Local living - Mongolia

Local Living Mongolia – Nomadic Life

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

It was from Mongolia that Ghengis Khan set forth to conquer the world. This unique adventure is your chance to return to this heartland and let its people and scenery capture your heart. Leave Ulaanbaatar and the modern world behind and stay with three different families to experience life as a nomad. From Orkhon Valley to Gorkhi Terelj National Park, you’ll live in gers, take tea with your neighbours, ride horses, and learn archery and garment-making skills. It’s 10 days like you never imagined.

Highlights:

Sleep in a traditional Mongolian ger, Ride across desert landscapes on horseback, learn to make local crafts from nomadic hosts, compete with Mongolian nomads in archery.

Includes:

• Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
• Your Local Living Moment: Horseback Riding, Högnö-Tarna Uul
• Your Local Living Moment: Nomadic Family Stay, Gorkhi Terelj National Park
• Your Foodie Moment: Mongolian Vodka and Cheese Making Demonstration, Gorkhi Terelj National Park
• Your Foodie Moment: Mongolian Cultural Show & Dinner, Ulaanbaatar. Daily lessons and demonstrations of various nomadic skills and techniques while staying with nomadic hosts. Homemade Mongolian vodka and cheese making. Historic monastery visit. Transport between destinations and included activities.

Amenities:

In Ulaanbaatar accommodation will be in a standard hotel with twin share rooms.
In rural locations you will overnight in a family’s extra ger tent (max 5 persons in 1 ger) with basic furnishings. Typically, families will have between 2 to 3 beds and the rest will be provided mattresses – all necessary camping equipment is included and will be provided to you by your CEO upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Shower facilities are not available at the camps, except at the Ger Camp on Night 5. Most nomadic families do not have a formal toilet in their camps – expect a basic, screened-in outdoor toilet.

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7 days

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Travel Style: Local Living
Intimate unpack-just-once adventures that bring out the best of the world’s best destinations.

Service Level: Basic
Simple and clean hotels and hostels; affordable public and private transport; lots of optional activities.

Physical Rating: 3 - Average
Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.

Trip Type: Small Group
Small group experience; Max 12, avg 9.

Age requirement: 12+
All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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View Itinerary

Day 1 - Ulaanbaatar
Welcome to Mongolia! Arrive any time, there are no activities planned until the evening welcome meeting with an optional dinner afterwards.

Arriving early may be best, to relax and adjust to the time difference and high altitude with a mountainous view. OR have extra time to explore Mongolia's bustling Capital in the Tuul River valley!

Day 2 - Ulaanbaatar/Rashaant Sum
Cruise through Central Mongolia's vast oasis and pastures to the village of Rashaant. Meet your nomadic hosts and get to know each other over an authentic lunch.

After the relaxation, take in the afternoon desert landscape on a roundtrip horseback ride visiting the intoxicating Swan Lake. This lake resides at the base of the Mongol Desert Sand Dunes where the two extremes co-exist creating a pristine home to Swan couples - representing strength, tolerance and passion.

Tonight, enjoy dinner with your hosts and sleep like the nomads in a ger tent.

Day 3 - Rashaant Sum/Orkhon Valley
Roll up those sleeves and experience a typical nomadic morning by helping your hosts with chores, which may include milking the livestock. After breakfast, travel into the countryside by horseback to visit the monuments of Queen Manduhai.

Return to camp for a farewell lunch and tea before moving on to the Orkhon Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site along the river in Central Mongolia. Orkhon Valley represents the evolution of nomadic pastoral traditions spanning more than two-thousand years.

Upon arrival at your next nomadic family's camp, prepare for a traditional dinner with milk tea and then rest up in the their extra ger.

Day 4 - Orkhon Valley
If you're beginning to feel like a true nomad, help out with the family's morning chores again and herd some yaks or milk the livestock. After breakfast, prepare for the 5-6 km (3mi) trek to the massive Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall, stopping to take in the scenery along the way (don't forget your camera).

Return to camp for lunch and tea with your hosts. In the afternoon, continue exploring the beautiful Orkhon Valley with another trek to Baga Tsutgalan junior waterfall. Enjoy dinner back at camp with your nomad family, then retire to their extra ger and dream about the therapeutic Orkhon waterfalls!

Day 5 - Orkhon Valley/Kharkhorin
After breakfast, relax during the drive to Kharkhorin - the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire! Spend time exploring the ruins and monasteries inside the fortress walls and admire their unique architecture. Lunch will be served at a nearby ger camp, then travel to Hustain Nuruu protected reserve in Khustai Park to overnight in the comfort of another ger camp.

Day 6 - Kharkhorin/Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Spend the morning in Khustain Park learning about the indigenous flora and fauna. Watch the famous wild horses, known as "takhi," graze and gallop in their natural habitat.

After lunch, travel via bus to Terelj National Park, a beautiful alpine retreat with imposing rock formations and endless forests. Meet your host and continue North by horseback on a 3km (1.9 mi) journey through the incredibly stunning mountain river valley, crossing the Terelj River, to the family's nomadic camp.

During the stay, the host will demonstrate the techniques of how to saddle a horse and prepare an oxcart. Enjoy an evening of traditional Mongolian games with sheep's bones (shagai) and a hot dinner with the hosts. Take in the star-strewn night before going to sleep in the ger.

Day 7 - Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Make sure to eat all your breakfast, you'll need that energy for the adventurous 24km (5mi) horseback ride through the forested landscape to a picturesque, wide-open, green plain. Meet a locally well-known nomadic seamstress and her family who will serve a well-deserved lunch before you learn how to make patterns for traditional Mongolian garments.

In the evening, opt to help collect firewood by ox cart before enjoying a traditional dinner and tea with the family.

Day 8 - Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Enjoy some free time to explore this scenic region more in-depth. Visit local families by ox cart and learn how to make homemade vodka and cheese, then try them out during lunch and dinner!

Day 9 - Gorkhi Terelj National Park/Ulaanbaatar
After breakfast, settle in for the relaxing bus ride back to the modern Ulaanbaatar capital! There will be plenty of time to explore and shop after checking in to the hotel. Opt to visit to the Gandan Monastery, Bogd Khan Palace or Zaisan Hill.

Enjoy a final evening group activity during a folk cultural performance by the Tumen Ekh Ensemble and our farewell dinner after.

Day 10 - Ulaanbaatar
Depart at any time.

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