Saranzaya Baatar

Saranzaya Baatar

President and Co-Founder

Saranzaya has devoted her life to building bridges between her native Mongolia and the world. At the National University of Mongolia (NUM), Saranzaya earned B.A. and M.A. degrees and became one of the nation’s leading experts on the U.S.-Mongolia relationship. She has served Mongolia as a lecturer at NUM, Foreign Affairs Manager of one of Mongolia’s largest corporations, a special contributor to the City of Ulaanbaatar’s international projects and a guest on Mongolian TV discussing American culture. Saranzaya founded Blue Silk Travel in 2009 to further Mongolia’s development and international integration, while also pursuing her personal passions: world travel, photography and enjoying nature. When she is not traveling to new destinations, Saranzaya divides her time between the U.S. and Mongolia. She is fluent in Mongolian, Russian and English.

Jonathan Khoury

Jonathan Khoury

Vice President and Co-Founder

Jonathan, Saranzaya’s husband, has spent almost two decades exploring the cultures of Asia and sharing them with the world. Well known by travelers for his expert knowledge of all aspects of Mongolian society, Jonathan delights in sharing his passion with visitors. Jonathan holds a B.A. from Yale University, and has lived in Beijing, served in the Peace Corps for two years in a remote village of Mongolia, worked in the private sector in Ulaanbaatar and traveled extensively throughout the far reaches of Mongolia. He is committed to harnessing business and investment to assist Mongolia’s development, and has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. Fluent in Mongolian and English, Jonathan lives parts of the year in both his native Cleveland and his adopted Mongolia.

B. Tsolmon

B. Tsolmon

Mongolian Office Director

Tsolmon handles reservations, contracting, ticketing, scheduling and other in-country logistics. She has enjoyed a distinguished career as a purse designer and is one of Mongolia's most talented leather workers, bringing a contemporary sensibility to Mongolia's historic tradition of leather arts. Tsolmon has traveled widely throughout Mongolia, Russia and Eastern Europe and has lived in Prague. She is fluent in Mongolian, Russian and Czech.

Tour Leader

Tour Leaders

Pictured: Shinesaran, one of our senior tour leaders, in the Khan Hentii Mountains

Our experienced tour leaders guide Blue Silk Travel's tours. Tour leaders come from diverse walks of life: education, mining, etc., but all love to travel and share Mongolia with visitors. In addition to our dedicated tour leaders, Saranzaya and Jonathan also enjoy leading several tours each year.

Driver

Drivers

Pictured: Erdenechuluu, our lead Ulaanbaatar-based SUV driver, at the Orkhon Waterfall

Our national network of drivers brings our travelers safely and comfortably to where they need to go. More than just chauffers, our drivers are skilled mechanics and experienced travelers who help develop safe and responsible routes over Mongolia's rough terrain.

Nomadic Family

Nomadic Families

Pictured: Batsuuri and Urnaa welcoming a visitor to their ger at their summer pasture near Mt. Hugnu Khan

Visits with nomadic families are not only trip highlights, they are central to our mission of cultural exchange. We collaborate with families across the country who passionately open their hearts and homes to visitors, sharing Mongolian culture and learning about foreign societies and people.

Horse Wrangler

Horse Wranglers

Pictured: Enkhee, the lead wrangler for our Altai Mountain treks, leading pack camels through Altai Tavan Bogd Strictly Protected Area

Whether on an hour-long ride on one of our classic trips or on a multi-day horse trek, local knowledge and good horses are critical and our wranglers provide both. Our wranglers are also expert campers who serve as jacks of all trades at trek camp sites.

Chef

Chefs

Pictured: Otgonbayar, our lead campsite chef, preparing another spectacular meal in a spectacularly remote setting while chatting with Bek, one of our drivers

From cooking wilderness meals on remote adventure treks to preparing picnic lunches for the Naadam Festival on one of our classic trips, our chefs provide delicious food in all circumstances.

Gandantegchenlin Monastery