Tailor-made Tours & Small Group Travel to Mongolia

Golden Eagle Festival, Terelj National Park, Karakorum, Hustai NP & Gobi Desert Tour (17 days / 16 nights)

Region:
Western, Central & Southern part of Mongolia
Duration:
17 days / 16 nights
Dates:
Sep 2 - 18, Sep 23 – Oct 9, 2020
Note:
You can arrange your own trip date (with best rate possible) as you request
Number of travelers:
Min - 2, Max - 18
Price: $3589 for per person
Single supplement: $600

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The big highlight of the tour is gaining international fame amazing Golden Eagle festival which promotes and features the centuries long preserved tradition of the Kazakh minority. Domestic flight will bring to Bayan-Ulgii province, land of eagle hunters, where besides watching Golden eagle festival you are warmly welcomed by a Kazakh family who will be happy to show their famous hospitality, demonstrate their skills of eagle hunting and share the stories on how they manage to preserve and convey eagle hunting traditions and customs to the next generations. Kazakh women are skillful needlewomen; so, you will be amazed by the carpets, rugs, cushions etc. decorated with beautiful delicate patterns.

After arriving back to Ulaanbaatar city, we will have a 40 minute drive to visit Chinggis Khan equestrian statue complex where you will enjoy the surrounding view from the top of the statue. Then we will go to Terelj national park where you will see a big rock formations reminding you animals, birds, people so, there you will have to switch your imagination. In the park you are expected to see Turtle Rock and visit Aryabala meditation center to learn more about Buddha’s teachings.
Our next destination is 13th century capital city of Great Mongol empire, Kharkhorum, but on a way to it we will stop at Hustai national park which since early 1990s has been successfully implementing the conservational program of re-introduction of wild horses.
In Kharkhorum we visit the biggest and oldest Buddhist monastery, Erdene Zuu, and history museum to get some knowledge about 13th century Mongolia, period in the history of the country, when Mongolia got the peak of its prosperity and development.
Our trip lies further to the next highlight, the Gobi desert, the northernmost desert in the world. This part of our trip features visiting towering and whistling Singing Dunes where you will enjoy two hump Bactrian camel riding, do a short walk at the internationally famous paleontological site, Flaming Cliffs, in search of ancient fossils, climb up to the hill to see on its top the Bronze age petroglyphs and freshen up cool air while hiking in the spectacular alpine landscape Yol valley in the middle of the desert.
Our company emphasizes on the specificity and uniqueness of that tour because besides seeing untouched natural beauty of Mongolian wilderness it covers the cultural, religious, historical and some scientific aspects of the country’s development.
Please, note, that due to season off time and the domestic airlines operation suspension, the flights are available only for Golden eagle festival, so the rest of the tour you will be provided with comfortable, fully equipped, A/C 4x4 vehicles.

Price: $3589 for per person
Single supplement: $600
IncludedNot included
Shared accommodation in ger camp International airfare
All meals as listed in itineraryTravel insurance
All entrance feesBeverages
Sightseeing as per itineraryOptional activity cost
Accommodation in 4 stars hotel in Ulaanbaatar (twin standard room double occupancy)Excess baggage charge
Transportation by 4WD vehicleSingle room supplement
English speaking guide (other language guide on requestAny additional things which are not mentioned above
Daily supply of bottled water, Domestic Flight

Sep 23 - Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Upon arrival at Chinggis Khan International Airport, you are met by tour guide and transferred to the hotel in the city center.
We will star city tour the first stop is Sukhbaatar Square, the central square named after the revolutionary hero of 1921 Damdiny Sukhbaatar who declared independence from China. We visit Gandan Monastery the largest and most famous functioning monastery in Mongolia; here we may experience monks in worship and see the impressive Golden Buddha Statue of Migjid Janraisig. Time permitting Natural History Museum which is famous for its authentic dinosaur skeletons and visit Zaisan memorial hill to view of whole city from there.

Overnight in 4* hotel
Meals: Dinner, Lunch & Dinner

Sep 24 - Day 2 Ulaanbaatar to Terelj National Park via Chinggis Khan equestrian statue

Following morning breakfast, you drive to Gorkhi Terelj National Park. This unforgettable excursion will take you to features such as scenic valleys, a winding river, and restful groves of trees. Many nomads live in the park itself, where they find lush land for their animals, and you may even see majestic herds of yak grazing near the camp. Once inside the park you will be able to visit the notable rock formations "Turtle rock" and “Monk reading a book." You will also have the opportunity to hike up to the Aryabal meditation center and learn more about Mongolian Buddhism.
On the way to the national park, you will take a detour to visit the giant Statue of Chinggis Khan which stands 40m (132 ft) high. The monument is about 33 miles east of Ulaanbaatar and stands at the point where, according to legend, he found a golden whip. The statue is symbolically pointed east, towards his birthplace. It is on top of the Chinggis Khan Statue Complex, a visitor center, itself 10 meters (32 ft 10 in) tall, with 36 columns representing the 36 khans from Genghis to Ligdan Khan. It was designed by sculptor D. Erdenebileg and architect J. Enkhjargal and erected in 2008.

Overnight in ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sep 25 - Day 3 Terelj National Park to Hustai National Park

Today we will drive to Hustai National Park, which is world famous for the successful reintroduction of the Przewalski horse, called "takhi" by Mongolians. It became extinct in the wild in 1969 and, since 1992, has been successfully reintroduced to Hustai from zoos around the world. This has been an international effort monitored by The Foundation for the Przewalski horse, based in the Netherlands and MACNE (Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and the Environment).
Upon arrival in Hustai, you will check in at our ger camp. After lunch, you will take a jeep ride into the park. The national park is comprised of rolling Steppe Mountains with rather large patches of birch and aspen forests. There are also visible remains of Neolithic graves. In addition, red deer and wolf have increased quite a bit during the last few years, as well as Mongolian gazelle. Species present in Hustai but usually not seen include Lynx, Argali Sheep and Roe Deer. Usually, you are able to see the herds of wild horses grazing in the grasslands of the parks and other wild animals.

Overnight in or ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sep 26 - Day 4 Drive to Karakorum, Erdene Zuu monastery

After breakfast at our camp, we head further west to Karakorum (Locally called Kharahhorin or Harhorin), the symbolic ruins of the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire. The ancient capital of Mongolia, Karakorum, was located on the right bank of Orkhon River and on the northeastern slopes of the Khangai Mountains. Founded by Chinggis Khan in 1220, it was not only the capital of the vast Mongolian Empire, but also the epicenter of trade along the Silk Road. At that time the inhabitants of city were mostly merchant craftsmen who came to Karakorum from all over the world. In 1379 much of the city was badly damaged during an attack by the army of the Min Dynasty.
Erdene Zuu monastery
Erdene Zuu monastery was built by Avtai Sain Khan on the ruins of the Mongolian capital Karakorum in 1586. It was the first great Buddhist Monastery of Mongolia. It is part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape UNESCO World Heritage site. Stones from the ruins of Karakorum were used in construction, and it is surrounded by a wall featuring 108 stupas, 108 being a sacred number in Buddhism, and the number of beads in a Buddhist rosary. The monastery was damaged by warfare in the 1680s, but was rebuilt in the 18th century and by 1872 had a full 62 temples inside. The Erdene Zuu Monastery was taken under state protection and became a museum in 1944.
You will finish your exploration at the Karakorum Museum and see the Great Mongol state period, Stone Age, Bronze Age, Ancient state period halls.

Overnight in ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sep 27 - Day 5 Karakorum to Ongi Temple

Drive to Ongi temple. The ruins of Ongi Temple are found in Saikhan Ovoo soum of Dundgobi (Middle Gobi) province. It used to be a big Buddhist monastery compound built by Bari Yonzon Khamba at the bank of Ongi River. Transfer to the camp before the lunch. Visit the ruins of temple also there is small ger museum signifies ancient things.

Overnight in ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sep 28 - Day 6 Flaming Cliffs

Drive to flaming cliffs known as Flaming Cliffs is located 20 kilometers away from Bulgan country; a lot of Paleontological findings have been discovered here. The place is known as 'Flaming Cliffs' was named by Roy Chapman Andrews, an American explorer who had visited Mongolia in 1922 and over the course of two years he searched throughout the Mongolian Gobi Desert and found dinosaur fossils and dinosaur eggs about 10-15 cm. It was the first discovery of its scale and kind in the world that had been made at the time.

Overnight in Ger Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sep 29 - Day 7 Drive to Hongor Sand Dune

After breakfast, take in the stunning scenery of the Gobi-Altai Mountain range as you transfer to the towering sand dunes of Khongor Sand Dune, home to the ‘Singing Sands’. These spectacular dunes got their name from the noise made by the shifting sand in the wind. Feel the breeze in your hair as you ride a camel across the dunes before returning to the ger camp. Isolated from the rest of the country, the Singing Sands are the best kept secret for thousand years in the history of Mongolia.

Overnight in Ger Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Sep 30 - Day 8 Khongor sand dunes

Today we will have a full day exploring the sand dunes and rest after the long drive. The dunes seem to stretch on forever like a soft ribbon of sand draped over the desert. The shifting sand blown by the wind or someone makes sound so it is called Singing Sand Dunes. There is a beautiful green oasis known as Seruun bulag near the Khongor River. Return to the camp for lunch and enjoy feeling silence and a peaceful in the beautiful surroundings Gobi Deserts.

Overnight in Ger Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 1 - Day 9 Drive to Yol Valley and Gurvan saikhan National Park

In the morning, we drive to Yol Valley. Learn about the local wildlife in the Natural History Museum before taking a gentle hike through the valley to discover their habitats. This valley is nestled deep within the hills and is a safe haven to get away from the desert heat. Some areas of the valley are continually sheltered from the hot sun and house huge, blocks of ice that gradually melt away during the summer. It is very wide at the entrance and narrows gradually into a remarkable gorge. You will get to see wild animals such as ibex and wild sheep, and the vulture. You can go horseback or camel riding around the area and go trekking to the gorge.

Overnight in Ger Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 2 - Day 10 Day trip to Khavtsgait Petroglyphs and Nomads day

In the morning we drive to the site of the Khavtsgait Petroglyphs. The Khavtsgait Petroglyphs from the Bronze Age (4000-3000 BC) are beautifully carved on many rocks on the top of a sacred mountain. It is easy to find the rock paintings there because they are spread on rocks all around. The area is very rocky and can be slippery to climb, but by carefully following a path up the mountain, you can reach the top to see these beautiful rock paintings.
The petroglyphs were carved and painted with motifs consisting of animals, hunting scenes and weapons. They depict various animals related to everyday life of ancient people including deer, bears, wolves and hunters, and wolves with livestock. Other paintings depict more domestic scenes of yaks pulling carts, the wheels and horses flattened sideways like hieroglyphs, and herders on horseback. The engravings vary in size, ranging from two-centimeters to the real life size of horses.
After the rest, we will visit a herder family nearby. We will spend some time there getting to know the family members and their casual yet unique daily lifestyle. It is a good chance to see how the family members cooperate together to do their daily even hourly chores such as milking mares, fencing and milking the goats. If you wish, you are welcome to try some mare's fermented milk and other dairy products.

Overnight in Ger Camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 3 - Day 11 Back to Ulaanbaatar

Following an early morning breakfast, we are driving back to Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is open for you to pursue your own interest.

Overnight in 4* hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 4 – Day 12 Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii

Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Ulgii (2.5 hours), capital of Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s westernmost province. Ninety percent of the population here is Kazakh, Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority. The isolation of the Altai Mountains has preserved the language and traditions of the Kazakhs, who live amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in Mongolia.
Ulgii (or Ölgii) is the capital of the Bayan-Ölgii Aimag (province) located in the extreme west of the country. It has an altitude of about 5,600 feet and population of about 29,000. It is the largest town in the area. It is the center of the predominately Kazakh region of Mongolia. The isolation of the Altai Mountains has preserved the language and traditions of the Kazakhs, who live amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in Mongolia. We will visit Kazakh families in their settlement. Their Gers are slightly larger than Mongolian Gers, and are decorated with brightly colored rugs. We will enjoy their hospitality and friendliness and learn more in deep about their culture. You will see their traditional technology to make colorful rug.
A visit to the well regarded provincial museum should provide a good overview of the Muslim culture of Western Mongolia that differs so much from most of Mongolia.

Overnight in local hotel or ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 5 – Day 13 Golden Eagle Festival - Opening Ceremony / Competition

The official opening ceremony commences with the participants parading in on horseback with their eagles. The competition begins with each Kazakh displaying his hunting outfit and accessories, the most elaborate and beautiful of which receive the highest points. In the afternoon, the judges will evaluate the Golden Eagles’ speed and agility. The eagles will be released from a cliff with their owners standing below, signaling for the eagles to land upon their arms as they do while hunting. Those with the fastest times and best technique will be awarded the highest scores. In the evening, attend a Kazakh play in honor of the hunters and their eagles.

Overnight in local hotel or ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 6 – Day 14 Golden Eagle Festivals & Awards Ceremony

The Golden Eagles will be released from a cliff to attack fox skins that will be dragged by their owner on horseback. The eagles will be judged on their success of grabbing the "fox", their speed, and "gripping" technique. As the points for the competitions are being tallied, the Kazakhs will compete in their traditional game called "kukbar"- passing goat skin which tests one's horse riding skills, strength and agility. In the late afternoon, the winners of the festival will be announced at the awards ceremony. In the evening, enjoy a celebration dinner.

Overnight in local hotel or ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 7 - Day 15 Visiting Eagle Hunting Family and explore their unique lifestyle

We will be visiting some of the nomads of the area and experiencing their unique lifestyle.
Kazakh craftswomen are renowned for their colorful embroidery and textiles, and their gers are beautifully decorated. Handcrafted felt carpets line the floor, and delicately embroidered tapestries adorn the walls of their homes, with each design unique to a particular family. After meeting a Kazakh, you will be impressed by the generous hospitality expressed through expansive meals with many dishes and countless cups of milk tea and sweets.
The herder will also demonstrate his horsemanship and training techniques which have been passed down from generation to generation. 
The ger will be decorated with beautiful embroideries which are handmade by the skillful Kazakh women.  The embroideries are truly works of art and display fine workmanship with beautiful colors and patterns.

Overnight in local hotel or ger camp
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 8 - Day 16 Fly back to Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, we will transfer to airport for return flight to Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoon there is more to see here upon arrival if you are interested, such as a visit to the Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum, a residence of Bodg Jabzan Damba Hutagt VIII whom was Mongolia's last theocrat. Or take a leisurely stroll through the town center. In the evening perhaps you can enjoy a farewell dinner and attend the local folklore dance shows.

Overnight in 4* hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Oct 9 – Day 17 Departure

Check out from hotel and transfer to Chinggis Khaan International airport or Ulaanbaatar train station for departure.

Meals: Breakfast

Price: $3589 for per person
Single supplement: $600
IncludedNot included
Shared accommodation in ger camp International airfare
All meals as listed in itineraryTravel insurance
All entrance feesBeverages
Sightseeing as per itineraryOptional activity cost
Accommodation in 4 stars hotel in Ulaanbaatar (twin standard room double occupancy)Excess baggage charge
Transportation by 4WD vehicleSingle room supplement
English speaking guide (other language guide on requestAny additional things which are not mentioned above
Daily supply of bottled water, Domestic Flight
Hello Soyoloo

Just want to thank you for your wonderful hospitality and expert tour guiding during our trip to Mongolia. We loved visiting the Husai National Park and exploring the city of Ulaanbaatar. Our favorite part of the trip was seeing the beautiful countryside and encountering wild horses, camels and eagles. Thank you so much for showing us around and making sure our trip was a success. We also enjoyed our driver, Zoloo. Look forward to planning our next adventure with you.

Best,
Lisa Berkman
Tour group from USA

The Trip: Mongolia and the Golden Eagle festival

The Trip: Mongolia and the Golden Eagle festival

NAME Georgie Brown and Andy McArthur

THE TRIP Mongolia and the Golden Eagle Festival

Who could believe that anything could be so exciting and exhilarating? Our group of eight were in Mongolia, the 18th biggest country in the world, 300 kilometres from China on the Gobi Plains, a vast track of flat grey-green land alongside the Altai Mountains. We were on our way to see the towering Singing Sands of the Gobi Desert and the Flaming Cliffs where American Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the first dinosaur eggs in 1922. Dinosaur fossils of all types were piled on top of one another, giving credence to the Big Bang Theory that saw the dinosaurs' sudden demise. We later visited the Khavtsgait Petroglyphs, exquisite rock sketches of the local animals from the Bronze Age 4000BC-3000BC depicting bactrian (two-humped) camels, ibex, horses, goats, sheep, wolves, yaks, hunters with bows and arrows and hunting eagles

Suddenly, our guide accelerated across the plains. He had spotted a herd of rare black tail gazelles. We ran alongside a little animal. From 60km/h to 80km/h, and still it bounded ahead.

Our accommodation in the Gobi Nomad Lodge comprised roomy gers, round felt-lined tents with heating and private facilities (upon request), and all meals. The food was wholesome salads, and stews. We relished the silence and the stars at night.

We later flew to Ulgii for the Gold Eagle Festival, as seen in the documentary, The Eagle Huntress. More than a hundred traditional horsemen vied to display the best horsemanship, dress and, of course, the skill of their hunting eagles. The star of the movie, Aisholpan, now aged 16, appeared resplendent in white with her hunting eagle.

But not all went to plan. One eagle landed on the wrong horseman, another settled for a nearby barbecue, and Aisholpan had a white camel that sat down in the middle of the camel race and refused to budge.

Tour organiser Nomadic Voyages was without fault. Our guide and drivers were knowledgeable, kind and considerate. The Land Cruisers were new and comfortable. We had plenty of opportunities to visit museums to see the world of Genghis Khan and temples.

BEST BITS: The Golden Eagle Festival, and lunch with a local family, eating Russian caviar and mutton stew with a camel, an eagle, a wolf, several curious yaks and the odd red sheep.

WORST BITS None.

BEST TIP: Prepare for altitude (1980 metres) cold, dry and unavoidably dusty.

http://www.traveller.com.au/the-trip-mongolia-and-the-golden-eagle-festival-gz4c06


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