Indagare’s Diana Li recently traveled to Mongolia with guests as the host of our special Insider Journey to Mongolia, the world’s least-densely populated country, wedged between Siberia and northern China.
Mongolia is one of the last remaining places on earth where the silence and emptiness of the landscapes around you truly fill your soul. Still, Mongolia’s 3.2 million people proudly keep their ancient history and rich cultural traditions alive—and protect its unique natural charms, from the oldest national park on the planet to the extremely rare Bactrian camel. On this journey, travelers ventured with Indagare’s Diana Li into the wilds of the steppes and deserts for an intimate, unforgettable discovery of a world that surpasses time.
Explore the slideshow above for a behind-the-scenes look at some of the highlights of the itinerary—plus, discover Diana and the group members’ personal favorite moments and highlights below.
Highlights and Special Moments
The Kazakh Culture: Visiting a legendary Golden Eager Hunter and a Kazakh family who demonstrated their traditional equestrian games and textile techniques
- “The trip gave us special access to unforgettable experiences in a truly remarkable place. Western Mongolia in particular will stay with me for a long time—the ability to spend time with nomadic cultures in a way that felt more like cultural exchange than cultural tourism was really special.” — Indagare Member and Insider Journey Mongolia participant
- “Deep in the Altai Mountains, where Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia and China meet, we experienced a surreal morning with eagle hunter legend Chaimurat, the only three-time winner of the Golden Eagle Festival (a celebration of Kazakh traditional heritage started by the founder of Nomadic Expeditions) and met a beautiful Kazakh family. They showed us their traditional equestrian games like kokbar (tug-of-war on horseback), blacksmithing, dombra music (in every family, there is a son who plays a two-string lute to continue the cultural melody), milk tea ceremony and more. Luckily these warm, nomadic families welcomed us in days after the first snowfall and just days before they packed up their yurts to migrate for the winter. Entering into the yurts, we were entranced by the vibrant patterns and colors of the shyrdak, stitched felt floor coverings, and tuzkeez, traditional wall hangings, both of which take months by hand to create. When the women tried teaching us how to hand embroider, we got a glimpse into just how skillful this ancient craftsmanship by Kazakh women of Western Mongolia really is. After months of work, the bottoms of the tuzkeez are always left unfinished because if completed, life as we know it might end.” — Diana Li
Sundowners at The Flaming Cliffs: Watching the sun set on this historic location where the first dinosaur eggs were discovered one hundred years ago
- “It was a fantastic experience, a true expedition. The mountains were the highlight, but dining outside and sunset drinks in the Gobi desert were pretty fantastic too.” – Indagare Member and Insider Journey Mongolia participant
The vast, remote landscapes: Traversing the plains and dunes of the Gobi Desert to the valleys and grasslands of the snow-capped Altai Mountains
- “The two camps where we stayed were perfectly located to give one a true sense of the countryside that was being visited. The Three Camel Lodge in the Gobi was just far enough away from the town we flew into to make one feel immersed in the beautiful Gobi Desert. It backed up against a small hill that had 360 degree views.” – Indagare Member and Insider Journey Mongolia participant
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Our small-group luxury trips are carefully curated around passion points—from art and design to adventure and conservation. Offering maximum cultural immersion and the chance to discover once-in-a-lifetime experiences with like-minded travelers, local tastemakers and expert hosts, our Insider Journeys pull back the curtain on behind-the-scenes visits and special access.