Trek to the beautiful Khukh Nuur (Blue Lake) located at the top of the Arhangai Mountains. This is a challenging route and you will be trekking up to 20KM a day through the amazingly picturesque green valleys in Arhangai Province commonly referred to as the “Horse Breeders Paradise”. This trek from Ger to Ger to the mountain lake is a great way to experience the unspoiled local nature and warm hospitality of the nomadic families along the trekking route. While you are trekking along the route you will opportunities to go horse back riding and learn from nomadic families how to use a yak as a pack animal.
Difficulty of trip: Challenging
Method of travel: Lots of trekking w/ ox-carts
Community Fee: $328 USD for 9 days/ 8 nights
Additional In-Country Travel Expenses UB to Arhangai Bus Fee (approx.): $13 USD
Rural jeep to first ger and pickup (approx.): $150 USD
Note: Jeep cost can be divided by number of persons
Booking & travel orientation w/ handbook: $25 USD
Local Park Fee: $3 USD
Day One - Overland Travel by Rural Bus and Vehicle to Mr. Bultenbor’s Nomadic Family (D ): You will travel from UB to Tsetserleg by the public bus at 8am, along the way you will see many scenic locations from the bus as it drives by vast nomadic pastures, the Ancient Capital City of the Mongol Empire “Karakorum”, etc. Once you arrive in Tsetserleg town around at 6pm, our local facilitator will arrange a local driver for you at bus stop that will take you to the first family Mr. Bultenbor (57km). Upon arrival his family will serve you dinner and tea before your retire for the night in your tent nearby the nomadic family.
Day Two - Trek to the Base of Sumtiin Mountain (B, L, D):After breakfast the family will show you how to cut Mongolian curds before you and the herders will pack up Yaks to start your trek along the beautiful Tamir Valley to the base of Sumtiin Mountain. In the early days, five famous monks planted five memorial trees at the base of Sumtiin Mountain before they left their native land which became today’s beautiful scenery of Mountain. Along the way you will have a picnic lunch and absorb much of the local cultural site that includes ancient graves, burial sites; many Khirgesuur (piles of stones marking the burial site of an ancient warrior) and many tombstones. After 15km of trekking you will reach the camping site and Mr. Bultenbor will prepare and serve you a dinner before retiring to your tent for the night.
Day Three - Trek to Mr. Battulga Nomadic Family (B, L, D): After having breakfast, you will trek for 12km to Mr. Battulga’s family – along the way you will have a picnic lunch. Upon arrival at Mr.Battulga’s Ger, the family will prepare and serve you dinner and hot tea to which you will overnight your tent nearby their ger.
Day Four - Trekking to Gangiin bulan (B, L, D): After breakfast with Battulga’s family, you will have an opportunity to learn how to make the well-known Ih Tamir White Curds or nomadic cheese before you and the nomads start packing the luggage on yak cart. Today you will trek for 25km to Gangiin Bulan, where you will be outdoor camping away from families for one night. Along the way you will be served a picnic before reaching the overnight camping site where Mr. Battulga will serve you dinner and tea.
Day Five - Trek to Mr. Byambaochir Nomadic Family (B, L, D): After having a breakfast you will trek for 25km to Mr. Byambaochir’s family, from this point onwards the terrain becomes more challenging with small rivers to cross and some hills to pass over. As you trek to Byamba-Ochir’s home, you will be served a picnic lunch. Upon arrival Mr. Byambaochir and his family will serve you dinner and hot tea before retiring to your tent for the evening.
Day Six - Day Trek to Mountain Blue lake (B, L, D): After breakfast, you will start the trek to 'Blue Lake' with the nomadic guide - today you don’t need to pack the all the luggage, a day-pack is sufficient for the day as the trek will be about 26km round trip. You will be served a picnic lunch at the top of the Mountain along the edge of Blue Lake where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of this mountain lake. By evening you you return to Mr. Byambaochir’s nomadic family’s ger where they will welcome you with dinner before you overnight in your tent.
Day Seven - Trek to Mr. Battumur’s Nomadic Family (B, L, D): After breakfast, Mr. Byambaochir and you will start packing the yak for your journey – today the terrain becomes more challenging as you have to trek over a mountain. You will served a picnic lunch as you are trekking for 27 kilometers through Jargalant Valley – upon arrival at Battumur's family (Local people call him as Oroso), they will welcome you with a nomadic dinner before retiring to your tent for the evening.
Day Eight - Trek Shivertiin Mountain (B, L, D): After breakfast, Mr. Oroso will teach you how to make homemade ropes out of yak hair before you continue your 22km trek up Shivertiin Mountain. Once we leave Orosoo’s home there will be no families along the way to our meeting point with the vehicle - on the way you will be served with a picnic lunch and tea. Upon arrival at the outdoor campsite, Mr. Oroso will prepare and serve you with a outdoor dinner and hot tea before you overnight in your tent.
Day 9 - Short Trek to Meet Rural Driver nearby the Base of Khujiriin Mountain (B): After breakfast we will pack up all the tents and luggage and continue our trek for around 7 kilometers with the yaks to the mount of Khujiriin Mountain where the vehicle is waiting for us. You will say farewell to the herders and humble yaks and will continue your overland travel for 80km back to Tsetserleg where you will overnight at a guesthouse. This morning you will get up early in preparation for your bus back to Ulaanbaatar city that will depart at 8am or continue your travel onwards to White Lake if you booked this option.
All nomadic breakfast, lunch and dinner which are stated on itinerary
Herder guide service on route
Pack animals on route
Cultural activities (make dried curds, pack on yak’s back etc)
Boiled water on route
Reservation services for two ways bus tickets between UB and Tsetserleg
Local jeep arrangement service by facilitator
Guest house and hotel reservation service by facilitator in Tsetserleg
Camping equipments (sleeping bag, mattress and tent)
Orientation lesson fee
Rural jeep cost which stated on itinerary
National park fee
Additional overnight at guest house or hotel in Tsetserleg town
Mongolian Cultural Travel Tips & Information
Horseback Riding in Mongolia
Mongolia's Gobi Desert Camels
Mongolians and horses have historically co-exist since the early times and It’s impossible to imagine Mongolians without horses. There are many horse related folk legends, stories about horses, epic literature and songs written about horses. Mongolians prohibit the cursing of horses, beating horses and whipping of horses on their heads and chests. Mongolia’s horse culture according to their traditions teaches to show to respect to the horse during its life and honorifically place the horse’s head on an Ovoo or other sacred place to show their respect to the nobility of their horse’s life. The head of a horse is often decorated with white stones or horse dung. Heads of especially fast racing horses are usually wrapped in a blue scarf. The Mongolian traditional horse head fiddle further glorifies the station of the horse by its artistic design and traditional sounds. The culture of the Mongolian horse even spreads to embroidery, handicraft, wooden carving, metal and silver crafts – Mongolia’s respect of the horse can be found everywhere throughout the country.
The world’s rare two-humped Mongolian Bactrian Camel is considered to be the tolerant and noble animal among five animals (horse, cow, sheep, goat and camel) and is sand colored herbivores mainly found in the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia. Mongolia leads the number of Bactrian camels in the world and Mongolian camels were domesticated in olden days and are traditionally used as nomadic transport. When Mongolian camels are used for nomadic transportation their noses are pegged and they are outfitted with a leading rein, halter, saddle, saddle cloth and stairs. Mongolian camels weight is between 400-800kg and camel meat is low in fat and lean. Mongolian camel milk is a staple food for Gobi Desert nomads and is more rich in fat and protein than cow’s milk. A female camel produces about 3 to 4 liters of milk a day; camel milk can readily be made into airag (fermented beverage), hoormog (yogurt diluted with milk) and dried curds. Mongolian camel wool is produced as a natural insulation against the cold and easily sheds in the heat. Mongolian camel wool has unique characteristics of silky softness and strength.
Riding Mongolian Camels
Mongolian nomads say that it’s much closer to the sun from the top of the tallest animal of desert - so while you are riding a Mongolian camel you will always have a panoramic view of the Gobi Desert. Generally, Mongolia’s camel guides are Mongolian nomads that are born and live in the Gobi Desert. Mongolians often start to ride camels at a very early age and have plenty of experience to share with you about how to saddle, groom and command to lay down a camel to mount and dismount. During your camel trek, you can help the Mongolian nomad by looking after your camel; learn how to groom it, saddle and unsaddle it as well as bring water and feed it. Kind attention between the camel and the rider always contributes towards establishing a close. Almost any traveler can ride a camel (in reasonable physical condition) and learn how to control it quickly – though its highly recommended to review the camel riding tips that can be found in the Ger to Ger Travelers’ Handbook. Its good to apply your knowledge and practice on a camel with a Mongolian nomad around their Ger (traditional dwelling) before starting a long trek. A camel trek could cover between 5 to 25kms a day between nomadic families or even for a short roundtrip for sightseeing.