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Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World

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Cultural Series Description
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"The scenery is gorgeous and it was a treat to be able to have some time to walk and to see things up close. The people were so friendly and I was impressed by how many spoke English. All of this was above and beyond what we ever expected. Our sincere thanks to all responsible for such elegant treatment. We are already spreading good words about MIR."

Shirley N Bosmajian

Severna Park, MD

The peoples of the Mongolian steppe and of the Tibetan Plateau have much in common. Both espouse Tibetan Buddhism and unfurl painted silk thangkas on festival days.  Both were originally nomads, the Mongolians relying on the horse and the Tibetans on the yak for sustenance. From the "Roof of the World" to the Gobi Desert, dive deep into both enduring cultures.

Days 1-3: Beijing

The journey begins with a two-night stay in Beijing, exploring the classic sites including the Forbidden City. Fly to the Tibetan Plateau and drive to Tsetang.

Day 4: Tsetang, Yarlung Valley

In the shadow of Mount Gampo, tour the Drepung Monastery, home to 500 monks. Explore the cradle of Tibetan civilization in the beautiful Yarlung Valley. Visit the 8th century Samye Monastery, its three floors presenting the different styles of Tibetan, Indian and Chinese Buddhism.

Days 5-6: Lhasa

Drive to the “City of the Sun,” Lhasa, Tibet’s nearly 12,000-foot-high capital. Explore the UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, and the Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s most sacred site. Encircling the Jokhang is the traditional Barkhor Market, Lhasa’s central trading area for hundreds of years.

Days 7-12: UlaanBaatar, Gobi Desert

Fly to the Mongolian capital of UlaanBaatar via Beijing, and on to the Gobi Desert. Motoring across lands once roamed by Genghis Khan’s mounted warriors, admire the sand dunes, Yol Valley and the Flaming Cliffs. At a nomadic family’s ger, perhaps taste yogurt made from camel’s milk.

Days 13-14: UlaanBaatar

Back again in UlaanBaatar, explore the Gandan Monastery and attend a concert of Mongolian throat-singing before celebrating the journey from the mountains to the steppe at a farewell dinner.

Trip Details

Length of Trip: 14 Days
Departures in 2013: 2
Dates: May 25-June 7, 2013
  August 17-30, 2013
Land Tour Cost:  
6-16 travelers $5,495
Plus internal air

(economy class, subject to change)
Single Supplement $1,250
No Hidden Costs!

MIR Signature Experiences

  • Spin the sacred bronze prayer wheels in TIbet’s remote monasteries
  • Sip tea in a traditional nomadic ger with a local Mongolian family
  • Witness first-hand the unique art of camel milking in the Gobi


Day Activity  
Days 1-2: Beijing  
Day 3: Fly to Lhasa, drive to Tsetang  
Day 4: Tsetang, Samye Monastery, drive to Lhasa  
Days 5-6: Lhasa  
Day 7: Fly to Beijing via Chengdur  
Day Activity  
Day 8: Fly to UlaanBaatar  
Day 9: Fly to the Gobi  
Days 10-12: Gobi Desert, with day trip to Khongoryn Els  
Day 13: Fly to UlaanBaatar  
Day 14: UlaanBaatar  

List of Highlights
Beijing Forbidden City (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Tiananmen Square, Hutong tour
Tsetang Tibet Yarlung Valley, Samye Monastery
Lhasa Potala Palace (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Jokhang Temple, Barkhor street and market area, Hospital of Tibetan Medicine, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Norbulingka (Dalai Lama’s summer palace)
UlanBaatar National History Museum, Gandan Monastery
Gobi Desert Three Camel Ger Camp eco-lodge, Flaming Cliffs, “Singing Sands” of Khongoryn Els, hike in Yolyn Am canyon, camel ride, visit with a local nomadic family

Suggested Extensions

Extend your stay in Mongolia to visit Kara Korum, or come early to explore more of Beijing. Contact us for details.

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Some images on this page courtesy Helge Pedersen

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