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Where Do I Even Start ???

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Old 09-14-2016, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default Where do I even start ???

I have been researching yurt living for quite a while now and am seriously considering purchasing one to reside in permanently. However, right now I'm in the United States and plan on moving to a different country after I get my degree. I would say that yurts are well received where I'm from, but I was wondering if anyone has any insight as to how they are perceived in other countries? Is it relatively easy and well accepted to live in a yurt in European countries? What about Asia and Africa? I'm assuming that gers and yurts are widely accepted throughout China and the Middle East, but is it culturally difficult to integrate yourself into one of those communities? Any insight or testimonials would be helpful and appreciated!

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Old 09-22-2016, 11:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where do I even start ???

You have a heck of a question, and I'm not sure any of us can answer most of it, but I can add a little perhaps. I don't even pretend to be an expert, just a guy with a long time interest. Maybe someone else can add more.

I say now, I don't know about all the countries you have mentioned. I have not been in Europe since 2005 (Bulgaria, all over the country hiking, didn't see yurts there.), well except we were on the European side of Turkey last year, but only in the European side of Istanbul. I didn't see any yurts there, or traveling around the eastern half of Asian Turkey.

Maybe a year or 18 months ago someone asked for information about starting a yurt tourist camp site on the coast of Turkey, but I have not seen anything about yurts in Turkey since then.

I lived in China for the last 10 years (until February 2016), and saw them there, but only in the northwest, in the province of Xinjiang. It is one of the poorest provinces in China, and most of the people are of Turkic decent if you are out of the main cities of Urumqui or Kashi. (I don't claim to be spelling them correctly, there is no official translation). You don't see yurts (gers) in the cities, but you do see them out in the countryside where people live in them year around, and it is very cold and windy in the winter there. You also will see them made of concrete in the countryside. I posted some pictures a few years ago from one of my trips there on this website. You might be able to find them if you dig around here.

We traveled in Mongolia in 2014, and I also saw a lot of yurts there, all over the countryside, and right in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. People we met there said the concrete Soviet era buildings were like an icebox in the winter, so everyone moved out of the houses and into the yurts in the winter to stay warm. I was there in the summer, so I can't verify that, but I don't have a reason the doubt what they told me.

Can you travel and live in a yurt in these places? Sure, they are happy to rent you one when you are visiting, or even to sell you one if you are leaving, could you find a place and put one up? I am pretty sure you could, but I'm not sure how you would earn a living, if you aren't independently wealthy in some way, or to some degree. These countries and the USA are the only places that I have seen yurts with my own eyes.

I have read about them other places such as Australia and New Zealand, but no great numbers there. I have read there is glamping yurt site in Southern Chile, near Torres de Paine National Park, but it wasn't there when we hiked the park years ago.

On the other hand, we currently live in Ecuador, and when we applied to import a few yurts to this country, we have been told no, they would not be allowed to be imported. No explanation, even when we asked, just NO.

I am not sure if this helped, but...

Good luck in your exploration,

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Old 09-23-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where do I even start ???

"when we applied to import a few yurts to this country, we have been told no, they would not be allowed to be imported. No explanation, even when we asked, just NO."

Hey MT Rod,

What about building them yourself?

Or importing a yurt builder... I may know one ')')


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Old 09-23-2016, 06:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where do I even start ???

Hi Steve,

Yes, I have thought of building them myself, but I already had purchased 7 while in China. Now they are on their way to the USA.

I still have in my mind to build them, but at the moment I don't have tools, or a space to do it. I am working on that and hope to be set up to start about the middle of December, or after the first of the year. Being on the equator, the month doesn't make much difference.

We have just finished a little house here, and are in the process of building a shop and a water cistern. We will be in better shape tool-wise after our container arrives in a few months.

If you want to swing by, PM or email me. We can try our best to accommodate you and help you see the best of a very cool and not very expensive little country. You can choose your worst weather, the weather is almost always the same here, and not hot and humid like you might think, usually in the 60's to high 70's, year around.

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Old 10-02-2016, 08:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Where do I even start ???

This is my first post as I just joined this great site today.
Interesting question, I don't think there will be much difficulty in living in a Yurt in the majority of countries you mentioned, if you are renting the land or own it. Especially if it a portable yurt.

I live in Scotland and plan on building my own complete wooden yurt.
Because it will be a permanent residence I will need planning permission. I think this maybe the case in most European countries.
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Where do I even start ???

Europe has been cracking down on yurts for some time. I'm not sure about Asia, though I think they often follow a rural vs. city rule - Out of the city, people build as they want on their own land.

It is interesting to consider the differences between the more traditional kind of yurt makers throughout Europe vs. the modern, North American version. At the first world yurt conference in France several years ago there was just one of us representing the North American version and most others there expressed a bit of cynicism for their American counterparts. However, they couldn't deny the worth when considering that International Building Codes are being accepted internationally. Those codes don't often allow for structures that don't have strict testing abilities - for example, woods or saplings of unknown strength, exterior canvas materials of unknown strength, etc.

One thing a well made North American yurt typically does have if it is made by a reputable and trustworthy manufacturer, are proven, engineered specs that can be provided and proven to meet codes.

It is sad that we as a world are making it impossible to make truly hand made, indigenous structures. But it is comforting to know that yurts have made the leap to challenge that mindset - meeting the rules but also challenging them.
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