Ger to Ger is delighted to offer travelers the rewarding opportunity to experience Mongolia with a purpose. This special tailored itinerary offers you the chance to blend volunteering with adventure travel in the northern region of Mongolia. This region is famous for its historic cultural importance; Amarbayasgalant Monastery is renown in history as one of the very few cultural gems that was spared destruction during the Revolution. You will have an opportunity to stay with a nomadic family in the mountainous valley, experience nomadic lifestyle and visit the pristine historical sight where you can immerse yourself within the Monks’ daily life. Afterwards, the journey will take you to Darhan Uul Community where you will spend a couple days with the children of the “Enerel” Orphanage. Here you will assist the children in their day to day routines and encourage their efforts in English language learning, planting and maintaining their vegetables gardens as well as other activities that they may be engaged in.
Difficulty of trip: moderate
Community Fee: $334USD for 6 days/ 5 nights
Additional In-Country Travel Expenses
UB to Darkhan & return Bus Fee (approx): USD 5.00
Small car to first ger and pickup (2-3 persons): $73 USD
Note: Jeep cost can be divided by number of persons
Booking & Travel Orientation w/ handbook: USD 25.00
Day One - Experience “Community Life”: At 11am you will depart Ulaanbaatar by rural coach (much like the USA Greyhound Bus Line) and will greatly enjoy the scenic views along the way as you make you way to Darhan. Upon arrival at 3pm, you will be greeted by the local guide and will escort you to Raja’s Curry House for a truly wonderful Indian lunch. Afterwards, you will begin your walk around the city and casually enjoy the local sites that includes: the local museum, the Youth Theatre, My Mongolia Park, the Buddha Statue, the Morin Khuur Complex and the first (small-scale) hanging bridge in Mongolia; which are testaments to the creativity of the rural city development planning authorities. In the evening time, you will have a curry with parata (Indian Pancake) and salad for dinner and stay overnight at the local hotel.
Day Two - Journey to the Mountain Valley of Amarbayasgalant Monastery (B,L,D): After breakfast at Raja’s curry house, you will begin your 160 kilometers vehicle journey to the remotely nestled Amarbayasgalant Monastery located in a picturesque mountain valley. Along the way, you will see amazing golden wheat fields, small villages and as you make you way northwards you will drive through flowing green fields to Mr. Ganbaatar’s nomadic family where they will prepare and welcome you with a hot traditional nomadic lunch and tea. This afternoon you will begin you 2 kilometer trekking journey to Amarbayasgalant, as you approach this historically and culturally significant testimony to reminisce of Manchurian Rule in Mongolia – this true relic of an ancient empire will astonish you. When you approach the monolithic stone wall located at the main entrance take a moment, imagine a Calvary of soldiers dismounting their steeds and rendering this Monastery untouched by the revolution that swept the entire country during the People’s Revolution. A peacefully robed Monk will guide you through the hallow walls of the monastery and will introduce you to its rich history as well as familiarize you with the daily routines of their lives. In the evening you will return to the nomadic family where upon arrival they will prepare and serve you with a hot nomadic dinner while you can assist the other family members with nomadic works before your evening dinner. Before retiring to your tent for the evening, this is a great opportunity to spend quality time with the nomadic family and learn traditional games with the anklebones of sheep.
Day Three - Horseback Trail Riding (B,L,D): After your nomadic breakfast, today you are going out on a 15 kilometer round-trip horseback ride with Mr. Ganbaatar or his son for through the nearby forest where you will enjoy a brief break at the stupas. Be sure that you have a daypack on this ride with your camera readily available for snapping those truly panoramic shots of the region from high vantage points, as today you will gain a lot ground on horseback. The mountainous landscapes are truly remarkable abundantly overflowing with valleys, forests and small streams – it’s a day to allow the regions inescapable beauty to fill your heart and mind with solace. Later this afternoon, you will head back to the nomadic family where upon arrival they will prepare and serve you with a hot nomadic lunch to which afterwards you can spend the rest of the day assisting the family with their daily routines that includes cleaning up the livestock pen, collecting water or firewood or dung and using their nomadic tools and baskets. In the evening they will prepare and welcome you with a delightful farewell dinner to which you can enjoy with the family before retiring for the night.
Day Four and Five - Visit the ‘’Enerel’’ orphanage: Before your breakfast, you will have an opportunity to milk cows, boil milk and enjoy trekking in surrounding areas. Then you will have a breakfast with family members. A local driver will pick you up from the herder family and take you to the ‘’Enerel’’ orphanage. In summer time, children locate at their summer camp to plant vegetable. Upon arrival at the orphanage, you will be welcomed a lunch with children. Later you can help children to study the foreign language, songs or planting vegetables. In your free time, you can go out and have fun time playing football with kids. In the evening time, our children will perform the traditional children song and dance. After dinner, you will stay overnight at the orphanage.
Day Six - Departure back to UB: After breakfast, it’s time for you to say goodbye children and depart back to Darhan city. You will have a farewell lunch at raja’s curry house and then take a bus to Ulaanbaatar city around at 3-4pm.
Malaysian breakfast, lunch and dinner in Darkhan which stated on itinerary
One overnight at local hotel
English speaking guide on route
City tour in Darkhan
Herder guide service on route
Horseback expedition, travel by ox cart and camel riding according to itinerary
Cultural activates (milking animals, play ankle bone game etc.)
Local jeep arrangements by facilitator
Included not services:
Camping equipments /sleeping bag, mattress and tent/
Orientation lesson fee
Public bus ticket and Rural jeep cost which stated on itinerary
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.