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Posts Tagged ‘Naadam Festival’

Take My Horse! Mongolia Trekking Tour, Tour of A Lifetime

In 2011 Summer Tours, China & Hong Kong Tours, Our Travel Stories on 2011/05/03 at 11:14 am

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing  Leo Murray who’s going to lead his 12th Mongolia Trekking Tour this summer July 20th- Aug 5. Leo is a true experienced global traveler and among other things, he can easily draw a map and show you three different routes that he’s taken cycling around the United States. The energetic man, a former editor of the Reader’s Digest, has just come back from Nepal and will spend a month in Italy before Mongolia. ‘Mongolia,’ he said, ‘to me means vast open space and the horse riding culture. It’s an amazing country.’

‘The Mongolians use their horses to herd their sheep and they drink the horses’ milk. Horses are the most valuable thing to them besides their yurts, their wife might only come third!’

According to Leo, not only are the Mongolians good singers, they also possess the heart of gold. ‘They never ask for anything, we travelers come bearing gifts not because anyone ever asked for any gifts, but because the Mongolians are so kind that the instant you walk into their yurt, they provide you with everything they could. ‘ In other words, you’re merely exchanging gifts with some very welcoming hosts.

Among all the things Mongolians give out of hospitality, there was once an offer of a horse. Leo accounted a story that on a trip to Mongolia, upon departure, one of the horsemen who had been with him throughout the journey wished to give his horse away to Leo. Although he was touched (and very well traveled), Leo found it a challenge to ride a horse back home to America. Leo asked the horseman to keep his horse for him. The horseman said(guess what!), ‘ I will keep the horse for you, but besides you, no one will be allowed to sit on this horseback again. ‘ Imagine a friend said that to you under the starry skies in Mongolia!

Besides that they are great singers, Mongolians are well known great sportsmen too. The Naadam Festival, in which there are archery, horse racing and wrestling races, is held every year July 11-13. Worried you might miss it? Don’t fret, Leo said across Mongolia, there is Naadam everywhere held on various dates and very often, private sponsorships are enough to bring a local Naadam to life. If you join this trekking tour, you might as well find local Mongolians to wrestle you to the ground, if you’re eager for it! 🙂

I asked Leo what are the customs that travelers should beware of in Mongolia. He said no rubbish thrown in fire. Why? “Because Mongolians consider fire as sacred. Travelers can bury their rubbish instead.’

To experience such an exotic horse riding culture, and know a bunch of new friends, breathe in some fresh air in Mongolian mountains and pitch your tent next to yurts and be neighbors with authentic Mongolians–join this summer tour! Experience of a Lifetime.

Mongolia, Every Nomad's Dream

Mongolia, Every Nomad's Dream

Send an email to us and you’ll be able to get a collection of photos provided in the courtesy of Leo Murray, taken from his trips in Mongolia. You’ll also be able to obtain the itinerary, accommodation details and the costing. Act now!

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