Tseren (born 1970) moves from the small provincial capital of Bayanhongor to the capital Ulaan-Bataar to study at the Fine Arts Academy. She completes her degree there.
This spring Rik (born 1959) quits his job in the Netherlands and starts to fulfill his dream: he leaves for a 2-year bicycle tour through Europe and Asia.
Tseren and Rik meet each other when Rik visits Mongolia coming from China and is stuck in Ulaanbaatar with difficulties getting his Russian visa, Tseren is just finishing her studies.
Rik and Tseren start to travel through Mongolia themselves with Tseren’s 3 year old son Nyamka and enjoy the beauty of the Gobi. That summer other travelers join them for their next trip, this helps them to take their first steps in organizing tours for others.
They organize their first official group tour for a Dutch tour operator: a 3-week mountain bike tour through central Mongolia. In these first years, they work in co-operation with another agency, as it is often difficult to get all the licenses and permits required. Later on they finally register their own company under the name of “Tseren Tours”. In autumn and winter of the following years they travel themselves as backpackers in China and southeast Asia as well as through Europe.
They start to bring other groups of adventure seekers from Europe. The demand increases exponentially and they are starting to add tours to their portofolio.
They go to the far western provinces of Mongolia to research hiking possibilities in the high Altai mountains so that they may offer original and spectacular itineraries.
They organize their first hiking tour in west Mongolia by request of ex-mountain climbers.
Until 1998 Rik spent the winters alone in The Netherlands, but this year Tseren and Nyamka join him and from this time the family starts to live in the two countries but their hearts are always in Mongolia.
As always Rik and Tseren are guiding the group tours themselves, but off-season they still keep themselves busy by discovering new areas to show to their ever expanding client base. In October Tseren makes her long wished for horse tour to the Reindeer people in the taiga near the Russian border.
In November Tseren travels overland to Holland via Siberia and stays a few weeks with the nomadic Sami in Norway.
They organize their first Horse treks for groups in the Hanggai mountains and the Khentii mountains. Later other areas will follow.
Tseren Tours organizes for the first time a fishing tour. In the next years, other specialized tours with such activities as canoeing and camel treks quickly follow. Also special interest tours like bird watching tours are slowly being organized.
When Tseren is 5 months pregnant they make a 3-week tour including a 4-day hiking trek around the sacred and snowcapped Otgon Tenger mountain in the Hanggai mountains. Two months later in October, Tseren guides a group of Biologists from The Netherlands and still camps in the snow!
Until this year Rik and Tseren have other activities besides tourism and live more than half the year in Holland, but from now on they decide to concentrate on the thing they love most: organizing tours and letting others enjoy the beauty of Mongolia. They open their own Tseren Tours office (before they had their office at home) in City center on the main road, very close to the biggest shop of the city, the State Department Store. In October Tseren travels with her now 9 months old son Dalaikhuu to the Kazakh area in western Mongolia to see the Eagle Festival, a tour of 18 days and 3800 km.
In June they move their offices to the present and bigger location just east of the State Department Store. Later that month Tseren Tours organizes two concerts of the famous Inner Mongolian singer Urna in the Opera and Ballet Theatre on her first visit to Mongolia.
Tseren Tours works with a foreign publisher on the free ‘Mongolia Expat’ magazine. In October and November Tseren travels with her newborn, 2 months old son Altaikhuu to the east and southwest Mongolia covering about 3600km.
Tseren Tours attended first time in an international travel show ITB in Berlin, Germany. After the high season Tseren took her 3 children off the map tours around Mongolia. Gobi part left unforgettable memories for young boys. For the first time Tseren Tours exhibits at the World Travel Market, the biggest tourism event at a global stage.
Tseren Tours promoted Mongolia first time in Los Angelos Adventure Travel Show in USA and took part of the delegations in New York with Mongolian National Tourist Association (MNTO). Made a presentation at the World Travel Market to promote Children’s holidays in Mongolia, a pioneer idea in the Mongolian tourism market.
Tseren starts to lead some of their exclusive trekking with her friend and adventurist Tim Cope in the Kharkhiraa mountain of Western Mongolia. With initiative of Tim Cope every single traveller started to support Mongolian Down Syndrome Association. Tseren continues to explore with her kids, this time south western Gobi Desert. The company starts promoting Mongolia at Japanese tourism market. Attends the World Travel Market to keep the continual promotion of Mongolia at the international level.
Tseren Tours contribution to the Down Syndrome association increases by fold. Some of the company employers whose education were sponsored by Tseren Tours come back from Europe. Nyamka has graduated the one and a half year International Wilderness Guide Course in Finland, and Khorloo from her UK university correspondence degree on Environmental Science.
Rik starts to explore more untouched areas of Mongolia, to expand the horizon for Tseren Tours