The Gobi Desert is a dream destination for many travelers! You will get to explore Ulaanbaatar before flying into the South Gobi Desert to explore the world's largest sand dunes, the majestic 'flaming cliffs' where many dinosaur eggs and skeleton were found. You will experience the double humped camel and horse riding, and then fly back to Ulaanbaatar to visit Mongolia's largest festival, the Naadam festival!
The Naadam festival means "games", also given the name "eriin gurvan naadam" meaning "the three games of men". These games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery. The festival is held from July 11 to the 13 at the National Sports Stadium. There is an elaborate ceremony before the games begin. During the festival, the wrestling really draws in the crowds. There is not any age or weight restriction, besides it being gender specific (no women are allowed compete). The objective is to pin your opponent to the ground with your elbow or knee, no part of the body is allowed to touch the ground besides your feet and hands. The winner is awarded the title of Avarga (Giant, or Titan). The horse racing event is very different from western horse racing as the races taking place are cross-country, and covering any distance between 10 to 20 miles depending on the age of the horses. Up to 1000 horses can be chosen to participate. The jockeys are children between the ages of 5 and 13, and training for the event begins many months in advance. The winning jockey is praised with the title of "tumny ekh" or "leader of ten thousand". The archery events are held between groups of ten men and women, and each participant is supplied with four arrows. There are hundreds of targets or "surs", and each team must hit at least 33 of them. The winners are declared the National Marksmen or National Markswomen. Some kind of version of these games have been going on for centuries.
On this trip, you will also visit Terelj National Park with forested alpine mountains and gigantic rock formations, Hustai National Park known for the successful reintroduction of the wild horses which were once extinct from the world and Karakoram-the ancient capital of Mongolia.
The trip offers also opportunities for hiking, camel riding, horse riding and visiting Nomad families.