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China and Mongolia. Two capitals, the Great Wall and nomadic life in the Gobi Desert

13 +2 to transfer

Tour description

See the main treasures of two grand empires and enjoy nomadic life among the vast expanses of the Great Steppe.

  • Explore the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in Beijing and take a walk around Ulaanbaatar
  • Meet real shamans and watch Buddhist ceremonies in lost monasteries 
  • Immerse yourself in nomadic life, spending the night in yurts of hospitable locals
  • Walk along the Great Wall of China, where we will be the only visitors
  • Visit Karakorum - the capital of Genghis Khan, from where he ruled his gigantic empire

Tour departures

19 July 2022 - 31 July 2022

The price of the tour includes

All transportation during the trip Accommodation in hotels, yurts and monasteries during the entire trip Tickets to all palaces, parks and other attractions mentioned in the itinerary All breakfasts and lunches in Mongolia Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included

Flight to Beijing and back home (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals) Flight from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar ($150-250) Insurance (mandatory) Visa to China Food ($10-15 per person per day).

Tour itinerary

Day 1

Beijing, Hutong, a medieval district, Tiananmen square, Forbidden City

We arrive in Beijing and check into a hotel in a historical hutong - a medieval district. We begin our group trip to China and Mongolia with a walk along the narrow streets, where we will watch locals go about their daily life and peeking into small cafes and shops. Next, we head to the main square of the country, which is considered the largest in the world - Tiananmen. In the West, it became famous after the dispersal of a demonstration here in 1989. Of course, now nothing here reminds of the events of those days. 

We walk to the Forbidden City - the residence of the emperor, which consists of 980 buildings! The last ruler of China, Puyi was expelled from this palace in 1924. We reach the Temple of Heaven. It was built for the prayers of the emperor and his family, because the Chinese believed that the ruler had a special connection with Heaven and could implore intercession from the gods for the whole country. 

In the evening we will walk along the hutong and have dinner at a restaurant popular among locals where they cook excellent Peking duck. Delicious! And we will be the only foreigners here.

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Day 2

The Great Wall of China

In the morning we take a train to Badalin (1 hour on the way). Yes, this is the most popular part of the Great Wall of China, but we will also reach parts of the Wall where tourists do not come at all and where we will be the only visitors! But first, you should definitely see the crowds of selfie lovers! 

The wall goes up and down, offering wonderful views on both sides. According to the plan of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang-di, who lived back in the 3rd century BC, the Wall was to protect the empire from hostile tribes of nomads. It was built over many centuries. The part that we will be exploring, for example, was erected in 1504. We return to Beijing (1 hour by train) and take an evening flight to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia where we will check into a hotel.

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Day 3

Ulaanbaatar, Gandan monastery, Sacred stone heaps ovoo and shamans , Concert of traditional music and dance

In the morning we take a walk in the main square of Ulaanbaatar, and then head to the National Museum of History to learn about the nation`s fascinating history. From the primitive people who covered their caves with unique drawings, to the legendary Genghis Khan and the Soviet Union - in just an hour. But the reality is much more interesting than any museum! 

We go to the Gandan monastery, which was the only open monastery in the country in communist times. If you were in Tibet, then you will be greatly surprised at how much everything here reminds of the monasteries there. All bacause the Mongols profess Tibetan Buddhism. Believers from all over the country turn with prayers to the 26-meter statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, a disciple of Buddha, who vowed to rid all the living creatures from the suffering and help them achieve enlightenment ... 

Despite Buddhism, ancient shamanistic traditions have been preserved in Mongolia. We will begin to get acquainted with them in a unique place on the top of the hill - ovoo, where shamans make their offerings to the spirits. Next, we explore the palace of the ruler of the country, Bogd Khan, who ruled Mongolia until 1924 and get to the roof of a skyscraper. In the evening, a concert of traditional Mongolian music and dance awaits us.

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Is this trip for you?

This trips is of average level of physical activity, suitable for people in normal physical shape. We will walk a lot and take a short flight from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar. The route includes jeep rides lasting from 3 to 5-6 hours, as well as one horseback ride lasting about 3 hours. In Beijing and Ulan Bator we will live in a 3 * class hotel. We will spend other nights in very simple conditions in the yurts of local residents, and also spend the night in a remote monastery. In yurts and monasteries shower and toilet are located outside. This trip will be difficult for people who do not eat meat. If you are a vegetarian, we advise you to buy food in Ulaanbaatar and take it with you to the Gobi desert.

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