Photo Travel | Mongolia

PHOTO TRAVEL TO MONGOLIA
July 10-22, 2019



Discover one of the most beautiful countries in East Asia. Experience remote desert villages and warm welcomes.

On this amazing travel across Mongolia we will experience the incredible diversity of scenery of this fascinating country. Wherever we travel we will meet scattered families of Mongolians who are incredibly hospitable and are usually more than happy to welcome travelers into their Gers for a glass of airag (fermented mare’s milk).

We will travel through the rural areas of Mongolia, from the flaming cliffs at Bayanzag to the remote western stretches of the Gobi Desert, accompanied by Missionaries of MCO and expert local guides on roads less travelled on. This allows us to experience unique situations of everyday life, incredible faces, unique humanity everywhere we go.

This travel will let you experience the true essence of humanity of a people and a territory, far away from the usual tourist routes and in the context of the daily activities of the MCO projects. It’s a continuous discovery. You will be surprised moment after moment on these travels, while meeting and getting to know these amazing local villages and people. We combine our passion for photography and travels with our professional experience, organizing your travels with a deep love for the countries and attention to details.

All our tours have been carefully planned, through locations and places we know, to arrive at the right time in the right place to capture images of landscapes, monuments, faces, scenes of everyday life and events.

The tours are led by a team of Professional Photographers who, after traveling long in Southeast Asia and with dozens of experiences along the routes of our tours, have a deep knowledge of the destinations included within our tours. Our Photographers and Tour Leaders have established friendships and relationships with local people in many of the towns and villages on travel routes.

Thanks to the small size of our groups, you will have the opportunity to experience the places we visit at a level that is not possible with a larger group or with a classic Cambodia tour. Off the beaten track: visit remote villages, stroll through hidden alleyways, attend religious ceremonies, enter the houses, small markets and places of worship.

Immerse yourself totally in a culture different from ours. The size of our groups is limited to a maximum of 12 people in order to give the maximum of technical support and the best cultural experience.

The travel is open to everyone, with or without a camera, who wants to experience a unique travel off the beaten track, with a classic itinerary but also far away from the usual tourist routes.

TRAVEL DETAILS

TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES

Distances

  • Distances90%
 

Road Conditions

  • Road conditions80%
 

Fitness Level

  • Fitness Level 70%

Climate

  • Climate60%
 

Hotel Standard

  • Hotel Standard50%
 

Meal variety

  • Meal variety75%

DATES & PRICES

Travel dates

Travel prices

WHAT'S INCLUDED | WHAT'S EXCLUDED

What's included
Transfers
All transfers in private vehicles (car, minivan or minibus, concerning the number of participants) with air condition and driver.

Accommodation
Accommodation in double/twin rooms with or near the local NGO partner

Meals - Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Meals as indicated in the itinerary, with our NGO partner or in local restaurants.

Professional Photographers
Professional NGO Photographers, experienced in the humanitarian field, will accompany the group for the whole travel.

What's excluded
International/Domestic Flights
Return flights from any Worldwide main airports, economy class. We can offer the best fares from our partner Raptim if you tell us your departure airport in the inquiry form.

International Medical & Travel Insurance Coverage
All Participants in a Cause Photo Travels tours are required to have sufficient Medical Travel Insurance. Cause Photo Travels refuses participation of travel if the correct valid Medical Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased with Cause Photo Travels and RAPTIM. Please visit the Medical and Travel insurance page.
Each participant hereby confirms that they understand and agree to purchase the required insurance listed below, that is valid internationally, and that they will be required to provide proof prior to departure for the Trip and in order to participate.

Required Coverage:
Accident & Sickness Medical Expense Coverage (minimum $100,000 USD)
Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation of Remains (minimum $200,000 USD)
Accidental Death / Dismemberment
Trip Cancellation Coverage

Suggested Additional Coverage:
Hospital Room and Board
Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage
Trip Delay / Interruption
Visitor to Bedside

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out travel insurance that covers the full value of the Trip and personal effects in the case of Trip cancellation, loss or theft of baggage, and emergency evacuation. The Tour Operators their owners, agents, and subsidiaries will not be held responsible for these expenses. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short the Trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum of the amount paid (see the section “Deposits, Payments, Cancellations and Refunds” in the terms and conditions above).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut the Trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, we recommend that you read carefully the fine print of your insurance policy.

Snacks & Drinks outside of normal meals
Please consider a little amount for some personal snacks or drinks along the way.

Tips and gratuities
Tips for guides, drivers, bellhops, museums entrances, photo fees, parks fees, etc. are not covered by the participation fee. Please read the “What to bring” section to check for tipping guidelines.

Personal transfers to your departure airport
Personal transfers / train tickets to and from your departure airport are not covered by the participation fee.

ITINERARY

  • Day 1 – Ulaanbaatar

    Individual arrival in Ulaanbaatar (UB), transfer to the accomodation and getting to know the city. Visit of the buddhism monastery Gandan (Standing Buddha statue, higher than 20 meters) and the stadium of the Nadaam Festival to experience the ambiance of the festival. Naadam is a traditional festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed “eriin gurvan naadam” (the three games of men). The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery, and are held throughout the country during midsummer.
  • Day 2 – Ulaanbaatar

    Attend the largest Naadam festival, the National Naadam, held in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. There are long introductory ceremonies where you will meet the horses, the jockeys, dancers, singers, and more. This event is especially focused on horseback riding and is a little outside the city center.
  • Day 3 – Ulaanbaatar to Kharkhorin

    Travel to Kharkhorin, the antic Karakorum, imperial capital of Genghis Khan. First “exercise” with mongolian panoramas. Distance of travel: 360 km. On the route you will also meet the sand dunes and a Buddhist hermitage. Accommodation in Kharkhorin in Camp Khubilai.
  • Day 4 – Kharkhorin to Arvaiheer

    Visit the historic museum of Kharkhorin and the buddhist complex of Erdene Zuu. In the afternoon transfer to Arvaiheer. Distance of travel: 120 km. The travel to Arvaiheer goes through a typical valley with farms and beautiful views. Overnight in Arvaiheer.
  • Day 5 – Arvaiheer

    We get to know the Mission of Arvaiheer with it’s various activities. Possibility to make a visit of the local market and some families of our NGO contact. We will meet the local missionaries and spend some time together with them. Overnight in Arvaiheer.
  • Day 6 – Arvaiheer

    Full day with the Missionaries in Arvaiheer. We will visit a local buddhist monasteries accompanied by the missionaries and some of the projects of the mission. Overnight in Arvaiheer.
  • Day 7 – Arvaiheer to Gobi Desert

    Descending toward the south of the country, we enter the region of Omnogobi, to reach the most fascinating dunes of the desert. The Gobi is a rain shadow desert, formed by the Tibetan Plateau blocking precipitation from the Indian Ocean reaching the Gobi territory. Distance of travel: 350 km (almost all on dirt roads). Crossing 2 villages, we reach Khongoriin Els, the dunes. Accomodation in Gers. A traditional yurt (from the Turkic languages) or Ger (Mongolian) is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Modern yurts may be permanently built on a wooden platform.
  • Day 8 – Gobi Desert

    From the dunes to the red canyon of Bayanzag, passing through the valley of the eagles (Yoliin Am). The valley is a gorge with formations of ice, even in August. The red canyon is the place where there were found fossils of the largest dinosaurs. Accommodation in Gers.
  • Day 9 – Gobi Desert

    From the red rocks we continue our travel to reach the area of Tsagaan Suvarga, where we will find many rock formations and caves. Overnight in Ger Camp.
  • Day 10 – Gobi Desert

    Today we reach the capital region Omnogobi and following the asphalt roads continue to Ulaanbaatar. Distance of travel: 450 km (mostly on asphalt roads). In Ulaanbaatar we will stay with the missionaries.
  • Day 11 – Ulaanbaatar

    In the northern part of Ulaanbaatar, the Mission is working among the poorest, mostly kids. We will visit those projects. You will also have time to use this day for shopping, visiting other interesting places or museums. Accommodation in Ulaanbatar with the missionaries.
  • Day 12 – Ulaanbaatar

    Departure from Mongolia, International flights.

COUNTRY INFORMATION

Country Information
The country
Mongolia is an independent republic in East Asia. The country is bounded on the south, east and west by China and to the north by Russia. The capital city is Ulaanbaatar, and other major cities include Darhan and Erdenet. The country is mountainous with an average altitude of 1580 meters above sea level, which makes Mongolia one of the highest countries in the world. The lowest point is Hoh Nuur depression at 560 meters above sea level and the highest point is the Khuiten peak at 4374 m.

Required documents
There are 13 different types of Mongolian visa issued to foreign citizens by Mongolian authorized organizations to enable them to enter Mongolia on different purposes. It is important to research visa requirements before traveling internationally to avoid any issues with border control officials and airlines.

Currency
The tögrög or tugrik (sign: ₮; code: MNT) is the official currency of Mongolia.

Credit cards
Most larger shops, hotels, and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar will accept the common credit cards. To some lesser degree this is also the case in other large cities. Small shops, merchants on public markets, end everybody on the countryside will only be able to process cash. All big banks in Ulaanbaatar will accept traveller cheques. But outside of the capital they’re not likely to be of any use.

Language
The official language of Mongolia is Mongolian, and is spoken by 95% of the population. A variety of dialects of Oirat and Buryat are spoken across the country, and there are also some speakers of Mongolic Khamnigan. In the west of the country, Kazakh and Tuvan, both Turkic languages, are also spoken.

Health
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.

Vaccinations
No health certificates or vaccinations are officially required.

Time Zone
The international time zone in Mongolia is GMT + 8 hours and GMT + 7 hours in the western provinces of Bayan-Ölgii, Uvs and Khovd.

Plugs, sockets and electricity
Electricity in Mongolia is 230V, with a frequency of 50hz. Power sockets are of type C (standard Euro plug) and E (french origin).

Phone, Smartphone and local carriers
Mobile operators: G-Mobile (CDMA) – Established in 2007, it is focusing on development in rural areas. Mobicom Corporation (GSM) – The first mobile operator. Skytel (CDMA). Unitel (GSM).

Religion
Buddhism (50%), Irreligion (38.6%), Islam (3%), Shamanism (2.9%), Christianity (2.1%).

Safety
Mongolia is one of the safest countries in the world. The policemen are quite friendly to the tourists. As a visitor you are unlikely to experience any serious problems. However, like anywhere else there are a few things that visitors should be aware of, things that will need extra care and attention. Foreign visitors are targets for a very small minority of thieves. Theft is seldom violent. Pick pocketing and bag slitting is most common in crowded places such as the black market, on buses or at tourist attractions such as Gandan Monastery and shopping places. Valuables should be kept in a money belt and kept underneath your clothing. Be careful about being seen with large amounts of money outside.

Climate
Low Season (Oct–Apr)
Most ger camps and some guesthouses close; discounts available. Frigid in December/January, air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. Winds and dust storms March/April. Activities like dog sledding, ice skating and skiing.

Shoulder (May & Sep)
Some ger (traditional yurt) camps may be closed. Weather can be changeable so plan for a cold snap. Fewer tourists means more available train and plane tickets.

High Season (Jun–Aug)
Expect warm and mostly dry weather in June and July, with some thunderstorms. Late August sees cooler temperatures and more rain. Book flights and accommodation in advance, especially around Naadam.

WHAT TO BRING

Photo Equipment
Camera
You can bring whatever camera you wish, but we recommend a DSLR or mirrorless digital cameras. Make sure you are familiar with your camera, as with some scenarios you will encounter, you will have to work fast in order to not miss a picture.

Memory Cards
Memory cards for your cameras may not be available at every stop of the travel, so make sure you bring enough memory cards with you.

Batteries
Without Batteries, you will not be able to get any pictures. So make sure you bring spare batteries for your camera and a charger. Charging will be possible at the hotels.

Backup
Backups are essential. Cameras, harddrives and memory cards may break or get stolen. Make sure you bring enough Backup for the travel.

Accessories
If you want to bring accessories, please consider the weight of your luggage. We usually use available light, but it could be useful to bring GND filters or a light travel tripod. Make sure, all accessories work with your camera.

Accessories / Clothing
Clothing
Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended and long-sleeved items should be included for protection from mosquitoes and the sun. During the rainy season, bring everything to protect yourself and your camera from the rain. A jacket may be needed in hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning.

Wind & waterproof
It is recommended to bring a light wind- and waterproof jacket.

Laundry
Laundry service may be available in bigger villages or hotels, but if you need washing, please bring ecofriendly detergent to hand wash your clothes.

Mosquitos
Mosquito repellent is highly recommended.

Drinking Water
Tap water is not drinking water. You can bring your own bottle and filter system and buy big water gallons along the way to refill your bottle.

Tipping
Tipping is not traditionally expected here, but in a country as poor as Cambodia, tips can go a long way. Salaries remain extremely low and service is often superb thanks to a Khmer commitment to hospitality. Hence a tip of just US$1 might be half a day’s wages for some. Many of the upmarket hotels levy a 10% service charge, but this doesn’t always make it to the staff. If you stay a couple of nights in the same hotel, try to remember to tip the staff that clean your room. Consider tipping drivers and guides, as the time they spend on the road means time away from home and family.

Daypack
Bring a light daypack, suitable to carry your cameras for shorter trips in order to avoid bringing your complete camera backpack every time.

ADDITIONALLY INCLUDED SERVICES

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION & BOOKING

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