The Positive Impacts Of Tourism – Meet Our Zumbee

Meet our Zumbee … Zumbee is a dedicated and long-term member of our EL family – one of our team of female Mongolian trip assistants. Zumbee is from a herding family in Dungobi Aimag in Mongolia’s Middle Gobi although she is currently based in Ulaanbaatar (UB – Mongolia’s capital city) where she moved to start university. Zumbee came to us…

Toilets in tourism - Mongolia
Providing toilets in tourism – For those that don’t give a s*!t

Toilets. Always high on the list of travel stories and experiences – especially the ones involving a dropped passport out of the back pocket into a long-drop pit toilet (I sense a nodding of heads). In health and safety terms, long-drop toilets should have a risk assessment heading all of their own. What if there are no toilets? Just hundreds…

Gobi Gua Undur Mongolia
Gobi Gua Undur Mongolia – What’s behind a name?

Let me introduce you to a place. It is called Erdenedalai in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert in Dundgobi Province – also known as the middle Gobi. It’s where the open steppe starts to turn into the desert steppe. Where grass meets gravel plains. The views are expansive. Is it considered a highlight? A must-see destination? No. Not by guidebooks or tour…

Dakhar - a member of our slow lane tourism
Slow Lane Tourism

Let me introduce you to Dakhar. Dakhar is a Kazakh. He was also a Kazakh eagle hunter. Was? He doesn’t want to be retired. It’s just the ache in his bones due to arthritis has forced him to retire as getting on and off the horse becomes more difficult although he still herds the livestock that his family own together…

Falling In Love With A (Mongolian) Landscape

Mongolia. This month (May 2020) is the 15th year anniversary of my first arrival into Mongolia. And I’m reminiscing – especially as I should be there now but I’m not as the borders are shut due to Covid-19. I initially got sent to Mongolia by my then boss. To be honest, Mongolia was not a country that I ever thought of…

Coronavirus and the impact on travel and tourism
Coronavirus and its impact on travel and tourism

The coronavirus is a crisis for many industries including the travel and tourism industry. The tourism industry has always been resilient – recovering from the Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud, the Boxing Day tsunami and multiple terror attacks – but the coronavirus and its impact on travel and tourism is something bigger, something more wide-sweeping and something unknown. Prior to the pandemic,…

Dog Sledding Mongolia (why we have said no for now)

Up until 2019, we offered dog sledding itineraries as part of our series of Mongolia winter experiences. However, even though often the dog sledding was often the highlight of their trip for our guests, in early 2019 we decided to stop offering dog sledding options. The main reason is cultural –  we describe our winter experiences as being a celebration of…

The Ethics Of Hunting With Eagles – Mongolia

The Kazakhs are Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority group representing 3-4% of Mongolia’s population (Mongolia’s entire population is just over 3 million people). A majority of Mongolia’s Kazakhs make their home in western Mongolia in Bayan Ölgii Aimag (Province) with another group in Khovd Aimag and then smaller groups spread throughout the country including the capital Ulaanbaatar.  A percentage of the Kazakhs of…

Alternatives to Black Friday
Beyond Black Friday

This Friday is Black Friday – synonymous with consumerism and excess but there is an alternative option – to help make a statement against what Black Friday has come to represent. Personally, I’ll be sticking my finger up at the event and here are a few ideas on how to mark the day by doing something different using my beloved Mongolia…

We need to have a rubbish revolution in tourism

Let’s talk about rubbish. As in discarded rubbish – especially discarded rubbish left in our areas of nature. Specifically wet wipes, hygiene products and sanitary items. This is specifically about Mongolia but also applies to wilderness areas in other countries. We have just completed our annual two-day rubbish clean-up of a national park here in Mongolia. And yes, there were…

Finding Travel Inspiration

Have you ever read the book show in the image below?   If not, the synopsis is simple. Tiziano Terzani – an experienced Asia correspondent— was warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for an entire year. So, in the year in question (1993), he didn’t. Instead, he slowly re-explored Asia by foot, boat, bus, car, and…

Getting started

Such a simple sentence isn’t it? ‘To begin, begin.’ There’s no need for any deep analysis. Wordsworth meant what the quote literally says: to start something, you must actively engage it. And that’s the same for travel. Yes, there are people out there kayaking the length of a river from source to sea or living alongside a remote indigenous tribe.…

A business plan of a young Mongolian woman who lives in Ulaanbaatar's ger districts
Real Life Is Everywhere

Look at the image above. Not the most prepossessing image is it? But, what do you think it represents? Any ideas? For me, it reminds us as travellers that real life is everywhere when we travel. It is actually the business plan of a young fashion designer who lives in the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar – Mongolia’s capital city. A…

Making A Positive Difference Through Tourism In Mongolia

Any ideas? Any ideas what the image represents? This is how our group spent a day recently in Ulaanbaatar – the capital city of Mongolia – at a felting project run by the Buddhist NGO Asral. The group learnt how to clean the wool, process the wool, colour the wool & then how to create by hand these intricate felt…

Local children getting a lift on a horse in Mongolia
Local Travel On A More Personal Level

There are trends and cycles in tourism just as with other areas of influence. One of the current shifts is towards a more authentic experience. It’s there in these three tag lines – ‘travel like a local’, ‘don’t just visit, live it’, and ‘be where you belong’. All from three quite major tour or accommodation suppliers. The focus is on…