Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in Beijing, where you are transferred to your hotel.
Beijing | Atop the Great Wall
Take in the sweep of history at Tiananmen Square and explore the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City. After lunch, travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, a vast fortification erected to protect the region from Mongol hordes. Walk or ride a cable car to the top of the wall to take in sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner at your hotel.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia | Introduction to an Empire
This morning, fly to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to your hotel. After you settle in, explore the National Museum of Mongolian History. Here, a local historian delves into the saga of Genghis Khan and his Mongol Empire.
Ulaanbaatar | Life of Genghis Khan
Visit Gandan Khiid Monastery with its 75-foot statue made of copper, gold and precious stones, accompanied by a top-ranking lama who discusses monastery life. In the afternoon, travel out into the steppe to Tsonjin Boldog to see the 131-foot statue of Genghis Khan.
Gobi Desert | Dunes, Canyons & Wide-Open Skies
Fly to the Gobi Desert, home to Bactrian (two-humped) camels, mountain sheep, golden eagles and many endemic reptiles. In the late afternoon, marvel as local archers demonstrate a skill that gave rise to the former Mongol empire.
Gobi Desert | Valley of the Eagles
Journey overland to the Yol Valley, a narrow, craggy chasm. Hike the valley for a chance to spot vulture-like lammergeiers, Altai snowcocks, ibex, yaks and Argali mountain sheep. Later, witness the construction of a ger, a traditional Mongolian home. In the afternoon, you may opt to hike through the Havsagit Valley to discover ancient petroglyphs atop a mountain.
Gobi Desert | Camel Ride & the Flaming Cliffs
Set off on the back of a Bactrian camel through the dunes of Moltsog Els for insight into a way of life that has endured for centuries. Visit with a local camel-herding family in their home. Afterward, visit the Flaming Cliffs, a place rich with dinosaur fossils and the site where dinosaur eggs were first found.
Ulaanbaatar | Past Meets Present
Fly to Ulaanbaatar, where you visit a modern art gallery and meet the local exhibiting artist. This evening, join fellow guests for a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant along with a vodka tasting.
Ulaanbaatar | Naadam Festival
Attend the annual Naadam Festival, where the nation’s best athletes compete in tests of strength and skill. Watch the elaborate opening ceremony that features dancers, athletes, horse riders and musicians.
Ulaanbaatar | A Parting Glimpse
Enjoy a second day at the Naadam Festival, attending a range of events and competitions featuring archery and traditional wrestling. This evening, gather with fellow guests for a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight.