Mongolia Tour Guide
Although this trip was my fourth to Mongolia, it was the first time I took a weekend off to go see the countryside. Associates living in Mongolia referred me to Tsengel P. Shariad, a fabulous tour guide that brought me to the places that I reviewed here.
Tsengel lived for seven years in the United States, and thus has excellent English language abilities. While going on the tours, I was frequently impressed by the depth of his cultural knowledge, and his ability to understand western culture and his native Mongolian culture well enough to convey the differences and highlight the delicate subtleties about Mongolian life. His enthusiasm for Mongolia and for intercultural discovery really makes the tours a genuine trip through this ancient and fascinating land.
I only has one weekend to do my touring, so for me, and individual tour guide who could handle transportation, food, and flexible schedules was essential. Tsengel was very easy to get in touch with and it was a simple matter to arrange to be picked up at our hotel. Tsengel drives his own vehicle, which is a comfortable late model sedan, and is very familiar with the routes and times. He doesn't have any real 'package' deals, but he is very good at developing tours based on your interests, and you will end up with a very personalized tour. On our trip, he took us to several spots that are off the regular tourist path, with wonderful local interactions and views.
Pricing seems to be affected mostly by the amount of gas that will be required for the distances traveled. A one day tour that covered some 180km round trip cost about $120 USD, and absolutely amazing bargain given the quality of the tours and the amount of knowledge Tsengel possesses. The trip to Hustai for the day cost $200 USD, again, a great bargain. There were only two people in our party, but I didn't get the impression that he charged per person.
I will remember this tour of Mongolia for the rest of my left, and Tsengel's insight into the culture as well as his views of my own U.S. culture. I genuinely wish that I could find this quality of guide on my other travels around the world. Tsengel was such an interesting and gracious person that I would go so far as to say that I am honored to have been able to meet him. I hope that in your journeys to Mongolia you will have a chance to say Hi to Tsengel P. Shariad: Tour Operator.