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Live-Music Festival Ustuu-Khuree

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Tour details
Destinations: Kyzyl, Chadan
Type of adventure: icon-22.png Culture
Guide language: English
Price: min $ 491
Group size: min 1 — max 10
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Price
  • Important Info
Cities and locations: Kyzyl
Tour description

Since 1999 festival of live music and faith Ustuu-Khuree has become a bright cultural event of modern Tuva. The festival appeared within the idea of reconstruction of ruins of once magnificent Buddhist temple in Chadan town in Tuva. The motto of the festival is live music and following of universal spiritual postulates of living faith (kindness, tolerance). The ideologists of the festival purposefully moved away from commercial profit.

The musical program of the festival is closely intertwined with the spiritual. During Ustuu-Khuree Buddhist lamas perform religious rites every day. The festival is not limited obly by Buddhism. It tries to unite musicians of different nationalities and religions around the idea of revival of spirituality, humanism and tolerance towards each other.

Festival Ustuu-Khuree is a mixture of all trends and styles in music from classical and jazz to folk and avant-garde. The stage of the festival is open for all musicians, where everybody is equal – a “star”, crossing oceans in order to see wonderful Tuva Republic in not less exotic Russia and an enthusiast, playing in local clubhouse. You can meet the last Russian pank and 6-year old performer of deep-throat singing from Mongun-Taiga, situated on the borderline with taiga. Ustuu-Khuree is a Mecca for piligrims. This festival is a kind of trophy trip for everyone, who decided to come here. For them this is the way for “renaissance of spirituality”.

Famous bands all over the world took part in this festival. They are: Oktai, Olash, Chargy-Haya, Andrey Mongush, Sayany ensemble, Internat, Moscow bands Clean Tona and safety Magic, folklore band Kaan Keredey from Novokuznetsk, ethnic band Allegoriya from Novosibirsk, Compatriotes international orchestra, Sun Ra Arkestra and many other guests from Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Volgograd, Abakan, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Japan, Switzerland etc.

The simplicity of living conditions in a tent town, closeness to nature, a special atmosphere of ruins of the Buddhist temple, constant united music playing of the participants – all these components created a unique image of the festival. For a long time it was unofficial, wasn’t supported by authorities and was just an original form of alternative culture. But as the time passed, the geography of participants expanded, new international contacts appeared, and, as a result, the festival got the government support.

Festival Ustuu-Khuree is the winner of the competition Russian Event Awards 2015.

From the history:

In 1930, after the adoption of a special resolution Ustuu-Khuree was closed, and in 1937 - destroyed. In 1999, the Russian government, recognizing the historic and architectural value of the unique temple Ustuu-Khuree, decided to restore it.

Ustuu Khuree Temple is the only monument of Tibetan architecture in Russia, the crowning of Buddhist construction in Tuva. It was built in 1905, 1930 - closed, 1937 - destroyed. In 1999 Russian government, admitting its historical and architectural value, decided to reconstruct it.

At this very temple it was decided to join a protectorate of the Russian Empire. This is a significant event for Tuva, thanks to Hun Noyon Buyan Badyrgy - a former pupil of the temple and the future head government of People's Republic of Tuva proclaimed the first time in the history as independent one inside Russia.

Location of the main event: Chadan town (Tuva Republic, Russia) 

Official website http://ustuhure.com/

Category

Brand tours / Event tours / Tours in groups

Briefly about tour

Total duration: 7 days/6 nights

Season: July

Tour mileage: 570 km by bus

Number of people in a group: 1-10 pax

Age: no age limits

Level of physical training: no special physical training

Day 1. 12.07.2017, Wednesday Tourists will be met in Kyzyl, the capital city of Tuva Republic. At the bus terminal or airport.
Transfer to the yurt camp Biy-Khem.
Arrival to the bank of the river Biy-Khem (from Tuvan – the Big Yenisei), overnight in traditional felt yurts.
Rest among Tuvan nature.

Full day program

The tourists’ arrival, meeting at the airport or bus terminal of Kyzyl between 09:00 and 16:00.

There are direct flights from Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk / you can take flight Moscow-Abakan and then shared taxi Abakan-Kyzyl (400 km).

Transfer to the yurt camp Biy-Khem.

Free time, rest, those who wish can walk through the outskirts and go up the nearest hill to watch the whole Biy-Khem valley. Evening bonfire.

Accommodation at the yurt camp Biy-Khem

Lunch and dinner at the yurt camp

25 km by bus

Breakfast for extra charge

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Day 2. 13.07.2017, Thursday Kyzyl city tour, capital city of the Tuva Republic.
Visit the Geographical Center of Asia. Walking along the Yenisei quay. Visit the Buddhist temple and Drum of wishes.
Excursion about the Scythian gold in the National museum of Tuva. Treasures, found in the burial mound Arzhaan-2, became a sensation in the archaeological world!
Visit a workroom of local craftsmen. Free time in Kyzyl, visit a market. Trip to a healing mineral spring.
Upon return to the yurt camp dinner with traditional dishes of Tuvan cuisine (meat and dairy products).

Full day program

The place of this day is Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva. This city is situated in the place where the Biy-Khem (the Big Yenisei) and the Kaa-Khem (the Small Yenisei) unite their waters and give a life to the great river Yenisei. The first sight to visit here is the Geographical Centre of Asia.

The next place of visiting is the Buddhist temple and Drum of Wishes.

The group will visit the National Museum of Tuva (world-famous exhibition Scythian gold) and see unique archaeological finds of different epochs.

Visit local handicraftsmen who will share the secrets of making shamanic drums, yurts, utensils, jewelry.

Free time in Kyzyl, visit a local market. Departure to a healing mineral spring.

Dinner with traditional dishes of Tuvan cuisine including meat and dairy products will be cooked specially for the guests on returning back to the yurt camp.

Accommodation at the yurt camp Biy-Khem

Breakfast and dinner at the yurt camp, lunch in a restaurant

70 km by bus

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Day 3. 14.07.2017, Friday This day you will cross the republic from the east to the west, following the way of ancient nomads.
Transfer from the yurt camp to Kyzyl. Special shuttle will bring you from Kyzyl to Chadan to the festival.
By the midday arrival to Chadan town.
Registration of participants.
20:00-21:00 Grand opening of the XVIII International Festival of live music and faith Ustuu-Khuree 2017.
Concert of headliners.
Campfire of Friendship. Jam Session.

Full day program

This day you will cross the republic from the east to the west, following the way of ancient nomads. Transfer from the yurt camp to Kyzyl. Special shuttle will bring you from Kyzyl to Chadan to the festival.

By the midday arrival to Chadan town.

Registration of participants and organization of parking. Free day.

During the festival accommodation in tents.

20:00-21:00 Grand opening of the XVIII International Festival of live music and faith Ustuu-Khuree 2017. Location: Chadan Stadium 

21:00-23:00 Concert of headliners and the best performers of the first competition day. Location: Chadan Stadium 

23:30 Campfire of Friendship. Jam Session. Location: the tent camping.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast at the yurt camp, lunch and dinner cooked on fire

225 km by bus

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Day 4. 15.07.2017, Saturday All the day festival auditions.
Concert with headliners beyond the Sayans.
Campfire of Memory. Jam Session.

Full day program

The program of the festival is not fixed yet, below is the itinerary of 2016.

10:00-19:00 Festival auditions. Location: Small stage in the tent camping.

20:00-23:00 Festival second day concert with headliners beyond the Sayans. (Regions of Russia, CIS and other countries). Location: Chadan stadium

23:30 Campfire of Memory. Jam Session. Location: tent camp

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner on fire

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Day 5. 16.07.2017, Sunday Building Khoroo procession of all festival participants and guests. Khoroo is a march around local shrines.
Saying a prayer in the monastery Ustuu-Khuree
Gala concert of XVIII Inernational festival of live music and faith Ustuu-Khuree-2017.
Campfire of the White Road. Jam Session.

Full day program

09:45 Building Khoroo procession of all festival participants and guests. (Flags, attributes, suits, wind and percussion instruments - bring with you)

10:00 Khoroo - a march around shrines: Tent camping place - Lower Chadan Monastery Aldy-Khuree - Ustuu-Khuree (Upper Chadan Monastery)

11:00 Saying a prayer. Location: Monastery Ustuu-Khuree

20:00- 23:00 Gala concert of XVIII Inernational festival of live music and faith Ustuu-Khuree-2017. Location: Chadan Stadium

23:30 Campfire of the White Road. Jam Session. Place: tent camping

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner on fire

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Day 6. 17.07.2017, Monday Departure back to Kyzyl and yurt camp Biy-Khem.

Full day program

Departure back to Kyzyl and yurt camp Biy-Khem.

Accommodation at the yurt camp Biy-Khem

Breakfast and lunch on fire, dinner at the yurt camp

225 km by bus

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Day 7. 18.07.2017, Tuesday In the morning transfer to Kyzyl.

Full day program

The tour's finish, transfer to Kyzyl. Departure from Kyzyl by flight or to Abakan by shared taxi.

Breakfast at the yurt camp

25 km by bus

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Download tour program in PDF

Tour price per person
from 400 €

Group

Number of people in a group, € / person

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1

2

3

4

5

6-7

8-9

10

Adults

1200

730

650

550

500

465

420

400

Price includes:
  • twin accommodation in yurts (3 nights) and in tents (3 nights)
  • guide's service (Russian/English/German speaking)
  • transportation (jeep, minivan, minibus)
  • entrance tickets to the museum
  • excursions
  • meals full board
Price does not include:
  • air, bus or taxi tickets to/from Kyzyl
  • folklore performances (shamans' kamlanie, throat singing, tea ceremony)
  • individual appointments at shamans clinic
  • souvenirs
  • porter service
For extra charge:
  • single accommodation  – 45€ per person (at yurt camp, 3 nights)
  • air tickets Krasnoyarsk-Kyzyl from 135€/person/one way – air company Nordstar – you can purchase e-tickets online
  • air tickets Novosibirsk-Kyzyl from 200€/person/one way – air company Nordstar – you can purchase e-tickets online
  • shared taxi Abakan-Kyzyl is 35€/person/one way (4 passengers in a car)
  • Region
  • How to get
  • Accommodation
  • Weather
  • Meeting and seeing off
  • Transportation
  • Guide services
  • Meals
  • Security
  • Mobile communications on the route
  • Useful tips
  • Ticks and mosquitoes
  • Water
  • Other information
  • Guarantees

Region

Tuva is situated on the South of Eastern Siberia in the geographical center of Asia. It borders Krasnoyarsk region, Khakassia republic, Mongolia, Altai republic. Tuva is very rich in natural resources: besides huge geological deposits, there are about 8000 rivers, including famous Khemchik and Yenisei, about 20 big fresh and salt water lakes, lots of healing mineral springs. Fauna of Tuva is very unique and diverse: here one can meet a camel, a desert dweller, and a reindeer, inhabitant of northern territories, Tuvan mountains Tannu-Ola are the realm of snow leopard. Also bear, wolf, squirrel, moose, sable, roebuck, lynx, glutton and birds like hazel-hen, blackcock, goose, duck, eagles and even swans are often met here. From fish such species can be mentioned: Siberian and Mongolian grayling, salmon, bass, pike and many others.

The population of Tuva is about 315 thousand people. The capital of the republic is Kyzyl, the place having been calculated and depicted to be the geographical center of Asia. Distance from Abakan – 400 km, from Krasnoyarsk –1000 km. Time difference with Moscow is +4 hours.

Main confessions: Orthodox Church, Buddhism, Shamanism.

Places of interest in Kyzyl are: free Arat square, The Geographical center of Asia obelisk, National Tuvan museum, Tuvan national theatre, Shaman clinic.

Holidays and customs of Tuva

Shagaa – New Year according to the luni-solar calendar. (January-February)

Constitution day of Tuva Republic – 6 May

Republic Day – 15 August

Naadym - nomads' festival, the date and place is changing every year, traditionally middle August, in Kyzyl.

Season rituals of worshipping nature (sug bazhy dagyyr, taiga dagyyr, ot dagyyr).

If you happen to appear at a Tuvan family’s place, you should know that it is used to give little presents to hosts. You present children with sweets or cookies, and adults may be presented with something useful, for example a torch. It’s very important to deal with older ones with respect, following subordination.

Singing songs in a company of people is much preferred by Tuvans, so be ready to be asked to sing, Good vocal abilities are not important – it’s important to support singing anyway. In their songs Tuvans chant the praises of great rivers Yenisei and Irtysh and of great mountains Sayan and Altai, steppes and valleys. They sing about their friends – horses.

How to get

The journey starts in Kyzyl. Time difference with Moscow is +4 hours.

By air (schedule is valid from May till September, 2017)

You can get to Kyzyl from Krasnoyarsk by airlines Nordstar. The flight Krasnoyarsk-Kyzyl is Mon at 16:00, arrival in Kyzyl at 18:00, on Fri 16:50-18:45, on Sun 08:20-09:55. The one way ticket costs about 135 euro. Return flight is on Tue and Sat 07:15-09:15, on Sun 16:25-17:50.

You can get to Kyzyl from Novosibirsk by airlines Nordstar. The flight Novosibirsk-Kyzyl is Sun at 13:40, arrival in Kyzyl at 15:45. The one way ticket costs from 200 euro. Return flight is on Sun 10:35-12:50. 

Also you can fly from Moscow to Abakan by aircompany Aeroflot (00:05-08:40, everyday) and S7 (22:05-06:35 +1, everyday). From Abakan you can get to Kyzyl also by shared public taxis (400 km). The one way ticket costs from 180 Euro. Return flights are 07:40-08:35 by S7 and 09:55-10:45 by Aeroflot.

By train

There is no railroad in Tuva. The next railway station is in Abakan (400 km to the north of Kyzyl). Abakan you can reach by train 124 from Krasnoyarsk or by train 068 from Moscow via Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.

From Abakan to Kyzyl you can get only along motor roads:

In the republic there are 2 roads of federal significance: Kyzyl-Abakan and Kyzyl-Ak-Dovurak-Abakan.

1) transfer ordered in advance, which will be arranged for you by our company, traveling time 6 hours, the price for a car - 200 Euro, a minibus up to 6 seats - 235 Euro, minibus up to 10 seats -270 Euro.

2) by private fixed-run taxi and cars (Toyota Fielder, Honda Odyssey) from the railway station from 06:00 to 11:00. The car leaves as soon as it is full, so passengers usually wait up to 3 hours. Traveling time 4-6 hours, the price is 35 Euro one way

3) by private car on the highway M-54, the distance Abakan-Kyzyl - 400 km.

To compare prices (for those arriving from Moscow):

- combined route Moscow-Novosibirsk-Kyzyl-Novosibirsk-Moscow, plenty of flights Moscow-Novosibirsk-Moscow, air companies Aeroflot, S7, Ural airlines etc + Nordstar flight Novosibirsk-Kyzyl-Novosibirsk. An unconvenient, long or short connection in Novosibirsk is possible. Price about 500 Euro per person a return ticket.

- combined route Moscow-Krasnoyarsk-Kyzyl-Krasnoyarsk-Moscow, plenty of flights Moscow-Krasnoyarsk-Moscow, air companies Aeroflot, S7, Ural airlines etc + Nordstar flight Krasnoyarsk-Kyzyl-Krasnoyarsk. An unconvenient, long or short connection in Krasnoyarsk is possible. Price about 430 Euro per person a return ticket.

- optimal due to comfort and spent time, as well as great impressions, Moscow-Abakan-Moscow by flight and Abakan-Kyzyl-Abakan by shared taxi. Price from 400 Euro per person a return ticket.

- low-budget option Moscow-Abakan-Moscow by train (3 class, 6-berth cabins, 3 nights on board) and Abakan-Kyzyl-Abakan by shared taxi. Price from 300 Euro per person a return ticket.

Accommodation

Yurt camp Biy-Khem (3 nights)

Yurt complex is a yurt camp near Kyzyl specially designed for tourists’ accommodation. Yurts for 1-2 people made of felt are very comfortable and cozy are furnished with wooden beds, little wardrobe and cupboard. Shower with hot water and bio-closet facilities are situated in the big detached yurt. Canteen is also situated in another yurt.

Accommodation in twin yurts, single accommodation is possible for extra fee - 40 euro per person.

In the complex there is a stone “ovaa” – witchcraft rite place sanctified by shamans, campfire where in evenings a ritual kamlanie and concerts are held.

Tent camp at the festival Ustuu-Khuree (3 nights)
Tent camp built near the city of Chadan, close to the festival site.
For that period we provide you with tents, sleeping bags and pads.
All meals will be cooked on the fire by our staff, you can help. You can drink the water from the Chadan river - it's clean and tasty. You can wash and bathe there. For those who come from places where drinking water bought in stores, will be a true celebration to drink the real water.
Please choose the campfire from the old fireplace. Try not to kindle a fire close to the trees and tents: Larch sparks a lot and can ignite trees and tents. The territory of the camp is guarded, so you can walk all night around the camp. You are kindly requested not to leave the camp in the evening (this is permissible only within tthe festival program) and even more at night.
The main rule of the festival - no alcohol. Chadan residants are hospitable, but should not be abused. You cannot drink alcohol, even more offer drinks to the local population. Also at the festival there is no place for discos. And know that if you have any problems, the organizing committee will always help you.

Weather

The climate in Tuva is sharply continental. Summer there is dry, temperature up to 40 C. Winters are cold –50 C and not snowy.

July is the hottest month, but sometimes there might rain for a week. The weather is stable and it's warm in the day time and at night. At the end of the month the steppe starts getting dry.

Meeting and seeing off

Transfers from airport or bus terminal of Kyzyl are organized at fixed time between 09:00 and 16:00. Tourists are met with a board, where tourist’s name or a name of a company is printed.

Seeing off is organized according to your tickets between 08:00 and 12:00. Tourist are transferred to the airport 3 hours before a flight.

The contact numbers of guide will be given to you 7 days before the day of start.

Transportation

Traveling by jeeps, minibuses according to group’s size. All transport is with air conditioner. During the tour there are several stops, rest, walks. It is forbidden to smoke in buses, stops in some places, preserves.

Guide services

We have highly qualified guides working in our company, due to this fact the tours of the company Sayan Ring have become so interesting and fascinating. The guides will be English, German, French or Italian speaking. They say, without a guide any journey, even a short one is nothing more than going some distance, but with a guide it is already travelling. On some trips you will be accompanied by experienced instructors.

Meals

During the tour you will be offered full board: at the yurt camp Biy-Khem, once in a restaurant, in tents cooked on the fire. Alcohol beverages are not included in price. We also consider the tourists' preferences, those who follow special diets or are vegetarians. For this you need to inform us in advance about your wishes. In case the meal preferences were not specified one will be provided with standard menu. Any alterings in meal during the tour are possible only for additional fee.

Speaking about Tuvan people, they also can’t do without meat and diary products. In fact, they eat mostly meat and all other food is just an addition to it. Various dishes made of meat and flour are quite popular with local people, these are soup with meat and noodles (uzken bydaa), meat dumplings prepared on steam (boozy) and traditional ones (manchy), round fried meat pie (khuzhuury), minced meat with pastry (tyrtykan) and many others. Moreover, you can find on the table of Tuvinian people vodka made of milk (araga), which is made of sour milk, boorzaki – pieces of pastry fried in boiled oil, cakes, which are eaten not with prepared food, but as “individual dish” and soktaan dolgan – ground barley. Also Tuvinian people like blood pudding, green tea with milk (it is drunk with butter or salt). The importance of diary products as well as meat product is very high for these people. They developed different ways of cooking products made of  milk such as – cheese (bashtyk), butter (sarzhag), cream (oreme), koumiss (khymys), kefir (tarak), sour clotted milk (khoitpak), dried cottage cheese – of hard  and crumbly consistence (kurut and aarzhy respectively).

Security

All vehicles along the route are equipped with first-aid kit and all our guides have been specially trained to do primary medical assistance. Tuva is the area, where there are snakes, encephalitis ticks. Follow the rules of precautions and personal safety.

Mobile communications on the route

On the most part of the tour the cellular network coverage is available. Mobile phones operated by local operators (MTS, Beeline, Megafon, Tele2) are working alright.

Useful tips

The clothing should be comfortable, first of all. Please take what you usually put on for hiking and holidays. In case of chilly weather, especially in the evenings, make sure you take a warm sweater, socks, wind resistant jacket and 2 footwear pairs: a pair of sport shoes and a pair of water resistant shoes. A light colored shirt with long sleeves and light pants (trousers), which can protect your legs from thorny grass in the steppes of Tuva.

Sunglasses, and sun cream (the sun activity is high in Tuva).

Swimsuit (you may need it in “banya”, Russian sauna).

Towel.

A hat or a baseball hat to avoid sunstroke. A knitted jacket and warm sweater. Light wind resistant jacket, in August – warm jacket. Shorts, T-shirts, easy clothing and footwear.

You also should take a contract confirming tour purchase, medical insurance card, tick-born encephalitis insurance certificate (if you have one), individual medicines.

Ticks and mosquitoes

n Tuva there are not many mosquitoes, but there can be a lot of mosquitoes because of continuous rains, which is a rare phenomenon for Tuva. We recommend tourists to make sure their arms and legs are covered in twilight because mosquitoes are enlivened in the evening time. Anti-mosquitoes repellents are recommended.

There are ticks in steppes of Tuva. The territory of the yurt camp Biy-Khem is treated by the pest control. The peak of ticks activity is from May to Middle July. Special anty-ticks repellents, tick-borne encephalitis insurance and vaccination are recommended. What is more, we recommend everyone to regularly check your cloths, open skin areas, the head. Most often ticks fasten on legs and then crawl up, sucking to the upper body, above the waist.

Water

Water provided during the tour is clear and doesn’t need any additional purification. Water in hot Tuva is necessary.

Other information

Information including meeting guide telephone and timed program is provided 7 days before the first day of the tour. You can get your insurance certificates, air and railway tickets booked in advance from your guide at the starting day.

Guarantees

Sayan Ring is the incoming tour operator in Krasnoyarsk regional, Khakassia and Tuva. The company is in the Federal Register of Tour Operators, according to it our Certificate Number is # МВТ 015694, given by Federal Tourist Agency. We are the member of Association of Russian Tourism Companies.

Financial insurance guarantee #164731893 for 500 000 rubles is valid from the 20.12.2016 to 19.12.2017.

Enjoy your holiday!

All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Sayan ring
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