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Naadam Festival 2017 | Highlights of Mongolia

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Naadam Festival 2017 | Highlights of Mongolia
13 days / 12 nights

Price:

from $1,880

Tour code:

ATM-47

Destination:

Ulaanbaatar - Naadam Festival - Central Mongolia highlights - middle and southern Gobi discovery - most visited and interesting National Parks around Ulaanbaatar

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Amicus Tour Mongolia Naadam Festival 2017 | Highlights of Mongolia
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In Brief

Meet one of the last nomadic cultures on earth, where a traditional way of life endures as it did a millennium ago. Just three million people inhabit a country the size of Western Europe, half of them still living in portable felt tents called Ger and moving seasonally with their animals.
The tour takes 13 days to cover the most popular travel destinations including Gobi desert- distinctive landscapes of towering sand dunes, wide open steppes, iced Georges, rocky mountains, red cliffs, stunning sunsets and sunrises, UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Karakorum - ruins and museum of ancient and most interesting national parks and much more!
Join us for the most colorful and amazing Naadam festival; held every year in July and all Mongolians celebrate the three manly sports of horse racing, archery and wrestling. The festival registered with the Intangible Heritage Fund of UNESCO.

Brief Itinerary:

Day 01 / 09 Jul Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Day 02 / 10 Jul Genghis Khan’s Statue Complex- Terelj National Park trip - UB
Day 03 / 11 Jul Naadam festival opening ceremony – half day city tour
Day 04 / 12 Jul Naadam, horse racing at Hui doloon khudag - Hustai National Park
Day 05 / 13 Jul Kharakorum & Erdenezuu Buddhist Monastery
Day 06 / 14 Jul Ongi River valley, Middle Gobi
Day 07 / 15 Jul Ongi steppe - Bayanzag (Flaming cliffs), Gobi
Day 08 / 16 Jul Khongor sand dunes, the biggest sand dunes in Gobi
Day 09 / 17 Jul Yol valley, Three beauties of the Gobi Mt. National Park
Day 10 / 18 Jul Tsagaan suvarga, middle Gobi
Day 11 / 19 Jul Bagagazriin chuluu National Park, middle Gobi
Day 12 / 20 Jul Middle Gobi – Ulaanbaatar & half day city tour
Day 13 / 21 Jul Departure

Tour Map: Click on Large!

In Detail

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 01 (09 July): Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia
Welcome to Mongolia! Upon arrival, your tour guide will greet you at the arrival hall and accompany you in a comfortable vehicle to your hotel and help you with the check-in procedure.
We leave the rest of the day free for you to be on your own. You may need some time to relax and recover from the long-distance flight or possibly from jet-lag. If you feel like going for a walk and checking out places nearby, feel free to ask your guide for recommendations for good dining or places to see.
Accommodation: Hotel 4*, Meals: No meals on this day.

Day 02 (10 July): Genghis Khan’s Statue Complex - Terelj National Park trip
In the morning at 8.30am, we will drive to see Genghis Khan Statue Complex, which is currently the biggest (40m high) equestrian statue in the world. There is a recreation area, restaurants, and souvenir shops occupy the base structure. From here, we use an elevator or walk to the head of the horse through chest and back neck of the horse, where we can have farseeing and good panorama view over the complex area.
We will drive continue to Terelj National Park, this is one of the most visited national parks in Mongolia. You can see the extraordinary formation of rocks and stones; some of them look quite similar to turtles.
After lunch at Ger camp, take short drive to see Turtle Rock - interesting rock formation looking like a turtle and visit Ariyabal meditation temple - surrounded by scenic mountains with massive rock formations and sits at top of the mountain. The distance between the gate and the actual temple is about 1 km and it is only accessible by walking. To get to the top, you would cross the suspension bridge and climb up on 108 stairs, according to Buddhist prayer beads. This small hike is seen as a ritual to cleanse one’s sins. From the top, you can enjoy the breathtaking view overlooking the Terelj National Park.
Also we will visit local nomadic family to experience firsthand how people live the country side, a lifestyle which has not changed for centuries. Here you can help the herders with their daily tasks to get an idea of how nomadic people alongside of their livestock.
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to the hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel 4*, and Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 03 (11 July): Naadam festival opening ceremony – half day city tour
In the morning at 8.30am, your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and joining in naadam tour group. Today we will be attending the opening ceremony of the Festival of Naadam in Ulaanbaatar national stadium. It's Mongolia's biggest, most colorful and most important annual cultural event, focusing on three sports: horse racing, Mongolian-style wrestling, and archery. It's no coincidence that all three skills derive from the capabilities of Genghis Khan's legendary military - a force that conquered and controlled the largest empire the world has ever known.
Before have lunch, we visit naadam archery field beside central stadium. The archery field will be filled with men and women archers in colorful ethnic national costumes who shooting arrows from their bows. This kind of contest was in existence in the 13th century and was in use until recently.
Also, we will visit stadium of ankle-bone shooting competition. Even though naadam’s original nickname is “three manly games” meaning wrestling, horse racing and archery, a fourth game came into the naadam’s official agenda in 1998, Mongolian ankle-bone shooting (shagain harvaa), and another UNESCO registered world heritage. Ancle-bone shooting by middle finger is a team game, a sort of miniature version of bowling.
After lunch, we will start guided city tour and visit “Gandan” Monastery, Mongolia’s largest functioning Buddhist monastery. Listen to the horns calling lamas and monks to temple, and capture the monks’ daily rituals while visiting the adjoining Megjid Janraisig and Temples. The temple houses features a 26-meter-high majestic gilded statue of Migjid Janraisig.
Next, we will visit Bogd Khaan Palace Museum - The complex was built between 1893 and 1903 dedicated to the 8th Bogd Javzandamba, the head of Mongolian religion. The palace museum consists of seven Summer Prayer temples and the winter palace.
Afterwards, visit Zaisan Memorial Hill is located in the south side of Ulaanbaatar City, right beside the Bogd Khan Mountain having a best view of the city and surrounding hills. Transfer to the hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel 4* and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 04 (12 July): Naadam, horse racing at Hui doloon khudag - Hustai National Park
Be picked up from hotel at 08:00 am. This morning we will take 1-1.5 hrs drive to Hui Doloon hudag (horse racing field of Naadam festival) for witness the Naadam horse races, featuring children riding bareback across the steppe.  All of these racers from each corners of Mongolia.
You will experience the brilliant madness of the horse race field and the unsurpassed cultural opportunity to watch the “Soyolon” (5-year-old horse) race will start for 25km - Soyolon horse is the fastest and most powerful. Mongolians often say that the one who stands in dust of Soyolon race will be blessed till next Naadam. So don’t be surprised if you see many businessmen, crowds of people wearing fancy traditional garments, as well as the Mongolia ‘strong-men’ that will wait for Mongolian fastest of the Soyolon horses. While you are waiting for next race, you will have a great opportunity to take photography local horse trainers, peoples with traditional garments and so more.
After explore Hui doloon khudag, d
rive to Hustai National Park (Wild horse Park). There we will visit the small Ger museum about wild horse and national park. In early evening, we will take short drive to see for wild horse Takhi - Przewalski Horse. There is great opportunity to take photo for these endangered horses. If you are lucky, you can see fox, deer, roe deer, eagle, and more animals and birds…
Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 05 (13 July): Kharakorum & Erdenezuu Buddhist Monastery
In the morning, we will drive to Kharkhorin - is a small village and one of the country's major tourist destinations and historically known as Karakorum city.
Arrival in the village, we will visit museum of Karakorum, the symbolic ruins of ancient city.
Karakoram was once the capital of the Mongolia Empire, which was the largest contiguous empire in the World history, consisted of much of Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. In 1220, Karakorum was founded by Genghis Khan in the Orkhon valley, at the crossroads of the Silk Road. The city flourished with wealth and culture, especially as artists and intellectuals were brought over from Europe to enhance the Eurasian capital.
Also we will visit to the magnificent and the oldest Buddhist Monastery complex of Erdene Zuu, built in the 16th century, with 108 stupas. The monastery is still active, and there are temple museums and buildings where monks live and pray. Here you can see interesting listen to monk chanting Buddhist sutras.
Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Activities: To explore sightseeing, visit Museum and Buddhist Monastery.

Day 06 (14 July): Ongi River valley, Middle Gobi
After breakfast, our trip continue to the ruined monastery of Ongi Temple lies on the banks of the Ongi River and it’s the half way point between the two major travel destinations-the Southern Gobi and Karakorum. It was destroyed by the communist purges of the 1930s and is being restored by a number of monks. It is an amazing site and stretches across the valley in the mountainous area around the river. The views of the ruins, river, Ger camps and the surrounding area are very impressive, you can see from any of the nearby hills.
Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Activities: Walking to explore the temple ruins and river valley. Sauna and massage services are available in the camp.

Day 07 (15 July): Ongi steppe - Bayanzag (Flaming cliffs), Gobi
Today, we will travel through the huge open landscape called Ongi steppe, which is over 80km wide steppe in the Gobi zone and come to around lunch time at Ger camp, it’s located near the Bayanzag.
In the afternoon, you have a free time to be your own until dinner time. There are available to watch a documentary about Gobi, try Mongolian archery to shoot at a target or just enjoy walking around the camp.
After dinner, we will take little drive to see rich saxaul trees and red cliffs as flaming at Bayanzag - is a famous area for the first discovery of dinosaur eggs, bones and complete dinosaur skeletons in the world paleontological history which is discovered by Roy Chapman Andrews, American expedition in the 1920.
If you are really lucky, it’s possible to find an egg and bones of dinosaurs from here. White fossilized bones and eggs are still found nowadays by paleontologists, local herdsmen and travelers.
Also, this area well known for red tall rocks formed as a result of wind and water erosion which look like fire in the middle of the desert from distance, especially in the evening sunshine. As scientists defined it was an inland sea bottom some 200 million years ago.
Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Activities: Feel free driving through endless open steppe, hiking at Bayanzag and finding egg and bones of dinosaurs around Bayanzag. Also, there is you can try Mongolian archery, shoot at a target in the camp.

Day 08 (16 July): Khongor sand dunes, the biggest sand dunes in Gobi
Take a drive west to the extraordinary sand dunes of Khongor. This is the biggest sand dunes and one of the most scenic areas of Gobi. The dunes rise abruptly from the plain, in some places reaching a height of 300 meters, and extend over an area between 2-12 km in width and 180 km in length.
In the afternoon, after lunch time, we will take some personal refreshment in Ger camp. In the early evening, we will visit local camel herder family in their Ger, explore their unique nomadic lifestyle. Its chance to try drinking Hormog (fermented Mongolian camel milk).
The sand dunes are the perfect place for camel riding. We will discover this magnificent place on camel back. Mongolia is home to 2/3 of the two-humped Bactrian camels in the world. It is a gentle, calm and extraordinary patient animal and can carry on without water for a month. The two-humped camels are very comfortable to ride, as they walk slowly and gently and we will be well supported by the humps, sitting comfortably between them. Our camel man will take us to the biggest sand-dune.
In the evening, we will climb up to the Singing Dune, one of the highest dunes, opportunity to see the breathtaking view of the surrounding area and amazing sunshine panorama of sand dunes. When it is windy some of the dunes give a strange sound like the engines of an aero plane, for which they are named the “singing dunes”.
Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Activities: Visit camel herder family in their Ger and camel trail to the largest sand dune in Gobi.

Day 09 (17 July): Yol valley, Three beauties of the Gobi Mt. National Park
This morning, your tour guide and driver are ready to escort you to the Yol valley, situated in “Three beauties of Gobi” Mt. National Park. Yol means Lammergeyer, one of the most endangered bird species of prey. On the way, we will see small Gobi village Bayandalai and interesting canyon Dungenee.
After lunch, we will explore the valley, which is notable for a deep ice field; it remains frozen for most of the year, except late summer. There is we will make little hiking through grassy meadows, small streams, long and narrow valley with sheltered by high cliff walls, sunlight bouncing off amazing rocks, covered with wild flowers and Gobi plants. You may be lucky enough to spot wild sheep and goat, grazing high on the cliff walls.
Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Activities: Explore the national park and hiking through Yol valley – 3hours.

Day 10 (18 July): Tsagaan suvarga, Middle Gobi
In the morning, our trip starts heading to Tsagaan Suvarga. It is interesting to see the sheer slope, facing east, which from cliff are 30 meters high and 100 meters wide. Over 10 million years the wind has created this amazing structure.
Enjoy hiking to Tsagaan suvarga. It is excellent site for taking photography of the beautiful panoramic views.
Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 11 (19 July): Baga gazar National Park, Middle Gobi
After relaxing breakfast our trip will start to Baga Gazriin Chuluu N.P, is rocky Small Mountain and beautiful landscape which is consist with many shaped specific granite rocky mountain and with mineral spring in the bottom land.
There we will hike in the national park, explore around the beautiful nature. Accommodation: Ger camp, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 12 (20 July): Middle Gobi – Ulaanbaatar & half day city tour
This morning we will take 4hrs drive back to Ulaanbaatar. After lunch in the city, transfer to the hotel for rest and refreshment. If you want to go shopping for souvenirs and local products, your guide will be ready to serve you for that.
At 4.30pm, picked up from the hotel and visit Genghis Khan’s square & Parliament House. Then we will visit “Wonders of Mongolia” folklore show by famous Tumen-Ekh ensemble - is one of the most successful folk art groups to share traditional Mongolian music with the world, having traveled to over 40 countries.
At 19.30, farewell dinner will be served at “Bd’s Mongolian Barbeque” international chain restaurant. Transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel 4*, and Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 13 (21 July): Departure from Ulaanbaatar.
As your memorable trip comes to end, then you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to your next destination or home.Meals: Breakfast,

Date, Price & FAQ

Tour Date, Price?:

Dates for Small Group Tour
Price from Inquire this tour
09-21 July 2017
US$1880
Small Group & Big Experience:
Minimum 4 and maximum 8-12 travelers in a group!
Check more Naadam Included Tours & Calendar

 


What’s included in the Price?

  • English speaking tour guide at all times,
  • 12nights accommodations based on twin/double occupancy;
    - Hotel 4* in the city – 4nights
    - Best Ger camps in the countryside – 8nights
  • All meals 32 as specified in the itinerary: 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches & 9 Dinners,
  • All relevant transfers and transportation in air-conditioned vehicle + Experienced driver,
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as described in the itinerary,
  • Naadam Festival Opening Ceremony Ticket(s) with best seat(s)
  • Car entry permission to Naadam stadium and horse racing field,
  • “Wonders of Mongolian Art” performance by famous “Tumen Ekh” ensemble,
  • Camel ride – at Khongor sand dunes,
  • 0.5l * 2-3 bottled water per day during the trip ,
  • All service charge, local and government Taxes,
  • Visa invitation letter, if required.

What’s Not included in the Price?

  • International flights and visa,
  • Travel and medical insurance,
  • Daily personal expenses and additional services 
  • Hotel early check-in and late check-out. 

 


Read: Mongolia Travel FAQ


Testimonials

Reviews & Feedbacks:

 

Yoshika & Yoko
We meant to write this little earlier but we wanted to take a few moments to express our deepest gratitude for making such a fantastic arrangements for our birthday trip to Mongolia.
The entire program was excellent in a sense that it not only covered major attraction areas and activities but also included area that were not introduced in major Japanese guide book to Mongolia. So, we were very happy but what made this trip even more special was the guide, Boogii and the driver, Enkhbayar that you sent for us. Boogii, from the beginning had very friendly and warm atmosphere and that moment we met her, we felt so safe. She was very sincere and extremely dedicated. Always ensured that we feel comfortable with our stay including the preparation of food and making fire in ger until late at night and early in the morning. She kindly gave us enough time to tell the history, culture, and life of Mongolian people even long after the tour/dinner time. She also knew how to maneuver horses well and that before the horse guide informed us tips, she could quickly let us know all the useful information and that we could ride safe. Enkhbayar, with his highly skilled driving skills and eyes to catch wild animals far in distance, gave us opportunities to be able to view these rare wild animals from very close positions. In fact, there was a European filming crew that missed the filming opportunity of the wild horse but because we were with him, we could fine them very easily even though other drivers could not find and there were just us at deeper in the mountain. Not only that, we’ve never met a driver in the past being so generous to share with us the stories in the way he did. Both Enkhbayar, using his experience of being a herd man at once and Boogii by having experiencing the local life as she grew up, they shared a lots of wisdom and interesting stories and plays of herdsmen. It was such a delight. Both my sister and I have a tendency to take time to look one thing and that our day always ended late but they were very patient and willing to carter to our needs. We are extremely grateful to everything that they did for us. We bet they are your best people :)
Also, since you booked the ger at Dreamland camp, when they had Naadam Festival period, we could meet highly well-respected sumo wrestler, Mr.Dolgorsürengiin Dagvadorj, a.k.a Asashoryu. He even invited us to his horse training area. It was a huge honor for us and felt so lucky. It has always been our dream to visit Mongolia, so we knew it will be wonderful but in every aspect, it couldn’t have been better if you didn’t make these arrangements for us. So, we truly thank you for all your excellent work!! Kindest regards,Yoshiko & Yoko.
Yoshiko & Yoko, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan. 2015 July


Kathleen Cheng
Jamaa, thank you for a well thought out itinerary. It seemed as if you read our minds and knew what we were looking for to experience: culture and nature.
A well planned itinerary requires a good team to implement it and you have a great team to make our adventure memorable.
Khulgee is a very knowledgeable guide. He has a passion for history and it shows in his day to day interaction with us talking about his country. He is a great outdoorsman as well and he accompanied us on all our excursions. In addition, Khulgee is very adaptive and flexible. He knows when to adjust the itinerary to make the best out of the circumstance. He is calm and has a good sense of humour and things are always in order.
Bugi is an amazing driver. He is skillful and he is patient. He takes care of the vehicle, always the first to be at the vehicle and the last to leave it to ensure our ride is most comfortable even during off-road.
Overall, between you, Khulgee and Bugi, Amicus has given us a wonderful experience to cherish forever. I will highly recommend my friends who are interested in visiting Mongolia to go with Amicus.
To those who are reading this and thinking of visiting Mongolia, you will have a great time with Amicus.
Kathleen, Vancouver, BC, Canada 2015 August


Deangelo
"Hey Amicus crew! I had a great time traveling with you in the Gobi. The trip was fantastic. My one year stay in Mongolia wouldn’t have been perfect without this incredible journey. I’ll not forget meeting the nomad families, eating the Khuushur(drinking Mongolian vodka) and having a lot of for with you guys. Thank you Davaa, Ulzii, Jargalmaa, Eric, David, Erwan, Jeff, Micke, and Mr Cool!Mash ikh bayarlalaa (Thank you very much)"
Italy, Sep 04, 2014

 

June Dimalanta
“Quite some time passed since we spent a wonderful time in beautiful Mongolia. This tour was extremely well organized. The local guides were often inspirational, and good food and accommodation meant that everything worked smoothly....
USA, Aug 24, 2013

 

Banbas family
Hi Davaa, "I hope you are well. Our trip was fantastic. Thank you so much for your help.
I'd like to give you some feedback.
The guide in Beijing, Tristan, was fantastic. Helpful, well spoken and a lot of fun.
The guides in Mongolia were great too - especially Bogi in the Gobi.
As you might be aware, we had issues with our flights. We missed the connecting flight to Beijing from Shanghai due to a delay with our Sydney flight and we had our return flight from Xian to Beijing cancelled. Hence, we missed 2 nights at Wangfujing Hilton. I am putting a claim in with my travel insurance and need a letter from hotel confirming this happened and also confirming the cost of the two rooms for each of the nights missed. Could you please organize this for me?
Again, thanks for your help in organizing such a great trip.
Kind regards
Conn Banbas
Australia, July 29, 2014

 

Francine and Chris
“We had a wonderful adventure to the Gobi. Saw many animals, enjoyed our walk on the glacier, up the dunes, ride on camel & horse and staying in Gers. Wonderful weather,…….we cannot wait to return.”
Canada, Aug 04, 2014

 

Lewis
We had a fantastic time! I want to let you know that Tour Company were fantastic. Everything went off like clockwork. The guides, hotels, attractions, and itinerary in both Mongolia and China were fantastic. We had no problems what so ever. The guides were there at the airport or docks to meet us every time on time and their attention to detail was great. They all spoke English very well, had great personalities, were well versed in the history and customs of each area and made us feel welcome and safe. They were informed of our upcoming itinerary plans and discussed these with us as well. Flights within Asia also were great. No delays or cancellations. I would not hesitate to recommend or travel with this company in the future.
Australia, Jul 18, 2014

 

Burke & Amy Bradley
Thanks for your inquiry. What a great trip. I must say the accommodations---hotels and ger camps, the meals-- were much better than I had expected. The guides were wonderful and all instructions were carried out--no problems of any kind. Thanks again.
USA, July 16 2014

 

Cindy Edington
I just wanted to let you know how wonderful it was. The people at Amicus Travel were wonderful and accommodating. The tour guide, Bayara was very informative and caring, we were like his little chicks, with "Follow me" he lead us to some amazing places and sights.
Our driver was incredible, the way he drove through narrow, winding roads, I have to admit, I did brake sometimes. Thank you again!!
USA, July 09, 2014

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"We enjoyed our trip very much.
The best parts of the trip were meeting nomads in the countryside and seeing the natural beauty."

05/04/2011 - 10:30
Barbara. R Family, US
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