Traditions of Mystic Tibet and Nomadic Mongolia

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.

Please note

This itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival.

Day Trip

  • Private Journey
    No minimum number of travelers
  • Travels to:
    China, Mongolia, Tibet
  • Private Journey:
    Beijing to Ulaanbaatar

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Ascend to the “Roof of the World,” the Tibetan Plateau
    Ascend to the “Roof of the World” and become acquainted with the Holy City of Lhasa....
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  • Bargain with local Tibetans in the Barkhor Market
    Bargain with locals in the Barkhor Market, striking deals on everything from prayer wheels to coral jewelry....
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  • Sip tea in a ger in the Gobi
    Sip tea in the doorway of a traditional nomadic ger as you watch the sun set over the vast expanse of the Gobi Desert...
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  • Gaze upon the dazzling Flaming Cliffs
    Admire the Flaming Cliffs, named for their red-gold luminescence in the rays of the setting sun, where the first nest of dinosaur eggs was discovered....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over two decades of Mongolia travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Princeton and Dartmouth have chosen MIR to guide them to Mongolia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers whom clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: 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.


  • Classic sights of Beijing – Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square

Day 3: Tsetang, Yarlung Valley

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.


  • Samye Monastery, Tibet’s first monastery, built in the 8th century by King Trisong Detsen
  • Yumbulagang, considered the oldest building in Tibet and the first palace
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Days 4-6: 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.


  • UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, with thousands of altars and statues
  • Jokhang Temple, the most sacred site in Tibet since the 7th century
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Days 7-12: Beijing, UlaanBaatar, Gobi Desert

Return to Beijing and fly onward to the Mongolian capital of UlaanBaatar for an en route overnight, 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.


  • Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia’s premier ger camp in the Gobi
  • Khongoryn Els, one of the Gobi’s rare regions of sand dunes
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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.


  • National History Museum, an overview of Mongolia’s history and culture
  • Gandan Monastery, with the 20-ton gilded statue of “the Lord Who Looks in Every Direction”
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices

There are no departures available at this time.

Please contact us for more information and a MIR Destination Specialist will contact you shortly. Thank you!

Please note

This itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival.

Group Size

This itinerary is available on a custom, private basis. Contact us for more information.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in superior tourist class hotels in Beijing,Tsetang, Lhasa and UlaanBaatar, and in gers in the Gobi.
  • 13 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 12 dinners, per itinerary. A few lunches and dinners are not included so that you may enjoy a chance to experiment on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites.
  • Arrival/departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates in the tour start/end cities.
  • Transportation throughout the itinerary by jeep/minivan/coach (type of vehicle depends on group size and terrain).
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.

Before Your Tour

  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list, reading list, insurance information.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application and instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international air fare is not included in the land tour cost).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
Download Detailed Itinerary
Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

Extend your stay in Mongolia to visit Kara Korum, or come early to explore more of Beijing. MIR can arrange pre- and post-tour extensions in Beijing or elsewhere in China, or a post-tour stay in Siberia or Eastern Russia. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the accommodations are as comfortable as possible, they will vary from superior tourist class hotels to very basic and simple accommodations. Four nights are spent in ger camps in Mongolia (with shared bath/WC facilities in a separate building). It is important to keep in mind that Mongolia and Tibet are not up to the standards North American travelers expect.

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