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Mountain Biking - Mongolia

Length: 15 days
Area:
 Central Mongolia 
Date: 20 Jul - 04 Aug
Distance: cycling:  km

Grade: Active trip requiring cycling fitness 40-65 km (25-40 miles) per day
Travel: 540 km over. Cycling days 10 ( 1 rest day included)

Day1. 20 Jul. Catch train to Erdenet cityDay2. 21 Jul. Cycling
Day3. 22 Jul. Cycling
Day4. 23 Jul. Cycling
Day5. 24 Jul. Cycling
Day6. 25 Jul. Cycling
Day7. 26 Jul. Cycling
Day8. 27 Jul. Cycling
Day9. 28 Jul. Cycling and Tsenkher Hot Spa
Day10. 29 Jul. Cycling
Day11. 30 Jul. Cycling
Day12. 31 Jul. Relaxing day
Day13. 01 Aug. Karakorum
Day14. 02 Aug. Back to UB.

Day1. 20 Jul. Catch train to Erdenet city

Trip briefing by trip leader. Afternoon free time in town before boarding the overnight train to Erdenet –  Mongolia’s third largest city and home to one of the largest copper mines in the world.  Overnight in comfortable sleeping compartments on the train.
 
Day2. 21 Jul. Cycling

Our train arrives early in the morning and our support vehicles and crew meet us.  It is a short drive through the town where we stop for breakfast and set up the bikes. From here we start cycling and quickly find ourselves in the countryside cycling on smooth dirt tracks.  The small township of Bugat makes a convenient lunch stop. Our road now takes us through a pine forest and over a small but a bit steep pass to emerge at Taliin Tolgoi well where we will camp tonight. (Distance: 50km, accumulated distance: 50km)
 
Day3. 22 Jul. Cycling

After our first night near local herding families we cycle through undulating country before descending to a bridge over the Altaan (Golden) River.  Rock formations in the area hint towards a volcanic past.  The riverbanks make an idyllic spot for a picnic lunch. It is a long gentle climb to Tuluugiin pass where we will experience a dramatic change of scenery as the forests give way to open steppe, at least for a while.  We continue and stop by two extinct volcanoes Mt Uran and Mt Togoo to camp for the night. (Distance 70km, accumulated 120km)
 
Day4. 23 Jul. Cycling

Today, as we pass through undulating country, past small lakes and herds of horses.  We stop for lunch at a rocky outcrop named – Eagle.  After lunch we continue on the southern side of Mt Khairkhan (1862m) and make camp in a small natural dip beneath Kholboogiin pass (1649m). (Distance 55km, accumulated 175km)
 
Day5. 24 Jul. Cycling

It is a short climb in the morning up to the pass then we wind down gentle river valleys before emerging at the township of Khairkhan, from here it is just 10km to a small lake where we will camp the night. (Distance 45km, accumulated 220km)
 
Day6. 25 Jul. Cycling

We are now in the Khanuin river valley and make good progress on smooth dirt tracks, stopping for a spot of fishing at lunchtime and numerous stops to visit local herders. Overnight in the upper reaches of the river valley, beneath Mt Chingeltei. (Distance 55km, accumulated 275km)
 
Day7. 26 Jul. Cycling

Today we have a short climb to the headwaters of Khunjiin River, and then it is downhill to Tamir River.  After lunch on the banks of the river, we load the truck to get us and the bikes across – riding a horse across the river is always an option for those who are game!  We camp tonight on the banks of the Tamir River, not far from Ikh Tamir, or ‘Great Rock’ – as we will see. (Distance 50km, accumulated 325km)
 
Day8. 27 Jul. Cycling

Today is a half-day, and our destination is a beautiful shady campsite outside the capital town of Arhangai – Tsetserleg.  No rest for the wicked though, despite today’s modest distance of 25km, we start by crossing a short sharp pass (300m) before making a long decent to the town of Tsetserleg.  After establishing our camp on the riverbank and lunch, we have a free afternoon to relax by the river, swim, fish – or head into town to explore the bright lights. Tented camp. (Distance 25km, accumulated 350km)
 
Day9. 28 Jul. Cycling and Hot Spa

We are now close to the Khangai Mountains and a relatively short ride takes us to the foothills.  The rolling country of Arhangai has been replaced by forested hills of larch and pine with dramatic alpine peaks in the distance.  Arriving at our destination at noon, we have the afternoon to enjoy the facilities of a germ camp at Tsenger Jiguur springs, complete with Japanese bathhouse – a dash of luxury in the middle of our Mongolian odyssey!  Overnight in traditional Mongolian gers. (Distance 25km, accumulated 375km)  
 
Day10. 29 Jul. Cycling

Our route now takes us into the heart of the Khangai Mountains, following well-marked 4WD trails.  Herders still inhabit the valleys, yet yaks have replaced cows as the milk-producing animals.  We follow picturesque valleys and camp in forest beneath Mt Ondor Khairkhan (2312m) (distance 60km, accumulated 435km)
 
Day11. 30 July. Cycling

Today we cross the Khangai Mountain range on good jeep tracks and drop down to the Orkhon River.  This river flows to the ancient capital, Karakorum, thence on to Lake Baikal and further northwards to the Artic Ocean.  Overnight camp by the Orkhon River. (Distance 60km, accumulated 485km)
 
Day12. 31 Jul. Relaxing day.

Today is a free day camped besides the beautiful Orkhon River, a day for fishing, hiking, biking (!) or just relaxing at camp.  The region has many ancient burial grounds and hiking into the hills exploring for these is a great option. Dinner then camp overnight.
                        
Day13. 01 Aug. Karakorum

We head down the Orkhon River, making a beeline for Karakorum.  Chinggis Khan chose a fertile plain on the Orkhon River to build the capital city for his empire.  ‘Karakorum’ is derived from a Turkic language and means Black Rock, and shares this name with mountains in Pakistan.  It is smooth riding besides the banks of the river, which we cross a number of times.  Arriving in the ancient capital after lunch, we check into the Karakorum Ger camp for hot showers and well-earned rest.  This afternoon we head out to explore Erdene Zuu monastery, the largest and most famous monastery in Mongolia. Erdene Zuu Monastery was built in 1586 under the direction of Abtai Khan on the ruins of the ancient capital.  Much of the monastery was destroyed during Stalinist purges of the 1930’s, but an impressive wall with 108 stupas and a number of temples still remain. Overnight in traditional Mongolian gers. (Distance 45km, accumulated 540km)
 
Day14. 02 Aug. Back to Ulaanbaatar

Early start this morning travelling by 4Wd van to hit the road back to Ulaanbaatar, stopping at the Mongol Els to run up and down sand dunes.

Price:

Please carefully check what is include and what is not include in these prices!
 
2120 USD p.p

Single Supplement: 220 USD

Included: 16 nights in tourist ger camp, food service, land transportation, English speaking guide service, mineral water, all entrance fees and Government charges, all activities costs, Mountain bike rental – (New bikes to be purchased). 21 speed bike with front suspension
Not included: gratuities for staffs, personal expenses, travel insurance

Child Policy: 0 - 3 years old baby free of charge, 4 - 12 years old child: 30% discount (counted as 1pax)

Remark:

Tour conditions and support: On this trip we travel at an easy pace, cycling 6-7.5 hours a day including lunch break of approximately an hour. The terrain is primarily mixed, forest, passes and open steppe grassland – dotted with the gers of nomadic herders. Roads are smooth hard pack 4WD tracks; mostly back roads although we travel on main roads for short sections in places. The tour is supported by our 4WD vans carrying group camping equipment, camp and cooks staff, cyclists’ baggage. Meals are prepared by professional chefs and catered in a communal dining tent. Camp facilities also include toilet and a wash tent. Camping is in roomy two-person dome tents- you should bring your own sleeping bag and thermarest. A bicycle is included in this tour- we have fleet of 21 speed………………………….bikes with front suspension. You may bring your own bike if you prefer.

Safety first: A comprehensive first aid kit accompanies each trip, and our staff is trained in first aid. Support vehicles are fitted with two-way radio communication. Telephones are available along the route and major base hospitals are located in Erdenet, Tsetserleg and Karakorum. This being said-Mongolia is a safe country and incidents other than bicycle accidents are highly unlikely.

Accommodation: In the countryside we use comfortable dome tents, twin share unless you have requested a single tent. Overnight camps include a kitchen tent, dining tent, and toilet tent and wash tent. Some nights, according to the itinerary, will be spent in ger camps. These are professionally managed camps where we will stay in traditional Mongolian gers (yurt) and eat in a separate dining ger. In Ulaanbaatar we stay at the comfortable ……………………… Hotel. Clients are expected to pitch and strike their own tents, and while it is in no way compulsory to help with camp chores, any assistance will be warmly welcomed.

Food: In the countryside our support vehicles will carry the kitchen, food supplies, kitchen staff including a professional chef. Meals are western style with strong Asian influence and including plenty of fresh vegetables. Breakfast is typically cereals, toast and a hot dish. Lunches are on the road; sandwiches, cheese, meats and salad. Dinners are a variety of vegetable, meat, potatoes and pasta dishes. Purified drinking water is supplied on all cycling days as are tea, coffee and fruit drinks. Dining in Ulaanbaatar is excellent as we have Mongolian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Russian, French and Mexican restaurants.

Health and Safety: Mongolia is a very safe country to travel in and security is not an issue to be concerned about-the occasional herder who has consumed a little too much fermented mare’s milk is the only likely annoyance. In any event our camps are staffed at all times. A first aid kit will join the trip, however it is recommended that you bring some basics; plasters, panadol, Advil or Tylenol and any prescription medication that you are taking. Support vehicles will carry filtered water during the whole trip. Mild stomach complaints can be expected from trying the many different dairy products available from herders homes – these are usually simply from a change of diet and are unlikely to be lasting long.

Travel insurance: Please bring copy of your travel insurance certificate to leave in our office during the trip.

What to bring: Checklist of what to bring and leave at home is on our website. It is advisable not to forget about the presents for local herders-colored pens, drawing books, practical things for around the household/kitchen are usually what make you the star of the group.

Weather: Mongolia has been wet so far this summer, so grass is green and animals are fattening nicely. Daytime temperatures will be 25-30 degrees C on fine sunny days; hot days in the Gobi can reach 35 deg C. Days are generally windstill in the summer. Wet days can be expected-even in the Gobi, with temperatures around 17-20 deg C though don’t last long. Good sunscreen is essential for the sunny days.

What to expect

Many Mongolians are laidback and friendly people and very open towards foreigners. There will be many opportunities to interact with Nomadic herders. Mongolia is a developing country and many challenges present themselves. Delays and breakdowns are possible; efforts are taken to ensure that the impact on your holiday is minimized.  

Final word…

Come with a holiday mind – relax and enjoy!

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