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Early planning for Kazakhstan and Mongolia

Early planning for Kazakhstan and Mongolia

Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 06:41 AM
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Early planning for Kazakhstan and Mongolia

Fodorites: I am in the early stages of planning for a trip to Central Asia next year. About two weeks of horseback riding (no set trails) in Kazakhstan and, then to UB for about a day and off to explore Mongolia's wilds. I am not slightest bit interested in the city. Rather, more so in the farthest I can get from it.

As an adventure traveler, I am most interested in looking at rough tours, by horse or camel or both. I will be landing on or about August 12th or 13th, and will have about 12 days in country. The Siberian reindeer tribe interests me a lot, and so does the Gobi desert.

Most group tours right now are breathtakingly expensive and I am far more interested in working with locals. So if anyone has recommendations for local folks, this is what I'd prefer in order to support communities with my stories, and to also better engage financially.

Thanks as always to all for your suggestions. Please keep in mind that I do not like expensive hotels, I live in buggy dirty tents when I travel, that is my way. That's why they call it adventure travel.

A trip report will follow. There is plenty of time to gather suggestions. I have already found out how unresponsive folks are from there which is why I am starting my inquiries now.
jhubbel is offline  
Old Dec 9th, 2016, 12:55 PM
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I was in Mongolia in 2008, which was a long time ago, but since there isn't a lot of conversation about Mongolia I thought I would go ahead and respond.

Make sure you check the dates of the Naadam Festival - which I believe is held in August. Events occur all over the countryside. If your visit is during the time, you will actually see crowds in certain places and this could be bad or good depending on your outlook on things.

I would also suggest watching the movie - A Long Way Around. A motorcycle trip across the globe, but there's an episode where they go through Mongolia and it was very typical of what you will encounter. You will be in an immense, open empty space and people will appear out of nowhere to talk and interact with you.

I went with Nomadic Expeditions - I thought the trip prices weren't too bad, but of course that's all relative. I went with them because they guaranteed small groups and the company was owned and operated by Mongolians.


We spent only a few days in UB and used it as a base and jump off points to various areas. The country was very diverse and we were very glad that we went to different regions.

The North and Lake Khovsgol near Siberia was beautiful. There were several camps to stay along the lake shore. We visited a Reindeer herder here, but our guide told us that this area was a really a bit too southern for the reindeer, so it may not be an ideal place for interactions with the herders.

I think a must was Three Camel Lodge (also owned by Nomadic Expeditions) Quite a plush ger camp for Mongolia. But being in the Gobi was like being on the Moon. A crazy landscape - stark and beautiful.


I was surprised by the lack of activity in the airports once we were out of UB. No cabs, etc. It appeared that you really needed some pre-planned arrangements rather than just winging it.

I'm sure I'm not much help, but good luck to you and you will really enjoy the trip.
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Thanks very kindly for your response. I will look this up and investigate!
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Old May 30th, 2017, 08:39 PM
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As an option, you may want to hire an English speaking driver with car, buy gasoline, and start travel to countryside.
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