8 Day Experience the Camel Herders’ Culture and Desert Landscapes

3-10 Mar 2017

Buddhist temple in Gobi Desert

Great views are to be had from even small peaks of the foothills.

The Gobi landscapes in Mongolia are diverse, far more than just sand dunes and winter light makes them stand out in special ways.

The windblown patterns of rippled sand dunes with dustings of snow make for great works of art and photo opportunities.

 

8 Day Experience the Camel Herders’ Culture and Desert Landscapes

Date: 3-10 Mar 2017

8 Days / 7 Nights

The camel festival takes place in South Goi prov- ince, in Bulgan District. It’s a colorful show of the skills and traditions of the camel herders of the Gobi, and becoming a popular event. From the festival location, there is easy access to some of the iconic sites of the Gobi – the Flaming Cliffs and the sand dunes of Moltsog Els, as well as to cultural sites such as a Buddhist temple, built by the local community on a rugged mountain top in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park – “The Three Beauties of the Gobi , Mongolia’s largest National Park.

The Camel Festival is a feast of color and action, and offers great photo opportunities. You will be brought close to the local culture, and to the diversity of desert landscapes.

Remarks:

This trip is based on a minimum of 4 persons are needed before the trip will go. You can form your own group if you have 4 participants. Otherwise, you may need to join the trip with other guests from other countries.

 

Itinerary

Day 1  Ulaanbaatar

Arrive Ulaanbaatar, pickup at airport and check in hotel. Orientation meeting, dinner.

Day 2  City tour in Ulaanbaatar

Including National History Museum, Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts, Bogd Khan Winter Palace, Gandan Monastery, Shopping.

Day 3  Ulaanbaatar – Dalanzadgad

Travel overland to Dalanzadgad, capital city of South Gobi Province. The journey takes about 7 hours, on sealed road, giving a good impression of the vastness of the country, the expanses of the steppes and the transition to the desert. Photo opportunities of landscape and birdlife enroute. Lunch in Middle Gobi Provincial Center. Overnight in hotel in Dalanzadgad.

Day 4  GDalanzadgad – Camel Festival

Travel to the Camel Festival in the morning. Check in Ger accommodation and proceed to festival. Watch the opening ceremony, parade of camels with riders in traditional costumes, camel polo competition, local arts and crafts shows, cultural performances. Lunch, over night and breakfast at ger accommodation.

Day 5  Camel Festival<

Day Two of the festival is busy with camel racing, shows of training and taming camels, and a competition of packing camels – an essential skill of nomadic herders to move with their household to new grazing areas. Opportunity to ride a camel.

Day 6 Gobi desert – Dalanzadgad

On this day we explore the Gobi desert. In the morning, we visit a small Buddhist temple on a mountain top. It was built by the local community to honor the national park and the beauty of nature it protects. It’s a short drive up a scenic valley in the Western Beauty Mountains, and then a short climb up to the temple, a meditation retreat and a statue overlooking the desert steppe below.

Then, we turn northward again to travel to Moltsog Els, picturesque sand dunes great for desert photography. From there, traveling back through the desert landscape, we make our way to the famous “Flaming Cliffs”. This is the site that became known internationally through the early 20th century expeditions of the American Museum of Natural History lead by Roy Chapman An drews, one of which was the first to uncover a dinosaur nest, and several new species of dino- saurs. We plan to be here in the late afternoon, when the light is best and the red cliffs glow in the setting sun. We drive back to Dalanzadgad for overnight in the hotel there.

Day 7  Dalanzadgad – Ulaanbaatar

An early start departing from Dalanzadgad, traveling northwards through the desert. Today, we will take a deviation about halfway to Ulaanbaatar, to spend time at Baga Gazriyn Chuluun, a photogenic area sculpted by granite rock formations. This local protected area is Argali (mountain sheep) habitat, and the many stone cairns testify to its spiritual and historic significance. Chinggis Khaan grazed his horses here, and Zanabazar four centuries later hid here from enemies. A hidden valley houses the remnants of a Buddhist monastery. We will have a picnic lunch before returning to the main road to continue on back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into hotel in Ulaanbaatar.

Day 8  Departure

Transfer to airport, depart Mongolia

 

8 Days Mongolia Winter Camel Festival

Tour Code: MNG-WCF08

LAND Cost per person in SGD

4-5 persons : $ 4038

6-8 persons : $ 3268

A deposit of S$2000 per person is required and balance to be paid 1 month prior departure.

Price Includes:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodation (hotel in Ulaanbaatar City and Dalanzadgad, Ger at Festival location
  • Meals (except in Ulaanbaatar), drinks (except alcoholic drinks), snacks
  • Entrance fees
  • Sleeping bags
  • Briefing prior departure
  • 15% discount for gears at X-Boundaries

Price does not include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Air tickets+ taxes
  • Personal belongings and expenses
  • All personal items, clothing and tequipment, (headlamps, camera’s, personal toiletries, etc.)
  • Lunch and dinner in the city
  • Tipping to the guides

 

What to Bring
The Camel Festival takes place in the Gobi desert in early March. It may be mild, but spring time can be windy and still cold in the Gobi. Therefore, your outfit should include warm parka/coat or down jacket, insulated pants, warm boots , gloves, hat, scarf, long top and bottom underwear, sweater or other mid layers. Sun glasses. Day pack.

Accommodation
In Ulaanbaatar and Dalanzadgad in modern hotels. One night at the Camel Festival in traditional Mongolian Ger sharing with several guests. It’s cozy and clean in the Ger. But no shower for that night, and no indoor plumbing. That one night will be authentic country side accommodation – part of the adventure!