Mongolia’s Ancient Mysteries & Modern Marvels - 2023

Seoul, South Korea • Ulaanbaatar and Gobi Desert, Mongolia
  • Mongolia’s Land Tour of Ancient Mysteries and Modern Marvels including Seoul, South Korea Ulaanbaatar and Gobi Desert, Mongolia
    TOUR CHANGDEOKGUNG, A 600-YEAR-OLD PALACE COMPLEX AND UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
  • Mongolia’s Naadam Land Tour andtThe Festival of Three Games including Seoul South Korea, Ulaanbaatar and Gobi Desert
    JOIN OUR JULY 6TH DEPARTURE FOR THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN MONGOLIA’S NADAAM FESTIVAL COMPLETE WITH PARADES, WRESTLING, HORSE RIDING, AND ARCHERY
  • Vantage travelers experience Asia's culture and cuisine at a home-hosted lunch in Mongolia.
    GET TO KNOW THE NOMADIC PEOPLE AND THEIR TRADITIONS
  • Khongor Sand Dunes, Mongolia, Asia
    IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE BREATHTAKING BEAUTY OF THE MONGOLIAN STEPPE
  • Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag, Gobi Desert, Mongolia
    VENTURE THROUGH THE GOBI DESERT WHERE YOU’LL FIND “SINGING SANDS,” “FLAMING CLIFFS,” AND EVEN A GLACIER
  • ATTEND A VANTAGE-EXCLUSIVE CULTURAL PERFORMANCE BY LOCAL CHILDREN CELEBRATING MONGOLIA’S TRADITIONAL SPORTS, MUSIC, AND DANCE
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$9,598
  • $799
    PER DAY
  • 12
    DAYS
  • 25
    TOURS
Moderate Deluxe
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“Land of the Eternal Blue Sky.” Mongolia, with its sweeping landscapes and nomadic people who live deeply connected to nature, possesses a natural beauty and timelessness that belies its tumultuous history and modern transformation. It’s simply a place that must be seen to be believed — which is why Vantage Deluxe World Travel has further enhanced this adventure to immerse you in this stunning country and its culture.

Vantage Adventures are designed for small groups of no more than 24 travelers, giving you greater access to people and places, for a more rewarding experience. You’ll familiarize yourself with a nomadic way of life that manifests itself even in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. Besides visiting its monuments and museums that trace the nation’s path from founding to modern-day independence, visit sprawling encampments where people still live in gers — traditional Mongolian wood and felt tents — to see the skills locals wield to live off the land. You’ll even stay in a ger yourself when you venture into the Gobi Desert. This unique dwelling seals each day of unforgettable experiences as you spot wildlife in the icy gorge of Yolyn Am, savor a sunset barbecue by the “Flaming Cliffs” of Bayanzag, visit a family of camel herders, and even enjoy a Vantage-exclusive cultural performance by local children.

Or, if you embark on our July 6 departure, join in the celebration of Mongolia’s Naadam Festival. Naadam, which literally means “games”, refers to Mongolia’s traditional wrestling, horse racing, and archery. In reality, however, Naadam is a nationwide celebration of the country’s history, culture, and independence. With a small group of up to just 24 travelers, you’ll cheer along with locals at the opening ceremony of the games, watch the competitions and cultural performances, it quickly becomes clear why UNESCO included this festival on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Throughout this entire journey, you’ll experience 25 included features and Cultural Discoveries, as well as one UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plus, your trip also includes a jaunt through Seoul in South Korea, one of Mongolia’s closest neighbors. You’ll realize that despite its modernization, this city’s ancient palaces, traditional villages, and wholesale markets still buzz with local visitors.

Traveling solo? Take advantage of Free or Reduced Single Supplements to save big. Come experience the spectacular sights, heartfelt hospitality, and timeless culture of Mongolia on this immersive adventure.

With more included features, Cultural Discoveries, and regional experts, these adventures tours are an unparalleled experience. What memories will you bring home on this adventure? Check out our photography page for inspiration, tips and tricks, and more. Explore now!

Seoul Round-trip

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DAY 1:

Depart home

Board your flight to Seoul, South Korea today.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Seoul, South Korea

We arrive in Seoul tonight and transfer directly to our Deluxe hotel in the heart of South Korea’s capital. An evening arrival affords us the luxury of settling in and getting a good night’s rest before beginning our discoveries.




DAY 3:

Experience the demilitarized zone in South Korea

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and gather for a Welcome Briefing and Reception before your explorations begin. Today’s excursion will be both electrifying and sobering, as we travel to the world’s most heavily armed border — the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea at roughly the 38th parallel.

The DMZ was formed in 1953 when the North and South Korean governments agreed to an armistice (with prodding from their respective Chinese and American allies). On average, the buffer zone is about 2.5 miles wide and though it is lined with troops, electric fences, land mines, and tank traps, it has also become a pristine nature reserve. When the two Koreas need to negotiate, they enter the DMZ at the village of Panmunjom and confer at the JSA (Joint Security Area). Heavily armed North and South Korean soldiers stand off here in a tenuous truce, and this is as close as you can get to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (aka North Korea). You will also have the chance to enter one of the four tunnels beneath the DMZ that were secretly dug by the North Koreans and later discovered.

Also featured is the Dorasan Station Observatory, where you can peer through binoculars across the border into the North. You’re going to want to have your camera or GoPro ready — the entire experience is thrilling and is filled with opportunities to take great photos to show friends and family back home — a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Upon returning to Seoul, you’ll spend some time exploring tranquil Changdeokgung, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Korea’s “Five Grand Palaces.” The entire complex of halls, pavilions, gardens, gates, bridges, and shrines was designed to harmoniously blend with the park-like setting. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at a traditional Korean restaurant.

Included Features:

  • Visit the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ)
  • Tour the UNESCO-listed Changdeokgung Palace Complex

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 4:

Spend the day exploring Seoul, and fly to Ulaanbaatar

Today you’ll continue to peel back the layers of Korean culture, starting at Gyeongbokgung — built in 1395 as the main residence of the ruling Joseon dynasty, this palace complex has undergone several restorations as well as repeated destruction during the 16th-century Japanese invasions of Korea, WWII, and the Korean War. However, the splendor of what remains is enough to explain why Gyeongbokgung is called “the palace greatly blessed by Heaven.” While there, you’ll visit the on-site National Folk Museum and learn about everyday Korean life through the ages.

Delve further into traditional Korean life when we walk through Bukchon, a village of traditional Korean houses known as hanok. Your tour continues in the Insadong neighborhood, a popular enclave of art galleries and old tea houses. Here, you’ll attend a class on making traditional hanji (Korean mulberry paper) fans.

Today’s special lunch — Korean barbecue, or galbi — will be a refreshing contrast from the barbecues you’ve experienced back home. You’ll not only enjoy some of the delectable dishes that have garnered such fame for this east Asian cuisine, but also learn more about their preparation and prevalence in Korea.

At the end of the tour, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Ulaanbaatar.

Included Features:

  • Half-day tour of Seoul, including Gyeongbukgong
  • Stroll through Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Visit the National Folklore Museum

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Hanji paper fan-making class at Insadong
  • Galbi Korean barbecue lunch

Included meals:

Breakfast  & lunch

DAY 5:

Explore Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, and step into nomadic life at its fringes

Today will be a memorable occasion as we’ll visit a nomadic encampment on the edge of town. Here, we’ll get the unique opportunity to see how a typical Mongolian family lives in a ger (wood and felt tent) dwelling, as well as enjoying a demonstration of traditional horsemanship, livestock management, domestic crafts, and distilling.

After lunch we embark on a panoramic city tour, which will introduce us to important sights of Ulaanbaatar, including Sukhbaatar Square (where the leader of the country’s revolution, Damdin Sukhbaatar, declared independence from China in 1921) and the National History Museum. A local guide will lead the way through Mongolia’s largest museum, which holds nearly 60,000 artifacts relating to the history of Mongolia and central Asia.

This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner at hotel.

Included Features:

  • Half-day Ulaanbaatar city tour
  • Excursion to the National Museum of Mongolian History

WOW Feature:

  • Showcase of Mongolian nomadic lifestyle at a nomad encampment

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6:

Fly to the Gobi Desert to experience its beauty and wildlife

A morning flight brings us to the South Gobi Desert. From here we’ll ride out to the Yolyn Am Gorge, a rugged oasis of sheltered canyons, unique wildlife, and a river of ice known as the Gobi Glacier. Keep your eyes peeled for furry pika and birds of prey like the golden eagle or saker falcon. Before departing, we’ll also peek into the nature museum at the park’s entrance. Then, we’ll head to our first desert camp resort, Dream Gobi Camp. Here, take in the stupendous beauty of the steppes from your own ger, a round Mongolian tent made of felt and wood. Settle in, relax, and explore the facilities before an included dinner. Tonight, perhaps you’ll relax by the fire or do some stargazing beneath Mongolia’s “eternal blue skies.”

Included Features:

  • Visit Yolyn Am Gorge and the Gobi Glacier
  • Visit the Yolyn Am Nature Museum

Cultural Discovery:

  • Stay in a Mongolian ger tent

Included meals:

Breakfast & dinner

DAY 7:

A Vantage-exclusive cultural festival with local children and a visit with a nomadic family

Today offers you a Vantage-exclusive experience — a special cultural performance by local children. This is a fascinating and heartwarming look at the storied traditions of Mongolia, including traditional song and dance performances, wrestling and archery competitions, and more. Perhaps the best part, Vantage travelers will get to join in on the fun if they so choose and can award the lucky winners with medals. It is a fun, enlightening, and uplifting experience that travelers will remember long after they return home. Later, visit a nomadic family to learn about their lifestyle and customs. Thousands of miles from our home, we gain a deeper understanding of the struggles and joys of locals . . . it is truly a highlight of the journey.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Visit a nomadic family and witness a goat-milking demonstration

WOW Feature:

  • Participate in the children’s Mini Naadam Game

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8:

Singing Sands and two safaris: 4 x 4 Desert Safari and Camel Safari

Today you’ll embark on a 4x4 desert safari to Khongoryn Els, a dreamscape of shifting dunes whose colors change with the light and whose sand particles emit a hypnotic “singing” sound. Upon arrival, enjoy a different desert perspective during lunch at the Gobi Erdene Lodge.

In the afternoon you’ll ride back across the magnificent dunes on a “ship of the desert,” a two-humped Bactrian camel. This camel safari takes about half an hour and allows you to experience this unique form of transportation amid the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert. Should guests not wish to ride a camel, there is also an opportunity to do some light trekking near the oases at the Khongor sand dunes. Later, enjoy a relaxing evening.

WOW Feature:

  • Full-day excursion with 4x4 safari at Khongoryn Els

Cultural Connection:

  • Camel ride along the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9:

Morning camel races and marveling at the “Flaming Cliffs” of Bayanzag

This morning begins with yet another Vantage-exclusive experience: Camel racing through the dunes of the Gobi. You’ll enjoy the thrill of watching these denizens of the desert strut their stuff in an incomparable setting. Our leisurely morning also includes a ride back across the desert to the Dream Gobi Camp. After lunch we’ll explore Bayanzag to admire its flaming “Red Cliffs.” It was here that the American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews unearthed the world’s first-discovered dinosaur eggs and other important fossils such as the Velociraptor and Protoceratops. Andrews himself was said to have been an inspiration for the Indiana Jones character of Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure films. We’ll enjoy a bit of light trekking around the site before a delightful picnic dinner featuring delicious Mongolian barbecue fare — enjoying our delicious meal while watching the sunset.

Included Feature:

  • Witness a morning camel racing game in the Gobi

Cultural Discovery:

  • Sunset picnic dinner featuring Mongolian barbecue

WOW Feature:

  • Visit the Flaming Cliffs

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 10:

Inside Gandan Monastery and the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts

Flying from Dalanzadgad, we arrive back in Ulaanbaatar and spend the morning at Gandan Monastery, Mongolia’s most important Buddhist center. Built in 1809, the monastery is one of few institutions that survived the Stalinist purges of the 1930s. You’ll get a chance to see this active monastery, where 600 monks maintain long-standing Buddhist traditions.

After lunch we continue to Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts, whose collection of Mongolian art from prehistory through the early 20th century is the best of its kind. It is also a repository of works by Zanabazar, a 17th-century artist and Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader who is known as the "Michelangelo of Asia." Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.

Included Features:

  • Visit Gandan Monastery
  • Tour the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 11:

Visit the Genghis Khan Statue Complex, Farewell Dinner, and flight to Seoul

Today, we’ll start with the unforgettable Genghis Khan Statue. Standing 131-feet high atop a 33-foot-high coliseum, this stainless-steel behemoth is the world’s largest equestrian statue and a fitting tribute to a man who stood larger than life. Exhibits within the coliseum depict important events in Chinggis’ life, including his legendary discovery here of a golden horse whip that foretold his destiny. You can ride an elevator and emerge from between his legs to gaze at the lush Mongolian steppe from a deck atop his steed’s head. We then wade through Naran Tuul Market, Ulaanbaatar’s largest market, to explore the mind-boggling array of goods on sale. This is where people from all over the country come to get textiles, equipment for their horses and livestock, jewelry, and even entire gers! Then, we stop by a cashmere boutique where you may acquire a souvenir — Mongolia is the world’s second-largest producer of the prized wool, so you’ll find cashmere scarves, hats, and coats in abundance here.

A delicious Mongolian feast awaits tonight as we attend our Farewell Dinner, along with a marvelous musical performance. You’ll be dazzled by the costumed folk dancers and Mongolian throat singers, masters of an art form in which individual singers are able to produce multiple tones at once.

After dinner, we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to Seoul.

Included Feature:

  • Visit the Genghis Khan Statue Complex

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit Ulaanbaatar’s largest market
  • Farewell Dinner with traditional Mongolian performances, including throat singing

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 12:

Board your flight home

Upon arrival in Seoul, you’ll be transferred to your hotel where you’ll have use of a dayroom to rest and relax. After lunch on your own, transfer to the airport for your flight home.


Included meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-848-5773

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