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On this geographically stunning eco adventure, you will explore a variety of natural, historical and cultural wonders along this horse and yak cart route that takes you gradually up to the Hujiriin Togoo Mountain Valley. This “off the beaten path” cultural adventure truly provides a diverse range pastoral and historically important environs. Locals commonly refer to Arkhangai Province as the paradise to the "horse breeders" with its endless emerald pastures surrounded by mountain river valleys. Arkhangai provides nomadic families with the perfect environment to raise Yaks and produce the famous Arhangai cheeses and smooth tasting dried curds. This route is perfect for those travelers that are seeking to combine nomadic culture, geography, a bit of archeological history (sites) while traveling along beautiful mountain landscapes in small groups.
Difficulty of trip: Moderately challenging
Additional In-Country Travel Expenses
Method of travel: Horseback, ox-carts and trekking
Community Fee: $280 USD for 6 days/ 5 nights
UB to Arhangai Bus Fee (approx.): $15 USD
Rural jeep to first ger and pickup (approx.): $120 USD
Note: Jeep cost can be divided by number of persons
Booking & travel orientation w/ handbook: $25 USD
Day One - Arrive at Mr. Batochir herder family and learn the ancient art of Mongolian archery (D): You will travel from UB to Tsetserleg by the public bus that departs at 8am, along the way you will see many scenic locations from the bus as it drives by vast nomadic pastures, the Ancient Capital City of the Mongol Empire “Karakorum”, etc. Once you arrive in Tsetserleg town around at 3-4pm, our local facilitator and driver will meet you at the rural bus station and then guide you for 30 kilometers by vehicle to the first nomadic family, Mr. Batochir. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a hot nomadic dinner and have an opportunity to learn and practice both archery and ankle bone shooting before you sleep in family’s extra Ger.
Day Two - Learn the methods of catching and training a horse (B, L, D): After breakfast, you will make your way to the next nomadic family by ox cart and horses for 18 kilometers. On the way, you will visit the legendary Golden Chair Mountain and its ancient Mongolian burial sides of XIII century that is home to an ancient stone couple. Upon arrival at Mr. Batdelger’s family, you will be served a hot nomadic lunch and tea followed to an afternoon of learning the Mongolian techniques of catching a spirited horse by a Mongolian Lasso as well as learning how to make nomadic dairy products with the family. In the evening you will have a nomadic dinner with the family before returning to the family’s extra Ger for a good night’s rest.
Day Three - Swimming in the river and playing the traditional games with family (B, L, D): A After breakfast, you will continue your travel to the next herder family by horseback for 15 kilometers where along the way you will visit a Buddhist Stupa. When you arrive at Mr. Nerguibaatar’s family, you will be welcomed with a nomadic lunch and traditional tea. Afterwards, you will have a good day’s rest that includes swimming in the river, having fun time with the family as well as playing traditional Mongolian games with family members with ankle bones of sheep before you sleep in family’s extra Ger.
Day Four - Learn the art of preparing the mane and tail of a Naadam Race Horse (B, L, D): A After breakfast, you will continue your journey to the next herder family by horse for 15 kilometers. Upon arrival at Mr. Sumyadash’s family, you will be welcomed a milk tea and lunch. He will show you how to tie horses’ tail and mane for the race and you can experience in making noamdic cheese with his wife. In the evening time, you will have a dinner with the family and overnight in family’s extra Ger.
Day Five - Trekking to Hujiriin Mountain Togoo (B, L, D): After breakfast, you will start the trekking portion of the trip up to ‘Khujiriin togoo’ with a local nomadic guide; today there is no need to pack any luggage beyond a daypack. The round trip will be a 20 kilometer journey to the up to this incredible mountain top location. Upon arrival, you have a truly scenic mountain top picnic at the edge of Khujiriin Togoo (an ancient inactive volcano). Afterwards, you will start your descent back to the nomadic family where you will be welcomed with a hot nomadic dinner and stay overnight in family’s extra Ger.
Day Six - Departure (B): After breakfast, a local driver will arrive to pick you up and escort you back to Tsetserleg (90 kilometers), where you can either take the afternoon bus at 2pm to UB city or stay overnight in Tsetserleg and depart at your leisure.
All nomadic breakfast, lunch and dinner which are stated on itinerary
Stay overnight in Ger
Horse riding according to itinerary
Travel by ox cart according to itinerary
Herder guide service on route
Pack animals on route
Cultural activities (make dried curds, archery, ankle bone shooting etc)
Boiled water on route
Two ways bus tickets reservation between UB and Tsetserleg
Local jeep arrangement by facilitator
Included not services:
Camping equipments /sleeping bag, mattress and tent/
Orientation lesson fee
Rural jeep cost which stated on itinerary
Additional overnight at guest house or hotel in Tsetserleg town
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.