Experience

Become a Lost Explorer in Mongolia

All of us go through times where the thrum of the modern day and the buzz of constant connectivity can become too much. Sometimes, we just need to shut it all out as we hit pause and escape to another world. For times like those, there’s Mongolia. Partnering with The Lost Explorer, we’ve been inspired to curate a 10-day immersion into the lives and traditions of the country’s nomadic communities, travelling across the singing sands of the Gobi desert into the tranquillity of vast national parks – all with our experts’ knowledge to guide you. Venture into places so remote that even Google can’t pinpoint them and spend time living with local families, discovering their way of life – and turning your hand to it too. A trip to Mongolia will calm your senses as you disconnect from the distractions of the modern day and retreat to a simpler way of being.

The Sounds of the Desert

Arriving into Ulaanbaatar, get a bit of cultural background to your adventure with a visit to the National History Museum and Chinggis Khan Square before flying out to Dalanzadgad, the capital of the Gobi Province the next morning. A short drive away, Khongoryn Els is home to the biggest sand dunes of the Gobi desert – also known as the Singing Sands for the sounds that the dunes make when you walk across them.

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After an overnight stay at Gobi Erdene Camp, the next morning you’ll visit a local camel herder and head straight to Gobi Lodge. Settle into your ger before driving to Bayanzag, a series of red sandstone formations that stretch over 3 kilometres in width where hundreds of dinosaur fossils have been discovered, where you’ll have a Mongolian palaeontologist to show you around.

Saddle Up

The next morning, you’ll head through the high valley walls in Yolyn Am National Park into its icy canyons before flying back to Ulaanbaatar and heading out east to the iconic statue of Chinggis Khaan on horseback. Here, you’ll make like Khan himself and saddle up your steed to make your way by horseback through Gorkhi Terelj National Park. Ride over mountain passes, across a river and through wooded glades and flowering meadows, before coming to the site of a Shaman Ovoo, where it is customary to add a rock and a circle for good luck. After several hours’ horse trekking, your camp tonight brings a touch of eco-luxury. Tucked away in a protected area of Gorkhi Terelj, Jalman Meadows Ger Camp offers a tranquil getaway in the depths of Mongolia where you can spend your days rafting along the Tuul River before relaxing in the library ger with a traditional game of Ankle Bones.

Go Local

From the national park, you’ll then link up with a nomadic family in Bayandelger with whom you’ll spend the next two days, embracing the local nomadic culture. Welcoming you with a traditional lunch, Oidov and Gerlee will open up their home to you as you become one of the family. Join them in their day-to-day errands as you swap dry-cleaning for herding cattle before learning how to make fermented airag milk and traditional buuz dumplings which you’ll then enjoy for dinner while Oidov regales you with his tales of life as a horse trainer in the home of the Mongol Derby.

The Call of the Wild

Tomorrow, you’ll join a local park ranger at Gun Galuut Nature Reserve where you’ll set out in search of Argali sheep. As elusive as they are iconic, these local creatures are easily recognisable for their large curled horns which make for perfect protection against any golden eagles that may swoop in to steal their young.  After bidding farewell to Oidov and Gerlee, you’ll then make your way back to Ulaanbaatar, where you’ll join an expert guide for a visit to the famous Black Market, a home for all manner of nomadic goods. After sampling local delicacies from the food section, enjoy the rest of the afternoon to tick off any remaining ‘must-see’ sites before sitting down to a traditional music and dance performance in the evening ahead of a farewell dinner.

A trip that has no doubt hit the reset button, it’s enough to convince you to escape city living once and for all.