Nurbol

My name is Nurbol, I am 31 years old a local kazakh tour guide in Bayan-Ulgii area since 2009. I have a Bachelor degree in MBA, studied in Ulaanbaatar. Owner of a tour company.

My skills, interests, and hobbies: I like travelling, guiding tourists to Altai Mountains, camping, climbing, kayaking and go to for long destination's trekking. I am interested to go to ski at Altai Mountains and bicycling in Altai Tavan Bogd National park.

Country: Mongolia

Destination countries: Mongolia

6 open listings

1 received review (0% positive, 0/1)

Emily

I have just come back from a 19 day tour with Nurbol covering Altai mountains and Gobi desert in Mongolia. I was on this tour with a friend and unfortunately we were severely disappointed in the quality.

When we arrived at Ulgii airport, Nurbol and our first driver Nurbek collected us and off we headed for a week in the Altai mountains with our cook Janka also. He informed us that he does tour guiding part time in this annual leave from working in a bank. His company is called Golden Eagle Tours. He later said that when he designed the itinerary for this region he thought we were coming in June and July (not sure why, it had always been May) and so some areas we were not able to visit due to the snow. Despite this, the trip to Altai was reasonable and there were only two hiccups:

1. He failed to navigate us back to the homestay on one of our walks and so I stepped in with Maps Me on realising none of the scenery was familiar (we had overshot by 810m)

2. Poor planning on a different walk resulted in piggy backs across a half frozen river as being the only way to get across with dry feet before the sun went down

After the Altai mountains, we headed back to Ulgii for one night to restock and then started our journey towards the Gobi desert. It was at this point that Nurbol informed us he had never been to the Gobi desert before and things started to deteriorate significantly. Nurbol was unbelievably unprepared for this journey, he was rude and seemed utterly incapable of understanding the simplest of questions. I will list below what I consider the failings of this trip:

1. Poor planning: we frequently arrived after dark at our destination having had an unnecessarily late start for a long day of driving and with no precise plan of where to stay. On one occasion he seemed unaware of a dotted line of a map being a dried up river and so when this became apparent on arriving in the village he suggested driving a further 70km on dirt road to another hopeful place - we ended up driving till sunset and camping by the road.

2. Inadequate research: at the sand dunes in the Gobi desert he camped us initially in a protected area so when rangers turned up a few hours later we had to move camp but he was again unclear on where to camp so driving around in the dark to pick a spot took considerable time. He did not know the flaming cliffs were the same as Bayanzang and tried to fob us off that there were a taller more famous set at a different location either further south than where we were going or in a town just south of UB (he was inconsistent with this fact). When we arrived in a village near Bayanzang he headed off in the wrong direction and seemed totally baffled when I requested to be taken towards the fire like cliffs in the distance that fitting with the location of Bayanzang on Maps Me (again saving the day). He fed us erroneous facts at historic sites (e.g. that Ongiin Khidd was built in 1919, its more like 1790) or just read out the signs that were written in English. A museum he tried to take us to was also closed. He also had the location of Hustai national park in entirely the wrong place on his map and it was only after I pointed this out that he corrected this.

3. Unprofessional and rude: at no point did Nurbol apologise sincerely for any of the errors or inconveniences along this journey. He often told us to be quiet when we were trying to clarify plans and laughed along with our second driver as he translated sexually inappropriate comments that he was making towards us. He appeared to treat this more of his holiday than ours in that he was drinking beer after lunch in the car on more than one occasion and we frequently had to wait for him at view points to finish takings his photos - at the sand dunes this felt like almost an hour. He also seem to think he had the authority to allow strangers to take photos with us and even after explaining that we found this very rude he still met his sister and brother in law at a petrol station purely so they could take a photo with the two of us.

Given the cost of $247/day between the two of us we felt we had been thoroughly ripped off so at the end of the trip we asked for a 16% discount (the amount we had left to pay in cash). Nurbol did not in any way engage in this discussion. He still did not apologise he just said it "was fine" that we weren't happy with the quality but we still had to pay. When we tried further to push the point he tried to run off with out backpacks - stopped only by the kind hotel manager who was in the foyer. Nurbol then tried to move his things into the hotel saying he was going to wait for us to pay and then he called the police. We're not sure the police would really have been that interested but given how tired and in need of a shower we were we decided at this point to pay him the remaining money to avoid anymore hassle.

I should say that I have no criticism of Janka or Nurbek who were both excellent. I would suggest you consider specifying a modern landrover/jeep as opposed to a russian van if you want any comfort, seatbelt or temperature control though.

In summary, DO NOT BOOK a tour with Nurbol.

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5 Questions & answers

Rinchen
Posted on Aug 18, 2017, 49 views, 2 answers
Paschalia
Travel month: Jul 01, 2017, Request open until May, 2017, 73 views, 2 answers
Catalina
Travel month: Oct 01, 2016, Request open until Oct, 2016, 81 views, 7 answers