With the Yuletide season almost upon us, here's one vacation that could prove to be a really en-deer-ing experience. But if you have visions of an antlered celebration with the likes of Rudolph and the gang, be forewarned that the respite isn't anywhere near the north pole.
It's actually in Northern Mongolia, where the nearest known landmark would be the Himalayas. But the Mongolian site will soon be the most remote Airbnb on the planet, as well as one of the most rustic chapters in the franchise, since you won't be staying in a conventional home or permanent structure. Instead, visitors who book via Airbnb will be staying with a nomadic Dukha family in their own version of the teepee in a wintery hinterland forest they call the taiga.
One of the most novel attractions in this three-day junket is a chance to get up close and personal with the reindeer in the region, as the nomadic tribes herd them as livestock. Visitors can also get a chance to ride these majestic animals in a territory that's rugged but majestic in its own way.
The nomads are quite obliging and engaging to foreigners, although they speak very little English. Furthermore, they don't have a fixed address and since they're on the move all the time, they're also hard to track, making it difficult to unite hosts and visitors.
That's where a company called what3words steps in. The technology company has stepped in with its latest app that uses a geographical grid system that labels each square in the matrix with a three-word identifier. Those who find GPS difficult to use find this app to be far easier to understand. It allows tribes in Northern Mongolia expecting visitors to follow coordinates to a designated meeting place without having to bone up on any cumbersome data.
The what3words method is also quite accurate with each square in the grid measuring roughly 100 square feet, meaning that it takes about 57 trillion squares the same size to map the entire planet. It's also making it easier for Airbnb to pull off its latest venture, made possible by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia, which is eyeing the project as a gateway for more tourist opportunities down the road.
In the meantime, for those hankering for a romp with some reindeer, check out the opportunity on Airbnb.