A Gay Mongolia Cultural Vistas Tour. The vast open steppes, deserts, and hills of Mongolia beckon us to explore their secrets on our gay Mongolian tour. During our tour, local nomadic people will show us what they are most proud of. This will include the unique design of their flexible gers (yurts), and their annual Naadam Festival of wrestling, archery, and horseback riding. We will also explore the land’s ancient history through dinosaur fossils, Bronze Age petroglyphs, and wild horses.
Sitting in the heart of Asia lies Mongolia, a vast area of grasslands (steppes), deserts, and hills that comprise the most sparsely populated country on earth. Since the soil in most of the country is not suitable for farming, the people long ago adapted to a nomadic lifestyle. They move between locations based on the seasons, adapting to warm summers and very cold winters. For living quarters, they perfected the design of gers (yurts) that can be moved with the family each season. With their adaptability to nature and prowess in horseback riding and archery, they have sometimes been formidable adversaries to their neighbors.
We start and end our tour in a hotel in Ulaanbaatar, where half the population lives. In between, we will enjoy very comfortable accommodations in gers from which we can enjoy views of the wide-open spaces and natural environment in this sparsely populated land. The most famous Mongolian was Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan) who conquered much of Asia around 1200 AD, even establishing the Mongol Dynasty in China.
During our gay Mongolia tour, we will explore this diverse landscape, as well as immerse ourselves in the unique Mongolian culture.
Day 1 -
Welcome to Mongolia!
Our transfer driver will take us to our hotel to relax after our long flights.
We will have an informal meeting this evening with anyone whose flight arrives early enough to join us.
Day 2 -
Today we will explore Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar, the country’s only metropolitan center.
We will visit the Gandan Buddhist Monastery in the morning and the National Museum of Mongolia in the afternoon.
This evening, we will enjoy our welcome dinner. We will see a traditional Mongolian folk concert with dance and traditional throat singing.
Day 3 -
After an early morning flight to Dalanzadgad in the South Gobi Desert, we will drive to our deluxe ger camp to rest up while soaking in the ambiance of the Gobi Desert.
Later, we will drive to the Yol Valley (Yolyn Am), an oasis that is as green and lush as the dunes were barren. The valley has a river running through it which remains partially frozen as late as June!
This unique eco-system contains a variety of wildlife, such as cute voles, the Altai snowcock, the Bighorn Argali Sheep, the wild ibex ram, wolves, and foxes. High above soars the Lammergeier vulture, for which the valley is named. There are even occasional reports of snow leopard tracks in the area.
We will take a leisurely walk through the valley, then return to our deluxe ger camp for dinner.
Day 4 -
After a good night’s sleep, we will visit a local nomadic family in their seasonal home. They will talk with us about nomadic family life in the desert, as well as joys and problems that they face in the modern era.
Next, we will visit the world-famous dinosaur fossils found in 1922 at the “Flaming Cliffs” (bayanzag in Mongolian). American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, whom some say was the model for Indiana Jones, discovered not only intact dinosaur bones, but also the first dinosaur eggs ever to be discovered.
The Flaming Cliffs, so aptly named, are red in color and almost seem to glow in the rising or setting sun. As you wander through here, keep your eyes peeled for geodes. Some fossils are still being discovered today!
In the evening, we will head back to our ger camp for dinner.
Day 5 -
After breakfast, we will head deep into the Gobi Desert (about a 4-hour drive) to visit the famous Khongor Sand Dunes. As we approach, they will gradually come into view from far away. We will check into our ger camp and have lunch before heading to the dunes.
These constantly shifting sand dunes tower as high as 300 feet above the surrounding land and stretch for almost 100 miles! They are called “singing dunes” because of the resonant sounds they make when strong gusts of wind shift sand across the slopes. When we climb the dunes, you can make the dunes sing by shifting the sand with your feet. Here we will watch the sunset shine its ever-changing colors on the sand. Then we will head to our ger camp for a well-deserved dinner.
Day 6 -
After breakfast, we will return to the dunes for a ride on the camels of a local herder family for anyone interested!
After lunch at our ger camp, we will say goodbye to the sand dunes and head toward the Gobi Mirage ger camp. Along the way, we will stop at Khavtsgait, an area that contains Bronze Age petroglyphs. We will hike about 40 minutes up to these ancient carvings, where we can also enjoy views across the endless expanse of grass.
Later, we will return to our original deluxe ger camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 7 -
We will take another early morning flight back to the capital, then head to Terelj National Park. This area is the southern tip of the Siberian boreal forest known as the taiga and is a stark contrast with the Gobi Desert.
We will have lunch at one of the park camps, then dinner at our hotel.
Day 8 -
We will spend the day driving through the park to absorb the beautiful landscape, pausing for short treks to get a closer view of this unique environment. We will see unique rock formations, including the famous turtle rock which has an uncanny resemblance to a huge turtle. We will also climb 108 stone steps to the Ariyabal Buddhist temple, where Mongolian monks who practice Tibetan Buddhism gather to meditate and pray.
After lunch, we will go to Tsonjin Boldog, a large, metal statue of Chinggis Khan. Inside the statue there is an elevator to the top offering a great view of the area. Later, we can enjoy a short horse ride in the area before returning to our hotel for dinner.
Day 9 -
In the morning, we will leave Terelj National Park and head towards a nomadic ger camp where a private Naadam festival will be held just for us! This festival will portray the three sports of Horse racing, wrestling, and archery, with locals competing against each other. There will also be some other activities such as ankle bone flicking (Mongolia’s version of miniature bowling).
After the festivities and lunch, we will head to our Japanese-owned and Mongolian-managed ultra luxury camp. Each room is a luxurious villa cottage inspired by the traditional gers, with a large living room looking out over the ocean of grass. After a relaxing afternoon enjoying the camp’s amenities, we’ll have dinner at the resort.
Day 10 -
This morning we will visit a ger camp where for a presentation about traditional Mongolian life in the grasslands. These activities will include making Mongolian vodka, loading up a camel to transport their gers, drying of leather, and breaking in of horses.
After lunch at the camp, we will return to our resort for our last restful evening gazing out at the vast grasslands of the Mongolian countryside.
Day 11 -
After a relaxing morning at our resort, we will return to Ulaanbaatar for our last night in Mongolia.
The afternoon will be on your own to get some souvenirs or explore more of UB.
After an informal dinner together, our guide will take anyone who is interested to a local gay bar.
Day 12 -
Today we all start our journey home or to our next destination.
Transfers will be provided based on flight times. Bon, voyage!