The Naadam Festival, known as the ‘Three Manly Games’ that includes archery, wrestling and horse racing is a unique opportunity to discover Mongolia. A spectacular colorful festival takes place for three days in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar every year from July 11th, celebrated as Mongolia`s National Day which commemorates the 1921 revolution when Mongolia gained its independence. In recent times, women had been allowed to compete in the games of horse racing and archery. And much more to discover.
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EXPERIENCING THE SPECTACULAR
MONGOLIAN NAADAM FESTIVAL
SPEAK TO OUR EXPERTS
Mongolian Naadam Festival, Ulaanbaatar, Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex, and Terelj National Park.
Travel length & Availability
10-15th July & 6 days
Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the Naadam festival`s eve by watching the National Costume festival in the Sukhbaatar Square and have a welcome dinner at a fine restaurant. Overnight at hotel. Half and full day tours are available on request.
July 11. Ulaanbaatar / Mongolian Naadam Festival
Naadam Festival officially starts today, and everyone should brace themselves for a festive and busy day. Transfer to the National Stadium and get seated with locals and thousands of tourists from all over the world who had come to watch the festival under one roof. Naadam Ceremony opens with the Mongolian President`s speech and a performance by country’s leading dancers, athletes, horse riders and musicians would take place. Escape the stadium for lunch and come back to the see the strong wrestlers and sharp archers. Walk around the stadium to see the ankle-bone shooting game and enjoy the local atmosphere with local Mongolians. Watch a special Mongolian folklore concert and have a festive Gala dinner in the evening. Back to the hotel and spend the overnight.
July 12. Ulaanbaatar / Mongolian Naadam Festival 110 km
Drive for an hour outside of Ulaanbaatar City for the national horse race. Walk to the horses` finishing line and get seated with boxed lunches. The horse jockeys for the event are all children between 5 to 12 year old and many of them have been in the saddle since ages of 1 to 3. Watch and feel the emotion in the children and their horses when they complete the 20 kilometer distance while competing with from over 300 other horse and their jockeys. Drive back to the city and be part of Naadam Festival championship in the central stadium. You will see how Mongolians are addicted to their national wrestling and being part of it. Closing speech by the Mongolian President right after Mongolian wrestling match. Transfer to the hotel and stay overnight.
July 13. Ulaanbaatar Sights
Ulaanbaatar City exploration day. Visit to Gandan monastery, the largest Buddhist Monastery in Mongolia that houses well over 500 monks. The full name of Gandan is Gandantegchilen, translates as ‘The great place of complete joy’. Visit National History Museum and Sukhbaatar Square which would cover the spot where Mongolia’s independence was proclaimed in 1921. Have lunch in a Mongolian buffet restaurant where you can create your own stir fry bowls and barbeques.
In the afternoon, explore Bogd King Palace museum, also known as the Winter Palace. This large complex of seven halls and a two-storey Russian style house was the winter home of Mongolia`s last king and the third line in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama. Afterwards, proceed to the Zaisan Memorial Hills to have a panoramic view of the city.
If time permits, you can go for shopping for Mongolian cashmere in the Factory outlet store. Have dinner in an American Grill House and enjoy your evening. Overnight in the hotel.
July 14. Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex / Terelj National Park 200 km
After an early breakfast, it is a day to travel out of the city for the beautiful landscapes and some adventure. Your first visit will be the famous Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex for an impressive sight. The massive and shiny statue is the largest equestrian and Chinggis Khaan in the world.
Afterwards, travel to Terelj National Park which is renowned for its lovely natural scenery of stunning rock formations, larch forests, sweeping grass lands and swiftly flowing streams. Visit the Turtle Rock and Arbayala Temple for its stunning view of the whole park. Visiting a nomadic family would introduce you to their lifestyle and the hospitality. Having a horseback ride with the herdsman is a must. After returning to the city, have dinner in the hotel and stay overnight.
July 15. Departure
After breakfast check out hotel and transfer to the Railway Station or the Airport for your international departure.