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I really enjoyed going on a guided tour (myself, a tour guide, and a driver) of the Mongolian countryside, but it attracted a price tag that'd be expected for having two staff members (slightly more than a thousand US dollars for four days).

Can I stay in Mongolia in the countryside on a smaller budget?

What I have in mind is once I get into Mongolia, I take public transport to some sort of tourist ger camp, and stay at that camp for a couple of days with only accommodation and meals as my expenses.

I'm reluctant to go hitch-hiking solo for safety reasons, even though it's probably safer there than in Australia. I know the risk of something going wrong is low, it's just that if something bad happens, it can be really bad. I'm open to renting a car, but I assume renting a good quality car would add significantly to the budget.

I'm happy to pay for meals - I like Mongolian cuisine, and wouldn't want to be cooking for myself for the duration. Having various activities that can be done at or near the camp would be an added bonus. Being able to socialise with others is also good.

Related question, but without enough information: Getting to Terelj National Park from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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    I'm not sure what your question is. Are you asking if you can find lodging in countryside Mongolia? – JonathanReez Mar 21 '17 at 11:11
  • @JonathanReez and that I can get there without spending a lot on renting a car. – Andrew Grimm Mar 21 '17 at 11:13
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    I'm also struggling to understand the question a little. Is it basically "what types of budget excursions are possible for solo travellers deep in the Mongolian countryside"? I wonder if it'd be better asking two questions, one about types of accommodation deep in the country independent travellers can book with opportunities for socialising and Mongolian food, and one about safe transport options for getting to remote spots (e.g. shared jeep taxi?) – user568458 Mar 21 '17 at 11:21
  • @user568458 I strongly suspect that public transport options will limit which accommodations I can practically and affordably go to, so they're not separate questions. – Andrew Grimm Mar 21 '17 at 12:11
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There is little public transport in Mongolia, particularly if you want to visit the countryside.

You can rent your own car, but that will be expensive. Plus, what happens when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere? How are you going to make sure you always have enough gas?

I think your best bet is to go on an arranged tour, like the one you did, but with a small group. That way, the overhead is shared and the cost per person should be less. And, book in-country, not while abroad. Doing this would also significantly lower the price.

(Or, consider this. I met the guy when I lived in Mongolia. He mostly traveled by horse.)

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