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“Definitely perfect”
Review of Selena Travel

Selena Travel
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Attraction details
Owner description: Selena Travel is a Mongolia based tour company specialised in 4x4 discovery tours, authentic cultural journeys & active adventures: trekking, horse riding. We offer 3 Mongolia tour brands: 3-15day luxury tours, 5-21day mid-range packages and 2-4day Mongolia stopovers for Trans-Siberian travellers. Since our start in 1998 we’ve been tested & stood up to the challenge & have become one of TOP 10 tour operators in Mongolia
Reviewed 13 July 2017

we, three friends, just came back to home from 1 week long Mongolia trip. We had a tailored trip and we have organized it with Selena travel. During emailing period, wellcoming and traveling; every detail was perfect. we had a perfect guide ( sheeny) and driver. They made our holiday great. they also accompanied us till the train station to Ulan Bataar.

2  Thank ugurluel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"private tour"
in 8 reviews
"naadam festival"
in 5 reviews
"cannot remember"
in 2 reviews
"driver met us at the airport"
in 2 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 4 reviews
"wonderful memories"
in 3 reviews
"gobi desert"
in 10 reviews
"answering questions"
in 3 reviews
"ger camp"
in 8 reviews
"wild horses"
in 6 reviews
"spectacular country"
in 2 reviews
"several days"
in 3 reviews
"tour company"
in 4 reviews
"flaming cliffs"
in 3 reviews
"central mongolia"
in 4 reviews
"ulan bataar"
in 2 reviews
"small group"
in 2 reviews
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13 - 17 of 78 reviews

Reviewed 19 April 2017

My apologies for the late review. We visited Mongolia in July 4-14, 2016 in conjunction with the Naadam Festival.
I will start of by saying I found Selena Travel based on the positive reviews here on Tripadvisor. My communications with Terelj from the very beginning of inquiries to eventually making the reservations were very good. The replies to all my questions were quick and complete and showed great patience when I had “issues” trying to make payment between my bank and the Trade and Development Bank... whatever the issue was Terelj worked with the bank and the problem was solved. We received all our travel documentation, vouchers, visa info, etc without a problem. Again, communication was excellent and help put at ease any questions I had about this vacation.
We settled in on a combination group and private tour package for 14 days. The group tour (small group in 2 vans total 7 passengers) was the 8 day Naadam and Gobi Desert tour. The private tours were the day before to visit the Giant Genghis Statue and after the Naadam Festival for the 4 day Karakorum and Bayangobi Getaway with another day to visit Terelj National Park. Let me say that both the group and the private tours were excellent but if it fits your style and budget, I preferred the private tour because of the flexibility and ability to talk with the guide more. Also, we booked our own air travel because we were going to make a stop in Japan afterward and it seemed to make more sense to book that aspect of our trip by myself, Selena Travel worked with me on this aspect.
The visit started with a midnight arrival into Ulaanbaater City. The guide (Shinee) and the driver met us at the airport... yes, after midnight. They took us to our very nice hotel in the heart of Ulaanbaatar where the next day they picked us up in the afternoon to visit the Giant Gengis Statue and Dinosaur Museum (temporarily in a shopping mall). The visit was nice and Shinee was very nice and understanding that we were still getting our bearings. Do note that the transportation was a van that was clean, safe, had working air conditioning, and had a good driver. Shinee’s english was very good so communication was never an issue.
The next day we started our “group” tour and met the other travelers we would be with for the next several days. Let it be said that they were pleasant, easy going and well traveled. Crystal was our guide for this segment and her English was quite good. She did a great job of getting us around, explaining things and answering questions. She was also very helpful with getting us through the airport for the flights to and from Dalanzagad for the Gobi desert visit. Yes, it was quite warm, but the vans were clean, safe, and had a working air conditioner with a good driver. There were long drives on gravel and dirt roads in the Gobi and surrounding area. I will not bore you with the day to day itinerary as you can look it up on Selena’s excellent website. I can say that we did everything that the itinerary said and Crystal made sure that everything moved along smoothly and acted as an interpreter when we spoke to the locals. We did stay in three different ger camps during our visit to the Gobi. They are basically fixed tents with a shared/common area bathrooms and showers. They are clean and comfortable and some camps may have a “deluxe” ger with private bathroom upon request. The food at these camps were quite good so there is no need to worry about that. I would consider bringing a mosquito net for your bed or at least repellent. There was one or two nights when there were a lot of mosquitoes, even the locals said that this was very unusual, probably because of the large rains that occurred a week or two before. The camp people gave us “mosquito coils” to burn but once they burned out the mosquitoes returned. I would consider a mosquito net to be a small insurance policy for sleeping comfort... just in case. Anyways, I enjoyed the sites of the Flaming Cliffs, the Singing Dunes, and Yoliin Am Gorge. I especially enjoyed the camel rides and visiting the Nomads.
Crystal got us back to Ulaanbaatar without a hitch where we had a city tour.
We spent the next couple of days Ulaanbaatar for the Naadam Festival. For this segment we were combined with another tour group and another guide. Unfortunately I cannot remember her name but she also did a great job getting the whole group (about a dozen) around the crowds and queues and explaining to us the different aspects of this multi day national festival. The different venues were fascinating and some very different and the opportunity to see this festival should not be missed.
For the last segment of our visit to Mongolia, we were on a private tour to visit Karakorum, Bayangobi, and Terelj National Park. We were again joined by our guide, Shinee and the driver (Teret? with green eyes). Again, quite some time was spent on the road but the van was clean, comfortable, working air conditioner and a great driver. We enjoyed the sites of the Bayangobi dunes, Karakorum, and Hustai and Terelj National Park where we were lucky enough to see the elusive Takhi wild horses. Again, my favorite things to do were the horse and camel rides and to meet the locals, sometimes in their gers.
It should be noted that I was very pleased with all the guides and drivers. The guides spoke good english, were well informed, patient, and very helpful and professional. The drivers were safe, maintained their vehicles well and kept them clean. With all that it should be mentioned that Shinee and Teret were an extraordinary team and went above and beyond my expectations. Case in point (which also shows the advantage of a private tour), I have an interest in archery. I let Shinee know of this interest and asked if it was at all possible could she show me a store or craftsman specializing in the Mongolian longbow. Keep in mind that this is during the Naadam Festival when most stores and workers shut down for the entire week. Shinee said that she would see what she could do but she had never received a request from a tourist like this before. Well, after doing some research and making phone calls to her contacts followed by other phone calls to different craftspeople and shops, she was able to locate the only craftsman who was willing to let me visit his home in Ulaanbaatar and look at his craftwork during this holiday week. So we drove through Ulaanbaatar and arrived at an apartment complex where this man and his wife lived. Here he did some work outside of his dedicated shop so he had some bows on hand for me to see. Shinee let me know that the craftsman was reluctant to let me see him but she somehow she convinced him to let me in. After I was able to show him that I was genuinely interested in his craft and seriously wanted to purchase a bow he opened up and was warm and welcoming showing great pride in his craft and took the time to explain to me the meticulous process of hand making an archery bow (Shinee as interpreter). Needless to say I ended up purchasing a couple of longbows. We said our goodbyes to the craftsman and his wife... but now we had to get these bows home to the USA. Again, Shinee and Teret showed their willingness to go above and beyond. The post office just happened to be open and Shinee went with us to work with the postal personnel and deal with the details such as cost and customs formalities... all this took hours and great patience on her part as well as Teret. (The bows arrived safe and sound and in a timely manner)
Selena Travel an excellent tour company and from what I have seen can be totally trusted to deliver an excellent tour product with solid communication and logistics and excellent guides and drivers. I would recommend them to anyone traveling to Mongolia.
Please keep these things in mind when visiting Mongolia with this tour company...
-Do keep an open mind to the people and their customs and visiting their ger.
-Do try the fermented mares milk and make your nomad host happy... Yes, it is an acquired taste but you are in Mongolia. Isn’t that what you came for?
-Do consider mosquito repellent or netting for the bed in a ger... you never know.
-Do stay in a ger... again, isn’t this why you visit Mongolia?
-Do take the standard precautions against pick pockets in Naadam Festival crowds...
but then again you take this precaution while in any crowded city.
-Do dress for warm weather if visiting during July, but remember modesty sensibility.
And...
-Don’t worry about the food. Selena takes you to places that are fine for tourist and the
ger camp food was good. I never worried about the food and drank bottled water.
-Don’t worry about getting Mongolian currency, there are ATMs in Ulaanbaater, one was
literally next door to our hotel and there are plenty of banks. Not much outside of UB.
-Don’t worry about the accommodations, the hotel in Ulaanbaatar was very nice and ger
camps were clean and tidy. Look upon the selected camps as upscale camping with
real beds, clean common bathrooms, and hot showers (mostly). It is what it is.
BUT...Do book a tour with this company if you visit Mongolia.
Thank you Selena Travel staff, guides and drivers and especially thank you Shinee!

7  Thank freelancerfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2017

Travel Consultant Chimgee put together a lovely 4 day winter tour for my daughter and me. Our guide Boroldai (Bob) was excellent and very attentive to our needs while our driver Aldan drove very safely. Chimgee also efficiently arranged for my transport to and from Ulaanbaatar airport.

We did a four day tour in a land cruiser from December 30th 2016 to January 2nd 2017. Day 1 saw us visit the snow covered Bayan Gobi Sand dunes where we had a home stay in a ger. The family made us most welcome and showed us their way of life. We even had a ride on their beautiful Bactrian Camels. We visited the peaceful Erdene Khamba Buddhist temple in Hogno Khaan Nature Reserve Park. On Day 2 we drove to Hustai National Park where we stayed in a ger camp. We saw Takhi wild horses and Asiatic Red Deer. Day 3 we drove through more beautiful snow covered landscapes. We visited the Giant Chinggis Khan equestrian statue on the way to Terelj National park where we stayed in another ger camp. We visited Turtle Rock and the Temple of Meditation in the beautiful granite mountains. On day 4 we returned to Ulaanbaatar.

A wonderful trip with Bob and Aldan beautifully organised by Chimgee.

1  Thank Robyntravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2016

My 24 year old son and I visited Mongolia the first week of October, 2016. We fell in love with the country and its people the moment we stepped out of Chinggis Kahn airport. We booked our trip through Odyssey Tours, but had a guide (Bob) and driver (Dave) who work for Selena Tours for the week. First, our guide and driver were just outstanding. They thought about what we would enjoy every step of the trip and were responsive to every question we had. We visited the giant statue of Chinggis Kahn the day we arrived and it was really something to see this huge statue in the middle of nowhere. I especially liked the large boot in the lobby. We toured Ulaanbaatar the next day and we were touched the most by an elderly man who was painting on the stairs to a monument where you get a great view of the city. On the way down, we bought some of his paintings (about $20 for 4 of them) which were done on hides. While in Ulaanbaatar we stayed at the Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel which was really lovely. First class room; fast internet; great breakfast. We traveled for the week and our highlights were: seeing and photographing the Takhi wild horses in Hustai Nature Reserve and going horseback riding by moonlight; staying in gers twice (Hoyor Zagal Camp near Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes and Hustai camp near Hustai NP); camel back riding in Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes; having breakfast with the camel breeder's family and playing with his young son; visiting the Erdene Zuu monastery in Karakorum; seeing the larch trees in the autumn at the Terelj NP Temple of Meditation; seeing the giant Buddha in the Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar; and just seeing the gers and herds of sheep, goats, cattle and horses scattered across the country as we drove from Ulaanbaatar to Karakorum. The one place I would not recommend is the Zaya Hotel in Karakorum--a hotel in very poor condition. Our nights in the ger camps were fantastic. Despite snow on the ground, we stayed plenty warm with the stoves and the many quilts we slept under. And, I just can't say enough about our guide (Bob) and driver (Dave). They were really oriented to making sure we had a great trip, and even took us fishing while we were in Terelj NP (their idea; it wasn't even on our itinerary). Dave helped me pack a large quilt I bought into my bag on the way to the airport and Bob came in with us to make sure it got on the plane. Bob and Dave were with us for the three nights and four days we were on the road and we really enjoyed their company the entire time.

Thank Jan9855
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 October 2016

This review comes in the category of "better late than never". We were 2 couples traveling across Russia, Mongolia, and China by train/bus and had 10 days to explore Mongolia. Here is our run down on our customized private tour:
1) The reservation process on the internet went very well.
2) Selena's tour suggestions were excellent, and their recommendations were in line with our request on the type of tour we wanted.
3) We were met at the bus station even though the bus was over an hour late. Their warm welcome included the transfer to our hotel and a relaxing discussion about the coming days' activities. Selena's restaurant recommendations also hit the mark.
4) The next morning we were greeted by our tour guide, Ariunaa. As we discovered each day of our tour, she was very personable, spoke excellent English, and was totally familiar with the sights we saw. She was sensitive to our individual needs and made our whole experience enjoyable and fun. Laughing and enjoying the moment was the highlight of our tour.
5) And not at all to be forgotten was our driver, Jack. He took great pride in keeping his mini van in top performance and clean. He definitely knew his way around Mongolia and driving in the middle of nowhere. He also had a sense of humor. He ate meals with us, and we enjoyed his company.
6) Our tour was a mix of seeing many of the major sights central Mongolia has to offer, home stays, and several activities (horseback riding, camel riding, hiking, etc). One note worth mentioning is about the home stays. We are all experienced "developing country" travelers. With that in mind, the home stays are interesting but very "basic". Your bathroom was usually the great outdoors (with no tree or bush to squat behind), or a waist-high 3 walled pit toilet. There was little or no water for washing, a board or thin mattress for sleeping, and food that was bland. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed the 2 home stays we selected, the families were very nice and friendly, but you should be aware of the living conditions. We are glad the home stays were a part of our tour. We learned a lot about how the nomads live, and it should be a part of any first time traveler's agenda to Mongolia. The "tourist camps" that we stayed in were extremely comfortable. They had amenities such as men/womens' hot water showers, western toilets, lights, and excellent food.
Thanks to Selena Travel, we will all have many good memories for a long time to come.

4  Thank savvy2olympia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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