EAGLE FESTIVAL: actually there are 2 eagle festivals in Bayan Olgi area. One traditional with 2 days festival at around 10km far Bayan Olgi. Price for tourists: 30$/day including a traditional Khazak music concert at the theatre of Olgi. Eagles hunters come from any part of Olgy aimag, each year there is more and more eagle hunters who parcipate. 2 days of selection will permit to decide which are the 5 better eagles who will participate at the end of the festival. A young wolf will be leave free and the first eagle who will stop it will be the winner, the wolf will be not killed! Also it’s possible to see some equestrian khazak games and also during the eagle competition you can assist to a small nadaam. Authentic atmosphere guarantee.
You can also see some equestrian games about Central Asia.
At 60km far Bayan Olgi another eagle festival on the same days take place. On 2000 the Khazakh people decided to show the tradition costumes as eagle festival and 2 years later born the second festival just created for tourists of big tour operators, so they give better prices to khazaks to be sure to have many eagle for the festival. Also the festival presents the same games as the traditional one and as the big eagle festivals on the nearest countries where sometimes you can see until 200 eagles on competition. Prices for tourists are: 30$ /day including the same music concert in Bayan Olgi. It’s possible to rent a tent for 50$ or to sleep under a ger for 100$ and you will pay 20$ to picht your own tent prices 2006
The traditional festival on Bayan Olgi will always be on 1st wek end of October.
HUNTING WITH EAGLES: during the festival you can contact some Khazaks and ask them to go hunting with them on the mountains
HOW TO REACH OLGY? You need >5 days to reach Olgi from UB. Some public buses reach the town in 5 days non stop. The best is to rent a jeep on UB to not be without transportation when you will be on Olgy and so have a opportunity to see marvelous landscape. On Olgi if you are without jeep you can reach the traditional festival for some $ by taxi and of course more difficult to reach the other one as father.
Between UB and Olgy planes aren’t daily, but during summer as during eagle festival it’s really difficult to find places as they are reserved early in season by the travel agencies. Price round way from 300-500$ according season, only allowed 15kg luggage (see www.aeromongolia.mn and www.eznisairways.com) or contact email@example.com to reserve places during touristic season!
How to move in Olgy area? (see the map) if during summer it’s possible since some years to find easy a driver during winter and out of season it’s impossible or really difficult , prices are in any case expensive (always think to ask what include price…)
In front of the market you can find some collective taxi who run only if full and the go in small towns (sum) of the area.
Hotel and restaurant in Olgy: few hotels and restarants, but many guantz opened last years but they close around 7.00PM (price 2009 1 to 5€)
We can indicate 3 hotel in Olgy: prices are different according season! Tavanbogd Hotel (price 2009 5 to 25€), Bastau Hotel (price 2009 2E dormitory to 12E the double room), Duman Hotel who is the most luxury with sometimes hot water! (price 2009 12 to 30€) we can recommend to visit different hotels before to choose. Attention please as during eagle festival it’s difficult to find a room, better to arrive some days before as also the reservation also made by your driver aren’t sure!
During summer some Tourist camps open near the river: you can sleep under a ger.
In all Olgy aimag you will not find hotels or similar: you will go to nomads if your driver will accept to drive to them or under your own tent.
Ideas: in Olgy the only place where you are sure to find hot water are the public baths. Possible to take shower and also have a sauna behind reservation (400m to the Post Office from Khazak theater)
Go to the market (close on Tuesday) and as even more difficult to find go for handicraft to Altai Craft (near market, just ask your way!) During eagle festival buy your handicraft souvenirs on last day as you can get discount as after season finished!
ALTAI TAVAANBOGD PARK: 600 000 hectares . Many monads live from March to October on the marvelous area of the lake near Chinese border, be careful you will need as for all borders a special permit, inform yourselves before to leave from UB and if possible before you leave your own country to get the permit and so leave for tour immediately, your driver can do it for you and he will told you which kind of documents you have to send him.
How to buy tickets? go to the desk of the national aprk, then go to the army point. Ask them to sign each places you want to go because the risk is to have to go again to this army point when you will have to show your permit to control during visiting the park. On Sundays not always open to buy tickets!
TSAMBAGARAV ULL NATIONAL PARK: 110 000 hectares, is on the way between Olgy and Khovd: really marvelous valleys around the 2 peaks of the park : the Tsast and Tsambagarav.