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    Discover the Enchanting Gobi Desert with Asia Online Tours
    Gobi Desert
    Mongolia travel
    Asia Online Tours
    Camel trekking
    Flaming Cliffs

    discover the enchanting gobi desert with asia online tours

    ​The Gobi Desert, spanning vast portions of northern China and southern Mongolia, stands as one of the world's largest deserts.

    Known for its harsh, rugged landscapes and extreme temperatures, the Gobi offers more than just a backdrop for adventure; it serves as a crucial historical and cultural landmark. This desert has played a significant role in the history of the Silk Road, facilitating trade and cultural exchange between the East and the West.

    Today, it draws explorers, historians, and nature enthusiasts alike, eager to witness its unique beauty and explore its untouched expanses. This introduction from Asia Online Tours sets the stage for a deeper exploration into what makes the Gobi Desert a captivating destination for adventurers and scholars worldwide.

    Discover The Enchanting Gobi Desert with Asia Online Tours

    Gobi Desert – Untouched Remoteness of Nature

    The Gobi Desert, one of Asia's largest deserts and known as the "waterless place" in Mongolian, spans the boundary between southern Mongolia and northern China. This expansive desert is characterized by its varied geography, which includes rocky-mountains, sand dunes, and vast gravel plains. Unlike the stereotypical sandy desert, the Gobi's terrain is diverse, ranging from towering sand dunes in some areas to rocky, barren flats in others.


    Gobi Desert - © National Geographic

    Climate in the Gobi is extreme, with temperatures that swing dramatically between seasons and even within a single day. Summers can soar above 40 °C (104 °F), while winters can plummet below -40 °C (-40 °F). The desert is also notably dry, receiving as little as 194 millimeters (7.6 inches) of rain annually, primarily during the brief summer months.

    The Gobi is not just an area of natural extremes, but it is also a historically significant region. It served as a critical part of the Silk Road, facilitating trade and cultural exchange between East and West during the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties as remarked in National Geographic’s records.


    Gobi Desert Oasis - © Gather

    Today, it remains a site of archaeological interest, with numerous important discoveries, such as dinosaur fossils and early human artifacts, having been made in its vast expanses.

    Despite its harsh conditions, the Gobi supports a variety of life adapted to the desert environment. Rare animals such as the Bactrian camel, Gobi bear, and snow leopard inhabit this rugged landscape. For the adventurous spirit, the Gobi Desert offers not only a testament to natural resilience and beauty but also a deep, tangible connection to history.


    Mongolian Traditional Ger in Gobi Desert - © Recording the Journey Blog

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    What to Pack for A Gobi Desert Expedition?

    1. Gear Essentials

    Clothing: Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics during the day and warmer layers for the cold nights. It is also recommended to have a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and strong UV protection sunscreen with you as they are essential protection against the sun.

    Navigation Tools: Reliable GPS devices, a detailed map of the area, and a compass are crucial, as cell service can be nonexistent.

    Camping Equipment: If you plan to camp, bring a sturdy tent, a sleeping bag rated for low temperatures, and a portable stove.


    Camping in Gobi Desert - © Gather

    2. Safety Measures

    Hydration: Carry ample water supplies, as sources in the desert are scarce or consider bringing a portable water filter or purification tablets.

    First Aid: Equip a comprehensive first aid kit with supplies for treating both minor injuries and specific desert hazards, such as snakebite kits.

    Emergency Plan: Register your travel plans with a local guide or tour company. Carry a satellite phone or a beacon for emergencies.

    3. Sustainable Travel Practices

    Leave No Trace: Pack out all trash and use established campsites to minimize environmental impact.

    Wildlife Interactions: Maintain a safe and respectful distance from wildlife to avoid disturbances and potential danger.


    Camel Trekking in Gobi Desert - © Gather

    By adhering to these guidelines, travelers can ensure they are well-prepared for the unique challenges and rewards from your Gobi Desert exploration. This preparation not only enhances the safety and enjoyment of the journey but also helps preserve the pristine nature of this remarkable landscape for future visitors.

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    Key Attractions for Gobi Desert Wildlife Photography tours

    1. Khongoryn Els – The Singing Dunes

    The Khongor Sand Dunes stretch from northwest to southeast in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a major destination in the Gobi Desert. These dunes span 965 square kilometers, reaching up to 200 meters in height and 27 kilometers at their widest point. The landscape varies dramatically: rocky, mountainous terrain in the south, a barren, plantless center, and lush oases in the north.

    On windy days, sandstorms obscure all visibility, transforming the scene into a blanket of swirling sand. In contrast, calm, sunny days highlight the dunes' golden hues, making them glow brilliantly.


    Khongoryn Els - © Gather

    The widest part of Khongor, known as the "singing dunes," offers a unique auditory experience. Climbing these dunes, a challenging task, causes the sand to emit a squeaking noise, reminiscent of singing. Lying down here, one might hear a sound similar to a plane, produced by the movement of hot sand in the wind. This region is also the sole habitat of the endangered Gobi bear, locally known as mazaalai.

    2. Bayanzag – The Flaming Cliffs

    Bayanzag, located in the Arts Bogd mountain range, spans 8 kilometers across a valley and is renowned for its significant paleontological discoveries. In the 1920s, American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews led an expedition here and discovered dinosaur eggs, a massive rhino-like dinosaur skeleton, and a parrot-nosed dinosaur.


    The Flaming Cliffs - © Gather

    The name "Bayanzag" translates to "rich in saxaul," referring to the region's abundance of saxaul bushes, whilst the nickname "Flaming Cliffs" refers to the region's sandstone and red clay formations. Over millions of years, erosion has molded these sediments into the spectacular cliffs and canyons that may be seen today.

    The area's characteristic red color is most visible during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, providing a stunning burning scene in any Flaming Cliffs expedition.

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    3. Yolyn Am – The Ice Valley

    Yolyn Am Gorge, located about 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Dalanzadgad in the Gurvansaikhan Mountains, is named after the bearded vulture, or 'Yol' in Mongolian. This striking valley features a 40-kilometer-long (about 25 miles long) canyon with areas of snowmelt that remain frozen year-round.


    Yolyn Am - © Gather

    During winter, the river accumulates thick ice layers, which thaw slowly. The canyon's steep cliffs block sunlight, keeping parts of the river frozen even in summer.

    Despite its chill and darkness, Yolyn Am possesses a unique beauty. A tiny route winds along the river and expands between the boulders. Above, buzzards and eagles soar against the blue sky, while gerbils and picas scurry among the rocks below.

    4. Gurvan Saikhan National Park

    Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, the largest national park in Mongolia, “covers an area of 10,424.76 square miles (27,000 square kilometers),” recorded by The Global Alliance of National Parks. It encompasses diverse landscapes including gravel plains, salt wetlands, dry valleys, and oases.


    Gurvan Saikhan National Park - © Gather

    Despite its harsh climate, the park supports a rich array of wildlife. It houses 52 mammal species, such as the wild ass, Gobi bear, snow leopard, and ibex, along with 246 bird species, including kestrels, lammergeiers, and saker falcons.

    Approximately 5,000 people, belonging to around one thousand nomadic families or small settlements, live within the park. These residents and the varied wildlife coexist in this vast protected area, demonstrating the resilience of life in extreme environments.

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    5. Algui Ulaan Tsav - The Dinosaurs' Cemetery

    The Gobi Desert in Mongolia is a significant site for paleontological research, hosting diverse formations that preserve a wide array of species from various geological periods. One notable site, Algui Red Crack or Algui Ulaan Tsav in Mongolian, is located in Mandal-Ovoo soum of Umnugobi province.


    Algui Ulaan Tsav - © Gather

    Here, researchers and visitors can observe dinosaur skeletons and crystallized eggs still embedded in the ground, providing a direct view into the prehistoric past. This site exemplifies the rich paleontological heritage preserved within the Gobi Desert's vast landscape.

    Adventure Activities during Gobi Desert Exploration

    The Gobi Desert offers a range of adventure activities that cater to the thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. Here’s what you can engage in to fully experience the desert’s vastness and beauty:

    1. Camel Trekking

    Khongor sand dunes trek on the back of a Bactrian camel is a must-try activities for anyone visiting here. This traditional mode of transport is a slow, rolling journey that allows you to absorb the tranquil silence and sprawling vistas. It’s an authentic way to connect with the desert life.


    Wild Camels in Gobi Desert - © Britannica

    2. Off-road Driving

    For those seeking adrenaline, navigating the rugged terrain in a 4x4 offers a challenging and exhilarating way to explore more remote areas of the Gobi. The activity combines adventure with the opportunity to reach less accessible sights.

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    3. Sandboarding

    The larger dunes, like those at Khongoryn Els, are perfect for sandboarding, a thrilling activity that lets you slide down the slopes on a board. It’s a unique sport that provides both fun and a physical challenge in a stunning setting.

    4. Star Gazing

    The Gobi's pure, unpolluted skies offer some of the best conditions for astronomy. At night, the desert transforms into a celestial dome, offering spectacular views of the Milky Way and other constellations, making your stargazing in the Gobi one of the most memorable experience.


    Gobi Desert at Night - © Windows Spotlight Images

    5. Hiking and Rock Climbing

    Various trails and rock formations offer opportunities for hiking and climbing, catering to different skill levels. These activities not only test your endurance and agility but also reward you with panoramic views of the desert landscape.

    Each of these activities is designed to provide an immersive experience, allowing adventurers to engage physically with the environment while respecting and preserving its natural beauty. Whether you are calmly riding a camel or vigorously climbing a rock, the Gobi’s adventures are both diverse and inspiring.

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    When is the Best Time for Gobi Desert Trip?

    Choosing the best time to visit the Gobi Desert is crucial for a comfortable and fulfilling experience. The desert's extreme climate dictates the ideal periods for travel. Visiting the Gobi during the recommended times ensures not only personal comfort but also greater safety and a richer experience as you explore this unique landscape.


    Gobi Desert during Winter - © Gather

    1. Late Spring (May to June)

    During these months, the weather is moderate, avoiding the severe cold of winter and the intense heat of summer. This time is perfect for exploring the desert's vast landscapes comfortably.

    2. Early Autumn (September to October)

    Similar to late spring, early autumn provides temperate weather, making it another ideal time for visitors. The cooler temperatures are conducive for long treks and overnight camping without the harshness of summer heat.

    3. Avoiding Extreme Weather of Summer

    Summers (July and August) can be oppressively hot, with temperatures soaring above 40 °C (104 °F), which can be dangerous for physical activities. Winters, on the other hand, see temperatures plummeting below -30 °C (-22 °F), which can be equally challenging.


    Nomadic culture of Mongolia - © CNA

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    Interesting Facts about The Gobi Desert You Should Know

    - The Gobi is Asia's largest desert, covering parts of northern China and southern Mongolia. It spans over 1,600 kilometers (about 1,000 miles) and encompasses an area of 1.3 million square kilometers (501,930 square miles).

    - Despite being a desert, the Gobi does not fit the typical sandy, perpetually hot image. It experiences extreme temperature fluctuations, ranging from -40 °C (-104 °F) in winter to over 40 °C (104 °F) in summer.

    - The Gobi was a critical part of the Silk Road, the ancient network of trade routes that connected the East and West. It facilitated significant cultural and economic exchanges throughout history.

    - The Gobi Desert has been a rich site for dinosaur fossils, including the first discovery of dinosaur eggs. This has made it a key location for paleontological research.

    - The desert is home to rare species that have adapted to its harsh conditions, such as the Gobi bear, one of the rarest bears in the world, and the wild Bactrian camel, which can drink salty water.

    - Contrary to its barren reputation, the Gobi supports various forms of life with its scattered oases and unique vegetation adapted to arid conditions.

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