What does Mongolia mean to the people who have travelled there? What was their experience like? Sometimes you need the perspective of someone who has been there, experienced it and is someone like you – a traveller looking for unbiased advice and reviews. So here are comments from blogs about Mongolia written by some of our guests.
The Touchton Family
The Touchton Family travelled with us on our Wild Family Explorer as part of our private Mongolia family holidays. Their experience focused on the Gobi Desert and the National Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar.
‘We all fell in love with Mongolia. The trip was authentic, and that is what Iwanted. I look for a company that ‘gets’ me and understands how I want to travel – not a canned approach. It was very personalised – I appreciate your willingness to adjust to our needs.’
Brittany Zeller Holland
Travelled with her husband on one of our private Essence of Mongolia tailor made tours – through the Gobi Desert and the Khangai Mountains.
‘What impressed me most about Mongolia was the endurance of the people and their kindness. The things that surrounded us – ger interiors, temples and skies were vibrant and full of life.’
Travelled with us on one of our small group ‘seasonal insight’ trips (April). The trip focused on northern Mongolia, the Orkhon River Valley and the middle Gobi.
‘The sky is so big, the vistas so vast, and so few people live in Mongolia per square mile. It’s just amazing. It’s just amazing how mile after mile can reveal huge expanses of plains and mountains for miles on end. I have never been able to look out across that much open land in my life.’
Travelled with us on one of our Mongolia small group tours – our 23-day Untamed Mongolia.
‘And do avoid the corporately owned ‘tourist ger camps which is where most tour groups end up. They are ghettos with rigid rules, poor quality or phoney ger accommodation, and where you will end up listening to fellow westerners talking about their mortgages or about how they are going to “do” Bhutan next.’
Joined us on our Wild Gobi Mongolia Research trip which included a five-day camel trek at Khongoryn Els sand dunes
‘The dunes of Khongoryn Els sweep up against Zöölön Uul, a mountain range that is at the easterly reach of the Gobi Altai. You could say the dunes were a mountain range themselves. They are mammoth, the highest peak of sand being approximately 300m. They present the stereotypical beauty I think of in relation to a desert; sweeping lines and sharp contrasting forms lit by an unforgiving sun. There is certainly a beauty here, however, it is the gravel plains of the Gobi that stop my heart and leave my mind gaping in painful awe.’
Joined the same trip as Sovay above.
‘The Gobi will make you question everything you thought you knew about the desert. It will strip the layers of expectation, familiarity and ‘seen it all before’ mentality from the harshest of critics. No longer will you compartmentalise landscapes into preconceived boxes. The remoteness lends itself to a sense of freedom and unconscious ownership. Just when you feel an element of power over the landscape, mother earth will remind you of your perilous position in the world.’Alternatively…
‘I’ve never been on a camel before’ was all I could manage to say as my Mongolian Bactrian camel stood up. ‘I’m also scared of heights’ quickly followed.’
‘Otgon Tenger Uul would have to be my most memorable cultural experience. Seeing the reverence Turuu showed to the mountain and lake, taking part in the lake water ritual, knowing, seeing and experiencing the significance of the area made it a very special day.’
Read more about his impressions of Mongolia here.
Danielle travelled together with her family including her son who suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome. They joined us for a short exploration of the Central Heartland – combining the trip with the Trans-Mongolian train.
‘…here is the memory of the scenery. Looking out the van window one catches an occasional glimpse of a round white Ger, a leisurely grazing camel, or a lone nomadic horseman carrying an urga – a circle of rope attached to a long pole for lassoing animals. To say that I loved the freedom of the sprawling expanse of Mongolia would be an understatement.’
Read more about her impressions of Mongolia here.