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Steppe Horses – Khentii Horse Festival

FromUS$ 850
FromUS$ 850

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Tour Brief

  • Duration: 4 Nights / 5 Days
  • Activities: A trip east to Chinggis' homeland of Khentii, culminating in Horse Festival
  • Distance: 800km
  • Group: Min 1 - Max 12
  • Season: Autumn
  • Fitness level:


All Accommodation (twin)
English speaking guide, other languages on request
Festival & park entrance fees, tickets, road tolls
Transport: 4×4 Japanese minivan
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner as mentioned in the program.

Not included:

International transportation to and from Mongolia
Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar
Travel insurance
Bottled water and alcoholic drinks
Tips and gratuities
Laundry and items of a personal nature.


Witness the spectacle of the 2018 Khentii Horse Festival in November. 

Young, as well as state honored horsemen accompanied with their 2,000 horses, will attend the festival. The Festival will take place on November 3 and 4 in Batnorov, Khentii Province. Mongolians take great pride in their unique horse culture that they have been honing for centuries, and there’s a saying among nomads: “a Mongol learns to ride a horse before he starts walking”.  There are countless legends (including the two white horses of Chinggis Khan), stories, songs and poems about the remarkable Mongolian horses too.

This short, 5-day journey starts in Terelj National park and Chinggis Statue complex, before two days of festivities in Chinggis’ homeland. Stay overnight in ger accommodation and a hotel in Chinggis City, before returning to Ulaanbaatar via Gun Galuut nature reserve. 

Places Visited

Ulaanbaatar – Terelj National Park – Chinggis Statue – Batnorov Village – Horse Festival – Chinggis City – Gun Galuut Nature Reserve – Ulaanbaatar


Thursday, Nov 1Terelj National Park - Aryabal Temple - Nomadic Family Visit

TERELJ NATIONAL PARK- ARYABAL TEMPLE – NOMADIC FAMILY VISIT You will be picked up from a pre-arranged Ulaanbaatar location at a time to suit you – we suggest leaving around 9:00am to make the most of the day. Jump in the vehicle with your guide 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 during summer. However, the there are no crowds this time of the year and you will be staying at a secluded camp situated among sparsely forested hills.
In the afternoon visit a nomadic family living across the Tuul river, enter their ger and enjoy the nomadic hospitality. Sample homemade produce and milk tea, find out about the lifestyle of herders and learn about traditions – all this while your horses are being prepared outside. Then saddle up for an hour of a horse ride in the surrounding countryside, or alternatively hike. Return to your ger camp in time for dinner and enjoy your first night sleeping in a ger.

Friday, Nov 2Chinggis Statue - Batnorov Village

After leisurely breakfast 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 drive east to the capital city of Khentii province – Chinggis City, stopping for lunch at a Mongolian eatery, then off road again until you reach Batnorov Village in the Khan Khentii hills. Have a welcome dinner and enjoy a folklore concert in the evening, before settling into your gers for the night.

Saturday, November 3 & Sunday, November 4Khentii Horse Festival - Chinggis City

Over the next two days, you will witness the spectacle and atmosphere of the annual Khentii Horse Festival. Mongols take pride in their horse culture that they have been honing for millenniums, and even there’s this saying “a Mongol learns to ride a horse before he starts walking” among the nomads. There are countless legends (including the two white horses of Chinggis Khan), stories, songs and poems about the remarkable Mongolian horses too.

During the festival you will see:
• Introduction of famous racing horses
• Parade of unique and rare horses
• Competition among horsemen: lassoing and catching horses with uurga (Mongolian horse catching poles)
• Competition of breaking in horses (taming)
• Competition among hunter dogs
• Exhibition of horse equipment
• “Steppe Horse” photo exhibition
• Traditional dance and music concert

Stalls with hot food and beverages, souvenirs, winter & sports clothing will be available at the site. You will have the opportunity to take part in horse riding, try on traditional costumes for photos and visit the wintering palace of herders in the area.

Monday, November 5Gun Galuut Reserve - Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast journey back to Ulaanbaatar. On the way stop at the Gun Galuut Nature Reserve and go for an exploratory walk – it’s a great place for walking at any time, but if you are interested in seeing and/or photographing animals, it’s a good idea to bring binoculars.

Then it’s back to Ulaanbaatar where you will be dropped at a location of your choice in the city center (we can do multiple drop-offs if required.

Dates: Nov 1 - Nov 5


  • Private departure is available on request.
  • Customize your trip: we are able to make amendments in the program according to our client’s special interest and request. Details would be discussed by emails in advance.
  • Hotel stay and transfer: we are glad to book your hotel and transfer in Ulaanbaatar as well as private transportation for your trip at our discounted rates.

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Single and double Occupancy: yPrices are based on a twin occupancy in hotels and ger camps. If you prefer to stay alone, a single supplement of $120 is applicable. Single occupancy may not be available at get homestays – this depends on availability.

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.

More information: info@tourmongolia.com

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Trip Information

Meeting point
Your guide and driver will pick you up r a pre-arranged Ulaanbaatar 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.

Finishing Point

You will be transferred to the airport or Ulaanbaatar location of your choice on the last day. Multiple drop-offs are possible if required.

Passport and Visas

Mongolia is a country that requires many foreign citizens to have obtained a visa in advance of travel. A Mongolian tourist
visa is usually valid for a stay of up to 30 days, with entry within three months from the date of issue. It is guests’ responsibility
to ensure they have a valid visa to travel to Mongolia, if required, according to nationality. Please note that all UK, Australian and most European citizens (excluding Germans) DO require a visa to travel to Mongolia, and this must be applied for in advance at any Mongolian consular mission. Only in exceptional circumstances may it sometimes be possible to pre-arrange a visa on arrival. The list of visa exempt countries include: USA, Canada, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Brazil, Israel, Philippines, Cuba, Hong Kong and Singapore – but these countries do have rules and regulations associated with length
of visit etc., so please check before travel.

Application Process: Obtaining a visa is a straightforward process, and usually very quick – especially if you are able to apply in person. Most embassies will return the visas within 2-3 days for a standard service, and some of them offer a same day express
service. Most embassies require minimal documentation – the 2-page application form; passport valid for at least 6 months after date of entry and with at least 1 blank page for the visa; fee payment; passport photo. Some embassies ask for additional documentation – an itinerary, flight reservation, a letter of invitation from your tour company (i.e. us) – so please
check. We can usually help provide all additional documentation. Some embassies have an online application form on their website, and sometimes the functionality is poor or confusing – so please be aware that embassies also accept
hand-written forms, and there is one standard form worldwide. If you can’t find it online, ask us for a copy and we will send one to you.

Visa on Arrival: If you are living in a country without a Mongolian Consulate/Embassy then we may be able to organize a Visa on Arrival. As this requires a fair bit of work on our part we have to charge a $120 administration fee for this service. The process involves us lodging a request on your behalf to the Immigration Authorities. If the application is successful they issue an official approval letter to us which will be scanned and sent to you. You will need to print it off and show this to anyone en route when asked about visa, e.g. airline check-in staff. On arrival in Mongolia, there is a customs office in the immigration hall where you will need to go and get the visa on arrival. It costs 108,000 MNT and $3 per person – all payable in USD using their exchange rate of the day, so it works out at around $50-$60 per person.

Food and Dietary Requirements

Please let us know your dietary requirements at the time of booking. Food choices tend to be limited in Mongolian countryside, but we are usually able to provide vegetarian, vegan, dairy or gluten free food. However, religious dietary requirements and exotic foods are often impossible to source, particularly on trips to more remote areas of the country.

Meals included in your trip are indicated B (Breakfast), L (Lunch), D (Dinner) under each day of the itinerary. On most days, all meals are included. When camping, your service team will prepare meals using provisions we source prior to departure and send with you.

Generally, water quality in Mongolia is good. But as a precaution we advise our guests to drink bottled water that can be purchased in shops, food markets and kiosks in the capital and many of the provincial centers as well as in tourist Ger camps in the countryside. Mineral water is usually not included in our trips as we aim to produce as little plastic waste as possible. But we do provide plenty of warm drinks such as tea and coffee during our trips.


We believe that swapping a generic bedroom for a cozy ger is one of the very best things about travel in Mongolia. It is in gers, particularly when visiting local families or staying with them at homestays, where you will have your most memorable insights into nomadic life; and for those tucking themselves up in traditional canvas tents on outward bound adventures and treks, you will stay in some truly magical locations. If your trip includes nights in ger camps, then you will combine authentic gers with the relative luxury of a few home comforts along the way.

Depending on your trip, you will be staying in ger camps, community based eco-camps, ger homestays alongside nomadic families or in a tent. Normally, there are three or four beds in each Ger and 2 people will share a tent. ger camp provides restaurant / bar, western-style toilet, washing facilities and showers. Low-impact eco, community based camps provide composting toilet and shower. At homestays the facilities are very basic, with no showers, and a a ground hole surrounded with wooden walls used for composting toilets. For expedition trips with tent stays, we provide good quality and spacious triple tents for twin occupancy. Among other equipment that we send are foldable mattresses, ground sheet tarpaulin, a toilet tent, sometimes a shower tent and a dining tent for groups of over 5 travelers. Additionally, kitchen equipment, foldable tables and chairs are often sent depending on the trip conditions.

We recommend bringing our own sleeping bag if your trip involves camping or ger homestays for hygiene reasons.

Land Transport

Mongolia is a big country and we’re used to driving long distances between destinations. However, in this trip driving times are kept to minimum as you fly to Ulgii and back.

In terms of vehicles, we use either Russian minivans or Japanese jeep and minivans for our group trips, as well as Land Cruisers or other modern SUVs for private trips for 1-3 travelers. The Russian minivan has capacity of 6 people with luggage and Japanese minivan can take up to 4 people with luggage.

All vehicles used in our tours are insured and carefully prepared before departure. Our drivers are also good mechanics, have many years of experience for driving through unmarked, unpaved bumpy roads in the countryside.


The Mongolian currency is called Tugrug (MNT). Please refer recent rates on
Credit and debit cards are accepted in Ulaanbaatar and center of the provinces.
Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are common in central areas.

Important notes

– Refill bottle: Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least 1.5 liter capacity. We encourage our clients not to use small bottled water when traveling in countryside.

– Battery: If your trip involves stays in ger camps you will most likely have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. It is still a good idea though to bring an extra battery or a power bank. For expedition trips that involve camping and homestays, a solar charger is a good option.
– Headlamp: A headlamp or flashlight is useful at night. Some ger camps have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time in the evening.
– Packing: Please ensure you pack appropriately according to season and temperature. Warm jacket, thermals, underpants and wool hats are advisable for the colder months. Please refer our “Pre-Travel Advice” document with details the information regarding temperatures during your trip.
– Luggage: Please pack light and smart. Due to the domestic flight luggage weight limitations, a passenger can carry maximum of 15 kg (10kg check in bag and 5kg hand luggage). Excess weight may be charged extra, or refused altogether.
– Tour guide: The aim of the guide is to help you have the best trip possible. Your guide will provide information on the places you are travelling through, organize things to do and see according to the itinerary and lead the group. Your guide is always on hand to provide you all relevant information, answer your questions as well as to serve as your translator along the way.
– Safety: We provide information on safety before and during the trip. We also recommend that you check your country’s government latest travel advice before departure and ensure that you have a valid travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation and repatriation in case of an accident.
– Responsible Travel: Being a responsible tour operator is at the heart of what our company is all about. We are committed to offering low-impact tours that benefit both, travelers and hosts. Thanks to the support of our guests we work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help the local economies while minimizing any negative environmental and cultural impact. Please find more information here: www.tourmongolia.com/who we are/about us
– Community projects: We are pleased to combine your trip route with destinations where we run our local support projects. Please let us know in advance if you wish to visit any of those places.

Fitness Level

As you will note, all our tours are graded to help you decide whether they’re right for you. The grading is as follows:
EASY: A basic level of fitness is required, the tour is generally easy-paced.
MODERATE: Within the capability of anyone leading a normal, active life. Short walks and drives.
ACTIVE: These tours may involve considerable walking and long travel days.
STRENUOS: These tours may include energetic activities such as horse riding, camel riding, mountain bicycle riding or longer trekking.
CHALLENGING: A high level of fitness is required. Trips may contain high altitude treks or climbing using ropes.