New Milestone Tours | New Milestone Tours

LouisThompson

I have traveled a lot, and have been on many private tours. This was among the very best. Between my guide, Adiyabold Namkhai, the herder family we spent the night with, and the expanse of the eternal blue sky over the hills, valleys, and rocks of Terelj, this was almost a spiritual experience. Adiya is an incredible guide. He is smart, thoughtful, insightful and intellectually curious. While of course he explained much about Mongolian history, culture and geography, he also was very interested in learning about me and the space I inhabited.

The tour was an overnight tour. Adiya picked me up promptly at my hotel in downtown Ulaanbaatar. We drove in his spotless SUV for a little over an hour to our first stop: The Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex. As if making up for the decades of Soviet repression of Mongolian history, the Mongolian government erected a massive stainless steel statue of Chinggis Khan astride a horse in the middle of a plain. The site is reputed to be where the Great Khan found a special riding whip, and indeed, it holds his steel hand high. You can access the mane of the horse, and from there marvel at the open space, dotted with occasional ger camps that stretches out from the statute to nearby hills and distant snow-capped mountains.

From there we drove to the 13th Century Mongolian National Park. This is a series of ger camps that recreate life in the Mongolian steppes in the 13th Century--sort of like a Colonial Williamsburg, only really spread out. We went off road on the grass lands. Within minutes of leaving the last hard top, we were out of sight of any humans. Occasional horses and cows might make an appearance on hills, but this was open and empty a space as I have ever encountered. Then, all of a sudden we were at the watchers' campsite. We entered some of the gers and met with the guard, dressed in his deel, who described how the watch camps also served as postal services of sort, where messages would be given by one set of riders to another who would then ride off to the next camp. There are a series of these camps--including a camp for a khan, a site for the shamans, a herding family camp (where we had a meal in the main ger). Staffing was sparse, but I was there before people really come to tour.

We ended the day by driving to our host family. They had a collection of three gers and a pen for one of their cows who had just given birth to a calf a few weeks before. We were shown to our ger, which was much cozier than I anticipated. It was cold and very windy out, so I very much appreciated the roaring fire in the cast iron stove in the middle of the ger. And yes, it was fueled with dung. Adiya walked with me into the hills surrounding the gers where I took photos of the dying light. Later at night, I sat outside to marvel and the night sky, heavy with stars, but dark nonetheless. We woke early to climb the hills and watch the light break over the hilltops and spill into the valley.

The host family was wonderful. Through Adiya, the talked about their lives, which sound remarkably similar to the lives of their ancestors from the 13th Century. Mind you, the 21st Century was there too, with a solar panel on one of the gers, and a satellite dish on another. They gamely made vegetarian versions of Mongolian food (e.g., horshor stuffed with mashed potatoes and carrots). My best meal was breakfast--a porridge of rice and fresh cow's milk. Note: these were real herders and not a ger in a ger camp. Apparently, spending a night in a ger is a thing, and developers have capitalized on this by creating tourist friendly camps. I say this because my one difficulty with the experience was the outhouse. I fully expected to use one, but didn't realize that it would involve squatting over a large pit atop two wooden planks. I suspect the ger camps have outbuildings with flushing toilets.

We ended our second day by driving out toward the forested mountains and the famous Turtle Rock--a formation that really does look like a turtle lifting its head high out of its shell. From there we made our way to the Aryapala Temple Meditation Center. The Temple is built up on the rocky side of a mountain and looks over the Terelj valleys. Definitely worth the walk up.

If anything brings you to Mongolia, add an extra night to do this, and do it with Adiya.

Donald Peterson

There is one particular memory of my visit to Mongolia which keeps replaying in my mind and bringing a smile to my face. . . As we were returning on the bus from our visit to the Chinggis Khan statue, our translators/guides were telling us about Mongolia and answering our questions. As the conversation evolved into music, they began to sing the beautiful melodies of \"Khaluun Egen Nutag\" for us. We were stunned by the beauty of the melody and moved by their devotion to country. But, before we knew it, they coaxed us all into singing as they jumped right into \"You Are My Sunshine.\" I thought at the time that \"experiencing a people and a culture just doesn\'t get any better than this because they want to learn as much about our culture as we do about theirs.\" I still pinch myself--wondering if I really visited far off Mongolia--thinking of that wonderful country and amazing people. 

Thanks for a life-changing experience with New Milestone Tours.

Donald Peterson 

2015.05.26


Jordan Hatch

I spent five amazing days in Ulaanbaatar with the BYU Wind Symphony and New Milestone Tours.
The tour guides spoke amazing English and were able to answer all my questions about Mongolia and Mongolian culture. They were very kind and cheerful and I’d return for another tour without thinking twice! I saw and did so many amazing things including Terelj, the Chinggis Khan Statue, and a traditional Ger. I even got to ride a Mongolian horse and camel! There was so much to do. Someday I hope I can return and see even more of Mongolia and its people! I will always remember my time in Ulaanbaatar! 

Thank you!

2015.05.27


Jessica Patchett

Dear New Milestone Tours, 

Thank you for making our BYU Wind Symphony tour to Mongolia a memorable one. We had the best bus drivers and tour guides. It was so fun to get to know each of you. I also especially loved the day that we went to the Mongolian countryside. It was amazing to go outside the city and I thought it was beautiful. Then, I was astonished that we even got to ride Mongolian horses! The whole experience was incredible. Thank you for taking such good care of us and giving us the best trip to Mongolia. I truly miss all of you and your beautiful country. 

Thank you so much, 

Jessica

2015.05.27


Randi

Going to the singing Dunes was the highlight of my trip. I love the challenge of the hike up and loved lying down on the top of the dune relaxing and taking in the breathtaking scenery. Itinerary quality was Excellent. Urna /tour manager/ was fantastic to work with. She went well out of her way to accommodate our group: scheduling shaman appointments, taking us to the Black market, arranging dinner with the opera singer and her family...Urna went way beyond her call of duty. She was well organized and very easy to work with and travel with. Tumee was an amazing naturalist and had so much to offer. I feel blessed to have traveled with Tumee and Urna in the Gobi-they are a great team!

Hope you are well!  Thank you again for such an amazing trip!
Love to you!

Randi

Mary Ellen

I so enjoyed having you /Urna, tour guide/ as our tour guide, you were warm and funny, intelligent and caring, accommodating and spontaneous - just perfect! The highlight of the tour was you. I always felt you cared deeply about us, our needs, our safety, our enjoyment. To come so far into a country as different from mine, I needed all that you gave and you gave it with such warmth and competence. Thank you. I loved the ger camps and all of the accommodations. I loved our hikes and the horse ride and all of the nature walks, especially. It was a great honor to have Tumee /local tour guide/ with us and I so appreciated it. It was a wonderful surprise on the trip. 

Thank you for you and your wonderful company for a most fabulous trip! I hope I make it back to Mongolia some day.

Much warmth and affection,

Mary Ellen


Kim

I am constantly reminded of Mongolia, its beauty, people, animals and amazing landscape. It was a truly amazing and life changing experience. I want to thank you so much for making it so comfortable and effortless for us, you attended to all our needs on request, and Westerners can be quite demanding at times, but we were well cared for and looked after incredibly well. Your English skills are fantastic and Tumee’s /local guide/ depth of knowledge and passion for his country were very honorable and informative. We were truly blessed to have you as our guides and introducing us to the wonder, magnificence and history of your vast country. I also want to thank the drivers and people that prepared all our meals; they also did an amazing job, keeping us safe and well nourished. I truly loved every minute of our adventure.

I want to thank you again for everything.

All my love and appreciation,

Kim

Joe and Loni Linfords

The family was such friendly, accommodating people. We loved being able to participate in making the buuz. The beef center was especially delicious. It was most enjoyable to get out of the smoky winter air of UB and spend half a day in the beautiful Mongolian countryside.

Joe and Loni Linfords


Jennifer

Dear New Milestone,

I wanted to thank you, Ganbold and Adiyabold for making me be able to go to Khuvsgul. I met wonderful people there, Davaa ( a very smart and joyful young lady ), Amraa ( the best cooker in Mongolia) and Bambu ( the best driver of Mongolia ). I also feel very blessed to have met the reindeer herders in the snowy mountains. That place was just magic, peaceful and powerful at the same time. The family there is very welcoming and I was thrilled to see reindeers for the first time in my life especially in the season of birth. As we arrived a reindeer gave birth to a little baby reindeer, the herders said that it's very rare for a tourist to witness this, so I feel very lucky and honored for that. Through the trip, I met many people from Khatgal, Tsagaan Nuur and all the way back to Murun. All of these people were so kind and welcoming, I was very happy to meet Mongolians and to have been able to see how they really live. Everything was well planned, I felt safe and very happy from the beginning to the end. Now that I am back in UB, I know that this was probably the best trip of my life. Such loving from the people to each other, to the animals and to nature made me realize even more how beautiful our planet is and especially Mongolia.

Thank you very much again.

Jennifer

Jeanette Rockers

I’m so appreciated Tumee/local guide/ and his amazing knowledge and abilities on the Gobi trip. His understanding of the natural world and especially his love for it came shining through. His ability to spot animals far away marks him as an accomplished naturalist, and we were lucky to have him along.

Just a note to say how much I appreciated the work and thought that went into our explorations of the South Gobi with New Milestone Tours and our translator, Urna Enkhbaatar. We saw and understood more of the treasures of the Gobi because of Urna’s skill at working with demanding situations and sometimes, people. Thank you for being the professional you are Urna, and showing us your beautiful country.

Jeanette Rockers

JB Worsley, England

The highlight of our tour was the camels roaming free. The quality of the tour was great.

"I loved our tour of the Gobi seeing camels roaming freely, climbing to the top of the singing dune, beautiful landscapes and meeting wonderful people. Our tour guides were accommodating, knowledgeable and competent and could not have done more to make our trip full and exciting. Thank you Milestone Tours!"

JB Worsley, England

Thank you and lots of love!