22nd June 2017
Sales consultant Clem has just returned from our Mongolia: Land of the Great Khan group tour, where she stayed in a number of ger camps. Below Clem gives the insider's view on what staying in a ger is really like...
I approached my trip to Mongolia with some curiosity as to what staying in a ger camp would actually involve. I had spoken to colleagues who have travelled in Central Asia and spent the night in a communal yurt in Kyrgyzstan and they sounded cosy but pretty basic. On our trip I knew we were to stay in gers for nine out of the twelve nights in Mongolia so I was interested to see how they work! Following my experience below is my quick guide to the Mongolian ger so you know what to expect on your travels.
The first point to make is that all ger camps are different. Each has its own individual character and charm, but the basic concept is similar. They are made up of a cluster of individual gers which are used for sleeping in and a large central ger where you can spend your evenings sampling Mongolian beer and vodka and eating dinner.
Your ger will be filled with sturdy wooden furniture and have a wood-burning stove in the middle with a chimney leading up out of the roof. The inside of the ger is typically very beautiful and you can see the thin wooden beams which make up the ceiling and sometimes the lattice of wood that makes up the structure for the circular walls. There is a flap of fabric over the centre of the roof of the ger, which you can either choose to keep open for some fresh air or you can untie the rope on the outside of your ger and whip the roof closed using a very precise swinging motion with your arm. Practising closing our ger rooves was a fun evening activity!
Most ger camps have a communal shower and toilet block. These vary from camp to camp (in terms of standard and reliability of hot water), but one of my highlights was watching the staff loading up the giant wood burning stove under the water tank next to the shower block in one of our more remote ger camps!
All in all, gers are incredibly cosy and warm and a really fun and authentic way to explore the wilds of Mongolia. I can highly recommend them as sleeping in ger camps was definitely a highlight of my trip.