27th March 2018
Central Asia specialist Marianne travelled around Mongolia in June. Below she talks about some of the best ger camps in Mongolia that she visited.
The word yurt is an old Turkic word. In Mongolia, they sleep in gers, which just means home. My previous ger experience had been in remote Tajikistan where gers for guests at homestays were sparse with traditional mattresses on the floor. Mongolian gers are something else completely. Camps vary considerably in levels of luxury, but even basic homestays are clean with beds and stoves in the gers for guests. All camps have restaurants and bathroom blocks (a few even have an en suite) and all are run by friendly, welcoming families in amazing settings. Below is a list of my favorite ger camps in Mongolia that Iwas lucky enough to visit.
Ongiin Nuuts, Ongiin Khid
Ten minutes away from the Ongi Monastery by foot is the award-winning Secret History Camp. The 45 gers face down towards the river and each has an unusual top protruding from the centre with little glass windows giving plenty of light and unusual curved wooden doors. The gers have two traditional style day beds, a table and chairs and there is also an electric light and power socket. The bar and restaurant are in a large wooden building with a temple style roof. There are spacious and modern toilets and showers and also a sauna and massage on offer. Far from roughing it, these are some of the best gers in Mongolia.
Ursa Major, Orkhon Valley
With beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley, the Ursa Major Ger Camp is a delightful place to stay. It's an eco-camp priding itself on working with the environment and local communities. It doesn't have a toilet and shower block – toilets are made from wood and compost and, instead of showers, hot towels are bought to your ger in the evening and morning. Gers are beautifully decorated inside and out with traditionally painted furniture, double and twin beds and small touches such as a little sink behind a screen. They also have good quality ceramic stoves. There is no electricity in the gers but a torch and candles are provided. The bar and restaurant are stylish and provide great food and the service is top quality. With so many activities in the area this is one of the best ger camps in Mongolia and makes a great base.
Three Camel Lodge, Gobi Desert
One of the top camps in the Gobi and offering some delightful accommodation, the Three Camel Lodge is built to a very high standard. Standard gers are simple yet incredibly comfortable whilst deluxe gers have beautifully carved wooden furniture and their own en suite ger with toilet, sink and walk-in stone built shower. There are also connected gers for families or for use as suites. A large restaurant provides excellent food and a separate bar/lounge has comfortable seating, games, a fireplace and a terrace to sit out and admire the views. Wind and solar energy help provide power and a well provides the water. The camp arranges camel rides and also has mountain bikes for use by guests.
San Juuchin, Terelj National Park
Tucked away in its own little valley and with no other camps in sight, location is key in this small camp. Just 20 gers face down the valley with views over the mountains and the family cows and yaks graze nearby. Gers are smaller but beautifully decorated and have three beds tucked into each. Bathroom blocks are basic but functional and there is a restaurant with a small bar. Walking trails are available from the camp.
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