Mongolia cultural holiday & Naadam Festival

“Enjoy a truly unique 'day at the races' after experiencing the culture, landscapes and nomadic lifestyles of Mongolia's Middle Gobi and central heartlands.”

Highlights

Ulaanbaatar | Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park | Learn how to herd like a local | Tsenkhe hot springs | Orkhon waterfall | Khogno Khan Nature Reserve | Naadam horse racing festival | Optional activities include: horse treks and day hikes.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates

For departure dates contact us on 01273 823 700
Our top tip:
Stocking up on souvenirs in UB may seem like a good idea. However, you're bound to have a few spontaneous encounters with artisan traders en-route which will enable you to really keep things local.
Trip type:
Small group or tailor made, 2-8 people.
Activity level:
Leisurely-moderate.
Accomm:
Locally owned hotels, camps and family run ger camps.
Included:
Entrance to the Nadaam Festival, all accommodation and walking tour of Ulaanbaatar.
Meals:
All meals provided in ger camps.
Solos:
Single travellers welcome.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mongolia cultural holiday & Naadam Festival

Environment

Always a tricky one this. We can promise you the world but how do we prove it? Responsible, sustainable or ethical travel - in recent years, it has developed many labels and is now a widely-used selling tool in the tourism industry. But, what does it mean? Although there is no real clear definition, it has to be more than ensuring that we collect all of our rubbish, asking before taking a photograph or being aware of the cultural norms. That’s what we should be automatically doing anyway.

Below are some of the elements of my responsible travel philosophy for our Journey Among Nomads itinerary where we can show real evidence of our practise.

Cooperative Ar Arvijin Delgerekh

As part of this trip you will stay with rural families who are part of this Cooperative based in the Khangai Mountains.

Much of Mongolia’s tourism sector depends in the long term on the preservation of the country’s cultural and physical landscapes. But, by visiting Mongolia, you are making your own impact on the country.

The Coperative is a local people-led project that is committed to working at a grassroots level towards long term preservation. It focuses on working with herders producing spun yak wool, providing them with an alternative to diversify and increase their income and helping them to protect the land which provides them with their way of life.


Group Size

Unlike a majority of the larger tour companies, where small group travel can mean being in a group of up to 12-18 people, when I say small group travel this is what I mean. Our group size on this trip has been kept small - a maximum of six. This means that experiences during this itinerary become more personal and authentic for you. We are not an overwhelming presence - on the local communities or the local environment.

Our itineraries and departures

My philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures for each of our itineraries. We also do not concentrate specifically on one area.

Mongolia is a country of incredibly diverse yet fragile ecosystems. By limiting our presence in certain areas, we help to preserve and protect and help to avoid the area changing environmentally due to repeated and extended exposure to tourism.

Yes we visit areas where tourism has become more concentrated in Mongolia but this itinerary also incorporates areas that are not necessarily considered ‘highlights’ by other tour companies or the guidebooks such as the community of Mandalgobi on this trip. Wherever we visit, supporting local is at the heart of what we do and at the centre of each experience we offer. By not focusing on one area, it also means that we help to support communities that might not otherwise benefit from the tourism industry.

Our trips also focus on 21st Century Mongolia - yes, you’ll get to experience the traditional way of life but at the same time gain an overview as what it means to be Mongolian in 21st Century Mongolia.

The people we work with are ‘real’ people. Not tourism professionals. You’ll meet people from Ulaanbaatar, you’ll meet herders, you’ll meet Mongolians that live in the provincial centres as well as the smaller town and rural communities. They are all Mongolians. Take time out to meet them.

Waste

The disposal of rubbish is a major issue in Mongolia - especially with plastic. A of my Responsible Travel ethos I pay a local Mongolian NGO (Mongolian Quilting Centre) to make fabric tote bags for our guests which we hand out for free as a welcome pack at the start of each trip. This is a souvenir for our guests but it also helps to support the project and helps us to cut down on the waste we produce. As part of your Mongolia experience, you will also receive such a tote bag.

Also, you can book knowing that we finance our own three-day rubbish collection at Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park where you will stay for three nights as part of this itinerary. Arranged through the local community and protected area rangers, we have been organising this event for the previous two years.

Community

Keeping it Local

Supporting local is a major part of who we are and we make a constant effort to support local businesses. We only use Mongolian owned accommodation, we buy Mongolian produce for the meals on the tour including ‘stocking-up’ in the smaller towns that we pass through so they benefit from our custom. We also use locally owned restaurants both in UB and in the countryside. We encourage you to support traditional crafts by buying direct from local artisans who you'll meet en-route as well as purchasing products from the projects we support. This philosophy is a major part of whom we are and we're proud to stick by it. We have real evidence to prove that we do as well.

Ulaanbaatar

You’ll start off in Mongolia’s capital city. Read a guidebook or a travel forum and frequently Ulaanbaatar is overlooked. But, it's home to roughly 45% of Mongolia's population and this alone means that it should be experienced. We don't offer a tour of museums or souvenir shops but a day spent walking through the local areas of the city. What’s it like to live there? What kind of communities exist? What are the challenges? My aim is that you experience all aspects of Mongolian culture - rather than just those highlighted by guidebooks.

Cultural Impact

My small company is not a ‘world specialist’; we concentrate on the country we know and love – Mongolia. We research, design and operate each itinerary ourselves and do not source our itineraries from other agents.

Part of our philosophy is that we use ger accommodation provided by the Mongolian families. At no point have we ever rocked up and demanded accommodation. Our relationships with the families we work with are genuine - forged over time and with plenty of tea.

Families offer ger accommodation to help supplement their income. Most are small rural businesses providing extra accommodation. Some accommodation is offered by herders, some is offered by ‘retired’ herders who no longer migrate, some by families that live in small town communities and some by families that own small ger camp businesses. By using this form of accommodation it provides you with a more genuine insight in to the real way of life in Mongolia and it benefits the local communities through which we are travelling.

However, these are real people with real lives to lead and at no point do we ask the families to change their way of life for our/your own benefit or comfort. If they don’t have a shower, neither will you! (Don’t panic!…see below!). We ask our guests to try and embrace (!) and enjoy any differences that they come across in Mongolia. Experiencing the differences is all part of any trip and makes it a more authentic and positive holiday for you and a more respectful and enjoyable experience for the locals as well.

One example of this is our use of the local town shower houses. Very few families have access to running water from a tap. We do as the locals do and use the local town shower houses such as the one in Mandalgobi. They’re a great way to meet members of the local community but it also means we do not put too much pressure on local resources. In the words of author Jack Weatherford in Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World – ‘Compared to the difficulty of daily life for the herders, living permanently in those areas, ours were only the smallest of irritations.’

Popular similar holidays

Mongolia horse riding holiday, Zavkhan Classic

Mongolia horse riding holiday, Zavkhan Classic

Horse trekking in Mongolia's remote Zavkhan Province

From NZ $3900 17 days including domestic flights only

Central Asia overland holiday

Central Asia overland holiday

Incredible scenery, shamanic traditions and eagle hunters

From £2899 23 days excluding flights

Mongolia adventure trekking holiday & Naadam Festival

Mongolia adventure trekking holiday & Naadam Festival

Summer time trekking and Naadam adventure through Mongolia

From £1733 - £1943 17 days excluding flights

Genghis Khan warrior training in Mongolia

Genghis Khan warrior training in Mongolia

Experience what it really felt like to be a warrior under the Great Khan

From £2595 9 days excluding flights

Convert currencies