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14 Days Local Immersion and Bike Tour in Mongolia
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


Remarkable Bike Tour in Mongolia

Social Cycles will take you on a journey to learn, interact, and connect with local non-government organizations to find out more about Mongolian lifestyle, the opportunities they have, and the challenges they must overcome. Research what really happens on the ground and out in the rural communities in a holiday that carefully balances ethical research and local impact with cycling and site seeing!

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point-to-point
  • Terrain: Gravel roads, mountain areas, flat
  • Starts and ends in: Ulaanbaatar
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (Cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, the terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31 - 45 miles per day.)
  • Total Distance: 249 - 311 Miles / 400 - 500 Kilometers
  • Type of bike: Mountain bikes
  • Number of participants: 4 - 12 persons

Highlights

  • 8 days of cycling
  • A visit to Nogoon Nuur Green Lake
  • Meeting with NGOs to learn about local culture
  • Local guide service, support van driver, and mechanic
  • Inclusive of supporting van with water and fruit
  • 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, and 12 dinners
  • Transfer from and to the airport
  • 13 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


11 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
Airport transfer included: Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
16:00
Check-out Time:
10:00

You will stay in a combination of hotels, ger camps, and guesthouses on this adventure. Social Cycles will specifically avoid the tourist-based ger camps as they’re generally overcrowded and impersonal. Instead, Social Cycles will support local and family-run smaller ger camps where the experience is so much closer to reality and personal to the life of a herder. The ger camps can sometimes share small groups (up to six people) but Social Cycles will endeavor to keep sharing it with two people. This is the true local experience of Mongolia and one to be savored.

Program

Travel has very little to do with what you see. It’s all about what you learn. There is no better way to travel than by bicycle. And there is no better way to learn than from local NGOs who work tirelessly to make their communities a better place. In this Mongolia adventure, you will learn from three non-government organizations that are all connected with the reality of life faced by Mongolia’s herders in the twenty-first century. In tourism, Mongolia is frequently sold as a stereotype (nomads and a way of life untouched since Ghengis Khan). This idealized or even romanticized view is far from the harsh reality and challenges faced by local herders.

Itinerary

Day 1: Ulaanbaatar - Welcome to Mongolia!

Check in time to the hotel is any time from 14:00. If you’re flying to Ulaanbaatar today, Social Cycles will arrange your airport transfer for you. You can spend your day exploring this great city at your leisure until the group arrives and you’ll meet up in the evening for dinner. There's plenty of places to see if you arrive early, such as Genghis Khan Statue Complex or the Choijin Lama Temple Museum.

Day 2: Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar is home to 45% of the population and there is no better way to see it than with the local Social Cycles team. You’ll have a quick bike fitting before breakfast then crack on with the day. Dinner is back in the city at your leisure. Your day consists of a non-government organization presentation from Asral, a visit to Nogoon Nuur Green Lake, a home cooked family lunch, and a guided city tour.

Day 3: Baga Gazriin Chuluu

Baga Gazriin Chuluu is characterized by extensive granite rock formations and surrounded by steppe and semi-desert habitat. There is a small temple known locally as Chuluun Sum (Rock Temple). Although destroyed, it is a peaceful and sacred area to visit. You’ll manage to have your first ride on the bikes today, covering about 40 kilometers after your picnic lunch, once you have gotten out of the depths of Ulaanbaatar. When you're in the Chuluu Region, you’ll have time for a good two-hour exploration by foot! You’ll spend your evening in a ger camp.

Day 4: Gobi Oasis

Gobi Oasis is a small family run and a non-profit conservation project that has been operating since 1975. You’ll cycle from ger camp to a homestay on the compact gravel road. If any part of the ride is a little too much too soon, the van is always around to give your bike a rest! It's about 75 kilometers from ger camp to homestay today. Arriving in the early afternoon, you’ll learn more about the tree planting project at this wonderful organization.

Day 5: Erdenedalai

Erdenedalai is Mongolian for "Jewel Ocean" and although far from the ocean this small town located in the middle of the Gobi steppe provides a genuine insight into everyday life in Mongolia. It is also the hometown of a majority of the Social Cycles team and a very specialized and traditional community. There is no other tour that currently operates in Mongolia that ventures this far off the beaten track. Social Cycles are proud to introduce you to the family of the local team and provide that genuine insight into true Mongolian life.

Day 6: CAMDA

CAMDA is a non-government organization dedicated to supporting and bringing resources to Mongolia’s herders. One of their most important projects is their well-refurbishment project. By the refurbishing old wells or constructing new wells, herders can access the wells in the winter when the streams and rivers are frozen. You’ll meet the team behind the non-government organization and some of the families who are beneficiaries of their projects, getting a first-hand insight into how these programs work. Swap your bike for a horse and explore the local region with the families.

Day 7: Khogno Khan Mountains

You will drive to explore this sacred granite mountain. Within an area of secluded valleys, freshwater springs, open steppe, and the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes, Khogno Khan Nature Reserve was taken under state protection partly due to the specialized taiga and steppe plants that grow in this area. The small but vital Tarna River provides an essential water source for the herders in the region.

Day 8: Khogno Khan Nature Reserve

Once in location, explore the hidden interiors of the mountain on an easy three-hour hike to the temple of Erdene Khambiin Khid and Ovgon Khiid Monastery. This is a spectacular region to explore by bike with its mix of landscapes. Tracks are all off-road and mainly dirt trails or animal tracks. You can go exploring by bicycle or take the camels trekking through the sand dunes.

Day 9: Tsetserleg

You will drive through Arkhangai Aimag to the provincial capital of Tsetserleg where there is its vibrant local market. On the slopes of the Khangai Mountains, the town is dominated by the 1953-meter Bulgan Uul Mountain with the Galdan Zuu Temple providing a viewpoint out over this alpine town. You’ll visit and learn more from Ar Arvidjin Delgerekh, non-government organization who empowers local yak herding farmers.

Day 10: Tsenkher

The bike route now changes from the gravel plains of the vast semi-desert steppe to the foothills of the Khangai Mountains, dominated by dome-shaped mountains, mixed woods, clear streams, and lush grassy valleys filled with yaks and herders that receive abundant rainfall compared to all other parts of Mongolia. You’ll also meet the Galbadrakh family, yak herders in the Khangai Mountains.

Day 11: Kharkhorin and the Orkhon River Valley

Kharkhorin is the ancient capital of Ogodei Khan and the Mongol Empire in the thirteen century. You will visit Erdene Zuu, Mongolia’s oldest monastery, and visit the excellent Kharkhorin Museum with its exhibits based on the history of the Orkhon River Valley and the Turkish and Mongol Empire.

Day 12: Orkhon River

You will enjoy Orkhon River Valley and a traditional Mongolian barbecue and spend the day with Tumee and Jargaa, a herding family you work located close to the Orkhon River. They are modern-day herders, a strong part of the local community and move up to six times a year.

Day 13: Ulaanbaatar and the great donation debate

After you say goodbye to Tumee and Jargaa, you’ll head back to Ulaanbaatar and check into the hotel. On your last dinner together, you’ll take the opportunity to reflect on your journey and discuss your opportunity for support. As a group, you’ll make a decision on how you’ll divide the total money. It’s your money and your experience. It can, and will, go to whatever non-government organization touched you the most

Day 14: Departure day

It’s time to say goodbye to your new found friends and riding companions and head out on your own. Whether you’re off to the airport or sticking around for a bit longer, Social Cycles will help you get to where you need to go.

Location

This cycling tour will take place in Mongolia from Ulaanbaatar to Baga Gazriin Chuluu, Erdenedalai, Khogno Khan, Tsetserleg, Tsenkher, Kharkhorin, then back to Ulaanbaatar.

Food

You will be provided with thirteen breakfasts, twelve lunches, and thirteen dinners. When you get off the beaten track, it truly means that you get out in the middle of what feels like nowhere. This means that the food is often prepared by the Social Cycles team. Breakfast on tour is typically eggs, bread and jam, and dried or fresh fruit (where available). Social Cycles will also provide muesli.

The lunch is usually based on a variety of homemade salads, bread and crackers, local salami, and cheese. Driving day lunches are kept simple. On free days, lunches will have more choice. Dinners will have a base of noodles, pasta, spaghetti, or potatoes with usually a vegetable dish and / or a separate meat dish. Social Cycles often prepare traditional Mongolian dishes but there is usually a vegetarian option.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 8 days of cycling
  • A visit to Nogoon Nuur Green Lake
  • Multiple field trips to villages and communities
  • A minimum of three non-government organization's presentations with local staff across Mongolia
  • A service of local guides, support van driver, and mechanic
  • Full bicycle hire (Trek and / or Giant 24-speed mountain bikes)
  • Full support vehicle for the ride with water and fruit
  • Transfers from and to the Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN)
  • 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, and 13 dinners
  • 13 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Donation to the non-government organizations (200 AUD)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Drinks with meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa’s (if required)
  • Other items

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport Airport transfer included: Buyant-Ukhaa International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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