I am not an adventurous traveller. But I signed up a 8 Days Mongolia Hovsgol Lake Adventure tour with Universal Travel during the Natas Fair 2012. This 8-day tour will bring me to the outer Mongolia (not inner Mongolia) where it is nearly impossible to access or it would cost me a bomb if I were to do it DIY. Call me crazy to still go ahead to do this tour when I was told the entire trip would be travelled on a four wheel drive jeep & I might have to help push the jeep if the road conditions are bad; and that I would be sleeping in a Mongolian Ger shared with four persons and I forgot to find out if there is heater in the Mongolian Ger or hot water for shower.
Whatever. I signed up the tour.
Since then, I have been counting down each day and finally received a call from a staff from Universal Travel yesterday to ask for my passport details. Then, I am relieved that the tour is confirmed. I was told there are about five persons signed up for this adventure tour and we will be assigned with a tour leader despite a small group. I am actually quite happy that the group is small so that we can mingle better and will probably receive more personal attention from the tour leader, more time to take photos & most importantly, have fun! (Did I say I will be bringing whisky there?)
Universal Travel Mongolia Tour Package
For those who are still hesitating about visiting Mongolia because of the not-so-cheap-tour-fee, there’s a good news! The all-inclusive tour fare has reduced from S$3888 to S$3499 (based on twin-sharing). This is a nice surprise to me too as Universal Travel has confirmed to refund me the difference. So, if Mongolia is a destination in your travel bucket list, strike it off now and take up the offer!
Departure Date: 13 June 2012 (usually during June school holidays)
Tour Fare: Adult Twin – S$3499 / Adult Single – S$3999
Tour fares are inclusive of direct chartered flight to Ulaanbaatar, airport taxes, fuel surcharges, service fees, over-land transfers based on 4 people in a jeep and accommodations based on 4 people in a Mongolian Ger.
8 Days Mongolia Hovsgol Lake Adventure Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Singapore – Ulaanbaatar
SIN/ULN OM702 1950/ 0510+1
Assemble at Changi International Airport for your overnight flight to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
Day 2: Ulaanbaatar – Arkhangai province (Packet B/L/D)
Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, we will proceed for a drive to the Arkhangai province and have packet breakfast on the way – Known as the Switzerland in Mongolia. Along the way, you will get glimpses of attractive landscape with a composition of mountains, forests, grassland and rivers. Tonight, we will overnight in tourist camp near the Bulgan mountain of Tsetserleg town.
Day 3: Arkhangai province – (Extinct) Khorgo Volcano – Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will pay a visit to the extinct Khorgo volcano by trekking to its big crater which once spewed hot lava (7,000 years ago). Khorgo Mountain used to be a dormant volcano located on the east shore of Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan. The volcano crater of the Togoo Uul is covered with Siberian Larch. One of the most interesting sights of Khorgo is the so-called Basalt Ger, which lies on the southern side. It is a large solidified bubble of lava with a broken piece on one side, which makes a natural door. If time permits, we will visit a local horseman nomadic family where you have an opportunity to experience their lifestyle and also a trail ride on horsebacks. Next, we will proceed to tour the Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake, which was formed when Khorgo volcano lava dammed the Suman River, cutting a large gorge through the basalt. It is an astonishingly beautiful lake, 20km long, 16km wide and 4 to 10 meters deep with an altitude of 2,060m above sea level. Well known as the White Lake, it is a good spot for bird watching and fishing/ Afternoon, we will proceed for lunch at Taikhar rock camp. Tonight, we will overnight in tourist camp.
Day 4: Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake – Hovsgol National Park (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will proceed for an approximate five hours’ drive to the Zuun Lake. Zuun Lake is great place for bird viewings and it is also located along the way to the Huvsgul lake Park. Tonight, we will overnight in tourist camp.
Day 5: Hovsgol National Park – Hovsgol Lake – Hovsgol National Park (B/L/D)
Today, after breakfast we will drive to Hovsgol Lake, the deepest and purest lake in Mongolia. As known as the Blue Pearl of Mongolia, it borders Siberia and has magnificent landscape views. We will also embark on a trek to the lakeside and mountains for photo taking sessions, exploring and enjoying the wildlife, flora and fauna of Hovsgol Lake area. Tonight, we will overnight in tourist camp.
Day 6: Hovsgol National Park – Hovsgol Lake Area – Hovsgol National Park (B/L/D)
Today, after breakfast we will proceed for a tour to the Hovsgol Lake area to visit the Tsaatan ethnic people. These enigmatic people herd reindeer and live in the deep taiga forest. Reindeers are herded for their antlers, a lucrative medicinal material as well as for their milk and meat. You will get a chance to ride on the back of the reindeer to taking a memorable picture of an unforgettable experience. Tonight, we will overnight in tourist camp.
Day 7: Hovsgol National Park – Murun – Ulaanbaatar (B/L/D)
Today, we will drive back towards Murun to catch your return flight to Ulaanbaatar in the late afternoon. Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you might want to do some shopping for souvenirs and cashmeres. Later in the evening, we will witness a live performance of Mongolian National folklore followed by farewell dinner in a Mongolian Barbeque restaurant. Tonight, we will overnight in the Bayangol hotel.
Day 8: Ulaanbaatar – Singapore (B)
ULN/SIN OM701 0945/1850
After breakfast, we will proceed to check out from hotel in the morning and depart to airport for flight back to Singapore. Arrive in Singapore with fond memories of unforgettable adventures in Mongolia.
If you are interested to join me for this probably once-in-a-life-time tour, contact Universal Travel at 6535-5577 soon.