Ethnic expedition to the center of Asia to nomadic yak breeders, camel herders and Todzha reindeer herders

TYVA


20 - 27 June, 2022
Tour Republic of Tyva, Russia

Tour to Tyva to camel breeders yak breeders reindeer herders horse breeders expedition to Tuva Tyva center of Asia nomads of Central Asia Mongolia cattle breeders Tuvans Todzha people

Tyva is a mysterious land amid mountains, deserts and taiga, located in the very center of Asia. Tuvans are the only people in the world that breed all major types of cattle. It is only here where you can see some of the southernmost reindeer herders in the world and some of the northernmost camel herders.

Our ethnographic expedition will go to the traditional nomadic herders' camps in the mountains of the west of Tyva, to camel breeders in the desert at Mongolian border, to the shepherds of the Thousanders and to the Tozhu reindeer herders.

The full immersion expedition is led by ethnologist, big expert in the field of the peoples of Central Asia.

Tyva is a mysterious land amid mountains, deserts and taiga, located in the very center of Asia. Tuvans are the only people in the world that breed all major types of cattle. It is only here where you can see some of the southernmost reindeer herders in the world and some of the northernmost camel herders.
Our ethnographic expedition will go to the traditional nomadic herders' camps in the mountains of the west of Tyva, to camel breeders in the desert at Mongolian border and to the high-mountain forest-tundra to the Todzha reindeer herders.
The full immersion expedition is accompanied by ethnologist, big expert in the field of the peoples of Central Asia.

SCHEDULE & COST:

Dates: June 20 - 27, 2022

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost of participation per person:
- 119 500 rubles subject to 10 - 12 participants, or
- 127 500 rubles subject to 8 - 9 participants, or
- 135 500 rubles subject to 7 participants.

Everything is included except for:

- Flight to Kyzyl roundtrip
- Medical insurance
- Russian visa (if needed)

Estimated cost of flight Moscow - Kyzyl - Moscow: 25 000 - 35 000 rubles. Usually bought on your own.

Single supplement: upon request (single accommodation can be provided NOT along the whole itinerary).




TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO TYVA


Day 0. June 19, 2022.
DEPARTURE TO KYZYL

Evening direct flight from Moscow to Kyzyl.

* Recommended flight:
- direct flight from Moscow to Kyzyl by IrAero airlines on June 19 at 22:00 with arrival at 7:10 am on June 20
- or any other flight from Moscow or another city with arrival in Kyzyl no later than 10:00 am on June 20.

Meals included: no
Accommodation included: no


Day 1. June 20, 2022. Tuesday. KYZYL – CAMP OF THE NOMAD CAMEL BREEDERS (230 km)

Meeting at the Kyzyl airport. Transfer to Kyzyl.
Breakfast. Discussion of the expedition's itinerary, safety briefing. The ritual of "opening the road". Shaman's rituals.
By specially prepared off-road vehicle, we move from Kyzyl to the southern part of Tyva, to a desert area near the border with Mongolia. In the evening we arrive at the camp of traditional camel breeders. Lunch en route. The Republic of Tyva is one of the unique regions and historically developed region of camel breeding, which is a traditional branch of agriculture. Camels of the Mongolian Bactrian species are perfectly adapted to the natural and climatic conditions of semi-deserts and dry steppes. Camels supplied the nomads with wool, down, meat, and were also used under the saddle and as a beast of burden.
Dinner and rest. In the evening - a lecture by an ethnographer about the traditions and rituals of the peoples of the southern regions of Tyva, which differ from the traditions and rituals in eastern and western Tyva. Overnight stay in a traditional yurt or, optionally, tents.



Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: yurt (traditional nomad dwelling) or tents


Day 2. June 21, 2022 . CAMEL BREEDERS CAMP - CAMP OF THE SHEPHERD OF THOUSANDERS IN TANDY-UULA (130 km)

Communicating with camel breeders, taking pictures of everyday scenes.
After breakfast, transfer to the shepherds' campsite "Tandy-Uula". It is located in a wonderful region - Semiozero, at the foot of the Tandy-Uula ridge on the bank of the mountain river Elegest.
Hospitable hosts will acquaint you with nomadic Tuvan culture, accommodate you in authentic yurts, show you master-classes on national games, dairy and meat cuisine. Horseback riding and climbing up the ridge peak (2650 m), where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the valley, are available for lovers of outdoor activities.
A banya on the river bank at the foot of the Tandy-Uula ridge.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: yurts, parking lot



Day 3. June 22, 2022. TANDY-UULA —BELDIR-KEZHII — YAK HERDERS NOMAND' CAMP


Breakfast and early check out. Travel to the west of the republic, to the mountainous region of the Bai-Taiginsky district.
Transfer to the Khemchik river valley. Stops in picturesque mountain areas, panoramic views of the Tsagan-Shibetu and Shapshalsky ranges.
Visit to the ethnocultural complex in the town of Beldir-Kezhii. There is a suburgan (Buddhist stupa), where the goddess "Nogaan Dariigi" (Green Tara) is located - the protector from unforeseen and unexpected disasters; a monument to Tuvan writing, as well as wooden letters "T" and "D". Wooden letters are a tribute to the ancient religion of Tuva - Tengrianism. "T" and "D" stand for "Tengir demdee", literally - "sign of the sky", symbolizing eternity, inviolability. ... At this point, you need to make a secret wish and touch your forehead to the stone, then the wish will certainly come true.
Visit a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, a place for the "San-Salyr" rite (a rite of worship).
Before lunch arrival at the nomad camp of traditional yak breeders in the mountainous region of Tuva. Immersion in the culture of the nomadic yak herders. Acquaintance with the life of a nomad: a master class on cooking sүt araga (milk vodka) from kefir, tasting national dishes made from meat and drinks from yak milk. Dinner - yak meat dishes cooked over the fire. Overnight in the yurts of the yak breeders or, if you wish, in tents.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents


Day 4. June 23. YAK HERDERS NOMAND' CAMP ALDYN-BULAK

Breakfast. Continuation of acquaintance with the life of a nomad: master classes on saddling a yak and cooking national dishes.
Lunch, local cuisine.
Highland nomads roam the seasonal pastures. Livestock gain weight quickly in the short summer on summer pastures. Residents of the district always have fresh meat, milk and dairy products, and prepare supplies for the winter. There are no highways in the mountainous hard-to-reach area. The migrations - "kosh" were mainly carried out on yaks, a yurt and furniture were immersed on them.
Yak breeders also breed horses and have their own herd. Acquaintance with the culture of horse breeders and, if possible, horse riding.
Moving to the ethnic complex Aldyn-Bulak (200 km).
Aldyn-Bulak is located in the valley of the Ulug-Khem River. It is no coincidence that the yurt bivouac is located here: according to legends, many years ago the headquarters of the supreme khan of the Dzungars was located in this hollow, and then a Buddhist monastery-khuree operated. These assumptions are confirmed by the fragments of the Khan's seal and mossy stones with the inscription of the Tibetan mantra of prosperity "Om mani padme hum" found during the excavations. According to some reports, a Buddhist temple should have been built in this place, and rituals of cleansing the area have been held. Therefore, today it is considered a saint among Tuvans.
Dinner. Cultural evening, acquaintance with the throat singing of Khoomei.
Acquaintance with national instruments.
"Khoomei is a phenomenon close to the spirit of the Tuvan nomadic people, a way of expressing a worldview, a symbol of the spirituality of people, a key to its soul. It was in the khoomei that the Tuvans found consolation in the most difficult moments. Since ancient times, khoomei helped not to break down, not to lose dignity and worthy of a human appearance. "This is, apparently, the answer to the question "What does khoomei mean for the Tuvan people? "
Rest.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tourist yurts or chums


Day 5. June 24, 2022. ALDYN-BULAK CAMP OF THE SHEEP-BREEDERS OF THOUSANDERS IN TANDY-UULA (130 km)


Early start in the morning
Transfer to Todzha (via Kyzyl), the district center of Toora-Khem settlement, with a population of 6.5 thousand people. Ferry ropeway across the Yenisei river.
Tuvinians-Todzhinians belong to the small-numbered indigenous peoples of Siberia; on the territory of Tuva they live in the north-east in the eastern Sayan Mountains and in the south-east of the republic. Their main activities are reindeer herding, fishing, and hunting.
On the way, a stop at a Tojin tourist compound, tea drinking, photographing reindeer.
Lunch in Toora-Khem - traditional cuisine of taiga nomads (pike on fire, smoked yaz).
Transfer to the picturesque Azas Lake (20 by 6 km, 1000 m above the sea level), whose waters are covered with lotus.
Rest, natural sightseeing.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Accommodation: local houses


Day 6. June 25, 2022. LAKE AZAS – TOORA-KHEM – KYZYL (250 km)

In the morning, boat trip on the lake, fishing.
Transfer to Toora-Khem, sightseeing tour of the settlement. Meeting with Tadzhin family, stories about the life of tundra reindeer herders.
Lunch in Toora-Hem - traditional cuisine of taiga nomads (pike on fire, smoked yaz).
Departure to Kyzyl. Ferry across the Yenisei.
Arrival in Kyzyl. Accommodation at hotel "Chalama".
Dinner. Lecture on ethnography of Tuvinians: ownership and cultural types of nomadic herding Tuva people. Elena Aiyzhy, head of the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Tuva State University.

All meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Chalama Hotel


Day 7. June 26, 2022. KYZYL - LAKE DUSKHOL (100 km)

Breakfast. Tour of the city and museums (local history and museum of treasures of the Arzhaan mound), as well as the souvenir shops of the city of Kyzyl.
Arrival to Lake Dus-Khol (Svatikova) - 55 km by car. People come here to admire the "desert zone" in miniature, to rest on the hot sand. The lake is famous for its healing properties. Every visitor will definitely tell you that the healing properties of the lake are higher than those of the Dead Sea in Israel or Lake Tuz in Khakassia. Swimming in the lake, taking mud baths.
Barbeque. Transfer to Kyzyl. Farewell dinner.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation included: Chalama hotel.


Day 8. June 27, 2022. KYZYL - RETURN FLIGHT

Breakfast. Tour of the city and museums (local history and museum of treasures of the Arzhaan mound), as well as the souvenir shops of the city of Kyzyl.
Airport transfer. Daytime flight from Kyzyl to Moscow by direct flight.

* Recommended flight:
- direct from Kyzyl to Moscow by IrAero airline at 8:10 with arrival at 9:40 in the morning,
- or any other flight from Kyzyl to Moscow or another city with a departure from Kyzyl at any time on June 27.

Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation included: no


* Due to the remoteness of the Todzha region, there may be changes/delays in the program. The order of execution of the program can also be changed, provided that all activities are saved.
Cost includes:
  • Transport services according to the program: all transfers and car rentals (buses and SUVs);
  • Double accommodation for the night in hotels, campings and tents;
  • Accommodation for the night in yurts and chums ;
  • Three meals included a day throughout the trip;
  • Drinking water throughout the trip;
  • All activities according to the program, traditional Russian steam bath;
  • Museum tickets;
  • Experienced Russian-speaking guide;
  • Russian and English speaking team-leader and ethnologist services
  • Registration of permits to enter the border zone;
  • Registration of a permit to enter national parks and reserves;
  • Support of local communities, payment for guides
Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

  • Flight to Kyzyl and back
  • Medical insurance
  • Russian visa (if required)
  • Alcohol and souvenirs;
  • Additional options of the program
  • Tips

To take with:

  • Sets of clothing suitable for weather conditions (fleece or wool jacket, cotton T-shirts, light trousers, shorts, warm hat and panama hat)
  • Warm and windproof clothes, thermal underwear
  • Head torch
  • Raincoat
  • A set of clothes with long sleeves
  • Mosquito net
  • Comfortable closed trekking shoes and lightweight shoes
  • Sun and wind protection (cream, glasses, panama)
  • Repellent
  • Sleeping bag for 0 Celsius degrees comfort temperature (cool nights in the mountains),
  • Personal hygiene products: soap, towel, toothpaste, wet wipes
  • Personal first aid kit (analgesics, antiseptics, antibiotics, medications necessary for you personally)
  • Large backpack or bag for things,
  • Small backpack for radial exits
  • Copy of health insurance
  • Photo and video equipment
  • Spare batteries, power bank
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