Saturday, November 15, 2014

well hello to all yes we are still alive and kicking it's been a long time between postings due mainly to ill health. we hope this will not happen in the coming new year and we try to keep updates on this site

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Johan de Zoete wrote

Hi there, Martin.

How are you? I am well.

Rhoda and I had a great time at your ranch. Thanks to you and Minjee for the hospitality.

Take care, and all the best

well thank you for the nice e-mail it makes us think here on the ranch we are doing the right thing.
unfortunately we still haven't got your pictures yet .....please send some thanks

stefan from germany and emilie from the states came to stay a few days at the ranch

emilie on a learning holiday loves horses and has been working on many horse ranchs breaking in horses so before she left mongolia she did break a mongolian horse(we hope to have some pictures from that)

emilie ?????

wrong mount you are on a cow not a horse they don't need breaking in

that's better girl now you got it right

stefan on a world tour and mongolia being his first stop has a long way to go ...all the best mate and good luck

stefan i hope you will see many more beautiful places on your journey ...zaya says carefull out there

Monday, June 15, 2009




After so much traveling we really looked forward being in one location for a while. Having read about the Anak Ranch—a working ranch in the north of Mongolia—in our guide book, we thought that's our spot. And it definitely was, we had a fantastic week here. I can say that we worked a bit—a bit on our book and even less on the farm

—and we relaxed a lot.

We did a lot of sleeping, horse riding, hiking.

Learned how to milk a cow

and how to herd the cows. That last thing is very special.

And oh, yes we set a new record for climbing the local mountain top. Totally exhausted we put our feet at the top after 1 hour en 35 minutes. Where the record was 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Not too bad, is it?

Yes, we enjoyed ourselves a lot at the farm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


the bears WHO?

well the kiwi family with 8 kids and a grandpa who came to stay with us

authentic anak
by Rach
Orkhon, Mongolia
I was a teeny bit apprehensive about signing up for time at Anak Ranch. It might be a real working farm, but it also has a snazzy website and is supposedly set up to cater to tourists. This fact alone means there is the potential that we might be housed in “fake traditional” accommodation, eating food palatable solely to a Westerner and only allowed to pat the animals from the safe side of the fence.
This is no tourist operation. There are no guides telling you what to look at or where to point your camera. Yes, there is traditional orange furniture (you can paint anything any colour in Mongolia so long as it is orange), but it is truly authentic. So is the long drop squat toilet and the firebox you need to keep stoked if you want to stay warm. The food is nothing short of traditional – there’s not a remote hint of Westerner-pleasing going down here. Not with garlic instead of drinking chocolate in your hot milk at night and lambs’ tails and black tea in your morning rice porridge! And fresh – why the milk comes straight from the cows.
As for the animals, even our two year old was let loose in a pen full of horned charging goats on the first day! And by the second day of horse-riding, one of the boys was invited to help round up the goats on horseback. Yes siree! This is the real thing! You can get your hands dirty shovelling cow dung (and we have), you can have a go at making dumplings (we’ll tick that box too), you can wander off across the steppe to the hills, you can stay wrapped up in bed all day if you want to watching the stars through the roof hole in the ger change to morning light, then to bright blue sky throwing shafts of sunlight at you…listening to the wind whistle and dogs bark outside in the snow flurry that comes across (we, of course, got up to marvel at the few snowflakes that blew past all too quickly!)
This is one authentic experience, one that meshes perfectly with our real life learning educational philosophy.
Actually, by the end of a week here, Jboy13 will be putting together a proposal that he returns here some day to research the weather patterns for a year, do eight hours farm work a day in exchange for food and a bed and put in some independent study time in the evenings. Sounds like a great education, don’t you think? Authentic, even if not recognised.
He won’t find a professor or any textbooks, but he’d have daily access to a widely experienced tutor. Martin, in fact. Remember Martin? Click here if you don’t!
Born in Germany to a Cossack father and mother with Austrian aristocracy ties, he lived in Australia, PNG, Philippines etc etc etc and used his time in a variety of enterprises; everything from the army to Master Builder, from glass bottom boat operator to lawyer (for real), from chicken raiser to architect. Jack of all trades, master of none? More like jack of all trades, Martin’s the man.
And he ended up in Mongolia. He’s been here nine years and is proof that “good things take time”, “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen”, and other advertisement catch-phrases. (By the way, without a doubt, his favourite would be “Bugger”!) – apologies to non-kiwi readers unfamiliar with these ads.

Anyway, he has taken a piece of desert and turned it into a real working farm, a sustainable one, what’s more. With an eye to the future and having evaluated what really matters in life, he is putting down roots in Mongolia in more ways than one; both raising a family here and reclaiming the barren countryside. He is making a difference, providing jobs for a bunch of locals, sharing his knowledge, leading by example. (Go away Marty, stop reading now, your head will be swelling and ya won’t be able to get it out of your ger!)
In this place you can see grass growing where recently there was just sand. You see a healthy assortment of cows, goats, sheep, horses and dogs. You see the beginnings of an orchard and huge vegetable gardens. You see permaculture principles at work. He has created an ecosystem, where nothing is wasted, everything has a purpose. The begun-but-not-quite-finished bathhouse will be solar-heated in summer, all waste water will be fed to the gardens (and therefore no harsh soaps or other harmful chemicals will be allowed…with a germanic eye for detail he has really thought it all out). The begun-but-not-quite-finished dairy will provide an amazing setup for preparing cheese on a large scale and there’s a massive pizza oven tucked into one end too! Not that they need a separate facility – the cheese coming out of the gers now is deliciously divine. Then there are the huge workshop, milking shed, storehouse, fenced yards and stables….all of those have already been completed. In the summertime local kids buy his iceblocks made with milk from his cows, he’s hoping that in the next winter or so you’ll be able to buy frozen milk and frozen lettuce (silverbeet would be a treat if he could get seeds). And don’t forget the cashmere industry he’s supplying.
In his spare time he still works as a lawyer, and while we’re visiting he’s playing the part of a very hospitable host too, welcoming us into his compound and then welcoming himself into our ger for cups of coffee, shared meals and many a rollicking story. (*** addendum: he is also a miracle worker. When our laptop charger blew up, he managed to find a replacement for us there in Outer Mongolia within 3 days! Now THAT is impressive!)
Anak Ranch is a truly inspirational set-up, leaving one thinking that if it can be done here, it can be done anywhere – and by jove, it *is* happening here. Dreams for a kiwi farm are rekindled and the children are wishing the trip could stop here

ya don’t get more authentic than that!

Friday, April 17, 2009

so here they are after long last


well the ayers bears a kiwi family of 8 kids mum dad

and grandpa

staying at the ranch

we will soon report a bit more in detail about this amazing family but you can also see yourself by visiting their blog at:

one of their kids even performed a sun down dance

birthday in mongolia



Wednesday, April 08, 2009


It's this time of the year again

Anak-Ranch takes pleasure to announce their new brochure for the year 2009

Our Price for this year has been set at 49.00 US $ all inclusive as seen on our website


Wednesday, April 01, 2009


BY HOSTEL BOOKERS: Riding out on a ranch with the nomads in Mongolia

Ride out on a ranch with the nomads of Mongolia. The Anak Ranch lies amongst the stark beauty of the wild Mongolian plains.

Guests staying here can sleep under the stars in a ‘Ger’, a semi-permanent tent and the traditional dwelling of choice for the Mongolian nomad. Prepare to become a true nomad as the wilderness becomes your home and the nomads are your guide. You’ll herd horses, sheep and cattle, make milk and cheese, and live off the fruits of your labour. You might even get the chance to deliver a baby animal, fish in the Orkhon River or ride through the heart of the steppes in search of a lost Buddhist monastery. Once night falls, settle around a campfire and learn to drink vodka ‘The Mongolian Way’ – ‘accepting a proffered glass with honor and blessing the land in the directions of the four winds’. Either way, it’ll get you pretty merry. Best of all, a portion the profits from the price of accommodation, meals and horse-riding go towards improving conditions at the largest prison in Mongolia, so it’s really a holiday with a heart.
By Hostel Bookers | Photo: Hostel Bookers

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

enjoy the rewards

how to eat it?
let someone help you

what to do with a pig head?

well you eat it

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

we finally getting round to start a long overdue update
so linus where are your notes?

keep trying something will come out hehehe

thats right the white stuff is what we wanted "you got the job"

Monday, September 08, 2008

well some are taller than others

Thursday, September 04, 2008

just when you think it's save to go back into the water

this is what some Russian's had probably in their mind

the earth quake in lake baikal was noticed as far as ulaanbaatar
here on the ranch we still had a strenght 3.5
so it get's you thinking if you had too much to drink the night before or was it really the earth shaking

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

hi there to all our recent visitors

sorry for the lenghty delay in posting your pictures and experience
we will update the site pretty soon
from the anakranch

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

HostelBookers feature

We've been featured at HostelBookers.

"A yurt – the traditional home of the Mongolian nomad – is a sort of semi-permanent tent that shelters its residents from the country’s harsh winters.

"At Anak Ranch, you can stay in one of these truly unique structures: A perfect place from which to contemplate one of the world’s most starkly beautiful landscapes."

Friday, April 27, 2007


Brian spent some days at the ranch. He’s from the United States and Panama, and he lives in Japan. Riding the train, I told him how every day in Mongolia there is something new, even after years of living here. Then on Monday, we saw a few ducks on the river of a type I've never encountered before. The bodies and heads were orange, the necks and fronts of the wings were white, and the rears and tips of the wings and the tails were black. They had the body-shape and size of ducks, but they didn't sound quite like any duck I've heard before. These were accompanied by a couple ducks of drab brown coloring, presumably the females. Konchog, the American Buddhist monk in Ulaanbaatar who is also a birder, identified them from my description as Ruddy Shelducks, known in Mongolia as Lam Shuvuu: Lama Birds! I never suspected such a thing as orange waterfowl. The next day we rode to the ger-stead of Radnaa, Tseren’s older brother, up on the ridge to the northeast, where I’d never been before. That morning, Saraa had mentioned something to me about an accordion, the first time I had ever heard anything about an accordion. The lady who met us in the ger had four accordions, and she is a master accordion player. She played Mongolian and Russian songs on the accordions and on a guitar while she cooked. Every day, something new.

Brian’s sister wrote a book of stories about Panama:


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Amar sain uu?

We are here, and busy. Over the winter, I wrote a book. We were up at the ranch this weekend. Had a great sauna and a great nap afterwards. Martin and Minjee's ger is noticeably larger since re-setting it last autumn, and they've hung new carpets on the walls inside.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Danielle came up to the ranch on Saturday night. Having just spent two years in Tanzania with the Peace Corps, she is taking the long way back to the States, from Beijing by train to Europe.

Danielle, Eggi, Mongon, Jonathan, and I went on a long ride on Sunday.

Sunday night, a lama performed a ceremony for auspiciousness in Martin and Minjee's ger, and then again in Tseren and Saraa's ger.

On Monday, Daka from Ulaanbaatar and her friend Erna from Switzerland arrived by Russian van on the first day of their three-week trip through northern Mongolia. Daka, Danielle, and I enjoyed the sauna Monday night.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Over the weekend, a new top, sticks, and felt were put up for Martin and Minjee's ger.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mack's Travel Blog Entry

"Horse riding in the steppes

"***** This place was Amazing

"I spent 3 days in Anak Ranch in Orkhon, that was fantastic stay. Very friendly ppl, horse riding most of the time. We also tried to fish (didn't catch anything) and went for a trek up the highest peak.

"I really enjoyed my time there."

-Mack, from Canada

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Michelle's Email

Email message from Michelle:

Hey out there!

It's been a long time coming but a huge Hi from the shores of England from Michelle. Hope you haven't forgotten me yet - I came out with Emma at the start of August, had a blast, and now am back in my reality with mixed thoughts and emotions! Just wanted to say thanks for putting us up and giving us a chance to feel part of 'real' Mongolia. As I have figured from reading your webpages it's happened to myself like many others before and no doubt after, that the ranch has crawled its way under my skin. It's great to have the memories now I'm back in the hustle and madness of teaching and life back here. You guys were such fun and thankfully didn't laugh toooo hard at my random attempts to ride those horses! If or WHEN I return I'll be ready to hit the plains and head off into the wilderness for an adventure under the stars. I can't think of anything better.

But my night spent out on my adopted platform tower star gazing, watching the trains roll by and the sun light up the morning, as well as trying to remember not to roll off the edge after the wine and that honey beer was one of the soul lifting nights of my whole trip.

Have often wondered about the wolf cub - have you had to release it to the wilds yet? I guess it won't be long - I saw those teeth! I have some great pictures and feel really privileged to have had the chance to hang out with one of the most mesmorising species on this planet.

So what plans are afoot for the autumn? Are the nights getting cold? Let me know when you get the first snow and definitely post up some pictures - it's not going to take much to get me jumping back on the plane. I guess you'll all be enjoying the sauna this winter!

Well please say thanks to everyone, send me one of the cats and some wine in a plain box via customs and who knows - I hope we will meet again :-)


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nagisa's Travel Blog Entry

"We went horseriding (the views were just so surreal), hand milked cows, made cheese, helped tuya round up the cattle (horseback!) from the unfenced land surrounding the small village at 9.30pm when it was only just starting to get dark."

Read Nagisa's entry in her travel blog

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


About 20 people who live in Ulaanbaatar came up to the ranch over the weekend. Daniel, of Millie's Cafe, caught a fish for the first time in Mongolia. Jonathan also caught a fishhook in his cheek, but Martin removed it.

* * *

View Eric's photos

View photos of the party

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Puck, from the Netherlands, came to the ranch last week. A goat and a sheep were slaughtered during her visit.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Michelle and Emma

Michelle and Emma, from the UK, spent four days at the ranch and got to experience the new barbeque plate as well as the new raised platform over the entrance of the corral. Michelle slept on the platform in the cool night air.

* * *

View photos of the ranch while Michelle and Emma visited

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Udi and Noga

Udi and Noga, from Israel, came to the ranch and spent several days. With Mongon and Jonathan, they went riding north to the Russian border.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sasha and Robin

Robin and Sasha, from the UK by way of Japan, stayed at the ranch for a day on their way through on the Trans-Mongolian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow, and I also subjected them to the charm of my Soviet-era apartment in Ulaanbaatar.

I showed them how to eat grass. First pull out the upper portion of the stalk, and you can then eat the white, sweet, tender base of this portion. It is possible to pull tall grasses as you are riding horse, and so you can be eating the same thing as the horse while you are riding.


* * *

View photos of the ranch on the day Robin and Sasha visited

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Nagisa, from Sydney, came to the ranch on Friday.

On the train ride up, we got into a cabin with a Buryat family from Russia who had been visiting Ulaanbaatar. They started eating sausage and fat and bread and drinking vodka, and cheerfully forced us to join them, in that familiar Russian way. "Eat, eat!" the old women said. "Drink, drink!" We did.

It turned out the older son was a veterinarian, a happy coincidence, as Nagisa is a veterinary student. This, of course, deserved toasting. Also deserving of toasting was acquaintanceship, Lenin, and travel.


* * *

View Nagisa's photos at the ranch - I

View Nagisa's photos at the ranch - II

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lasse and Lotte

Lasse and Lotte, from Denmark, came up to the ranch Monday to stay for most of the week and did some fishing and other things.

* * *

View photos of Lasse and Lotte at the Orkhon River

Rain on the Mountain

This year has been unusually rainy.

I climbed to the top of the peak northeast of the ranch while the top was shrouded in clouds.


* * *

View photos of Rain on the Mountain

Monday, July 17, 2006


Martin got an orphaned wolf cub from one of his clients, a Mongolian zoologist. A wolf expert, she has been to the States many times, as the Americans are reintroducing wolves into their national parks.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Elise's Poem

While out riding, we got threatened by a thunderstorm that rolled up from the south, and we raced its lightning flashes back to the ranch. Elise penned some free verse:

The slow motion of an infinite second
In between flying and hoofbeats
The ground below a miraculous green
The sky above gravid with ravenous clouds
Cold wind and rain on my face
I looked around, and there were mountains enveloping me
Tiny flowers embracing me,
Lightning driving me onward.
And the world moved again
Faster than I've ever known
On the back of a galloping horse
Riding the plains
Of Mongolia.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Elise, from California, came up to the ranch on Thursday and rode horses and milked cows and ate mutton and drank Altai and spouted exclamations (“It’s so beautiful out here!”, “This is like a movie!”) and very regretfully left on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Quote-of-the-Week: 2006 June 12-18

"This stuff is better than orange juice."

-Marc, from New York, referring to drinking Altai (Mongolian berry wine) with breakfast