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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed September 2018
    Malcolm Barrett

    A memorable trip

    The tour was well organised and covered everything promised in the brochure. The knowledgeable local guide enabled us to learn about Mongolia. Even the cancellation of a local flight transfer was turned into an adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sights of the Gobi desert. Discovering that Mongolia was better than I imagined it would be

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, A wiberaul ambassador for Mongolia,.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A visit to the National Museum in Ulan Batur
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Malcolm Barrett

    A memorable trip

    The tour was well organised and covered everything promised in the brochure. The knowledgeable local guide enabled us to learn about Mongolia. Even the cancellation of a local flight transfer was turned into an adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sights of the Gobi desert. Discovering that Mongolia was better than I imagined it would be

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, A wiberaul ambassador for Mongolia,.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A visit to the National Museum in Ulan Batur
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Mary W.

    Being prepared

    This trip was a real adventure. Mongolia is a stunning country and we saw breath-taking and different landscapes during our visit, as well as animals galore. However, it's billed as 2, a leisurely to moderate trip. This is true in the sense that there isn't much walking involved. However, there is a very great deal of driving, most of it off-road, and some very long driving days. The off-road vehicles we travelled in were ok, but not that comfortable - this is Mongolia afterall! - and the sheer amount of driving took its toll. Although there was some downtime during the trip, it wasn't till day 8 that we got a half-day to ourselves. And don't forget that Mongolia is 1300m above sea-level in the capital, and we went up to 2000m elsewhere, and the UK body takes a good time to adjust to that altitude.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This trip was a real adventure. Mongolia is a stunning country and we saw breath-taking and different landscapes during our visit, as well as animals galore: herds of sheep and goats, herds of horses, camels and yaks and, a highlight for me, the Takhi horses. Other highlights were Karokorum and the Ger camp we stayed in there, where a local musical group came to perform for us specially. We also enjoyed the trips to the Singing Dunes just before the storm came in, the Flaming Cliffs and the trek into the Yolyn Am gorge. There had been a lot of rain and several cars got stuck on the approach, but our drivers were great. They got us through and also helped to pull others out. At one point, in the middle of the Gobi Desert in temperatures of 40 degrees, they replaced a broken driveshaft on our vehicle! Visiting the gorge is billed as a walk, but there are horses to hire there, which my partner and I chose to do. It made the trek really memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Odka was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and generally helpful. There was one issue which she was unable to help with and said I should contact Exodus. As we were without wifi or mobile phone signal, this wasn't possible at the time. However, once I was able to contact the office, the issue was sorted very promptly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is billed as 2, a leisurely to moderate trip. This is true in the sense that there isn't much walking involved. However, there is a very great deal of driving and some very long driving days off-road, so be aware of this, especially if you have a back problem, as did one member of our group. The off-road vehicles we travelled in were ok, but not that comfortable - this is Mongolia afterall! - and the sheer amount of driving took its toll physically. Although there was some downtime during the trip, it wasn't till day 8 that we got a half-day to ourselves, so I wouldn't say downtime balanced out the driving. And remember that Mongolia is 1300m above sea-level in the capital, and we went up to 2000m elsewhere. The UK body takes a good time to adjust to that altitude.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There was no shortage of food and we were very well fed throughout. It was generally set meals, but the Gobi Erdene Ger Camp, where we stayed two nights (Day 7 and 8), had a good and varied buffet option.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Martin Healey

    Wonderful Mongolia

    The Mongolian Adventure trip exceeded all my expectations. It took me back to a time when people were more interested in humanity than in possessions. I thought Mongolians would be similar to Chinese but they aren't. They are open and friendly. Ulaanbaatar is a pleasant city and we were there for the spectacular Nadaam Festival, The opening ceremony, the wrestling, archery and the horse race were great but the day before the public turned out in national dress! The desert, the gir camps and the nomadic families were experiences to be savoured.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking around the main square with all the locals in traditional dress. The welcome from the nomadic families ran it a close second.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Terrific! Competent, flexible and a good laugh

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hesitate, it's fabulous. The food is good, the camps are comfortable and spotless.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is a lot of driving on rough tracks, but the scenery is worth the effort
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Tina Jones

    A dream comes true

    I'd wanted to see Mongolia and the Gobi Desert since hearing about them in Geography class when I was 18. I wanted to see the wide open spaces. The nothingness. The vastness of the country. And that's what I saw.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just driving through the countryside, bumping around in the jeep, having breaks in the middle of nowhere with a vast country stretching out for kilometres all around you. So different from crowded Europe. I also liked the wildlife in Vulture Gorge - picas and ground squirrels. The opening parade of Naadam Just walking around Ulaanbataar, seeing the people - especially during Naadam, when people dressed up in their nice clothes. My room-mate. She was great and I really enjoyed talking to her. I'd never set eyes on her before but it was a good match.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I liked her very much. Dorjo tried to keep everyone happy, which was not an easy thing to do because four of the 16 people were very demanding. Maybe they expected a five-star luxury holiday. The rest of the people were easy-going and relaxed, just happy to be there and see the country. Dorjo is very pleasant, her English is fine. She likes to laugh. Naturally, when one gets excited or emotional, words are hard to find. She was always willing to explain things and it was clear how much she loved her country. I hope to stay in touch with her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect five-star luxury. I certainly wasn't expecting it, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much better the accommodation was than I thought. I thought we'd be sleeping on the floor in tents, sharing them with local people. Instead, we got a tent between two people and the beds were in wooden 'boxes'. Apart from one camp, all the beds were very comfortable and I was surprised by how well I slept, even with the open part of the tent in the middle of the roof. (Normally, I keep all doors and windows shut when I sleep.) You don't go to Mongolian camps for the cuisine. Some people complained because we got starters consisting of tomato and cucumber often. What you have to keep in mind, though, is that very little grows there. Take a look out of the window when you're in the jeep. See how little grows. The camp cooks do their best with the little they have. I have to avoid gluten so I took extra fruit and nut mixes and some snack salami sausages just in case. However, the camp cooks were able to give me gluten-free food. Dorjo had a word with them when we arrived in a new camp. Remember that when you are in a ger camp that you are in the middle of nowhere. Do not expect entertainment. Do what people used to do in the past - make your own entertainment. Take books with your. Crosswords puzzle books. Talk to your fellow travellers. Just sit back and watch the sun go down and think how lucky you are to be able to be on holiday, not having to do anything. Just chill out. As for travel sickness, I took plenty of travel sickness chewing gum because I have problems with bus journeys in towns. Did I need any of them? Nope. Even though sitting in the jeeps was a case of "shake, rattle and roll". It's a completely different movement in the jeeps. Not once did I feel travel sick. I was also impressed by the washing and toilet facilities in the ger camps. I thought we'd be washing in buckets, but no.. there were brick and mortar buildings with showers, sinks and toilets. Some were better than others. If you go when everyone else goes, then you're not going to have lots of hot water. Me.. I waited until everyone had gone to the dining tent about 10 minutes early and rushed in for a quick shower.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go with the flow. Don't complain that your beer is not cold in the middle of the Gobi Desert. Be thankful that you HAVE the beer in the first place. The holiday is called "Mongolian Adventure" and not "Mongolian 5-Star Luxury All-Inclusive Holiday".
  • Reviewed September 2015
    M B

    Mongolian Adventure - August 2015

    Interesting trip to a VAST country that makes you realise what "nothing" - landscape wise - really is .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Amazing night skies with no light pollution . Endless horizons with no mand made structures

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Can only echo Caroline's comments , Dorjo needs to improve her leader/guide skills. Perfectly pleasant on a one to one basis but clearly most anxious to avoid any conflict whatosever , which means that placatory answers are given. That may solve immediate "issue" but leads to others when promised things dont occur , information isnt forthcoming , scheduled itinerary items are omitted / curtailed , general lack of information ( lunch stop , toilet stop / duration of any stop ) , general feeling of "not prepared " and unable/unwilling to actually go and find out the information .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When checking in for your flights ensure your luggage is checked ALL THE WAY through to Ulan Baator and not just Beijing. Take some spare clothes as hand luggage for overnight in Beijing off airport hotel. Do not expect an Air China rep to "assist " you with transfer to hotel , you have to fill in 72 hour temp visa form , then take transit train to luggage arrivals building ( hopefully if your bag checked through you wont have to collect luggage ) , leave customs and arrivals , go out into public arrivals hall. look for tiny Air China Hotel desk !!! Be prepared to argue that the room has been included and , if paid extra for single supplement , that you have a single room . Lots of driving in mini van , being bounced around for hours at a time so take some sweets for sharing . Also carry some hand gel and own toilet paper , be prepared to see more of your fellow travellers than you normally would ( at comfort stops) . Take own entertainment for evenings as very little to do after evening meal or those occasions when delivered back to ger camp at lunchtime with no activities availble in area. During the season its highly unlikley there will be any "single " Gers available and only then at FULL price ( not the hinted top up price in trip notes . small supplement ) . For the internal flight everyones luggage is weighed en-masse INCLUDING any day packs/rucksacks / hand luggage - and only 15KG allowance per person. So 6 people is 6 x 15 = 90 KG total . Any excess works out at about 1 USD per KG and has to be paid local currency - dont forget to ante up your share . Carry a small torch , for those night time/early morning start bathroom visits ( not every toilet block had lights on during night ) .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Driver Samdan was outstanding - always checking on his passengers and their comfort . Always willing to provide assistance , a hand up , fetching a stool to stand on etc.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank MB and Caroline (review below) for their reviews, although we are very sorry that they were disappointed with some aspects of their trip’s leadership. We have been in contact with both clients on an individual basis and further training has been organised for their tour leader to ensure that similar disappointments do not recur.

    Olly Pemberton - Product Manager for Mongolia

  • Reviewed September 2015
    Caroline Bradley

    Mongolia adventure 15th - 29th August

    An exciting trip to a remote region of the world. Met some wonderful people both on the trip and locals in the ger camps who are living the nomadic life still.....but with a few mod cons like satellite dishes and solar panels which drive the TV, twin tub and freezer box.. !!! A real experience to see the open spaces of the steppes and the different landscapes, but realised that I only scratched the surface of it as Mongolia is such a vast country. I would definitely like to go back to see more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To sit under the vast star light skies with no noise or light pollution and to realise how very small you are and what a big world we live in. It helps to put things into perspective!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dorjo had a good heart and intentions but lacks both leadership and organisation skills. It is clear that this is a side line job because she can speak some English. But even this was a little difficult to understand at times. She also does not take an active part in pointing out things of interest along the journey to break it up. She did not seem to know as much about things as we had hoped and this resulted in very short answers and despite further questions revealed nothing more about the subject matter. So we read our guide books and shared fact between ourselves. She does not do it often enough to lead a group of professional people who have traveled the world. The fact that she is a ex teacher showed in how she thought that she could lead and organise us. We are not kids and don't want to be treated like one! She often avoid difficult situations by agreeing to something (to pacify us) then later changing her mind later on ....to our absolute frustration and fury! Eg, There only beer as the ger camps, and some of us wanted soft drinks, so we asked that on return from our mornings outing we could go into town (which was close by) to buy some... "Yes we could". Then when the time came we could not, "there is not enough time and it's too far!". Yet we spent the afternoon twiddling our thumbs in the ger camp. "Would we like sand boards to slide down the sand dunes"..."Yes we said"..... " I will organise that for you". The next day she told Marion she had considers overnight and it was too dangerous.... then when I asked where they were she said " I forgot!" and so this is how it went on the whole trip. Conflicting stories, changing the decision without consultation. Further e.g. Will there be hot water for a shower at any of the ger camps..."Yes, at the next ger camp"... but there wasn't. They forgot to put the stove on for the hot water!. "Can we have breakfast early and go to the dune in the early morning so can climb in the cool"..... "Yes, I will organise it for 7 am with the ger camp"..... but we all sat around for 20 - 30 mins at 7 am waiting for Dorjo and the people running the ger camp to get up, cook & serve breakfast ! Breakfast was hurried and late! Further e.g. There were times that we went out on a morning excursion and could have spent the whole day at the canyon, or rock painting, or monastary, but she rushed us back to the ger camp to sit with nothing to do. So rather than asking us if we would like to take picnic lunch out there and spend most of the day exploring and walking. We were taken back to the Ger camp for lunch then to sit about. There was no activities planned so we amused ourselves by going off walking. We all wanted to make the best use of our time in Mongolia ,so following long days of driving, we wanted to stretch our legs and take the opportunity to explore and walk when we could on the excursions, but this was curtailed. We were viewed as naught children because we laughed and joked with each other and had great banter between each other and the driver. We were even told we were like children! Her style of leadership and organisation is out dated,so although she was doing her best or what she knew, it was not up to the standards that I am use to or would expect from a guide. I like all the others on the trip have worked hard to earn my money to afford to take this trip ....I not some sort of spoil rich kid!. Yes, I have high standards expect of me at work and have feedback and coaching all the time to improve. I therefore expect high standards of those people leading the trip. I therefore would suggest that Karakorum Expeditions need to take seriously the feedback that I know a number of us on the trip made to them on their blue feedback forms we handed in to Dorjo (that's if they did not get put in the bin!) and also take this feedback seriously too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long bumpy rides off road for most of the trip. Be prepared to shower in cold water as they never seemed to have the hot water on when we were showering mornings or evenings! Take some cards or games to play in the evening after dinner which finishes by 8 pm or days when you are just left in the ger camps as there is nothing else to do!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can not speak highly enough about the driver Samdan who made the holiday for all of us. He was an excellent driver, who care for us, looking around often on the long drivers to see if we were OK. He could not speak English but we understood each other and he was away very attentive and caring towards us. Well done that man!
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Beverley Robin

    Exciting Mongolian Adventure

    Excellent trip. It was a nice mix of big city (Ulaanbaatar) and Naadam festival and countryside/desert. Well-organized and planned. Long distances travelled by Russian van, but the scenery was beautiful and very diverse, our driver Sandam made it fun, and we had a great group of people in our van. Fun staying in ger camps.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the sand dunes in the desert. It was physically very challenging but also beautiful and exilarating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erdene (Eddie) was an excellent group leader. His English is excellent and he is very knowledgable. He was very attentive and accommodated everyone on the group, despite very different needs. He was well organized and advocated for the group when necessary. I'd highly recommend him!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip involves lots of long drives over bumpy terrain. The scenery is beautiful and I found the drives quite relaxing. Staying in the ger camps was fun, and interesting. It was more luxurious than I expected, but having said that, there were times when there wasn't electricity, most times the water was cold, and at times water (shower and toilet) was not available. Realize though, that if you can't tolerate such drives and lack of water, or cold water, this trip is not for you (a number of people on my group couldn't, and all they did was complain). After all people, this is the desert!!
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Hugh Nolan

    Mongolian Adventure including Nadaam festival

    A great trip to a vast and interesting country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The remote ger camp where we were the only visitors, riding a horse for the first time, the unexpected horse race, the opening ceremony of the festival, seeing a couple of long eared hedgehogs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A nice lady but her English was quite poor and she wasn't very organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some sweets for sharing during the van journeys, mind your head on the ger doors and the van doors. Note that the luggage allowance for the internal flight is 15 Kg in total (i.e. checked plus carry-on) and that any excess has to be paid in local currency.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The people are friendly and were as intrigued by us as we were by them. There is a good deal of building work taking place in Ulaan Baatar which is starting to mar the place. A previous review mentioned 50 seater coaches, we only encountered anything like this at the very last ger camp which is quite close to UB and appears to be popular with day trippers, the rest of the camps might have a couple of vans of other people at most.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    John Cross

    Mongolian Adventure and Nadaam festival

    This was a trip to Mongolia with the 3 day Nadaam festival slotted in towards the end of the trip. 11 of us toured round the country in two ex Russian military 4 x4 vehicles spending a lot of time off road, bouncing up and down. We stayed in a hotel in the capital and Ger camps in the country side.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This was driving into the edge of the Gobi desert and finding that our drivers local village were having a horse race for 2 year old horses over 15KM the jockeys were all young boys and girls under the age of 10. Some of them were riding bare backed and a girl riding like this was second in the race. We then spent 2 nights in a remote Ger camp near to the village. We were the only Westerners present for the 2 days we were there. magic. Seeing a Cinereous vulture at close hand and watching it take off was like seeing a feathered Vulcan bomber on a bomb run. They are enormous (wing span up to 2.95M)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was a very likeable lady and immensely charming. However as it has been a year since she last led a trip and had not been able to practice her English language conversational skills it was difficult to understand her pronunciation of some words. This also meant that many questions posed to her went unanswered or were met with a smile and a blank look

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small thermarest, or similar, padded seat with you. A few small balloons to entertain the many (very, very many) small children you will encounter along the way. This helps to break the ice with their parents etc. and can lead to some very cute photographs. if you are interested in bird life, particularly Raptors take a small pair of binoculars as there is a lot to be seen.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip. The country is far greener than I expected. The mode of travel is what I expected from the other reviews (ie; cramped and bumpy) but the drivers we had were magnificent and got us to places I never thought possible. The Ger camps are comfortable (except the last one in Terelj national park) and the food is mostly good with more vegetables and salads than I expected. The people are lovely and anxious to help. They are also well organised and things work and happen pretty much on time. Things are changing in Mongolia and it is rapidly becoming more modern with extensive building work going on in the capital. Things there are changing rapidly, go now before it becomes too spoilt.
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