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This trip is a fascinating cultural experience as well as an off-road bike tour across Mongolia of over 1550 kilometers. Apart from a few villages and small towns that you pass through on the way, most of the population have a nomadic lifestyle, frequently moving with their round white felt yurts ("gers") and herds of camels, goats, and horses. This tour is nearly all on rough jeep tracks across the rolling hills of Middle Gobi and the sparse desert of South Gobi.
During this tour, you will be accommodated in traditional Mongolian round white felt tents, where you will have bathroom facilities and access to restaurants. You will spend two nights in a shared twin room at a hotel provided by Bike Mongolia.
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and go to the hotel. In the afternoon or evening, meet the tour leader and the rest of the group. Start the pre-tour meeting. Meeting talks about day by day itinerary and safety issue. Overnight in hotel.
Make an early start to get out of Ulaanbaatar city and onto the road leading south to the Gobi. The road is black-topped for a while, then soon becomes a rough jeep track as it crosses the green rolling hills of Tuv (“Central”) Province. Ride on to Baga Gazriin Chuluu, a mountain of unusual granite rocks which are home to ibex, marmots, steppe fox and plenty of birds of prey. Overnight ger camp.
Ride through Mandalgov, the capital town of Dundgov Province and continue across the open steppe of Middle Gobi to Tsagaan Suvraga, an amazing series of cliffs, white and pink limestone rock formations taking the appearance of stalagmites up to 30 meters high. It is an excellent site for some out-of-the-ordinary photography. Overnight at a ger camp.
The track to Dalanzadgad, capital of Umngov Province (“South Gobi”) has little traffic, even though you are traveling on the main road. This is Mongolia as one imagines it – distant horizons, dry rocky earth, and a huge blue sky. The town appears like a mirage and it takes nearly two hours of riding to reach it after seeing it from a far. Overnight at a ger camp with a view of the Gobi Gurvansaikhan Mountains.
Ride up into the mountains of the Gurvansaikhan Uul (“Three Beautiful Mountains”). This national park is so unexpected in the middle of the desert and it is a delight to feel so cool in the deep canyon where sunlight reaches for only a few minutes each day. After walking into "Yolyn Am" (the “Vulture’s Mouth”), you ride westwards at the foot of the mountains to Khongoryn Els where huge sand dunes meet the end of the Altai mountain range. Overnight ger camp.
Leaving the golden dunes behind, you ride through a wonderful mountain pass and on to Bulgan village. Not far from here is Bayanzag, a forest of rare Saksaul trees and the "Flaming Cliffs" where many dinosaur remains have been found and Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the first dinosaur eggs during his expedition of the 1920s. Overnight ger camp.
Today you travel north-east to Mandal-Ovoo and then to Saikhan-Ovoo. Here, on a bend in the Ongi River, are the remains of Ongii Hiid monastery on each bank of the river. Overnight ger camp.
Continue northwards through Middle Gobi to reach Zorgol Khairkhan, a dramatic granite mountain with bizarre rock formations jutting out against the skyline. Continue on to Ovorburd Els where there are small sand dunes amongst the rolling hills. Overnight ger camp.
As you return to Ulaanbaatar, the landscape becomes gradually greener and more mountainous. Even close to the city people still live the "traditional lifestyle" there are more horses and fewer camels than you encountered in the Gobi. You may expect to arrive in Ulaanbaatar in the early afternoon. Overnight in hotel.
Real dirt bike riders will already know that such a bike can readily meet the challenge. Its lightweight, electronic and kick start capability, height and reliability, make it ideally suited to Mongolia's rough and remote location.
Bike Mongolia has been running motorbike tours since 2005 and has a fleet of motorcycles including 2019 KTM 450 EXC "six days" models. Bike Mongolia gradually replace older bikes with newer models.
For the first few years, they were using Yamaha WR250 motorbikes. They were great - but now the team has gone better. The tour will use KTM 450 EXC off-road enduro bikes for their scheduled motorbike trips in Mongolia.
It is important for you to be aware that motorbike hire is not included in the tour price. The cost to rent a KTM 450EXC motorcycle is 130 USD per day. This can be paid in cash on arrival.
When you arrive in Mongolia and are allocated your motorbike, you will have to pay a "motorbike security deposit". This is 700 USD or the equivalent amount in another major currency. The motorbike security deposit is fully refundable at the end of the tour when you return the motorbike undamaged (Bike Mongolia won't charge for normal wear and tear).
Some days are long and require stamina, but towards the end of the tour, the distance between ger camps is less and riding days are shorter.
Above all else, safety is Bike Mongolia's most important concern and motorcycling is a dangerous activity. You will be riding in remote areas far from good medical facilities. Therefore you must follow all our instructions with regard to protective clothing and safe riding.
Bike Mongolia's motorcycle tours in Mongolia are not suitable for beginners and the more experienced you are at off-road riding, the better you will enjoy the trip. Get in as much practice as you can before the tour and if necessary take some lessons. Understand that this is not a race or competition.
Mongolia is a great country for off-road riding and our tours offer a wonderful opportunity to see the way of life of the nomadic people of Central Asia. To ensure the smooth running of the motorcycle tours, everyone is obliged to follow instructions and to abide by the tour leader.
On your journey, there will be a walk into Yolyn Am (the “Vulture’s Mouth”).
The places you will see along the way:
Khongoryn Els is the largest accumulation of sand in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. The wind blows continually, so the dunes can reach an imposing 200 meters height. The highest dunes are called "singing sands" by the local inhabitants.
Tsagaan Suvaraga (White Stupa) limestone rock is about 30 meters high and shaped strangely as a result of wind and water erosion. This area is rich in marine fossils as a huge inland sea once covered it. In the year 2000, an earthquake shook the eastern part of the White Stupa and it partially collapsed.
Ongii Hiid, a once large Buddhist Monastery destroyed in the 1930s lies in the hills on the edge of a bend in the Ongi River. It is a quiet and spiritual place; one can imagine the original busy monastery on one side of the river and the non-religious community on the other side.
The Bearded Vulture, "Yol" in Mongolian, has given the valley its name "Yolyn Am" means Vulture Gorge. The Gurvan Saikhan National Park is the only area in the southern Gobi Altai region where copses of beech and willow trees have been preserved.
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