Mongolia & Naadam Festival



per person
Duration: 19 Nights
Destination: Mongolia
Region: Asia
Deal Code: PAAAYEB




Discover the rarely visited land of Genghis Khan, with its endless plains and breath-taking landscapes, and drive through the Gobi desert to the amazing Naadam Festival.

Mongolia was sealed off from the world for most of the 20th century, and the mention of the name conjures up preconceptions of remoteness and isolation. But now, Mongolia has opened up to the world, its inhabitants are travelling the globe and visitors are flocking to escape the modernity of everyday life. It is still a developing country with a basic infrastructure but this is all part of its alluring charm. Mongolia is vast, remote, but truly naturally beautiful.

Mongolians are aware of the unique natural beauty of their country, with rolling countryside, huge steppes, rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and a plethora of wildlife and livestock; it’s an amazing wilderness experience. Their nomadic culture is also famous and most visitors will sleep in Gers, and simply get back to nature. The friendly welcome you will receive is second to none, and in today’s world, it is refreshing to meet locals who are willing to open their doors and hearts to complete strangers.

While nomadic Mongols opt for the simple life, the locals in Ulaanbaatar are embracing modernity with every stride. The capital is changing at a breakneck speed and many Mongolians have embraced the global economy, capitalism, and consumerism into their everyday lives. Mongolia is keen to be part of the global community; by visiting you are contributing to the remarkable developments in this extraordinary land.

Your holiday package includes:

  • $2000 flight credit per person
  • 20 day Mongolia & Naadam Festival Tour
  • 19 nights in 3 to 4 star accommodation & ger camps
  • 19 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 19 dinners
  • Domestic transportation
  • Touring with guides and entrance fees
  • Visa fees for Australian passport holders

***Rate based on twin share and only available for travel 24 June to 14 July 2023***

Day 1: Ulaanbaatar
Fly to Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar. You will be met at Ulaanbaatar airport in the arrivals hall by your National Escort and/or Local Guide from Wendy Wu Tours. Together with other group members you will transfer 30 minutes to your hotel. This evening, there will be a tour introduction at the hotel.

Day 2: Ulaanbaatar
This morning, visit the 19th-century built Gandan Monastery, the largest and most important monastery in Mongolia. Later, explore the Museum of Mongolian History where you can gain an insight into the culture of Mongolia, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Day 3: Ulaanbaatar to Gobi Desert
This morning, fly around 1 ½ hours to Dalanzadgad, located on the edge of the Gobi Desert. Visit the local market and dinosaur garden before transferring in 4WD vehicles to the Ger camp near Gurvansaikhan (Three Beauty) National Park for a two-night stay. Drive to Three Beauties Mountain range and spend the day exploring Vulture Valley, viewing the incredible sharp mountains and vast sand dunes. You will also have the opportunity to view the stunning scenery of the famed Eagle's Gorge, or Yolyn Am, which is the native name. Drive back to the camp and visit a Mongolian family nearby to learn about their lifestyle and taste Mongolian dairy products.

Day 4: Khongoryn Els Dunes
After an early breakfast, travel by 4WD for to Khongoryn Els, the location of Mongolia’s largest sand dunes. Witness the remarkable desert landscapes and explore the sand dunes both by 4WD and on foot. The hike will take at least 2 hours return. For the more adventurous, climb to the top for fantastic views.

Day 5: Khongoryn Els to Bayanzag
This morning is free for you to continue your exploration of the Gobi Desert and the sand dunes. After lunch, travel by 4WD to Bayanzag, more commonly known as the ‘Flaming Cliffs’. This afternoon, visit the Gobi Dinosaurs Cemetery and explore the surrounding landscape. Your overnight stay here will be in a Ger camp near the Flaming Cliffs.

Day 6: Bayanzag to Ongii
Spend the day travelling onwards to the banks of the Ongii River, a journey of approximately 4-5 hours, some of which is on jeep trails over dry plains where there are no direct roads. On arrival, check into your Ger camp close to the Ongii River and visit the ruins of two famed monasteries, the Barlim Khiid to the north and the Khutagt Khiid to the south. Combined they form the complex known as Ongiin Khiid Monastery.

Day 7: Ongii to Mt Khogno Khan
This morning, depart Ongii and drive to Mt Khogno Khan. Upon arrival, you will explore the remains of the 17th century monastery, the Uvgun Khiids, located at the foot of the mountain. Here you will walk around 45 minutes up a dirt path to the ruins. The monastery offers views of the spectacular scenery. Enjoy some time to explore the monastery and its surroundings before proceeding to your Ger camp, located near the Mongol Sand Dune.

Day 8: Mt Khogno Khan to Kharkhorin
Drive for approximately 2 hours on a fairly good road to the ancient capital of Kharkhorin, situated on the Orkhon River. Explore the ancient sites within Kharkhorin and the memorable Erdene Zuu Monastery. This site involves walking over rough, uneven surfaces. Stay overnight in a Ger camp.

Day 9: Kharkhorin to Tsenkher Jiguur Hot Springs
Enjoy the morning at leisure in your Ger camp. After lunch, drive to Tsenkher Jiguur. Here, you will have free time to relax in the hot springs and take in the surrounding scenery. Stay overnight in a Ger camp.

Day 10: Tsenkher Jiguur Hot Springs to Great White Lake
Today, enjoy the stunning backdrop as you drive around 5 hours west, towards the serene Great White Lake (Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur). Upon arrival, check into your Ger Camp for an overnight stay. The camp is located within one of the most beautiful areas of the famous Great White Lake and Khorgo Volcano. Take a short hike up to the crater of the volcano for wonderful views or walk along the lake shore where there are excellent opportunities for bird and wildlife spotting. Also visit Zayaiin Huree Monastery in Tsetserleg Town.

Day 11: Great White Lake to Jargal Jiguur
This morning, enjoy a hike (approximately 3 hours) around the shores of the lake, which is home to a diverse variety of wildlife and birds. You will have the opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery of this beautiful lake. After lunch, drive to Jargal Jiguur, known as ‘home of the yaks’, due to many local families seen herding yaks. Upon arrival, check into your Ger camp and enjoy time at leisure, for example bathing in the hot springs found here.

Day 12: Jargal Jiguur to Lake Khovsgol
Today is a long driving day as you depart Jargal Jiguur early this morning and travel through Môron to Lake Khovsgol, on mostly muddy roads. The first section of road is particularly steep and has breathtaking views of the surrounding plains and glacial peaks. There will be sections of road along the lakeshore that are very bumpy. Upon arrival, check in to your Ger camp on the eastern shore of the lake for a two-night stay. In the afternoon, take a walk to the forest and visit a reindeer breeding family, where you will get introduced to their way of life

Day 13: Lake Khovsgol
Due to the variety of activities offered at Lake Khovsgol, we allow all customers a choice in how they would like to spend their time here. Your National Escort will accompany you on a walk around the lake’s shore and assist you in organising some of these suggested activities: a horse ride into the nearby mountains, renting a speedboat to see more of the lake, or taking a relaxing walk viewing the nearby forests and beautiful scenery. Please note that activities will be at your own expense.

Day 14: Lake Khovsgol to Ulaanbaatar
This morning, drive around 3 hours to Môron airport and board your 1 ½ hour flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for a 4-night stay. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 15: Ulaanbaatar
In the morning, drive to the horse racing field for the beginning of the Naadam Festival. After visiting Hui Doloon Khudag (Horse racing field) return to Ulaanbaatar city for Naadam Eve and visit Central Square where you can view the Naadam Mongol costumes on display. The rest of the day will be free for leisure.

Day 16: Ulaanbaatar & Naadam Festival
One of the special features you will encounter over the next 2 days is experiencing first-hand the annual Naadam Festival. The highlight of your journey begins as the group mix with locals and nomads alike to witness the Opening Ceremony of the Naadam Festival, at Central Stadium. Here you can see featured events that include wrestling, horseracing and archery. You will have the chance to view the procession of the athletes, officials and monks, as the first round of competition in the wrestling tournament begins. Tickets to all arenas are allocated by local Government tourist authority in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremony; therefore, the exact programme for the festival cannot be given until during your trip. After the grand Opening Ceremony, the first round of wrestling and archery is held in the afternoon at Naadam Stadium. This evening you will see the Naadam Traditional Folk Gala Show, which includes the renowned ‘throat singing’.

Day 17: Ulaanbaatar
Travel approximately 50km outside the city to enjoy the second day of the Naadam festival. A thrilling day unfolds as you to view the cross-country horseracing. Also known as ‘tumnii ekh’ (leader of ten thousand), this certainly is sought after amongst the younger competitors. Cheer along with the locals as the athletes compete and enthral in the carnival-like atmosphere. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar city.

Day 18: Ulaanbaatar to Terelj National Park
This morning, travel approximately 2 hours to Terelj National Park, stopping en route to visit the Genghis Khan Statue. Spend the afternoon exploring the area, enjoying the alpine scenery and seeing Turtle Rock. From here, hike over steep and uneven ground to Aryabal Monastery and later enjoy a visit with a local nomadic family. Learn about their lifestyle including the preparation of dairy products. Sightseeing today involves around 2-3 hours on foot. Stay overnight at a Ger camp.

Day 19: Ulaanbaatar
Return to Ulaanbaatar and have a leisurely day in the city. Visit Bogd This evening, enjoy a traditional folklore performance and a farewell dinner.

Day 20: Fly home
Any time before your flight is at leisure. You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport, according to the departure time of your international flight.

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Terms & Conditions

Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown on the lowest Inside category available at the time.  Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 14 July 2022 and can be withdrawn without notice. Cabin categories include prepaid government fees and port taxes unless otherwise stated. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Hotel location and inclusions may vary depending on availability and alternative dates of travel. Visas are not included. Air credit is applicable on airline of choice, subject to availability and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.