How long does it take to get to Ayanchin Lodge ?
In Mongolia, it is considered to be bad luck to predict how long it will take to do something. The answer to that question exists only in the realm of the supernatural. However, it is 45 kilometers to Ayanchin Lodge, from the center of Ulaanbaatar. On a good day, it takes about one hour to get out here. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. In the morning, the traffic is pretty light, so the trip, at 45-60 minutes, is pretty predictable. We have seen an occasional "heavy traffic day" where it can take an hour and fifteen minutes to get here. Please drive carefully, and don't despair during the first half of the drive. After you get past Nailakh, the scenery improves, and the drive is quite enjoyable.
What's there to do, once I (we) get there?
Is there a disco bar? No, but there is one about two kilometers down the road....right out of ear-shot.
What to do? Well, there's the Chinggis Khan Golf Course two kilometers up the road. It's the only real, 18 hole course in the country....so far. We've got horses and camels, next door, and can arrange for you to ride to your heart's content. There's Turtle Rock. The whole Terelj National Park, in general, is pretty interesting, especially if you have a car. There's a little fishing. One of the popular activities amongst Ulaanbaatar residents, is "going to the beach" on the Tuul River. Some of the better spots, in the summer, are right down the road from us.
Contact us, and check. Our room, and ger, rates are competitive relative to the better operations in the country. We don't have seasonal rates, as we are pretty busy year-round. Virtually none of the remote operations in the country are open in the winter.
Who to contact?
Write us, via firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll write back. If you are in the area, the best person to call is Ukhu, at 99094539. If that doesn't work call Mandah at 99112611. These are local, Mongolian cell phone numbers. If all else fails, call the Ayanchin Outfitters Shop, in UB, and ask to talk to someone that can speak your language. This could work. That number is 11319211.
It's not that we don't answer the phone, it's just that sometimes we are out of phone range.
Can we show up unannounced?
Less and less. During the week, it's a little slow here, but on Friday and Saturday nights, it is a virtual must to have a reservation. You can always take your chances, but the more notice we have, the better job we do at accommodating you.
Bring the kids. We've got a cool playground setup, and lots of wide-open space. Lots of things to explore. Be sure and bring the appropriate clothing, as the weather can be a little....well, Mongolian! Also, don't forget the sunscreen in the summer. We're at about 1,400 meters of elevation, and you can really get sunburned out here. Also, as we have the perimeter fence, there is no livestock roaming the property.
Parking in the Winter?
We're working on it! Right now, all of the parking is outdoors. When it is cold, cold out, we have our Security Guys collect keys in the evening, then they start cars once-or-twice in the middle of the night. We are going to build a garage this summer (2008) and should be in good shape, on this subject, by the winter of 2008/2009.
We've got the fence around the property, and we've always got two Security Men on site. We have a pretty peaceful collection of guests, and, by-and-large, it's a real peaceful place. Our facility is quite modern, with emergency lighting, trained staff, and a modicum of first-aid gear, fire extinguishers....etc.
For-better-or-worse, we are in cell phone range here. If it is any consolation, the phones don't work very well inside the building, so you may have to go outside to make a call.
Ah, the modern world. We do have a satellite system here. If you have a wireless capability in your laptop, it just automatically hooks up, and works.
We know how to wash dishes. We know how to clean. We police the whole property, on a regular basis, and have regular garbage collection service. We are very focused on zapping bugs, and keeping the area cleaned up, to provide for a good, healthy environment. Remember, also, that there are no animals roaming around....as is the case with our Countryside operations in Mongolia.
When are you closed?
We don't close. We are always open. We shift our staff based on traffic, so if you are contemplating coming out to see us, at a low-traffic period, let us know in advance. Things will be better that way. Also, there are obvious busy times that you need to call in advance, during: Nadaam, School breaks, Summer, Tsagaan Sar, the first nice day of spring....etc.
Language capabilities of the staff?
We can always speak Mongolian, Russian and English. Most of the time, based on who is here, staff-wise, we can also speak Japanese. If you think you will need us to be able to speak another language, let us know, and we will attempt to accommodate. Our menu is printed in Mongolian and English. All of the signage around the property is in Mongolian and English.
Hot Water? Really?
Really. All the time. We never run out. Hot, pressurized water. We have twenty-six sinks on the property. We have nineteen showers on the property. We have a fully redundant electrical, and water delivery system. We deliver.
Lots of parking. Convenient. We do have a fence that will NOT allow you to drive on the property itself, however.
Weekday Commuting to UB?
People do it. We have a number of business travelers that come to UB frequently. After they have been there a few times, some of them have seen enough! They also, eventually, get worn out with the bad air in town. So, we do have visitors that stay with us during the week, and commute in. If you're interested, let us know, and we can arrange this. John is usually looking for a good excuse to commute during the week! With the internet, and quiet atmosphere, it's actually a pretty nice place to work. It is also a discreet place to have a meeting....especially one that you don't want to have unexpected visitors show up to.
We can quote you weekly, or monthly rates, for an extended stay. Also, remember that we also have an occasional ger that we rent by the month. We provide the wood, power, facilities, security, parking....etc., and you just show up. We'll even clean for you, if you like.
We take most major credit cards. Sunscreen. We don't allow food or drink to be brought into the hotel building.
We have a number of "prairie dogs" on the property. Also, we have a few colonies of Marmots. Lots of different bird species. There are a few larger animals in the park.
Hours of Operation?
We're pretty flexible. Our hours are mostly driven by noise, rather than the convenience of our staff. We don't have customers, only guests. We do try and limit the noise in the late evening, and at night.
Is Ukhu still here?
Ukhu (Oh-koo) is still here, and is the reason we have such good service. She understands the needs of Western, and discerning, guests, and is able to impart these skills to the rest of our staff.
What would we do without Ukhu!
Can you still make a decent Rum-and-Tonic?
Ukhu still makes the best rum-and-tonic outside of Jamaica. With the"almost-always-availability" of fresh limes, now, in UB, she has even taken this skill to a higher level.
I want to ride a camel!
Can you shuttle us from UB?
Yes. Call us.
Thus concludes the updated version of our FAQ Page. As we get questions from you, we'll incorporate them, as we go along. Come visit us, you won't be disappointed.