Mongolia: Naadam Festival & the Khan Legacy 2021
11 days with Abercrombie & Kent Rating:
DAY 1 ARRIVE BEIJING, CHINA
Arrive in Beijing, where you are transferred to your hotel.
DAY 2 BEIJING | ATOP THE GREAT WALL
Take in the sweep of history at Tiananmen Square and explore the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City. After lunch, travel to the well-preserved Juyongguan section of the Great Wall of China, a vast fortification erected to protect the region from Mongol hordes. Venture to the top of the wall to take in sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3 ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA | INTRODUCTION TO AN EMPIRE
This morning, fly to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to your hotel. After you settle in, explore the National Museum of Mongolian History. Here, a local historian delves into the saga of Genghis Khan and his Mongol Empire. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4 ULAANBAATAR | LIFE OF GENGHIS KHAN
Visit Gandan Khiid Monastery with its 75-foot statue made of copper, gold and precious stones, accompanied by a top-ranking lama who discusses monastic life. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5 GOBI DESERT | DUNES, CANYONS & WIDE-OPEN SKIES
Fly to the Gobi Desert, home to Bactrian (two-humped) camels, mountain sheep, golden eagles and many endemic reptiles. In the late afternoon, marvel as local archers demonstrate a skill that gave rise to the former Mongol empire. After dinner, marvel as the stars paint the vast desert skies. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6 GOBI DESERT | VALLEY OF THE EAGLES
Journey overland to the Yol Valley, a narrow, craggy chasm. Hike the valley for a chance to spot vulture-like lammergeiers, Altai snowcocks, ibex, yaks and Argali mountain sheep. Later, witness the construction of a ger, a traditional Mongolian home. In the afternoon, you may opt to hike through the Havsagit Valley to discover ancient petroglyphs atop a mountain. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7 GOBI DESERT | CAMEL RIDE & THE FLAMING CLIFFS
Set off on the back of a Bactrian camel through the dunes of Moltsog Els for insight into a way of life that has endured for centuries. Visit with a local camel-herding family in their home. Afterward, visit the Flaming Cliffs, a place rich with dinosaur fossils and the site where dinosaur eggs were first found. Savor a sunset dinner before returning to your lodge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8 ULAANBAATAR | PAST MEETS PRESENT
Fly to Ulaanbaatar, where you visit a modern art gallery and meet the local exhibiting artist. This evening, join fellow guests for a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant along with a vodka tasting. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 9 ULAANBAATAR | NAADAM FESTIVAL
Attend the opening ceremonies of the annual Naadam Festival, where the nation’s best athletes compete in tests of strength and skill. Take in all of the pageantry of the elaborate opening ceremony, an event showcasing local dancers, athletes, horse riders and musicians. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 10 ULAANBAATAR | A PARTING GLIMPSE
Enjoy a second day at the Naadam Festival, attending a range of events and competitions featuring archery and traditional wrestling. This evening, gather with fellow guests for a farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 11 DEPART ULAANBAATAR
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight. (Breakfast)
All This Included
On a journey filled with unique cultural experiences, retrace the footsteps of the Khan legacy, as you take in a centuries-old Mongolian festival, explore the far-flung wilds of the Gobi Desert, and follow Kublai Khan’s influence to the Great Wall in Beijing.
Beijing: Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
Ulaanbaatar: Shangri-La Hotel
Gobi Desert: Three Camel Lodge
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