Yoga And Wellness Holiday Mongolia

‘There is a spaciousness of time and place in Mongolia which allows you to sink deep into the more restorative and meditative aspects of yoga, at one with nature.’ Cryn Horn,  our yoga & wellness teacher

Grasslands of Mongolia during our yoga and wellness holiday Mongolia

Image: EL guest Mick Egan

You may not naturally think of a yoga and wellness holiday in Mongolia. But consider what defines wellness travel – an experience that allows you to rest and recharge both physically and mentally – and the immensity and peacefulness of Mongolia’s landscapes can provide both that physical and mental recharge.

Yoga teacher Cryn travelled to Mongolia as a guest of EL prior to the Covid pandemic where she fell in love with the country.

‘I loved the immensity of the land and sky and the skills and friendliness of the people who are so at home in what to me was an alien landscape. It invited me to be me. I can’t wait to return.’

As a yoga teacher, Cryn also felt that ‘there is a spaciousness of time and place in Mongolia which allows you to sink deep into the more restorative and meditative aspects of yoga, at one with nature.’ That’s why we’ve teamed up with Cryn to offer more than just the standard wellness or yoga holiday. Cryn leads her classes from the heart in an intuitive way. She uses her broad palette of experience to tailor each class to whoever is in it, how they are on that day, and the location. This openness and flexibility work perfectly in Mongolia’s calming landscapes leading to rest, rejuvenation, and reflection.

Although there is very much a travel element involved, our yoga and wellness holiday experience in Mongolia provides an opportunity to step out of your everyday routine, connect to your nature, energise tired minds, and take time to gain a fresh perspective. (A maximum of six has been set for our yoga experiences because this leads to a more intimate and personal experience for each guest.) We look forward to welcoming you. 

  • Start Date – June 11th – 19th 2022 & September 3rd – 11th 2022
  • Duration – 9 Days
  • Maximum Group Size 6
  • Accommodation – Homestays, family ger camps
  • No single supplements for solo travellers
  • This is a small group trip. However, our maximum is group size is six – which is refreshingly small for the travel industry. Our small group sizes mean that our trips are more respectful for your host families that we work in long-term local community partnerships with. It also means you’ll be one of few rather than one of many and this leads to a more genuine experience as well as a more personal and real insight for you as our guest. It also means that no two trips are ever the same as we can keep things flexible. All images used throughout our website were taken either by EL guests or members of the EL team. This is the Mongolia that you will also experience.

Find Yourself In Mongolia - Our Yoga And Wellness Holiday Mongolia

Most yoga retreats are fixed in one location, but Mongolia is not like most places. With our ‘Find Yourself In Mongolia’ yoga and wellness holiday, the diversity, immensity, and peacefulness of Mongolia’s landscapes form the backdrop to your yoga practice.

We don’t provide a tight schedule or overly-detailed itinerary – that sort of rigidity just seems wrong in a country of herders and a country of such freedom. Instead, within the steady pulse of yoga each morning and evening there are flexible options included for you to choose from. All activities are available to each individual but without being compulsory.

The yoga will cater for all from total beginners to those with an established practice. It will be therapeutic, restorative, and contain Yoga Nidra (this has been described as the ‘meditative heart of yoga’ [Richard Miller – see below for more details]. This will be a rare opportunity to de-stress your mind, learn to relax your body, and maybe come to a better sense of yourself – to REALLY Find Yourself in Mongolia.

As the maximum number of guests will be 6 you will get plenty of individual attention with therapeutic options offered as standard. This is yoga for every day in real life. If you’re looking for a hard-core exercise workout then you’ll be disappointed as there’s no need for Lycra or pretzel shapes or long sweaty sessions. Yes, Mongolia will challenge you at times but the yoga practices can help you deal with and even enjoy the challenges and bring you home to a better understanding of yourself.

Mongolia is known as the ‘Land Of The Eternal Blue Sky’ and has a rich heritage of Buddhist and Shamanist beliefs – both of which remain an integral part of life in 21st Century Mongolia historically and culturally. We have chosen the locations on our Mongolia yoga and wellness holiday to allow you to connect with this rich spiritual heritage whether that be visiting a remote Buddhist temple, spending time with Mongolian herders with their deep reverence for Mongolia’s land or taking time out to enjoy the silence and connect with Mongolia’s natural energy.

Mongolia's Orkhon River Valley during our yoga and wellness holiday Mongolia

The Orkhon River Valley is located in Mongolia’s central heartland. The region is considered the cradle of Mongolian civilisation (it is one of Mongolia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and an area rich in nomadic life as the Orkhon River provides an essential lifeline for nomads and their livestock. Rather than driving anywhere, it’s a perfect destination for yoga and enjoying the tranquility and peace, and quiet that comes from its location. Image: EL guest Annelies Quaegebeur

 

Khogno Khan Nature Reserve during our Yoga and Wellness Holiday Mongolia

Khogno Khan Nature Reserve is a sacred granite mountain within an area of secluded valleys, freshwater springs, open steppe, and the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes. We love the area for the contrast and immensity of the landscapes. The accommodation has been chosen for its location – at the foot of the granite mountain – providing a perfect location that allows you to rest and recharge both physically and mentally with its vast vistas perfect for watching the sunrise or the stars at night. As well as joining Cryn for the daily yoga options, there’s an option to explore the hidden interiors of the mountain on an easy 3-hour hike to the small working Buddhist temple of Erdene Khambiin Khid and the ruined Ovgon Khiid Monastery. A birch bordered path leads to this location and offers one of the most beautiful panoramas of the region. Image: EL guest Mick Egan.

Daily Yoga Options

Each day is fluid and flexible so you can partake in as much or as little as you want. The morning and evening yoga sessions are geared to provide a steady framework in which everything else is flexible.

  • Morning yoga – a short practice before breakfast to ease into the day – typically 30 mins. Simple movements, maybe some chanting, a Yoga Nidra or meditation.
  • Afternoon yoga (before the evening meal) – a time to respond to what is needed after each days activity so this might be moving, or restorative, or therapeutic or even all three.  It will be anything from 45 to 90 mins as appropriate. If it makes more sense with the days other activities then the session time can be moved to, for instance, late morning.
  • Evening yoga – Yoga Nidra to set you up for a good nights rest – typically 30 mins.
  • In addition, during each day – a spontaneous yogic response to whatever is happening and whenever it feels right. Wild yoga!

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra, being ‘adaptogenic’ (meaning you will get from it what you need, each time you do it) has the potential to be the most healing of all the yoga practices. In fact, now that cutting-edge scientific research has endorsed the effects of this ancient practice, it has become increasingly used by professionals in many varied areas including military personnel returning from active service and children who find difficulty in school, mothers in childbirth, and long-term prisoners. As a practice which allows for deep relaxation, Yoga Nidra supports the various ups and downs which form part of a normal life experience. And, because the mind is kept occupied it can stop its relentless chatter and give you some respite – enabling it (and the body) to restore and heal itself.

Therapeutic Yoga

We live in a world where a large proportion of people are way over what might be considered normal stress levels, with no chance to regulate them. Yoga with a therapeutic focus slows everything down and minimises movements so that body, mind, and emotions can gently ease out holding patterns in a safe way and allow stresses to fall away.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga goes one stage further by placing the body in postures with enough props that there is nothing to do except to give in safely to gravity. It is profoundly restful.

Although Mongolia is traditionally heavy on the mutton, we will be focusing on vegetarian-based meals – with an option for trying the delicious local free-range meat for those interested. Although, due to the remote locations and the lack of facilities, there will naturally be limitations in place the meals will be sustaining and tasty – freshly prepared by your EL team.

We try to take into account ‘food miles’ and encourage the local team to purchase local seasonal produce en-route to help support each community we pass through. Local seasonal produce can include watermelons grown in western Mongolia, sea-buckthorn juice (a medicinal plant occuring in Mongolia and considered a superfood), foraged berries from the forested regions, and fresh salad.

https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/being-vegetarian-in-mongolia/

Cryn came to yoga at the age of 50, feeling, old, stiff and arthritic. The practice has transformed her life.

Initially, she learned in the strict traditions of Pattabhi Jois and BKS lyengar but since 2005 when she started teacher training with the Inner Yoga Trust, with its strong ethos of therapeutic yoga, Cryn has learned to trust her own intuition and the breakaway teachings of people such as Angela Farmer, Victor van Kooten, Diana Long, Doug Keller, Judith Hanson Lasater, Nirlipta Tuli and Uma Dinsmore -Tuli. (This challenge to rely on one’s own experience rather than be dictated to is what could be termed Post Lineage Yoga.)

Cryn uses her background in making costumes and her ongoing exploration of anatomy to help ‘read’ the bodies of those in front of her in class. She has added to her initial teacher training with Therapeutic Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for women including pre and postnatal yoga, Yoga Nidra and Yoga for PTSD. Cryn continues to learn. You can join in an online Yoga Nidra lesson with Cryn here.

Cryn Horn - yoga and wellness teacher

https://crynyoga.co.uk/

If you have your own preferred mat then do bring it with you. However, we will provide our own specially made felt mats (hand-made in Mongolia especially for our Mongolian yoga and wellness holiday experience).

  • Prior to booking, if you would like to arrange a free online lesson with Cryn or have a chat with her (or Jess) about the yoga options then do not hesitate to let us know.

Yoga And Wellness Holiday Mongolia - Trip Breakdown

Day One – Final Arrival Day | Discover Ulaanbaatar | City Walking Tour

Image: EL guest Tammy McCorkle

Ulaanbaatar (UB) is home to roughly 45% of Mongolia’s population and our free city walking tour will give you a more local introduction to this vibrant frontier style city with a strong Mongolian identity of its own. It is the beating heart of Mongolia and the hub of contemporary Mongolian urban life. The reality for many Mongolians takes place in this urban context, in a city they are striving to develop and improve. Ulaanbaatar deserves to be appreciated and explored as the urban centre that it is. 

Our informal and relaxed city walking tour will give you a contrasting insight into a way of life, compared to that of the rural population as you spend the day in the company of one of our female Mongolian trip assistants exploring the city through the eyes of a local. Cryn will also accompany you. In the words of Cryn:

‘I found Ulaanbaatar to be a bustling cosmopolitan city with easy access to vegetarian food and a wealth of experiences ranging from museums to the sense-fest of the Black Market. I loved that I always felt totally safe.’

  • Accommodation: Single en-suite room at a central hotel. If you prefer to upgrade your hotel, this is possible
  • Meals: Local lunch and welcome drink
  • Travel: Free transfer

Day Two & Three – Khogno Khan Nature Reserve | Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes – Central Heartland

Elsen Tsarkhai sand dunes during our Yoga and Wellness Holiday Mongolia

Image: EL guest Lynn McCaw

Khogno Khan is a sacred granite mountain within an area of secluded valleys, fresh water springs, open steppe and the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes. Known also as the ‘mini-Gobi,’ Khogno Khan Nature Reserve was taken under state protection partly due to the specialised taiga and steppe plants that grow in this area. The small but vital Tarna River provides an essential water source for the herders in the region.

We love the area for the contrast and immensity of the landscapes. The accommodation has been chosen for its location – at the foot of the granite mountain – providing a perfect location that allows you to rest and recharge both physically and mentally with its vast vistas perfect for watching the sunrise or the stars at night. As well as joining Cryn for the daily yoga options, there’s an option to explore the hidden interiors of the mountain on an easy  3-hour hike to the small working Buddhist temple of Erdene Khambiin Khid and the ruined Ovgon Khiid Monastery. A birch bordered path leads to this location and offers one of the most beautiful panoramas of the region.

Khogno Khan Nature Reserve Mongolia

Image: EL guest Mick Egan

Meet (And Stay) With The Davaasuren Family

Mongolian herding family Lunar New Year

At Khogno Khan, we work in long-term local community partnership with the Davaasuren family who have lived in the region their whole life and who keep a small number of livestock – including camels and horses. They are located in an idyllic spot at the foot of the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes where they live all year round. This really is location, location, location. For those interested, we can arrange an overnight visit to Davaasuren so you can experience their daily life side by side with them. Please understand though that as their way of life is simple, so are the facilities they provide. There’s also an option for a camel trek along the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes. Davaasuren is at his happiest on showing off his home landscapes of Khogno Khan. He’s a bit of a entertainer as well and his camel treks can include sand sculpting, impromptu wrestling matches and singing.

  • Accommodation: Twin share ger Khankhar Khairkhan Camp (or homestay with Davaasuren)
  • We have chosen this camp for our Find Yourself In Mongolia trip due to its location – in a private setting at the foot of the Khogno Khan Mountain. The ger camp is surrounded by space allowing us to erect a shade awning under which you can practice yoga on any warm days.  The views out over the surrounding steppe are beautiful and the rocky outcrops provide perfect sunset viewing platforms or an opportunity for a quiet time of personal reflection. Hot showers and western toilet facilities are located in a separate block a short walk from the ger accommodation.

  • Meals: B (at hotel)/L/D (dinner provided by ger camp excluding drinks and dessert)
  • Travel: Day Two – Roughly 285km on dirt and asphalt road (approx 5-6 hours driving time not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

Day Four & Five – Orkhon River Valley 

The Orkhon River Valley is one of Mongolia’s four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s a cultural WHS and represents the evolution of nomadic pastoral traditions in Mongolia – this region is considered the cradle of Mongolian civilisation and an area rich in nomadic life as the Orkhon River provides an essential lifeline for nomads and their livestock.

Rather than driving anywhere, it’s a perfect destination for yoga and enjoying the tranquility and peace, and quiet that comes from its location. This is the perfect opportunity to step out of your everyday routine, connect to nature, energise tired minds, and take time to gain a fresh perspective.

  • Accommodation: 
Ger camp in our Yoga and Wellbeing Holiday Mongolia

Image: From Ursa Major Camp

  • Ursa Major Camp

    This low impact ger camp is part of the ‘Out of Nowhere’ collection of geolodge ger camps that try to blend into the environment, embrace closely the locals’ way of life, and to be respectful of the herding culture and environment.

    The camp does not  have a toilet and shower block – instead, there are comfortable (sit down) composting toilets (the used toilet paper is collected in a wastebasket every two hours) and pine-scented hot towels are bought to your ger in the evening and morning and also on-demand. There is also an option for a hair wash and scalp massage as part of the free StepSpa service. Each ger includes a washing area behind a screen for your morning and evening ablutions as well as a dressing table. Beds come with satin sheets and cashmere quilts.

    There is no electricity so no noise or light pollution (the kitchen is driven by a generator though). A Swarowski telescope is free of charge and at your disposal when available.

  • Meals: B/L/ D (dinner provided by ger camp excluding drinks and dessert)
  • Travel: Day Four – Roughly 160km on dirt road (approx 4-5 hours driving time not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

Day Six – Eight – Orkhon River Valley | Kharkhorin | Central Heartland

Mongolia's Orkhon River Valley

You will spend three days in the region in another section of the beautiful Orkhon River Valley. As well as the daily yoga practise options, the location of your accommodation allows you to step outside of your ger and wander in the foothills of the central Khangai Mountains with its carpet of wild flowers and immense skies.

For those interested in Buddhism, it is a short walk (or drive) to Kharkhorin – the ancient capital of Ogodei Khan and the Mongol Empire in the 13th Century where you can visit Erdene Zuu – Mongolia’s oldest monastery and visit the excellent Kharkhorin Museum with its clear and updated exhibits based on the history surrounding the Orkhon River Valley and the Turkish and Mongol Empire. You can also visit the spiritual retreat of Zanabazar – Tovkhon Khiid located on the border of Övörkhangai Province and Arkhangai Province on Shireet Ulaan Uul Mountain at 2,600 meters.

Meet (And Stay) With The Tumee Family 

This is Tumee - an expert horseman and head of one of the herding families we work with in Mongolia's central Orkhon River Valley

As with all the families we work with, we work in long-term local community partnership with Tumee and Jargal. Local to the area – they both went to school in the region – one of their adult sons is a member of the Genghis Khan Polo Club. They are modern-day herders, a strong part of the local community and move up to six times a year. For those interested, we can arrange an overnight visit with the Tumee family so you can experience their daily life side by side with them. Please understand though that as their way of life is simple, so are the facilities they provide. We can also arrange a horse trek with them – anything from 2 hours to a full-day. Although they agree their way of life has challenges, they love it for the sense of freedom it provides.

  • Accommodation: Twin-share ger at Anar Camp
  • We like to use Anar as it is at the end of the Kharkhorin valley – away from the busy (and dusty) dirt road. Also, there is private access to the Orkhon River weir – perfect for an evening drink whilst observing the river and its birdlife, meeting local families coming for a picnic or for watching the livestock come down to the water to drink. There is also a perfect sunset viewing platform providing panoramic views out over the river valley itself. The are plenty of shower / flush toilet facilities and a perfect quiet area for our shaded awning for our yoga classes.
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: Day Six – Roughly 40km on dirt road (approx 1-2 hours driving time not including stops). Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

Day Nine – Return Ulaanbaatar

Rather than seeing this transfer day as a bore of a drive, adjust your way of thinking and see it as a Mongolian road trip. True, it will feel like a long day on the road but we break it up with a picnic lunch where you can stop for a while and take in the immense view. On arrival back into UB, we’ll transfer you to your accommodation in UB and the rest of the day will be yours to create your own experience before meeting for the farewell dinner.

We will transfer you to the airport or train station on your departure date.

  • Accommodation:  Of your own choice
  • Meals: B/L/D
  • Travel: Roughly 355km on asphalt and dirt road (approx 7-8 hours driving time depending on city traffic).  Averages of between 30 and 65 km/hr are usual depending on road/weather conditions.

Yoga And Wellness Holiday Mongolia - The Small Details

For all of our small group trips we offer a sliding price scale. We appreciate your holiday funds are precious and so the more people that book so the price comes down and everyone benefits.

Group Size – Maximum of six. Minimum of two required for a guaranteed departure on our yoga and wellness holiday Mongolia

  • 2 Guests US$ 3610 pp
  • 3 Guests US$ 2760 pp
  • 4 Guests US$ 2695 pp
  • 5 Guests US$ 2360 pp
  • 6 Guests US$ 2140 pp

Where Does Your Payment Go?

  • In our experience, how people choose who to book with usually comes down to the cost. Budget is a very personal thing and everyone is different in what they want to pay.
  • We’re a registered Mongolian business and registered social entrepreneurship. We are not a luxury tour operator. We’re a small business that receives around 150-200 bookings per year. We can’t compete on price with our budget competition that don’t pay sustainable wages, or with the international companies that use agencies to run their trips and receive 1000s of bookings per year. We also can’t compete with individual guides or drivers that offer cut-price trips.
  • To help you see where your payment goes, we’re very much driven by our philosophy of making a positive difference in Mongolia through tourism.
  • We focus on community-based tourism – working directly with local people, communities and projects – slowly building up relationships and what we call long-term local community partnerships with them. We work side by side with each and our experiences are put together in a way that benefits and support each family or project, rather than disrupting their lives or work. We also run our free long-term training school for Mongolian women that want to work in tourism – providing training and then creating long-term flexible employment opportunities for them. 
  • Your payment remains in Mongolia and goes back into the communities through which you travel. We are committed to providing honest and ethical business opportunities for the local people we work with, at fair rates, as well as providing long term support.  We also focus on making sure our impact is as positive as it can be. I am the only westerner (the rest of my small team are Mongolian) and we don’t work with any outside agencies or ‘buy’ services from other in-country operators.
  • We are also a member of Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency – a collective of travel organisations who have declared a climate emergency and are coming together to find solutions. We accept our responsibility to tell the truth, work together, and help build a new, regenerative tourism.
  • All meals outside of the city of Ulaanbaatar. Mainly prepared and cooked by your local team so they are fresh and it means we offer more flexibility for any dietary requirements. We also provide filtered drinking water (not bottled), tea and coffee. 
  • In Ulaanbaatar: local lunch and welcome drink on city walking tour and dinner on final evening (no drinks or dessert)
  • Local team of English speaking female Mongolian trip assistant and Mongolian male driver
  • Yoga support by teacher Cryn Horn
  • All overland transportation throughout the trip (4×4 Russian Furgon van + fuel)
  • Each vehicle has a charger for cameras and phones
  • Free (informal and relaxed) city walking tour of Ulaanbaatar
  • Transportation to and from the airport on arrival and departure days
  • All activities mentioned PLUS any activities offered including
  1. Camel or horseback rides
  2. Entrance fees to monasteries, temples and museums (when with local team) – excludes camera tickets
  3. Festival tickets if festival is highlighted in itinerary
  • International airfare to and from Mongolia
  • Domestic flight where/if applicable

*If you are travelling by domestic flight, the schedule and cost of the domestic flights have not yet been determined by the Mongolian airlines. Once you have booked this trip, you will be notified directly by us as soon as that info becomes available. Reservations and payment arrangements for any domestic flight will be coordinated by us.

  • Passport and visa fees

Let us know your nationality at the time of booking and we’ll confirm whether you need to apply for a Mongolian visa. It is a relatively easy process depending on your nationality and we can help with some of the formalities.

  • Travel insurance (mandatory) 
  • Gratuities

*Each member of the local team receives a responsible but fair salary and none have to rely on receiving gratuities to supplement their income.  In addition, we make sure that everyone who works with us or helps us is fairly rewarded for their work and the service they provide. At the end of the tour, if you wish to make a gratuity to the local team then thank you – it is not compulsory but it is appreciated when given. If you would like to provide a tip,  a tip for the drivers would be roughly equal to what you would give to the tour guides – anything from $20 (USD) per member of staff (driver & tour guide) is a good minimum guide.

What Will It Be Like?

The diversity and immensity of Mongolia’s landscapes form the backdrop with the yoga practice providing the foundation to each day. However, we don’t provide a tight schedule or overly-detailed itinerary – that sort of rigidity just seems wrong in a country of herders and a country of such freedom. Yoga is timetabled into each day with additional included flexible options for you to choose from.

As well as Cryn, you’ll be accompanied by our Mongolian team – a female Mongolian trip assistant and male Mongolian drivers. See it as a shared experience. By the end of the trip they will feel like family.

Yes, there may well be irritations and difficulties – this is Mongolia, remote, one of the largest countries in the world and with a limited infrastructure. But we’re on hand to iron out any niggles but we will require you to be flexible and patient and bring with you a sense of humour and a sense of adventure.

Are you up for a road trip? It’s something to consider since there are always several long travel days on any Mongolian journey.  Mongolia can be a challenging destination, road conditions can change dramatically with the weather and some drives may be prolonged as a result. It simply comes with the territory. Traveling long distances is an integral part of Mongolian culture and it is considered bad form to complain or ask about the length of time of any road journey. If you can accept the journey as part of the overall Mongolian experience, you’ll do fine.

What About The Weather?

Mongolia’s weather system has a reputation for a reason. We’ll prepare you for what weather to expect during your trip (including links to the long-range weather forecast for the regions you will be visiting) and also provide a detailed packing list on booking.

Who Is The Local Team?

You will travel with a team of male Mongolian driver and female Mongolian trip assistant. We do not outsource the logistics of our trips to drivers and guides working the tourism circuit. Instead, we have worked on nurturing our own local operations and provide long-term training, support and employment opportunities to those that want the opportunity to aim to be the best they can be thus supporting them in their aim. This has led to the formation of our small but great team. 

**Our female Mongolian Tour Guides are dynamic women who are searching for an opportunity to train for the long-term career opportunities that we provide. You’ll travel with someone who sincerely loves their home country, loves their job and genuinely cares about you as our guests. We are proud to be able to provide a starting block to women in Mongolia. We invite you as our guests to become a part of this philosophy.

   **We employ ten male drivers and knows each one personally. Their English may be limited and they are not necessarily modern urban types – more the traditional strong and silent type – but they are superb at navigating the Mongolian roads. (Often older or more traditional men are now overlooked by other tour companies who prefer younger more international Mongolians who speak English.  We wanted to provide equal opportunities and so as our trip assistants are female and typically younger with a more modern outlook, so our drivers are all male, older and from more traditional backgrounds. We find it is a partnership that works well.) If you take the time to get to know them, you’ll see why we employ them. As well as handling the challenges of the roads, they are supremely talented at the Mongolian skill of ‘mongolchlokh’ – improvising the Mongol way. It’s a joy to watch, so if your vehicle does break down, don’t get angry. Instead, watch the drivers do what they do best – improvise!

Meet Our Team
Our Local Long Term Community Partnerships

We work with a network of local families throughout the country. These are long-term local community partnerships we have built up over the 15 years+  we have been based here. These are also our own personal friendships.

We never ask a family to change their daily living for us.  We do not try to change Mongolians or their way of life for our/your own benefit or comfort. We don’t ask them to change their daily schedule or to put on an ‘act’ as this would lead to a contrived experience. Nothing is planned in any program, because we do not disturb the rhythm of life of the working families visited. We are just trying to share / experience  a portion of their life (also rarely wear a watch let alone work to an agenda!).

Our Community Partnerships
What Is The Tour Vehicle?
  • The 4×4 Russian Furgon / UAZ van (not jeep). Our Furgons are driver-owned but we support the drivers with maintenance fees.
  • Each vehicle has its own simple mobile kitchen, its own sunshade, a small library as well as a 220v inverter/charger. We only put a maximum of three to four guests per vehicle.
  • Each Furgon has a high wheel-base, ample luggage space, a sociable layout with forward and backward facing seats, surround side windows and most importantly, impressive off-road capability.
  • As is typical with all Furgons, due to the design of the vehicle, seat-belts are not available (2021 although we’re working on it for 2022. Get in touch for details if you’re concerned) but our Furgons are fitted with grab handles in the passenger area.
What Are The Meals Like?
  • See ‘Meals ‘ Reducing Our Foodprint’ in the above section
What About Drinking Water?

In rural areas in Mongolia, there is no running water. Since recycling is extremely limited in Mongolia, we do not buy bottled water. Instead, the local team travels with two 20l containers per vehicle and collect drinking water from the small town drinking water stations and filter it for your consumption. You will need to bring a resusable water bottle with you. We provide a detailed packing list on booking.

Our Partnership With Water-To-Go
Accommodation - Will I Have To Share?
  • All accommodation apart from the first night in Ulaanbaatar (single en-suite room) is on a twin-share basis – with the option of paying for a single ger if availability allows although this costs extra on booking. See each individual accommodation description for more details.

  • The accommodation has been chosen to balance with the trip and the landscapes. As with a majority of ger camps in Mongolia, there are no en-suite bathrooms. Hot showers or hot towels are available for washing. See each individual accommodation description for more details.
  • There will be times during your journey when the availability of certain amenities at these ger camps may be lacking. The reasons for this can be varied – low season; high season; electricity/generator problems; remote locations; the simple fact that some amenities are only catered for between certain times of the day. Examples of this could be a ger camp having a lack of hot water, or only having hot water at certain times.

  • Lighting in the evening at some places may be by candle-light, and electricity may not be available.

Homestays

  • If you opt for one or both of the homestays, we  support this local form of accommodation as it helps provide a supplementary income and extra financial security for the families meaning they are one step further away from having to consider urban migration.
  • These are all families we work in long-term local community partnership with – we NEVER turn up unannounced and we never just turn up to a herding family demanding accommodation.
  • The circumstances and type of ger accommodation provided will change from family to family. Consider them as small rural businesses NOT rustic luxury 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.
  • 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!
  • You should have your own private ger either to share as a group but we don’t offer exclusivity as this limits the income of the families so do expect other westerners during peak times.We try to get the right balance but during peak season please accept that you might see other westerners
  • Toilets (Familes & Homestays) – 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.
  • Showers (Familes & Homestays) – Most Mongolians visit the local town shower house. So this is what you do as well. It gives you an introduction to real 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- Most Mongolians visit the local town shower house. So this is what you do as well. It gives you an introduction to real 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
Toilet Breaks When Driving

Regular toilet breaks are taken during road transfers. There are limited public facilities available (none) so we provide a small trowel and plastic bags. You can either take the trowel and dig a small hole (in which you can leave the toilet paper and then re-cover with the soil) or place your toilet paper into the small bag and place the bag into the main rubbish. We do not burn the paper – arid conditions, a strong breeze and grassland do not make for a good mix!

Providing Toilets In Tourism

We are members of Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency which requires us to publish an annual Climate Action Plan. As part of our plan we carbon offset all domestic flights.

Although carbon offsets are far from imperfect and not the whole answer, they make a difference. Emissions per kilometer for domestic flights are always much higher because such a large proportion of the flight is spent taking off and landing. With this in mind, as a company, we will be calculating the offset for all domestic flights used by our guests and paying the offset to buy Plan Vivo Foundation carbon certificates which are used to support the Plan Vivo Mongolian Nomad Project – working in partnership with the Mongolian Society of Range Management. 

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