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Reviewed June 14, 2017

Firstly, any visitor to Mongolia needs to realize that the country has its own rhythms and habits. While this camp is by far the best one I've ever been to (and I've been to quite a few), don't expect everyone to speak fluent English - which means you'll always get less detail than you really want - if someone is uncomfortable, they'll likely just stay silent, don't expect a precise schedule (you're on vacation, who cares about the schedule?!) and don't expect that you're in a 5-star hotel in Hong Kong/New York/Paris/London.

This camp is totally secluded - which is amazing if you're looking for no cell service or power points (though they have power points in the library). The scenery is stunning, the gers are outfitted beautifully - having things like a sink (which actually has water), curtains, comfy outdoor chairs and proper duvets/pillows is the height of ger camping luxury. The food is quite good and they are very accommodating of vegetarians (if you tell them in advance). The staff were helpful and willing to organize things like a bonfire for us - but there was no set time, it just happened at some point. They were around if you needed them (though you might have to go looking for them, thankfully they don't hover) and were lovely when you interacted with them. Having hot showers in a hot ger (individual gers) was something I've never seen before and it was amazing - way way way better than the freezing cold bathhouse style showers I've seen elsewhere.

All in all - absolutely amazing. But if this is your first visit to Mongolia, visit a ger camp closer to the city first so you get the hang of it before going this far out.

  • Stayed: June 2017, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Ashleigh W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2017

As background; we are fun-loving, easy-going, mid-30’s married couple, very well-travelled (60+ countries on 6 continents), and love to rough-it camping in the wilderness. We travel for new adventures and to learn about history, culture, food, language, and experience the daily struggles and aspirations of the local people. Unfortunately Jalman Meadows failed on most counts to deliver this experience we were looking for. There was a very unwelcome feeling for the entire 3days/3nights that we were there mostly due to the extremely unfriendly and stoic staff.

The setting of the camp is beautiful, but essentially in a pungent cow pasture in the middle of nowhere. The other guests were friendly, however the camp isn’t really set up for gathering together anywhere. The serenity and quiet was great, but got boring after many days and nights with very little to do. We felt a bit like prisoners trapped out in the wilderness, without any control. We were hoping for a glimpse into the nomadic Mongolian life, to hear stories about the history, to hear the music, to learn about the food and to meet the people. We expected adventures in the remote Mongolian wilderness, wildlife viewing, and a relaxing nature experience. Unfortunately Jalman Meadows was disappointing on many counts. Our ger was comfortable and clean, the food was overall good, and we enjoyed the yak cart rafting (really a buffalo). However, this camp could do much to improve the guest experience.

The camp host was the only staff member that said anything to us the entire time. He speaks English well, but we hypothesize that he was just a temporary fill-in camp manager / host, as he was unfriendly, unhelpful, and not knowledgeable in this position. The other staff members went about their daily duties without any interaction or hospitality… until our departure when they all appeared to sing us a goodbye song - seemingly to solicit gratuity. There is understandably a language barrier… but as guests at a “luxury wilderness camp” we expected basic service and friendliness from the staff who are supposed to be there to take care of us.

• After traveling across the world to Mongolia, a 3+ hour drive from UB… we arrived at the camp and were shown to our Ger. There was a helpful information book in the ger, however we would have appreciated an introduction to the camp (i.e. when meals are served, activities available and how to request them, where things are at camp…). We eventually figured this out, but noticed the same confusion when other guests arrived on subsequent days.
• Our double bed ger was comfortable, clean, warm and very quiet. However, we spent the majority of our time in our ger, as the common areas of the camp are poor.
o The library ger has a squelching power inverter that runs all the time. There are lots of guide books left by previous visitors, but not much else to read.
o The main dining ger usually had the doors closed and locked except during meals. The staff frequently hung around in the kitchen at the back of the dining ger, and seemed bothered with any request that interrupted them
o There is an outdoor dining enclosure, but we were never offered to eat there. Instead every meal was inside a windowless tent without being able to enjoy the scenery.
o There is an outdoor firepit with seating around it… but it didn’t look like it had been used in a while
o The few activities available were difficult to arrange. There was only one bike at the camp… but the camp host was repairing it / using it for the time we were there.
• On the 1st morning, we requested to go horseback riding in the afternoon. We were told that they could arrange for a local rancher the next morning. We agreed, and the next morning prepared to go riding in the beautiful weather. We waiting around all day while clouds built up, and finally were ready to go riding in the late afternoon just as the skies opened up. We got absolutely soaked on the ride through the rain on horses that literally farted with every step they took. It was a truly unpleasant experience that we couldn’t wait to be over. When we returned to camp drenched, we had to go find the girl to light our ger fire… while the camp host laughed at us and asked “how was the ride?”
• We asked for suggestions on where to go for a nice hike, where the trails/roads are, what we could see, and the response was “You can go that way, that way, that way or that way”
• Meals were quite awkward… all of the guests sat themselves at individual tables and we served ourselves drinks. Then we would wait for the camp host to bring out a mystery soup, followed by mystery meat dish. The food was overall good, but we had no idea what we were eating the whole time.
• On the day prior to our departure, we wanted to confirm our transfer back to UB to catch a 7PM flight. We were the only guests departing that day; but were given the options of leaving sometime in the late afternoon on the daily transfer (he didn’t know when), or to pay $80 for a private transfer. So we paid the $80 to leave after lunch time, and the driver of the old Russian bus didn’t say a single word to us for the 4 hour bouncy drive in complete silence.

Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
1  Thank asmith_abroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrea P, Front Office Manager at Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2017

Many thanks for sharing all detail with us. We work hard to fulfill guest expectations. Perhaps Jalman Meadows was too isolated for your liking. We should have proposed you to go to Terelj proper, which is a on-grid location to avoid the feel of ending up in the middle nature, in nowhere. No cars. Your trip was self-guided at roughly half the cost, but we offer also fully guided trips to Jalman Meadows. I think this was not proposed from our side to you. We should learn from this.
Our camps are among the few which offers this self-guided trip option in Mongolia. All our camps are away from everyone else. That is the intent. Jalman Meadows is the furthest camp upstream Tuul River, and totally run in manual ways with solar and wind generators. Getting water and heating, means it has more staff than regular ger camps, and they can be busy back stage. The minimal electricity generation needed do indeed produce a buzz for the wind/solar generators. The English speaker camp manager is there to assist you, but he/she is a host, not a guide.
The Guest Information you found in your ger details how to order the activities. I am glad you enjoyed the yak cart rafting. They are not buffaloes, rather hainags, yak/cow crossbreeds. The Guest Information also asks all guest not to tip individually. Any tips to be left at the Tip Box in the restaurant ger, why staff are not used to - and should not - be tipped on departure. The restaurant should be open from before breakfast until long after dinner daily. This is where guest’s meet, as well as at the Library Ger. The gers are traditional why they do not have windows. It is possible to request dinner at the outdoor area. The library is small, but probably the largest selection of Mongolica there is in Mongolia, on things Mongolian in foreign languages. It includes rare antiquarian pieces of the early explorers.
Mongolian horses are not tied overnight, and better not, in order to be safe to ride. Staff need search for the ride horses on the pasture early morning, which is usually problem free. But sometimes, wolves may have been close at night and the horses would spook and take off further, in which case it delays to catch the horses needed. The trip itinerary states the shared transfers are leaving UB for camp at 09h00 and returning from Jalman at 14h00. If you used our service only for Jalman Meadows, we would have assumed this was your end destination that day. As the drive described in your itinerary is 3½ hours it is too late to depart on a shared transfer at 14h00 for a 19h00 flight out of Mongolia. Private transfers are best ordered before heading out to Jalman, as your price is for shared transfer. It means also having guest’s going out to camp on the same day you are departing. Why it affects the scheduling time in the morning from Ulan Bator for inbound guest’s.
Again, appreciate your feedback, and next we will check better, to offer guided version of the same trip and to have a better chance to also consider on-grid places such as Terelj proper.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2016

I visited this amazing place in the summer of 2016. My wife and I celebrated 30-year wedding anniversary here. A more suitable place, I can not imagine. So peaceful, the only thing that disturbed were the cows munching on the grass outside our Ger/Jurta (tent). Very peacefully munching. Ger/Jurta is Mongolian tents or better explained small fabulous house, very nice and comfortable, with its own stove for heating. But it was'nt needed in summer. Good food or astonishing food, that far from "civilization". There was plenty to do for those who need to activate themself, such as horseriding etc. But the best part is that you do not need to, but just to enjoy the panoramic view.

  • Stayed: June 2016, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Torbjorn24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2016

This luxury and environmentally conscious camp is situated in the most beautiful and interesting environment. Various habitats: Flora-rich steppe, grasslands, forest, mountains and a small river are all on walking distance. The camp is run by a very friendly nomad family together with a few english speaking staff. Everything on our 5 night stay was superb, the Ger (yurt), the food, the excursions, the total tranquility of the place. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 00JHS00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2016

Leading up to my visit, I was researching places to stay where I could be away from social media and technology while soaking in the Mongolian wilderness. I came across Nomadic Journeys and Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp seemed to fit that mold.

All of the organizational logistics went smoothly and the 3 hour ride to the camp was calm and scenic. Once I arrived, I was greeted by two staff members, who immediately helped me with my bags and showed me to my gert. It was raining the day I arrived, and the staff didn't waste any time getting the fire ready in my gert for it to be nice and toasty. There gerts themselves are really homey and comfortable, not to mention decorated so nicely, with Mongolian pieces of decor. The whole time I was thinking to myself, "I'm not even craving a hotel bed or shower because the ones here are so comfy and nice". The beds were very comfortable and the blankets kept me very warm throughout the night.

Sustainability: I work in the sustainable tourism field and I've never come across such a glamping experience that is truly, 100% sustainable and energy efficient. I'd stay here again if I were considering a wilderness vacation, just to be able to lessen my carbon footprint while thoroughly enjoying myself in such a peaceful environment. From solar panels, to milk and cheeses made by the local families livestock (so healthy), to using the (boiled) river water for use of washing dishes, etc. to the toilet facilities, which were so lovely and clean but yet 100% regenerative and you'd never be able to tell!

Serenity: While there are plenty of activities to take advantage of while here such as wild Mongolian horseback riding (super fun!), archery, river rafting (so scenic!), sauna building, mountain bike rental (very fun!) etc., the staff won't bother you if all you do is want to be alone to relax inside or outside your gert. Rest assured, you'll be able to experience quiet nature with few sounds of people, which is wonderful. But, if you are looking to converse with others, as I was on day 3, having dinner with other guests in the same room helps if you're looking to socialize. While the camp was never full, there were people who wanted to converse over a cup of tea in the library or wine over dinner.

Food: The cuisine is nothing short of world class. I don't know where the chef studied culinary expertise, but she made up the most beautifully presented and delectable dishes day in and day out. Though, if you're not a meat eater, tell them before hand as they tend to eat a lot of meat in Mongolia and goat is a staple food in the summer months. They served a variety of world cuisine in addition to traditional Mongolian.

I can't wait to go back here again when I'm looking to recharge my batteries on a peaceful, remote, wilderness vacation. Look no further, this is the place to be in the Mongolian wild.

Thank you, to the staff and Jan at Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp for the most peaceful stay of my 196 country, 3 year Expedition :).

Room Tip: away from restaurant, on the outside
  • Stayed: June 2016, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Cassandra D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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