Difficulty of trip: Moderately challenging
Package Fee 2-4 Pax: $1372 USD for 8 days/ 7 nights
Package Fee 5-8 Pax: $1136 USD for 8 days/ 7 nights
Minimal pax: 2 persons
Day One - Traditional short folk songs: (L, D): In the morning at 08am you will depart from UB by public bus for 260kms to Dundgovi province. Upon arrival at Mandalgovi bus station you will meet with a receptionist and a driver. You will start your journey after departing from Mandalgovi (Dundgovi province’s center) by jeep for 46 kilometers to Mr. Uuganbold’s Ger. She will serve you a nomadic lunch and tea. Afterwards his wife Mrs.Oyun-Erdene will sing you Mongolian traditional songs and show you how to make traditional embroideries and sewing. Overnight Ger (Munh-Od): Then the local driver takes you to your overnight family (13 km drive) where you will be greeted to welcoming tea and a nomadic dinner. During your stay with Mr. Munh-Od, you will have a chance to play National Game called “Shagai” that is a lot like a game “marble” that children play but with the ankle bone of sheep.
Day Two - "Shagai" competition and melodies of the Horse Head Fiddle (B, L, D): After breakfast you will trek to next herder family with him for 2 kms. He will take your luggages by motobike. Tea Ger (Munkhochir): Upon your arrival at Mr.Munkhochir’s home you will have a nomadic lunch and tea while enjoying the horse fiddle melodies. You can enjoy the opportunity to try your hand with a rustic head fiddle and learn songs about the spirit of Mongolian horses. The afternoon will be filled with the lessons on “Shagai”, traditional game. You will play “Shagai” with his family and compete with them. Mr.Munkh Ochir’s wife Mrs. Daariimaa will guide your journey for 8 kilometers to your overnight place by camel cart. Overnight Ger (Gundsambuu): In the evening at your overnight place you can have a chance to play nomadic style volleyball and enjoy with children’s singing.
Day Three - Learn the art of wood carvings: (B, L, D): This morning you will wake up to a hot cup of milk tea and fried nomad bread (like small donuts). Before departure Mr. Gundsambuu will show you how to make Mongolian traditional wooden carvings. You will trek for 12 kilometers and reach tea ger, Mr. Tsogtsaikhan’s ger. Tea Ger (Mr.Tsogtsaikhan ): You will be served a nomadic lunch and tea at Mr.Tsogtsaikhan’s family. You have an opportunity to learn to assemble intellactual wooden games. Mr. Tsogtsaihan will lead you to your next overnight Ger by horse or horse cart (11km). Overnight Ger (Mr. Chimiddorj): Mr. Chimeddorj’s Family will welcome you for dinner. Then you will have an overnight.
Day Four - Learn how to assemble a Mongolian ger and art of felt making: (B, L, D): After having breakfast you will have a rare opportunity to take part in the art of making Mongolian felt. In the early afternoon you will begin your trek by foot around 13kms through some of the most amazing rock formations of Ih Gazriin Chuluu like Tangad rock, Chinggis Khan Rock, Khur khartsag’s memorial place and monument, Open air theatre etc and have the opportunity to take some incredible photos. You will have picnic lunch on the way. You will be surrounded by densely packed massive formations that averagely range 400 meters and higher! Overnight Ger (Mr. Tsembeldorj): Upon your arrival Mr. Tsembeldorj’s family will serve you a dinner and tea. He worked as a local National Park ranger for 37 years. After dinner you will learn the art of assembling a Mongolian ger by small maket with him.
Day Five - Eastern Gobi: After the breakfast our driver will take you to Choir town to catch a train to Dorno Gobi aimag (Eastern Gobi). You will be served a lunch in the train restaurant. After 6 hours travel we will arrive in Sain Shand town, centre of Dorno Gobi province. Transfer to the local hotel “Shand Plaza Hotel”, dinner and overnight.
Day Six - Sain Shand, the centre town of Western Gobi (B, L, D): After breakfast at the hotel. We will start city tour including the provincial Museum and the museum of Danzan Ravjaa, the great 19th century artist-prince. Then we drive to the tourist camp “ Shand” for 14 km. you will be served a lunch at camp. Afterwards drive to the Hamriin hiid monastery located in 20 km south of tourist camp. Visit the 108 caves with dinosaur eggs and petrified trees. Drive to Saxaul Forest and White sand. Return to the camp for dinner and overnight in the traditional Mongolian gers.
Day Seven - Night train to Ulaanbaatar: After breakfast you will have free time at camp. In the evening time a driver will take you to train station. Get on train and back to UB city.
Day Eight - Ulaanbaatar city (B, L): You will arrive in UB city at 08am.
Visiting nomadic families
All nomadic breakfast, lunch and dinner which are stated on itinerary
Herder guide service on route
Horse riding according to itinerary
Traveling by camel cart according to itinerary
Pack animals on route
Cultural activities (make a felt, play ankle bone game etc)
Boiled water on route
National park fee
One way bus ticket between UB and Mandalgovi
Local jeep service according to itinerary
Domestic train tickets
1 night at local hotel /twin share/
1 night at tourist camp
Mongolian Cultural Travel Tips & Information
Horseback Riding in Mongolia
Mongolia's Gobi Desert Camels
Mongolians and horses have historically co-exist since the early times and It’s impossible to imagine Mongolians without horses. There are many horse related folk legends, stories about horses, epic literature and songs written about horses. Mongolians prohibit the cursing of horses, beating horses and whipping of horses on their heads and chests. Mongolia’s horse culture according to their traditions teaches to show to respect to the horse during its life and honorifically place the horse’s head on an Ovoo or other sacred place to show their respect to the nobility of their horse’s life. The head of a horse is often decorated with white stones or horse dung. Heads of especially fast racing horses are usually wrapped in a blue scarf. The Mongolian traditional horse head fiddle further glorifies the station of the horse by its artistic design and traditional sounds. The culture of the Mongolian horse even spreads to embroidery, handicraft, wooden carving, metal and silver crafts – Mongolia’s respect of the horse can be found everywhere throughout the country.
The world’s rare two-humped Mongolian Bactrian Camel is considered to be the tolerant and noble animal among five animals (horse, cow, sheep, goat and camel) and is sand colored herbivores mainly found in the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia. Mongolia leads the number of Bactrian camels in the world and Mongolian camels were domesticated in olden days and are traditionally used as nomadic transport. When Mongolian camels are used for nomadic transportation their noses are pegged and they are outfitted with a leading rein, halter, saddle, saddle cloth and stairs. Mongolian camels weight is between 400-800kg and camel meat is low in fat and lean. Mongolian camel milk is a staple food for Gobi Desert nomads and is more rich in fat and protein than cow’s milk. A female camel produces about 3 to 4 liters of milk a day; camel milk can readily be made into airag (fermented beverage), hoormog (yogurt diluted with milk) and dried curds. Mongolian camel wool is produced as a natural insulation against the cold and easily sheds in the heat. Mongolian camel wool has unique characteristics of silky softness and strength.
Riding Mongolian Camels
Mongolian nomads say that it’s much closer to the sun from the top of the tallest animal of desert - so while you are riding a Mongolian camel you will always have a panoramic view of the Gobi Desert. Generally, Mongolia’s camel guides are Mongolian nomads that are born and live in the Gobi Desert. Mongolians often start to ride camels at a very early age and have plenty of experience to share with you about how to saddle, groom and command to lay down a camel to mount and dismount. During your camel trek, you can help the Mongolian nomad by looking after your camel; learn how to groom it, saddle and unsaddle it as well as bring water and feed it. Kind attention between the camel and the rider always contributes towards establishing a close. Almost any traveler can ride a camel (in reasonable physical condition) and learn how to control it quickly – though its highly recommended to review the camel riding tips that can be found in the Ger to Ger Travelers’ Handbook. Its good to apply your knowledge and practice on a camel with a Mongolian nomad around their Ger (traditional dwelling) before starting a long trek. A camel trek could cover between 5 to 25kms a day between nomadic families or even for a short roundtrip for sightseeing.