In the mid-13th century, Karakorum was a happening place. Chinggis Khaan established a supply base here and his son Ögedei ordered the construction of a proper capital, a decree that attracted traders, dignitaries and skilled workers from acrossAsia and even Europe. The good times lasted around 40 years until Kublai moved the capital to Khanbalik (later called Bĕijīng), a decision that still incites resentment among some Mongolians. Following the move to Bĕijīng and the subsequent collapse of the Mongol empire, Karakorum was abandoned and then destroyed by vengeful Manchurian soldiers in 1388.
Whatever was left of Karakorum was used to help build, in the 16th century, the enormous monastery, Erdene Zuu Khiid, which itself was badly damaged during the Stalinist purges. The rather nondescript Soviet-built town of Kharkhorin was built a couple of kilometres away from Erdene Zuu Khiid, and there is little of interest in the town itself (don’t come expecting the glories of the Middle Ages!). But the remains of the monastery and a very impressive new museum – both walking distance from town – pull in punters by the busload, while the town’s strong selection of ger camps and guest-ger accommodation, plus some decent horse-trekking outfits, ensure plenty of people linger for a while.
Kharkhorin is also within easy striking distance of a number of worthwhile sights – the stunning lakes of Naiman Nuur, Orkhon Khürkhree waterfall, the secluded hilltop monastery, Tövkhön Khiid, the sand dunes known as Mongol Els, and the magnificently stark rocky nature reserve, Khögnö Khan Uul – making this the best place to base yourself for a tour of Övörkhangai aimag.
Little Gobi/Kharkhorin tour (2 nights/ 3 days)
Day #1 Drive to Kharkhorin / Ancient city of Mongolia/, Erdenezuu monastery
Kharkhorin is located at the lower end of the upper valley of the Orkhon River which is included within UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape. The location marks the easternmost foothills of the Khangai Mountains, where they meet the rolling steppe of central Mongolia. The Erdene Zuu Monastery is probably the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. It is part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site. Abtai Sain Khan, ruler of the Khalkh Mongols and grandfather of Zanabazar, the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, ordered construction of the Erdene Zuu monastery in 1585 after his meeting with the 3rd Dalai Lama and the declaration of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion of Mongolia. Planners attempted to create a surrounding wall that resembled a Tibetan Buddhist rosary featuring 108 stupas but this objective was probably never achieved. The monastery was damaged in 1688 during one of the many wars between Dzungars and Khalkh Mongols. Locals dismantled the wooden fortifications of the abandoned monastery. It was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples and housed up to 1000 monks.
Accommodation: ger camp. (B+L+D)
Day #2 Drive to Mongol els dune / Little Gobi/, Khugnukhaan mountain
This 80km sand dune is situated in a terrain of Uvurkhangai, Bulgan and Tuv Aimag, stretching westside of Mount Khugnu Khan from west of Mount Batkhaan. The main road separates the sand dune into two parts, Mongol Els on the south and Khugnu Tarnyn Els on the north. The sand is sodden under its surface; that allows shrubberies such as willow, elm and dogwood, grow in the area. There are many tourist camps around the sight. Elsen Tasarkhai is surrounded by Mount Khugnu Khan on the north and Mount Ikh Mongol on the south.
Accommodation: ger camp. (B+L+D)
Day #3 Drive back to Ulaanbaatar
In the early of morning we will live our host family. On the way back to Ulaanbaatar will have a local lunch.
What is include in package:
If you buy our package we will give you following promotions
• Free airport and train station pick up service
• One night free stay at guest house after the trip
• Invitation letter in case you need visa to visit Mongolia
• Free service for visa extension
• Luggage storage
• International and domestic plane ticket reservation
• We do provide free tent, sleeping bags and mattresses
• Horse and Camel riding (1 hour)
• Bicycle (for cycling trips), motorbike (bike trips)
• Ger camp or host family stay (Camping is available)
• Transportation during the trip days
• Meals at local restaurants or cooked by guide
• Entrance fees to all scenic spots as listed in the itinerary such as museums, monasteries, strictly protected areas, parks, concert, road fees
What is not include in package:
• Entry and transit visa fee to Mongolia
• Drop off to airport/railway station
• International airfare and train ticket
• All type insurances (we recommend you get your insurance in your country)
• Your personal expenses such as soft and alcoholic drinks, international calls during the your trip, optional sightseeing and meals
№ Number of people Price (per person/per day) 1. Group with 5 person and more 45 USD 2. Group with 4 person 50 USD 3. Group with 3 person 70 USD 4. Group with 2 person 90 USD 5. Group with 1 person 160 USD