Gobi Desert combined with Naadam festival tour /9 days/

Short description

Naadam is a traditional festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed eriin gurvan naadam the three games of men. This is Eastern version of olympics like Ancient Greeks. The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery, and are held throughout the country during midsummer. Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling.

This Mongolian Gobi Express tour is designed to the people who have limited time of travelling or staying in Mongolia. Advantage of this tour is, in short period of time you can explore all highlighted places Gobi can offer, mixed with visiting to Mongolian cultural heritage sites; Karakorum and Erdene Zuu monastery. Our tour begins from mysteriously formation of rocks Baga Gazriin Chuluu, followed by beautiful iced valley Vulture valley which is located in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, camel riding adventure in Mongolian largest sand dunes Khongor sand dunes, exploring world famous dinosaur cemetery Flaming cliffs, and then finally the trail meet the ancient Mongolian capital Karakorum and at the end visiting to Erdene Zuu monastery before leaving to Ulaanbaatar.

Tour itinerary
  • Day 1/July 10/ - Ulaanbaatar capital city of Mongolia
    Pick you up our driver and guide from Chinggis Khan international airport. Drive to Your hotel. Visit local outdoor market /bazaar/, Gandan Monastery and Mongolia national museum. Evening Leisure day in Ulaanbaatar city. Over night at Hotel
  • Day 2/July 11/ - First day of Naadam festival
    Main event day: At Central square, 9 o’clock, Chinggis Khaan’s 9 knights will carry the State Nine Banners on the horseback and take them to the Naadam Court. After the official Opening Ceremony in the Central Stadium at 11 o’clock, stay around the Naadam court and enjoy 3 manly games: wrestling, archery and ankle bone shooting games. Get soaked into the holiday atmosphere, grab food and enjoy around our traditional culture.
  • Day 3/July 12/ - Second day of Naadam Festival
    According to the fact, The Mongols always celebrated The Naadam in the countryside. Today we will drive to the horse racing court “Khui doloon khudag”, which is located in west side of Ulaanbaatar. Be ready for the real experience and see how passionate the locals are when the racing horses rush into the finish line. Horses are our symbolic animals that we have been breeding for thousands of years. Racing horses are divided in 6 age division and you will see 1 or 2 divisions today. Discuss the timing with your guide.
  • Day 4/July 13/ - Baga Gazar stone
    In the morning, our guide and driver will pick you up from your accommodation and start our tour directly driving to Baga Gazriin Chuluu or known as Earth stone. Before we leave the city we will pass some shops and then drive through steppe by overview of land-sea and grandiose formation of rocks and basalts of Baga Gazriin Chuluu. Baga Gazriin Chuluu is a 15km long and 10 km wide stone massif, and this stone massif is also part of the Mongolian granite stone zone. Wild sheep, ibex and marmot inhabit here, Surtiin am is one of many beautiful places in Baga Gazriin stone massif. This is a narrow canyon with asp, birch, white wicker and elm trees, as well the ruin of a stone temple and the site of 2 Gers where monks lived and meditated since the seventieth century. There is a 20 m long cave near to the Surtiin Am. Crystals can be found around the cave. Also, there is a spring water which comes from under source is good for eye illness. You will arrive at Baga Gazriin Chuluu in the afternoon, and rest of the day you will spend hiking & exploring the area. Overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 5/July 14/ - Yol valley
    Yolyn Am could be described as an “oasis” in the desert. Due to the steep valley walls, thick rock and lack of wind this area remains cool even in the height of summer allowing a glacier to survive, hence the name” Iced Valley”. The waterfalls caused when it rains make this a very attractive area to numerous types of birds, the largest of which, the bearded vulture lends its name to the valleys second name of “Vulture valley”. We will have an opportunity to experience this fantastic area of natural beauty on the back of Mongolian sturdy horses. In the evening after dinner free hiking around surrounding mountains. Overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 6/July 15/ - Khongor sand dunes
    Today we will drive through the ancient sea bed to reach the Khongor sand dunes, the largest dunes in Mongolia. 180 km long by 20 km wide, Khongor sand dunes are one of the most spectacular scenery of the Gobi Desert. They can reach 200 meters high and the sounds they produce under the influence of wind gave them the nickname of “Singing dunes”. They are crossed by the Khongor River, which creates contrasting green oases in the middle of the desert sand. Camel riding is one of the main fun activities you can do while you are in the Gobi. Camel trekking may not be the most comfortable means of travelling for some but it is undoubtedly a ‘must’ for every traveler as a way to experience the mode of transport of the Mongolian nomads of the Gobi. Stay in Nomad family Ger to get experience of lifestyle and hospitality of true Nomads. Dinner will be basic Mongolian dish made by local host. Overnight in Nomad family Ger.
  • Day 7/July 16/ - Ongi Monastery via Bayanzag Flaming cliffs
    After breakfast time, we will start our tour driving to Bayanzag. Known as Flaming cliffs, where American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews found cemetery of dinosaurs and the first dinosaur eggs ever discovered in the world. We will have some hiking through the cliffs and see the Gobi tree grove named “Bayanzag”. Bayanzag, literally means “rich in saxual trees”. This tree only grows in central Asian Gobi. See the short documentary about 1920-s American excavation. After lunch, we will continue our way to Ongi monastery ruins, which takes us through the great steppe which is called Ongi steppe, continues extraordinary 100 km long. Ongi monastery was one of the Mongolian biggest 7 monasteries. There are 2 temple ruins which were built up in 1780s. During repression in 1930’s these two temples destroyed and many lamas were executed and imprisoned. Arrive at the camp late afternoon and after dinner we will visit to Ongi temple ruins and enjoy the beautiful surrounding. Overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 8/July 17/ - Karakorum city and Erdene Zuu monastery
    Today we will drive towards to Kharkhorin, and our tour takes place on the transition zone from the Gobi desert to mountain steppes. Kharkhorin, formerly known as Karakorum, once was a capital of Chinggis Khaan’s Great Mongol Empire in the 13th century. Chinggis Khaan founded Karakorum in 1220. After his exploits on the Eurasian steppes, the city became the center of a substantial and growing empire. But after Khublai Khaan moved the Mongolian capital to Beijing, and the fall of the empire, Karakorum was abandoned and then destroyed by Chinese soldiers in 1388. After arriving at Kharkhorin, first we will visit to Kharkhorin museum, which displays artifacts mostly of Great Mongolian Empire time and followed by visiting to Mongolian oldest and largest monastery Erdene Zuu. Erdene Zuu is a Buddhist Tibetan monastery which dates back to 1585. Built from the ruins of Chinggis Khaan’s capital, Erdene Zuu is the oldest surviving monastery in Mongolia today. A soviet government partially destroyed Erdene Zuu in the 1930s, but the monastery has since reopened as a museum. Overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 9/July 18/ - Ulaanbaatar city capital city of Mongolia
    In the morning after breakfast, drive to Ulaanbaatar by paved road. Lunch will be on the road at local cuisine. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Free time. End of the tour.
  • Day 10/July 19/ - Home sweet home
    Leave Ulaanbaatar. Our driver drop off to Chinggis Khan international airport. Thank you for visiting our country


Tour route
  • Day 1 - Ulaanbaatar
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
  • Day 2, 3 - Naadam festival days
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
  • Day 4 - Ulaanbaatar > Baga Gazar
    Distance: 300km
    Time: 4 hours
  • Day 5 - Baga Gazar > Yol valley
    Distance: 460km
    Time: 6 hours
  • Day 6 - Yol valley > Khongor sand dunes
    Distance: 200km
    Time: 5 hours
  • Day 7 - Khongor sand dunes > Bayanzag
    Distance: 180km
    Time: 4 hours
  • Day 7 - Bayanzag > Ongi monastery
    Distance: 140km
    Time: 3 hours
  • Day 8 - Ongi monastery > Karakorum
    Distance: 280km
    Time: 6 hours
  • Day 9 - Karakorum > Ulaanbaatar
    Distance: 360km
    Time: 5 hours
  • Day 10 - Home sweet home
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
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