Mongolia is a place with rich cultural and natural heritage. Buddhism came to Mongolia as a result of three big waves, lasting from the times of Xionnu or Hunnu in the 3d century BC and past the times of the Great Mongol Empire. In 1578 during the third wave it came from Tibet when Altan Khan has proclaimed Sonam Gyatso, a leader of a rising Gelug lineage a Dalai Lama – leader of all Buddhists. In return he himself was recognized as a direct descendant of Chinggis Khaan himself. Since then Buddhist monasteries have sprung around Mongolia in many numbers and by the early 20th century have reached 4000 in number. During the 300 years of history, Mongolian artisans have created thousands of masterpieces, established own school of Buddhist art and have been recognized throughout the world as a Buddhist nation with its own distinct differences. This program will allow to discover the best of Mongolian Buddhist art through one of our expert guides.

Brief Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – July 1. Arrival

Upon arrival at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, meet your Mongolia Quest guide and transfer to your hotel.
In the evening, we will commence our trip with a briefing by our expedition leader, followed by a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant. Overnight at hotel. (Hotel Blue Sky or similar; D)

Day 2 – July 2. Ulaanbaatar

Today, we will explore some of the city’s bestknown museums and historical sites. Begin with a visit to the Gandan, Mongolia’s largest Buddhist Monastery. An imposing 90-feet-tall statue of Megjid Janraisag (Avalokiteśvara in Sanskrit) stands in the largest temple in the middle of the monastery. This statue is considered the religious symbol of Mongolia’s independence and democracy after the country’s democratic transition in 1990. When a Mongolian student in the mid -1990s discovered fragments of the original statue (which was destroyed by Soviet authorities in the 1930s) in St. Petersburg, a nationwide campaign began to collect money for rebuilding the statue. After several years of hard work and struggle, this magnificent Avalokiteshvara was resurrected and is now standing proud, making all Mongolian Buddhists happy.
After lunch, we will move to Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts with its excellent collection of Mongolia’s arts including golden Buddha statues of 17th century and some of the best preserved tankas (traditional Buddhist paintings) in the world. In the evening, enjoy a cultural performance featuring khoomii or “throat-singing,” followed by a farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Blue Sky or similar; B, L, D)

Day 3 – July 3. Ovgon Monastery, Hogno Khan mountains

Drive to Hogno Han Mountains at the stunning confluence of three geographical zones (steppe, desert, and forest). Visit the Ovgon monastery originally built in 1660 but later destroyed by the armies of Galdan Boshigt from western Mongolia in the 18th century. Consequently the monastery was rebuilt to be demolished by communists in the 30s of the last century. Some temples are being restored these days.
In the evening, hike in the area. In the countryside you will stay at the traditional, made of a latticed wood structure covered with layers of felt. The camp restaurant and western-style toilet and shower facilities are located in a centrally located building. Dinner and overnight in gers (Approx. 5 hours driving; Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 4 – July 4. Kharakhorum (Qaraqorum), Erdene Zuu Monastery

After an early morning breakfast, we will begin our overland journey towards Kharakhorum (1 hour driving). The construction of Kharkhorin city was completed during the reign of Ögedei Khan, Genghis Khan’s third son who, in 1128, inherited the empire his father created. It is located in the picturesque valley of Orkhon River, which bears hundreds of historically and archeologically significant sites going back 2000 years, still waiting to be discovered. These include 2000 year old burial sites, deer stones and ruins of cities pre-dating the time of Genghis Khan. We also will pay a visit to the magnificent Erdene Zuu Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most beautiful Buddhist structures. Strolling through its grounds, surrounded by 108 stupas, you will find plenty of opportunities to photograph its temples and local visitors. This evening, enjoy a traditional Mongolian barbeque for dinner. (Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 5, July 5 Shankh Monastery, nomadic encampment

In the morning visit Shankh Khiid, a monastery within a short driving distance of Erdene Zuu and Kharkhorin that was once frequented by Zanabazar, the renowned Buddhist artist and religious leader. It was here that the Black Banners of Genghis Khan have been kept until the communists came and destroyed the monastery and killed many of the monks. Today the monastery is rebuilding its grounds and operates out of few smaller temples. Come back to the camp for lunch. In the afternoon, opportunity to visit a local herder family to learn about nomadic ways of lifestyle, sample some of the dairy products and help them with their daily chores. (Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 6 – July 6. Tsetserleg, Buyandelgeruulekh Monastery

Today we drive to the capital of Arkhangai, a province considered one of the most beautiful in Mongolia, visit Buyandelgeruulekh Monastery, which was once home to almost 1,000 monks. During the communist purges of the 1930s the monastery was converted into a museum and thus saved from destruction. Buyandelgeruulekh has become the town’s main monastery and now holds weekly religious services, but is still home to many spiritual and sacred artifacts from its days as a museum. In the afternoon visit the local market and sample Arkhangai Province’s rich and delicious dairy products. Stay in a local ger camp. (Ger Camp; B, L, D)

Day 7 – July 7. Tövkhön Monastery, Kharkhorin

Trip to Tövkhön monastery, built in mid 17th century for famous Buddhist ruler of Mongolia Zanabazar. Though it was heavily destroyed during communist purges of the 20th century now it is being rebuilt. Situated on the top of a high mountain range the monastery grounds offer spectacular view of the surrounding landscapes. The trip will involve 4 hour hike in the area through some grassy slopes. Packed lunch. Return to the ger camp for dinner and overnight. (Ger camp; B, L, D)

Day 8 – July 8. Ulaanbaatar via Ordu-Baliq and Tsogt Taij Ruins

 In the morning, we will complete our epic journey and begin driving back to Ulaanbaatar. Along the way, stop at two historically significant city ruins. Our first stop is at the ruin of the large citadel of the Uyghur Empire capital,Ordu-Baliq, known as Khar Balgas. Uyghurs were people of Turkic origin, who dominated the grasslands of central Mongolia between the 8th and 9th centuries. The next stop will be at the ruins of Prince Tsogt, a famous central Mongolian prince and patriot who fought for the independence of Mongolia in the 17th century. Reach Ulaanbaatar later in the afternoon and enjoy dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Blue Sky or similar; B, L, D)

Day 9 – July 9. Ulaanbaatar, Dambadarjaalin and Dashchoilin monasteries

We spend the day exploring some of the most interesting monastery grounds in Ulaanbaatar city. First we visit the obscure Dambadarjaalin Monastery, located in the north-east of Ulaanbaatar within so called ger districts, was built in 17611765 by a Manchu Emperor in memory of the Second Bogd Khan. The Second Bogd Khan Luvsandambiidonme was a direct descendant of the Chinggis Khan himself. The monastery was constructed in 1765 and 10 years later some 500 lamas were residing at the monastery. It was partially destroyed during the communist purges of the l1930s. It was reopened to the public in 1990 as a monastery and today it has several resident lamas, offering prayers, and some of the destroyed temples are being rebuilt. After lunch on one of the centrally located restaurants we visit the Dashchoilin monastery, also known as the Züün Khüree, which was originally built in 1890. Once again the communist purges have wiped out most of the temples and post democratic changes of the 1990s the monastery moved into three concrete structures built in a shape of original Mongolian. The monastery is now home to over 100 monks. Resident monks have reconstructed the famous religious play called Tsam after a long disruption during the communist times. In the evening enjoy your dinner at a local restaurant. (Hotel Blue Sky or similar; B, L, D)

Day 10 – July 10. Ulaanbaatar

Today we explore the Choijin Lama museum, a gem of the historical and cultural heritage of the 20th century. The monastery was active until 1938. The museum is an ensemble of Buddhist architecture and consists of 5 temples and 5 arched gates. In the main temple there is the sculpture of Choijin Lama and the embalmed mummy of his teacher. It also contains the great coral mask of Begtse, created under the direction of protectors using over 6000 pieces of coral.
Yidam temple and Amgalan temple contain rare artifacts made by the famous Mongolian artist and sculptor, Zanabazar. In total the museum has over 5000 items out of which 12 are unique and 200 are particularly valuable.
After lunch continue explorations of the city by a visit to the Bogd Khan Winter Palace museum. This palace known as the Green Palace was built between 1893 and 1903 by Mongolian masters and dedicated to the Eighth Bogd Khan, the head of Buddhism in Mongolia and last khan of Mongolia. After Bogd Khan’s death, his winter palace was turned into a museum, becoming the first national historical museum of Mongolia. The collections of the museum include unique and valuable objects related to Mongolia’s political, religious, and artistic history from the 17th to early 20th centuries: bronze castings, silk paintings, mineral paintings, and paper icons made by well-known artists and artisans of the period, among others the first Bogd Khan Zanabazar and his school; as well as objects owned and used by the Eighth Bogd Khan and his wife, queen Tsendiin Dondogdulam, including royal clothing and equipment, gifts from domestic and foreign guests or representatives, and items purchased by the king for his own diversion. Enjoy farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant. (Hotel Blue Sky or similar; B, L, D)

Day 11 – July 11. Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure home. (B)


Trip Date:

July 1 – 11, 2024

2 travelers:

$3,850 per person, standard twin occupancy

3-5 travelers:

$3,400 per person, standard twin occupancy

6-9 travelers:

$3,100 per person, standard twin occupancy

10 and more travelers:

$2,850 per person, twin occupancy

Optional single supplement:

$390 per person


bayngol room

Hotel Bayangol

Located centrally in Ulaanbaatar, Bayangol Hotel offers comfortable accommodations with easy access to the city’s attractions. Accommodations at Bayangol Hotel cater to every need, from cozy standard rooms to luxurious suites, ensuring a comfortable stay for all guests.


Ger camps

During the rest of the expedition in Mongolia, we will be staying at tourist class, cozy ger camps with western bathroom and restaurant facilities. Most visitors find staying in gers as one of the highlights of their trip to Mongolia.

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Land Transportation:

Land transportation is provided by Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps seating  3 passangers per vehicle. Some roads can be bumby and hard but our drivers are some of the most experienced and reliable in the country.