... service just ok - a sombre russian colourless atmosphere made more intense by fact that i had missed flight out of sydney by air china through misreading travel notes that arrived only 2 days before departure from gold coast airport tosydney international formulae hotel - another mistake and loss of $ by booking by telephone and not through net which would have been cheaper - i mistook day one on intrepid notes as being day one out of australia whereas it was day one on june 28/2010 of overland journey from ulanbator - another misunderstanding was that i thought all people on mongolian tour would be leaving from sydney - wrong - people on trip came from all around the world and met at ulanbator hotel evening before for meet/greet/orientation, setting out for first ger homestay which i missed
not unique at all - i found the maroon velvet heavy and depressing.
best accommodation without a doubt was the homestays which i will never forget - missed one when lamb was caught, slaughtered and cooked but was told by english vegetarian traveller that the smell of mutton was just too much for her and fortunately she was able to sleep in one of two cars that comprised the fleet
Mongolia has a "Soviet" feel to it - buildings are big, square and institutional. Same with the Chinggis. People are nice if you are nice to them. I.e., do unto others.
The breakfast buffet was always welcome.
We stayed at Nassan's. Nassan is petite business woman in the most literal and exact meaning of the word business woman. Much as our stay was nice and easy because she makes an effort to satisfy the travellers's need, she does so so that we travellers write good reviews about her as what seemed to her her sole objective!
The double we were in, within a shared dorm which had a shared kitchen and bathrooms (toilet and shower in two separate rooms, which is handy), was spacious, central, clean and we can't complain at all aobut it. I'd certainly stay there again.
She also organises tours, that's when you have to watch her a bit, just make sure you discuss every detil of the trip like paying for the driver's lunch and whether he speaks english or not. He should. I think you shouldnot pay any extra for the driver speaking a bit of English.
very central, roomy, spacious... good. No lift to our flat, a third or fourth floor i think. so be fit with your bags.
I went to the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve in July of 2009 because I had gotten a grant to study and gather painting reference (I'm a oil painter who specializes in Mongolian subjects) of argali (wild sheep) and this was one of the three places I went. It was my fourth trip to Mongolia. I’ve stayed in a number of ger camps. This was one of the two more "touristy" camps I've stayed at. The others have been "eco-ger" camps in pretty remote locations with minimal amenities; not for everyone, but I like being out deep in the countryside.
Steppe Nomads Tourist Camp is an easy 2-3 hour drive, mostly on a tarmac road, from Ulaanbaatar, the capital. It is set with a wonderful view over the valley of the Kherlen River. Besides wildlife, the camp offers an impressive range of activities that are very reasonably priced, so you can afford to try a little of everything from a ride on a horse or in a yak-drawn cart to archery, mountain biking, fishing or just floating down the river in a small boat. One can also hike the mountain, Baits Uul, which is home to around 100 argali. As is always true with wildlife, your best chance to see them is in the early morning or early evening. You'll need good binoculars for viewing and a long, at least 400mm, lens to photograph them.
There is also a wetland area which is home to (at the time of writing) three pairs of endangered white-napped cranes, along with demoiselle cranes and other birds. Up on the mountain are cinereous vultures, the world's largest. The reserve is a good, accessible bird-watching destination.
Gun-Galuut is operated by the Mongolian equivalent of a county. An association has been formed so the community can work together to protect and promote this special place. One of its goals is to provide income opportunities for the local herder families. They provide the horses, yak carts, archery lessons, etc. for visitors.
The herders and their livestock are easily seen as you travel around the reserve, living and working as they have for centuries. Visits to a local family can probably be arranged, which will allow you to experience the ancient traditions of Mongolian hospitality.
The price includes lodging in an authentic Mongol ger (no electricity or private bath) and three good meals a day. There is a bar with a decent selection of beer and other beverages. The main building has hot showers, toilets and a gift shop on the first floor. There is a dining hall on the second floor which has a balcony overlooking the valley. Try to have at least a couple of meals out there. It's a lovely place to sit on a warm summer evening.
It's also a short walk down to the river, where you may see a tern out fishing for a meal.
The staff was marvelous. There were a couple of English speakers, so if you are there without a guide you be able to get what you need. Everyone was cheerful and helpful. Some are students majoring in a lodging/tourism industry program at the university in Ulaanbaatar, so they are getting practical experience working there. The camp also offers a laundry and sewing service, the only camp I've stayed at that did so. I had them do a load of clothes and everything came back clean and nicely folded.
If you have never stayed in a ger, I recommend that you search out some images on the internet so you can see what the interiors look like. This is not a standard-type "room". There are beds, a table, stools and the stove. Beds in Mongolia are hard. I always take my Thermarest pad with me. Gers don't have windows, but there is natural light that comes through the top, which is open in nice weather. I suppose they could be considered "rustic accommodation". But I find them very comfortable and, really, kind of comforting.
In the middle of No Man's Land was worth the effort to get there. Our fancy hotel in Terelj National Park (see other accommodations) gave us a ride there. It's about an hour outside of UB. But coming from out hotel, it was a 20 minute ride. As a local, he (driver) still had a hard time finding our turn to the Ger Camp. Unfortunately, can't remember the name of our camp but it doesn't really matter because they dotted all over the region. Just pick one. Were there during a weekend. Everyone was from other countries, which is fine, but we felt a little isolated. We are American but speak a little Spanish and some German so we aren't totally out of the loop. Still a fantastic experience. We definitely picked the right Ger Camp because the one's near us had shanty/rundown out house type toilets. I am speaking lightly. They were really bad.
All meals were included. Flushing toilets, shower, pool table, bar. Don't get too excited. It was still roughing it.
After a 30 hour train ride from Beijing we decided to stay in a fancy schmancy place to get treated well for a couple of nights before leaving to a Ger Camp afterwards. The hotel is new and next to a indigent village. The dichotomy of the location made it a worthwhile stop for us. The facilities are top notch; French chef, accommodating staff, indoor pool, 3 restaurants, bar and you pay for every bit of it. I would recommend the hotel if you're looking for a 5 star oasis in a beautiful national park. When we were there, we were probably 2 of 20 guests in the whole hotel so it was kind of boring. The room we had was ridiculously small for the price. The bathroom was tiny but did provide all the toiletries you could want; toothbrush, toothpaste, robes, excellent shower products. Prices were high within the hotel since you really didn't have much choice. We did go to the village next to the hotel for orange juice, snacks, beer, etc. I would say that I thought the hotel was overpriced but it is listed as one of the Small Great Hotels of the World. I, personally, am not sure why. I found the hotel a little too sterile without much personality for me. The Marketing gal did tell us that a lot of companies have conferences there and many Japanese tourists stay there. The price we paid was the off season but was around $250 a night.
The hotel will pick you up in UB but it is $100 U.S. for the service. The area is gorgeous and you can hire a horse guide across the street right up the hill for an hour ($4/hr). Hotel doesn't provide this but the service is right there. The facility is gated.
I am a fomer Peace Corps Volunteer, every time I came to UB (Ulaanbaater) I stayed with Mr Kim. The place is clean, super convienient and cheap. While I never needed to use his tours (I lived in the country side and had many Mongoian frinds with gers) the backpackers really enjoyed his excursions.
Frinedly, clean and cenrey located. Mr Kim is Englis and Korean speking and really looks out for his guests.
Old Cliffie stayed at the Bayangol Hotel. It was comfortable and clean enough, with satellite TV and a minibar in the room, and a small business centre providing fairly expensive Internet access. The hotel consists of two towers, connected via a restaurant so that you can avoid scurrying from building to building when it is minus 20 outside. The location is good, only five minutes' walk from Sukhbaatar Square and the Central Post Office.
I took train No.24 on a Thursday morning at 08:05 from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing (which you arrive at 14:05 the following day) and it was one of the best train journeys I've ever done. I had reserved a 'soft-class' sleeper at the International Railway Ticketing Centre across the road from the main railway station in UB. The train carriage I was in looked very new and my compartment, (which I was lucky enough to have all to myself for the whole journey), featured two bunk beds on one side and an armchair in a corner on the other side with a table in front. Two compartments share a toilet which is located in between the two with a door from each so as to access it (you have to remember to lock the next door compartments door when you go in!). I was staggered to find, not only a WC and sink like you get on a plane but also a shower with a detachable head!
Odd name but I guess it's owned by a South Korean as they have hotels with names like this over there. Anyway, I stayed here for about 6 nights after my 10-day Mongolian tour and I liked it very much. My room came with a double-bed, TV, fridge, 2 armchairs, 2 tables and phone and was nice, well decorated and clean. The bathroom was very big and more like a wet-room kinda thing with a shower in one corner and again was nice and clean. The staff were friendly and helped out with a few things. Breakfast was fairly simply and consisted of bread, cold meats, cheese, jam, biscuits, tea and coffee. My room was US$34 and double rooms are US$36. It's located just off Baga Toyruu where it meets Sambuu Street.
I stayed here for a couple of nights - the first and last night’s of my Mongolian tour. This 4-star hotel, which was opened in 1963 and renovated in 2003, is split into two 12-storey towers with a large restaurant in the middle. It's located about a five minute walk south of Sukhbaatar Square. My room on the first night was very large and well furnished with a TV, safe deposit box, fridge etc but the bathroom was very small. The general decor is a little rough around the edges especially around the windows. The room I had on the last night of the tour was smaller and had a slightly larger bathroom. Breakfast is served buffet style in the main large restaurant and is very plentiful. The hotel also has another two restaurants called Casablanca and Bellagio, a wine bar, Gift, souvenir shop, Health and Fitness Centre and a sauna. All-in-all a nice place to stay with comfy thick bed linen.
I only stayed here one night as I was going on a tour the next day and when I pulled up outside the rather grim exterior of this guesthouse, it didn't bowl me over with confidence. But, once you get inside, things aren't too bad considering how cheap it is. My room cost T12,000 (about US$10) and, yes, was small with nothing more than a table and chair. All rooms have communal bathrooms which do tend to get a bit dirty with hair etc but there is a good backpacking vibe here with a very small communal area where there's a TV. Breakfast is nothing more than bread/toast, jam and coffee and there's laundry and one internet PC so you have to wait your turn. Staff here are very friendly and answer all manner of questions. If you're backpacking on a budget then this is OK and is well located but if you've got a bit of cash then go elsewhere.
All-in-all I stayed on eight tourist ger camps during my time in Mongolia and they were nothing from what I was expecting in terms of services and amenities offered. They were wonderful and a stark contrast to the days of camping with my parents 25 years ago! You basically get a ger with two or three single beds, a table, stools, stove (but not in the Gobi desert) and some other pieces of furniture such as a chest of drawers or a cupboard. I normally asked for a couple of chairs so as to lay out clothes on so as to get the creases out of them and to sit on outside the ger. The amenities on the camp include a toilet/shower building with WC's, hand wash basins and showers. The showers sometimes do not have much water and pressure and are common for everyone but generally have hot water as it is heated via solar panels. Everything is very clean and there is a cleaning lady cleaning day and night. There is also a restaurant which serves western and/or Mongolian food which was very good in most of the places I stayed out and a really big surprise. They serve soft drinks and bottled beer which you have to pay extra for. There's not a great deal to do at these places at night. Some have snooker tables, ping-pong tables and basketball hoops whilst others have archery targets and traditional Mongolian board games.
This is a nice place. Good central location. Clean, safe and comfortable. Zaya Hostel is also near most of the famous sight seeing location in Ulaanbaatar. She offer affordable and reasonable cost’s accommodation to make life easy for foreigners, backpackers and travelers visiting or traveling in Ulaanbattar and in Mongolia. This location is known for its tourist attractions in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
LP new guide book MONGOLIA 2008 highly reccommend Zaya hostel.
Free breakfast, self design across Mongolia tour
New orange Building #25, in the main avenue Peace" of the Ulanbator Just behind of the NOMADIC TOUR.
I have personally been a guest at Idre's several times and my recommendation is based on my personal experience. His guesthouse is clean and safe, his staff is great, and Idre himself is very helpful, knowledgeable, and honest. His guesthouse is directly across the street from the bus station ("teverin tovcho") and near the train station. He only uses experienced guides and drivers, and some of them are directly contracted with him, which means that he knows them well and vice versa. He has dorm room space as well as private rooms with en suite bathroom, and his prices are good. He offers pickup at the train station and/or airport.
The guesthouse has a small kitchen where you can prepare meals and store food. Please be considerate and clean up after yourself.
Walking distance from the train station.
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