Local Living Mongolia—Nomadic Life

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It was from Mongolia that Ghengis Khan set forth to conquer the world. This unique adventure is your chance to return to this heartland and let its people and scenery capture your heart. Leave Ulaanbaatar and the modern world behind and travel by horseback or oxcart to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park for life with nomadic families. You’ll live in a ger, take tea with your neighbours, ride horses, and learn archery and garment-making skills. It’s eight days like you never imagined. Participants should be comfortable around and on horses.

What's Included

Daily lessons and demonstrations of various nomadic skills and techniques while staying with nomadic hosts. Transport between destinations and included activities.

Highlights

Sleep in a traditional Mongolian ger, ride a horse across the Mongolian countryside, learn traditional crafts and skills from nomadic hosts, compete with Mongolian nomads in archery.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

Travellers on this tour should be comfortable on and around horses.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 12, avg 9.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Public bus, oxcart, horse.

About our Transportation

We will use public buses to travel between Ulaanbaatar and Terelj National Park. While in the park, we will travel by horse and oxcart. Travellers should be comfortable on and around horses.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Traditional ger (5 nts), basic hotels (2 nts).

About Accommodation

While in Ulaanbaatar accommodation will be in a standard hotel with twin share rooms. During your stay in the rural locations you will overnight in a family’s extra ger (max. 5 persons in 1 ger) with basic furnishings. Typically families will have between 2 to 3 beds and the rest will be provided mattresses – all camping equipment necessary will be included and will be provided to you by your CEO upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

When arriving at Ulaan Baatar Intl Airport you will notice that the airport is actually very close to the city. After you exit from the baggage hall follow the taxi signs and you will find a queue outside the terminal building. Taxis in Mongolia are metered but you may have to bargain for one from the airport. The fare to our starting point hotel will be about 30 USD and should take about 30-40 minutes. If you have paid for an arrival transfer when you booked your trip our driver will be waiting for you with a G Adventures Sign with your name on it. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this.

If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area, please try the contact below first. If you do not receive a response, we ask that you please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

Mr Laziz Otayarov (Operations Manager – Central Asia)
Mobile 1: +998 90 134 7888 (24h)
Mobile 2: +998 93 528 7678 (24h)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a good deal, so pack as lightly as possible (try to stay under 10kg / 22lb). It is in your own interest as you are expected to carry your own luggage. We don’t recommend bring suitcases.

Checklist

-Travel documents and their copies: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets, voucher.
-Money: cash/credit card
-Money pouch
-First-aid Kit
-Re-hydration mixes
-Water bottle (cold and boiled water)
-Backpack
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Rain gear
-Waterproof pants
-Fleece jacket or warm sweater
-Cotton t-shirts and socks
-Long sleeve shirts
-Hiking pants
-Fast drying socks that keeps moisture out
-Hat and bandana
-Long underwear
-Headlamp or flashlight/torch, batteries, extra bulbs
-Clothes that cover knees and shoulders (long pants/sarong)
-Toilet paper
-Towel
-Hiking boots
-Water shoes for crossing rivers
-Resealing (ziploc) plastic bags
-Camera – carry in a soft padded case if possible
-Antibacterial wipes
-Feminine hygiene products
-Watch/alarm clock
-Casual clothes for travel/city

Optional but useful:
-Mongolian language phrase books
-Binoculars
-Books about Mongolia history or nomadism are great!
-Sleep sheet

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Mongolia:


PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO MONGOLIA***

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Mongolia. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.

To apply for a Mongolian visa, many nationalities must present an official Mongolian Letter of Invitation (LOI).


It is the responsibility of the traveller to check with their nearest Embassy and confirm the requirements for entry into Mongolia***

Noted Exemptions: Some countries do not require an LOI to apply for a tourist visa valid up to 30 days including Canada, Germany and the United States. Please be sure to check with the Embassy or Consulate to determine if your country may also be exempt.

IMPORTANT: Once your trip is confirmed, at 90 days prior to your entry into Mongolia, you must submit an application for your Letter of Invitation. A link will be emailed to you in your confirmation email. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in Mongolia and you will be emailed your Mongolian Invitation Letter about 10 business days after submission. Mongolia LOI’s can be rushed in extreme circumstances.

Mongolian visas can be used up to 3 months from the date the visa is issued, and once you have entered Mongolia, the visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days. Therefore, please time your application accordingly and do not apply for the visa more than 3 months in advance of your trip.

Input your name the same way it is in your passport. The information on the application form must match your passport (if you have 2 or more names – all of them have to be listed under “first name”).

If you have an umlaut or other character not recognized in the english alphabet in your name (ie. ü), please enter it in the longer form (ie. ue).

If your country has an official Mongolian Consulate/Embassy, you must choose this as as your ’Visa pickup Embassy’. If you do not see a local Consulate/Embassy on this list or you are unable to go there due to prior travel arrangements, please contact your Travel Agent or G Adventures for further assistance.

Once you have received your Mongolian LOI and are completing the visa application from the Mongolian Embassy or Consulate, please refer to the LOI for the Supplier details required.

At time of writing, the below documents will be needed to obtain your visa (however, we do advise you confirm this with your nearest Embassy):

1. A standard visa application form from the Embassy or Consulate where you will collect your visa
2. 2 colour, passport sized photos (taken within 14 days)
3. Payment for the visa (this will be dependent on nationality and will sometimes need to be made at a local nearby bank – check with your Embassy to confirm details)
4. Passport with empty pages and at least 6 months validity
5. Mongolia Letter of Invitation
6. We also recommend bringing your vouchers as well as proof of onward travel (flight tickets entering and leaving the country) and a copy of the itinerary, printable from our website. While this may not be needed, we recommend having a copy on hand if needed.


Please carefully check all the information below prior to submitting***

Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the Mongolian Embassy you listed in the online application. Please remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct.

Information accurate as of January 21st, 2016

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. There are many ATMs that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travellers cheques in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee.

One of the main things to remember is that Mongolian Tugriks can’t be exchanged outside Mongolia.
Because of bank regulations and exchange rate the best USD notes to have are $50 and $100 without any marks/stamps/holes or stains on them. If a banknote has a mark it might be refused to be exchanged. Please note that USD notes are generally not accepted outside of money exchange businesses and are best to be exchanged at the airport.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD 200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

International Departure tax is 12,500 Mongolian Tugrik but it maybe included in your ticket. Please check at the airport.

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $2-$3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

The following optional activities are available in and around the area you will be staying in. This is new product and we are in the process of getting accurate prices. We encourage you to check the trip details again before you travel for the most up-to-date activities and pricing.

Additional Horseback Riding
Additional Ox Cart Riding
Additional Trekking with Local Guide
Mongolian Horhog BBQ

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information about before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or other holy sites.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Max Pax

12

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local nomadic hosts.

Meal Budget

Meals Included

5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

PRODUCT_LINE: AMNL, ID: 22949

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.


Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Ulaanbaatar

    Arrive at any time.

    Additional Notes:
    Please note that Ulaanbaatar is really the only chance to stock up on supplies you might have left behind, plus any bottled water, beer/wine/spirits, and coffee you may want. Boiled water and tea is available throughout the stay.

    Included Activities:
    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

  2. Day 2 Ulaanbaatar/Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1L, 1D)

    Depart Ulaanbaatar and travel approximately 2 hrs by bus to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Upon arrival in the Terelj Village, a local guide will meet you with either an oxcart or horses. From here, begin the 3km (1.9 mi) journey by horseback or oxcart, crossing the Terelj River and continuing north through an incredibly stunning mountain river valley to the first nomadic family. Upon arrival, dismount and enter the host’s ger for a hot nomadic lunch and traditional Mongolian tea.

    During the stay, the host will demonstrate the techniques of how to saddle a horse and prepare an oxcart. Have plenty of time to refine skills and continue practicing them afterwards. In the evening, learn how to play a variety of traditional Mongolian games with sheep’s bones (shagai). Nights in the park are especially amazing due to the star-strewn sky.

    Included Activities:
    Oxcart Demonstration
    Nomadic Family Stay

    Transport:
    Local bus (2.00 hour(s))
    Horse

  3. Day 3 Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Meet a nomadic seamstress and learn how to make patterns for traditional Mongolian garments.

    Additional Notes:
    As with all days on this itinerary, it is possible to opt out of the day’s activity with the local families in favour of hiking in the surrounding mountains or simply relaxing in the beautiful Mongolian countryside.

    Included Activities:
    Traditional Clothing Demonstration

    Transport:
    Horse (24km)

  4. Day 4 Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Meet a new host family and learn how to tie traditional knots to tether livestock together as well as how to make buttons for traditional Mongolian nomadic garments.

    Included Activities:
    Livestock, Knots & Tethering
    Button Making Demonstration

    Transport:
    Horse (9km)

  5. Day 5 Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Challenge local nomads to a friendly archery competition after practicing with traditional Mongolian bows and arrows. Travel in the afternoon by oxcart to the next nomadic host family.

    Included Activities:
    Friendly Archery Competition

    Transport:
    Ox cart (6km)

  6. Day 6 Gorkhi Terelj National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Rise bright and early to assist the nomadic hosts with cow milking before learning how to make traditional dairy products that will accompany breakfast. Travel to visit another family in the afternoon.

    Included Activities:
    Dairy Demonstration

    Transport:
    Ox cart (7km)

  7. Day 7 Gorkhi Terelj National Park/Ulaanbaatar (1B, 1L)

    Learn to steer an oxcart with the nomadic hosts and practice around the area. Travel back to the capital after lunch.

    Included Activities:
    Oxcart Driving Lesson

    Transport:
    Local bus (2.00 hour(s))

  8. Day 8 Ulaanbaatar

    Depart at any time.

    Included Activities:
    Departure Day

Contact our travel experts for more details

G Adventures