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Amazing doesn't even begin to describe. This was easily one of the best and most unique travel experiences I've ever had. The cold may be extreme, but this was the best time to go. Our guide, Mir, was very knowledgeable and engaging with excellent English skills. These are important qualities because your guide will be with you all the time, even sharing sleeping quarters e.g. the yurt, and none of the host families speak English. She was also versed in Western culture which was important to help us understand the local customs. When we first arrived, she called our hotel to greet us and set up our pick up the following day. It was great that she called us early because our luggage didn't make our flight and she helped us with getting supplies we might need. We also let her know about any dietary restrictions we had. Otherwise, while in the countryside, you'll be limited to yak meat, noodles, dumplings, fried bread, Mongolian vodka, and yak's milk tea. Celebrating the Lunar New Year in Mongolia was magnificent. It meant an entire day dedicated to meeting family and friends in nearby yurts some requiring a ride on horseback and giving the traditional greeting. Giving and receiving small gifts was completely optional. The host families were so very nice and it felt like they adopted us as one of their own. So saying goodbye was difficult and not without tears. This trip will forever be in my heart!
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