The Journey from Indonesia to Russia via China and Mongolia

I worked for 2 weeks in Murun, I taught English for various levels, developing the marketing of the guest house and also make decoration, a wood sign board with the guest house logo. It’s good opportunity and experience to work as a volunteer on that place but so far on my volunteer experience that’s the worst experience that I ever had.

Well, I just try to be honest, to give my real experience which is there were positives and negatives side by did a volunteer on that place. I don’t know about the previous reviews about that place but everything looks good, but not to me. Maybe because I’m an Asian with the black skin and black hair. So she treat me different. The previous volunteers mostly came from Western.

I’ll tell to you all the good and bad things one by one, I put the marks (+) for positive and (-) negatife. When I’m arrived, the owner husband picked me up and accompany me to find an atm and a comb. (+). On the first day when I’m arrived the owner explained the information about her program to meet reindeer family but it made me surprise because I thought, to do this volunteer I should to pay first.

I almost cancel the trip because I don’t have much money then she talked to me ‘previously our guest likes to do some trip from our travel company’ Then I thought I need to do the trip first which is pay some money then I can do my volunteering. I’m stuck at the moment because I already on her place, so I need to take some money to pay the trip. I thought the trip it self will be interesting, but it’s not. I paid 300.000 tugrik for 4 days to meet the reindeer family. She gave me the price with euro, at the first she said €35 / day, so If I did 4 days I need to pay €140 or 420.000 tugrik.

Wow it’s unaffordable price for me, I tried to bargain until I got the price 260.000 tugrik and as an exchange I did a lot of things to help her but suddenly she changed her mind and asked me to pay 300.000 tugrik. It’s very expensive for me, for the person who traveling with the tight budget and work as a volunteer to survive but I don’t have another option, so I paid it.

I really want to see the Reindeer family because it’s the last tribe of Mongolia. Their population always decrease year by year. Based on my researched on the internet in 2010 the population around 114 family, in 2016 around 40 and when I visited them in the winter in 2018 it’s just around 9 families. I start my trip around 01.00 pm. I sat on 1 van with 15 people inside. It’s very tired trip because it took 15 h 30 m, from Murun to Tsaganuur (a place that you stay for 1 day before you go to the reindeer family.

You can charge all of your devices in here, because in Taiga/Reindeer family, you can only charge your phone). Along the way from Murun to Tsagaanur you couldn’t move your leg, and the driver didn’t stop at the restaurant, or minimarket to find the food or drink. We arrived in the Tsaganuur around 04.30 am.

2 days on Taiga I didn’t do anything, there were no activities list from her tour company. It’s like unorganized trip. she said before, I can hike to the mountain with reindeer but it was not. On the first day when I’m arrived in Taiga, the reindeer family said I can hike in the morning. I woke up early then they asked me to sleep again.

When I woke up, they asked me to eat. I waited for a long time until 12 pm, I just waited and sat. When I went to the outside, there weren’t any reindeer. I tried to ask directly with the family, “I want to hike with reindeer, then they asked me to hike by my self and walking” (-)

I hiked to the mountain but I didn’t find any reindeer. Until the last day I didn’t do anything, then I called my host ‘is it possible for me to hike with the reindeer?’ she said ya, but in fact I just hike by walking to the mountain, just until near to the mountain. I found many reindeer. But I rode the reindeer when all them already in Taiga settlement. It’s not almost 5 minute, took some pictures, and I should pay 20.000 tugrik .

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