First in Service News

Just Back From: Mongolia

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Each month, one of our agents gives you the inside scoop on a dream getaway.  This month, Erika Reategui, our explorer at heart, takes you to mystical Mongolia, one of the last lands where the nomadic way of life still thrives.

Why should people visit Mongolia?

Mongolia is captivating in so many ways. It’s one of the last frontier countries to be discovered, so it will definitely awaken the inner explorer in anyone. The vast landscapes, from high mountains to the desert, interesting fauna, and warm people are unforgettable. Plus you’re walking through history and the ancient empire of Genghis Khan.

What are the top five things on your ‘must do’ list?

  1. Visit  Khustain National Park to watch the famous Thaki wild horses graze just before sunset. They are unique in the world.
  2. Spend the night with a real family in a ger, the traditional tent-like portable dwelling, and help with daily chores like milking a yak.
  3. Witness the ethereal Flaming Cliffs at sunset and the Singing Dunes of the Gobi Desert.
  4. Be part of the crowd at Naadam, the biggest annual festival famous for horse racing that goes back 21 centuries.
  5. Explore the Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 17th century.

What is the best time of year to go?

Definitely during July and August. But it gets 280 full days of sun per year, earning it the nickname “Land of Blue Skies.”

Where should you stay?

The Blue Sky hotel in the capital Ulaanbaatar, Three Camels Lodge in the Gobi Desert, and one of the many ger camps dotting the countryside.

Describe the cuisine.

The diet is rich in dairy, meat and noodles (tour companies will make sure to meet any dietary needs). Most Mongolians living in the countryside are nomads, and because winters are harsh, their meals must be hearty. Tea with milk and salt is customary any time of day, definitely an acquired taste for those who prefer coffee.

What’s an interesting fact that people might not know about the country?

Milk for Mongolians is sacred, as it’s the first nourishment for newborns and animals. To bid guests farewell, families sprinkle milk as your vehicle drives off to wish you a safe and blessed journey.

Describe your itinerary.

My trip was a cultural journey of history and archaeology combined with adventure. Visiting Ulaanbaatar, Khustain National Park to observe the legendary Thaki horses, Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, two nights with local families and four nights in the Gobi Desert watching unforgettable sunsets.

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