On this Nomad Cultural Adventure you will explore the wonders of nomadic culture by horses and ox carts, giving travelers a rare perspective of the nomadic environs. You will also have a wonderful opportunity to learn some of the techniques of the ancient warrior celebration from Chingis Khan Times with Ger to Ger’s nomadic families. Naadam is an extremely important national festial that celebrates the three manly sports (archery, horse racing and wrestling). This is truly a wonderful travel opportunity that should not be missed if you haven’t already experienced it in Mongolia before.
Difficulty of trip: Easy going
Method of travel: mainly horseback w/ some ox-carts and trekking (camping)
Community fee (2012-13 TDB): $314 USD for 5 days/4 nights, 5-8 paxs
Community fee (2012-13 TDB): $274 USD for 5 days/4 nights, 9-12 paxs
Community fee (2012-13 TDB): $259 USD for 5 days/4 nights, 13+ paxs
Additional In-Country Travel Expenses
UB to Terelj Park Bus Fee (approx.): $2 USD
Booking & travel orientation w/ handbook: $25 USD
National Park Fee: $3 USD
Day One - Training Horses: Upon arrival at Terelj National Park’s Village (70 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar) you will be greeted by our nomadic family that take you for 1 kilometer by ox cart to Mr. Enhee’s family where they will prepare and serve you a hot nomadic lunch and traditional tea. After lunch, Mr. Enhee will spend some quality time showing you some techniques that are used to train horses. In the evening the family will welcome you with dinner before retiring for the night with the family in their Ger.
Day Two - Ancient art of Mongolian Archery: After breakfast you will have the opportunity to learn the techniques of shooting a traditional Mongolian bow and arrows with the nomad. After obtaining some ‘mastery’, you can try a friendly competition among yourselves or even try your luck with the local herders before your afternoon lunch with the family. Before dinner and retiring for the night, you can spend some time with Mrs. Urnaa and learn how to make nomadic dairy products.
Day Three - Horse Racing: Today after breakfast you will begin your 10 kilometer journey through lush forests, along the Terlj River through the brilliantly green Dugui Tsagaan Steppe to Mr. Bold’s family by horses and oxcarts. Before dinner and retiring for the night, you will have an opportunity to experience a short distance horse race (around 10 horses) on 1-3km distance depend on horse age.
Day Four - Mongolian Wrestling and Prelude Ceremony: After breakfast, today you will learn about Mongolian wrestling prelude and will have an opportunity to wear a Mongolian wrestler’s costume. Mr. Bold was a regional champion with nine successful rounds whiched earned him the prestigious “Lion” title and his father was a renown horse trainer in region. This is great opportunity to learn about Mongolian Wrestling from an old pro and even try to have a friendly competition or just continue to practice the moves with his son before you even dinner with the family.
Day Five - Departure: After breakfast, Mr. Bold can show you the techniques of guiding an ox cart to which you can practice with him in the surrounding area before returning fo the evening for the most delicious and ‘truly authentic’ Mongolian Barbeque with his family. Afterwards, in the late afternoon, you will begin your 10 kilometer journey with a local guide by ox cart to Terelj Village where you will depart back to Ulaanbaatar by local bus.
All nomadic breakfast, lunch and dinner which are stated on itinerary
Herder guide service
Horse riding & traveling by ox cart
Stay at Mongolian Ger
Pack horse on route
Visit nomadic families
Naadam activities as stated on itinerary
Boiled water on route
Camping equipments /sleeping bag and mattress/
Transportation costs which stated in additional expenses
Orientation lesson fee
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.