Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

The Golden Eagle Festival (8 days)

Nomadic Expeditions

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia To Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Valid for Departures: 03 Oct 2018 - 10 Oct 2018

The Golden Eagle Festival (8 days)

Day 3

Ulgii, Mongolia

Day 4

Ulgii , Mongolia

Day 5

Ulgii, Mongolia

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
03 Oct 2018
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar None

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 your centrally located hotel within walking

distance of various museums and shops.

Day 2
04 Oct 2018
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin the day with a visit to Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Although Buddhist monasteries were either destroyed or converted into museums during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, Gandan Monastery continued to operate as a showpiece for government officials. However, in spite of the 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 have been completed and priceless artifacts that were hidden for safekeeping by nomadic families are now being returned to monasteries.

Experience these exciting developments firsthand at Gandan Monastery. Strolling through the monastery grounds, hear the low tones of the horns used to call the lamas to the temple and observe their daily rituals, including the reading of sutras, the teachings of the Buddha. Also visit the recently renovated Chenrezi and Kalachakra Temples, as well as the magnificent statue of Migjid Janraisig, “the lord who looks in every direction.” This 82-foot high statue, gilded in pure gold and clothed in silk and precious stones, completely fills the largest of Gandan’s temples.

Next, drive through downtown Ulaanbaatar to the National History Museum for an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history and culture. The newly remodeled museum displays traditional implements of daily nomadic life including Stone and Bronze Age artifacts, historical costumes of Mongolia’s minority tribes, sacred religious relics, and agricultural, fishing, and hunting equipment.

After lunch, visit the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum. Named in honor of Zanabazar, the renowned 17th-century artist and politician who was also the first Buddhist leader of Mongolia, the museum contains one of the best collections of Buddhist art and artifacts in the world, including many of Zanabazar’s original works. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3
05 Oct 2018
Ulgii, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

FLY TO BAYAN ULGII

Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Ulgii (3.5 hours), capital of Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s westernmost province. Ninety percent of the population here is Kazakh, Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority. The isolation of the Altai Mountains has preserved the language and traditions of the Kazakhs, who live amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in Mongolia.

Visit Hatuugyn Mountain archeological site. Originally discovered by Mongolian scientists in 1996, this valley surrounded by snow- capped peaks shelters one of the best collections of petroglyphs in the Altai Mountains. Explore the landscape, plant life, and wildlife of the surrounding area. In the afternoon, visit a local mosque and the town market. Overnight in gers.

Day 4
06 Oct 2018
Ulgii , Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

OPENING CEREMONY | COMPETITION

The official opening ceremony commences with the participants parading in on horseback with their eagles. The competition begins with each Kazakh displaying his hunting outfit and accessories, the most elaborate and beautiful of which receive the highest points. In the afternoon, the judges will evaluate the golden eagles’ speed and agility. The eagles will be released from a cliff with their owners standing below, signaling for the eagles to land upon their arms as they do while hunting. Those with the fastest times and best technique will be awarded the highest scores. After dinner, attend a special performance of traditional Kazakh dance, song, and music organized in honor of the competitors. Overnight in gers.

Day 5
07 Oct 2018
Ulgii, Mongolia
Ger Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

COMPETITION | AWARDS CEREMONY

In today’s competition, the golden eagles are released from a cliff to attack fox skins dragged by their owners on horseback. The eagles will be judged on speed, gripping technique, and success in grabbing the fox. As the points for the competitions are tallied, the Kazakhs will compete in kukbar, a traditional game testing horse-riding skills, strength, and agility.

In the late afternoon, the winners of the festival will be announced at the awards ceremony. In the evening, enjoy a celebration dinner.

Day 6
08 Oct 2018
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

BAYAN ULGI | ULAANBAATAR

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Bogd Gegen Palace, home of Mongolia’s last theocrat, Bogd Jebtzun Damba Hutagt VIII (Mongolia’s 8th Living Buddha), which displays elaborate ceremonial robes and other personal effects of the leader. In the evening enjoy a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers, followed by dinner at a fine local restaurant.

Day 7
09 Oct 2018
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

HUSTAIN NURUU NATIONAL PARK

In the morning, drive to Hustain Nuruu National Park, home to the last remaining species of wild horse, the takhi - commonly known as Przewalski’s horse. Twenty- five years after becoming extinct in the wild, the takhi was reintroduced to the Mongolian steppe from zoo populations by the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski’s Horse. Sixteen horses were flown from the Netherlands to Mongolia in 1994, and nearly 400 now roam re-introduction sites in Mongolia and China. Learn about current conservation efforts and the status of the herds found within the reserve at the visitor’s center before trying to spot these beautiful horses in their natural habitat.

After lunch, stop at the Ongot stone complex near the Tuul River Basin—the largest grave complex in central Asia. These mysterious stone figures depicting men date from the Turkic period (7th-9th centuries A.D.). They all face one direction and are behind one another, as if in a line. Some interpret this configuration as depicting a nobleman or general with his subjects or soldiers following behind. These stones are rare historical evidence of the culture that dominated the area at the time and are especially important to historians, as few written accounts have survived the burden of Mongolia’s nomadic lifestyle and turbulent battling periods.

Return to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy your farewell dinner at a fine local restaurant.

Day 8
10 Oct 2018
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
None Breakfast

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

Join us for the Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia’s Bayan-Ulgii Province! Each year, Kazakh hunters from near and far attend the festival for competitions based on the speed, agility, and accuracy of their magni cent hunting eagles. This festival celebrating the Kazakhs’ honored golden eagle is also a celebration of Kazakh traditional heritage, and is organized by the local Kazakh community and the Berkut Association.

Historically, nomadic Kazakhs depended on golden eagles for hunting. Jalsa Urubshurow, Founder and CEO of Nomadic Expeditions, founded the Berkut Association and the Golden Eagle Festival as a means of promoting conservation of the golden eagle and preservation of the Kazakhs’ traditional culture. All proceeds from the festival’s ticket sales go to the Berkut Association, a community-based association comprised of local Kazakhs. The Association utilizes these funds to further the goals of the organization and to support the annual Golden Eagle Festival.

About Us

Nomadic Expeditions is an award-winning tour operator that has been crafting trips of a lifetime to Mongolia, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, China, Myanmar, Siberia, Sri Lanka, and India for 25 years. Founded by Mongolian-American Jalsa Urubshurow, Nomadic Expeditions pioneered luxury adventure travel to Mongolia shortly after its democratization in 1990. As developers and owners of the Three Camel Lodge, Nomadic Expeditions continues its commitment to providing exceptional experiences coupled with sustainability in this hidden corner of the world.

Insider Tip

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Terms & Conditions

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Nomadic Expeditions. Cancellation charges are based on the number of days from the date we receive the written cancellation notice until the main trip departure date.

Cancellation charges:

  • 90 days or more Full Deposit
  • 89-60 days 25% of land
  • 59-30 days 50% of land
  • 29-0 days No refund
  • After trip departs - No refund

In addition, any unrecoverable charges or fees imposed by suppliers or vendors on advance payments will be assessed. Airfares are refundable in accordance with the policy of the airline carrier being used, subject to a $50 handling charge. If full payment is not received 90 days prior to departure, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to consider this a cancellation. A Late Payment Fee will apply to all payments made less than 90 days prior to departure. Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to cancel or postpone any travel services prior to departure for any reason, including insufficient number of participants. In the event that a trip cannot depart on the dates specified due to unforeseeable events that render the itinerary inoperable or inadvisable, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to postpone services until such time as it is deemed appropriate by Nomadic Expeditions. Trip payments will be held by Nomadic Expeditions, and subject to the same conditions as for the original scheduled trip. Nomadic Expeditions is not responsible for any unrecoverable expenses incurred by trip participants due to trip cancellation or postponement, including non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses and visa fees, or additional arrangements, made either through Nomadic Expeditions or another provider, purchased to coincide with this scheduled departure. This trip is subject to the cancellation, refund, and other policies set forth on our Departure Guide. We urge you to read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions.



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By: CW


Reviewed on: 02 May 2014

The tour group offered helpful advice about Mongolia and organized a VIP immigration service on arrival in Ulaanbaatar. The guide was experienced and very friendly and worked hard to get me to see all the sights I wanted to see (quite a feat as I tend to want to see everything).
Travel Advisor:  Ilana Valo