Jewels of Mongolia with Rural Naadam Festival

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  • Worry free planning
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12 Days
Availability : Departures July 2024
Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar
Tour Details
Jewels of Mongolia with Rural Naadam Festival

Join us for a special tour to the crystal blue Lake Khuvsgul and the Gobi desert during the Naadam Festival! These are 2 of the most beautiful places in Mongolia, and offer you an opportunity to enjoy the Naadam Festival in a rural, less crowded, environment. 

12 Days with all domestic transportation, private Ger accommodations, meals and more! Contact us today for a quote!

*International flight not included

Departure Location

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

End Location

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Price Includes

  • Private Ger for every 2 people in tourist camp
  • All meals, as listed in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Accommodation in 4-star hotels in Ulaanbaatar
  • Transportation by 4WD Vehicles
  • English speaking guide
  • Daily supply of bottled water

Price Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Any private expenses
  • Optional excursions
  • Visa's & vaccinations, if required
  • International flights

Tour Specialist

  • Lesli Heron
Highlights
  • Enjoy the local Naadam Festival at Lake Khuvgul
  • At the lake enjoy horseback riding, kayaking, and a boat tour to explore the sacred spot "Sant Asar", as well as visit reindeer and yak herding families
  • Explore the sand dunes and gorges of the Gobi Desert
  • Visit the 'Flaming Cliff" know as Bayanzag, where dinosaur bones are still being discovered to this day
For more information on this tour, or help with booking, please contact your favourite Lloyds Travel Agent!
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival & Cultural Tour of Ulaanbaatar

Upon arrival at Chinggis Khan International Airport, you are met by your tour guide or our driver and transferred to the hotel. The first stop is Sukhbaatar Square. This central square is named after Damdiny Sukhbaatar, the revolutionary hero of 1921 who declared independence from China. Next is a visit to Gandan Monastery, the largest and most famous functioning monastery in Mongolia. Here you will see the impressive Golden Buddha Statue of Migjid Janraisig and may even have the opportunity to experience monks in worship. Time permitting, you will visit the Natural History Museum, which is famous for its collection of authentic dinosaur skeletons found throughout Mongolia, and then take in a fantastic view of the entire city from Zaisan memorial hill. End the evening with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2Fly to the Gobi Desert (1.2 hours) and then drive to Yol Valley and Gurvansaikhan National Park

This morning we fly over vast steppe to the Gobi, Mongolia’s southernmost province of semi-arid desert. Meet your local guide and
driver and then transfer by 4WD vehicle to the Yol Valley in Gurvansaikhan National Park, situated in the lap of Altai Mountains. On the way to our lodge, we stop to visit the local Natural History Museum for an insight to the flora and fauna of the area.
The next three days will be well spent exploring the vast Gobi-the habitat of the Bactrian Camels, Argali mountain sheep, Golden Eagles, Jerboas that resembles the Kangaroo rats, Saker Falcons etc. We may also take a scenic hike through the valley to discover the habitat of indigenous vulture-like lammergeyers, Altai snow cocks, ibex, yaks, and Argali mountain sheep.

Overnight: Gobi Nomad Lodge, Deluxe Ger with en-suite bathroom with shower and air conditioning.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3Yol Valley to Hongoryn Els

After breakfast, take in the stunning scenery of the Gobi-Altai Mountain range as you transfer to the towering sand dunes of Khongoryn Els, home to the ‘Singing Sands’. These spectacular dunes got their name from the noise made by the shifting sand in the wind. Feel the breeze in your hair as you ride a camel across the dunes before returning to the ger camp. Isolated from the rest of the country, the Singing Sands are the best kept secret for thousand years in the history of Mongolia.

Overnight in Ger Camp

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4Drive to Khavtsgait Petroglyphs and Visiting Nomad Family

In the morning we drive to the site of the Khavtsgait Petroglyphs. The Khavtsgait Petroglyphs from the Bronze Age
(4000-3000 BC) are beautifully carved on many rocks on the top of a sacred mountain. It is easy to find the rock paintings there because they are spread on rocks all around. The area is very rocky and can be slippery to climb, but by carefully following a path up the mountain, you can reach the top to see these beautiful rock paintings.
The petroglyphs were carved and painted with motifs consisting of animals, hunting scenes and weapons. They depict various animals related to everyday life of ancient people including deer, bears, wolves and hunters, and wolves with livestock. Other
paintings depict more domestic scenes of yaks pulling carts, the wheels and horses flattened sideways like hieroglyphs, and herders
on horseback. The engravings vary in size, ranging from twocentimeters to the real life size of horses.

Note: The area is very rocky and can be slippery to climb, but by wearing appropriate shoes and carefully following the mountain
path one can reach the top to see these beautiful rock paintings. After the rest, we will visit a herder family nearby. We will spend
some time there getting to know the family members and their casual yet unique daily lifestyle. It is a good chance to see how the
family members cooperate together to do their daily even hourly chores such as milking mares, fencing and milking the goats. If you wish, you are welcome to try some mare’s fermented milk and other dairy products.

Overnight: Gobi Nomad Lodge, Deluxe Ger with en-suite bathroom with shower and air conditioning.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5Day trip to Flaming Cliffs

Following breakfast at tourist camp then we will drive to Bayan Zag, popularly called “The Flaming Cliffs” for its glowing orange
rocks. It was here, in 1922, that paleontologists made an astounding discovery. This area got international name as Roy Chapman
Andrews after his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History discovered the first nest of dinosaur eggs here. The area is haven for the natural history scientists as the area is rich in dinosaur fossils.

Overnight: Gobi Nomad Lodge, Deluxe Ger with en-suite bathroom with shower and air conditioning.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6Flight back to Ulaanbaatar, Terelj National Park

Following an early morning breakfast, you will be transferred back to the Dalanzadgad Airport. We bid farewell to our drivers and fly to Ulaanbaatar where we meet our local transport for a 90-minute drive to Gorkhi Terelj National Park. This unforgettable excursion will take you to features such as scenic valleys, a winding river, and restful groves of trees. Many nomads live in the park itself, where they find lush land for their animals, and you may even see majestic herds of yak grazing near the camp. Once inside the park you will be able to visit the notable rock formations “Turtle rock” and “Monk reading a book.” You will also have the opportunity to hike up to the Aryabal meditation center and learn more about Mongolian Buddhism.
On the way to the national park, you will take a detour to visit the giant Statue of Chinggis Khan which stands 40m (132 ft) high. The monument is about 33 miles east of Ulaanbaatar and stands at the point where, according to legend, he found a golden whip. The statue is symbolically pointed east, towards his birthplace. It is on top of the Chinggis Khan Statue Complex, a visitor center, itself 10 meters (32 ft 10 in) tall, with 36 columns representing the 36 khans from Genghis to Ligdan Khan. It was designed by sculptor D. Erdenebileg and architect J. Enkhjargal and erected in 2008.

Overnight in Ger Camp

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 7Terelj National Park to Hustai National Park

Today we will drive to Hustai National Park, which is world famous for the successful reintroduction of the Przewalski horse, called “takhi” by Mongolians. It became extinct in the wild in 1969 and, since 1992, has been successfully reintroduced to Hustai from zoos around the world. This has been an international effort monitored by The Foundation for the Przewalski horse, based in the Netherlands and MACNE (Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and the Environment). Upon arrival in Hustai, you will check in at our ger camp. After lunch, you will take a jeep ride into the park. The national park is comprised of rolling Steppe Mountains with rather large patches of birch and aspen forests. There are also visible remains of Neolithic graves. In addition, red deer and wolf have increased quite a bit during the last few years, as well as Mongolian gazelle. Species present in Hustai but usually not seen include Lynx, Argali Sheep and Roe Deer. Usually, you are able to see the herds of wild horses grazing in the grasslands of the parks and other wild animals.

Overnight in Ger Camp

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 8Drive to Karakorum, Erdene Zuu monastery

After breakfast at our camp, we head further west to Karakorum (Locally called Kharahhorin or Harhorin), the symbolic ruins of the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire. The ancient capital of Mongolia, Karakorum, was located on the right bank of Orkhon River and on the northeastern slopes of the Khangai Mountains. Founded by Chinggis Khan in 1220, it was not only the capital of the vast Mongolian Empire, but also the epicenter of trade along the Silk Road. At that time the inhabitants of city were mostly merchant craftsmen who came to Karakorum from all over the world. In 1379 much of the city was badly damaged during an
attack by the army of the Min Dynasty.

Erdene Zuu monastery
Erdene Zuu monastery was built by Avtai Sain Khan on the ruins of the Mongolian capital Karakorum in 1586. It was the first great Buddhist Monastery of Mongolia. It is part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape UNESCO World Heritage site. Stones from the ruins of Karakorum were used in construction, and it is surrounded by a wall featuring 108 stupas, 108 being a sacred number in Buddhism, and the number of beads in a Buddhist rosary. The monastery was damaged by warfare in the 1680s, but was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples inside. The Erdene Zuu Monastery was taken under state protection and became a museum in 1944. You will finish your exploration at the Karakorum Museum and see the Great Mongol state period, Stone Age, Bronze Age, Ancient state period halls.

Overnight in Ger Camp

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 9Drive from Karakorum to Ulaanbaatar

In the morning, we drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Once in the city, you will have the chance to stop and shop for authentic Mongolian cashmere at the factory store. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, a residence of Bodg Jabzan Damba Hutagt VIII who was Mongolia’s last theocrat. In the evening you will enjoy a farewell dinner and attend the local folklore dance show.

Overnight at 4* hotel

Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 10 - 11Naadam Festival

During whole lovely day you enjoy watch Naadam festival or three manly sports such as wrestling, archery and horse racing. Visit opening ceremony of Naadam festival at the national stadium. And you will see archery, wrestling and horse racing during Naadam festival. Naadam festival is of the victory of the People’s Revolution. Naadam festival is celebrated every year at 11-13th July in Central stadium. Mongolia celebrates its independence and its rich cultural heritage with a festival of sports and revelry in Ulaanbaatar. The distinctly Mongolian feel and flair of the Naadam Festival make it a wonderful spectacle, a joyous time, and an
intriguing cultural event. Colorful ceremonies and parading soldiers kick off the celebrations. The ancient game of wrestling follows, with men competing in many rounds of competition. Both men and women compete in the archery games, using the traditional Mongolian compound bow that terrorized Europe when Genghis Khan and his Golden Horde moved their empire west. The quintessentially Mongolian art of horse racing follows, where up to 800 horses compete, jockeyed by children so that the skill of
the horse, and not the rider, is tested.

Overnight at 4* hotel

Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 12Depart Mongolia

Transfer to the airport for flight to next destination

Meal: Breakfast

Photos


Why Book With Us?

  • Worry free planning
  • Exceptional knowledge
  • Family owned & operated
  • Superior value


Have a Question?

Don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our team of experts are happy to assist you in creating your next dream vacation.

1.800.800.7252

travel@lloydstravel.com