Classic Mongolian Odyssey Touch The Eternity

All about the tour

Take part on this classic journey which offers a fascinating introduction to Mongolia’s diverse landscapes, its people, and culture. Explore the mountains, forests, and meadows of Hovsgol National Park, the cliffs and canyons of the Gobi, and take part take part in the celebrations surrounding Naadam, Mongolia’s national games.

Wrestling, horse racing, and archery are the three age-old competitions traditionally used to measure the courage and strength of nomads and warriors. Contemporary Naadam Games showcase the abilities of local men, women, boys, and girls, and are also a time when family and friends get together to celebrate the short, joyful summer season.

Itinerary

Ulaanbaatar → Khui Doloon Hudag → Ulaanbaatar → Gobi → Tugregiin Shiree → Moltsog Els → Ulaanbaatar

Day 1, July 9 - Welcome To Ulaanbaatar

Day 1, July 9 - Welcome To Ulaanbaatar

The contrast between ancient traditions and a 21st-century democracy is most visible in Ulaanbaatar, where traditional gers and Buddhist monasteries sit side by side with modern high-rises. Upon arrival at the airport, you are welcomed by your Mongolian guide and transferred to a centrally-located hotel within walking distance of various museums and shops.

Day 2, July 10 - Naadam Horse Racing Competition

Day 2, July 10 - Naadam Horse Racing Competition

Begin the day with a visit to Chinggis Khan Museum, Mongolia’s largest and newest museum which holds a collection of over 10,400 objects relating to the history of the Great Khans of the Mongol Empire and the history of Mongolia from the Xiongnu to the end of the 20th century. In the afternoon, drive to Khui Doloon Hudag (1 hour), the famous horse racing field in Mongolia, to experience true Mongolian horse racing. Horse racing originally involved adult jockeys and the most popular contests involved riding unbroken horses. Later, so as to ease the burden on horses in long-distance races, the adult riders were replaced by children as young as six years old riding broken horses. The racing is done both with and without saddles, and the horses that take part are two years old and older. Depending on the age of the horses, the distance of the races varies from 5 - 30 kilometers. The race’s winner is honored with a cup of airag (fermented mare’s milk), which he or she drinks and sprinkles on the head and croup of the horse. Return to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy your welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant.

Day 3, July 11 - Naadam Opening Ceremony

Day 3, July 11 - Naadam Opening Ceremony

Wake early in the morning to attend the Naadam Festival, the most popular festival in Mongolia. Observe as the celebrations begin with a colorful parade of marching soldiers, athletes, musicians, and people dressed as ancient warriors. True to its name, the festival is dedicated to the “Three Manly Games.” Archery: The skill of Mongolian archers and their advanced bow design was a significant asset to Chinggis Khan and his descendants during the years of Mongolian conquest. In the past, sharpshooters would practice by aiming for the heads of marmots. At today’s Naadam games, small round leather targets are placed at a distance of 60-100 meters from the archers, who still use formidable compound bows made from wood, horn, and sinew. The archers wear a special glove on the thumb and index finger of the right hand and wrap the left arm in soft belts. Referees, lined up next to the targets, mark each hit, raise their hands, and move around the spot singing a short song of praise. The best archer receives the title of “mergen,”or marksman. Wrestling: Each wrestler wears trunks, an open-fronted longsleeved silk vest, and ornamental knee boots with upturned toes. Before the wrestling match begins, the wrestlers perform the “eagle’s dance” symbolizing power and invincibility. The wrestler who forces his competitor to touch the ground with his knees or elbow is considered the winner. The victor then repeats the “eagle’s dance,” with his opponent passing under his arm (as though under a wing) as a sign of submission. Enjoy your dinner at a fine local restaurant.

Day 4, July 12 - Gobi | Yol Valley | Three Camel Lodge

Day 4, July 12 - Gobi | Yol Valley | Three Camel Lodge

Set off in the morning across the vast steppe to the Gobi (1.5 hours). Contrary to the sameness that the word ‘desert’ suggests, the Gobi is a fascinating and diverse region, and includes the sites of some of the most important paleontological discoveries of the 20th century. Explore the stunning landscape of the Gobi, habitat for Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep, goitered gazelle, golden eagles, Saker falcons, jerboas (similar to kangaroo rats), and many endemic reptiles. On arrival, drive to Yol Valley National Park (45 minutes), cradled in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. An ancient river carved this surprisingly green valley, and it’s remnant streams create ice formations at the base of the valley that sometimes persist as late as July. A hike through the valley leads to the habitat of indigenous vulture-like Lammergeiers, Altai snowcocks, ibex, yaks, and Argali mountain sheep. After your exploration of Yol Valley, drive to the award winning Three Camel Lodge (1.5 hours) located at Bulagtai Mountain on the edge of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. The lodge offers a wide variety of activities to travelers from reading a book on Mongolia to watching a documentary about nomadic culture, and from learning traditional Mongolian games to enjoying a relaxing massage Return to the camp in time for dinner.

Day 5, July 13 - Tugrigiin Shree | Havtsgait Petroglyphs

Day 5, July 13 - Tugrigiin Shree | Havtsgait Petroglyphs

In the morning, drive to Tugregiin Shiree (1 hour), first explored by Polish expeditions in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Tugregiin Shiree is best known for the famous “Fighting Dinosaurs,” a fossil of a Protoceratops and Velociraptor locked in combat. Return to the lodge in time for lunch. In the late afternoon, drive to the Havtsgait Valley. Only 20 minutes from the lodge, Havsgait mountain provides a challenging hike up steep slopes, but the 30-45-minute hike rewards hikers for the climb—it’s home to one of the largest collections of rock carvings in the region. Catch your breath and spend time exploring the rock faces while enjoying unrivaled views of the Gobi to the north. First discovered by Soviet archeologist A.P. Okladnikov, the Havsgait petroglyphs have captured the interest of archaeologists for decades. You will want to spend some time here, as there are 84 different visible rock faces within the 300-meter radius. Spot different pictures of ibex, deer, camel, and other wildlife, but the most interesting is the clear image of a campsite.

Day 6, July 14 - Moltsog Els | Flaming Cliffs

Day 6, July 14 - Moltsog Els | Flaming Cliffs

In the morning, drive to Moltsog Els, one of the few regions of the Gobi covered by sand dunes. Explore the sand dunes on foot or on back of a Bactrian camel. You have the opportunity to visit a local camel herding family and experience their hospitality and way of living. In the late afternoon, travel to the legendary “Flaming Cliffs” (1 hour), named for the red-orange sandstone which glows brilliantly at sunrise and sunset. It was here, in 1922, that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the first nest of dinosaur eggs the world had ever seen. To the trained eye, the ancient formations of the Flaming Cliffs are rich with fossils, and paleontological expeditions continue to make significant discoveries at this site. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 7, July 15 - Ulaanbaatar

Day 7, July 15 - Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival in the afternoon, visit Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Despite Buddhist monasteries being destroyed or converted into museums during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, and government’s efforts to suppress Buddhism and other religious beliefs, Mongolia’s spirituality persisted and a significant resurgence of Buddhism began in 1990 when Mongolia became a democracy. Monasteries across the country are again opening their doors to worshippers and the few lamas who survived the purges are training a new generation. Extensive reconstruction and renovation projects are underway and priceless artifacts that were hidden for safekeeping by nomadic families are now being returned to monasteries. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or head out for last minute shopping for Mongolian cashmere products or locally created arts and crafts. In the evening, enjoy a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers followed by a farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant.

Day 8, July 16 - Departure

Day 8, July 16 - Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure

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*****Shangri La Ulaanbaatar

*****Shangri La Ulaanbaatar

Deluxe room| 42 m² | Mountain view | City view | Upper floors accessible by elevator | Sauna | Wardrobe or closet | Baby safety gates | Minibar | Air conditioning | Safe | Tile/Marble floor | Soundproof | Ironing facilities | Heating | Carpeted | Electric kettle | Sofa | Desk | Telephone | Satellite channels | Flat-screen TV | Cable channels | Socket near the bed | Clothes rack | Sofa bed | Wake-up service/Alarm clock

Three Candles Lodge

Three Candles Lodge

Cozy wool carpets | Thick camel-hair blankets | Carved and hand-painted furniture | Wood stove | Handmade king or two twin beds | Private bathroom

*****Shangri La Ulaanbaatar

*****Shangri La Ulaanbaatar

Deluxe room| 42 m² | Mountain view | City view | Upper floors accessible by elevator | Sauna | Wardrobe or closet | Baby safety gates | Minibar | Air conditioning | Safe | Tile/Marble floor | Soundproof | Ironing facilities | Heating | Carpeted | Electric kettle | Sofa | Desk | Telephone | Satellite channels | Flat-screen TV | Cable channels | Socket near the bed | Clothes rack | Sofa bed | Wake-up service/Alarm clock

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Why Us

Naadam Horse Racing Competition

Naadam Horse Racing Competition

Witness the celebrations and traditions surrounding
Naadam Festival

Witness the celebrations and traditions surrounding Naadam Festival

Yol Valley

Yol Valley

Our reviews
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Karen Stowell

Australia

Varya and her team made everything run smoothly. We had World Cup tickets already purchased but could not marry with accommodation. Varya came up with an itinerary included flights, transfers and hotels, supported by 24 hour help, which was tested on several occasions. We have no hesitation in recommending WofDi, and foresee using their services again. Thank you so much for so much

Anna Buck

Great Britain

Wow ! Thank you WODFI Wow ! Wow! Wow! Varya and Mike - Thank you so so much for an unbelievable 6 days in Germany for the Euros. You helped us escape travel chaos and landed us some fabulous seats at the opening ceremony and Englands first match. The hotels were fabulous. Great breakfasts and positions. Constant updates from the WODFI team added to the smooth running of my Franks perfect 50th birthday present. A highlight was the welcome party in the oldest brewery in Munich. Loved it. Will most definitely contact you again, thank you so much . Anna and Andy ❤️

Erika Proano

USA

I decided to take my dad to the World Cup to watch Ecuador play and enjoy the opening ceremony. After some online research, I found World Of Discoveries and I am beyond glad I found them. I trusted them with all the details and our experience was exceptional. World of Discoveries personalized approach is something I beyond appreciate; the team was in touch and answer my questions super timely and very clearly (I had many many questions). I received guidance on next steps as we were approaching the world cup and I knew I was not going to miss any details because they were on top of everything. The World Cup experience was above and beyond what we expected. We didn't have to worry about anything, World of Discoveries took care of the logistics and planned everything for us! even our side trip to Dubai was unforgettable! Thankful to companies that deliver above and beyond expectations and help us make memories that we will cherish forever. I can't wait for our next adventure!

Greg Dunning

Canada

Trip of a Lifetime that exceeded my expectations I have just completed a 2 week, 5 city, 6 game tour of the Euro 2024 in Germany. World of Discoveries discussed my idea and goals of this trip in advance with me and developed an end-to-end vacation for me that was a trip of a lifetime! All I had to do was get to Germany. After that I simply followed the provided detailed itinerary. The pre-booked hotels were well-chosen, the intercity trains worked perfectly, and the game tickets that World of Discovery procured for me were absolutely spectacular. There is no way that I could have acquired these tickets on my own, especially coming from North America. German citizens were only able to acquire tickets to these games via a lottery. We met people who simply could not get tickets and we met others who maybe had one in their home city. We went to 6 games of the teams we were interested in and World of Discoveries basically put us next to the pitch for every game. Better than I ever expected. There were no surprises. Once a train we were expected to take was cancelled by Deutche Bahn. WOD, a day in advance, alerted me to this fact, before I even knew, and provided me with new tickets and a revised itinerary. Gulina, Sofia, and Alex all had a role in making my trip an amazing experience. If I had any concerns about ticket delivery they responded instantly, every time. I will turn to this company every time I have a trip of serious magnitude, especially one that requires country specific knowledge, internal contacts, and complex travel.

KShone

Great Britain

Excellent trip to Euros24 in Cologne to watch the final England group game. WofDi were extremely helpful throughout the entire trip, delivered all the required elements (airport transfers, hotel & match tickets) and were on-hand throughout to answer questions. Definitely use again.

Kalpana K

USA

Eurocup 2024 Germany - Finals & Semi-finals Excellent trip for our family of four (with two young boys - 12 and 14) to watch the two semifinals and finals of Eurocup 2024 in Munich, Dortmund, Cologne, and Berlin. WofDi organized the entire trip and provided white glove service from the minute we landed in and left from Germany. We were chaperoned throughout the trip by Mike, Varya, and their team, who took care of every detail. (Airport transfers, hotel stays, ICE train tickets, match tickets, unique curated city tours and events, daily WhatsApp communication) and were on-hand throughout to answer questions. We look forward to more sporting events and travel with WofDi.