Mongolia - Mongols and Monks
£1,985 excl. flight
- Experience lively, rural Naadam festival
- The variety of the vast and wild Mongolian landscape
- Stay overnight in traditional gers
Coinciding with the lively annual Naadam festival, a pivotal event in every Mongolian community’s calendar and a photographer’s paradise, our tour offers a general introduction to this traditional country. Discover how Mongolia is reasserting its strong nomadic roots, while exploring its interpretation and expression of Buddhism. Many monasteries have re-opened, monastic life flourishes and Genghis Khan is once more celebrated as hero and father of the Mongol people.
Day 1 London/ Ulaanbaataar – Fly overnight to Ulaanbaatar.
Day 2 Ulaanbaatar – Early arrival with afternoon visit to Gandan Monastery, guided by a lama. Evening folk music performance.
Day 3 Ulaanbaatar, Ikn Nart – Depart the capital heading east by train to Ikn Nart onthe arid Gobi steppes.
Day 4 & 5 Ikn Nart – Explore this amazing Gobi reserve, searching for rare Argali sheep and Siberian ibexes, meeting Gobi nomads and an opportunity to visit a nearby dinosaur site.
Day 6 Ikn Nart, Ulaanbaatar – Drive back to the capital.
Day 7 Ulaanbaatar – Full day’s sightseeing including a visit to the Natural History Museum, a musical instrument shop with the chance to see how horseneck fiddles are crafted, and walk through Sukhbaatar Square, the heart of the nation.
Day 8 Ulaanbaatar/ Arburd Sands – Depart south across the rolling grasslands with picnic en route to Arburd Sands, a striking area of nomads, steppes and sands dunes.
Day 9 Arburd Sands – Full day exploring with the chance to visit local nomadic families.
Day 10 Hairhan Mountains -Drive across the steppes to explore the sacred Zorgol Hairhan mountains and petroglyphs.
Day 11 Arburd Sands, Hustai –Morning drive to Hustai National Park with afternoon game drive to see herds of Przewalski horses, a once extinct species re-introduced to Mongolia.
Day 12 Hustai, Högnö Khan Uul -Departing west over the treeless steppes on one of Mongolia's few tarmac roads for the Högnö Khan Uul area, where many nomadic herdsmen live. Explore Erdene Khombo monastery with evening talk on Mongolian history.
Day 13 Harhorin (Karakorum) -Drive to Harhorin (Karakorum), location of thecapital of the Mongol Empire under Ögödei Khan. Erdenezuu Monasterywas the largest Buddhistmonastery in Mongolia with 1,000 monks and some 100 temples. Although only walls and three temples remain, Erdenezuu is still one of Mongolia’s most fascinating sites.
Day 14 Högnö Khan Mountain -Visit Erdenekhombo, a small temple monastery, and ruined Övgön monastery. We hope to experience a rural Naadam festival while in this area, getting up close to the dramatic horse races and wrestling.
Day 15 Ulaanbaatar - Return to the city with further chance to see rural Naadams among communities near the capital.
Day 16 Ulaanbaatar/ London –Flight back to London.
William Taylor is a writer and broadcaster on the Islamic world and Orthodox Churches. He has travelled extensively throughout the Balkans, Middle East and Central Asia and speaks Syriac, Arabic and Turkish.
His publications include Light from the East, Christians in the Holy Land and Antioch and Canterbury. His PhD was on Orthodox Churches in the late Ottoman period.
Other tours led by this lecturer:
"William is an excellent leader, and so knowledgeable that he is hard to keep up with at times! He had infinite patience with us and our questions. I certainly know a lot more than when I started, which is the sign of a great holiday."
If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.