If you’re still on the lookout for ways to escape the upcoming Chinese New Year chaos in just a few weeks’ time, perhaps this fundraising five-day trip to Mongolia will be of interest. Organized by Tsolmon Ireedui Foundation (TIF), a Hong Kong-based non-profit, the excursion takes visitors to the snow-capped mountains of Terelj National Park, where they’ll stay in Mongolian gers (a traditional rounded tent) at the rustic Terelj Mountain Lodge to get some serious peace and quiet.
It’s an adventure for a good cause, too, since all the profits will be used by TIF to operate its free kindergarten, which takes care of children from poverty-stricken families, in the suburbs of Ulaanbaatar.
No over-the-top red embellishments or buffets of calorific CNY snacks here, just you and the great outdoors and the country’s traditional dishes served alongside international cuisine. Plus, winter activities like dog sledding over frozen rivers with huskies, horse riding through the forests, hiking and skiing, as well as visits to crystal caves, Buddhist temples, and the towering Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, the largest of its kind in the world.
The program’s schedule is not set in stone, so for those who just want to chill at the lodge or stroll through the national park at their own leisure — that’s cool too.
Taking place from Feb 5 to 10, the trip is open to people from any country, although travel to Mongolia is easier when you’re flying in from nearby(ish) cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, or Singapore.
It’s the first winter adventure put together by TIF, and the group is expected to take about 10 to 15 people — total cost is HK$10,000 (US$1,275) per person, or HK$8,500 (US$1,084) for TIF members.
Note, however, that the fee doesn’t cover flights, so you’ll have to purchase your own roundtrip plane ticket to and from the international airport, where you’ll be picked up and dropped off. Food-wise, only breakfast is covered, which gives guests the freedom to choose when and what they want to eat for their other meals, but TIF reps who have previously been there before say that the surrounding meal options are usually pretty affordable.