Our Mongolia Homestays have been created as the result of our Climate Action Plan. Hosted by families we work in long-term local community partnership with, our Mongolia homestay experiences will allow you to slow down, connect with people from a different culture, share daily experiences with them, and soak up life from another perspective as you eat, sleep and travel the local way.
As a guest on one of our homestay experiences, you are hosted by families we work in long-term local community partnership with. As with all the experiences we offer, our homestays are put together in a way that benefits and supports each host family, rather than disrupting their lives. We don’t ask our hosts to entertain, change their daily schedule, or put on an ‘act’.
We’ve chosen families that are located in areas you can access by public bus – for the more intrepid of you – or a short transfer by vehicle. We’ll arrange the logistics and you’ll be accompanied by one of our great female trip assistants (guides – see below) to help with practicalities such as meals as well as translation. However, this is not a formal handheld experience and you, together with your trip assistant, become part of family life.
Our homestays are a significant cultural experience for you and have a tangible financial impact on the host family as we give the host family what we call a sustainable payment for their time as well as any accommodation or services. The additional income helps provide a supplementary income and extra financial security for each family meaning they are one step further away from having to consider urban migration. It also helps our host families to face any challenges such as if they need to purchase animal feed or visit Ulaanbaatar for a medical emergency.
- The circumstances and type of ger accommodation provided will change from family to family. Consider the accommodation provided as small rural businesses NOT rustic luxury Mongolia homestays. Be prepared for a variety of standards. Please remember that this is someone’s way of life and home and that they provide what they can in relation to their circumstances.
- You should have your own private ger next to the family ger but we don’t offer exclusivity as this limits the income of the families. We try to get the right balance but during peak season please accept that you might see other westerners.
- Beds will vary in comfort – most rural family members still traditionally sleep on the floor so don’t really understand the concept of double memory foam mattresses!
- The families do not have showers. Instead, they visit the local town shower house and this is what you do as well. It gives you an introduction to daily life for a majority of Mongolians in both urban and rural areas as well as a hot shower. You get your own private cubicle with plenty of hot water. Queue with the locals and enjoy experiencing a little of their daily way of life.
- Some will be better than expected. Some will be worse than expected. Most will outside long (or short) drop Asian style and if it is at a family home then the toilet will be shared by you and the family. The toilets are not there to disgust you – this is the reality of life on the ground.
In all of our Mongolia homestays, your female EL trip assistant will work together with your host family to provide meals. There will be plenty of opportunities for preparing your own Mongolian meals alongside the families but we like to provide the food items ourselves as this means the families are not expected to break up their busy schedules to shop for produce.
The majority of Mongolians eat meat and for Mongolia’s herders, it is an essential part of their diet. Due to the remote locations and the lack of facilities, there will naturally, but occasionally, be limitations in place. (If you’re the type of person that must have five pieces of fruit a day then you may struggle.) But you can count on meals that will be tasty and filling.
EL makes every effort to cater to those with dietary requirements. However, you are personally responsible for providing clear information regarding dietary needs prior to booking so we can help you to understand well in advance what you might realistically expect. There is also ample room on the booking form for you to convey these details.
In rural areas in Mongolia, there is no running water. Since recycling is extremely limited in Mongolia, we do not purchase bottled water. Instead, we access drinking water from the local families and we will filter it for your consumption. You will need to bring a reusable water bottle with you and we can provide a 15% discount for Water to go filtered reusable water bottles.