will be able to move freely, and enjoy trekking without any additional burdens. Overnight in tents.
Day 5. Suv Mountain
After breakfast you will start your second stage of trekking. This time you will cover around 20 km to reach the footsteps of Suv Mountain. The area you are now in used to lie in the vicinity of Karakorum, the capital of the Mongol Empire. Who knows, if one of the Great Khaans did not use to hunt in this area. Take a breath of fresh air and enjoy an open space without traffic, pubs, and pollution. Upon arrival at the camp site, you will be served dinner and tea before retiring for the night. Overnight in tents.
Day 6. Tugul Forest
There is a 23 km long trek waiting for you to be cover today. The route will take you to the thick Tugul Forest. On the way you will wander through a picturesque landscape and chose a spot for picnic lunch. Dinner and hot tea will await you after reaching a camp site. Overnight in tents.
Day7. Khangai Khiarkhan Mountain
Today you will cover a 25 km long trek stage to the Khangai Khairkhan Mountain (2800 meters above sea level). You will find here high cliffs, alpine plants, and traces of glacial activity visible from afar. You will also see tributaries of the Uen and Nemekh rivers flowing along the eastern and southern slopes of Khangai Khairkhan. Your camp will be set tonight on the southern, sunny side of the mountain. Overnight in tents.
Day8. Day of rest
Today instead of moving your camp further, you will stay in one place, and take a day hike to the Suvarga Khairkhan Mountain. Remember to pack lightly; take plenty of water and some snacks. The entire hike will be approximately 22 km long. You will have picnic lunch after reaching the top of the mountain. The view from the peak is stunning, so do not forget to capture it with your camera. For dinner you will return to the basecamp. Overnight in tents.
Day 9. Seruun River
Today you will trek for about 25 km. You will walk along the banks of a local river, shaded from one side by grassy hills, and surrounded by open steppe on the other. There are very few threes here, and the area is sparsely populated; you will rarely see a white yurt strikingly visible in the vibrant green covering the area, and maybe a roaming herd looking for a fodder. Overnight in tents.
Day 10. Khoid Saikhan Mountain
After breakfast, you will start a 21 km long trek to the Khoid Saihan Mountain. You will stop for a picnic on the way. Upon arrival at the camp-site, you will be served dinner and hot tea. Overnight in tents.
Day 11. Return to Chuluut Valley
After early breakfast you will cover the last 14 km of the trek, and return to the yaks owner’s household. This will be your last encounter with them, so make sure to ask plenty of questions, and enjoy the traditional farewell dinner. Keep your cameras ready, while your hostess will show you how to make dried curds and other traditional snacks. Overnight in tents.
Day 12. A day in a hot spring resort
Today you will drive to Tsenkher, a picturesque hot spring resort, where you will have an opportunity to soak in hot bath, and relax after long drive. Overnight in the tourist ger camp.
Day 13. Karakorum
After breakfast, you will drive to the town of Kharkhorin, where Karakorum, the capital city of the Mongol Empire was once located. In the town you will visit local history museum, and the Erdene Zuu Monastery, the oldest and most famous Buddhist center in Mongolia. Overnight in the tourist ger camp.
Day 14. Return to Ulaanbaatar
In the morning you will leave Kharkhorin and drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, you will be given time to rest and relax in a hotel. In the evening your guide will take you for farewell dinner. Overnight in the hotel.
Day15. International Departure.
You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for you departure flight.
Daily lessons and demonstrations of various nomadic skills and techniques while staying with nomadic hosts
Transport between destinations and included activities
Traditional ger (5 nts), basic hotels (2 nts).
5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
Allow for meals not included.
Public bus, oxcart, horse.
Staff & experts
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local nomadic hosts.
Trip summary and grading: This is a relatively low-level trek and no-one should have problem with the altitude. During this 9 day exploration of the foothills and valleys of the Kharkhiraa and Turgen mountains, we will generally follow good trails used by the local nomads and their livestock and tiny number of outside visitors. This is excellent trekking country, combining open steppe, riverside walks, forested areas and more rugged terrain on the climb to the Kharkhiraa Pass. We will be trekking for around 6 hours a day and some days will involve a reasonable amount of ascent (500 meters or so). This trek is given the MODERATE grade and is well within the capabilities of anyone who is regular hill walker. For the young and energetic there will always be options to alternate their route by going up and following the ridgelines parallel to our path.
Group size and trek staff: The maximum group size for this trip is 14. There will be “Adventures Mongolia” Ltd.’s trek leader plus local guide and a full Mongolian trek crew, including camel handlers and their animals.
Accommodation: During this trip the group will spend 3 nights in Ulaanbaatar at the comfortable and conveniently located tourist class hotel. Depending on the availability it may be possible to book a single room for the hotel nights in Ulaanbaatar. Please contact us for a quote. Whilst on trek there will a total of 10 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on twin sharing basis. If you are traveling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost of 45 US $ (Please note single tent hire doesn’t include single rooms in hotels).
Meals: All meals while on trek and farewell dinner when in Ulaanbaatar are included in the trip price.
Temperatures and weather: Mongolia is a land of extremes. Whilst winter temperatures can drop to minus 40 degrees centigrade, summer daytime temperature can rise to a pleasant 25 degrees centigrade. Weather conditions are similar to the European Alps, with long periods of high pressure and stable conditions, followed by relatively brief storms. July and August usually enjoy the warmest conditions, 25 degrees centigrade during the day, falling to 5 degrees centigrade at night. This period also corresponds with the highest rainfall levels in the country, although showers are usually short-lived and light.
The trekking day: A typical day starts with an early morning brew served in your tent at around 7 a.m. After hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the pack animals rounded up and loaded, we start walking around 9 o’clock. After 3-4 hours walking we stop for lunch, which usually takes an hour or two. After lunch, a further 2 hours walking is usual and we aim to pitch camp for the night well before dusk. During the day you are free to walk at your own pace, enjoying the scenery and taking as many photographs as you wish. Dinner is ready at around 7 p.m. and is a 3 course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socializing. After dark, the temperature drops quickly and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.
Equipment: A detailed list of equipment recommendations and what is available for hire will be sent to clients on receipt of their booking for the trip and deposit payment. We provide everything except sleeping bag and thermarest, plus your personal equipment and clothing. You will not need any specialist clothing for this trip, other that what you would routinely take on a winter walk in Hills and mountains in Northern Europe. However, you should make sure that you bring adequate warm clothing and that your water-proof outerwear is in good condition.
Visa requirements: A passport with at least 6 month’s validity is required. Visas are required by nationals of most countries so; do check your nationality whether included in the terms with Mongolia (Mongolian Government introduced visa waiver program recently for many countries citizens in order to encourage tourism development) or not. All visas are valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
Spending money: Approximately US$ 100 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. You should allow a small amount for excess baggage on the domestic flights between UB and Uvs province. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Credit cards can be useful in this respect. Tips and gratuities for the trek crew are to your discretion.
Here is some pictures from our previous trips.