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Mongolian Discoverer with Naadam Festival

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Mongolian Discoverer with Naadam Festival

Byroads Travel

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Discover a rich nomadic culture and stunning vista

14 Days from Ulaanbaatar 4-17 July 2018

Mongolia is a vast land of stark natural beauty, where green steppe meets stunning blue sky. This remote land of almost unimaginable wilderness is populated by traditional nomads who to this day still roam the great steppe lands grazing their animals and living with their families in felt gers, the traditional houses of the Mongolian people.

Genghis Khan, the great Mongolian warrior and ruler created the largest empire in the world and under his successor Ogedei Khan, the capital of the empire Kharakorum was founded. Today Animist and Buddhist traditions mix and timeworn Buddhist monasteries and stupas dot the countryside from the rolling steppe grasslands to the sands of the Gobi Desert. Ulaanbaatar, the country's modern‐day capital stands in stark contrast to ancient Kharakorum. It's a mix of some of the best Mongolian and Soviet era architecture with a touch of modern capitalism thrown in, while its inhabitants provide a cultural melting pot of tradition and cuisine.

This trip in Mongolia is Byroads' most adventurous trip yet and includes the more localised and authentic Naadam festival, which avoids the throng of visitors who come during the tourist orientated Naadam a few days later.

Starting in Ulaanbaatar, you will first head to the Hustai National Park to see Takhis, the unusual Asian wild horses before continuing west to discover the Erdene‐Zuu monastery and the ancient capital at Kharakoram. Here we experience the nomadic culture at the wonderful local Naadam festival which includes wrestling, horse racing and archery tournaments, Mongolian style. You will also sample the traditional foods and beverages of Mongolia.

Further south you will visit a local nomad family, enjoying a traditional Mongolian barbecue with them before continuing on to the Ogi Temple ruins and the Flaming Cliffs at Bayanzag. Finally you will come to the great sand dunes of the South Gobi Desert where you can climb dunes, take a camel ride and visit a camel herder and his family. Before flying back to Ulaanbaatar you will visit dramatic canyons in beautiful Yolyn Am (Eagle Valley) at the eastern end of the Altai Mountains.

Your host

Steve Mortimer heads up Byroads Travel and will be your host on this tour. Steve has nearly 30 years in the travel industry and has travelled to well over 100 countries. He has worked with a number of well‐ known Australian adventure travel companies including 13 years as a Product Manager and Operations Director for Peregrine Adventures. Most recently he has been involved in researching and developing holidays in several different regions of the world, including Latin America and the Middle East where he has lived.

Steve likes nothing better than getting out and about with like‐minded travellers, sharing his knowledge and introducing participants to some of the world’s most interesting places, peoples and cultures. This will be his third trip to Mongolia and he is excited to offer this unusual and exciting destination.

With your itinerary you can be confident you'll visit all the 'must see' attractions – and much more, however there are some days when you'll have time to wander and make some of your own discoveries. Throughout the tour local guides are employed to provide a wealth of background information and share their extensive local knowledge.

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