EXPLORING THE ALTAI MOUNTAIN
Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority is the Kazakh people of the Altai, after Khalkh Mongols. These ethnics are pastoral, Turkic speaking and traditional Muslim people who live in the far western part of the country. Kazakhs live peacefully keeping their completely distinct customs and strict traditions. Most importantly they speak in their own language as Mongolian government gave them rights to keep their native language and religion. Traditional Kazakh gers are generally larger and beautifully decorated by creative Kazakh patterns. Kazakhs hunt on the horseback with trained golden eagles on their wrists and greyhounds slung across the saddle; eagle hunting game and pictures of eagle bearing Kazakhs are common scenery in the west. The hunters catch young female eagles around two years old and train them for their special hunting. Kazakhs are famous for its hospitality and friendliness like the Mongols.
Day 1. Arrival in UB, city tour /LD/ Hotel
Day 2. Fly to Bayan-Ulgii BLD/ Tent
Day 3. Altai tavan bogd /BLD/ Tent
Day 4. Altai mountains /BLD Tent
Day 5. Dayan lake /BLD/ Tent
Day 6. Khurgan lake /BLD/ Tent
Day 7. Tsengel khaikhan /BLD/ Tent
Day 8. Tsengel khairkhan /BLD/ Tent
Day 9. Tsengel khaikhan /BLD/ Tent
Day 10. Buyant river /BLD/ Tent
Day 11. Sagsai river /BLD/ Tent
Day 12. Sagsai village /BLD/ Tent
Day 13. Fly to UB /BLD/ Hotel
Day 14. Departure end of tour /B/
DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY
Day 1. Ulaanbaatar
Our team will greet you at the “Chinggis Khan” international airport. Transfer to the one of the best quality hotel in the downtown of Ulaanbaatar. After loosen up from your flight, we start our first day roaming excursion around Ulaanbaatar, the nation’s capital starting from Sukhbaatar square. This square is spirit of the capital and famous for its surroundings including Parliament House, National Opera Theatre, Cultural Palace and House of City Council. Our next move is to Zaisan Hill; this small hill provides wide open view of Ulaanbaatar. After busy afternoon, we will witness fascinating performance of traditional folk songs, throat singing, and beautiful melody of horse-headed fiddle, ethnic dances and arty contortion. Peaceful overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. Bayan Ulgii province
An early morning flight takes us to the remotest corner of Mongolia in the west; Bayan Ulgii province. The province is the last frontier and dominated geographically by the majestic Mongol Altai Mountain range. We land in Ulgii city, the province capital with classical style Government house, blocky apartments and ger districts with elements of Kazakh culture and mosque. Lunch in the city then we ride to the Altai soum area about 120km. Altai soum is a village settled between the rocky mountain. Population is consisted nearly equal of Kazakhs and Mongols. We establish our camp on the bank of crystal Sagsai river. Orientation meeting about the trekking routes and procedures. Overnight in the tent camp near the river.
After peaceful early morning breakfast at the camp, we start our trekking toward Altai Mountains in the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, extends over 632.2 ha, including Tsengel, Altai, Ulaan Khus and Sagsai soum. The Tavan Bogd (Five Holy Peaks) chain includes the highest peak in Mongolia, Khuiten Uul (4353m), which borders China and Russia. Today’s approximate distance of the trekking is 15-20km. Either horses or yaks will be used for transportation of the luggage. On the way to Altai mountain we experience wild alpine landscape with beautiful scenery. We will reach the foot of the Altai Mountain by afternoon. Overnight in the tent camp.
Day 4. Altai Mountains
After having breakfast under the beautiful sunrise, we start our day walking to the Yolt Mountain. On the way, we observe the spectacular beauty of the snow-capped Altai Mountain range and glaciers surrounding the mountains. The lush meadows between the mountains are carpeted with wild and sweet smelling flowers. Average elevation today is 10 000ft to 10 500ft equal to 3000-3200m. We reach in the Yolt Mountain Valley in the afternoon. Relax and overnight in the tent camp.
Day 5. Dayan Lake
Peaceful morning breakfast and we start our trek to Dayan lake. Dayan lake is a moraine lake 18kms long and fed by small rivers and snow waters. Near lake shore stands a very popular stone statue known as “Dayan the Pious” and behind it is the remains of the foundations of three square tombs. On the way we have an opportunity to visit Kazakh village and go into one of the homes of Kazakhs, local residents who domesticate golden eagles for hunting. In winter, eagle on wrist, they hunt wolves and foxes on horseback. We also have a chance to experience Kazakh music and melody of Doombor, traditional musical instrument and practice everyday life of Kazakhs. In the afternoon, we continue our trek with occasional rests towards mountain lake. Overnight in the tent camp near the lake.
Day 6. Khurgan Lake
We observe stunning mountain sunrise near the Dayan lake in the early morning. We start our trek to the direction of north. Today’s trek will across wildest territory of the region through the green pastures and empty wide spaces. Our trekking route will reach the extreme western edge of the country along the Russian and Kazakh border. We explore the neighborhood areas including hordes of cattle and horses. We reach Khurgan Lake in the late afternoon. Khurgan Lake is alpine lake dotted with islands, is 22 km long and 28m deep in places. Six rivers feed it, and the Khovd River flows from its eastern end. Overnight in the tent camp near the lake.
Day 7. Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain
Today’s trek will be an exceptional experience where you begin following the route to Tsengel Khairkhan, a mountain of breathtaking grandeur and charm. On the way to snowcapped Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain, we stop to visit Uriankhai family, a small ethnic group of Mongolia, which speaks different dialect from Khalkha Mongolian. We reach at the foothills of the dramatic Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain in the afternoon. Overnight in the tent camp.
Day 8. Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain
We start our roaming day around blessed Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain. Only a few local herdsmen know this beautiful and blessed mountain. We will receive warm welcome by local nomads over a cup of milk or yoghurt. If you wish you may sample local foods. Today our trek route will take us to the most spectacular mountain passes. We encounter herds of horses roaming free in the neighborhood. Overnight in the tent near the grandeur looking mountain.
Day 9. Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain
We have a full free day to explore rest of the area and opportunity to have a photography session. Average altitude of our trekking route is 92 000-10 000ft or 2800-3000m. We explore surrounding area of Tsengel Khairkhan, beautiful landscape and abundant wild life. We witness the alpine scenery, cool temperature and arid landscape on the way. Overnight in the tent camp near the mountain.
Day 10. Buyant River
After relaxing breakfast near the mountain, we start our day trek along the Buyant River. Buyant River is beautiful small river that is fed by Khar Lake. We trek down the Sagsai river and we may have an opportunity to experience wildlife such as wolf, ibex, fox, marmot, lynx, falcon and Altai snowcock and many others. In the summer time temperature is around +10+15 Celsius. Overnight in the tent camp near the river.
Day 11. Sagsai River
We start our trek along the Sagsai river. On the way, we will see herds of yaks, cattle, horses and sheep also, experience the Kazakhs tradition of taming golden eagles and their hospitality. Kazakhs are famous for their unique way to host their guests including salty tea and “kazi”- specially prepared horse meat dish and “bishmarmak” mutton with noodles. We overnight near the Sagsai river in the tent camp.
Day 12. Sagsai village
Today is our last day of trekking. We trek along the Sagsai river up to the village of Sagsai. Sagsai village is located on the bank of Khovd River. The population is mostly Kazakh with Mongolian minority. Many of the residents involve in herding and farming, many of the fresh vegetables sold in the province were grown in Sagsai. We visit one of the Kazakh families and experience the Kazakh’s cultural performance. In the evening we celebrate part dinner with Mongolian specialties. Overnight in the tent camp on the bank of Sagsai river.
Day 13. Ulgii/Ulaanbaatar
After peaceful breakfast on the bank of river, we start our 45 minutes ride to Ulgii city; a province capital is located on the Khovd River. We visit the local museum which is in the heart of the city. The museum is rich with flora and fauna exhibits, historical artifacts and Kazakh clothing and cultural items. We transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoon we arrive in Ulaanbaatar; the nation’s capital. Then we transfer to the hotel to have well deserved relax after our adventurous trekking in the Wild West. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 14. Departure
We end up our unforgettable journeys by transferring to the “Chinggis Khaan” International Airport
- 2nights hotel twin based in Ulaanbaatar
- Tent, mattress rent throughout the tour
- Cook and local guide throughout the tour
- Domestic flight to/from Bayan-Ulgii
- Arrival and departure private transfer
- All meals mentioned on the itinerary
- Professional tour guide throughout the tour
- Transportation throughout the tour
- Sightseeing per itinerary
- Entrance fee to the national park
- 2 bottles of water per day
- International flight
- Travel insurance
- Personal expense
- All drinks
- Sleeping bag
TOUR PACKAGE PRICE /per person/USD
2 pax – 3987 USD
3-5 pax - 3486 USD
6-9 pax – 2568 USD
10-15 pax – 1999 USD