Cycling in Mongolia
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ends on 26 Sep 2018
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- Dance by the famous Tumen Ekh Troupe
- Bike through the green valley of Mt. Khairkhan
- Visit the sand dunes at Mongol Els
- Hike craters of extinct volcanoes
- Age range
- 16 to 80 year olds
- Max Group Size
- Travel style
- Bicycle, Adventure
Start and end in Ulaanbaatar! With the bicycle tour Cycling in Mongolia, you have a 15 day tour package taking you through Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and 5 other destinations in Mongolia. Cycling in Mongolia is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
17 ReviewsWrite a review
- AnonymousWritten on October 10, 20135.0 - ExcellentA brilliant trip involving reasonably challenging cycling through what must be some of the most beautiful and untouched country in the world - truly the way it was in the days of Genghis Khan (if a little safer!).What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The top moment was having a herd of horses galloping past us in the middle of a thunderstorm that we had seen brewing and then sweeping across the valley before the van could get to us to offer us shelter. We saw this scene (minus the thunderstorm) many times and it never ceased to send a tingle up the spine.What did you think of your group leader?Gana, our group leader was professional and effective. He was very efficient in arranging the evacuation of one of our party who came off his bike and broke his leg and the whole trip was very well organised (GREAT campsites!). Only slight negative is that he is a reserved individual so you had draw him out to get to tell you about Mongolia, it's history, our route etc. Tommy, the assistant guide was much more outgoing so there was some balance.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Definitely do this trip. We've done over 10 cycle trips with groups or self guided and this is right up the top of the list. September was a great time to go, a bit cold but we had the place to ourselves.Is there anything else you would like to add?We had an observer from Exodus on our trip. It was good to see that Exodus take their quality control seriously..and it's effective.
- AnonymousWritten on September 23, 20134.0 - GoodBeautiful countryside, fantastic cycling and wild horses galore!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?there is nothing quite like waking up to the sound of wild horses galloping past your tent.Â Â A sound I hope I never forget.Â Second only to seeing themÂ gallop pastÂ our bikes/toilets/campsite!Â looking up... day and night! some of the most beautiful stars I have ever seen... and some of the biggest blue skys!Â What did you think of your group leader?Gana ran a tight ship, everything worked as it should.Â He wasn't quiteÂ as fit as I thought he would be, andÂ didn't volunteer as much information about the local area/wildlife as I would have liked. Â I couldn't speak more highly off all of the other staff, really fantastic.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Make sure you are fit when you go, it will make the trip so much more enjoyable. (although the support bus is there if you need it).Â The bikes were great, and I didn't used an additional gel seat, but if you have a favourite saddle- its worth taking!Down jacket and sleeping bag are a must for the September departure- we had lows of minus 5 at night.Â Â The atmosphere is quite dry out there, I was very glad I took a few luxuryÂ moisturisers!Â Is there anything else you would like to add?This trip was the perfect combination if physical challenge, wilderness and luxury for me.Â Â The cycling was fantastic, not too technical (if you are used to cycling off road), the distances just enough to make you feel that you had earnt your dinner.. and talking of food.. YUMM!Mongolia has so much to offer- especially whenÂ you get out of the towns.Â Loved it.
- AnonymousWritten on August 9, 20133.0 - AverageWide open spaces in an isolated country What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The "undulating" countryside made for some exhilarating downhills! Â Hearty food in often beautiful countryside, friendly people and a great group!Â The Nadaam festival was a really interesting insight into the juxtaposition of old and new in this changing country. Â I'm very glad we got to go. Â Â What did you think of your group leader?Gana was a difficult customer. Â He did not seem interested in the group and was not a great "leader" in that he didn't warn us when it was time to leave-he just took off! Â He did not seem fit enough to be leading a bike trip and it seemed that he was maybe a bit burnt out. Â He told us that he is leaving soon to start his own company and maybe he was just treading water until this could happen. Â Â The rest of the team, however, were excellent, kind and extremely good at their jobs! Â After an emergency trip in the van (nicknamed Boris), I realised just how much skill is involved in driving in Mongolia. Â We may be cycling on jeep tracks but these are also the main roads for the traffic! Â Â Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go! Â Get some off road experience and be prepared to rough it a bit! Â Is there anything else you would like to add?I have written to Exodus separately due to some safety concerns on this trip, which in part may relate to the tour leader and not be generalisable the the trip as a whole. Â A client had a fairly serious accident and although I do not think there was anything avoidable with this, there were some aspects of the trip which were not as safety conscious as they could have been. Â Make sure if you go during July to see the Nadaam festival that Exodus know this is why you were going. Â Our guide initially seemed surprised that this was part of the Exodus trip notes. Â It started the holiday off on a sour note and is another example of the trip notes being inaccurate as has been mentioned in previous reviews. Â Â
- AnonymousWritten on August 4, 20133.0 - AverageMongolia is a very impressive place. Ulaan Baatar is a boom town, construction everywhere and lots of bustle. The countryside was vast and empty. I loved the way there were hardly any fences, few trees, the views went for miles and miles. Very much 'big sky country'. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?I found the local cooks and drivers who accompanied us were the most memorable part of the trip. Their friendliness and competence in not always easy situations left a lasting impression on me.What did you think of your group leader?Gana was wrong-footed by the trip notes not being up to date, also on the defensive about perceived complaints. I think this made it hard for him and he tended to be quite introverted. It was difficult to get him to smile and relax. Tommy was 'a true gentleman', as I often told him. Very caring and an excellent photographer.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Get some off-road experience for the cycling. Be ready for hot sun in the day but cold temperatures at night. I said it in another feedback form about this trip and I'll say it again hereÂ -Â the most usefulÂ item I packed wasÂ a lava-lava (aka sarong). It acts as a skirt, shoulder wrap for visiting temples, towel, dressing gown, and, best of all, mini tent to keep the beating sun off at the lunch and snack stops.Is there anything else you would like to add?It helps to have a 'take it as it comes' viewpoint; don't take it to heart when things don't come out exactly as expected.Â Be warned about safety. If you crash off your bike, there is no protective NHS bubble following you around that will put things right for you straight away. Expect the unexpected.
- AnonymousWritten on January 2, 20135.0 - ExcellentMongolia - land of wide open spaces and fabulous hats!A land of great natural beauty with an amazing history.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Cycling alongside herds of galloping horses. Suddenly the herd leader would lengthen its stride and cut across the track in front of us. The rest would follow. Mongolian horses are small, primitive looking and very wild. To see them running free across the steppe was wonderful.As a city dweller, I loved the wild camping, the night skies with no light pollution, the feeling of space and being part of the natural world.The 360 degree vast open landscape as we cycled off-road with the occasional altercation with a marmot hole or muddy puddle while listening to hardcore drum 'n bass on my ipod.What did you think of your group leader?Our group leaders had a thorough knowledge of the culture and areas we visited. Always cheerful, they made our trip special and made us feel special. We felt free to enjoy ourselves, secure in the fact that they would look after us and they did.Â Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Gel inners for your shorts and/or a gel saddle cover, plenty of base layers and waterproof gear and factor 50 sun block. Yes the climate is surprising! Leave some space in your luggage to bring back some of the excellent vodka and cashmere (or interesting hats).Is there anything else you would like to add?A couple of the best weeks I've ever experienced. Just go - you'll see what I mean.
- AnonymousWritten on October 1, 20125.0 - ExcellentNot the hardest, not the most technical and not offering the most to see, but this is the best Exodus cycling trip yet for me - purely because of the sheer FUN in cycling in such a remote terrain in wide wild landscapes shared with large herds of wild horses, camels and goats. We had pure blue skies every day ............and the circling eagles were breathtaking.............how could it not be the best!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Cycling along side and through herds of stampeding horses was the most exhilirating moment.Â Stalking eagles perched on hillsides got us some of our best photos.Â It is possible to cycle out of camp or climb a local hill and see no modern infrastructure whatsoever - in a 360 deg panorama of 15 miles radius............the remoteness is tangible.Â What did you think of your group leader?Gan was my cup of tea - a local guide, knows his country and its people with a no nonsense attitude.Â He was more distant than most guides and completely free ofÂ gratuitous bonhomie that you get from most guides - this meant when he was in the mood to share his experiences, they were far more revealing, personal and enjoyable.Â Gan was very well travelled in Russia and the former eastern block - even been to an 'Old Firm' football match!Â A safe pair of hands - well received by the local herders/families we met - andÂ respected by his support team of drivers and cooks.Â Thank you Gan.Â Â Do you have any advice for potential travellers?We stopped off in Seoul for several days on the way out - it breaks up the long flight to Mongolia which is punishing with aÂ lengthy stopover.Â On the way back again another lengthy stopover was broken by prebooking a room in the Airport Terminal Hotel at Seoul at a cost of Â£100 - well worth the money.Camping in September means very cold nights - a good sleeping bag and liner are essential and layers of warm clothes for early morning and early evenings at camp.Â Limited opportunties for buying treats - take your own from home.The bikes were not well maintained or serviced - take a can of oil and use liberally.Is there anything else you would like to add?Ulaan Baatar is a bit of a frontier town............it might have a few designer shops and some western restaurants, but it is largely a higglety pigglety city with over 1million people with littleÂ sense of city planning or achitecture...........all traffic and building sites!Â What Mongolia offers is not in UB but well well outside its confines.
- AnonymousWritten on August 13, 20125.0 - ExcellentThis was a wonderful experience, full of wide open spaces, lots of sky and great company. The support team were attentive to our every need and the feeling of rushing through the seemingly endless landscape on the bike lingers beyond the trip.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Gliding on a bikeÂ through the wide open spaces, accompanied by galloping horses on one side and friends on the other.What did you think of your group leader?Quentin: a passionate cyclist, with a quiet and calm demeanour. Michelle: Mongolian warrior princess!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take kit for all seasons: for the extreme hot, wet andÂ cold.Wet wipes come in handy.Chinggis black is the best vodka.Bring some money for Cashmere.Is there anything else you would like to add?DoÂ not hesitate if you yearn for space, air and companionship. Mongolia is a surprising country of contrasts. And aeroflot wasn't so bad...
- AnonymousWritten on October 13, 20115.0 - ExcellentIt was a real adventure holiday and did what the brochure said and more. Terrific fun , scenery was amazing and organisation excellent.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?BIking along with horses galloping along side me. Waking to ice on the tent and later in the day 28c of hot sunshine! Th great comradeship in th group which kept us going even when it was tough. Also sitting on a Yak, When you are cold and it is lovely and warm.Seeing the locals and even staying in a local school (extra due to weather). Getting to learn how life was like out there. Also staying in a Ger.What did you think of your group leader?We had two leaders both excellent in their field and knowledge of the area.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for 4 seasons in a day. In other words layers of clothing. It can get very cold and hot. Take thick padded shorts for the bumpy tracks. Practice off road biking for the down hills, bits can be technical. Rocky and sandy. But great fun.Finally look at alternative flights if you have a long stop in Seoul or stop over for a few days there like we did and have a great time.Is there anything else you would like to add?Just don't hesitate book it before UB changes and the tracks in the country change to tarmac roads as this wouldn't have been nearly so much fun if it had been on roads all the time. It is a wilderness still and needs to be appreciated before it changes.
- AnonymousWritten on October 13, 20115.0 - ExcellentIt was a real adventure holiday and did what the brochure said and more. Terrific fun , scenery was amazing and organisation excellent.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?BIking along with horses galloping along side me. Waking to ice on the tent and later in the day 28c of hot sunshine!Â Th great comradeship in th group which kept us going even when it was tough. Also sitting on a Yak, When you are cold and it is lovely and warm.Seeing the locals and even staying in a local school (extra due to weather). Getting to learn how life was like out there.Â Also staying in a Ger.What did you think of your group leader?We had two leaders both excellent in their field and knowledge of the area.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for 4 seasons in a day. In other words layers of clothing. It can get very cold and hot. Take thick padded shorts for the bumpy tracks. Practice off road biking for the down hills, bits can be technical. Rocky and sandy. But great fun.Finally look at alternative flights if you have a long stop in Seoul or stop over for a few days there like we did and have a great time.Is there anything else you would like to add?Just don't hesitateÂ book it before UB changes and the tracks in the country change to tarmac roads as this wouldn't have been nearly so much fun if it had been on roads all the time.Â It is a wilderness still and needs to be appreciated before it changes.
- AnonymousWritten on September 30, 20115.0 - ExcellentA unique holiday in a unique country. Cycling gives the opportunity to really immerse in the landscape and interact with local herders.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?One day we followed a river valley and herd after herd of horses would gallop beside and across our path - watching their behaviour up close was fantastic. Returning home I cannot help but feel sorry for horses isolated in tiny paddocks and stables here. Having the opportunity to ride a Mongolian horse and finding how responsive it was to me (a beginner) was also great. I always love to discover the lifestyle of people in other countries and in Mongolia I was not disappointed - visiting two ger families, watching horses being milked, yaks being lassooed and children at play and school. Lodging at a boarding school overnight due to bad weather really enabled us to explore the small town and interact with the local people.What did you think of your group leader?Erdene is a very caring individual taking great care of all of us, and from the start helping us quickly become a functional team. Daily briefings were very useful.Misheel, his assistant, has a more outgoing personality and added to the trip with her obvious pride in and passion for her country.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for the cold. Even on sunny days the early mornings and nights will be very cold. Warm hat, gloves, coat and a good quality sleeping bag are ESSENTIAL. Do not forget lip protection - several people had very sore lips by the end. Good cycling glasses advised - my eyes suffered with the wind.Prepare for cycling day after day without many rest or 1/2 days. It was my first cycling holiday but others in the group commented that possibly the grading should be higher as the off road nature makes it quite tough compared to other 'moderate' grade holidays. Some of the downhills were quite difficult due to sand, gravel and ruts. The vans could not seat us all so you could not 'hop on and off' easily. I loved the holiday but be prepared for basic camping and, even at the ger camps, showers may not work. Plenty of wipes advised!! Inhibitions about toileting during the day are soon lost - there are very few bushes for us ladies to hide behind!!Is there anything else you would like to add?The food was fantastic throughout the trip and a highlight was watching our driver slaughter a sheep the traditional way and butcher it expertly to provide meat for the second half of the trip. 'Can kill a sheep in minutes' was heard many times when referring to him afterwards! Vegetarians were well catered for too. The habit of a mid-morning mars bar was hard to break when the cycling ended and energy requirements dropped!Twitchers among you take a bird book as being unable to name the many birds of prey seen became frustrating. Demoiselle cranes calling while flying overhead as we toiled uphill is another unforgettable memory.
ItineraryDownload PDF Brochure
- Day 1: Start Ulaan Baatar.
- Day 2: Morning sightseeing followed by a traditional Mongolian show; overnight train to Erdenet.
- Day 3: Ride to Tal Tolgoi Well via the small township of Bugat; camp.
- Day 4: Cross Tuluugiin Pass; camp.
- Day 5: Arhangai steppe ride through undulating country to open green valley below Mt. Khairkhan (1862m); camp.
- Day 6: Short climb to cross Kholboogin Pass (1649m) before descending to Khairkhan Lake camp.
- Day 7: Cycle up Khunjiin River Valley to camp beneath Mt. Chingeltei.
- Day 8: Short climb past the headwaters of the Khunjiin; descend into Tamir River Valley; camp near Great Rock of Ikh Tamir.
- Day 9: Half-day ride to Tsetserleg; capital of Arhangai, afternoon free.
- Day 10: Morning ride in foothills of the Khangai Mountains.
- Day 11: Cycle across undulating steppe to Mt. Ondor Khairkhan (2312m).
- Day 12: Ride the Khangai Mountain Range on good jeep tracks; descend to Orkhon River Valley.
- Day 13: Ride to Karakorum and Erdene Zuu Monastery; overnight in traditional ger camp.
- Day 14: Drive to Ulaan Baatar, visit sand dunes at Mongol Els; free afternoon.
- Day 15: End Ulaan Baatar.
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About the countries
Useful things to know before you go
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Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.
These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
- Recommended for Mongolia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
- Hepatitis A
- Recommended for Mongolia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
- Recommended for Mongolia. Ideally 3 months before travel.
- Hepatitis B
- Recommended for Mongolia. Ideally 2 months before travel.
- Recommended for Mongolia. Ideally 1 month before travel.
- Tick-borne encephalitis
- Recommended for Mongolia. Ideally 6 months before travel.
- Start and end in Ulaanbaatar.
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- TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 22 November 2018 the full payment of $3,326 is necessary.
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Covering a total distance of approx 968 km.
- Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
- 244 km
- Erdenet (Mongolia)
- 30 km
- Bugat (Mongolia)
- 137 km
- Khairkhan (Mongolia)
- 131 km
- Tsetserleg (Mongolia)
- 108 km
- Karakorum (Mongolia)
- 318 km
- Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
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