Journey Among Nomads, Khangai Mountains

Ulaan Baatar – Central Grasslands – River Valleys & Lakeland – Central Grasslands – Ulaan Baatar

Journey to the land of Genghis Khan where you’ll witness spectacular scenery, spend time with nomadic families, camp alongside pristine lakes, climb extinct volcanoes, relax in a hot spring, gaze at spellbinding night skies and more on this two-week family adventure to magical Mongolia.

Family Journey Among Nomads, Khangai Mountains

Ulaan Baatar – Central Grasslands – River Valleys & Lakeland – Central Grasslands – Ulaan Baatar

ITINERARY

Journey to the land of Genghis Khan where you’ll witness spectacular scenery, spend time with nomadic families, camp alongside pristine lakes, climb extinct volcanoes, relax in a hot spring, gaze at spellbinding night skies and more on this nine-day family adventure to magical Mongolia. These family itineraries are private trips of discovery adapted to suit your family and can be fully customised whether you’re looking for be adventure, education or exploration.

This holiday traditionally starts and ends in the capital Ulaan Baatar. For this holiday you will have your own private vehicle and your own dedicated trip assistant.

See sample itinerary below:

Day 1: Ulaan Baatar Ger district walking tour with local NGO. An opportunity for your children to experience the way of life of Mongolian children in Mongolia’s capital city

Overnight: Overnight at a hotel of your choice in Ulaan Baatar

 

Day 2: Khogno Khan Nature Reserve Granite mountain, sand dunes and open steppe. Spectacular (but easy) 2 hour walk for views out over the semi-desert steppe.

Russian Van: 5 – 6 hrs.

Overnight: Rural Family Operated Ger Camp (private ger) or Tent Camp. Your preference

 

Day 3: Tsenkher Hot Springs Travel into the Khangai Mountains. Enjoy a rural homestay with a family living close to the hot springs (you willF visit by vehicle)

Russian Van: 4 hrs.

Overnight: Homestay (private ger)

 

Day 4-6: Yak Herding Cooperative – Khangai Mountains Stay three nights with yak herding families belonging to the Cooperative Ar Arvijin Delgerekh. During your time here you will walk ‘ger to ger’ (for those with little legs, go by yak cart!) being guided by the main host of each family. Informal cookery lessons are available as is felt making and learning to put up a Mongolian ger

Russian Van: 5-6 hrs Day Four

Overnight: Homestay (private ger)
Day 7 and 8: Orkhon River Valley Informal cookery lessons, horse treks, day-hikes, picnic lunches and the chance to stay with a herding family. Enjoy a traditional Mongolian barbecue on your final evening (vegetarians can be catered for!)

Russian Van: 5-6 hrs.

Overnight: Family Operated Ger Camp (private ger), tent camp or local hotel. Your preference

 

Day 9: Ulaanbaatar Drive back to Ulaanbaatar

Overnight: Overnight in hotel of your choice.

 

Day 10: Farewell Mongolia

END OF HOLIDAY

**Please note, all travel times are approximate 

 

KIDS

This Mongolian family holiday can be adapted to suit families with children of all ages. Itineraries can be customised to suit the age of the children and the activities parents think their kids will enjoy best. For families travelling with younger children, itineraries can be shortened and driving times lessened. Our partner operator responsible for this holiday will also make sure that each vehicle is equipped with activities and distractions to keep children happy. For example games of Twister, footballs and journals for kids to keep their very own trip report.

DESCRIPTION

This 9-day Family Journey Among Nomads – Khangai Mountains holiday itinerary is an example itinerary to provide ideas and can be adapted to suit your travel dates, your accommodation choices and your preferred landscapes. 

 

  • Explore the vibrant ‘frontier’ city of Ulaan Baatar on foot using your detailed ‘Welcome Pack’. Forget museums and shopping and head out to explore and discover instead!
  • Pay a visit the capital’s ‘Black Market’, where people sell everything from can openers to full size gers, spend the morning at a felt-making workshop or catch the local bus to Zaisan Hill for snap-worthy views over the city.
  • Sleep in a traditional ger and enjoy the kindness of your welcoming local hosts.
  • Visit the Khogno Khan Nature Reserve, a sacred granite mountain within an area of secluded valleys, fresh water springs, open steppe and sand dunes.
  • Head to Kharkhorin, the ancient capital of Ogodei Khan and the birthplace of Buddhism in Mongolia. You’ll visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, the oldest working monastery in the country.
  • Witness the glorious expanse of the majestic Khangai Mountains, explore river valleys, learn about nomadic life and swim in plunge pools.
  • Borrow a star chart and see gaze at some of the brightest night skies you have ever seen!
  • Keep an eye out for roadside ovoos, sacred stone shrines and help to strengthen one by placing more stones on it. Take part in another ancient Mongolian tradition by leaving a small offering, such as some sweets, alongside the ovoo.
  • Spend your evening around the campfire swapping travel tales and enjoying khorkhog, sheep or goat meat cooked in a pot with hot stones on an open fire.
  • Cross your fingers and hope to see the Przewalski horse (Takhi) when visiting Khustain Nuruu National Park. These are the only wild horses to survive in modern times (although critically endangered) and they roam freely through the hills of the national park.

WHEN TO GO

This holiday is best enjoyed between late May and early September. October is glorious but the nights will be cold. July is peak season and international flights can be expensive before and after the dates of the Naadam Festival (July 11th and 12th) plus visitor numbers are up and it can feel quite crowded.

Tips!

Accommodation: Accommodation in Ulaan Baatar is arranged as per clients’ individual requests based on their budget and preferred accommodation style. Each family ger camp is individual. Families will always have their own private ger but there may be other visitors. Most gers will have simple furniture such as single beds, a small central table and wooden stools (beds will vary – some will be very hard, others very soft). Family ger camps tend not to provide bedding and it’s recommended that clients bring a sleeping bag (although they can be rented in Ulaan Baatar). Rural families have limited electricity requirements – often solar panels or wind turbines provide energy to a small battery pack. They may use a generator for a few hours each evening but this is not guaranteed. Frequently a ger will be candle lit. Camping is under Vango Hurricane 200 tents purchased in the UK. All equipment is provided except for sleeping bags. You are provided with an insulating foam mattress (that covers the floor).

Toilets & Showers: Toilets are frequently Asian-style long drops. Throughout your journey you will have access to streams, rivers and lakes (limited in the Gobi) and it is possible to have a ‘bowl’ wash/shower using the water from these sources (the kids frequently love this). It is also possible to warm up a large pot of water so that clients can have a warmer wash/shower. There will be access to showers at some of the family operated ger camps and at the public shower houses of the local rural communities you pass through – the cubicles are clean, the water plentiful and hot.

Food: Meals included in this holiday will be detailed in the day-by-day itinerary. Although meals are limited to what can be purchased in Mongolia, vegetarians can be catered for as well as those with dietary issues (for example, wheat or dairy intolerance) and ‘fussy’ eaters. Kids need not worry, as there is plenty of pasta available in Mongolia!

Visas: Contact your nearest Mongolian embassy or consulate for up to date visa information for your nationality. If you are from the UK, we recommend Travcour for their excellent visa service (www.travcour.com) – if you are not from the UK their website is still full of useful information. Make sure to check before travel. Your passport must also be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of exit from Mongolia.

Health & Vaccinations: Western medicine can be in short supply in Mongolia so make sure to bring any necessary medications with you in clearly labelled containers. Visitors travelling with pre-existing medical conditions should carry a signed and dated letter from your physician describing your medication conditions and medication. All visitors should have travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Vaccinations for Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Tetanus are recommended.

Safety: Mongolia is a relatively safe country in which to travel. Most crime is opportunistic and common sense is always your best safeguard. Please consult your own government’s travel advisory for more safety advice such as fco.gov.uk

Getting There: Ulaan Baatar’s Chinggis Khaan Airport is Mongolia’s major international airport. Some international airlines that currently fly to Mongolia include Aero Mongolia, Air China, Korean Air and Aeroflot. Flights are often fully booked in July and August so make sure you organise tickets well in advance if travelling during this time.

Transport: Travel on this holiday is by Russian Furgon Jeeps driven by qualified drivers chosen for the quality of their driving and their innate mechanical skills. Each driver privately owns his or her vehicle and as a result the interior and seat layout will differ from vehicle to vehicle (but clients should expect forward and backward facing seats). The terrain of Mongolia is varied and rugged; the Furgon is a vehicle that can tackle it all. It is designed to be durable, reliable and strong. The vehicles do not have air conditioning but are cool even on the hottest desert day. Please note that due to the design of the vehicle, seat belts are not available. However, the tour operator is currently trying to fit ‘grab’ handles in the passenger area.

What to take for the family: A comprehensive list will be issued pre-departure.

Books: 

Genghis Khan (Mc Classic Illustrated Biography) (Marshall Cavendish Classics Illustrated Biography) This children’s picture book focuses on Genghis Khan’s childhood.

Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang tells the story of Kublai Khan’s (fictional) grand-daughter, Princess Emmajin, who longs to become a great solider and in doing so much extract information from the Venetian merchant, Marco Polo, who in turn challenges her views and beliefs. The key message here is that it’s important to get to know foreigners and by understanding how others see the world, your own views can change. 

Edge of Blue Heaven: A Journey Through Mongolia by explorer and TV presenter, Benedict Allen is an account of his adventurous journey across the Gobi Desert on horse and camel.

Genghis Khan: And the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford is considered by many to be one of the best books written about the Mongolian conquerer.

Lost in Mongolia: Rafting the World’s Last Unchallenged River reads more like a travel journal and follows the adventures of Canadian, Colin Angus as he and his crew made a first descent of the Ider-Selenge-Angara-Yenisey river system (the world’s 5th longest river). This book is not for those who want to learn about the country’s history but more for those with adventure at the forefront of mind and who want a gripping read to take with them!

 

 

 

Movies:

The Story of the Weeping Camel [DVD] This is one of our all time favourite documentaries! The award-winning film follows a nomadic family in the Gobi Desert who face a problem when their camel gives birth to a rare white colt, and subsequently rejects it. The family send their two sons off to the nearest town to find a musician who can perform an ancient ceremony to unite mother and colt. A truly enchanting film for the whole family to enjoy (Rated U).

In The Wild – Mongolian Horsemen With Julia Roberts [1998] [DVD] Another good option is this family-friendly documentary about the Mongolian horse. Julia Roberts, a keen horsewoman herself, lives with a nomadic family in Mongolia and discovers their special relationship with the horse. She also learns more about the Takhis – the asiatic wild horses that were hunted to extinction in the 1960s but have been successfully bred in captivity and are now being reintroduced to the steppes of Mongolia.

Mongol: The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan [DVD] (2007) (Rated 15) is a historical action movie following the life of the young boy, ‘Temujin’ as he grows up to become the mighty Genghis Khan. If you enjoy films like Gladiator, Troy and Braveheart, then you should enjoy this too!

 

 

Articles: A Gallop Toward Hope: One Family’s Adventure in Fighting Autism By MOTOKO RICH, The New York Times

RATES

This nine-day holiday costs US $2560 per person OVER 15 years of age. Please note that our partner agent will be happy to give you an exact quote based on your family’s requirements.

This holiday is organised by our partner tour operator, a joint Mongolian-English partnership that specialises solely in creating memorable holidays in the country they know and love – Mongolia. They are extremely experienced at organising holidays for families and know how to create unique holidays to keep both parents and kids happy.

Complete operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, will be given to you upon completing an enquiry.

Make an enquiry for Journey Among Nomads, Mongolia

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Your enquiry will be sent directly to our partner agent responsible for this holiday. Remember, you never pay more making an enquiry through globetotting than by booking directly with any of our partner agents.

My Family Holiday – Magical Mongolia

Most nights we stayed in gers, or yurts, owned by local families, but also spent a few nights in tents. Our guide was a wonderful British woman who runs a travel company focused exclusively in Mongolia.  Her #1 driver and partner is Turuu.  Both were amazing – if anyone is looking for a unique travel adventure, this is the place, and this is the team! Read more …

Susan Touchton

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