Day 1 → Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (UB) and Lunar New Year’s Eve
- 14:30- Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (UB), Mongolia’s capital. Our guide will greet you at the train station.
- 15:00- You will be transferred to a guesthouse in the city center to rest a little while after your long journey. (It is a good idea to take a shower in the guesthouse as we will drive straight to the countryside in the evening).
- 17:30- Free time to chill out and explore the city - Go see some historical sites: Chinggis Khaan Square and Zaisan hill for your panoramic view of the whole city.
NOTE: Air pollution levels in UB can sometimes be very high, therefore we may cancel the drive to Zaisan if this is so.
- 19:30- Drive to Terelj National Park and visit a Nomad family. Dinner with family.
After dinner help with the family’s last minute preparations for the big holiday and learn more about the traditions that surround this important time of year. Learn how to cook traditional Mongolian dumplings (Buuz). You will contribute by making about 1500-2000 dumplings which will be included in the New year’s table dish alongside special cookies that are stacked in a pyramid, sheep’s tail, and a full side of sheep on the grill
- Accommodation included: Traditional yurt guesthouse with sleeping bag (occupancy of 3 or 4)
- Dinner included: Simple western style dinner cooked by guide: fried brown whole wheat organic rice, salad, beef, root veggie and tea
- Sanitary facility: Warm shower in city guesthouse and squat toilet outside
Day 2 → See the first sunrise of the Lunar New Year and New Year celebration
- 6:30- Get up early in the morning and have breakfast.
- 7:00- Drive to Chinggis Khaan Equestrian Statue. The statue is 40m high. Chinggis Khaan holds a golden whip in his right hand.
- 07:20- Arrive at Statue complex. You will be greeted with 4 Mongolian warriors and 4 beautiful queens. Take with them your memorable pictures.
- 07:30- Watch local people perform traditional New Year’s rituals. Many traditions are performed with an aim to start the new year auspiciously, the way to start the year is deemed to influence the course of it.
- 07:50- Watch the first sunrise of the year with a spectacular view from the top of the Statue. A drum band will perform some traditional rituals.
- 08:20- Watch traditional concert which includes 5-8 performances of Mongolian long song, 2 headed horse fiddle music play, folklore/ throat singing and dance. Play with anklebones and other exciting games such as Mongolian puzzle game, Alag Melkhi or multicolored turtle, catching anklebones, anklebones horse racing, anklebones flicking etc.
- 09:00- Introduction to the statue complex. You will have an opportunity to try on Mongolian traditional costumes and write your names in Mongolian script (optional). You will see the world’s largest boot which is registered in the Guinness Book of Records.
- 11:00- Weather pending it’s optional to do 30 minutes of tandem paragliding.
- 13:30- Drive to Terelj national park and visit same Nomad family to experience the holiday atmosphere and learn traditional Mongolian new year greeting customs and receive small present from the family housewife.
- 15:00- We start our 1 hour horse riding adventure through this beautiful park and feel simple goodness of nature from horseback. Meanwhile see cows, sheep and horses being herded.
- 18:00- For dinner we will have Mongolian steamed dumplings. On Lunar new year’s fist day there is a tradition during dinner time to find out who is the luckiest of all, whoever got a dumpling with a coin inside is deemed to be the most fortunate in the coming year.
- 20:00- After dinner we will have our bonfire night. Free time to relax and chat around the bonfire
- Accommodation included: Yurt guesthouse with sleeping bag (occupancy of 4)
- Breakfast included: mix of simple western and Mongolian type breakfast: bread, butter, jam, Mongolian plain yogurt, sour cream, dried curd, milk tea or coffee)
- Lunch and dinner included. Local speciality meals: horse meat, steamed Mongolian beef dumplings, root veggies and salad.
- Sanitary facility: outside squat toilet
Day 3 → Terelj National Park
- 8:00- After breakfast explore Terelj National Park. Terelj is very impressive, with massive rock formations set among scenic valleys and hills with a winding river and groves of trees. Here you’ll explore the extraordinary formation of rocks and stones; some of them look quite similar to turtles. There might be an opportunity for you to hold a giant eagle and take your memorable photo (optional)
- 9:30- Start our 1 hour dog sledding adventure along/ or on frozen river (optional)
- 11:30- Drive for 3 hours to Khustai national park, with unique landscapes that feature mountains and steppe. On the way stop at a local restaurant for lunch.
- 15:30- We visit a small museum about the last surviving species of wild horse on the planet and a short drive to the mountain hills to see them in wild nature. There will be a great opportunity to take photos of these endangered horses. If you are lucky you might also see red deer, fox and marmots.
- 18:00- We will help our guide to cook Mongolian hot stone BBQ for dinner.
- 19:00- After dinner you will have free time to relax. Enjoy hiking and photographing the charming landscape and wildlife.
- Accommodation included: Sleep in sleeping bag in yurt guesthouse
- Breakfast included: Mix of simple western and Mongolian breakfast
- Lunch included: Mongolian fried meat pies or fried noodle with vegetables
- Dinner included: Mongolian traditional hot stone BBQ will be cooked by guide
- Sanitary facility: Outside squat toilet
Day 4 → Skiing and visit orphanages
- 9:00- After breakfast we will drive back to the city and we will visit a children’s orphanage. You will be involved in many activities interacting with the children and the orphanage staff.Meet children and receive an introduction to the orphanage.
- Watch their small performance of greetings. It is probably a good idea to prepare small present for child as it is Lunar new year and it is tradition that older people give presents to younger people (It can be anything like just a bag of candy or something useful such as crayons, books or soft toys)
- Do some organised crafts and drawing activities with the children. At the end of the activity drawings and handmade crafts will be given to you as a gift for your memory.
- Help the orphanage with their projects such as fixing broken drawers or painting walls.
- 11:30- Treat children with your handmade pizza and enjoy your little friends company for lunch.
- Time to say goodbye to your new friends and take your memorable photos with them.
- 13:00- Arrive in Sky resort to start our 3 hour skiing adventure with a gondola ride. If you are not interested in skiing, you have a choice of snowboarding or sledging.
- 16:30- Its time to go shopping for some quality cashmere and souvenirs.
- 18:00- Dinner at a local restaurant.
- 19:00- You may choose to chill in a cafe, maybe go for a few drinks out in the town with your new friends
- Breakfast included: mix of simple western and Mongolian type of breakfast
- Lunch is not included: guide will provide you ingredients for pizza and you pay directly to guide for ingredients.
- Dinner is not included. Choice of local restaurant or buffet type of BBQ restaurant
- City guesthouse is not included.
- If you have any old clothes or items that would like to donate, please bring it.
Day 5 → Depart Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Congratulations! We finished the tour with amazing memories!
You can now tell everyone back home about your incredible socially responsible winter adventure in Mongolia. Our driver and guide will escort you to the Ulaanbaatar airport to fly out.