2020 Wendy Perrin Trusted Travel Experts for Mongolia and India
When you’re planning an important trip to an unfamiliar destination, you want minimal hassle and maximum efficiency—no time-wasting logistical surprises or tourist traps. Oh—and those special perks reserved for the regulars? You want those too. You need a travel fixer with unparalleled on-the-ground connections and expertise—a destination specialist who lives where you’re going, or visits often enough to have an office there, and who holds the keys to the kingdom, including access to the most well-connected local expediters (hardly just “guides”) and the most atmospheric places to stay, with the most to-die-for views. That’s what The WOW List is: a collection of the best travel planners around the world, whom I’ve tested and vetted based on my own experience as a traveler and journalist, and based on feedback from my readers.
Jalsa Urubshurow, Mongolia Specialist. A Mongolian-American who splits his time between the U.S. and Mongolia, Jalsa was among the first to offer highly customized trips to his homeland, and he also created one of the country’s original guide training programs. He pairs travelrs with experts—including historians, scientists, artists, and photographers—who provide a comprehensive understanding of the country’s history, culture, and traditions. He has been an advisor to all seven of Mongolia’s prime ministers and two of its presidents, a role in which he champions sustainable, eco-friendly travel as a viable alternative to Mongolia’s mining-based economy.
Sanjay Saxena. On The WOW List Since 2014. The son of a brigadier general in the Indian Army, Sanjay was born in New Delhi and grew up living in numerous places throughout India. He began mountaineering and rock climbing in the high Himalayas at age 15, and since 1979 has led groups on trekking, climbing, touring, and safari trips not only in India but in Tibet, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. In 1992 he and David Breashears co-led the first western descent of the Brahmaputra River—a 250-mile whitewater rafting trip that was filmed for the BBC series “Classic Adventures”—and in 2001 he led the first Western group to journey overland from Kunming to Lhasa along the “southern road. Committed to running trips that are ecologically responsible and culturally sensitive, Sanjay has been named an “Unsung Hero of Compassion” and recognized by the Dalai Lama for the community projects he has created in South Asia. Travelers benefit from his rare combination of deep insider knowledge and talent for creating unique, intellectually engaging itineraries to both traditional and remote destinations.