Аялалын сэтгэгдэл

In 2010 we visited already Mongolia. During that trip the idea was already born to visit Mongolia in winter. In the last years Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian new year) and the ice and camel festival were held in the same period.

For some (unknown) reason the festivals were held end of February/begin of March. This period was not an option for us and we booked for the Tsagaan Sar tour and a tailor made tour to Khovsgol Lake and a couple of days in and around UB.

Winter in Mongolia is really beautiful. Sure, it is cold (-25 at night and -15 at day) but if you wear warm clothes you don’t feel thia cold. We had these 2 weeks sunny weather almost every day and this is according to the weather forecast normal in winter. Tsagaan Sar is a special time in the year for Mongolian people and they celebrate it in an intense way. We visited some families and took part in these celebrations: eating boiled sheep, drinking vodka, preparing buuz. People were very kind to us and they treated us like good friends. You have to experience this at least once in your life and you will never forget it.

Our stay was perfect: sleeping in a ger, food was of good quality and the staff in the Secret History Complex did their job very well. Our guide for these days was Bayarmaa; she was also our interpreter and told us everything about meaning and habits of Tsagaan Sar. Together with the staff of the Secret History Complex she organized all our activities such as horse riding, archery, Mongol costume show and music. Impressive were also the contacts with other guest. Everyone was relaxed and wanted to talk with us about our and their Mongolia experience. We think that the kindness of the Mongolian people has effect on our own behavior and the way we experience Mongolia. Maybe this is the reason why we feel us really at home in this country.

Back in UB we visited again a Mongolian family to celebrate New Year. And again it was very special; thanks to Muugii, who was the interpreter, we could communicate with this family. The people were proud to tell us about their children and their work; they were also interested in who we are and what we do for living. And again we were impressed by the heartwarming welcome we had.

The last part of our trip brought us to Khovsgol lake. We already visited the lake last year and had heard a lot of stories about how it is there in winter time. It is like a fairy tale; beautiful nature, nature made ice sculptures and silence. It is weird to walk upon the ice and sometimes you heard the ice moving and cracking. But you see cars driving over the ice and this took away our fears. Although it was off season, Muugii had organized some activities such as horse and ice sledge riding. We stayed here in the Ashihai Tourist Camp. A beautiful spot, good accommodation, friendly staff, a floor heated ger and excellent meals. We didn’t ask for this luxury but it made our stay very comfortable.

Friends, colleagues and relatives asked us why we went back to Mongolia and what is so special about this country. The answer is simple:
- We love the people, their kindness and hospitality
- Travelling in Mongolia is relaxed; there is no time only distances are important
- Mongolia is a mix of tradition, culture and living in a modern world
- The countryside is unique and surprising in summer and in winter
- Last but not least: we found the perfect travel agent in Mongolia with an excellent staff, Ayan Trails. This company knows what people really wants.

We are already looking forward to 2012 when we come back for at least 4 weeks!

Paula and Henk. Maastricht Holland February 2011

Mongolian best tour operators, Mongolian tour agency Ayan trails Mongolian best tour operators, Mongolian tour agency Ayan trails

Mongolian best tour operators, Mongolian tour agency Ayan trails Mongolian best tour operators, Mongolian tour agency Ayan trails

Mongolian best tour operators, Mongolian tour agency Ayan trails Mongolian best tour operators, Mongolian tour agency Ayan trails

A short report of our trip to Mongolia.
In 2006 , we heard about a skate Marathon in Mongolia. We like skating very much so we decided plan a trip to Mongolia. It took us four years but finally in 2010 it was possible for us to go. Although we come just for the Ice festival. We also wanted to learn more about Mongolia and we came for a fortnight to Mongolia.

We were very lucky to find the website of AYAN TRAILS (www.toursmongolia.com). They organized a tour by which we could discover a great part of Mongolia and also gave us the chance to skate the marathon at the ice festival. They offered us an all in tour by which we traveled to the south and north of Mongolia. We were very impressed by the hospitality of Mongolian people. They treated us as we were Kings and Queens.

We could have a look in the way how the nomads are living and were invited to be with them the last day of the year a to celebrate the first day of the new year. We didn’t have to worry about where to go and how to come there as everything was very well arranged by Ayan Trails. They also give us a perfect guide who knows a lot about the cultural and historical things of Mongolia. We don’t speak a word Mongolian and we were glad to be guided by a person who speaks perfectly English (Adila). Ayan trails also arranged the flights. For the trips on the ground there were fantastic drivers (Naraa, Gambaa and Ulzii) who drown us everywhere we wanted.

Shortly said we had a fantastic journey by which we got a lot of impressions. And if there are other persons who would like to know more about Mongolia we can recommend a tour like we did. In case of changement in the program the guide and Ayan Trails we very flexible and changed the program in a way that we did not loose time. We hope that in time of many changements in Mongolia the people of Mongolia can stay who they are and know how to remain the beauty of all we have seen.

Mongolia is a very beautiful country with a lot of cultural, historical and natural things.

Kars, Jet, Liesbeth and Johan
Holland. 2010-02-26

This is my second time traveling with the Ayan Trails and it definitely will not be my last. I had to come back a second time to use if it was always as my first trip and it was! Great job guys! Keep it up!

Tony Howard
Washington, DC

Our 4 weeks trip in Mongolia.
“It was always a great wish to make a trip to Mongolia. We had read a lot about the country, the people and the nature and finally we decided to go to Mongolia in September/October 2010. Main reason to go this part of the year was the eagle festival in Olgii. But, we wanted to see more of the country and finally we had an arrangement for a 4 week tour. Actually it was a combination of 2 tours: a tour in the northern part and a second tour, with a group, to Khustai NP, Gobi Desert and the Altai-range .

In the north we travelled, together with Muugii (guide) and Nicky (driver), to many interesting places. Highlight was Khovsgol Lake; the tourist season had almost ended, so it was very quiet there. Muugii did a lot of work to make our trip comfortable. Although we had some long days in the 4WD, we enjoyed the ride in a surrealistic countryside. Meals were good and the gercamps we stayed, were of good quality. Nicky is probably one of the best drivers in Mongolia; very experienced, a safe driver and he could always find his way in the immense landscape (without traffic signs and GPS). Muugii told us a lot about Mongolian history, how Mongolian people live and how they can survive in this harsh climate.

In Khustai NP we joined the group and travelled south into the Gobi desert; we didn’t know that a desert can be so beautiful. Zaya, the general director of Ayan trails, joined the group too and he made excellent photos during our trip. After Gobi we had a flight back to UB and went to the Altai-range. In Olgii we visited the eagle festival. First of all, it’s a festival for the local people; of course tourists are welcome. It’s amazing to see how the eagle hunters are working with their birds. Finally a fox and a wolf were killed by the eagles; this kind of hunting looks cruel but it isn’t, it is a way to protect livestock against the numerous wolves in Mongolia. Later on we stayed 2 nights at a Khazakh family somewhere in the middle of nowhere. It was very impressive to experience how these people live.

Thanks to Ayan Trails we had a fantastic stay in Mongolia. Everything was organized well and if we asked something special, the staff always tried to make this possible. We can recommend Ayan Trails to everyone who wants to go to Mongolia. Of course AT has a lot of experienced guides, but we think we had the best of all. Muugii, thank you for everything and we will see you back in January 2011!

Paula and Henk
Maastricht, Holland”
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