The Golden Week holiday is an excellent time to visit Mongolia. On this activity-packed journey you will have a unique opportunity to stay alongside a nomadic family in their yurt as well as with an eagle hunter in Altai mountains – ride with them, learn how they train their birds, and experience the way of life of these nomads. This journey will immerse you into untouched beautiful nature and rich cultural heritage of Mongolia – experience off road driving, mountain biking, archery, gyrocopter flights and many other activities during the holiday week. The trip culminates in the celebration of the annual golden eagle festival in Ulgii.
Ulaanbaatar – Terelj National Park – Chinggis Statue – Ulgii – Golden Eagle Festival – Ulaanbaatar
Your guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals hall at Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khan Airport. Transfer to Ramada hotel and check into your room. The plan for today is flexible, as your arrival time will influence the itinerary.
If you arrive early (or the day before), there will be a morning visit to the Gandan Monastery – enter the temples, including that of the Migjid Janraisig with it’s huge golden buddha statue. In the old temple complex listen to the chanting ceremonies which happen betwen 10 and 11am.
If you arrive later, meet your guide in the hotel reception at 2:30p, for a walk across the impressive Sukhbaatar Square and a visit to the National History Museum with its well-laid out informative displays showcasing the country’s fascinating past.
Afterwards, walk south towards the city’s main park, and enjoy an intimate performance of music and dance by the Tumen Ekh ensemble at a small theater. A welcome dinner at one of our favorite Mongolian restaurants rounds off your first day in Mongolia. D
After breakfast meet your guide at the hotel’s lobby at at 08:30, hop into vehicle and journey east to Terelj National Park, stopping quickly en route at the sacred Turtle Rock which you can climb up and hike to the nearby Aryabal Meditation Temple set on a hill. The National Park yields some great scenery which makes it a very popular weekend getaway for both locals and tourists alike. However, you will now pass through the main valley to get away from the crowds, and after Terelj village cross over the river – or rather, through the river! A few kilometers further on you will stop at a family’s ger – step inside and experience local hospitality, drink milk tea, and enjoy homemade lunch, while the horses are being prepared outside.
Then saddle up on for a ride up into the valley towards Jalman Mountain and along the east side of the Saikhan Saridag range of hills. No horse riding experience is necessary – Mongolian horses are small and we match horses to riders – you should be comfortable quickly and your guide will be there to assist.
Return to your ger and in the evening enjoy a nomadic feast of khorkhog or similar countryside fare – you can help with food preparation if you wish. In the evening there will be time to socialize with your nomadic hosts over home made vodka made of fermented mare’s milk, or alternatively for some incredible stargazing of the clear, Mongolian sky.
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After breakfast say goodbye to your nomadic hosts and hop on our quality mountain bikes, following your guide riding in picturesque locations of the Terelj National park. Riding will be on rather flat dust trail which is suitable for average fitness levels, but if you rather not ride, just stay at the ger and observe nomads herding to families – you can get involved in their activities too. After returning, set of for some great off-road vehicle excursion to the remarkable Chinggis Statue complex near Erdene. Once you arrive, climb up inside until you reach the exterior staircase which runs up the mane of the horse to a viewpoint overlooking the Tuul River, Terelj & the hills of Khan Khentii – Chinggis’ homeland.
Then, visit the nearby Gyrocopter pad and take a 10 minute flight over the Chinggis Statue and enjoy the panoramic views from above Mongolia.
Upon landing back on the ground it’s back to Ulaanbaatar, arrive on time for dinner and settle in your hotel room for the night.
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Today you fly to the remote Western corner of Mongolia in the Altai mountians. 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 the world.
Upon arrival in Ulgii visit the interesting local Aimag museum and take a stroll around this low-rise town – a mix of soviet-style buildings and traditional clay brick dwellings. You can also take a walk around the town’s market.
You will be staying tonight in a guest ger alongside a Kazakh eagle hunter and his family near Ulgii. Enjoy Kazakh hospitality and spend the evening together, learning how they train their birds. There are also many nomadic families who live in this area – including other hunters – and there will be plenty of opportunity to visit them and experience traditional nomadic hospitality and local community life in the next two days.
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Over these 2 days enjoy the sights and sounds of the annual eagle festival. You will be only a few kilometers from the festival site so those of you who would like to ride there (and/or back) can do so. The celebrations begin with a colorful opening parade on the festival site in the lee of the mountains overlooking the huge rocky plains. The competitions then begin in earnest – eagles and their owners are judged on various qualities, including the ability of the eagle to fly from the top of the adjacent hill down to its owner and also to catch the ‘prey’ (usually a fox skin) that is pulled behind a horse. There are also prizes for best turned-out bird, and best dressed hunter. In addition to these eagle-related competitions there are horsemanship competitions, goat carcass tug-o-war, and camel racing. Enjoy lunch in a ger at the festival site – huushuur (fried dumplings) are the typical fare at festivals. Return in the afternoon, by vehicle or on horseback, to the ger camp near an eagle hunter’s family where you are staying.
On Saturday afternoon head to the airport for your flight to Ulaanbaatar at 5:50pm and after landing enjoy a farewell meal at one of our favorite restaurants to round off your Mongolian journey. Stay at Ramada HotelB, L, D
Transfer to the airport on time for your flight back home at a time to suit you.
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Tailoring your tour: We are always happy to help you create your own, unique trip according to your specific interests and wishes. Please contact us for details.
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Your guide and driver will pick you up from the Chinggis Khan airport or a pre-arranged city location, confirmed with you in advance. It can be your accommodation, or the train station. Meeting time will be confirmed in the pre-departure email that you will receive after the booking has been made.
How to locate your guide / driver?
Your guide or driver will hold a welcoming board with your name(s) and Tour Mongolia logo shown for ease of identification. Don’t forget to let us know your hotel name, accommodation address, flight or train number and carriage numbers (if arriving by train) in advance, so we know when and where to pick you up!
Problems and emergency contact information
In case of an emergency, or if you are unable to locate your guide or driver, please call (+976) 9905 9466 or (+976) 9909 8467. (24h)
For all other inquiries and tour services please contact our office team on (+976) 11 35 46 62.
Golden Eagle Festival it’s great opportunity experiencing eagle hunt and how to train their eagles, and learning Kazakh culture.
It was excellent trip. The highlight was the Eagle are hunting fake fox, and also understanding western Mongolian Ethnic groups culture.