You will have time to rest from your flight before our gala Welcome Dinner – and a full day to explore this amazing city, including the extraordinary Ming Tombs and China’s incomparable Great Wall.
From the never-ending bustle of Beijing to the remote wonder of Ulaanbaatar, your Journey today seems to take you back in time. A visit to the Soviet-built Zaisan War Memorial celebrates Victory Day of World War II and offers sweeping views of the city and countryside.
Gobi Desert (Flaming Cliffs), Mongolia
Our flight and drive this morning take us deep into the Gobi Desert, to Gobi Burvan Saikhan National Park and the unexpected lush green of Yol Valley. A horseback ride through the valley takes us to a view of the dramatic Gobi Glacier. Our home here for the next two nights is one of the world’s premier eco-lodges, a Mongolian-Buddhist style complex set in a stunning landscape. Our day excursion to Mongolia’s Flaming Cliffs, the Bayan Zagh, reveals some of the world’s most exceptional dinosaur discoveries, as well as the legendary cliffs, themselves, which seem to catch fire in the sun’s rays.
In this desert panorama, we will also visit a local camel breeder and witness nomadic traditions that have remained unchanged for thousands of years.
Gorkhi Terelj National Park, Mongolia
Today, we go to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, with singular experiences on our way. We will visit the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum, outside Ulaanbaatar and home to Mongolia’s eighth Living Buddha and last king. Among the treasures in the museum’s exotic collection is Mongolia’s 1911 Declaration of Independence from China.
En route to the park, we will stop for a privileged opportunity to visit a local nomadic family in their ger home and learn about their lifestyle. And tonight, fittingly, we will stay in one of the country’s most authentic settings, ger tents, also known as yurts.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (Naadam Festival)
Returning to Ulaanbaatar, we see a comprehensive overview of Mongolian history and culture at the Museum of National History of Mongolia. A special tour of the Natural History Museum provides insights to the people and geography of the Gobi Desert. A private evening visit to the Choijin Lama Religious Museum shares special Buddhist treasures and traditions.
A highlight of our Journey occurs on Day 8, when we are special guests at the Opening Ceremonies of Mongolia’s largest annual celebration, the Naadam Festival. The nation’s greatest athletes gather to compete in three honored sports – horseback riding (for which Mongolians are renown), wrestling, and archery. We are also guests at the evening Naadam concert and reception, where we’ll hear the haunting throat singers with their eerily beautiful acoustics.
We return to Beijing to explore more of this exciting city and enjoy our bittersweet Farewell Dinner as our Journey ends.
Beijing & Home
You will be escorted to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.
St. Regis Beijing, Beijing
Located just a few minutes from the Silk Market, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, the St. Regis Beijing is the hallmark of luxurious accommodations in China, with a rich tradition of exceptional service and hospitality. All guestrooms are beautifully furnished with a warm, inviting color scheme and have wonderful beds with duvets. Because of its excellence in hospitality, the St. Regis Beijing was noted as a 2014 Travel+Leisure World’s Best Hotel. A 2014 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel
Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
The Best Western Premier Tuushin experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of guests, since the genuine care and comfort of guests are the highest priority. Best Western strives to provide the finest personal service and facilities for guests who will always enjoy a warm and relaxed, yet refined ambiance.
Three Camel Lodge, Gobi Desert
The Three Camel Lodge is truly an oasis in the desert. Part traditional ger camp, part hotel, a stay here will be a journey highlight. The individual gers (tents) are traditional, with wood stoves and simple style furnishings. The main lodge is built to blend into the environs, ecologically minded with solar panel and a wind-powered generator. The buildings are located at foot of a small hill - a short walk up reveals ancient petroglyph drawings and an ideal sitting area to watch the glorious sunsets and sunrises that the Gobi Desert offers.
Gorkhi-Terelj Ger Camp, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Enjoy a mystical night experiencing the traditional nomadic lifestyle staying in a Mongolian ger. Join the nomadic Mongolians, and discover that there’s no better way to live to envelop yourself with the environment. The ger camps are comfortable and clean, but often have only shared restroom facilities. There is a separate and traditionally decorated dining ger, where traditional tasty local foods are served family style. Everyone gets a private tent - each spacious, in the shape of a circular dome, with comfortable beds, a fireplace or stove and simple, practical furniture.