Naadam 2013 - advice needed!!
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 11, 2013 3:12 PM Last Post By: ariun
Feb 16, 2013 1:18 PM
Naadam 2013 - advice needed!!Hi There,
I already book my flight and I expect to arrive in UB on Jul 10, which is a day before the festival. I know it's the height of the peak tourism season in Mongolia, but I have some questions that would help me planning the trip.
1) How 'long' in advanced should I get the ticket for Naadam? I'm currently in the US. Is there any way I could get it beforehand? Is it possible to get it on Jul 10, which is the date I will land in Mongolia (my guess is it won't be possible)?
2) There are also local versions of Naadam, is that correct? Which is the best place to see the 'local Naadam' take place in your opinion (I don't want to go to touristy places, and really want to see the local culture as much as possible)? Will the date be different from the official ones in UB?
3) This is not related to Naadam but it's a question about Mongolia in general. If I want to see places outside UB, like the Gobi dessert. Is it possible to do so by public transportation? Or I actually have no choice but to take the tour?
4) Do you think 20 days is enough to cover the main sights? (I cut out the Nuur lake since it's quite far away. I will concentrate around UB, the surrounding area, and the Gobi, and possibly a bit of Northern Mongolia if I have time).
5) I plan to be in China around the end of July, and I want to get out of Mongolia by train. Is it possible for me to book it once I'm in Mongolia? How hard is it to get a seat? How much does it cost (my preference is soft sleeper on the main Beijing-UB-Moscow train, or the direct Beijing-UB. If this is hard to get, then I have no problem with local trains or hard sleeper)?
Feb 17, 2013 12:15 AM
Short answer: detailed information and tickets will become available a short time before Naadam.
Best advice: ask your hotel or local tour agent to arrange everything for you. You will have to pay in advance.
What to expect: see the 2012 Naadam program, in UB and countryside.
Q: How 'long' in advanced should I get the ticket for Naadam?
A: Tickets become available a short time before Naadam. Ask your hotel to get them for you.
Q: There are also local versions of Naadam, is that correct?
A: Yes, each Aimag (province) has its own local Naadam.
Q:Will the date be different from the official ones in UB?
A: Yes, each Aimag decides on the local Naadam dates.
Q: really want to see the local culture as much as possible
A: It is possible, be aware that these events are not designed for tourists, there are no signs in English, no hotels, no transportation, so bring your own food, tent, translator, and vehicle. People are extremely friendly.
Q: Gobi dessert. Is it possible to do so by public transportation?
A: Not recommended. It is possible, transportation takes you to province centers. From there you have to look for a local driver to take you the few extra hundred Km's to the popular tourists spots. You need more time, some Mongolian language, some navigation skills, and come at off season time to do it this way.
Q: Do you think 20 days is enough to cover the main sights?
A: This is what most tourists do.
Q:out by train. Is it possible for me to book it once I'm in country?
A: You can arrange your tickets once you get in, or ask your hotel to arrange them for you.
Q: How much does it cost (my preference is soft sleeper)?
A: About USD200
Have a great time
Feb 17, 2013 7:00 AM
2Thank you for the answer! That helps a lot. I actually have one more question though. Since Mongolia is a vast country with most tourism spots out in the wild, many people go to those places with tours. I wonder if I could actually drive there by myself and try to find some travel companions (and have someone drive) once I get in. How expensive it is to rent a 4x4, relative to taking a tour? I would need a special kind of GPS (not the one that we use all the time on highways), is that correct? Do I need an international license if I want to do this, or my California license alone is just fine?
Feb 17, 2013 1:44 PM
Short answer: self driving is possible. It is not common and not recommended.
The challenges of self driving are -
1. Most roads out of UB are unmarked dirt roads. Driving includes crossing rivers, driving in mud, and choosing the right track out of many going in different directions.
2. There are no good standard up to date reliable maps in reasonable scale.
3. There are very few road signs, most in Cyrillic letters.
4. There is limited service for modern vehicles out of UB.
5. Old vehicles can be fixed in many locations, but they tend to break down frequently.
6. It takes some in advance preparations to navigate in the countryside.
7. In case of breakdown, communication might be limited in between villages.
Self driving is not recommended for a 20 day tour.
The cost for a car with a driver is cheaper than the cost for self drive car.
The cost is from 60USD to 110USD per day.
You need an international driving license, and you have to purchase local insurance.
A tour can be anything from an organized guided tour with an English speaking guide - to a local driver with basic English coming along with his jeep (common).
The cost for a shared tour is the same as above - but - all inclusive (car, driver, petrol, ger camps, guide).
Enjoy the wilderness
Feb 20, 2013 12:10 PM
4here more information about all you ask and got good answers from to mongolia
we went 5 times in mongolia and assist many times to naadam also outside Ub, some were so small in steppa found by case on the way with our driver
you might compare all prices about independent driver you will contact and know excatly what price included
here self tailor trip with appreciated contact with nomads
fell free toa sk more
have nice trip
Mar 2, 2013 12:03 AM
Mar 11, 2013 3:12 PM
6It will be very busy and more difficult to arrange a tour after your arrival in the middle of Naadam, but not impossible. The hardest part will probably be getting a guesthouse place during that time, and if you've already got one the guesthouse can help you in arranging tours. No matter how long you'll be in Mongolia, if you'd like to be more assured of seeing/going to whatever/wherever you want (especially if it's outside UB), I'd definitely recommend booking in advance.
Maybe you could contact your guest house, or some tour companies or guides to get an idea of possibilities and prices -- some years back I visited Terelj and the Gobi with a guide called Tuya, she did a good job (email@example.com).
KhunWasut -- "Nuur" just means "Lake". Which lake did you cut out? Because it's possible to see both the Gobi and Khuvsgul Lake in 20 days, as well as Terhiin Tsagaan Lake on the way.
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