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Naadam is a three-day festival celebrating Mongolian tradition with games, parades and celebrations. The highlights are the ‘three manly games” of wrestling, archery and horseracing. Naadam is a truly amazing spectacle not to be missed.
The national Naadam festival takes place in Ulaanbaatar July 11 – 13 each year. However, there are a number of local Naadam festivals that take place around the country at different times throughout the summer and we often organize trips to visit these festivals as well.
This tour also includes visiting the famous Chinggis Khan Statue and spend a day in the beautiful Terelj National Park
Basic (As Per this itinerary – Western Style amenities will be available on most days)
Departure Time & Place
Tour departure times can be flexible, however 8 am on the morning of departure is recommended. The driver and guide can pick you up from the airport, train station, or your accommodation to suit your requirements.
Date : July 11, 2020
Opening CeremonyLike all great festivities, it all begins with an opening ceremony. Dancers and musicians delight the watching crowds athletes and horse riders march across the National Sports Stadium in UB. And after the spectacular ceremony, the competitions begin. Wrestling: 512 wrestlers come together to fight in the stadium for the prestigious title of “State Titan”. Both the “Titan” himself and the trainers have the opportunity to choose partners during the first few rounds, thus reducing the number of less experienced wrestlers early on and creating more excitement for the final matches on the second day. The rules are very simple: the wrestling area is unrestricted, there are no weight-classes and the one who touches the ground with any part of the body, other than their feet, has lost. The winner continues to the next round. The loser has to pass under the wings (arms) of the proud winner as he conducts his eagle dance in celebration. The wrestlers wear tight pants and a small vest which covers the arms & shoulders but not the chest. The unique wrestling top was brought in, according to legend, to prevent women entering the competition after a woman managed to enter the competition and win! Archery: It has been said that Mongols are almost born with archery skills, once an integral part of nomadic lifestyle. From childhood such qualities such as excellent eyesight, judging of distance, patience and strength are nourished to develop a good archer. Mongolian bows are very tightly strung, so that it requires a great deal of strength to use them. Several teams of 5-7 archers compete, with each attempting to hit 33 leather cylinders from a distance of 75 meters,
Date : July 12, 2020
Horse RaceMost of the day will be spent at the horse racing course after driving about 30km out of the city to see the amazing races. Later in the afternoon watch the Mongolian traditional Song and Dance Ensemble. Horseracing: The most impressive spectacle of the Naadam festival is surely the horseracing competitions. The horses cover different distances according to their age. Azarga (stallions) 28km, Ikh Nas (horses more than 5 years old) 30km, Soyolon (5-year olds) 25km, Khyazaalan (4-year olds) 22 km, Shudlen (3-year olds) 20km and Daaga (colts to 2 years old) 15km. There are no limits on the number of horses participating; usually 200-600 horses in each race. The five winning horses are honored with a cup of mare’s milk (airag) poured on their necks, a khadag (respectful blue silk scarf) and a medal.
Date : July 13, 2020
Terelj National Park- Chinggis Khaan StatueThe day trip will start at 8am driving to the impressive Chinggis Statue, which dominates the landscape. Spend an hour marveling at the largest statue of Chinggis Khan you will ever see. It is a jaw dropping scene among the beautiful hills and plains. For the daredevil inside there is also gliding available to witness this spectacular monument from the air. Terelj is a picturesque place of high cliffs of granite, rivers and forests. Terelj is famous for its distinctive rock formations including the ever-popular ‘Turtle Rock’. National Park activities including horse riding, eat lunch in a local family ger and hike to Ariyabal Meditation Temple. Your 3 Day Naadam Festival adventure will finish in Ulaanbaatar around 6pm.
✔️Transport (Tour Distance covered – 250 km)
✔️Complementary Water Bottle (non-plastic)
✔️Meals (Breakfast- 2 & Lunch-3)
✔️Naadam Festival Tickets
✔️Entrance Fees/Local Taxes
✔️Horse Riding 1 Hour
✔️Mineral Water/ Tea/ coffee
❌Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar
❌Alcoholic & soft drinks
❌Any other personal expenses or additional services
Pricing NameStartEndGroup (Min-Max)Pricing
We will be cooking our meals on portable stoves. We will have to stock up on food provisions in the cities, so even that will limit some of your options.
All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for food will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en-route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads or local restaurants. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes. Our GUIDE will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here.
Please note that snacks, soft drinks and alcohol are not included in the tour, so please bring your own. You’ll be able to stock up on supplies at the several small towns where we stop for breaks along the way.
Mongolia is a country of extreme weather conditions. Depending on the time of year you go you should pack accordingly. The summers are very warm, but packing a warm layer or two would be very useful at any time of year, as in both the city and the countryside the evenings can get a little chilly.
Pack your favourite books for the long drive and a notebook to record your thoughts as you look out over the endless, sun-drenched Mongolian wilderness.
It is a good idea to include small gifts in your packing list, as you will inevitably be visiting local nomadic families in the county. It is polite to offer them some small gifts to show your gratitude in return for their hospitality.
Educational gifts for the nomadic children would be a good idea. Colouring books, crayons, colouring pencils, any children books and school stationery. You can buy all these from the department store in Ulaanbaatar after you arrive.
Other suggested gifts for the families are
Tea towel or fridge magnet from your home country and a head torch are very useful.
Sunscreen, long and short underwear, comfortable footwear, lip balm, sanitary hand wipes, sunglasses, prescription medications (if needed), rain gear & a hat
If you forgot something essential, don't worry. You can buy everything you need in Mongolia’s Department Stores and travel shops.
Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements can be catered for but need to be specified prior to arrival.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is still possible for you to enjoy Mongolia. There are more vegetables being grown in Mongolia today than there were 10 years ago, but Mongolians eat meat, so that is what is mostly available. We will go out of our way to find veggies, but the selection will be limited.
In the countryside it's going to be as rustic as it gets. There are very few paved roads in Mongolia, and most of those are not in great shape, so much of the driving will be done on tracks, which are really nothing more than paths through the steppe that people have driven over many times to pack the dirt down. Tracks are NOT for fast travel, they constantly change because of being washed out by the heavy rains or because they get too beat-up, so the going is slow and far from being smooth. Please consider that travelling in the countryside of Mongolia can be quite remote. There are often no paved roads so driving can be bumpy and can take a little longer than you might be used to. Also, given the remoteness, western style comforts may not be available.
Most of the vehicles we will use are very basic 4-wheel drive vans and jeeps because of the harsh terrain. These vehicles may not look like much, but they are rugged and when they do break down it's fairly easy to repair them which out on the steppe is important!
Russian Van: Steel Russian vans with seats facing each other, ideal for adventure seeking travelers (max 6 people) No seat belts & air conditioner in the van. (Most affordable option)
Japanese Van: Family type van with comfortable seats and air conditioning (max 3 people)
Land Cruiser: Comfortable speedy ride with air conditioning (max 2 people)
Accommodation is very basic in the countryside; you will be sleeping in tents or in the gers of local families. As nomads do not have their own running water supply we may not be able to have a daily shower and going to the bathroom means using some place just outside of camp (nomadic families rarely dig a pit toilet since they move so often).
Western style and luxury options are available in some parts of Mongolia in the form of Tourist ger camps. Ger camps have comfortable beds, hot showers and western style amenities. These are not included in the price quoted in this itinerary. However, if you think that you would prefer to have access to these western style comforts then please let us know and we can adjust the quote for your itinerary.
Once you are in the countryside exploring Mongolia it is our preference to stay with local nomadic families if they have an extra Ger. Gers will be shared by 5 people when we stay with a local family. As a Mongolian company we prefer to support these families financially, and help support their livelihood. We are sure this resonates with our travelers who enjoy engaging with their culture and way of life on the steppe. As well as directly supporting local herders, you can experience this rich traditional way of life first hand. On some nights we will be camping under millions of stars at our favourite camping spots, though if you’d prefer to camp more often you’re more than welcome to pitch a tent every night. All necessary camping equipment will be included in the tours.
For the invitation letter we will need the following information:
- Full Name
- Passport #
- Clear scanned copy of your passport
- Name of the City & Country where you are applying for your visa.
- Date of arrival & departure from Mongolia
In some cases, if there is not a Mongolian embassy in your country, it is possible to apply for permission to obtain a visa on arrival at Chinggis Khan International Airport. We can also help you to arrange this if you provide us with similar information as above.
Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions regarding your visit Mongolia via email at firstname.lastname@example.org