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Marco Polo Journeys

Mongolia: Naadam Festival & the Khan Legacy 2021


11 days from $12,495 per person

Limited to 18 guests

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.

A&K Advantages

  • Experience one of the continent’s oldest celebrations of skill, strength and daring at the annual Naadam Festival, witnessing the pageantry of the opening ceremonies and taking in the traditional contests of archery, wrestling and horse racing
  • Spend three nights in the Gobi at Three Camel Lodge, a boutique property modeled after traditional Mongolian gers
  • Ride a camel through Moltsog Els, taking in a vast dunescape seldom seen by Western eyes
  • Explore the Flaming Cliffs, a haunting landscape where paleontologists first unearthed fossilized dinosaur eggs

Itinerary at a Glance

DAY 1
Arrive Beijing, China
DAY 2
Beijing | Atop the Great Wall
DAY 3
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia | Introduction to an Empire
DAY 4
Ulaanbaatar | Life of Genghis Khan
DAY 5
Gobi Desert | Dunes, Canyons & Wide-Open Skies
DAY 6
Gobi Desert | Valley of the Eagles
DAY 7
Gobi Desert | Camel Ride & the Flaming Cliffs
DAY 8
Ulaanbaatar | Past Meets Present
DAY 9
Ulaanbaatar | Naadam Festival
DAY 10
Ulaanbaatar | A Parting Glimpse
DAY 11
Depart Ulaanbaatar
DAY 1
Arrive Beijing, China

Arrive in Beijing, where you are transferred to your hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
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.

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
Meals: 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.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
Meals: 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.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
Meals: 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.

Three Camel Lodge
Meals: 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.

Three Camel Lodge
Meals: 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.

Three Camel Lodge
Meals: 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.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
Meals: 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.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
Meals: 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.

Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 11
Depart Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight.

Meals: Breakfast


Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.

  • 2021
  • Jul 03 - Jul 13
    Available
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal air from
    Availability
    Price
    $12,495
    Single Supplement
    $2,995
    Internal air from
    $1,315
    Availability
    Available
    How many people are travelling in your group?
  • Jul 08 - Jul 18
    Available
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal air from
    Availability
    Price
    $12,495
    Single Supplement
    $2,995
    Internal air from
    $1,315
    Availability
    Available

    This departure operates on a unique routing in order to accommodate the Opening Ceremony of the Naadam Festival.

    How many people are travelling in your group?
Journey Details

Internal Air: Economy class from $1,315
Beijing/Ulaanbaatar/Dalanzadgad/Ulaanbaatar

This journey contains some active elements.

Minimum age is 10 years.

First group event: welcome briefing at 8:00 a.m. on Day 2.

Last group event: farewell dinner at 7:30 p.m. on Day 10.

Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Program Note: Travel in this remote region entails extended drives over unpaved roads, visits to sites with limited accessibility for those with mobility challenges, and limited access to Western cuisine.


Preparing for Your Journey

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Essential Information

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Passports & Visas

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CDC Information

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