Travelling to Mongolia and living with a Nomadic family in their cosy ger is something on many travellers bucketlists. But how do you find an authentic experience that’s not touristy and still extremely traditional?
That’s where we come in! Our strong connections with many of the Mongolian nomadic clans allow you to live off the land with them, collect water from the rivers, chop firewood, round up the cattle and sheep on horseback. Be as immersed as you like. For the true adventurer, what about helping them pack down, transport and rebuild their ger for the Summer or Winter season ahead? All of this is possible with Crooked Compass.
With your guide staying with you to act as a translator, be welcomed with warm arms by your host family. Sip on their traditional milky tea straight from their cows and goats and stirred over their stove, cook and eat what they eat. Ride your families horses through the grassy valleys and milk the cows by moonlight. Read all about our Founder’s experience living with nomads here.
Welcome to Mongolia! You will be met by your driver and guide upon your arrival at the airport or train station and make your way straight to the Chinggis Khan Statue complex. Explore the visitor and exhibition centres, and as the name suggests, the Giant Chinggis Khan statue. Constructed from glistening stainless steel this 40m high statue of Chinggis on horseback faces east, towards his birthplace, and it is said that it is in this location that he found his golden whip. Climb to the lookout at the top of the horses head for fantastic panoramic views.
Continuing on, visit 13th Century National Park. Explore this fascinating ‘outdoor museum’ which has several traditional style Gers including those of Craftsmen, Shamans and Education gers that offer an insight into the Mongolian past. Visit a herder’s family and enjoy spending time riding horses, camels and playing traditional games such as ankle bone shooting with the nomadic families. (L,D)
Overnight in Tourist Ger Camp
Today you will explore Terelj National Park. Walk through meadows carpeted with edelweiss and wild flowers, view fascinating rock formations against a backdrop of pine covered mountains and wander along the wooded banks of a mountain stream. You will also visit the Aryabal Meditation Temple. As you climb the 108 stairs to the temple (the number 108 holds great significance in Buddhism), stop and take time to read the Buddhist teachings that are on signs along the way. You will also find 108 prayer wheels and 108 small stupas at the temple. The 108 stairs leading up to the temple are said to symbolise an elephant’s trunk, the long path designed for walking meditation and reflection.
The main temple hall has beautiful carvings on its wooden posts and beams, and the walls of the interior space are brightly decorated with paintings and stories depicting the lives of famous Arhats.
This evening you will be welcomed into the Ger of a nomadic family who lives within the national park. Here you will have the opportunity learn about their traditional way of life and help prepare food in readiness for dinner with your family! (B,L,D)
Overnight with a nomadic family in their ger
Today is yours to truly live the life of a nomad as you assist your family with the chores of daily life. You may find yourself collecting fire wood, water from the river, rounding up cattle, milking their cows and caring for their sheep or baby animals. You may also have time to go for a hike or horse ride through the national park with members of your host family. (B,L,D)
Overnight with a nomadic family in their ger
Bid farewell to your nomadic family this morning and make your way back to the city. On arrival into Ulaanbaatar, enjoy a tour of Gandan Monastery where you will see the huge gold plated Megjid-Janraiseg Buddha, a symbol of Mongolian national pride and cultural revival. There is also time to exlore the Ulaanbaatar city museum, Central Square, and National Museum of Mongolia where you will see artefacts from Mongolia and Central Asia dating from the Stone Age to the present time. From here, it is time to transfer to the airport or train station for your onward journey. (B,L)
Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start your planning offline!
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.