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China and Mongolia

Beijing - Ulaan Baatar - Khustai - Kharkhorim - Tsetserleg - Therkhin Tsagaan - Khogno Tarna - Ulaan Baatar - Beijing

Mongolian grasslands

Guaranteed departure dates with minimum of 2 passengers

A tour of the vast and varied landscapes of Mongolia, the home of Genghis Khan. Experience beautiful lakes and mountains, historic remains, and of course the nomadic grasslands stretching into the distance. Discover the unique nomadic way of life and enjoy the experience of sleeping in the traditional ger or felt tent. Included is an exploration of the highlights of China's capital, Beijing, with short stays either end of the tour to take advantage of 72 hour visa free access.

A select group tour with most meals included.

Day 1  Depart London Heathrow or regional airports.

Day 2  Arrive Beijing. Met on arrival and transfer to the Holiday Inn Express Dongzhimen, popular with westerners, or similar. Rest of the day free.

Day 3  Start the day with a visit to Tiananmen Square, followed by the Forbidden City - the complex of buildings in the heart of Beijing that was the centre of power for China's rulers for over 400 years. Explore both the grand halls and some of the smaller rooms and courtyards that housed the imperial family. Then visit the imposing Temple of Heaven where emperors prayed for good harvests. Also visit a shop selling freshwater pearls. In the evening enjoy the warm atmosphere of a welcome dinner featuring that delicious local delicacy Peking duck. (B, L, D)

Day 4  Transfer to airport for flight to Ulaan Baator, the capital of Mongolia. (B)

Day 5  Travel by road to the Khustai National Park, best known as the site of the reintroduction of Przewalski wild horses into their natural habitat. Spot the many types of wildlife in the park. Spend the night in a traditional ger, or felt lined tent. (B, L, D)

Day 6  Onward to Kharkhorin, the site of Karakorum, the capital of Genghis Khan's empire established in 1220. Visit the 108 stupas of the later Erdene Zuu Monastery, and the ruins of the once great city. Overnight in a ger camp. (B, L, D)

Day 7  Travel to the town of Tsetserleg, Mongolia's most pleasant provincial capital. Stop en route at the hot springs of Tsenker Jiguur. (B, L, D)

Day 8  Visit the dramatic Lama Buyandelgeruulekh monastery overlooking the town, and the town's museum. Afternoon free to explore the town (B, L, D)

Day 9  Travel to Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake or White Lake, high in the Khanghai Mountains. A huge freshwater lake surrounded by high peaks and forests, home to abundant wildlife. Stay in a ger camp on the shores of the lake (B, L, D)

Day 10  Boat trip on the lake giving you the best views of the surrounding hills. Afternoon free for you to relax, swim, or climb the extinct Khorgo volcano (B, L, D)

Day 11  Drive to Khogno Tarna National Park, a dramatic and varied landscape of granite mountains, sand dunes, grasslands and forest, inhabited by foxes, wolves, deer and snow leopards. Visit the haunting ruins of the 17-century Erdene Khamba monastery. Overnight at ger camp (B, L, D)

Day 12  Drive back to Ulaan Baator and enjoy a city tour to include the Gandantegchinlen Monastery and the temples of Bodg Khan's Winter Palace, ruler of the first independent Mongolian state in the early 20th century. The visit the impressive Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs which houses many of the intriguing dinosaur finds from the country. Visit the central Sukhbaatar Square before evening Mongolian hotpot dinner (B, L, D)

Day 13  Transfer to airport for flight to Beijing. Transfer to hotel (B)

Day 14  Excursion to the famous Great Wall at Mutianyu, about 1.5 hours drive north of Beijing. Cable car up to the wall, and walk on this famous landmark of human engineering. 2008 Olympic stadium, known as the 'Bird's Nest' and the 'Water Cube' - the national aquatic centre. (B, L)

Day 15  Transfer to airport for flight back to UK, arriving later the same day (B)