Travelling through Mongolian legendary Gobi desert, visiting historical sights and enjoying national holiday Naadam Festival of Mongolia in the capital city. This special tour is designed to bring you into the colorful event of the year letting you to discover a lifestyle, arts and music that reflect the true national identity and culture of Mongolian people. While touring in the Mongolia‘s heartland – a classic landscape of rolling hills, steppe, grasslands and mountain forests, you will enjoy the uniqueness of the nature and the peaceful lifestyle of nomads. Naadam Festival is held annually between July 11-13, is thrilling three-day sporting event that has been happening for centuries since Chinggis Khaan time. The festival highlights are Mongolia’s “three manly sports”- horseracing, wrestling and archery. Naadam festival brings together country’s sporting men and women from the remotest regions to compete at the national level in capital city. It is also celebration of common people- herders who ride into town and urbanities who leave their flats and offices to watch the games- gathering where they have opportunity to participate in the events, to barter, mix, sing and enjoy life to the full.
- Colorful event of the year – Naadam festival
- Gobi desert
- Bayanzag – Flaming Cliffs
- Ancient Kharkhorin
- Erdene Zuu Monastery
EVENT DATE : 03-13 July 2020
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Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. City Tour with Gandan monastery, Museum of National History and Chingis Khaan Square (also called Sukhbaatar Square). Prepare for the trip. (L D)
Fly to South Gobi in the morning. Meet our driver. Drive to Yol Am known as Eagle valley in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan mountain (28km) – this sunless canyon located in the middle of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park has a particular beauty with narrow paths broadening in places between rocks, while buzzards and eagles wheel and glide in the blue skies above. The cliffs of the canyon block the sunlight from the rivers below, so that they remain frozen throughout the year. (B L D)
Drive to Khongor sand dunes– the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. Dunes of Khongor is known as the <singing sands> and rise from the plain reaching a height of 80m and extending for about 180km long. The spectacular dunes are bordered by lush green vegetation supported by a small river Khongoriin gol. Hiking sliding through the sand dunes. Visit camel breeding family and experience short camel riding. (B/L/D)
Drive towards Bayanzag – classic desert of rock, red sands, scrub, sun and unbelievable emptiness has become known to the world as “Cemetery of Dinosaurs”. The red sandstone cliffs and canyons of Bayanzag are where the American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews first discovered fossil beds of dinosaur bones and first ever recorded dinosaur eggs in 1922 – discoveries which made world headlines. Best time for photographing is before sunset when cliffs look like flames. (B/L/D)
Heading to the south towards the Gobi. Overnight stop in Middle Gobi province, at the Ongi monastery ruins, a small mountainous area with the sites of remains of ruined old monasteries. Once the monastery has served as a midway point for Buddhist pilgrimages going to holy Tibet. After the dinner walk to the ruins of monastery and enjoy the sunset. (B/L/D)
Drive to Kharkhorin (130 km) – ruins of ancient capital of Mongol Empire built by king Ugudei in 1235. The city was strategically located at the crossroads of traditional routes, creating a staging post for migrating nomads and merchants’ caravans. Foreign envoys and prominent clerics travelled to this city for an audience with king of Mongolian Empire. Far after when the Khubilai Khaan (King) moved the capital to Beijing in 1264, Kharkhorin was raised to the ground by Manchu soldiers. However, the bricks and stones from the ruins of this ancient city were used to build the Erdene Zuu Monastery nearby. Visit Erdene Zuu monastery and Karakorum Museum in Kharkhorin and local market for interesting souvenirs and artworks. (B/L/D)
Head to Hustai national park to see wild horse- takhi, widely known as “Przewalski horse”. Those are the only wild horse to survive in modern times. The species were returned to Mongolia from world zoos and reserves within Hustai National Park in 100 km west of Ulaanbaatar in 1992. Hustain Nuruu has good vegetation, springs, birch forest and rocks which are suitable for many wild animals including 46 species of mammals and 172 species of birds. (B/L/D)
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. We will go to Chingis Khaan Square to see Deeltei Mongol Festival after lunch. Amazing performance of traditional dance and folk in the evening. (B L D)
DAY 9 – 10
Naadam festival, biggest national holiday Mongolia. Enjoy festival colors and tradition: famed wrestlers, horse racers and archery athletes will compete for best titles. Naadam festival brings together country’s sporting men and women from the remotest regions to compete at the national level in capital city. It is also celebration of common people- herders who ride into town and urbanities who leave their flats and offices to watch the games- gathering where they have opportunity to participate in the events, to barter, mix, sing and enjoy life to the full. (B L D)
About Naadam Festival
Horse racing: The most impressive spectacle is surely the horse racing. The horses cover different distances according to their age. Azarga (stallions) 26km, Ikh nas (horses more than 5 years old) 28km, Soyolon (5-year olds) 24km, Khyazaalan (4-year olds) 20km, Shudlen (3-year olds) 18km and Daaga (colts to 2 years old) 15km. There are no limits on the number of horses participating; usually 200-600 horses in each race. The five winning horses are honored with a cup of mare’s milk (airag) on their neck, a khadag (respectful blue scarf) and a medal.
Wrestling: The rules are very simple: The wrestling area is unrestricted; there are no weight-classes and the one who touches the ground the any part of the body, other than the feet, has lost. The winner continues to the next round. The loser has to stand under the wings of the proud winner. The wrestlers wear tight pants and a small vest with arms across the shoulders, which barely cover their well-trained bodies.
Archery: Mongols are almost born with the archery skills, an integral part of nomad’s lifestyle. From the very childhood such qualities as perfect eyesight, measurement, patience and strength are nourished to develop a good archer. Mongolian bows are very tight ones, so that it requires a pure strength to stretch it out. As a rule, several teams of archers compete. Each team of 5-7 archers should hit 33 leather cylinders from a distance of 75 meters.
Transfer to the airport / train station and depart Ulaanbaatar. (B)
Accommodation: Hotel***,* ger camp
Guiding and interpreting service
Full board meals
Transport: vehicle 4×4 or minivan
Entrance fees to protected areas and national parks
Museums and cultural performance
Optional activity cost
Excess baggage charges
Single room supplement
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