This motorcycle tour through Mongolia's central provinces is partly off-road and offers the opportunity to see just what an amazing place this is. You can swim in the beautiful White Lake, climb the Khorgo Volcano, and ride through the town of Kharkhorin which was once the capital of Genghis Khan's Mongol Empire. Motorbike touring in Mongolia is a great way to experience Central Asia, but you need some off-road experience.
On nights 1 and 8, you will stay at a hotel. Meanwhile, from night 2 to 7, you will stay at ger camps along the route.
Bike Mongolia has chosen the "continental" hotel for your accommodation in Ulaanbaatar. It is a smart three-star hotel situated only 10-minute walk from Genghis Khan Square in the city center. Being located on the southern side of Ulaanbaatar, you can usually avoid driving in the worst traffic congestion when heading for the airport or getting in and out of the city.
Bike Mongolia's guests have enjoyed the continental hotel for many years; it has a business center, a gym, and a good restaurant where a nice buffet-style breakfast is served every morning. The hotel has a free of charge luggage store service for the guests.
You will share a twin "standard" room with your friend / partner or another person in the tour group. Single rooms are available if ordered in advance and there will be a single supplement charge.
The ger camps are all privately owned and staffed mainly by local people. Standards and services vary a lot, which is part of the beauty of this kind of accommodation as no two ger camps are the same. The number of gers ranges from just a few to perhaps a hundred in the largest camps. Each ger has two to four beds and usually, guests will share with the same friend(s) as in the hotel.
All the ger camps have a restaurant where a fixed menu is served, often European style food. There will also be showers, washing, and toilet facilities. In most camps, the water is heated by solar power or by lighting a fire, so it's not hot 24 hours a day and not very powerful. Inside each ger, there is usually a simple wood burning stove, the same as in the homes of ordinary nomadic families, and you can light a fire if it's cold.
This 1700-kilometer route through varied and beautiful scenery is partly off-road. You will ride from one traditional ger camp to the next, staying in places of exceptional beauty or importance.
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and check-in at a hotel. In the afternoon or evening, meet the tour leader and the rest of group. Start pre-tour meeting. The meeting talks about day-by-day itinerary and safety issues. Overnight in a hotel.
Set out early morning and ride southeastwards, initially on the main asphalt road to Zuunmod town, then off into the wilderness. Outside the city, most people live the traditional nomadic lifestyle, moving several times a year with their herds of animals. You pass through only a couple of villages along the way. Arrive in Khogno Khan in the late evening. Overnight at the foot of the dramatic granite mountain.
Ride from Khogno Khan to Kharkhorin and spend an hour or two at Erdene Zuu. This is an active monastery and you will probably see the resident monks performing their morning rituals. Ride through the district of Tuvshuruulekh and Tsenkher to arrive at Tsetserleg town for a late lunch. Cross over Bulgan mountain pass to the ger camp beside the Tamir river and the sacred Taikhir Chuluu. Overnight in the ger camp.
Riding mainly on rough jeep tracks, you travel across the fertile rolling hills of Arkhangai Province, passing through the village of Chuluut. Ride on to Tariat village and over the bridge into the Khorgo and White Lake National Park. Go around the extinct volcano and over a small pass to the ger camp on the shores of the White Lake National Park.
Follow the rocky trail that runs along the northern shore and a little further to the salt water Country Lake nearby which are several ancient Stone Sculptures. There are usually a number of nomadic families and you will see how they live in this harsh environment. Return to the ger camp and enjoy afternoon relax by the lake.
Start the day by visiting the Cave of the Yellow Dog and climbing to the top of the Khorgo Volcano. Walk around the rim of the crater for fantastic views of the whole area including the lake and surrounding black lava field. Then ride back to Ikh-Tamir on a tarmac road, stopping on the way at Chuluut River Gorge. Overnight in Ikh-Tamir ger camp.
From Ikh-Tamir, ride along the valley following the Tamir river eastwards to Ögii Lake. This is an area of some historical significances since the princes of Mongolia's Turkic era (7th century) were based here and even now there are a number of ancient monuments including Deer Stones to be seen. Cross the Tamir River on a raft and arrive early afternoon for lunch. Overnight in the ger camp near the Ögii Lake.
Return to Ulaanbaatar, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. The first 20 kilometers are across open steppe on the rough tracks you have become used to. After Dashinchilen, the road has been surfaced, so the final stretch to the city should be a bit quicker. Overnight at a hotel.
This day will be your departure day.
It is important for you to be aware that motorbike hire is not included in the tour price. The cost to rent a KTM 450 EXC motorcycle is 130 USD per day. This can be paid in cash on arrival.
You will visit the "Cave of the Yellow Dog" on the 6th day.
This tour will take place in Mongolia, from Ulaanbaatar to Zuunmod, Khogno Khan, Kharkhorin, Erdene Zuu, Tsetserleg, Ikh-Tamir, Khorgo and White Lake National Park, Country Lake, the Cave of the Yellow Dog, Khorgo Volcano, Ögii Lake, and back to Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolia is most famous for its remote location and for its greatest hero, Genghis Khan. Both have influenced the culture and development of the nation in such way as to make it a unique and fascinating place which has retained its own identity despite its position sandwiched between giant neighbors Russia and China.
Kharkhorin in Central Mongolia was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century during the days of Genghis Khan. Several centuries later, a large Buddhist monastery was founded here.
This mysterious pinnacle of granite rises abruptly from the flat grassland of the gravel spreads of the Tamir River. There is no agreement among geologists on the origin of this puzzling phenomenon.
The lake was formed when torrents of lava from the Khorgo volcano blocked the north and south rivers, thus forming the dammed lake of "Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur" at an altitude of 2,060 meters above sea level.
This extinct volcano lies at an altitude of 2,240 meters, east of the White Lake in a national park. The volcanic crater is 200-meter wide and 100-meter deep; the northern slope is covered with Siberian larch.
You will be served all meals except in Ulaanbaatar. If you tell Bike Mongolia beforehand, Bike Mongolia can manage most kinds of special diet. The cooks are professionals and are quite used to vegetarians.
Bike Mongolia can arrange your travel if you would like to travel to Mongolia from Moscow or Beijing on the infamous Trans-Siberian train. Another train ride is from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, east to west, it is equally exciting, but the journey takes only 35 hours, 1356 kilometers. As the train passes through Mongolia, it is sometimes called the Trans-Mongolian train.