If there’s one sport you *have* to see, it’s kok boru, and not just so you can smirk at the name. It’s kind of like a faster, more violent version of basketball, where all the players are on horseback, the “ball” is a goat carcass, and whipping is definitely allowed. Seriously, it’s brutal.
Aside from the sports in the main arena, there’s the yurt village, where most international visitors hang out and sleep each night. Hundreds of tents are clustered in the valley, filled with food stalls, hunting demonstrations, and handicraft workshops.
This year, the third World Nomad Games (September 2-8, 2018), is touted as the biggest and best yet, with 37 sports, over 3,000 athletes from 80 countries, and the broadest program of cultural performances ever seen at the festival. Anyone who’s been knows there’s nothing quite like it — this is the world’s greatest celebration of unique historical sports, fascinating cultures, and nomadic tradition.