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“Amazing and relaxing”

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Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp
Reviewed 9 July 2017 via mobile

We stayed at Jalman Meadows for three days and wished we had arranged a longer stay. It is very remote and tranquil, all quiet, such beautiful nature, amazing views. We hiked up mountains and on flatlands, rode horses with local nomads for half a day. We also got to visit a local nomadic family in their home with the help from one of the staff who translated, and were able to ask questions about their daily life - so interesting! The gers are cozy, beds very comfortable and we slept like babies. Good food, and also available for vegetarians. Friendly staff.This was the very highight of our trip, we just loved Jalman Meadows.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank Marit K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 July 2017

I travel alot, and I have to say that this was one of the most memorable holidays of my whole life! Jalman Meadows is a remote camp, about 3.5 hours from UB. There is not a whole lot to do. No internet ... no phone service. However ... there is wonderful nature ... beautiful gers to sleep in ... and remarkably good food. I went on a half day horse ride ... a river rafting trip ... and a hike up a mountain ... during my 3 days at the camp. However, what I appreciated most was the ability to sleep properly for the first time in ages ... to read books ... and just to relax without the pressures of my very busy life. I will never forget my three days at Jalman ... and can't wait to go back. If you are lucky enough to visit Mongolia, then please go to this place. You will not regret it!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Action_Man_Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2017

Firstly, any visitor to Mongolia needs to realize that the country has its own rhythms and habits. While this camp is by far the best one I've ever been to (and I've been to quite a few), don't expect everyone to speak fluent English - which means you'll always get less detail than you really want - if someone is uncomfortable, they'll likely just stay silent, don't expect a precise schedule (you're on vacation, who cares about the schedule?!) and don't expect that you're in a 5-star hotel in Hong Kong/New York/Paris/London.

This camp is totally secluded - which is amazing if you're looking for no cell service or power points (though they have power points in the library). The scenery is stunning, the gers are outfitted beautifully - having things like a sink (which actually has water), curtains, comfy outdoor chairs and proper duvets/pillows is the height of ger camping luxury. The food is quite good and they are very accommodating of vegetarians (if you tell them in advance). The staff were helpful and willing to organize things like a bonfire for us - but there was no set time, it just happened at some point. They were around if you needed them (though you might have to go looking for them, thankfully they don't hover) and were lovely when you interacted with them. Having hot showers in a hot ger (individual gers) was something I've never seen before and it was amazing - way way way better than the freezing cold bathhouse style showers I've seen elsewhere.

All in all - absolutely amazing. But if this is your first visit to Mongolia, visit a ger camp closer to the city first so you get the hang of it before going this far out.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Ashleigh W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2017

As background; we are fun-loving, easy-going, mid-30’s married couple, very well-travelled (60+ countries on 6 continents), and love to rough-it camping in the wilderness. We travel for new adventures and to learn about history, culture, food, language, and experience the daily struggles and aspirations of the local people. Unfortunately Jalman Meadows failed on most counts to deliver this experience we were looking for. There was a very unwelcome feeling for the entire 3days/3nights that we were there mostly due to the extremely unfriendly and stoic staff.

The setting of the camp is beautiful, but essentially in a pungent cow pasture in the middle of nowhere. The other guests were friendly, however the camp isn’t really set up for gathering together anywhere. The serenity and quiet was great, but got boring after many days and nights with very little to do. We felt a bit like prisoners trapped out in the wilderness, without any control. We were hoping for a glimpse into the nomadic Mongolian life, to hear stories about the history, to hear the music, to learn about the food and to meet the people. We expected adventures in the remote Mongolian wilderness, wildlife viewing, and a relaxing nature experience. Unfortunately Jalman Meadows was disappointing on many counts. Our ger was comfortable and clean, the food was overall good, and we enjoyed the yak cart rafting (really a buffalo). However, this camp could do much to improve the guest experience.

The camp host was the only staff member that said anything to us the entire time. He speaks English well, but we hypothesize that he was just a temporary fill-in camp manager / host, as he was unfriendly, unhelpful, and not knowledgeable in this position. The other staff members went about their daily duties without any interaction or hospitality… until our departure when they all appeared to sing us a goodbye song - seemingly to solicit gratuity. There is understandably a language barrier… but as guests at a “luxury wilderness camp” we expected basic service and friendliness from the staff who are supposed to be there to take care of us.

• After traveling across the world to Mongolia, a 3+ hour drive from UB… we arrived at the camp and were shown to our Ger. There was a helpful information book in the ger, however we would have appreciated an introduction to the camp (i.e. when meals are served, activities available and how to request them, where things are at camp…). We eventually figured this out, but noticed the same confusion when other guests arrived on subsequent days.
• Our double bed ger was comfortable, clean, warm and very quiet. However, we spent the majority of our time in our ger, as the common areas of the camp are poor.
o The library ger has a squelching power inverter that runs all the time. There are lots of guide books left by previous visitors, but not much else to read.
o The main dining ger usually had the doors closed and locked except during meals. The staff frequently hung around in the kitchen at the back of the dining ger, and seemed bothered with any request that interrupted them
o There is an outdoor dining enclosure, but we were never offered to eat there. Instead every meal was inside a windowless tent without being able to enjoy the scenery.
o There is an outdoor firepit with seating around it… but it didn’t look like it had been used in a while
o The few activities available were difficult to arrange. There was only one bike at the camp… but the camp host was repairing it / using it for the time we were there.
• On the 1st morning, we requested to go horseback riding in the afternoon. We were told that they could arrange for a local rancher the next morning. We agreed, and the next morning prepared to go riding in the beautiful weather. We waiting around all day while clouds built up, and finally were ready to go riding in the late afternoon just as the skies opened up. We got absolutely soaked on the ride through the rain on horses that literally farted with every step they took. It was a truly unpleasant experience that we couldn’t wait to be over. When we returned to camp drenched, we had to go find the girl to light our ger fire… while the camp host laughed at us and asked “how was the ride?”
• We asked for suggestions on where to go for a nice hike, where the trails/roads are, what we could see, and the response was “You can go that way, that way, that way or that way”
• Meals were quite awkward… all of the guests sat themselves at individual tables and we served ourselves drinks. Then we would wait for the camp host to bring out a mystery soup, followed by mystery meat dish. The food was overall good, but we had no idea what we were eating the whole time.
• On the day prior to our departure, we wanted to confirm our transfer back to UB to catch a 7PM flight. We were the only guests departing that day; but were given the options of leaving sometime in the late afternoon on the daily transfer (he didn’t know when), or to pay $80 for a private transfer. So we paid the $80 to leave after lunch time, and the driver of the old Russian bus didn’t say a single word to us for the 4 hour bouncy drive in complete silence.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
1  Thank asmith_abroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrea P, Front Office Manager at Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2017

Many thanks for sharing all detail with us. We work hard to fulfill guest expectations. Perhaps Jalman Meadows was too isolated for your liking. We should have proposed you to go to Terelj proper, which is a on-grid location to avoid the feel of ending up in the middle nature, in nowhere. No cars. Your trip was self-guided at roughly half the cost, but we offer also fully guided trips to Jalman Meadows. I think this was not proposed from our side to you. We should learn from this.
Our camps are among the few which offers this self-guided trip option in Mongolia. All our camps are away from everyone else. That is the intent. Jalman Meadows is the furthest camp upstream Tuul River, and totally run in manual ways with solar and wind generators. Getting water and heating, means it has more staff than regular ger camps, and they can be busy back stage. The minimal electricity generation needed do indeed produce a buzz for the wind/solar generators. The English speaker camp manager is there to assist you, but he/she is a host, not a guide.
The Guest Information you found in your ger details how to order the activities. I am glad you enjoyed the yak cart rafting. They are not buffaloes, rather hainags, yak/cow crossbreeds. The Guest Information also asks all guest not to tip individually. Any tips to be left at the Tip Box in the restaurant ger, why staff are not used to - and should not - be tipped on departure. The restaurant should be open from before breakfast until long after dinner daily. This is where guest’s meet, as well as at the Library Ger. The gers are traditional why they do not have windows. It is possible to request dinner at the outdoor area. The library is small, but probably the largest selection of Mongolica there is in Mongolia, on things Mongolian in foreign languages. It includes rare antiquarian pieces of the early explorers.
Mongolian horses are not tied overnight, and better not, in order to be safe to ride. Staff need search for the ride horses on the pasture early morning, which is usually problem free. But sometimes, wolves may have been close at night and the horses would spook and take off further, in which case it delays to catch the horses needed. The trip itinerary states the shared transfers are leaving UB for camp at 09h00 and returning from Jalman at 14h00. If you used our service only for Jalman Meadows, we would have assumed this was your end destination that day. As the drive described in your itinerary is 3½ hours it is too late to depart on a shared transfer at 14h00 for a 19h00 flight out of Mongolia. Private transfers are best ordered before heading out to Jalman, as your price is for shared transfer. It means also having guest’s going out to camp on the same day you are departing. Why it affects the scheduling time in the morning from Ulan Bator for inbound guest’s.
Again, appreciate your feedback, and next we will check better, to offer guided version of the same trip and to have a better chance to also consider on-grid places such as Terelj proper.

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Reviewed 7 November 2016

I visited this amazing place in the summer of 2016. My wife and I celebrated 30-year wedding anniversary here. A more suitable place, I can not imagine. So peaceful, the only thing that disturbed were the cows munching on the grass outside our Ger/Jurta (tent). Very peacefully munching. Ger/Jurta is Mongolian tents or better explained small fabulous house, very nice and comfortable, with its own stove for heating. But it was'nt needed in summer. Good food or astonishing food, that far from "civilization". There was plenty to do for those who need to activate themself, such as horseriding etc. But the best part is that you do not need to, but just to enjoy the panoramic view.

  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Torbjorn24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Jalman Meadows Wilderness Camp

Address: | Jalman Meadows, Gorkhi Terelj National Park 23000, Mongolia
Region: Mongolia > Tov Province > Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 14 Speciality Lodging in Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Price Range: HK$7,425 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jalman Meadows is located on the Upper Tuul River, which meanders gently through the vast meadows of wildflowers and through the lush hills that holds larch forests and birch. It is silent and peaceful here, except for the buzzes of grasshoppers and the singing of the birds. The time seems to stand still in this remote place. At Jalman Meadows, Nomadic Journeys operates this wilderness ger camp in a 360 degree landscape. The ger camp is seasonal in the summers, and is fully collapsible. It may be relocated leaving no more impact on the area than a herdsmen family would. It has 14 double occupancy gers and triples may be accommodated in these. There are also 2 family size gers, with one double bed and two singles. The gers have fire stoves, wooden floors and are beautifully decorated in traditional nomadic style with hand-crafted furnishings. Showers are provided in two separate gers. The shower ger has a fire stove, why it is warm and cozy. It is five-star camping at its best. Activities offered at camp are horseback riding, rafting, hiking, bird watching, kayaking, river side ger sauna and mountain biking. ... more   less 

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