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On Horseback To Mystical Taiga

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FromUS$ 1,950
Price
FromUS$ 1,950
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Responsible travel - cultural aspects

We make sure that local people are happy to receive you in their homes and are informed about the potential impact such visits may have.

We design our tours in a way that maximizes interactions between the travelers and the locals.

We train our guides on cultural differences and encourage them to discuss all aspects of Mongolian history and culture to present a balanced view of the country.

We brief our guests on the significance of local customs, traditions, religion, body language and eating habits in Mongolia to foster respect and understanding.

We encourage active communication with the locals, promoting cultural exchange through playing games, sharing photos and having conversations. Learning a few words in Mongolian can be a great ice-breaker!

Terms & Conditions

The purchase of travel services offered by Tour Mongolia constitutes a contractual arrangement between the person making the booking and Tour Mongolia, and represents acceptance of Tour Mongolia’s Terms and Conditions described here.  They form the basis on which bookings are accepted by Tour Mongolia and it is important that you read them carefully.

 

Get ready to discover the Tsaachin community on this remote adventure to the Siberian taiga near the border with Russia, home to the last few remaining families of teepee-dwelling reindeer herders – the Tsaachin. Ride on horseback to stay in their camps, learn their traditions, meet a Shaman and explore the pristine nature of their wild surroundings. This wilderness expedition culminates with a 2 day stay on the shores of the crystal clear Lake Khuvsgul.

Tour Departures:

Jun 6, 27, Jul 25, Aug 15

Duration:

12 Days

Group Size:

4-12 Pax

Highlights

Ulaanbaatar - Murun - Off-Road Driving - East Taiga - Horse Trek - Tsaachin Reindeer Herders - Teepee Homestays - Shamanic Ritual - Tsagaannuur - Khuvsgul Lake - Boat Trip - Ulaanbaatar

Fitness Level

- ACTIVE: This tour involves considerable walking, horse trekking, camping and long travel days.

Meeting point

Good news! You can get picked up from the airport or hotel, just give us the details at the time of booking. Don't worry if you haven't booked your international flights yet, you can pass them onto us later.

Transport

Our vehicle of choice on this tour is the UAZ. These beasts of the east were born for the wilds of Mongolia. Fun, functional & practical, they feature a large wheel base, high ground clearance, large surround windows, ample luggage space, a strong heating system, and a flexible, sociable layout. Our guests fall in love with these indomitable vehicles and our fantastic team of drivers.

Guide

At Tour Mongolia we believe that a good guide is essential to the enjoyment of any trip. Your guide will be English speaking and hand picked by us to suit your itinerary and requirements. Each guide is personally briefed on all elements of the trip. You will be sent guide details in the confirmation document prior to your tour.

Accommodation

During your expedition you will be staying at Teepee home-stays alongside reindeer herder families, in ger camps and in a tent, camping for 2 nights. Gers at camps are equipped with beds, linen, stove, table and chairs and have electric lightning, while Teepees are more basic with no electricity, bathroom facilities or showers.

ROUTE MAP

ITINERARY

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 5 & 6
DAY 7
DAY 8
DAY 9
DAY 10

ARRIVE ULAANBAATAR – CITY TOUR – TUMEN EKH – WELCOME DINNER
Your guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals hall at Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khan Airport. Transfer to the hotel and check into your room. The plan for today is quite flexible, as arrival times will influence things, and you may want some downtime to relax. You may also need to sort out exchanging money and other practical things. For early arrivals, there will be a morning visit to the Gandan Monastery – enter the temples, including that of the Migjid Janraisig with its huge golden Buddha statue. In the old temple complex listen to the chanting ceremonies which happen mid-morning. For others, we suggest meeting your guide in the hotel reception at 14:30 for a leisurely walk across the impressive Sukhbaatar Square to visit 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.

Travel details: 45mins/14km Hotel-Airport; Departure time tbc.
Accommodation: Twin Room – Grand Hill Hotel
Meals included: Dinner

FLY TO MURUN – YAMAAT VALLEY
After breakfast, meet your guide in reception and head to the airport for your flight to Murun. There is usually a flight mid-morning which is our preferred option. On arrival in Murun you will meet your expedition driver, and head into town for some lunch. Visit the bustling local market – your guide may need to stock up on some items, and also it’s a great place to get a feel for the local area. There is also a supermarket and wine shop if you want to supplement any provisions with personal items. Then drive the 3-4 hours to your camping spot for tonight – we usually choose to stop on the banks of the Yamaat valley as its a scenic location, and great for camping near the water’s edge. Set up your tents, and enjoy some rustic food by a campfire.

Travel details: Flight 1.5hrs; 3hrs/110km to Yamaat Valley
Accommodation: Camping – Tent
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

TSAGAANNUUR – TSAACHIN COMMUNITY AND VISITOR CENTER
Today you head North to the remote town of Tsagaannuur – gateway to the taiga and the land of the Tsaatan. It’s a long but scenic drive, and definitely proof that you are getting really off the beaten track! Picnic en-route, or perhaps stop off at a roadside cafe as you pass through Ulaan Uul. Your guide will make the decision together with you. On arrival in Tsagaannuur you usually need to register with the local police as part of the border restrictions and procedures for visitors. Your guide may be able to do this on your behalf – and indeed, arrival time may only allow this to be done the next morning, so all timings need to be flexible! Tsagaannuur is situated at the altitude of 2350m above the sea level. You will be staying overnight in a ger at the locally run community camp.

Travel details: 7hrs/160km to Tsagaannuur
Accommodation: Simple Ger; Local Guest House
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

EAST TAIGA – HORSE TREK – REINDEER HERDERS
Today you head off into the East Taiga – the more remote, less accessible and unspoiled of the two Tsaatan community areas. The guides will probably have had up to date information relayed to them about the whereabouts of the Tsaatan, and this will influence the timings for today, as it is possible you may have anywhere between a 3 hour and a 6-hour ride ahead of you. First of all, drive the 5 miles to the Shishged River, which you cross on a rudimentary raft ferry. After that, it’s a further 2 miles to the drop-off point of Hogruk where you will meet your horses, horse guides and cook. Your guides will give mounting, riding, and horse handling instructions before your trek. Even if you are an experienced rider, Mongolian horses, equipment, and riding style are different so it is important to pay attention. Saddle up for your journey, which will be quite slow-going due to the uneven and boggy ground underfoot in this area. Packhorses will carry all equipment and luggage. On arrival in the Tsaatan camp in one of the area’s stunning open valleys, you will be introduced to various members of the community. You will be staying in a teepee.

Travel details: 1.5hr/30km drive; 3-6 hrs/15-25km horse trek
Accommodation: Shared Teepee
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

EAST TAIGA – REINDEER HERDERS – SHAMAN VISIT
Spend two days exploring the rugged landscapes of the east taiga. The exact route will be decided by your guide and Tsaatan wranglers and discussed with you. The Tsaatan welcome small groups of responsible travelers, and your horse guides and cook will be members of this tight-knit group of families. You may find that each night is spent alongside pockets of Tsaatan families, who are spread out in the area for grazing purposes, but equally. you may find that your time is spent alongside the same family – in the core community’s location. On one of the two days, in the evening you will have the opportunity to meet, and have a consultation with, a local shaman. Shamanic practices and beliefs are an inherent part of Mongolian culture – and particularly among the Tsaatan. The shamanic ritual usually takes place around midnight – enjoy your evening around the campfire under the vast Mongolian skies.

Travel details:  2-4hrs/5-20km riding per day
Accommodation: Shared Teepee
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

HORSE TREK – RETURN TO TSAGAANNUUR
Say goodbye to the Tsaatan today after an early breakfast and ride back to the meeting point with the vehicle. You need to cover at 15-25km today on the horseback in muddy terrain, which will take the half day. Continue in the vehicle to Tsagaannuur, where a bed will be a welcoming comfort, as well as some hearty food.

Travel details: 3-6hrs/15-25 km horse trek; 30km/1.5hr drive
Accommodation: Simple Ger; Local Guest House
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

OFF ROAD DRIVING – UJIG RIVER VALLEY
A long, slow but stunning drive south towards Kuvsgul Lake that will be spread over 2 days. The driver will aim to cover two-thirds of the way today, but weather and road conditions will play a big factor in how long the drive will take and where you will camp overnight – and the driver is ultimately responsible for this decision.

Travel details: 5-8hrs/200km Tsagaannuur to campsite
Accommodation: Camping – Tent
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

KHUVSGUL LAKE – SUKHBAATAR SHIP TRIP – CYCLING / HIKING
Continue to Lake Khuvsgul, hopefully arriving at the village of Khatgal, at the southern tip of the lake, in time for lunch at one of the local guanz (cafes). The huushuur (fried meat pasties) are particularly good in this area, so try some if you get the chance. After lunch, weather/wind permitting, board the Sukhbaatar ship for the trip to a vantage point on the other side of the lake. Climb up and enjoy the views of the Khuvsgul Lake and Taiga. After returning by ship to Khatgal, you will have a chance to go off hiking or cycling on the mountain bikes you can rent from the camp on trails leading alongside the lake and into the surrounding forests. In the evening enjoy dinner at the camp and perhaps some amazing stargazing if the skies are clear.

Travel details: 3-4hrs/80km to Khuvsgul Lake
Accommodation: Standard Ger – Ashikhai Ger Camp
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

KHUVSGUL LAKE – HIKING – CYCLING – REST DAY
Today you have a chance to be as active or relaxed as you would like. The previous days will have involved quite a bit of traveling, so you’ll be glad to be out of the vehicle. You have a chance to go off walking on trails leading from the camp to a rocky promontory overlooking the vast majestic lake. You can also head off on a mountain bike, those are available for rent from the camp. There will also be time to chill out, read a book, sort out your photos, have a sauna, and put your feet up – you can be as active or relaxed as you feel like.

Travel details: No long drives today
Accommodation: Standard Ger – Ashikhai Ger Camp
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

FLY TO ULAANBAATAR – FAREWELL DINNER
Head to the airport for your flight back to Ulaanbaatar – thankfully it is tarmac all the way. You may want to do some shopping on your return perhaps at the Gobi Cashmere outlet store on your way back into town, and then also at any of the decent craft outlets. Discuss your preferences with your guide. After freshening up at the hotel, enjoy a farewell meal at one of our favorite restaurants to round off your Mongolian journey.

Travel details: 2.5hrs/120km to Murun Airport; 2hrs flight
Accommodation: Twin Room – Grand Hill Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner

COSTINGS

USD

EUR

Cost Per Person:

$1,950

€1,750

Single Supplement: *

$195

€175

*Single accommodation not available in teepee homestays

Included:

Domestic airfares - Surface transportation - Road taxes - Accommodation as specified - Local Guide - Sightseeing and activities as specified - Museum & park entrance fees - Meals as specified

Excluded:

International flights - Tips - Laundry - Bar bills - Items of a personal nature - Visas - Photography/filming charges at e.g. museums and monasteries

NOTES:

Private tour with flexible departure date is available on request.

Occupancy: you can stay in a single, twin or double room/ger/tent (where applicable). Single occupancy may not be possible during the Naadam festival (July 5th -15th) at ger camps. At community-based camps and ger/teepee homestays, single occupancy is subject to availability. Single occupancy requires an extra supplement.

Discounts*: Our clients can take an opportunity to get following discount options:

  • Early bird discount of 10% is applicable for bookings made before January 1st, 2019.
  • Group discount of 10% is applicable for groups of 5 or more when booking together.
  • Children up to 2 years old travel free, 3-8 years old get 40% off and 9-12 years old get 20% off. Age as on the last day of the tour.

*Discounts are not cumulative, only one discount is available per client/group.

Travel arrangements: We are happy to book your international or domestic flight/train tickets or accommodation in Ulaanbaatar at discount prices, please contact us for availability.

More information: info@tourmongolia.com