Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New tours of wild west Mongolia

Yurt camps, vast, empty plains, wild ibex, rough roads, mud and the chance to join nomadic tribes in throat singing, horseriding and the time-honoured tradition of eagle hunting are features of new motorcycle expeditions to the ‘wild west’ of Mongolia in 2015 just released by Extreme Bike Tours.


Featuring Mongolia for the first time, Extreme Bike Tours will offer six 15-day tours in 2015 to remote and rarely visited western Mongolia, a vast and rugged region of nomadic herders, gold prospectors, tiny outposts and cultures frozen in time.

“Western Mongolia is one of the world’s last true frontiers - a far-flung land of stunning scenery, fascinating culture and daring adventure that few foreigners get to experience,” says self-confessed adrenalin junkie and former Englishman, Zander Combe, who owns Extreme Bike Tours, which is based in India. “A lot of planning has gone into our new Mongolian tours to ensure they offer our guests the trip of a lifetime in a land that time forgot,” Zander adds.

The all-inclusive, off-the-beaten-track tours, departing in April, May, August and September next year, start and end in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, with adventure-seeking riders - and also pillion passengers - then flying west to hit the road between the frontier towns of Uliastai and Ulgii.

The guided tours will see riders eat around campfires and sleep in traditional Mongolian yurts at ‘ger’ camps along the route which stretches through the Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountains.

Along the way, guests can meet villagers famed for their unusual ‘throat singing’, also called overtone chanting and learn the haunting craft themselves. Traditional Kazakh eagle hunters who ride horses and train golden eagles to hunt fox and hare are also encountered enroute along with Mongolia’s nomadic herders and ibex - wild goats with horns up to 98cm long.

The 15-day expeditions are available for licensed riders and also for pillion passengers riding behind friends or crew or in support vehicles. Fares include connecting domestic flights within Mongolia, hotel accommodation at the start and end of the tour in Ulaanbaatar, ger camp accommodation on the road, all meals, use of new Royal Enfield 500cc bullet motorbikes and fuel. Flights from Australia to Mongolia are extra.

Featured on TV’s ‘Top Gear’ program, in 2011, Extreme Bike Tours is one of the world’s leading motorcycle tour companies and also offers itineraries to the Himalayas, Tibet, Bhutan, Rajasthan and southern India. Up to 80 per cent of riders are from Australia and New Zealand.

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