March 11 - March 18 2019

Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour

Beautiful, remote, stunning.
New for 2019!

Run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and experience
life among Mongolian reindeer herders in northern
Mongolia!

From 1,799 USD per person

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour

Beautiful, remote, stunning.
New for 2019!

Run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon
and experience life among Mongolian
reindeer herders in northern Mongolia!

From 1,799 USD per person

  • Overall

    A unique 8-day winter adventure to run the Lake Khuvsgul Ice Marathon and experience life among Mongolian reindeer herders.

    We’ll travel from Ulaanbaatar across the snow-covered Mongolian Steppe, stopping in Soviet-era industrial towns and beautiful Buddhist monasteries, until we reach Khuvsgul National Park in the Taiga close, to the Russian border.

    In the far north, we’ll stay with Dukha (Tsaatan) herdsmen and their families to learn about the role of Mongolian reindeer in their traditional way of life, and take part in one of the world’s coldest marathons.

    Ice Marathon runners can join 10km, half marathon, or full marathon races across the frozen Khuvsgul Lake, then warm up in a cozy Mongolian ger.

    Tour leader Rich Beal has 15 years of experience leading tours to Mongolia, including remote areas of Mongolia’s far west and Gobi Desert.

    Want to add to your collection of bizarre and unique marathon runs? Join Koryo for the Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea on April 7 or the Dushanbe Half Marathon in Tajikistan on April 20.

    See below for the Ice Marathon and Mongolian Reindeer Tour highlights, itinerary, and notes.

    Highlights

    • Run in Mongolia's first Ice Marathon on frozen Khuvsgul Lake
    • Visit the north of Mongolia
    • Experience the culture of Mongolian reindeer herders and Ger living
    • Stop at Amarbayasgalant Monastery
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 of 8
    1. Monday 11th March

      Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

      When arriving into Ulaanbaatar (UB), all passengers will be met and taken to the group hotel.

      We meet early evening for a Pre-Tour Briefing followed by a group meal; those not feeling too jet-lagged can join us in one of UB’s famous bars.

      Meals | Dinner

      Overnight | Standard hotel; single room available
    2. Tuesday 12th March

      Drive Erdenet city and visit to Amarbayasgalant Monastery

      After an early start, we begin our adventure driving north out of Ulaanbaatar into the frozen Steppe of Mongolia. We will stop along the way to take photos of the magnificent scenery which appears to run endlessly into the distance. This 4-5 hr drive will take us into the stunning Mongolian countryside where rolling hills blanketed in snow offer vistas of unparalleled natural beauty.

      On our journey, we stop in Darkhan for lunch and a brief visit; once known as the Pittsburgh of Mongolia for its industrialization, Darkhan was also the embodiment of socialist town planning. Here we visit Kharaagiin Khiid. This small monastery takes on the unusual form of a rustic log cabin, a popular spot for locals to visit.


      We then continue our drive onwards this afternoon stopping to visit the picturesque Amarbayasgalant Monastery one of the three largest monastic centers in Mongolia, being one of the very few monasteries to have partly escaped destruction during the Stalinist purges in 1937. Located at the foot of Mount Büren-Khaan this beautiful yet remote temple offers us a great opportunity for photography before our drive onto Erdenet city.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Standard 3*hotel; single room available



    3. Wednesday 13th March

      Drive to Moron and Khatgul

      Erdenet was once known as 'Little Russia'. This relatively prosperous city has grown around Mongolia's largest copper mines (and the 4th largest mine in the world), which were once home to a large Russian population, although its numbers have declined in recent years since the mines have now become nationalised. Before saying goodbye to Mongolia’s largest city, we of course stop at the Communist Monument and the Karl Marx Mural along with a picture of Lenin.

      Driving west, we pass over the small Burengiin Nuruu Mountain Range taking photos as we go, from here all roads lead to Moron. This small town is our gateway into the Khuvsgul National Park area and in particular the small lakeside hamlet of Khatgul, our base for the next few days.

      Upon arrival, we will sort into our ger before driving onto the frozen lake. Here we will travel our Ice Marathon Route as well as utilizing the local horse sledges. The traditional horse sled has been taxiing locals across the frozen lake long before mechanisation reached this part of the world. Khuvsgul Lake starts to freeze in late September/ early October and remains frozen until May.

      Meals
      | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp: Ger, or traditional Mongolian tent – the way most locals still do. This tourist ger camp is purpose built with restaurant area. Although there is no running water in this region we have eco-toilets and a purpose built sauna. For those whom wish there are shower facilities only 5 minutes away in town. The ger may be a little chilly but our local hosts keep the fires regularly burning throughout the night.
    4. Thursday 14th March

      Travel to the Reindeer Herders.

      Today we leave the comfort of our ger as we drive into the Mongolian Taiga. The aim is to locate the local reindeer herders and spend some time learning about their fascinating existence. There are no roads and the drive will be long as we drive across the frozen lake and into heavily forested hills to the north of Khuvsgul. Be prepared for a bumpy yet amazing journey with cameras at the ready.

      Upon arrival, we will meet with Dukha herdsmen and their families. The Dukha way of life revolves entirely around the reindeer herd: their herd provides them with milk, cheese, meat, and even transportation. The clothes they traditionally wear are made from reindeer hair. Reindeer dung fuels their stoves for heat and cooking whilst antlers are fashioned to make tools and other ceremonial items.

      After spending time with them we will bed down for the night in the traditional tepee. It is maybe not the most comfortable sleep, so there will be a ger available for those who need it.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp/ Tepee

    5. Friday 15th March

      Return to Khatgul

      This morning after spending a little more time with our hosts we board our 4X4s and journey back towards our temporary home Khatgul.

      Along the way we will certainly stop for more photos of the Taiga and frozen lake areas. We will see the different areas of the lake and our local guide will explain how the lake takes on its surprisingly diverse frozen forms. In places, we will see where the waves of the lake have been frozen holding their rippled form until the season's end.

      As we near our tented home, you will have one final chance to see the Marathon route ready for tomorrow’s chilly adventure.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | Ger camp

    6. Saturday 16th March

      Marathon Day

      Today is the day of the Mongolian Ice Marathon. You have the chance to run a 10km option, half marathon, or full marathon.

      The event will begin at 9am near to the small harbour whose ships remain held within the icy clutches of the lake.

      For the 10km event and half marathon, there will be a heated ger at each finish line. Those who wish to complete the full event will run the return course.

      There will be Russian 4X4s on hand to help out as well as horse sledges to aid runners returning to the start point. For those who are not running, you can cheer at the start line along with the locals or even help at one of the drink stations supplying heated beverages to our runners.

      Upon completion of the run, all who wish will be taken back to our ger camp immediately for a hot sauna and well-deserved rest.

      This afternoon is free for relaxing or one final look at the lake before this evening’s dinner and celebration.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight  | Ger camp
    7. Sunday 17th March

      Return to Ulaanbaatar

      Today we bid farewell to our amazing hosts as we drive to Moron airport for a flight back to Ulaanbaatar, the world’s coldest capital. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel.

      For those who want to see more, we can visit Gandantegchinlen Monastery, Ulaanbaatar’s largest Buddhist monastery, where we can see practising monks and learn about the role of Mongolia’s largest religion.

      Then it’s back to the city centre, where we’ll stop off for any last minute souvenir shopping at the State Department Store. Today privately owned, this is a throwback to the old Soviet sales system, where everything is under one roof, and you pay with multiple receipts before returning for your purchases. As we journey back to the hotel we will also be sure to stop at Sükhbaatar Square, the central square of UB.

      Tonight's farewell dinner will be a Mongolian BBQ.

      Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

      Overnight | 3* hotel

    8. Monday 18th March

      Departure day

      We end our adventure in the morning, with transfers to the airport for international flights. Pack your souvenirs, your dirty clothes and your memories, and have a safe trip home!

      Meals | Breakfast

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      English-speaking local guide
      Western tour leader
      All meals outside Ulaanbaatar
      Internal flights
      Horse riding
      All included sightseeing
      All taxes & entrance fees to protected areas
    • Not included
      Optional extra 1: + $550 Flight from Beijing to Ulan Bator, and return by train
      Optional extra 2: + $650 Return flights Beijing–Ulan Bator and Ulan Bator–Beijing
      Sleeping bags
      International flights
      Any alcoholic beverages
      Meals where specified
      Medical insurance.
      Visas if needed
      Items of personal nature
  • Notes

    We meet and say goodbye in Mongolia/Ulaanbaatar. You will need to make your own way to and from Ulaanbaatar.

    Please note!

    This tour has been specifically arranged to visit these areas and it may have elements of an expedition about it due to the nature and ruggedness of the terrain. As such any change in itinerary at the time cannot be helped. We will keep to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible, although please be aware that things are subject to change, especially if we encounter any extreme weather conditions. Along the way, all tour decisions will rest with Rich (tour manager) and an expedition leader. We will also be taking advice from local people on the ground whose expertise will far exceed our own.

Please apply by 28th February, 2019.

info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
邮编:100027
Download contact card