Every Thursday I write about a place I'd love to go.
This week, how about an exotic vacation to Mongolia and Tibet?
MIR, Seattle-based tour operator, just announced its Steppes to the Roof of the World tour, a 14-day adventure through Mongolia and Tibet.
From the email I received:
From the “Roof of the World” to the Gobi Desert, this 14-day tour dives deep into both enduring cultures. Highlights include visits to Mongolia’s premier ger camp in the Gobi; Flaming Cliffs where the first nest of dinosaur eggs was discovered; UNESCO-listed Potala Palace and its thousands of altars and statues; Tibet’s first monastery built in the 8th century by King Trisong Detsen; the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas; the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts; Beijing’s top sites; and much more. MIR Corporation has more than two decades of travel experience in this region. In fact, programs such as Princeton and Dartmouth have chosen MIR to guide them to Mongolia.
Tour dates are slated for May 23-June 5 and August 15-28. Prices start at $5,895 per person. For more info, go here.
Here's a look at the itinerary:
Days 1-2: Beijing
The journey begins with a two-night stay in Beijing, exploring the classic sites, including the Forbidden City. Fly to the Tibetan Plateau and drive to Tsetang.
Day 3: Tsetang, Yarlung Valley
Explore the cradle of Tibetan civilization in the beautiful Yarlung Valley. Visit the 8th century Samye Monastery, its three floors presenting the different styles of Tibetan, Indian and Chinese Buddhism.
Days 4-6: Lhasa
Drive to the “City of the Sun,” Lhasa, Tibet’s nearly 12,000-foot-high capital. Explore the UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, and the Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s most sacred site. Encircling the Jokhang is the traditional Barkhor Market, Lhasa’s central trading area for hundreds of years.
Days 7-12: Beijing, UlaanBaatar, Gobi Desert
Return to Beijing and fly onward to the Mongolian capital of UlaanBaatar for an en route overnight, and on to the Gobi Desert. Motoring across lands once roamed by Genghis Khan’s mounted warriors, admire the sand dunes, Yol Valley and the Flaming Cliffs. At a nomadic family’s ger, perhaps taste yogurt made from camel’s milk.
Days 13-14: UlaanBaatar
Back again in UlaanBaatar, explore the Gandan Monastery and attend a concert of Mongolian throat-singing before celebrating the journey from the mountains to the steppe at a farewell dinner.