“Each people is a star on the sky which shows its own path to knowledge and understanding of life” said the Tuvan shaman Kenin-Lopsan Borakhoevich Mongush.
Upon your arrival our local guide will meet you at the hotel. You will have lunch at the Buyan-Badyrgy hotel restaurant and check in the hotel. After lunch you will enjoy an excursion around Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva, and visit the main Arat square, see the Kok-ool musical and drama theater and the Tuvan National Museum. By the end of the day you will have an opportunity to visit a shamans’ clinic and meet with Tuvan shamans. If you wish, you can set up an individual appointment with a shaman.
You will visit a Tuvan shaman’s home. Tuvan shamans in the town live in blocks of flats like all the urbanites and lead a normal life. You will be welcomed with the Siberian hospitality and you will have dinner with the shaman.
After dinner you can relax and spend a free evening exploring Kyzyl.
We will go to the western Tuva to the Sai-Xonash yurt camp. 100 km out of Kyzyl you will stop by the sacred Khayirakan mountain, which means “Sky God” in Tuvan. It is a very powerful and spiritual place for Tuvan shamans, a lot of them come here to build up their strength and ask for blessing from the mountain’s spirit – the she-bear. You will see the shamanic purification ritual during which you can also get more energy and ask for a safe journey from the mountain’s spirits. After having a picnic at the foot of the mountain we will continue our trip.
The distance between Khayirakan mountain and the Sai-Xonash yurt camp: 200 km. We will drive through the towns of Shagonar, Chadan, Ak-Dovurak. By the evening we will get to the Sai-Xonash yurt camp, a wonderful place far from all the noise and bustle of big cities. You will feel harmony and become one with nature.
The third day is devoted to learning the nomadic culture. The excellent throat-singer, who is also the owner of the camp, will teach a throat singing master class and show you how to play national instruments. The camp’s cook will make traditional Tuvan dishes for you. After lunch there will be horse-riding lessons, while experienced riders can go on a horse-mounted tour of the surrounding areas with an experienced local shepherd who knows all the hidden nooks of this land.
After breakfast we will go to the mountain of Shiveelig-Tag which looks like a fortress in the middle of a vast field (next to the village of Kyzyl-Mazhalyk). You can see big and small burial mounds of Turkic origin (VI-VIII centuries). Each mound is marked with stones – balabans – with different pictures chiseled on them, such as animals (possibly totems), birds, masks or just faces… There are around 300 balabans.
Picnic by Shivilig Tag. After lunch we will go to the rock of Bizhikitig-Tag which is located 7 km from Ak-Dovurak. The rock’s name means “the rock with writings, engravings” in Tuvan. This place is breathtaking and magical, its secrets and legends haven’t been unveiled yet.
Next, we will find the stone figure of Kizhi-Kozhe and the Princess Sai-Suu monument. These places are full of legends which will be told to you by our local guide.
Later we will come back to the yurt camp and have dinner by the campfire.
In the evening you can explore the areas around the camp on foot.
In the morning you will go to the waterfall where you will have a picnic.
After lunch we will meet local Tuvan shepherds and visit their yurts. When you sit down in the yurt, you will be given a cup of Tuvan tea with milk and salt without fail. It is the ancient tradition of hospitality. You will learn how the yurt is arranged. Our local guide will tell you the main rules according to which the yurt is set up and will explain Tuvan traditions and customs.
We will leave that place charged with energy, full of fresh air and ancient legends. After breakfast we will go back to Kyzyl. We will have lunch at a roadside café next to the town of Chadan. Next, we will stop at the ruins of the Ustuu-Khuree Buddhist temple.
Then, we will get to the Aldyn-Bulak ethnic and cultural complex, where our local guide will tell you about this unique place, about the gateway to Shambhala and some Tuvan symbols and beliefs.
During dinner in the Aldyn-Bulak yurt-restaurant you will taste Tuvan national specialties. Rich restaurant décor, Scythian animal pictures, Tuvan decorations, delicious food – all these make this reastaurant so famous. If you wish, during dinner a Tuvan throat singer will perform throat singing.
After dinner you can see a shamanistic ritual and explore the complex.
You will travel south to Dus-Khol Lake. The lake is famous for its medicinal properties due to applying its mud on your skin. We will have a picnic on the shore of the lake.
In the evening we will go back to Kyzyl.
Morning in the Aldyn-Bulak yurt. Departure