Distant Routes and Memorable Moments:  Travel to China, Mongolia, Tibet and Beyond

Distant Routes and Memorable Moments: Travel to China, Mongolia, Tibet and Beyond

MIR travelers crisscross Asia from Kashgar in the lowlands of Western China, to Lhasa, Tibet, one of the highest major cities in the world, and from the pervasive tranquility of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert to the boisterous streets of Beijing.

Each place is distinct and features a broad range of signature experiences:
  • Drive from Lhasa through the Tibetan highlands to sacred cities and shrines, then admire Western China’s Mogao Caves, presenting a thousand-year study in the development of Buddhist art (experience this).
  • Sip tea in a traditional nomadic ger with a local Mongolian family, then bask in the exotic stillness of Lhasa’s Buddhist monasteries, where yak-butter candles flicker (experience this).
  • Cheer for the wrestlers, jockeys and archers at Mongolia’s Naadam Festival; marvel at the expanse of rolling steppe in Kara Korum, the legendary capital of Genghis Khan; and climb the sands at Moltsog Els, some of the Gobi’s rare dunes (experience this).
  • Travel on your own schedule through Tibet, exploring Samye Monastery in Tsetang, UNESCO-listed Potala Palace in the holy city of Lhasa, the 14th century fortress at Gyantse and Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse (experience this).

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Four hand-crafted MIR itineraries explore these far-flung places:

MIR also specializes in custom, private tours of these destinations.  Contact our Private Journey department or complete a custom travel form.

 

China’s Silk Route & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants
Tibetan monk with ritual cups <br>Photo credit: Phil Kidd

Tibetan monk with ritual cups
Photo credit: Phil Kidd

Explore the Tibetan Plateau on MIR’s small group tour: China’s Silk Route & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants. This splendid circular route includes:

  • Tours of Tibet’s sacred cities, Tsetang, Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse
  • A ride on the high-altitude train from Lhasa down to Lanzhou
  • A drive from Lhasa through the Tibetan highlands to sacred Yamdrok Lake, said to be the incarnation of a goddess
  • A camel ride around Dunhuang’s Crescent Moon Lake in Western China
  • An exploration of Kashgar’s legendary Sunday Animal Market with its brilliant conjunction of traders, clients and living merchandise

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Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World
Barkhor Market in Lhasa, Tibet

Barkhor Market in Lhasa, Tibet
Photo credit: Julia Rindlaub

From Tibet’s “Roof of the World” to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, dive deep into both enduring cultures on MIR’s small group tour: Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World.

  • Travel overland in Tibet and discover a less commonly visited region, including Tsetang with its isolated Samye Monastery.
  • Bask in the exotic stillness of Lhasa’s Buddhist monasteries, where fragrant incense burns and yak butter candles flicker.
  • Bargain with locals in the Barkhor Market, striking deals on everything from prayer wheels to coral jewelry.
  • Sip tea in a traditional nomadic ger with a local Mongolian family.
  • Sleep in Mongolia’s famous ger camp, the award-winning Three Camel Lodge.
  • Follow in the footsteps of the renowned fossil hunters who braved the elements to change the face of paleontology.

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Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival
Opening ceremonies at Mongolia's Naadam Festival Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Opening ceremonies at Mongolia’s Naadam Festival
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Discover the vast expanses at the heart of Mongolia, from an overnight stay in a remote ger camp to the extraordinary Naadam Festival, on MIR’s small group tour, Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival.

  • Explore Mongolia’s blue pearl, Lake Hovsgol, home to reindeer herds of the Tsaatan nomads.
  • Marvel at the expanse of green rolling steppe as you visit Kara Korum, the legendary city of Genghis Khan.
  • Visit the home of a local nomad and perhaps sample airag, fermented mare’s milk.
  • Sip tea in the doorway of a traditional nomadic ger as you watch the sun set over the austere Gobi Desert.
  • Climb the sands at Moltsog Els, some of the Gobi’s rare dunes.
  • Stand in the shadow of the Flaming Cliffs, where the first nest of dinosaur eggs was discovered.
  • Cheer for the wrestlers, jockeys and archers of the Naadam Festival.
  • Hear the eerie, otherworldly sound of Mongolian throat-singing.

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Essential Tibet
Gyantse Fortress from Pelkhor Chode Monastery, Tibet <br>Photo credit: Phil Kidd

Gyantse Fortress from Pelkhor Chode Monastery, Tibet
Photo credit: Phil Kidd

On MIR’s Flexible Essential Private Trip, Essential Tibet, choose your dates to explore the holy city of Lhasa and the remote monasteries and sacred refuges hidden in the heart of the forbidding Tibetan Plateau.

  • Travel overland in Tibet and discover a less commonly visited region, including Tsetang with its isolated Samye Monastery.
  • Bask in the exotic stillness of Lhasa’s Buddhist monasteries, where fragrant incense burns and yakbutter candles flicker.
  • Bargain with locals in the Barkhor Market, striking deals on everything from prayer wheels to coral jewelry.

 (click on photo to see larger version) 


 

(Top photo: Group camel ride in Mongolia. Photo credit: Michel Behar)

PUBLISHED: December 2, 2014

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