The vast Gobi desert straddles across southern Mongolia and northern China. The largest desert in Asia, it has captivated the imagination of adventurers for centuries. Explorers like Marco Polo, tradesmen of the Silk Road, and scientists who journeyed through the Gobi left behind an image of a mysterious and inhospitable land.
Despite the harsh conditions, the Gobi desert has been home to nomadic herders for millennia and sustains a multitude of wildlife, several of which like wild two-humped Bactrian camels and Gobi bear Mazaalai are rare, endangered species. The stunning landscape is diverse and dramatic. One day you will be hiking through a lush canyon, the next day riding a camel through sand dunes with a view of blue mountains in the distance.
Unlike what one might expect, much of the Gobi is not sandy desert but barren gravel land, an endless open expanse in most places. One can drive over this surface for long distances in any direction.
Day 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
Arrive in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and transfer to hotel. Enjoy light dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Day 2: Ulaanbaatar | Dalanzadgad (560km/348mi)
Fly from Ulaanbaatar to Dalandzadgad, the capital town of South Gobi province (1.5 hours). Transfer to a ger camp nearby Yoliin Am.
Day 3: Yoliin Am
Yoliin Am is a deep narrow gorge with towering cliffs and a lush valley. Deep in the valley is a glacier that can be seen as late as July which is reached after about an hour’s hike. We will hike to end of valley (about 6km) and see the ice formation. The valley is named after Lammergeier vultures, “yol” in Mongolian, that inhabit the valley. Overnight in a ger camp.
Day 4: Yoliin Am | Khongoryn Els (230km-143mi)
Drive to Khongoryn els sand dunes, also known as Singing Dunes due to the sound the sand makes when the wind blows. Reaching up to 300m in height and 12km in width these are the most magnificent sand dunes of the Gobi. Stay in tourist camp.
Day 5: Khongoryn Els | Dalanzadgad
Visit Khongoryn els sand dunes. Climb to the top on foot and enjoy the breathtaking view. In the afternoon drive back to Dalandzadgad town.
Day 6: Dalanzadgad | Ulaanbaatar
Fly back to Ulaanbaatar and spend the rest of the day at leisure or shopping.
Day 7: Ulaanbaatar | Departure
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