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Open your heart to the wild, pristine nature that is Mongolia, and begin a powerful transformation. Embrace Central and Northern Mongolia’s picturesque, sweeping mountain ranges that merge into pined forests and flower fields dotted with little white gers (traditional dwellings) sprinkled across the landscape. A unique memorable adventure, connection with deeper self and nature and ancient culture, a calmer mind, a healthier body and soul, and surely a happier heart.
All you have to do is embrace the culture, the differences, and similarities and most importantly, enjoy yourself!
You will be accommodated in a three-star hotel in Ulaanbaatar on day one and nineteen, in a Mongolian traditional ger home in Elsen Tasarhai on day two and three, in a tourist ger camp in Orkhon Waterfall on day four, in a nomad family guest ger in Eight Lakes area on day five, in a nomad family guest ger and camping in Eight Lakes area on day six to nine, in a tourist camp in Kharkhorin town on day ten, in a tourist camp in Erdene Zuu Monastery area on day eleven, camping in a tent in Chuluut River area on day twelve, in a guest ger in Khorgo Terkhiin National Park on day thirteen to fifteen, camping in a tent in Taikhar Chuluu Rock area on day sixteen, in a tourist ger camp in Ogii Lake on day seventeen, and in a ger camp in Khustai National Park area on day eighteen.
SteppeYoga provides comfortable, clean, and centrally located three to four-star hotels (twin share). If you would like to upgrade please check the availability with SteppeYoga. If you need help booking before and after the tour, please let SteppeYoga know. There is a wide range of places to stay in the capital city ranging from 50 - 200 USD per night. During July, accommodation tends to book out early and prices are often higher.
You will be using three different kinds of accommodation during the tour. Mongolia is still third world country, so please do not expect a luxury service.
A ger (pronounced gair) is a traditional style of hotel in the country. Ger camps usually consist of 20 - 40 comfortable gers (traditional felt home) each has two - four beds. They often have ger restaurant and souvenir shop or some entertainment space. Most camps are equipped with toilets and shower facilities.
Guest ger camps are more basic than ger camps. Normally there are two - ten gers and are operated by nomads who are used to serving tourists for many years. Facilities are usually basic. They may have a shower and modern toilet facilities but sometimes this is not the case. However, it is a great way to support local small businesses and sustainability.
This is one of the best ways to explore Mongolia as you can camp anywhere you want. The drivers have experienced finding the most stunning locations. There are no toilets or showers available during camping.
If you want an experience that combines the spiritual, cultural, and scenic gems of Mongolia, then this is the journey for you! This twenty-day adventure includes daily nourishing yoga sessions and a five-day horse ride, living, breathing and adventuring like the warrior Chinggis Khan. And that’s just the beginning! There will be rugged natural conditions and horse riding, providing the greatest personal rewards and lessons for those who are up to the challenge. This traditional pilgrimage is something truly unique, allowing you to experience one of the world’s last living nomadic cultures in an authentic way.
Did you know that Mongolia has no fences? This makes camping and practicing yoga and meditation in Mongolia a really magical experience. It will have you connecting with the environment and your deeper self, all whilst witnessing Mongolia’s natural beauty and nomadic culture. It is an exhilarating feeling to wake up and open your eyes after yoga and meditation in steppe (unforested plain land). On the horizon, you will see nomad ger (traditional dwellings), grazing livestock, women milking cows, and galloping horses.
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. A physical discipline which is yoga asana (postures ) came from nature. Ancient yogis used to go to nature and observe animals and natures movement, where how all modern they asanas came from.
Yoga is all about discovering and revealing your true self, your true nature, and engaging in this sacred practice on ancient sacred land surrounded by the most magnificent scenery will surely bring about heightened awareness and a deep feeling of calm.
Across the tour, you will be practicing yoga and meditation every day on the breathtaking scenery. Every morning, Selenge (tour leader and yoga instructor) will lead you through slow yet strong Vinyasa Flow encouraging you to become conscious in your movements, breath, and subtle energies. The class focuses on strengthening body and mind in a gentle manner. Once your morning routine nourish your body and mind, you will continue on the journey experience all the other cultural activities such as visiting nomads and reindeer people, hiking around and exploring lakes and volcanos, horse and camel riding, drinking fermented mares milk, eating local dishes, milking cows, playing traditional games, enjoying traditional folklore performances, witnessing shamanic rituals, sleeping in traditional homes (ger), learning about Mongolian history, camping under the stars, trekking in the vast wilderness and connecting with likeminded people in soulful bonfire nights.
It is well documented that spending time outdoors boosts serotonin levels and therefore, improves your mood, restores your sense of well being and resets the nervous system. Yoga, as mentioned earlier, provides multiple benefits for the mind and body. When you blend these two natural highs together, it is the ultimate bliss bomb. Just imagine the symphony of birds and sights of lush greenery as you treat your body to the ultimate workout.
When you commence your technology and city life detox, the world will slow down and you will feel your senses wake - scent, sight, and touch, in particular, activate parts of the brain that make you more present. There is nothing more grounding than the feeling of bare feet on the grass. The fresh air will heighten your sense of breath awareness. With each inhalation, you will feel the fresh, clean air replenish your lungs and release feel-good endorphins. It is a truly sensual experience.
Practicing yoga in unfamiliar territory means stepping outside of your comfort zone and there is no better way to boost your confidence than taking on and mastering a new challenge.
Poses such as downdog, headhand, or handsand feel damn good as they increase blood flow to the brain and provide a new perspective. it is like entering a new dimension.
Meditating in high vibrational land heightens your awareness. The feeling when you open your eyes after yoga and mediation and take in the wild, pristine nature decorated with nomad ger and livestock on horizon is quite profound.
Whatever comes up on this journey, you will be held, guided and given the opportunity to open up and be your authentic self! Letting go, laughing, rediscovering your truth, connecting to your inner child, dancing under the moonlight and releasing any shame or fears will be welcomed on this journey.
Selenge will invite you to ‘Re-Wild yourself’, release the energy and expectations of the city, and replace it with your connection to the earth. You will have space and opportunity to re-birth your spirit and allow what emerges to flow freely into the elements around you. Selenge will guide you into stepping into your most empowered self by sharing her daily rituals and practice.
This experience will be hugely transformative and enjoyable! The Mongolian nature and culture offer something exquisite and totally unique to anything else.
Welcome to Mongolia! This is the official first day of the tour. SteppeYoga will pick you up from your hotel at 10:00 and take you on a tour of Ulaanbaatar city. Let’s explore Ulaanbaatar! The first stop is a department store Ikh Delguur, where you can get money exchanged, buy toiletries, and a SIM card, or relax at one of the metropolitan cafes. Next, you will visit the Gandan Monastery (the largest in Ulaanbaatar), the National Museum of Mongolia, and Chinggis Khan Main Square. In the evening, you can join the welcoming dinner at a traditional Mongolian restaurant and get to know your fellow travelers and the host. (SteppeYoga recommend that you arrive at least one day before the tour. They offer free transportation between the airport and your hotel.)
Today, you will drive to Elsen Tasarhai (Mini Gobi sand dunes). Elsen Tasarhai has stunning nature and culture; a perfect way to experience true authentic Mongolian culture. You will witness 80-kilometer-long streets of sand dunes, a desert that contain small pieces of forest in the midst of wide open green steppes. The area is surrounded by the sacred mountain range Khogno Khan. You will love the host family and your little ger home for next two days. You will have an opportunity to practice evening Restorative yoga and give the body relaxation after a long day of driving. In the evening, you will have the official opening ceremony! You will get plenty of chances to interact with your nomad host and ask questions and socialize and have fun!
Every morning from this day, you will start the morning with yogic practices such as yoga asana, pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation in the open air. (Elsen Tasarhai is Selenge’s favorite place to practice yoga). The simplicity, pace, and culture of this place will astonish you. Later in the day, you will do some two-humped camel riding, hiking along the sand dunes, and visit a small temple in the sacred mountain Khogno Khan. In the evening, “What’s Yoga?” workshop by Selenge.
After your beautiful morning ritual, you will drive 70 kilometers to the Orkhon Waterfall, the biggest in Mongolia. The amount of water present will be dependent on recent rainfall. The waterfall was formed by a unique combination of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes about 20,000 years ago. It cascades from an impressive height of 20 meters and its width is 10 meters. The Orkhon Waterfall area is one of the best places to observe the Mongolian nomadic lifestyle and have a photo opportunity.
The morning ritual always goes first and then the exciting horse riding journey starts! You will ride across Mongolia’s wild, wide open steppe on one of the strongest, toughest, and resilient horses in the world. Today, you will be riding along a steppe for a few hours to warm up, before you head out on real adventurous rides for the next a few days. If you are a first timer to riding horses, do not worry. SteppeYoga will give you all the necessary safety instructions and supports that you need. You will have your tour leader Selenge, an assistant guide, and also horse riding guides, who are experienced at handling horses. Get excited about embarking on a wild adventure, that you have only watched in movies; now this time you get to experience it yourself!
During the next four days, you will have one to two hours of morning yoga practice depending on how you go with horse riding each day! You will leave most of your luggage to the drivers and grab only what you need for next four days and load it on top of the horse like warriors in ancient times. The land on the way to the Eight Lakes area is truly wild, rough, and stunning. There are high mountainous areas and stunning pine tree forests rough volcanic side tracks. You will be granted the jaw-dropping landscapes and most satisfying adventures of your life.
Day six is going to be tough but fun. Connect with yourself and with your beloved, sturdy, and intuitive Mongolian horse and get ready for a wild adventure! The area of Naiman Nuur, “Eight Lakes”, is locked between several extinct volcanoes and high mountain peaks. The lakes are supplied with fresh water running from the mountains, making dramatic scenery. You will be staying next to a nomadic family, and the best way to connect them is playing and partying with them, and helping them with their daily chores. Every day, you will ride horses four to six hours except one day full of rest. Morning yoga sessions will soothe the tired body and mind. There are a few perfect nights to gather around the bonfire and exchange stories with your friendly fellow travelers.
Today, you are already in the same camp where you started off to Eight Lakes horse riding journey. You will do your morning ritual in the gorgeous scenery. In the afternoon, you will drive to Kharkhorin town where the Mongol Empire was once governed. Located at the crossroads of The Silk Road, this ancient city was founded by Chinggis (Genghis) Khaan in 1220.
Today, for your morning ritual, you will visit the impressive Erdene Zuu Monastery which is in Kharkhorin city. This monastery was built in 1586 and is surrounded by massive 400 meters x 400 meters stupa walls. Not a single nail was used in the construction of the ornate temples, it is one of the few in the world that remains standing after the communist purges. You may be able to have the opportunity learn deeply about the history of Mongolian Buddhism from the respected high lama Baasansuren. He is highly respected amongst Mongolians who consider him as a religious physiologist for youth.
After your morning ritual outside the Erdene Zuu Monastery surrounded by 108 stupas (monuments), you will continue your journey to the picturesque Chuluut river. The drive takes you through gorgeous endless steppe, mountains, and rivers where you will witness peaceful grazing livestock and stunning nature. You will have your freshly made lunch amongst friendly livestock in the outdoors. Finally, evening workshop by Selenge.
Today, you will arrive at Khorgo Terkhiin National Park and visit the clear freshwater of Great White Lake. The lake is 16-kilometers wide, 20 kilometers in length, and 20 meters in depth. The first day will be relaxing by the Great Whites Lake scenery. Next day, lunch will be followed by an eight-kilometer hike up a nearby dormant volcano. Along the way, you will see wild berries, rare herbs, and a variety of flowers.
Arkhangai Province is famous for its amazing dairy products. You will have the opportunity to hang out with the yaks. There is plenty of time to chill out, catch up some reading, journaling, jump in the lake, and have a long yoga session. This national park really offers you an opportunity to recharge and soak in the simplicity. Then, you can enjoy evening workshops and circles! For dinner, the tour chef will treat you to some delicious Mongolian cuisine and the second day, you will take a cooking class to learn to make Mongolian dumplings (khuushuur).
After morning yogic practices and breakfast, the van will blitz the short, bumpy road and deliver you to a nomadic haven called Taikhar Village. This area is surrounded by mountains, rivers, horses, and friendly locals. Taikhar Chuluu Rock is a huge 20-meter (66 feet) high and made of granite, covered with 150 writings in many different languages and dating back from many different periods. The oldest one is the runic writing, dating back from the Turkish period of the sixth and seventh centuries. Selenge will tell you some interesting legends about Taikhar Chuluu. Tonight is a perfect night to gather around the bonfire and exchange stories with your friendly, fellow travelers.
After morning yoga in the Northern Mongolian outdoors, you will commence a full day drive to Ogii Lake, which is one of the freshwater lakes in Mongolia. This lake is a perfect place for the birdlife such as cranes, ducks, swans, geese, white spoonbill, and Dalmatian pelicans, which come there at the end of April.
After breakfast, you drive to Khustai National Park to see a Takhi. Known as Przewalski's horse in the west and Takhi in Mongolia, these dun-colored, black-maned horses are the only wild ones left in the world. The horse is an integral part of Mongolian culture. During the 12th and 13th centuries, Genghis Khan and his descendants triumphantly rode horses while building the largest empire in history, a swath of land sweeping from China to Europe. Present there are 400 Takhi horses in Mongolia and 200 of them in Khustai National Park. Finally, goodbye party at the ger camp!
After your morning yoga session, you will travel back to Ulaanbaatar city. In the evening, you will enjoy the Mongolian traditional song and dance ensemble performance which includes throat singing, horse fiddle, contortion performances (modern-day yoga), and a farewell dinner together.
Enjoy a day at your own pace, if you’d like to discover more of Ulaanbaatar, Selenge can take you to museums, temples, or souvenir shopping if you’re not leaving early in the morning.
Note: Tour itinerary is subject to change.
This adventure in Mongolia will start from Ulaanbaatar, then you will visit Elsen Tasarhai, Orkhon Waterfall, Eight Lakes, Kharkhorin, Erdene Zuu Monastery, Chuluut River, Khorgo Terkhiin National Park, Great White Lake, Taikhar Chuluu Rock, Ogii Lake, and Khustai National Park.
Mongolia is renowned for its fascinating history and often coined for its tales of Genghis Khan. This enchanting country is located between Russia and China. Its distinct natural beauty is evident in the endless steppe, lush forest, mesmerizing desert, snow-capped mountains and freshwater lakes spread across its twenty-one provinces.
Mongolia is one of the few countries in the world that has preserved its ancient culture and this is evident in the twenty ethnic groups that reside all over the country. The majority of land is still owned by the government which means there are no private properties or fences after you leave the city. Once you enter the countryside you are free to explore and camp anywhere you, please.
The population of Mongolia is just over three million. One million of these residents are located in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and live in smaller spaces like apartment blocks and ger districts (suburbs). The country’s gateway airport, train hub, cultural and arts center, and government bodies are located in Ulaanbaatar.
Nomads can be seen in the outer suburbs but the real nomads dwell in the countryside where you will spend most of the time on the tour.
Mongolians have been living in nomadic lifestyle hundreds of years in harmony with Mother earth Father sky. Life in the day of a nomad is simple and beautiful. Children chop wood and help around the house and then play outside, the men herd cattle out in the open fields and the women cook and look after the family. At night, everyone sleeps under the same roof in the family room. It is apparent that the nomadic people have an intense connection to their family, to their animals and to their land. They normally have cow, yak, goats, sheep, camel, and horses. Families travel season to season, living in ‘gers’. A ger (pronounced ‘gear’) is a circular hut, roughly 6 x 6-meter radius which includes the fireplace, a stove on top - serving as the kitchen- and a sink for the family bedroom. Picture sweeping mountain ranges, open grass plains segwaying into pined forests and flower fields, and in-between it all, are little white gers sprinkled across the landscape.
SteppeYoga is offering you changing camping spots every day like a modern nomad, look for better yoga grasslands, seek a better flexibility, posture and simply just be there with so much joy experience traveling and discovering a new culture for yourself?
Mongolians love meat and dairy products - mutton for summer and beef for winter is very common. Most of the meat and dairy is straight from the farm, so it’s very healthy and usually organic. While not all fruit and vegetables are available everywhere in the country, because of tourism, and a growing awareness in healthy diets have led to a greater range of foods available. Nowadays, Ulaanbaatar has plenty of choices for food and Steppe can cater for whatever your dietary requirements are. Healthy vegetarian dishes are normally served throughout the trip, however people with very specific dietary requirements may find it difficult to travel (maybe contact in advance to check if dietary restrictions are possible) Drinks wise - vodka and fermented mares milk is popular in Mongolia and SteppeYoga will be sampling both on the travels.