Are you planning to ride Bactrian horse and camel or dog sled, explore the nomadic way of life and... read more
Are you planning to ride Bactrian horse and camel or dog sled, explore the nomadic way of life and... read more
Just before the whole pandemic happened I went on a business trip to Mongolia in January 2020 for... read more
Dream Mongolia/Doogi organized a great 10 day tour for my girlfriend and I. Doogi was able to organize a tour including 3 days in Southern Mongolia (Gobi), 5 days in Western Mongolia and 2 days in Ulaanbataar. The South Mongolia portion included Yalin Om, the sand dunes and Bayanzag. The Western Mongolia portion included a visit to Kazak (including meeting eagle hunters) and Tuvan families, a great hike in Tavan Bogd, seeing petroglyphs and more. The Ulaanbataar tour included Terelj National Park, Equestrian Statue, National History Musem, and a Mongolian concert (including throat singing). Doogi was very helpful and picked us up from every flight and made sure we had everything we needed (including tons of snacks) during the whole trip.
We just came back from a 7day tour of Southern Mongolia organised by Dream Mongolia with its owner Doogii. We selected Dream Mongolia after a detailed review of multiple tour operators and getting itineraries from them. In that process Doogii was the most accommodating of changes and was willing to adapt the itinerary to our interests. The price was good- not cheap but proved to good value.
Overall we had a really good trip and felt a lot of it was due to way Doogii run her business and selects the people she works with.
Both our guide - Baagi, and the driver of our SUV -Toktok, were very friendly and helpful. They were constantly watching out if we were comfortable and enjoying our trip. Extremely attentive, caring, responsible and very conscious about making us feel at home. Where they lacked in knowledge or English, they tried to make up by reading up or just trying their best to explain. They took us to Nomadic families and horse riding with people who were just happy to have us rather than hankering to get tips or gifts from us. Their attitude and hospitable nature made the trip really enjoyable for us.
We travelled through Yolyn Am, Gobi, Ongii, Orkhon, Kharkhorin and Khustain NP in seven days which meant we drove some long distances, slept in only one Ger Camp for more than one night. At the end of trip, we had a great time and that was due equally to Dream Mongolia and to the amazing destination that Mongolia is.
I have no hesitation in recommending Dream Mongolia to anybody who wants private tours of Mongolia and prefers personalised tours rather than large group tours.
In July 2016, our party of 10 (average age of 60+) completed a 14-days tour of Central & Southern Mongolia on 3 X sport utility vehicles (SUV). For ease of administration, we had booked through Universal Travel Corporation (UTC) in Singapore; which in turn engaged a local travel agency - Dream Mongolia to run the tour for us.
A pre-tour briefing was conducted one month prior to the trip by UTC staff; but the briefing was not so current. Nonetheless, it did prepare us to expect the worst - a 'hardship' tour! As the tour leader of the group, I was actually concerned whether some of my tour-mates could adapt and enjoy the overall tour due to the anticipated lack of modern comforts.
A subsequent email link-up with Doogii, boss of Dream Mongolia, provided us with much needed relief and confidence. She was very responsive and re-assuring. She even provided us with an 'Advise Book' of Mongolia which was most informative, comprehensive and current; and the current conditions in Mongolia did not seem that bad after all. With a positive spirit and sense of adventure, we set off for the 2-weeks tour.
Through much research, I customized a tour looping from Ulaan Baatar (UB) to Tereji & Khustai National Parks, to the Orkhon Valley (Khorkhorin, Terkhiin Tsagaan, Tsenkher), to the Gobi (Ongii, Bayangzag, Khongor, Yol Am) and back north to UB, via Tsagaan Suvarga & Baga Gazariin Chuluu. Our original schedule was to have commenced from UB, but due to the ASEM meeting, we started our tour in Tereji NP and subsequently spent the last 2 days in UB. Though we stayed in tourist ger camps from the onset, this change did turn out to be a better alternative.
While the cost quoted by tour agencies were on the higher end, we had actually paid for a more luxuriated adventure tour package - travelling in 3 Land Cruisers, staying in well-maintained tourist get camps, eating quality food in good standard restaurants and with all sightseeing entrance fees paid. We even have complimentary horse and camel rides. On hindsight, with the extra comfort, it actually turned out to suit all our more elderly members better - with minimum stress!
All the sights and attractions listed on our itinerary were duly completed in a rather free & easy manner. The pace and intensity were just right for the 14-day itinerary. The most memorable sights voted included spotting the wild horses in Khustai, the soft hike in Yol Am (Vulture Canyon), the fabulous white cliff/canyon in Tsagaan Suvarga, the massive sand dune in Khorgor, and the vast and most scenic Orkhon Valley (a visit to a nomadic family also deserved a thumb-up). In fact, just being there at the birth-place of the great Mongol empire was already awe-inspiring.
From the onset, we hit off very well with our guide, Urgaa of Dream Mongolia. She was a very sociable lady, always smiling and was able to gel seamlessly with us. Most importantly, she was very accommodating, tolerance, attentive - always taking care of our safety, comfort and well-being. Her commitment was aptly demonstrated as she made arrangements for the meals to suit our tastes, personally leading our camel and horse rides & hikes, helping our elder folks cross streams despite getting her feet wet standing in the water. Undoubtedly, she was one of the main reasons for the success of our trip. Thank you, Urgaa!
We had 3 X SUV (Toyota Land Cruisers) for the trip. The 3 drivers were very task-oriented, always conscientious about our safety and comfort. The SUV option was an excellent choice of travel for long distance cross-country ride over unpaved tracks (at times, there was no track at all). Crossing streams with running water and maneuvering in soggy muddy terrain turned out to be highlights during the journey. Of course, we do have our share of vehicular issues - punctured tyre, stuck in mud, wrong fuel topped up, and numerous occasions of 'lost contact'. However, the drivers were able to overcome these issues efficiently so that we always arrived at our destinations safe and on time. These issues in fact provided some wonderful experience in themselves.
Travelling off-road in SUV over long distance (averaging 200km per day) was a unique experience for all of us. Frequent toilet breaks in the nature during the journey were delightful relief for all of us. On hindsight, we could have gotten another land cruiser with driver so that, with 4 SUV, the 10 of us (+ guide) could be more comfortably seated with 3 in each vehicle. Squeezing 3 persons in the back seats of the SUV was quite uncomfortable over long distance and bumpy tracks. Another suggestion was for the tour agency to acquire long range walkie-talkie (at least 8-10km range) for direct responsive communications between the vehicles. It would be especially useful when there is no telco signal connection.
Noticing that we were always seeking for wifi-available locations, one of the drivers was resourceful to obtain a wifi router from his friend, fixed it in his vehicle so that we get wifi connection as long as there were signals with the appropriate telco. We fully appreciate his effort. (Perhaps the tour agency may consider investing in such wifi devices to its clients as a valued-added service)
This particular driver also got into a minor accident en-route to UB and had to foot a cost of MNT$350000 for his part of the damage settlement. In a show of our support and appreciation for his services, our group got together to pool this amount for him so that it would ease his mental and financial burden.
We stayed in tourist ger camps from Day 1 until our last night where we stayed in Ramada Hotel in UB. Most of the tourist ger camps we stayed were of above-average standard. While the furnishings and amenities were basic, most of these camps were comfortable, well-maintained and usually in very scenic & serene surroundings. All have clean sheets & blankets, electric power (some only till 2200hrs) and hot water shower. The shared toilets & shower rooms in separate buildings need some getting used to, but our group soon adapted well. All the shower rooms and toilets were equipped with modern shower facilities and western seat type (with toilet papers) respectively. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the toilets of all the camps. There was usually an attendant who clean them ever so often.
-The best ger camp: Gobi Naran (luxuriously furnished with attached toilet/bath, with best meals; wonderfully located in the middle of vast open grassland)
-Most basic ger camp: Tsagaan Survarga (bed was uncomfortable, amenities were most basic; but we do understand that it was located in a very remote area)
I also want to highlight that the hot spring pools at Shiveet Ger Camp in Tsenkher were a let-down. The pools were not well maintained with a layer of dirt at bottom of pools. It was not enticing to soak in them.
All of our meals were served either in standard restaurants and in ger camp's restaurants, with the cost included in our tour package. The meal quality was reasonable high, cooked mainly in western style. However, the portions were usually too overwhelming for us, with too much meat (mutton and beef). After 2 days, we started requesting for chicken, soups, and in smaller portions. Subsequently, with the closed attention of Urgaa, our meals were well diversified, cooked to suit our tastes (when possible) and in manageable portions.
Overall, we were very glad to have done this tour with Dream Mongolia (through UTC). We all agreed that the experience of this trip was most unique - the off-road cross country rides on SUVs over vast and scenic natural landscapes; and staying in gers.
Before the trip, Doogii, through her emails, were reassuring. Her assignment of experience guide Urgaa was most appreciated as it was a very contributory factor to the success of our holiday in Mongolia. On the last night in UB, we had a surprise celebration for my wife's birthday with a wonderful cake and gift, courtesy of Dream Mongolia. We also took the opportunity to express our gratitude to Urgaa and our drivers. Doogii also dropped by the hotel later that night to meet up with my wife and I. We were very appreciative of her gestures.
Overall, we were most enthralled by this SUV adventure tour of Mongolia, professionally conducted by Dream Mongolia. It was money well-spent on a most experiential, valued-added and memorable tour. A lifetime defining one, indeed!
My 5 friends and I have been wanting to visit Mongolia for a couple of years, and I'm so glad we picked Dream Mongolia to make our dream come true! We covered UB, the Gobi, Central Mongolia and Lake Khövsgöl from 6 - 19 August 2016.
When we were emailing various tour operators to get a quote, Doogii was the first to reply with the most comprehensive suggested itinerary and the most reasonable price. She was also very prompt to respond to our customisation requests and other queries. We had some issues with the UB-Gobi flight because the flight was full, but Doogii kept us updated regularly via Whatsapp on the booking status.
Upon arrival at UB, Doogii met us at the airport before handing us over to her guides. She actually also sent us off when we left Mongolia and gave us a souvenir each, which was a really nice personal touch.
We were informed that the UB-Gobi flight had been unexpectedly cancelled by Aero Mongolia, but Doogii made alternative arrangements for us to drive the 10 hours to Dalanzagdag, refunded us the air ticket in full and also made up for the lost itinerary in UB on our last day when we had some free and easy time.
For the rest of the trip, we were led by our very friendly and patient guide Tovuu and our funny and ever reliable driver Hurlee.
Tovuu became more like a friend than a guide from the trip. He didn't just make sure we ticked off our itinerary, but also that we got a good grounding in Mongolian culture and language. He patiently taught us useful Mongolian words and phrases throughout the 2 weeks, and by the time we reached our last ger camp we could greet people and somewhat request for hot water, fire and toilet (the most important vocabulary to learn) ourselves. He also taught us local games that made the nights in our gers more exciting. Through our many conversations, we got a sense of how Mongolian society works and the hopes and dreams of Monoglian youths.
Hurlee was our superman. Besides skillfully driving and entertaining us with his antics, he rescued cars stuck in mud, hauled water from wells, caught camels and horses for us to take photo with etc. With him at the wheel, we completed a journey of two thousand miles (~3,000 km) through unmarked dirt tracks, gravel paths and paved roads safe and sound.
We were also surprised when some of our ger guesthouses (the cheapest form of accommodation with no western style toilets) were changed to ger camps (with a proper restaurant and western style toilets), with no extra charge. It certainly made to our day to be able to eat well and have the convenience of showers.
When Tovuu and Hurlee realised that it was our National Day on 9 August, they surprised us the next night by buying us Tiger beer (our national brew) and snacks. We had a great celebration drinking and playing cards although we were far away from home!
In addition, when one of my group was taken very ill with food poisoning, they took the initiative to suggest that we detour to a hospital for a check up. Tovuu acted as translator with the doctor and also nurse to my friend by constantly checking on her and reminding her to take her medication after the doctor visit.
Thank you Dream Mongolia for showing us the splendour of Mongolia's natural landscape through driving/trekking/camel riding/horse riding and the hospitality of Mongolians through random drop-ins to nomadic families and the warmth of your guides. This has been a trip that we will be talking about for years to come.
My wife and I just returned from a 12 day trip to Mongolia with Dream Mongolia. We had an exceptional experience. Doojii who is the operator of Dream Mongolia was exceptional. I used her based on the reviews on Tripadvisor but was skeptical initially relying on internet reviews. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The great reviews on Tripadvisor about Dream Mongolia Tour are in fact 100% accurate. We were on a private tour, only me and my wife. There were two vehicles: a Russian van with a driver (Bahit), a cook (Bolormaa) and supplies. We were in a Toyota Land Cruiser with the driver, Jukov and our guide, Urgamaltsetseg. I recommend a Japanese vehicle as it is more comfortable. These four people were incredible. They bent over backwards to please us at every turn. Urgamaltsetseg, our guide, was not only the tour guide; she was the housekeeper and a nurse when my wife had a stomach virus. Bolormaa our cook made sure we were fed well. The two drivers, Bahit and Jukov did their part by taking us safely to our destinations, navigating the treacherous conditions of Western Mongolia.
We also visited Khustai National park and Terelj National Park with a different tour guide, Nasandooyo and driver Amraa. They too were exceptional. Doogii certainly has a great crew. At both these parks we stayed in a GER camp therefore the food was provided by the park restaurant.
For anyone visiting Western Mongolia and plan to stay with a Kazakh family in a GER or a Mongolian Nomadic family here are some points to be aware:
- The road conditions are challenging in Western Mongolia as most roads are not paved. Doogii’s drivers are great at navigating these roads
- We found the bathroom conditions a bit challenging but we survived. After all it is an adventurous trip not a luxury tour. You have to keep reminding yourself of it. Instead of toilet paper we used wet wipes, which was more effective in staying clean. Carrying an inflatable toilet may not be a bad idea.
- A very good head lamp is absolutely necessary. Good to carry a second head lamp as a backup. I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, without a head lamp it would have been a disaster.
- The main diet consists of meat, meat and more meat. If you are a vegetarian there might be challenges but be sure to inform Doogii and I am sure she will be more than willing to accommodate.
- Take a towel for each person
- The nights can get very cold inside the GER in Western Mongolia, even though it is nice and warm during the day. Be sure to carry warm clothes to stay warm at night.
The Hotel Urguu we stayed in Khovd is not recommended. Not sure if you have too many hotel choices but I recommend you do your own research.
Looking at all the reviews, i think it goes to show how wonderful Dream mongolia is. This is my two cents worth. I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Doogii for making this trip such an unforgettable experience. She really takes the effort to make your trip the most comfortable one and very accommodating to all the requests. i will just list a few examples.
she personally picks her guests up at the airport when they arrive and sends them off on their domestic flights to other parts of mongolia.
personally brings us out for dinner on one of the nights when we were at UB.
i absent-mindedly left my cap at the dinner place and she took the effort to call the place and retrieve the cap for me so that i could have it on my next leg of the journey. and it was after 11pm at night. thank you so much for the extra mile.
she also got us the inhaler for stuff nose (and refuse let us pay for it). we couldn't find it at State Department Store. After she dropped us back at the accommodation late at night, she spent the extra effort to get it for us so that we could have it the next day as we were flying off to West Mongolia.
Before we left she bought us some souvenirs as keepsake. my husband and i each had 2 and one happened to be a pouch i saw at a shop at Ulgii but it was closed and i couldn't buy. such a coincidence and luck.
Would definitely be recommending Dream Mongolia to everyone.
Once again, Doogii, thank you for everything. We miss Mongolia and its lush green grasses and wonderful horses in the Central and marmots in the West. Missing our drivers and guides as well.
From Corinna and Yongjun