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ITMNB - Trans Mongolian with Naadam Festival - Independent

Walk along the Great Wall, celebrate Mongolia's greatest and most colourful festival, traverse the mighty Siberian landscape and explore Russia's most exciting cities on this grand adventure.

Inclusions

Meals
Transfers
Accommodation
Sightseeing
Expertise
Group size
Tour Provider Sundowners Overland
Number of Days
24
Price From
AUD $7,200
Start Location
Beijing, China
End Location
St Petersburg, China
Age Range
Avg. 40+
Group Size
1
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Adventure, Self Guided
Physical Rating
Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
01 Jan 201801 Jan 2019Please see web site for departure detailsAUD $7,200
ItineraryExpand
Days 1-3: Beijing
The Chinese capital is a great place to start your journey with visits to Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, and in the countryside nearby, walk along the Great Wall of China. This bustling city has so much more to offer than just its Imperial history. You can indulge in China's modern art scene, observe every day life lived out in the many parks or, sample Beijing's famous imperial cuisine such as Peking duck.
Day 4: Beijing to Ulaanbaatar
Early this morning transfer to Beijing Station and board the first of the trains that will carry you across Asia. Through the northern plains of China, you journey beyond the border via the Gobi Desert into Ulaanbaatar, arriving the following afternoon.
Day 5: Welcome to Mongolia!
Your train pulls into Mongolia's capital mid-afternoon. Ulaanbaatar is a contradiction a metropolis amid endless grass steppes. Tonight you have the opportunity to listen to the unique Mongolian Throat singing and enjoy a cultural performance it is truly incredible!
Day 6: Kharkhorin
For your first real taste of this remote nation journey to Kharkhorin; the ancient capital of Genghis Khan's empire. While here you can visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, the spiritual home of Mongolian Buddhism. Over 100 temples were constructed, but most were destroyed during the Soviet era, nevertheless, Erdene Zuu retains much of its former glory and is a remarkable site to visit.
Days 7-9: Naadam Fesitval
Join in the excitement and mix with the crowds at the opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival which is held annually in the National Sports Stadium. A unique spectacle showcasing traditional Mongolian sports and culture, the Naadam Festival is a point of national pride. Enjoy the extravaganza of hundreds of horses ridden by riders in colourful national costumes before the first rounds of wrestling and archery begin. Horse racing is the focus on the second day, out of town on the steppe. These races are the domain of the younger children, who compete for the title 'Tumnii Ekh' ('Leader of Ten Thousand'). Join the crowds, who are often as entertaining as the competitors themselves, in cheering the winners and serenading the losers in song.
Day 10: Terelj National Park
This morning you continue across the rolling steppe to Terelj National Park. Here, you spend the night under a canopy of twinkling stars in our ger camp, and have the opportunity to gain an insight into the daily lives of these nomadic families.
Day 11: Return to Ulaanbaatar and board Trans Siberian Railway
Mid-afternoon departure to Siberia. Leaving Mongolia at Sukhbaatar and continuing beyond the Russian border town of Ulan Ude, you will soon find yourself skirting along the shores of breathtaking Lake Baikal before following the well-worn ancient tea and trade route onto Irkutsk.
Days 12-13: Lake Baikal
From Irkutsk Station you will drive to the picturesque village of Listvyanka on the shores of the world's deepest freshwater lake, Baikal where you will spend the next two nights. Here you have time to explore the village with its traditional houses, Limnological Museum and spectacular landscapes.
Days 14-17: Irkutsk and Trans Siberian Railway
Almost in the geographical centre of Asia, Irkutsk made its fame as a stopping place on the caravan route from China. The city today still boasts 18th century churches and is renowned for its brightly painted shutters and log houses decorated with wooden lace work. Explore the city's major landmarks and historic sites before climbing back aboard the train bound for Russia's capital! Travelling via great Siberian cities you will glide over the steel bridges spanning Siberia's nerve system of five thousand rivers, through the Ural Mountains that divide Europe and Asia, to the far side of the Volga into Moscow!
Days 18-19: Moscow
Moscow's eclectic collection of palaces and massive Soviet-style tower blocks that dot the city provide a fascinating set for your exploration of this impressive city. Take in the highlights around Red Square and further afield including the colourful twirled cupolas of the iconic St. Basils Cathedral. In picturesque surroundings by the banks of the Moscow River is the Kolomensk Estate and the UNSECO World Heritage Site, the Church of the Ascension considered the first steepled stone church in the world!
Day 20: Moscow to St. Petersburg
Delve deeper into Moscow and take some time to visit its heart and soul The Kremlin. Showcasing monumental walls and towers, golden-domed cathedrals and magnificent treasures housed in its Armoury Chamber. Despite the loss of significant items from the collection during the 16th Century, the treasures found within the Armoury are absolutely astounding! Late evening you transfer to the train station to meet the overnight express train to St. Petersburg.
Days 21-24: St. Petersburg
Your final train journey brings you to St. Petersburg this morning. This classic city is not to be missed with grand 18th century buildings, even grander palaces, and the greatest art collection of all, at the Hermitage.