Naadam Festival 2019 with Highlights of Mongolia 13 days - The Great Mongolian Adventures

Naadam Festival 2019 with Highlights of Mongolia 13 days

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Mongolian Traditional Festival

      The Mongolian Naadam has known also as Eriin Gurvan Naadam (or Three Manly Games). Has a long history and been celebrated with respects among Mongolian ethnic groups for centuries. Mongolian Naadam is inseparably connected to the nomadic civilization of the Mongols, who have long practiced pastoralism on Central Asia's vast steppe. Oral traditions, performing arts, national cuisine, craftsmanship, and cultural forms such as the long song, Khuumei overtone singing, Bie Biyelgee dance, and Morin khuur fiddle also feature prominently during Naadam. The Mongolian Naadam is a national festival consisting of three sporting games of Wrestling, Horse race, and Archery, each of them has unique features of folk ritual, oral traditions, folk performing arts, social practices, traditional knowledge, and craftsmanship.
Mongolians follow special rituals and practices inherited from ancient times while they wear unique costumes, use distinctive attires and gears, and sing special praise songs and rhymes. Moreover, winning wrestlers, archers and racehorses are praised with praise songs and rewarded special titles. Mongolian Naadam was originated among Mongols and it is confined to the Mongolian nationality. Thus, Mongolian traditional festival is very unique and doesn’t exist in other nations and ethnic people.

Wrestling: During Naadam there are more than 800 wrestlers compete every year. There are 9 rounds of matches in Naadam, only winning wrestlers will compete in the next round. From the fourth round winning wrestlers starting to earn titles, starting from Hawk - Falcon - Elephant - Garuda and Lion to Champion. The champion title requires winning at least 2 years of Naadam festival. Wrestlers will try to make the competitor fall on the ground with his elbows, knees or buttocks touch to the ground. They practice strength, techniques, tricks, and tactics.

Wrestling requires special customs including a hat, zodog( or shirt without a front side), shuudag (or shorts) and Boots. Every ritual, wrestlers info, and traditions will be explained by our guide.
Archery: Mongolian traditional archery is Extremely ancient heritage. Bows and arrows were used originally as hunting implements, later military weapons and more recently as kind of a sport. More than 3 hundred archers will compete at Naadam, to shoot targets from 75 meters (Men) women from 65 meters.  Who won the Naadam will award the title of Mergen (or Sharp sited). Mongolian traditional Bows are made from birch as the main part lined with horn stripes.

Horse racing: Rituals and traditions of organizing horse race competition during Naadam have unique features and orders. Horse trainers choose potential racehorses among horse herds. Train with techniques and tactics every day for a year. Horses have age-specific categories, such as stallions, adults, 4 years old,  3 years old,  2 years old and 1-year-old, that they race in different distance categories. The horse race has a distant ritual oral heritage as urology praising the winning horse's Racehorse title singing.

After enjoying the three manly sports we will start our central Mongolian highlight tour which will include must-see places of Gobi desert 
Khangai mountains - highlighted places such as Kharkhorin town (Karakorum), Tsenkher hot springs, Taikhar rock, Khugnu Khan National Park, Hustai National Park, 
On the road, we will visit as many as 7 nomadic families and look into how they live and get in-depth cultural experiences.
Half of the road and long distance days will be on asphalt road.


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  • Day 1. 10th of July 

Arrival day + Naadam events

Distance: 30 km
Main attractions: Naadam's eve events
We will greet you at the airport and take you to the Ulaanbaatar city for Naadam's eve events on the main square and accommodation, Today in the capital city Ulaanbaatar will hold some epic events on the main square called "Sukhbaatar square". The must-watch events will be the "Mongolian Deel festival" at 19:00, "State Banner ceremony" at 21:00 and Mongolian most famous opera called "Uchirtai Gurvan Tolgoi" will play at 22:00. depending on your arrival time we will have dinner and watch some great eye-catching events on the main square then accommodate at the hotel. 

Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 2. 11th of July 

The Naadam Festival
Distance: 120 km
The Naadam Festival begins today and the group will get the opportunity to witness the opening ceremony, which features extravagantly costumed parades, traditional music, dance, and historical reenactments. Truly a sight to behold!
Opening ceremony will start at 10:00 am, the state banner will enter the stadium and the president of Mongolia will address the crowd and the opening parade will begin at 11:20 am to 12:00 pm then the wrestling matches will begin in the stadium, we will enjoy the wrestling until 13:30 and go watch the archery competition in the nearby archery field. Then we will head to the Khui Doloon Khudag the horse racing field and enjoy the horse racing event then watch as the Ikh Nas 7 years old horses coming to the finish line. Today we will follow the Naadam tradition and eat traditional Mongolian foods such as Khuushuur, Buuz and drink milk tea, Airag for the whole day. After we enjoy the horse racing event we will head back to the city and watch the State MorinKhuur ensemble's special concert called Beautiful Mongolia at 19:00 for it is only played today. After the concert, we will be greeted with the UB night show and fireworks at the Sukhbaatar square. We will enjoy the night show then go to the hotel and prepare for the countryside tour.

Activities: Naadam Festival 3 main sports, concerts, events
Accommodation: Hotel


  • Day 3. 12th of July

Ulaanbaatar to Baga Gazriin Chuluu

Distance: 280 km

Baga Gazriin Chuluu:
Dundgobi province, Delgertsogt soum’s area. Surrounded by the vast grassy plains 1768m a.s.l. Tall granite area and it is 300 sq km big.
In the mountain passes and valleys, there are a lot of springs plants. Ancient petroglyphs, remains, monuments are there to explore. There are Sudut gorge, Jargalant cave, Eye’s holy water, offering valley, Ger rock, Huns era burials, etc. many interesting places that we will visit.

Activities: Monastery ruin visit, Eye’s springs
Accommodation: Erdene Ukhaa "tourist camp"

  • Day 4. 13th of July

Baga Gazriin Chuluu to Dalanzadgad city via Tsagaan Suvarga(White Stupa) 

Distance: 380 km
Tsagaan Suvarga:
Dundgobi province, Luus soum’s area nature’s unique formation - arch-shaped huge abrupt cliff looks like ancient buildings or a town from distance.
Cliff’s height is 60m and it’s 400m long. After the rain, water falling from Tsagaan Suvarga makes a huge waterfall. Around the cliff, there are many domes like shaped colorful hills that you can explore.

Activities: Hiking, Lunch, Photography

Dalanzadgad city:
Dalanzadgad city is the capital of Southgobi province.
We will accommodate in tourist camp outside of Dalanzadgad city.

Activities: Mandal Gobi city, Food shopping, Dalanzadgad city
Accommodation: Gobi Oasis - "Tourist camp"

  • Day 5. 14th of July

Dalanzadgad to Khongoryn Els sand dunes via Yolyn Am valley

Distance: 200 km

Today we are entering Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park
In the morning we will ride 20 km to enter the park and visit the famous Yolyn am and then Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes.

Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park (Gobi Three Beauty Mountains), Yolyn am gorge:
Umnugobi province’s West, Middle, and East Beauty, 3 separate mountains make 100km long Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park at nearly 27,000 square kilometers, is the largest National Park in Mongolia. The tallest peak is located near Dalanzadgad city 2800 m a.s.l.  In East Beauty mountain. Here lies the famous Yolyn am gorge. Mountain brook breaks the Mountain in half, with its narrow cliff used to always had ice in between. Now global warming is melting the ice in August until the end of September since 2010. Three Beauty mountain has almost all kinds of animals and plants of gobi that you can discover.

Activities: Horse trek or hiking, Explore around the valley, Photography

Khongoryn Els:
Umnugobi province’s Sevrei soum, Gobi Three Beauty protected area, north side of Grand Sevrey Mountain and Zuulun mountain, in front of Bayan bor mountain the Khongoryn Els sand dune stands northwest to southeast 130 km long, depth is around 3-5 km and some area reaches 20+ km. It’s Mongolian longest sand dune. The highest peak is 195 m. West side of the dune is the tallest, and when the sand shifts, dune makes an airplane like sound, and locals named the peak “Singing dune”. Right beside the dune, there is a river called Khongor. Khongor river is 10 km long, and have 2 branches. The river is surrounded by green grasses, animals, and plants. Echo pond, grazing animals, and amazing sands will give you the perfect Oasis experience.

Activities: Hiking in Yolyn Am valley. Camel trekking by the sand dunes, Hiking to the sand dunes
Accommodation: Gobi Erdene - “Tourist camp”

  • Day 6. 15th of July

Khongoryn els to Ongi monastery via Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)

Distance: 330 km

Bayanzag is a very special place for the world’s natural history, archaeology, and science. People have discovered and still discovering Important remains, remnants and fossil findings that are very good preserved for millions of years. Importance of Bayanzag is limitless to many sectors, for that, it is named considered one of the Mongolian 7 wonders. About 40,000+ years old people’s remnants, stone and bronze age equipment are still being found by visitors.
American adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews’ team found the world’s first Dinosaur egg in Bayanzag. American natural history museum’s 2 main big dinosaurs came from Bayanzag. Mongolian rarest birds live around this area. Such as Henderson's ground-Jay, Great bustard and Desert Warbler(white throat), etc.

Activities: Photograph, Hiking, Paleontology research, Lunch

Ongi monastery:
Dundgobi province, Saikhan-Ovoo soum’s area, Ongi river’s east bank, on Saikhan-Ovoo mountain’s slope there are remains of a Monastic city Ongi, founded in 1660. it was once a town that populated one thousand monks.
Bases of the buildings were built on mini-cliffs. Buildings were the true art of sculptures. It was devastated by the Soviet purges of the 1930s. Only a few traces remain in the mini-museum. Not to mention the Buddhist monasteries are built on the most energetic places on earth. Here you can see the remnants of the artistic walls equipment, and reconstructed tiny bit of an actual Ongi Monastery.

Activities: Ongi monastery ruins exploration, swimming in Ongi river
Accommodation: Ongiin Nuuts - “Tourist camp”

  • Day 7. 16th of July

Ongi monastery to Kharkhorin town (Karakorum) via Shankh monastery

Distance: 300 km

Kharkhorin (Karakorum):
Located in Kharkhorin soum, Uvurkhangai province. Founded by Chinggis Khaan in 1200, became Mongol empire’s capital in 1220 by Ugudei Khaan son of Chinggis Khaan. Every religion in the world existed together for centuries in the Karakorum. Historically and archaeologically important place in the world. Kharkhorin is a UNESCO world heritage site. Here is the famous Erdenezuu the Buddhist monastery is open to the public. Surrounding 108 stupas create one magnificent big fence, inside there are 3 remaining ancient monastery buildings which are now a big Buddha's museum. Museum staffs are famous for their good education on the details of the exhibits. West side of the museum actual working monastery is open to Buddhist deeds. Famous Karakorum’s Turtle rock and Phallic rock are located around Erdenezuu monastery.

Activities: Shankh Monastery visit, Erdenezuu monastery exploration
Accommodation: “Tourist Camp” by the Orkhon river

  • Day 8. 17th of July

Kharkhorin to Tsenkher Hot Springs via Tsetserleg town and Taikhar rock
Distance: 200 km

Tsetserleg town:
Is the capital of Arkhangai province. North side of the town, there is the famous Bulgan mountain, with Zaya Bandida- one of the 4 state’s saint’s monastery which is now a Museum of Arkhangai just next to it the Zaya Bandida’s actual working monastery we will explore. At the Bulgan mountain, there is a big Buddha statue and throughout the mountain, there are numbers of drawings of gods it is a good place to hike the ferocious mountain.

Activities: Hiking to the Bulgan mountain, Museum, Buddhist monastery visit
Taikhar rock:
On a bank of Khoid Tamir River in Ikhtamir Soum, Arkhangai province. Taikhar rock is 18 m high a cliff of granite. Which has a lot of myths and challenges to be found? Over 150 inscriptions in various scripts including Turkic, Uyghur, Mongolian, Tibetan, Manchu, and Chinese were engraved on the rock. The surrounding area is all about the beautiful scenery. Truly a place to visit.

Activities: Explore Taikhar rock, Photography, Yak or Horse riding

Tsenkher Hot Springs:
Tsenkher soum of Arkhangai province. The second hottest hot springs, used by Mongolians for it's medical and health purposes. 1860 m above sea level underneath the mountain full of forest area, it pumps the hot spring for 10 liters in 1 second. Scientists believed it formed in the 4th-period era. It doesn't get mixed with soil water and evaporates 86 Celsius degrees hot.
It contains hydrosulfuric acid and silica combination. It's used to treat having rheumatism, neuralgia, cramp, rheumatics, and pulpous injuries.

Activities: Swimming in the hot springs pool, (massage available)
Accommodation: Shiveet Mankhan - “Tourist camp”

  • Day 9. 18th of July

Tsenkher Hot Springs to Orkhon waterfall
Distance: 200 km

Orkhon Waterfall:
Orkhon river valley is located in Bat-Ulzii soum, Uvurkhangai province. Orkhon waterfall is 20 meters tall and 10 meters wide. white waves flowing on the black stone, transformed into a rainbow by sunrays make a magical scene.
Orkhon waterfalls formed 20.000 years ago after a unique combination of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It’s the Ulaan Tsutgalaan River, ”Red Confluence”, which forms these falls by flowing into the Orkhon River.

Activities: Hiking, Swimming, Photography, Horse riding
Accommodation: Local Yak, Sheep, and Horse herder family

  • Day 10. 19th of July
Khangai mountain nomadic lifestyle experience
​Today we will do the in-depth cultural experiences and stay with the local family and see what they do during the day time. We will herd their animals and do the horse trek, milk yaks prepare milk products horse trek and visit some landmarks around beautiful Khangai mountains. 

Accommodation: Local Family 

  • Day 11. 20th of July
Bat-Ulzii to Khugnu Khan mountain

Khugnu Khan National Park:
Bulgan province’s Rashaant soum area Incredibly beautiful sacred mountain full of exotic animals and medicinal plants. There are Uvgun, and Zaluu 2 Khalkha monasteries ruins are there to tell the tale. Here we can hike around the Mountain see the beautiful view of Elsen Tasarkhai the Sand dune. There are 17 very rare species of plants and combined 399 species of plants. 100 of them are medicinal plants.

Activities: Photography, Hiking, Wildlife observation, and Sightseeing
Accommodation:  Khugnu Khan Tourist camp

  • Day 12. 21th of July
Khugnu Khan mountain to Khustai National Park

Khustain Nuruu National Park:
Tuv province, in between Altanbulag, Argalant, and Bayankhangai soums area incredibly beautiful landscape and wild horses called Takhi the Przewalski horse’s only living place on earth. On an average 1500-1700m a.s.l. The highest peak is the Khushuut mountain 1842 m tall. The lowest point is 1190 m Tariatiin Bulag. It’s Khentii mountains south-west wing. At the mountaintop to the north slope, there is 2080 hectare of birch forest. Park has 450 types of plants almost all of them are medicinal plants, red deers, antelopes, wild boars, many types of rodents and 260 types of birds live here.
Explore the National Park with, well educated Khustai National Park’s guides and rangers.

Activities: Photography, Hiking, Wildlife observation, and Sightseeing
Accommodation: Khustai tourist camp

  • Day 13. 22nd of July

Khustai to Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar city tour 
We will be leaving in the morning and head back to Ulaanbaatar. Goes back to the hotel and have some refreshment time. City tour with museums and do some cashmere shopping. The traditional folk art Concert with the great Tumen Ekh ensemble. And have a farewell dinner with all the travel crew members.

Activities: Museums, Farewell Dinner, Tumen Ekh Ensemble concert
Accommodation: Hotel 

Drop off at the airport whenever you want, Bayartai!


In evidenza

Price includes:
All meals B L D for 13 days.
4WD SUV or Minivan
English speaking guide at all times
13 nights accommodation
3 nights at “4-5 star” hotel
8 nights at handpicked tourist camps
2 nights at a nomadic family
National park and Attraction complex tickets according to the itinerary
Farewell dinner
Visa invitation letter, if required
Included all taxes
Drop off at the airport

Not included in the Price:
International flights & visa fee
Travel & medical insurance
Daily personal expenses


  1. Ulan Bator
  2. Baga Gazryn Chuluu
  3. White Stupa
  4. Dalanzadgad
  5. Yolin Am Ice Field
  6. Khongoryn els
  7. Flaming Cliffs
  8. Ongi Monastery
  9. Kharkhorin
  10. Tsenkher Hot Springs
  11. Orkhon Waterfall
  12. Khugnu Khan Mountain
  13. Khustai Mountains
  14. Ulaanbaatar