Conversation with our partner Zaya

Conversation with our partner Zaya

Mongolia Expeditions company has been working and supporting citizens of Tuva ethnic group and Kazakhs from western Mongolia, Tuva – Tsaatan from northern Mongolia and Buriad ethnic group from eastern Mongolia. By combining their traditions and cultures with tourist industry became beneficial for their local communities. In this matter, for the past 5 years we are organizing on tour to Tsaatan shamans. 

Zaya is Mongolia Expeditions’ key organizer in taiga region. She was born and grew up in the city and have been United Stated several years ago. She met her Tsaatan husband when she was working for TCVC and now she’s living in Taiga.  
 
Shagai
Hello, Tsaatan Zaya. When did you come to Ulaanbaatar. How’s the weather in Tsagaan nuur village and eastern Taiga of Khuvsgul province.
 
Zaya
Ahoy, Shagai. I’m doing fine. I came to Ulaanbaatar 2 days ago. The weather in eastern Taiga is quite snowy, but weather to the province center of Khuvsgul is warm. How’s your business, how many tours are you planning to do with us next summer.
 
Shagai
We are planning to do 2 or 3 tours in eastern taiga. Group size would be from 3 to 6 tourists. When would the Tsaatans move from their spring camp to their summer camp?
 
Zaya
Tsaatans call it “Saalig”. They usually move around 10th of June.
 
Shagai
Our Tsaatan tour starts with flight from Ulaanbaatar to Murun town, then drive via Ulaan Uul soum to Khogrogiin river, there we meet our horse herder with his horses. Approximately how many hours do our clients ride to “Saalig”. 
 
Zaya
Every tourist gets their ride, for each pair of tourist we provide one load-carrying horse. On pleasant weather conditions it takes takes around 6-7 hours to get to “Saalig” camp, but if it gets rainy or muddy it would take longer.
 
Shagai
Okay. How many Tsaatan families are in eastern taiga?
 
Zaya
23 families are looking after around 800 reindeers. When tourists come to Tsaatan camp, they will be settled in their teepee, it is very unique experience for them.

Shagai
How were the tourists who went there last summer? What is important to keep in mind for tourists who are planning to travel there?   
 
Zaya
Last summer tourists were very friendly. I would recommend them getting sleeping bag, sleeping mat and insect repellants with them. 
 
Shagai
In march we are planning to travel to Khuvsgul lake by car and cycle to Taiga by going over the Jiglegiin pass. 
 
Zaya
Oh wow, that’s a nice idea. Contact me earlier if you need horses.
 
Shagai
Since we’re travelling with car, we wouldn’t need horses. Thank you for visiting our office. See you next summer of 2018.
 
Zaya
I was in a bit of a rush. Let’s meet comfortably next summer. Bye.