Taste of Historical Mongolian Nomadic Life
Mongolia is keeping an ancient nomadic life culture. Nomadic herder families have preserved their way of life shaped by nature, vast open steppe and plains and harsh climatic conditions in their own classic sense.
The present appearance, behaviour and physical traits with their benefits combined the Mongolian five types of livestock is a great historical achievement and a service to mankind which was created by Mongolian nomadic civilisation throughout many thousands of years of struggle and hard work. Mongolian livestock beatifies the wild open steppe, hills and broad valleys, and mountains, while the various melodious sounds they make and perform garnish the soul of men which is like a live theatrical play that keeps you away from boredom, despair and tiredness.
By choosing us, you will have golden opportunity to experience the great nomadic culture and live 100% like nomads do. You will never forget the days spent here as a nomadic herder for the rest of your life.
“Five snouts” or “five muzzles” is a general term for five types of livestock which include horse, cow, camel, sheep and goat which Mongolians have domesticated since old ages for their milk, skin and meat which are nomad’s main source of livelihood. A herder’s livelihood depends on the productivity of livestock, and thus herders must move in search of better pastures while the livestock depends on nature as a source for feed and reproduce accordingly.
A herder family’s life starts in the morning (around 5 to 6 am) by opening the smoke hole and tossing milk tea into the air as an offering to Mother Nature. A herder takes into consideration factors such as the pastoral land and climatic conditions to raise livestock, and not all five species are raised, but animals are selected accordingly. Raising animals is tough work, and it requires skills, intellect, patience and hard labour from a herder.
You will be accommodated in a specially prepared ger (yurt) next to a Mongolian herdsman family in sacred, natural beauty place. The yurt will be furnished and provided with all things that herder family uses. During your stay, you will be accommodated in a separate yurt by a group or family members together. You will live a life of a herder and while the herder family will teach and guide you to do everything like they do and you will personally experience everything. In Nomadic lifestyle participation of each person is very important. How much does this interest you?
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar and meet our guide and driver. Transfer to hotel and check in. In the afternoon short tour in Ulaanbaatar city visit Sukhbaatar Central Square, Chinggis Khaan Monument, National Museum of Mongolian History, and you will attend a show an evening concert of National Tsam dance music and songs from Mongolia, especially the amazing Khoomei.
After breakfast, we will travel to herding family. We will be welcomed by the family after which you will be accommodated in specially prepared yurt next to the family with your group members to become a family. After getting familiar with the place you will receive a herd from family to care after. Your life as a herder starts from there. After breakfast, we will travel to herding family. We will be welcomed by the family after which you will be accommodated in specially prepared yurt next to the family with your group members to become a family. After getting familiar with the place you will receive a herd from family to care after. Your life as a herder starts from there.
Waking up in the morning before the sun rise you open the smoke hole of the yurt and you will check whether the animals you received are well and are not missing. Back in the ger you fire the stove and brew tea and make an offering to the Mother Nature to express your gratitude.
After preparing breakfast with the help of herder family separate the calves from their mothers and milk the cows. Then rejoin the calves back to their mothers for feeding. After that you can have your breakfast. Finishing the breakfast you fence the calves and the herd consisting of sheep, goats, and cattle are released to pasture. At this time someone has to take the prepared meal and herd the animals to pasture and watch over them during grazing. The day when your turn comes to herd sheep that day is called the sheep herding day. The person who herds the sheep that day is most respected as it is very responsible job. Anyone who is going to pasture, to herd sheep is given specially trained gentle horse, a binocular and a prepared meal to eat while herding. Herding sheep starts in 9 am until late afternoon
The ones that are left to stay will have many works to do such as filtering the milk milked in the morning and starting fire in the stove for boiling the milk. The boiled milk is then fermented to become yogurt and leftover becomes milk tea. You will also cook Mongolian traditional foods such as buuz, dumplings as well as clean courtyard and bring water and collect firewood and dry dung for fuel. But don’t worry because all the work will be evenly distributed and there will be a translator for you to help.
After eating your lunch and taking a break for a while, afternoon when the sheep and goats return from pasture they are tied together, with a rope around each animal’s neck, prior to milking. When milking is completed animals are set free back again to pasture a bit together with their youngsters.
Dairy processing work continues till afternoon. In the evening when the cattle returns from pasture, one has to separate calves from the herd and milk the cows. You boil the milk and then process it further to make a cream. A fatty layer floating on the milk is skimmed from the rest and is consumed with bread. Meanwhile the rest of group members have to manage outside work such as separating mother animals and youngsters into different fences for the night. After preparing and eating dinner together, we can sing Mongolian songs and play Mongolian traditional games while drinking fermented mare milk and spend the evening with fun. In the night when the stars are bright you toss milk as an offering to seven stars of gods and glaring at the thousands of stars scattered in the clear sky and breathe pure air and occasionally sounds of sheep goat bleating and horses neighing and cattle mooing can be heard and even wild animals making sounds at night. It is very relaxing and aids to sleep while hearing all these natural melodies and you can choose to sleep in Ger or tend or even outside of your tent, under open sky if you desire to do so.
Wake up early in the morning, before the sunrise and uncover the smoke hole. While doing so you check whether if your animals are well and restful. Go back inside your yurt you start a fire and brew your tea. Toss a small amount of tea to Mother Nature as an offering to express gratitude. Prepare the breakfast and leave it. With a help of any member from herding family you will remove calves from mother cows for milking before the calves are allowed to suckle again.
By now the milk boiled in caldron in the morning will have a cream floating at the top. Put the cream on bread and it is a delicious morning meal. Next job on the line is to put the calves inside fence and put the cattle, sheep and goat out to graze. Someone from the group has to take the prepared meal and follow and watch over the herd on pasture. The group members who stay will participate in dairy processing job as well as bring grazing horses back to courtyard and mares are milked while their foals are tied with a rope from the ground.
Milking many mares will keep you busy and we promise you that it will be an interesting experience. After milking is done the milk must be poured into special leather bag and stirred regularly to fermentation occur and this is considered very important work. In the afternoon when grazing animals are brought back they are milked and are set free to pasture once again. After that one must ride a horse to bring drinking water and help dairy processing work. Then when evening comes all goes to their yurt to rest and sleep.
On this day you manage all the usually daily routines and plus you learn how to make the Mongolian vodka. There is a special technique to make Mongolian vodka and if you manage to follow all the details correctly you can make high quality, good tasting vodka. Mongolian vodka is made from dairy. Making it takes long hours and everybody gets to taste and drink some. Meanwhile all other works cannot be left unattended. Dairy processing job will be different everyday no work is repeated so to keep things interesting. The evening is for games and talking walks in the surroundings.
Before noon herders will cook one of the precious food named “khorkhog” and there will be a small event to see off. After lunch we will drive to National park that was founded in 1993 to conserve bio diversity and facilitate the re-introduction project of the “Takhi” Mongolian wild horse well known as Przewalski horse.
The Takhi is the ancestor of the Mongolian horse. Beside Takhi rich habit of wildlife and flora makes the national park most significant. Enjoy small hiking and photographing the charming landscape and wildlife. Visit takhi’s small museum. In the evening we drive to Ulaanbaatar.
TASTE OF HISTORICAL MONGOLIAN NOMADIC LIFE
- The tour is designed for a group of 4-6 person, you all will live as one nomadic family and sharing duties. (but it all depends if you relay do not like certain work you can escape that)
- Suitable period is late June to early October
- Recommended to bring warm clothes and suitable shoes for rocky mountain hiking etc
- The price is not included any insurance; it is recommended to have insurance. If you do not have it ask our specialist to have locally or so
- We have 2 places organising this life tasting tour in Gobi desert (south) and near forest area (north). Lifestyle of nomads varies depending on where they live. However, both will be very much interesting and unique for you as a different life culture
- You can see other interesting tours on our website
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