July Special Classic Mongolia - Including Naadam Festival

A 16 day trip to Mongolia 
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The Naadam Festival! This national celebration of independence includes an Opening Ceremony in Naadam Stadium and a competition of the three national sports Horse-racing, Archery and Wrestling. You will view the opening ceremonies. Then we will take you to see some of the competition of each of the three sports (inside the stadium, just outside and into the countryside for the horse-racing).

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

UlaanBaatar, The Naadam Festival, Terelj, Gun Galuut

Departure Dates 

This Classic Mongolia Tour will be departing in July and will include the Naadam Festival

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1

July 8: Depart for Mongolia
Today you will depart for Mongolia. The adventure begins (you will likely connect through Beijing, Seoul or Tokyo before arriving into UB on 09Jul).

Day 2

July 9: Arrive - UlaanBaatar (B)
Today you will arrive into UlaanBaatar.
Upon arrival your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. On the way we will give you a brief city center tour of the SukhBaatar Square area.

ULAANBAATAR AND MONGOLIA: Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia and by far the largest city in the country. It population is over 600,000. Around 50% of Mongols are nomads living in the countryside. Their lifestyle is essentially unchanged for the last 2,000 years (despite the presence of many possible modern conveniences). The Mongol people, once the rulers of the largest empire in the world, are surprisingly gentle and sweet natured. From the mountains, to the lakes to the deserts to the Steppe, Mongolia is a land of wide open spaces, beautiful nature and with such little rainfall that it has been called "the land of eternal blue skies."

Day 3

July 10: UlaanBaatar – Tour (B, L)
Morning visit Gandan Monastery (80 foot tall statue of Buddha, practicing Tibetan Buddhist Lamas) Then we will visit Choijin Lama Temple Museum. After lunch visit the National History Museum (which has some wonderful exhibits, especially concerning Chingiis Khan and the history of how this man (and his descendants) took several feuding tribes of Nomads and forged them into a fierce fighting force that built the largest empire in the history of the world. Another great exhibit is the costumes, artifacts and women’s jewelry of the various Mongol tribes.

Day 4

July 11: UlaanBaatar – Nadaam Festival (B, L)
Today we will take you to the wonderful Naadam Festival! This national celebration of independence includes an Opening Ceremony in Naadam Stadium and a competition of the three national sports- Horse-racing, Archery and Wrestling. You will view the opening ceremonies. Then we will take you to see some of the competition of each of the three sports (inside the stadium, just outside and into the countryside for the horse-racing).

Day 5

July 12: UlaanBaatar – Terelj (B, L , D)
Today we will take you on a day trek heading east to Terelj. During this short drive, the countryside dramatically changes twice, providing three distinct landscapes on the trip.

You will visit Giant Turtle Rock. Then we will take you to your ger camp in Terelj National Park. After lunch you will have the option to ride horses (small additional cost). You can also enjoy the ger camp and the lovely surrounding nature.

Day 6

July 13: Terelj – Gun Galuut
The early morning you can enjoy the ger camp and area. Then we will take you to Gun Galuut where you have the chance to see many of the beautiful wild animals in Mongolia including some of the herds of wild goats and the Argali Mountain Sheep as well as some beautiful birds (White-Napped crane, Swan Goose, Whooper Swans, Duckes, etc.) Overnight in Gun Gulut.

Day 7

July 14: Gun Gulut – Chinggis Memorial - UlaanBaatar (B, L)
This morning you will have more opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the local area. You will also enjoy the wide open spaces of the Mongolian hills and Steppe.

Then we will take you to see the Chinggis Khan Memorial, which has just recently been built. It is an impressive giant metal statue of Chinggis Khan on a horse. You can not only enjoy this from the outside, but there are several interesting sights inside the building.
You can even go inside of the statue and ascend quite high in it to have an excellent high view of the surrounding area. Then we will drive you back to UlaanBataar and check you into your hotel.

Day 8

Jul 15: UlaanBaatar (B)
Today we will take you to some more delightful sights in UlaanBaatar. The Bogd Khan Summer Palace and grounds, which has many intriguing exhibits including a Royal ger covered entirely in Snow Leopard pelts (from long ago) and an empress’s dress with over 11,000 pearls strewn into Shou Patterns. Afterwards we will take you to the Natural History Museum which features dinosaur fossils and especially an excellent collection of dinosaur eggs.

Day 9

Karakhorum and Hustai Natural Reserve Trek:

July 16: UlaanBaatar – Karakhorum (B, L, D)
You leave in the morning to go on a trek to Karakhorum, the ancient capital of Chinggis Khan. See the beautiful Mongolian Steppe (and the Shoestring Gobi patch). Visit Nomads along the way and enjoy Nomad hospitality. Arrive at the ger camp. Go to the 9th century stone tortoises. Eat and sleep at ger camp.

Day 10

July 17: Karakhorum – Hustai Natural Reserve (B, L, D)
You start the day in Karakhorum. There is not much left of the ancient capital, except a few warriors’ hero stones. But you can visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery. There are several interesting buildings, Buddhist artwork and possibly view a Buddhist service. Then you will be returned back to UlaanBaatar.

Day 11

Gobi Desert Trek:

July 18: UlaanBaatar – Dalanzadgad (B, L, D)
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Dalanzadgad. You will arrive at the ger camp. Once settled in the camp we will take you on a tour of the area including Yol Am. This incredibly beautiful valley features one of the anomalies of nature found in Mongolia. Here in the midst of the Gobi Desert is a glacier coming out of the mouth of a cave that is still frozen even throughout the summer.

Day 12

July 19: Dalanzadgad –Flaming Cliffs (B, L, D)
Full day tour, including the Flaming Cliffs (where dinosaur fossils were discovered in Mongolia), a camel herder and see the large dunes and varied countryside sites. You can also enjoy your ger camp.

Day 13

July 20: Dalanzadgad – Lake Huvsgal (B, L, D)
Today you will fly to Murun and then drive to Hatgal. You will arrive in Hatgal and will be transferred to the Ger camp, this is approximately a 3 hour drive. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. You will arrive in Hatgal and will be transferred to the Ger camp.
OPTIONS: There will be opportunities to ride horses, go for nature walks and enjoy the beautiful sunset in this pristine woodland and lake setting. You can also visit Hatgal and see some of the native crafts and artwork from the area.

Day 14

July 21: Lake Huvsgal (B, L, D)
You will continue to enjoy the countryside. If we can get a boat to go to the west side of the lake, the reindeer people may be available to meet us.
OPTIONAL: Additional horse-back riding, nature tours, etc. and practice shooting a Mongolian bow.

Day 15

July 22: Lake Huvsgal – UlaanBaatar (B, L)
Today you will fly to Ulaanbaatar (UB). We will transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free.

Day 16

July 23: UlaanBaatar – Departure (B)
After breakfast you will be taken to the airport for your departure flight to return home with a lifetime of wonderful memories!