The Naadam Festival, held annually in Ulaanbaatar, is the largest festival of Mongolia. Hundreds of performers and athletes gather with thousands of spectators, both locals and foreigners, for three days to witness the events. Visiting also the infamous Gobi Desert to savor the remoteness you can’t find anywhere else.
Explore Mongolia & Naadam FestivalUlaanbaatar | Gobi Desert
Highlights of the journey
- Naadam Festival, the most popular festival in Mongolia
- Experience archery and a true Mongolian horse race in Khui Doloon Hudag
- Visit Gobi Desert, a vast arc of land around 1,300,000 square kilometres.
- 3-night stay in a luxury ger / yurt in a village near Gobi Desert
**Rates are per person based on USD and 2 people traveling together
**Rates are inclusive to all of the services stated in the itinerary unless it is written “optional”
**Rates are excluding VAT 1%, taxes and surcharges.
Day 1 – 4
Ulaanbaatar | 4 Nights
Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Enjoy your day at leisure by exploring the hotel facilities.
Welcome to Ulaanbaatar
If Mongolia’s yin is its pristine countryside, then Ulaanbaatar harmonizes as its vibrant yang. It’s a sprawling, industrialized city of pulsating commerce, wild traffic, sinful nightlife and bohemian counterculture. The contrasts within the city are intriguing: Armani-suited businessmen rub shoulders with mo-hawked punks and Del-clad nomads fresh off the steppes; one minute you’re dodging the path of a Hummer H2 and the next you’re entranced by chanting Buddhist monks at Gandan Khiid. It’s the coldest capital in the world, but come summer the city bursts into life after slumbering through a long winter.
City Sightseeing Ulaanbaatar
Begin the day with a visit to the Sukhbaatar square, situated right at the heart of the city. Sukhbaatar Square was named in honor of the revolutionary leader who commanded the Mongolian army to fight for the nation’s independence from Manchuria, with the help of Russian army in 1920s.
Next, walk 5 more minutes to the National Museum for an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history and culture. Following lunch, take a visit to the Fine Arts Museum. The museum contains one of the best collections of Buddhist art and artifacts in the world, including many of Zanabazar’s original works.
In the evening, drive to Zaisan Memorial, built by the former Soviet Union to commemorate fallen soldiers of World War II. Those who climb the 300 steps will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of the capital city, the Tuul River, and the surrounding countryside.
Wake early in the morning to attend the Naadam Festival, the most popular festival in Mongolia. This festival is held annually from July 11th to 15th. Observe as the celebrations begin with a colorful parade of marching soldiers, athletes, musicians, and people dressed as ancient warriors. True to its name, the festival is dedicated to the “Three Manly Games.”
Archery: The skill of Mongolian archers and their advanced bow design was a significant asset to Chinggis Khan and his descendants during the years of Mongolian conquest. In the past, sharpshooters would practice by aiming for the heads of marmots.
Wrestling: Each wrestler wears trunks, an open-fronted long- sleeved silk vest, and ornamental knee boots with upturned toes. Before the wrestling match begins, the wrestlers perform the “eagle’s dance” symbolizing power and invincibility.
Horse Race: Drive to Khui Doloon Hudag, the famous horse racing field in Mongolia to experience a true Mongolian horse race. We will experience a Soyolon horse race, the most spiritual age group of horses amongst other age groups. The race’s winner is honored with a cup of airag (fermented mare’s milk), which he or she drinks and sprinkles on the head and croup of the horse.
Day 5 – 8
Gobi Desert | 3 Nights
Today you will be flying from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad to visit the wonderful Gobi Desert. Flight will take around 1 and a half hour, and then upon arriving in Dalanzadgad, you will meet your personal assistant to transfer you to your accommodation. Drive will take approximately around 1 and a half hour to reach the Gobi area.
Welcome to Gobi Desert
Gobi, in Mongolian means ‘water-less place.’ The desert stretches across huge portions of both Mongolia and China. Contrary to the perhaps romantic image long associated with what was a remote and unexplored region, much of the Gobi is not sandy desert but bare Rock. The Gobi occupies a vast arc of land around 1,300,000 square kilometres.
Choose some of the following activities based on your own preference:
Archery is inextricably tied to Mongolia’s history, as it is one of the three activities comprising the annual Naadam games. It is not simply an aim-and-shoot contest, as participants are judged on their ability to assess, identify, and eliminate a target.
Our guests use replicas of the bows used hundreds of years ago and the targets, locally known as khasaa, are constructed of thin, long strips of cowhide.
While the ancient Mongolian bows pull between 100 to 160 pounds, our bows are adjusted to pull between 80 to 100 pounds, and male and female bows are available.
The distance varies; for men, it is 75 meters and for women 65 meters
Ger Building Demonstration
A ger, also known as a yurt, is a traditional nomadic dwelling. With a 3,000-year history, gers originated from teepees but have advanced over time to become the strongest tent structures in the world. They can withstand winds winds up to 68 miles per hour, and when strapped down correctly, can even withstand earthquakes.
Horseback Riding to a Nomad Family
Meet a nomadic family and arrive on horseback after a gentle 15-minute walk. Should there be any need, you will be led by your guide or your horse wrangler. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed inside the nomadic family home with an offer of traditional milk tea, followed by a discussion of modern nomadic life. Most people find this lifestyle fascinating, especially since this small circular structure can accommodate up to three generations and up to eight people. You will also have a quick lesson in making diary products, as well as making felt and ropes, a skill that has been handed down from generation to generation.
Stargazing in Gobi Desert
Blessedly free of light pollution and an average altitude of 1500 meters above sea level, The Gobi is an ideal place for night sky watchers. Guests are able to choose from one of two telescopes to enjoy stargazing. iPads with stargazing apps help make sense of the night sky.
End of Journey.
- package: Starts from $6,210
- Allow additional guests: No
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