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Ways to Experience GER to GER
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Reviewed November 5, 2019

During my time in Mongolia I spent a wonderful three nights in Terelj national park staying with three different families. All the families were welcoming but our stay with the second family stood out due to the time spent trying to teach us to sew Mongolian decorative items, learning to milk a cow, and herding goats.As pointed out in our pre-trip talk it is up to you to make the most of the time and conditions are somewhat basic, but definately a must do.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank Snowy1234567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GERtoGER, FOUNDER/CEO at GER to GER, responded to this reviewResponded November 12, 2019

Thank you! We do love good humans on GER to GER that take time to comprehend how we operate. :) On a side note, per our last chat, I can now tell you about our Top Secret summer works - my team and I had successfully facilitated "The Amazing Race Australia" in Mongolia and they've quoted Mongolia as being the "Best Episode Yet!". That's the reason why we were so incredibly busy this season and those works are now being broadcasted on Channel 10, Facebook as well as on Youtube!

After the Race, my whole team greatly needed a vacation away from all works for a few weeks during the month of September to recover... you can only imagine how exhausted we all were ;)

Check it out online!
Kindest regards :)

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Reviewed October 23, 2019 via mobile

I had read a number of very mixed reviews about the Ger to Ger trips prior to booking my travel; I also read through Ger to Ger’s website on the Living Like a Local trips; what I surmised was that those who had a poor experience tended to be those who had strong expectations of a guided tour with every activity executed per the planned agenda; whilst those who had a positive experience were those who are independent travelers who are happy to figure things out on the go, who went with an open mind, who were flexible when things do not go according to plan, who made the effort to interact and communicate with the families. I made a conscious effort to adopt the latter attitude and booked myself on 2 horse riding treks in Terelj and Khuvsgul Lake, and I had a most memorable experience with 6 nomad families over the 2 weeks. Highlights were the horse riding, the beautiful landscape, watching / participating in tending to the livestock, playing ‘sharat’ (ankle bones) with the children, and ultimately experiencing the nomads’ lives first hand. The things that least appealed were the long walk to the hole-in-the-ground toilets (which in themselves were very unpleasant), the unsanitary cooking / eating conditions, and not showering for a week at a time (wet wipes and solar shower came in very handy)! Still they were all part of the experience.

We had a 2+ hr orientation the day prior to the trip. What I found useful were: advice on etiquette with the nomad families, guidance on navigation and basic outdoor survival skills. What I found bizarre was: the “re-learning of Mongolian history” which i did not find helpful. What I would have liked was 15 minutes of language lessons, so we could get our pronounciations right.

Date of experience: July 2019
1  Thank AudreyH8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2019

Dealing with this company is the most bizarre experience I've ever had.

On the one hand, a friend and I took the 'Marvels of the Gobi Desert' tour and found it to be very good -- excellent and skilled drivers, a young and very good guide who spoke great English, nice ger camps, quite OK food, and lots to see and do. We were paired up with a Dutch couple and it was all a great laugh.

On the other hand - while booking this trip, we also booked activities with GertoGer to follow our Gobi trip:. a day tour for four people to the Chinggis Khan Statue and other nearby sites, plus one archery lesson and one khoomei lesson. Prior to leaving, the very nice woman who runs the office (Bogie) sent us a secure link to pay for these activities We agreed that we would use the link to pay the day after returning to UB from the Gobi (a Saturday).

I paid in the morning. The banking site said 'Success'! It also advised to call Ger2Ger to ensure payment had gone through. I both phoned and e-mailed the office several times that day, but there was no response. Finally, we got hold of the owner (Zanjan [-]) via Facebook Messenger at about 5:30 p.m.

This is when things got very, very strange. Rather than treating us as valued customers and people about to spend another US $600, Mr. [-] acted like a big child having a massive temper tantrum: The problem with the link was 'a banking problem' and not his! He would not be lectured! Other businesses would deal with us by simply refusing to deal with us! We were being unreasonable in expecting his staff to be available on Saturdays and Sundays!

Rather than pay money to a business that thinks nothing of insulting and demeaning paying customers, we cancelled all future business with GertoGer. His reply: "It is your right...have a good evening."

Well.

In its advertising, GertoGer emphasizes how it cares for local people and pays them fairly etc etc etc. In our case, we would have employed a driver, a guide, and two local 'masters' (archery and khoomei). Our cancellation resulted in four people not getting work -- a fact that did not seem to make a bit of difference to the owner of this business.

Finally, if this review seems a one-off in a sea of positive reviews, check Trip Advisor four or five years back and you'll read of other people having experiences similar to ours with the owner of this business (he makes much of the fact that he's from Alaska). I wish I'd seen them before deciding to give this company a single penny.

P.R. We did re-book the tour with another company and were treated with utmost civility and professionalism. GertoGer is not the only game in town, after all.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Plantaganet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2019

Let me start off by saying that I'm glad I made this trip. This was what I wanted when I got to Mongolia. First I went on a tour with a guesthouse, which was fine, but it was a lot of driving around, seeing big sites and areas - but it wasn't riding on horseback! Ger to Ger presents the opportunity of actually riding/trekking from and to each nomad family, -with- nomads. I loved it.

As a solo traveller, I was going alone. I didn't speak the language, and neither did they speak English. While this provided ample opportunity to meditate on the gorgeous plains, hills and mountains surrounding us, I worried that I might get restless and bored when I couldn't talk with anyone. But, as it turns out, Mongolian hospitality is extremely accommodating. They won't stop feeding you and curiously peer over your items and try to talk to you until you go away. And this is another aspect of the nomad culture I really like: If you want to be left alone, you will be left alone. Family members come and go into the ger without greater fuss, and especially before and after meals. So it's no big deal if you do the same.

I had the most fun when I was out with a nomad guide riding to the next ger. With a phrasebook and a bit of body language, you can get really far, in spite of much confusion and delayed comprehension on my part! I had fun trying to learn and memorize new words, especially with Mr. Byambaochar, who, with some success, drilled Mongolian Ger vocabulary into my brain. I was also glad that I got to ride my horse by myself, and not be towed by the nomad, or having to follow close in his heels. I even managed a bit of galloping at the end, when I was comfortable enough with the terrain.

The tour followed the itinerary on a broad scale and with the biggest sites, but it clearly got modulated. A few things went down differently, and I had a lot of other interesting experiences which wasn't part of the itinerary.

For example, I saw a "Worship of the Fire" ritual with my second family, where two buddhist monks entered and commenced a lengthy ceremony with the gathered families, all of them gathering in the Ger I was supposed to sleep in! I was almost falling asleep during the ritual (Buddhist droning + a day of horseback riding = lullaby), much to the families' amusement. I found it pretty hilarious as well - after I got that craved sleep, that is. One of the monks couldn't keep up with the rituals and had a bit of trouble with his eye-veil, drum, and well, practically everything, which also caused no small amount of ill-concealed snickers and giggles. Truly, a unique and fun experience!

This wasn't part of the itinerary, by the way. This was just something that 'happened' to occur as I got there. Very interesting!

So, all in all, a very nice trip, considerably cheaper than my first one, more physically challenging (which was what I wanted) and it's giving back to the communities that guide you, to boot. I highly recommend this as a in-depth experience of Mongolian nomadic culture. And if you learn the language before-hand, or get some basic understanding of it, oh boy, you're going to have a fun time.

Date of experience: June 2019
1  Thank KimG2953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2019 via mobile

My husband and I did a three night, four day "Live like a local" experience in Terelj National Park. It was not an easy experience. The conditions were less than sanitary, and it was tiring to constantly try to communicate and engage/connect with the families. It was totally worth the effort. We felt like it was pretty authentic, and we learned a lot and felt more connected to this beautiful country and people by the end of our short trip.

If you go in with appropriate expectations and an open mind and heart, I doubt you would be disappointed.

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank 825bethtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GERtoGER, Founder at GER to GER, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2019

From all of us... we wanted to kindly thank you for such a 'realistic, genuine and insightful' review - we indeed strive to ensure that you are having a 'genuine reality experience', and by doing so, you gain a lot by the end.

Again thank you and kindly wishing the both of you happy and safe travels!!!

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