by Nigel

I'd just like to share my experiences with Ger-To-Ger, a ger-homestay sort of tour company run out of Ulaanbaatar.

My wife and I used Ger-To-Ger in July 2012. We opted for the most expensive tour - Kazakh Eagle Training in the far west. The trip promised to be amazing.

Unfortunately the stay with the Kazakh family was just a glorified home-stay, we did almost nothing to do with eagle training except dress-up and get photos taken with an eagle on our arms - something I can do 20 minutes out of Ulaanbaatar for $3.

The rural facilitator in Bayan-Olgii also seems to be lining his own pocket as our promised ger-camp stay turned into bunking in his own spare ger, our restaurant meal turned into eating with his family and our paid transport to the airport vanished altogether, among other things. It wasn't a terrible experience, but we could have gotten the same thing for an awful lot less money by the time we paid all Ger-To-Ger's fees and the airfares to the far west.

We made a complaint to the Ger-To-Ger head office, which was ignored for six weeks. When we tried again to get their attention they basically abused us and tried to hide behind some non-existent complaints policy even though we'd provided everything they asked for. They've already admitted they know there is a problem but are apparently quite happy with it being there. Another traveler we met on Ger-To-Ger also had a separate complaint and got more or less the same blunt response from them. We've heard numerous other anecdotes of problems with Ger-To-Ger as well.

I know we shouldn't be expecting a lot from tourism in Mongolia compared to the west, but the company is run by an American guy who made us pay $25 each to listen to him speak on about his own personal wealth of experience around the world running stuff like this, so he should know better.

My advice - give Ger-To-Ger a wide berth. You might get a good tour or you might ger shafted. If you have a problem, nobody will want to know. You're better going with the home-stay you hostel can organize or just getting out into the countryside yourself and meeting local people.

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Hi, I am T. K. and I am the head eagle hunter of my tribe, just kidding! Connect with me on FB and leave  your comments, questions etc.