Mongolia: Naadam Festival & the Khan Legacy - A Marco Polo Journey (2023)

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.

Journey Overview

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.

Journey Highlights

  • 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 modelled 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 palaeontologists first unearthed fossilized dinosaur eggs
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

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: BLD

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: BLD

Day 4: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia | Life of Genghis Khan

Visit Gandan Khiid Monastery with its 22 metre 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: BLD

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, witness 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: BLD

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 petroglyphs atop a mountain.

Three Camel Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Gobi Desert | Camel Ride & The Flaming Cliffs

Ride Like a Local on 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 site rich with fossils where dinosaur eggs were first found. Savour a Scenic Sundowner atop Bulagtai Mountain, and then return to your lodge for dinner.

Three Camel Lodge | Meals: BLD

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: BLD

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: BLD

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: BLD

Day 11: Depart Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight.

Meals: B

Journey Details

Internal air included: Beijing/Ulaanbaatar/Dalanzadgad/Ulaanbaatar
Minimum age is 10 years.
This journey contains some active elements.
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.
The July 08 departure has slightly altered itinerary to accommodate the Naadam Festival dates.

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.

Please note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Included with every Marco Polo Journey

  • English-Speaking Resident Tour Director and Local Guides
  • Hand-Selected Luxury Accommodations (Where Available)
  • Airport Meet and Greet with Private Transfers
  • Travelling Bell Boy Luggage Handling
  • Breakfast in Bed on Select Days
  • Full Breakfast Daily; Select Lunches and Dinners
  • Traveller’s Valet Laundry Service
  • Internet Access (Where Available)
  • Entrance Fees, Taxes and All Gratuities Except Resident Tour Director
  • 24/7 A&K On-Call Support
  • Guaranteed Departures with Just Two Guests

Customise this Journey

Talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about booking this tour as a private journey for your own small group with family or friends. Or, if you would prefer to travel privately, find out more about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey based on this itinerary.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Four Seasons Beijing

Mongolia: Naadam Festival & the Khan Legacy - A Marco Polo Journey (2023)

Enter the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing and be graced by modern elegance and unsurpassed sophistication all edged in a traditional Chinese s... Read more

Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar

Mongolia: Naadam Festival & the Khan Legacy - A Marco Polo Journey (2023)

Soaring 95 metres over the city, the 21-storey, glass-walled Shangri-La Ulaanbataar is located in the heart of the Mongolian capital. The... Read more

Three Camel Lodge

Mongolia: Naadam Festival & the Khan Legacy - A Marco Polo Journey (2023)

Spectacularly located against a backdrop of the Altai Mountains, a scattering of felt-covered gers peppers the vast expanse of the Gobi. ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Jul 3, 2023 - Jul 13, 2023
Price AU$20,255pp Single Supplement AU$5,625 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Jul 8, 2023 - Jul 18, 2023
Price AU$20,255pp Single Supplement AU$5,625 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire

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