US$ 6196 / pp

DATES & RATES

China, Mongolia & Naadam Festival The Greatest Local Event of the Year

China

Mongolia

Two sides of Asia

China and Mongolia. Two amazing countries, two ancient cultures, taking different ways millennia ago. Don’t miss a unique chance to see where historical choices led these neighbouring nations. China is rivalling to lead the modern world today yet Mongolia will embrace you with its nomadic, vagabond style and tranquillity. Who would dare to choose that’s best? We have collected the best of the best in both countries from Avatar filming location to the world’s longest cable car, from fascinating Gobi desert to greatest Mongolian national festival, Naadam, to produce this truly unique adventure of a lifetime.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Shanghai

Arrival at Shanghai. Meet & greet at the airport and transfer to the hotel in the downtown. In the evening, meet your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner (Chinese and European cuisine options available on your choice). Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Shanghai

Breakfast at the hotel. Take off for a full-day guided sightseeing tour: Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Yuyuan Garden. After lunch, continue the tour visiting Temple Jade Budda, Shikumen, Oriental Pearl Tower. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Shanghai — Zhangjiajie

Breakfast at the hotel. Free time in Shanghai. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Zhangjiajie (2h30m). Transfer to the hotel. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

After delicious breakfast at the hotel, get ready for the exclusive adventure in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park for a full day. Take a ride on the world highest and fastest elevator in the Bailong Elevator to the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. Here we shall visit the famous Avatar filming location, Natural Bridge under Heaven. Then take a Public shuttle bus to marvel the natural treasures of the Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Helong Park, Xihai Stone Forest, Imperial Brush Peak, Tianzi Mountain Cable Car, Ten-mile Gallery in the Suoxigu Valley. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Zhangjiajie — Xian

After breakfast at the hotel, start the guided half-day sightseeing tour to Tianmen Mountain. You will take a ride on the World’s longest cable car to the mountaintop and try Sky Walk 1430 meters above the ground. Take an escalator through the mountain to Tianmen Cave and enjoy splendid views. Free time in Zhangjiajie. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Xian (1h40m). Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Xian

After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide for a sightseeing walking tour. Get to know the secrets of world-famous Terracotta Army, see City Wall, Great Mosque. Take a stroll along 1110-meter long Muslim street where architectures in the style of Ming and Qing are well preserved. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Xian — Beijing

After breakfast at the hotel, continue the tour around Xian. Today we will visit the Shaanxi History Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower and Drum Tower Square. At 16.00 take a bullet train to Beijing. Arrival at Beijing at 21:31. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Beijing

After breakfast at the hotel, start with a half-day guided sightseeing tour: Square Tiananmen, Museum Gugong, Temple of Heaven. Lunch. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Beijing — Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide to take the Great Wall tour for a full day. After the tour, transfer to the airport to take a direct flight to Ulaanbaatar at 21.10 (21.10- 23.40). Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Ulaanbaatar.

Day 10: Karakorum

After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and drive towards to Kharkhorin, formerly known as Karakorum. Embrace the wilderness of Mongolia when visiting Khogno Khan Nature Reserve with mountains, steppes, Gobi-type desert and mineral water sources all in one location, Uvgun monastery or Erdene Khamba khiid. After lunch, continue to travel to Kharkhorin, the legendary city founded by Genghis Khan in 1220 in Orkhon Valley, on the Silk Road. Those days it was a political, economic, administrative and religious centre. But after Khublai Khaan moved the Mongolian capital to Beijing, Karakorum was abandoned and then completely destroyed by Chinese soldiers in 1388. There we shall visit Kharkhorin museum, and the Mongolian oldest and largest monastery Erdene Zuu. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 11: Ongi Monastery ruins

After traditional breakfast at the camp, we will continue our journey to discover Ongi Monastery ruins through the great Ongi steppe. Ongi monastery was one of the 7 biggest Mongolian monasteries. There are 2 temple ruins which were built up in the 1780s. During repression in 1930s’, these two temples were destroyed and over 200 monks were killed, and many surviving monks were imprisoned. In the 1990s, it was decided to rebuild the monastery. The first temple was inaugurated in 2004. There is a small museum in a ger in front of it. One of the stupas has just been reconstructed as well. We travel like real nomads from one Ger to another just like Mongolians do for a thousand years. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 12: Bayanzag

After breakfast at the camp, you will go further to Bayanzag, known as Flaming Cliffs. We shall hike through the cliffs (east trail, suitable for any fitness level) to see the Gobi tree grove named “Bayanzag”.The American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews arrived here in 1922, on an expedition for the American Museum of Natural History. His team found hundreds of fossilised remains, and Bayanzag became known as a dinosaur graveyard. After lunch, we will watch the short documentary about these excavations. After dinner, return to the Bayanzag to see the sunset, find out why the area is called Flaming Cliffs. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 13: Gobi Desert

After breakfast at the camp, we travel through the stunning Gobi Desert to see amazing Khongor sand dune at sunset. There is no landscape equal to it in Mongolia, Khongor sand Dunes last for impressive 180 km. The Gobi desert is one of the world's greatest, it is a no-sand desert of gravel plains and rocky outcrops. Great Gobi National Park is one of the largest World Biospheres, with an area larger than Switzerland. It contains the last remaining wild Bactrian (two-humped) camels and a small population of Gobi bears, the only desert-inhabiting bear. The Khongor Sand Dunes are some of the largest and most impressive white sand dunes in Mongolia with the largest dunes up to 800 metres high. The dunes make a sound like a plane engine on a windy day so it has been named as "Singing Dunes". Visit the local camel herding nomad family and experience the nomadic life in the Gobi, have a camel ride through the sand dunes of Khongori. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 14: Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park

After breakfast at the camp, continue the journey to Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Yol Valley is a deep and narrow gorge in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains. Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Mountains (Three Beauties of Gobi) are three Rocky Mountains, the highest of which is 2815 meters above the sea level. After lunch, take a ride to Yolyn Am, a picturesque place with ice fields even in summer, and surrounded by sheer rocky walls, forming incredible canyons. You will visit a Gobi museum and if you wish to get some hiking to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Late afternoon, we return to the camp for dinner and time at leisure. Overnight at the Ger camp.

Day 15: Terelj National Park

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight to Ulaanbaatar (1h 30 m). Transfer to Terelj National Park. We shall see Turtle Rock, have lunch with a nomadic family, visit Temple of Aryavalokiteshvara and Aryabal Monastery. Dinner & overnight at the Ger camp at Terelj National Park.

Day 16: Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, we will take the transfer to Ulaanbaatar, en route stop at Genghis Khan’s Statue Complex in Tsonjin boldog, visit some souvenir shops, a small museum, after we will drive to the city and start the guided tour visiting Zaisan Memorial and Buddha Garden. In the evening, enjoy 6 pm-Tumen Ekh-traditional folklore concert. Dinner at the hotel restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 17: Naadam Festival

Full-day guided touring the festival, watching competitions, performances, the national culture of wonderful Mongolia: archery, horse riding, nomad culture at its best. We book special seats to allow maximum comfort today, however, please mind we will need to walk to and from the stadium. Please note that while we’re doing everything possible, the schedule of the day might change at late notice due to logistics complications and restrictions implied by the local authorities.

Day 18: Departure

After breakfast, an optional half-day Naadam festival visit. Transfer to the airport/railway station.

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National Naadam

The biggest festival (National Naadam) is held in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, during the National Holiday, in the National Sports Stadium. It begins with an elaborate introduction ceremony featuring dancers, athletes, horse riders, and musicians. After the ceremony, the competitions begin. The competitions are mainly horseback riding. Naadam is also celebrated in different regions of Mongolia and Inner Mongolia in July and August. In the Tuva Republic, Naadam is on 15 August.

Three games

Naadam is a traditional festival in Mongolia. The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery, and are held throughout the country during midsummer. Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling.

Wrestling

Mongolian traditional wrestling is an untimed competition in which wrestlers lose if they touch the ground with any part of their body other than their feet or hands. When picking pairs, the wrestler with the greatest fame has the privilege to choose his opponent. Wrestlers wear two-piece costumes consisting of a tight shoulder vest (zodog) and shorts (shuudag). Only men are allowed to participate.

Horse racing

Unlike Western horse racing, which consists of short sprints generally not much longer than 2 km, Mongolian horse racing as featured in Naadam is a cross-country event, with races 15–30 km long. The length of each race is determined by age class. For example, two-year-old horses race for ten miles and seven-year-olds for seventeen miles. Up to 1000 horses from any part of Mongolia can be chosen to participate. Racehorses are fed a special diet. Children from 5 to 13 are chosen as jockeys and train in the months preceding the races. While jockeys are an important component, the main purpose of the races is to test the skill of the horses.

Archery

In archery competition, both men and women may participate. It is played by teams of ten. Each archer is given four arrows; the team must hit 33 "surs".Men shoot their arrows from 75 meters away while women shoot theirs from 65 meters away. Traditionally the archers wear their national clothing (Deel) during the competition. All the archers wear leather bracers up to the elbow on their outstretched arm, so that the deel’s cuff does not interfere with shooting.

Cultural Heritage

In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.

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Mongolia

To apply for a visa, citizens of the UK should apply personally through an authorized company (40 GBP for a standard visa, issued in 5 days). Сitizens of New Zealand can apply for a visa only by mail (160 $ NZ for a standard visa, issued in 2-5 days). Citizens of Australia can apply for a visa by mail (230 AUD, issued in 4-5 days). Citizens of the USA and Canada can travel to Mongolia without a visa in case a travel period is less than 90 days.

China

To apply for a visa, citizens of the UK should apply personally (85 GBP for a visa, issued in 4 days). Сitizens of New Zealand can apply for a visa by mail (140 $ for a visa, issued in 5 days). Citizens of Australia should apply for a visa through Chinese Visa Application Service Centers (109,5 $ AUD, issued in 4-5 days). Citizens of the USA and Canada should apply for visa personally (140 USD for the USA citizens and 100 USD for the citizens of Canada).

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What's included

Accommodation

3* or 4* hotels In Shanghai (2 nights), Zhangjiajie (2 nights), Xian (2 nights), Beijing (2nights); Ulaanbaatar (3 nights)

5 Nights in deluxe Ger camps (twin share) with en-suite facilities

1 night (days 11-12) in a comfort Ger camp on a twin basis with shared facilities

Meals

Welcome dinner in Shanghai

Lunch during Shanghai city tour and Beijing city tour

Full breakfast in the hotels and Ger camps

Lunches and dinners during Mongolia tour

A bottle of water on each day of the Mongolian tour

Guided tours

Shanghai guided tour

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park guided tour

Tianmen Mountain guided tour

Xian guided tour

Beijing guided tour

The Great Wall guided tour

Khogno Khan Nature Reserve guided tour

Uvgun monastery guided tour

Kharkhorin guided tour

Ongi Monastery guided tour

Bayanzag guided tour

the Gobi Desert guided tour

Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park guided tour

Sightseeing and Entrance fees according to the itinerary

English-speaking guides and tour manager

Transportation

Services of comfortable a/c transportation, including airport - hotel - airport transfers

Local flight (economy class) Shanghai - Zhangjiajie

Local flight (economy class) Zhangjiajie - Xian

Bullet train (standard class) Xian-Beijing

International flight (economy class) from Bejing to Ulaanbaatar

4 WD vehicles in the countryside of Mongolia (3 persons per car)

Local flight (economy class) from South Gobi to Ulaanbaatar

Support

24/7 phone/WhatsApp support line

The tour is fully escorted by English-speaking Tour Director

Travel tips brochure

Experienced local English-speaking guides

Not Included

Visa fees

International flights

Meals not mentioned

Optional tours and activities

Personal expenditures

Highlights

The world-famous Terracotta Army

Boundless Gobi Desert

The Great Wall of China

Real Gear Camp Experience

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Naadam festival - nomad culture at its best

Our reviews

Andrew Weifler

Australia

I decided to use the Tour Service of the World Cup after some extensive research into the tour alternatives. These guys seemed to differentiate its tour Service by providing a more culturally based service with a healthy dose of Football and Fun. My experience was that it as well run ie they delivered on their promises. They have a health mix of local staff and Australian staff. The Russian staff had a great empathy for the challenges for us Aussies traveling in a country where you had no language skills they bridged that gap with there wonderful help. I know there are many alternative tours but this one certainly lived up to its name. I felt I discovered part of Russia but there’s plenty more to go!’ Overall just a great experience

Rick, Emily and John Stewart

Australia

Impeccable service, incredible Trans Siberian! In fact, the great services provided by your team started from my first correspondence with Julie. She has been very professional with providing details of the itinerary and assuring and re-assuring that the trip will be well-planned, It was because of her assurance that gave us the confidence to take the next step and book our Trans Sibetian holiday. And everything ran like clockwork from Moscow to Vladivostok. The Russian people were extremely friendly throughout. The Trans Siberian was a great experience and fulfilled our dreams. The scenery and ever changing vistas were spectacular. The train facilities were adequate but perhaps a shower facility in 1st Class would have been nice. I will recommend your services in the future!

Stacey Filrose

Australia

Me and my family just returned from an Easter break to Moscow. I found the tour very good value for money and the company's assistance with the visa application was also helpful. Reservations, payment, visa letter, and pre-departure correspondence prior to trip (via email) was prompt and well explained with no problems. Final arrangements information were detailed. We knew exactly what to expect, who will be waiting for us, time and venue to meet even with any guides with us. Transport transfers and driver were punctual.

Michael Morcos

Australia

The team at World of Discoveries were awesome. Didn’t put a foot wrong at all, the tours great, the people even better. Alex who followed us around everywhere was fantastic and the organisation by Varya was exceptional. Everything was made easy and extremely helpful 24/7, I don’t think they slept the whole time. Thank you, my dad and myself loved it

Douglas Schroeder

Australia

Everything worked like clockwork, when someone was suppose to be there they were. Yuri and Cathrine were excellent guides in Moscow and St. Petersburg and we learned a lot from both. We chose the 4 star hotels, and were very satisfied. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested.

Lyn Lennard

Australia

We have finished our trip in Mongolia and I busted to say thank you very much for all your assistance while we were on the ground in Russia. By far the best guide we had was Yuri in Moscow - he was excellent. We had a very good visit to Novgorod where Natalia was an excellent guide too, and we learnt much about Russian history: It was very good to have the car to take us around the Golden Circle and Victor was a good driver. and the guide in Peterhof and Faberge museum was very nice, approachable, taxis were always waiting for us when we got off the boat etc. We both had a very good holiday and learnt a lot about Russian history and culture: thanks again.

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