GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL
Hunting with eagles is a traditional form of falconry for thousands of years, practiced by the Kazakh people in Bayan-Ulgii, the western most province of Mongolia. The Golden Eagle Festival have been celebrated since 1999 with the aim of promoting conservation of Golden eagle and preservation of the Kazakh’s traditional unique culture. The festival comprises various competitions including one called shakhyru, during which the eagle must catch a piece of fox fur pulled behind a galloping horse, also traditional horse games and camel races. Prizes are awarded for speed, agility and accuracy, as well as for the best traditional Kazakh dress, and more. Dark, rocky mountainous terrain forms the backdrop to the event, which incorporate cultural exhibitions and demonstrations followed by sporting activities and competitions.
Day 1. Arrival in UB, city tour /LD/ Hotel
Day 2. Fly to Ulgii town /BLD/ Tent
Day 3. Tavan Bogd base camp /BLD/ Tent
Day 4. Tavan Bogd base camp /BLD/ Hotel
Day 5. Golden Eagle festival /BLD/ Hotel
Day 6. Kazak home stay /BLD/ Kazak family
Day 7. Khoton lake /BLD/ Tent
Day 8. Khurgan Lake /BLD/ Tent
Day 9. Dayan lake, Ulgii /BLD/ Hotel
Day 10. Fly to UB /BLD/ Hotel
Day 11. Departure end of tour /B/
Day 1. Ulaanbaatar
Upon arrival Ulaanbaatar, you will meet our team at ‘Chinggis Khaan’ international airport and be transferred to your hotel in the downtown. After you settle in, we will start sightseeing tour including visit Sukhbaatar’s square. The Square is in the centre of Ulaanbaatar, in front of Mongolian Parliament House. Across from the central square, we will acquaint the National Museum of Mongolia, the biggest museum with over 54000 exhibitions from prehistoric period till 21st century. Our next stop will be Zaisan Hill Memorial. This hill provides a panoramic view of Ulaanbaatar. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. Ulgii – Tsagaan Salaa
After breakfast, you have some time to relax in the hotel. In the afternoon, we will head to the airport for depart to Ulgii town, in the Western most province of Mongolia. The province is home of national minorities such as Kazakh, Tuva, and Uigar people, who are inhabiting with their own languages, cultures and even religions between snow topped high mountains, torrents, and glaciers. Once you meet our local driver at the local airport, you will head to ‘Tsagaan Salaa’ late camping. Overnight in a tent.
Day 3. Tavan Bogd base camp
‘Tsagaan Salaa’ river valley is a common place for the nomadic people to make camp in the summer time. This is where the Tuvan people live, practicing their Shaman religion. The landscape around the Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain is stunningly beautiful blue lakes, elevated at 4000 m snow-capped mountains, glacier and rich for archaeological sites. Hike to the Tavan Bogd Base Camp for approximately five hours. The landscape around the base is breathtaking, accentuated by Mongolia’s longest glaciers and snow-capped mountains. Overnight in a tent.
Day 4. Altai Tavan Bogd base camp
After breakfast return to Tsagaan Salaa. Same day we will drive back to Ulgii. Overnight in hotel.
Day 5. Ulgii “Golden Eagle” Event
Today we’ll attend the Golden Eagle Festival! The festival begins with a parade of hunters holding their eagles marching with their horses. The competition of best traditional costume and equipment is held followed by games to test best communication techniques between the eagle and the hunter. The other main competition involves the fastest and most attractive descent of an eagle from top of the mountain to the owner on the valley floor. Other authentic games are enjoyed by the Kazakhs such as kukbar (tug of war on horseback), archery and horse racing. Hunters put on their best costumes while decorating their eagles with the traditional “Eagle costumes”.
- Competition of how eagles adapted to hunters “Shyrga Tartu” (eagles will be qualified how fast and smoothly catch a lure that made of rabbit or fox skin)
- “Tenge Ily” competition - (traditional coin grabbing game while riding a horse)
- “Jambi atu” competition – (shooting at a target while riding a horse)
- Competition of the best Kazakh costume of couples
- “Kyz Khuar” game show - (traditional horseback riding fun game for youth, boys whipped by girls if they reached by them)
- “Kukhbar” competition - (traditional horseback riding game fight over for goat skin)
Day 6. Home stay
Drive to Eagle Hunter’s Family, These days we will spend a day with a Kazakh family, We’ll wake up at same time with nomadic people, and involing their daily routes including milk their cows, produce dairy products, and herd animals. Explore the real way of living of regular nomadic family. To personally experience their friendliness and hospitality. The Eagle hunters will show us their training methods and you will be introduced to the art of eagle hunting and can talk with the hunters about how he trains and hunts with his eagle. You will also see how Kazakh embroidery is made. If you want you can take a few hours of embroidery lessons. Kazakh women are celebrated for their colorful needlework that used to decorate the inside of their gers and house. (Home stay)
Today we’ll drive to Khoton and Khurgan lakes. The lakes are the second largest and clearest of all lakes in the Mongolia, the average depth is 26 m, the maximum depth is approximately 58 m, and Khoton Lake has one Iceland which is covered by woods, the system of Khoton Lake and Khurgan lakes connected by wide channel. The landscape around the lakes is very beautiful and picturesque surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Khoton and Khurgan lakes are home to the Grayling (Thymallusarcticus) and the Lenok (Brachymystaxlenok). 160 km (Overnight in a tent).
Day 8. Khurgan Lake – Khoton Lake – Dayan Lake
We will drive to Dayan Lake, stopping for lunch on the way we will visit the ancient Stone Men and Balbal stones, 6th to 8th century Turkish burial markers. The landscape around the lakes is picturesque and consists of forests, rivers and it is surrounded by mountains. The lake is also the home to a great number and variety of migratory birds including many kinds of ducks, swans, geese, seagulls, and cranes. 90km (Overnight in a tent)
Day 9. Dayan Lake – Khar Lake – Sagsay – Ulgii
After having breakfast, we will pack up and head for the long, yet for incredibly scenic drive to Ulgii town before our lunch. After lunch we’ll visit the local open market, museum and shop for local art and handicrafts. 120 km (Overnight at the hotel)
Day 10. Ulaanbaatar city
After breakfast, we will fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival will tour the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts. Overnight at the hotel.
11. International departure
Today is the end of your tour. Early morning, we will check out from the hotel and transfer to Chinggis Khan international airport for your flight back to home.
- 2 nights 3 star hotel twin based in Ulaanbaatar
- 3 nights hotel twin based in Ulgii town
- 1 night home stay
- 3 nights in tent
- Domestic flight
- Tent, mat and cook
- Arrival and departure private transfer
- All meals mentioned on the itinerary
- Professional tour guide throughout the tour
- Transportation throughout the tour
- Sightseeing per itinerary
- Entrance fee to the national park
- 2 bottles of water per day
- International flight
- Travel insurance
- Sleeping bag
- All drinks
- Meals not mentioned
- Tour starts on 29th September 2020.
- Tour ends on 9th October 2020.
- Tour package price 2237 USD per person.