Blog | New Milestone Tours

The man of Taiga Mr. Sanjim

Meeting the Tsaatan Mr Sanjim (1940-2014)

We met Mr. Sanjim first time in 2001 when I was guiding the Smithsonian Institution Expedition for ethnic study and deer stone study project. We flew from Ulaanbaatar to Murun town for an hour and rode Russian 4WD vans for 9 hours on a bumpy dirt road to the Tsagaan Nuur County, the most northern Mongolian village. We stayed overnight at the Sanjim’s son Bayanmunkh’s family ger/yurt. Next morning the horses were ready for trekking up to the Taiga Mountain, so, we packed few horses and started riding. Sanjim’s sons were guiding us. We passed over the first hill then saw wide open marshy valley and we crossed for an hour and a half. After 6 hours of riding, we camped in the forest. Next morning after about 4 hours of horseback riding we reached the summer camp of about 15 tipis. All were scattered on the mountainside along the stream. The first family we visited was Mr. Sanjim’s. He the elder of the Mongolian Tsaatan or reindeer-herding community become a long-time guide for the Smithsonian’s Deer Stone Expedition. We had many occasions to hear his stories from his background.

Sanjim was born in 1940 in northeastern Tuva, today’s Russian territory. His paternal clan was Kataya Balagsh (balagsh means fish in Tuvan), a Todz Tuvan group of hunter-gathering, reindeer herders who nomadized the taiga on the north side of the Shishged/Yenisei River. Soon after his birth, Sanjim’s father was conscripted into the Russian army to produce wooden snow skis for World War II efforts in Asia. His father was one of the few Todz soldiers that lived to return to the taiga in the summer of 1945. By 1947 the family escaped the post-WWII poverty, famine, disease, and forced boarding schools in Russian Tuva by taking their reindeer across the newly regulated Mongolian border. They moved frequently to keep their location secret even from their relatives and were deported to . . .

Goat milking in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia

Cheryl Johnson, USA

I am not your typical Mongolian tourist. I spent a year and a half teaching English in Mongolia in my early twenties. I learned to speak the language during my stay, and three subsequent trips back to Mongolia have allowed me to immerse myself in the culture in a way most tourists never get to. But even after being involved with the country for over 10 years, it's still possible for me to encounter something totally new. I spent three months in Mongolia in the summer and fall of 2016 working on a book project. I found plenty of excuses to put the book on hold and go where I loved to be. But the only thing more fun for me than spending time in Mongolia is spending time in Mongolia with new people, introducing them to the glory of the place. I couldn't wait for two of my good friends, Dan and Emily, to come and join me for a trip in the Gobi Desert the first week of September. These two friends were fellow outdoor enthusiasts, so I knew they would enjoy the vast natural landscapes, horseback and camel riding, and the dazzling starry night sky. I met them at the airport just outside of Ulaanbaatar on a Sunday afternoon, and by Monday morning we were on the road with our tour guide, Sunny, heading south!

Participation to the Adventure Travel World Summit, Alaska Sep 2016

Participating in the Adventure Travel World Summit in Anchorage, Alaska was a great experience for us, a real milestone and brought new energy and inspiration. 750 delegates from all over the world attended the summit, all of whom are focused on adventure and sustainable tourism. We made great friends from Nepal, the U.S., Argentina, Jordan and many other countries. The lectures, educational sessions on photography, growing your organization, product development and many other topics, were very inspiring.

Off the beaten path tour destination - Mongolia

Mongolia is off the beaten path tours destination. Our private tour takes you to the awe-inspiring parts of Mongolia that most tourists don't see. From the unique Rein deer herders Taiga Mountain in Khuvsgul province to the amazing Gobi Desert, Mongolia is a land of stunning beauty. We recommend visiting these off-the-beaten path destinations which are well kept unspoiled nature and ancient nomadic culture. If you have heard of the saying ‘you will be sent to outer Mongolia if you behave badly’, you are almost right about Mongolia until 1990. It was probably the place for such punishment with its communist regime and closeness to outside world other than former soviet-union countries. Going to Mongolia as a tourist was nearly impossible for westerners considering that there was only one Tourist Company in Mongolia owned by the state and brought and handled about 2000 tourists mostly ‘communist tourists from former soviet countries and only 17% or about 375 tourists from Germany, UK, US, China and Japan...

Living with wild pet in the Ger?

Our last destination was Elsen Tasarkhai - Sand Dunes and we stayed at the Ger camp, which is located by the dunes with perfect view towards the sand dunes. As we entered in one ger (Mongolian traditional dwelling) I heard a bird singing. First I thought they had an electronic nature sound alarm, calendar, picture frame or whatever. But actually there were real swallow birds living in the top of the ger inside. Couple birds had just had five little hatch-lings. The camp manager explained us that every year they have these "guests" in their ger for over 20 years. There are no more guests now. They became their family members. The camp manager and staff people feed them and care them. I saw that every time the parent swallows go out and come in, the locals were opening the door for to them. They were used to it. I adore the little birds to see their parenting and bring food from outside...

How Mongolian child gets on a horse...

There are many small local Naadam celebrations ( a traditional festival) in July. One summer we were traveling in Khuvsgul Province and found our self at one of them. The local nomadic herders were gathered together to worship the local mountain while feasting and engaging in games such as wrestling and horse racing. During this time families travel mostly on horseback and use the mostly tame or broken horses from their half wild herd. The celebration was about over and everyone was getting on their horses and leaving. I was about to leave and while I'm opening the door of my car I saw a herder holding his son around 8 years old by the hand and trying to approach the half broken horse. The horse was not cooperative but the herder still attempted several times to put his boy on the horse. I quickly grabbed my camera and started recording but I missed the first three attempts where the horse was acting very aggressively. But on the fourth attempt the father was successful was able to put the boy on the horse. I was afraid the horse will buck off the boy but he didn’t The horse took off galloping with boy through the countryside...

Did you know Mongolia was the first country where the dinosaur egg found?

The first scientifically recognized dinosaur egg fossils were discovered in 1923 by an American Museum of Natural History crew in Mongolia. Roy Chapman Andrews leaded 3 expeditions in central Asia. Andrews first came to Khuree (today’s Ulaanbaatar) in September 1918 for 4 nights. In 1919 he travelled around Khentii and Terelj mountains. In 1920, Andrews began planning for expeditions to Mongolia and drove a fleet of Dodge cars westward from Peking (Beijing). The first expedition of AMNH started in May 1922 and continued until September in the Gobi region including Gurvan Saikhan and Ongi River. Here they found fossil of Indricotherium (then named "Baluchitherium"), a gigantic hornless rhinoceros. During four expeditions in the Gobi Desert between 1922 and 1925, he discovered Protoceratops, a nest of Protoceratops eggs, Pinacosaurus, Saurornithoides, Oviraptor and Velociraptor, none of which were known before. Andrews and his team discovered the first nests full of dinosaur eggs ever discovered...

Fishing in Mongolia By Adiyabold / May 6, 2015

Few years ago in September we were traveling to fish along the Tarvagatai River in Mongolia for trout. The scene was beautiful with red, orange and yellow trees on mountain range. This time were going to test our newly purchased “Blue Fox” spinners and very much excited. On the road we dropped by local nomads and while talking about the weather and so on we asked what kind of lures would work best this time of the year. The local herder said “in this kind of leaves of trees turning to yellow period silver spinner would go”. I had silver “Blue Fox” spinners but my friends brought golden and bronze spinners. That day I caught 14 large trout but my friends had none. Our guides will advise you the best lures for your fishing for certain of the year, and please visit our site for available fishing trips..

Khuvsgul Lake Trip By Adiyabold / February 5, 2015

Khuvsgul Lake is one of the Mongolian top places to visit and natural protected area. This is the largest fresh water lake and traditionally Mongolians worshipped nature and relating to it called Lake Mother. The meaning of the lake name is “Blue Water Lake” and located Northern Mongolia bordering with Russia. It is 1,645 metres above sea level, 136 kilometres long and 262 metres deep. It is the second-most biggest freshwater lake in Asia, and holds almost 70% of Mongolia's fresh water and 0.4% of all the fresh water in the world. There are around 46 rivers inflows to Khuvsgul lake and It is drained at the south end by the Egiin Gol, which connects to the Selenge and ultimately into Lake Baikal. Between the two lakes, the water travels a distance of more than 1,000 km. But the direct distance between Bakal Lake and Khuvsgul Lake is only 200 km. The lake is considered old lake and estimated to 2 million years old...