No other festival in the world honors the primal nature of nomadic culture quite like the Naadam Festival . By bringing together sports, arts, and culture, the Naadam Festival is one heck of a party – Mongolian style!
The Three Games of Men is the highlight of the event. Watch strong men and women compete in the three main games: archery, horse racing, and wrestling; sports that are all deeply rooted in the culture and history of The Land of the Blue Sky. Aside from the exciting sporting events, spectators will also be treated to mind-blowing singing and dancing performances, showcasing the remarkable culture of the Mongols.
‘Adrenaline. Testosterone. Pulsating energy at Naadam’
The Naadam Festival is held every year in July, when the weather is the best for enjoying the outdoors. Take this opportunity to explore the vast countryside of Mongolia, one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world, and see what it’s like to be in a place that is untouched by all the modern creature comforts the rest of the globe is used to.
The best place to view the Naadam Festival will depend on the kinds of activities that you want to see, as well as your own availability. Events take place throughout town and villages in Mongolia. But the official, national Naadem festivities take place in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
Be there in the morning of July 11th to witness the opening events. Provinces also have their own versions of the Naadem which is perfect for tourists who want to explore and experience both the local and national versions of Naadem.
Jeeps, minivans, and SUV’s are the most efficient way to travel both long and short distances, especially in the countryside. They can be hired privately, but it’s cheaper to share the vehicles with strangers especially if you’re heading to a remote location from Ulaanbaatar. In the countryside, the vehicles usually park in the local market waiting for passengers.
Ulaanbaatar has a lot of hotel options ranging from budget to high-end. Stay here for a few nights, but for a feel of authentic Mongolia, camping and yurts in the vast, remote countryside is recommended. Camping anywhere in Mongolia is free, but do your research beforehand. In many places throughout Mongolia, you can easily go for weeks without seeing another human being!
Mongolia has one of the world’s lowest population densities. This translates to crazy pristine landscapes that will blow your mind. The landscapes are also so diverse: from the golden sand dunes found in the Gobi desert, soaring majestic mountains, dense forests, sparkling lakes, and rolling fields, there’s a lot to see and explore here.
Visit the historical sites and museums to get to know the land that the powerful warrior Genghis Khan placed on the map. You’ll see his image everywhere from your hotels to bottles of vodka. Ride a camel, drive to the Hustai National Park, and try the local food. Most people don’t really associate Mongolia with a strong culinary scene, but the mutton, goat, horses, and hearty stews are definitely worth trying.
The 2019 Naadam Festival starts on July 11 and ends on July 15.
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