13 Days Ice and Camel Festival 2020

For many people Mongolia has always been associated with its cold winter, but did you know that Mongolia has not the coldest winter and has a lot to offer together with its scenic beauty and specialties. Mongolia has been successfully organizing various thrilling winter activities in the recent years. Ice festival is the one of those winter events which has been held since 2002 every first weekend of March in northern Mongolia on the western shore of frozen Lake Khuvsgul. And imagine yourself being in the Gobi Desert in the winter. Snow covered plains, mountains and dunes are definitely adds paint to the beauty of desert. Except its natural charm, Gobi is also famous for its flora and fauna, dinosaur findings, nomads and camels. One of the camel related popular events is Camel Festival. Already about 20 years Camel Festival has been organized every year 7-8 March by local herder communities in order to preserve and protect two humped Bactrian Camel population in Mongolia.

per adult from

$3,631

NZD

Duration

13 days

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  • What's included :
    • 12x Breakfast
    • 12x Dinner
    • 13x Lunch
    • Accommodation included: 12 nights
    • • Transfers upon arrival and departure
    • • Guide service at all times.
    • • In the countryside all lodging will be in ger camps / nomadic family’s Ger.
    • • Festival’s tax
    • • Park entrance fees
    • • Horse and camel riding
    What's excluded :
    • ● Accommodation in a hotel or hostel in Ulaanbaatar
    • ● Travel insurance, medical insurance
    • ● Alcoholic beverages

  • Day 1: Uran Togoo Extinct Volcano

    Stop At: Bulgan Province, Bulgan Province
    Ulaanbaatar – Uran Togoo Volcano 565km
    • Start to drive towards to Uran Togoo an extinct volcano crater which is located in Bulgan province on the way to Khuvsgul Lake. Uran literally meaning artistic is a crater almost looks like that its ridges has been carved in very fine craftsmanship. Diameter of circled crater ridge almost about 500ms with 15m depth and surrounded with trees will add color to the scenery.
    • Optional climbing and hiking
    • Lunch at a local restaurant

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/
    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight with a nomadic family

    Day 2: Uushigiin valley- Khuvsgul Lake

    Stop At: Khuvsgul Lake, Mongolia
    Uran Togoo- Khuvsgul Lake 410km
    • Continue driving to Uushigiin valley where you can see complex of deer stone monuments erected besides the burial sites dating back to early Bronze Age era over some 4000 years ago. Deer stones were part of the ancient funeral practices and were mainly dedicated to express common people’s mourning over their great warriors and military leaders. There are 14 deer stones and one of the exclusive monuments is a deer stone with a human face.
    • Lunch picnic
    • Drive to Khuvsgul Lake which respectfully referred as “Blue Pearl” or “Mother Sea “by locals. In the winter lake freezes over rapidly and creates an amazing crystal clear ice. The Lake is situated at the altitude of over 1650ms above sea level at the eastern foothills of Sayan Mountains close to Russian border. Khuvsgul Lake is the second voluminous lake that makes up 1% of world and 70% of Mongolia’s freshwater.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight at local guesthouse

    Day 3: Opening of Ice Festival

    Stop At: Khuvsgul Lake, Mongolia
    • After breakfast, you will attend the Opening Ceremony of Ice Festival. Today games such as Ice carving competition and Ice Sumo wrestling will be taking place. As one of the traditional games to be played on the Ice, you will see Ankle Bone shooting. The Festival will also present Shaman Ceremony by reindeer people and national folklore performance. Later in the evening you can join locals and other guests for bonfire assisted with shaman rituals. Optional hiking and horse sledding.
    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: Overnight at local guesthouse

    Day 4: Ice Festival

    Stop At: Khuvsgul Lake, Mongolia
    the sidelines of festival many other entertaining traditional games will be played, You would always have opportunity to enjoy or participate. It’s a perfect occasion to hang out with locals and have fun. Later on organizers will grant prizes for winners.
    Khuvsgul Lake –Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake 450km
    • After lunch, driving to Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight at nomadic family ger.

    Day 5: Former capital of Great Mongolian Empire, Kharhorin

    Stop At: Övörkhangai, Mongolia
    Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake– Kharhorin 280km
    • A morning drive will take us to Kharhorin, the former capital of Great Mongolian Empire in the 13th century. Although considered as an ancient capital, there are very few remains left from this historic place. We will visit the one of the largest and oldest Buddhist monastery named “Erdene Zuu” which was built upon the ruins and foundations of capital Kharhorin in 1586. Luckily it has survived communist purges in 1937 and was re-opened as a museum. Current Kharhorin is small village type settlement with over 3000 residents.
    • Excursion to the local museum of Kharhorin city where you will explore traces of Mongolian history dating from early Stone Age to Great Mongolian Empire. The museum offers great collections of items that were found from various excavation and expeditions around Kharhorin and Orkhon Valley. Following the museum we will stopover by other sites such as phallic rock and Turtle rocks.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight at the ger guesthouse

    Day 6: Ongi Monastery ruins

    Stop At: Mandalgovi, Mandalgovi, Dundgovi Province
    Kharkhorin –Ongi monastery 350km
    • Continue driving to Saikhan Ovoo village of Middle Gobi province. Some smaller rocky mountains are beautifully set along the Ongi River where Ongi Monastery ruins are found. It’s a perfect place to have a time out before entering Khangai regions. Upon your arrival discover the site of Ongi lamasery which was unfortunately heavily destroyed in 1937. In 2002 some local lamas arrived at the once famous Ongi Monastery and began the restoration with very limited resources and much enthusiasm.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight at a nomadic family’s ger.

    Day 7: Flaming cliffs of Bayanzag and Camel Festival

    Stop At: Dalanzadgad, Dalanzadgad, Omnogovi Province
    Bayanzag- Ongi Monastery 150km
    • Arrive at the cliffs of Bayanzag, most commonly known as “Flaming Cliffs” for its bister red color which is the cradle of dinosaurs. A Saxaul forest not far from the cliffs and cliffs themselves are true evidences of the time when our planet was still occupied by massive creatures-the dinosaurs. American explorer Roy Andrews Chapman was the first to reveal dinosaur fossils and eggs in 1922 from Bayanzag and other neighboring localities which are today displayed in Mongolian dinosaur museums in Ulaanbaatar and other museums around the world.
    • Today we will attend The Camel festival which begins in Bulgan village with a “parade” of camel riders coming from different parts of Gobi regions. Competitions of the day will include “best looking couple on camelback”, most adorable male and female camels as well as a camel polo tournament which takes place in the central square. There’s also an exhibition of paintings by local children who participate in the drawing contest called “Camel– My Friend’’.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight at local guesthouse

    Day 8: Camel Festival Day

    Stop At: Dalanzadgad, Dalanzadgad, Omnogovi Province
    • Second day of festival starts with a race of grown up camels, later followed by the racing of the two-year-old camels. Although Mongolians don’t bet on the race, for your own pleasure, you may put bets on the camels. The first three winner camels in each group are awarded with golden, silver and bronze medals. In the afternoon, one of the most awaited competitions begins. This is called "The Camel Rally", a competition demonstrating scenes of catching, taming, training young camels and, finally, loading a camel with an actual ger like nomads during their migration. There are several groups with five members, each of which have different roles in the contest. The closing ceremony takes place late in the afternoon when the winners will be presented their trophies and prizes.
    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight with a local family

    Day 9: Khongor sand dunes

    Stop At: Dalanzadgad, Dalanzadgad, Omnogovi Province
    Bayanzag - Khongor sand dunes 150km
    • Continue driving to west of the park to Khongor sand dunes which are known as the highest and biggest dunes in the country.
    • Stop at Khongoriin Els or Khongor sand dunes. These are the most astonishing dunes of Mongolia with extension of over 180kms length and around 3-15kms width and average height is 80ms. The highest dune is 200ms and from the top these dunes you will capture amazing view of Gobi with the most beautiful sunrise and sunset. When you climb the dunes they shift and cause a sound of vibration which very much resembles to the sound of an airplane hence it’s also called Singing Dunes.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight with a local family

    Day 10: Three beautiful mountains- Gobi Gurvan Saikhan

    Stop At: Dalanzadgad, Dalanzadgad, Omnogovi Province
    Khongor sand dunes –Three beautiful mountains 190km
    • Today we will reach Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park which covers some chain of mountain ranges as the southern end of the Gobi-Altai Mountain range. Gurvan Saikhan literally meaning “Three Beauties” referred to the highest three peaks of the range which is almost over 2800ms.
    • Optional hike either in Yoliin Am or Bearded Vulture’s canyon or Mukhar Shivert valley. Regarding the snowfall and shade in the canyon, oftentimes there formed a high layer of ice cover which sometimes will stay till mid-July. During our walk, we may either walk on top or bottom, or just see the parts of this ice. The canyon is surrounded with steep Rocky Mountains creating some shade which is pleasant to hike thru during hot days of Gobi desert. During out hike, you may notice some rodents such as pica and ground squirrel along with colorful wild flowers and plants. Although mountains are the home for wildlife like ibex, mountain goat and argali, the wild sheep, spotting these animals will purely depend on fortune.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight with a local family

    Day 11: Great white stupa in the desert

    Stop At: Dalanzadgad, Dalanzadgad, Omnogovi Province
    Three beautiful mountain – Tsagaan Suvraga /White Stupa 220km/
    • Today we will be driving thru vast and empty rocky desert and semi-arid steppe to reach out White Stupa. Mongolians always have admired and honored this unique natural formation of 30ms height, abrupt, stupa shaped slopes as White Stupa. The place definitely will remind travelers some lunar landscape with its mystery of fossils hidden underneath and stunning color combinations. The area deemed to be bottom an ancient ocean.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight with a local family

    Day 12: Granite formations of Baga Gazriin Chuluu

    Stop At: Mandalgovi, Mandalgovi, Dundgovi Province
    White stupa– Baga Gazriin Chuluu 230km
    • Visit one of the few rocky mountains of Gobi, Baga Gazriin Chuluu where you will find gorgeous looking granite rock formations shaped in different forms eroded by wind and other violent elements of Gobi. During mid-18th century some high ranked and locally respected Buddhist monks lived in the area, as evidence of their existence we will see some temple ruins and inscriptions on the rock. According to some historical sources, Chinggis Khaan also had lived here. It’s a great location for some pleasant hike.

    Duration: 6 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    • Dinner: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    Accommodation included: • Overnight with a local family

    Day 13: Back to Ulaanbaatar

    Stop At: Töv, Mongolia
    Baga Gazriin Chuluu – Ulaanbaatar 250km
    • Return to Ulaanbaatar.
    • Arrive in town, transfer to your accommodation.
    • If time allows you can do some short city orientation and shopping with our guide.

    Duration: 6 minutes

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch: We would prepare everything /vegan, vegetarian and meat/

    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Departure Time :
    8:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

Language

English

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

15

Organised by Mongolian Vision Tours

Activity ID: V-119740P38

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