The Great Naadam Festival

10 Days, from AU $4,295

Naadam Festival - Photo by Kevin Pepper

Naadam Festival - Photo by Kevin Pepper

Ulaanbaatar

Orkhon Valley

Gandan Monastery

Wild Horses at Hustai National Park

This tour offers a good introduction to this varied, ancient and extraordinarily beautiful country, visiting regions that many other tours do not cover. Travelling overland in safari style, the journey takes you to the ancient capital at Karakorum, where you will visit the legendary 15th century Erdene Zuu monastery.

Enjoy watching the fantastic Naadam Festival for two days including the opening ceremony, horse race, wrestling and archery competition. On the way back to Ulaanbaatar we will stop at beautiful Khustai National Park to see the only living wild horse in the world- the Takhi Przewalski horse and meet the real nomads. Landscape and cultural sightseeing blend easily in Mongolia – you will have the chance to visit families of nomads, remote Buddhist monasteries and traditional events, and to take part in horse- riding or guided walking if you wish – there are also endless opportunities for photography.

Our Classic itineraries cover the key attractions with carefully selected experiences to ensure you get the most out of your holiday. Classic itineraries include time for relaxation or for adding extra activities. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Ulaanbaatar

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Ulaanbaatar, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the day.

Nearly one half of the Mongolian population, like the capital city of Ulaanbaatar herself, is a nomad. The city has changed locations more than twenty times over the past 350 years before taking root in her current location in a sweeping valley bounded by four sacred peaks, including Bogd Khan mountain to the south. Indeed there aren’t many world capitals in which you can ride a horse, visit a nomadic family, and enjoy fine dining and luxurious spa treatments all in the same day. Ulaanbaatar today is a vibrant city of more than one million residents. The city reflects a close and sometimes amusing juxtaposition of nomadic traditions and modern society, perhaps best summarized by her skyline dotted with both gers (felt tents) and towering skyscrapers. The city’s contrast can also be found among those who call it home, from traditional-clothing-clad herders, to Armani suit-wearing business men and women, to a growing number of ex-patriots hailing from nearly every corner of the globe. In short, there is something for everyone, and always a site to behold in Ulaanbaatar.

Day 2: Elsen Tasarkhai

After breakfast at the hotel, we pack the vehicles and depart to the west toward Karakorum, the ancient capital city of Mongolia. Transfer to camp near the Mongol Els Sand Dunes. Drive to Khogno Khaan mountain and visit to the Erdene Khamba monastery ruins. Visit a local camel breeder family and see their lifestyle and try to ride one yourself.

Day 3: Karakorum

In the morning, we drive to Karakorum, which is known as ancient capital of Mongolian empires. We visit legendary monastery Erdene Zuu, the first Buddhist monastery in Central Mongolia founded in 1586. Continue to the Museum of Karakorum and its surroundings, the Turtle Rock and the Phallic stone and much more. Spend the night in a traditional ger camp.

Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia was established by Genghis Khan in 1220 in the Orkhon valley. For 140 years Kharkhorin served as the capital of the United Mongol tribes until it was destroyed by the Chinese troops in 1391. The remains of the capital that stood at the crossroads of the Silk Road are extensive underground archaeological assets and two granite turtles that once stood at the main gate to the city. Four of these turtle sculptures used to mark the boundaries of ancient Kharkhorin, acting as protectors of the city (turtles are considered symbols of eternity).

Day 4: Hustai National Park

After breakfast we drive to Hustai National Park, one of the most popular national parks of Mongolia through the rolling steppes. Arrive in Hustai and enjoy the wonderful Takhi wild horses and other wildlife.

Hustai National Park is the place where the wild Takhi- Przewalski horses have lived peacefully since 1993 when they were reintroduced to their native land Mongolia. Here we are able to see and photograph these beautiful wild horses as well as Red Deer, Wolf, Asian Marmot, various species of water fowls and prey birds.

Day 5: Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

After breakfast, drive to Gun Galuut Nature Reserve which is one of the most popular nature reserve in Mongolia. The reserve is truly marvellous combination of high mountains, colourful flowers, pretty lakes, rivers and wetlands with its famous rare species. It is a home to endangered wild Mountain sheep- Argali the Big Horns, White-napped crane, Siberian White crane, Hooded crane, rare Black stork, Asian heron, Whooper swan, Swan goose and so on. On the way there, we will visit the Giant Chinggis Equestrian monument which is the tallest equestrian statue in the world and one of the must see things in Mongolia. In the afternoon, try an hour horseback riding. Enjoy traditional Mongolian dinner Khorkhog- roasted mutton/beef with hot stones in hot pot and served with rice and vegetables.

Day 6: Gun Galuut Nature Reserve

In the morning, we hike or enjoy some optional horse ride/bike ride to Mt. Baits to view the gorgeous Argali mountain sheep. Visit a nomadic family and learn their ways to tend their livestock. We will cook lunch (Mongolian noodle soup) with the family. This is a great opportunity for a conversation and to observe their life more closely. Back at the camp, you will see the demonstration of Mongolian Ger assembling and dissembling. Optional activities such as kayaking, fishing and mountain bikes are available at the ger camp.

Day 7: Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast we head back to the city. Transfer to the hotel upon arrival. The city tour of Ulaanbaatar takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26 meter high gilded statue of the Buddha. Your tour also takes you to the Genghis Khan monument on the Sukhbaatar square and the Museum of National History, which has a number of fascinating displays of traditional Mongolian clothing and weaponry.

Day 8 & 9: Naadam Festival Days

See the fantastic opening ceremony of Naadam festival and watch the first round of wrestling, and then Archery and Ankle bone shooting competition. On 12 July, we will drive to the horse racing place to experience the Naadam Festival horse races. We will also visit the Bogd Khan’s palace museum and see a traditional folklore concert by magical Tumen Ekh ensemble. Meals at the restaurants and hotel overnight.

Day 10: Departure

You are transferred to the airport/train station after breakfast.

Personalise Your Trip

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Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $4,295

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:


Hotels or Ger Camp each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us.

Inclusions:

All breakfasts at your hotel each morning.
All airport transfers.
All internal transport on tour.
All itinerary attractions including fees or permits.
Naadam Festival tickets and arrangements
Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
Lunch and dinner as indicated on trip notes. 

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation.

Trip Information

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