What should I bring with me?
Large backpacks and bags
Large backpacks and bags are always better than hard suitcase to be left in the luggage compartment, yurt and load it to cars multiple times. You need another small bag to accompany more often and to store your valuables like your wallet and travel documents.
Camera, and camera accessories
Abundant wildlife, different landscapes and nomad indigenous people are such scenic that you definitely want to take your camera. Take a few spare memory cards and charger. Mongolia is on 220V power and uses European-style 2-pin plugs. Good batteries are hard to find in the countryside.
Led Head torch
Head torch is handy at nights when reading and going to toilet as electricity is unreliable in the countryside except in town, where coverage is still somewhat unpredictable.
Warm coat/jacket and layers
Although June to September is summer in Mongolia, the weather is unpredictable, and nights have been known to dip below freezing even in the summer in some regions. Therefore, multiple layers are always recommended: remember, you can always take layers off or put them back on. raincoat and ponchos are not only a must for occasional rainy weather, but they can be good insulators when placed outside your sleeping bag. Take waterproof shell layer to protect from the wind and the rain.
Bring swimsuit for hot spa, enough spare pair of socks, sunglasses, scarf, hat for protecting your face and gloves for warmth.
All terrains from Gobi Desert to the Altai Mountain are wild and contain their own difficulties, wildlife and plant life. Trekking shoes make the daily trekking easy.
Rubber slippers are useful for using shower in most Ger camps.
If you are going to bathe in Tsenkher hot spring, make sure to bring your swimsuit.
Bring soap, shampoo, sun cream, skin creams, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, perfumes, avoid bulky aerosol cans: use roll-on deodorant, and get shaving cream in a hard stick or a tube. Take plenty of razor blades. Wet wipes/dry wipes– can be bought in Mongolian cities. They are very good for maintaining hygiene essential when you’re unable to wash for day. Lip balm for moistening because the weather is so dry. Toilet paper is important to have near as Mongolian toilets are very basic, and lack toilet paper.
You may bring with you these items including sewing kit, hiking stick, cigarette for smoker and nail clipper if thought to be necessary.
It is recommended to bring your own medications based on you traveling experiences and personal knowledge of your current health. Travel kit can have disinfectant, bandages, and sterile gloves, syringes, anti-diarrheal, a few band-aids, some antibiotic, a few aspirin or paracetamol at hand, for headaches and hangovers; paracetamol is also handy for lowering your temperature if you’re experiencing a low fever. Allergy safety and hand sanitizer. Good insect repellent is essential in Mongolia -mosquitoes and sand flies can be annoying.
Money exchange – Cash
You can exchange currency at any closest bank to you in Ulaanbaatar city. Also you can cash up with your debit card on Mongolian Togrogs at ATMS. ATMs are in Ulaanbaatar and most province capitals these days. Make sure to check the current exchange rate before you go in. It is always better to have cash on tour for buying alcohol drinks, snacks and souvenirs.
Items for Yurt visits
It is always great to have a gift to exchange for any hospitality received when staying in nomad’s yurt. They appreciate handy stuff like headlamp, AA batteries, notepads, pencils, sewing kit and soap. You can a take photo of them with permission and send them once you get home through Man of Millennium Address .
Some of nomadic families who live within national park or sightseeing area, run their own small business that renting ger accommodation for backpackers. It gives you a chance to get closely acquainted with the way of life and Nomadic way of lifestyle. Ger accommodation has 4 o-6 beds and occupancy is based on multi-share but with only your group members and not with another tours. Most nomadic families do not have formal toilets in their summer places, so the most you can expect to find is a designated toilet trench that may be screened on three sides. No showering facilities will be available in some of the local ger guesthouses.
Tourist Ger Camp
Out of the city, tourist ger camps are the most commonly available full service facilities. They use the traditional dwelling, the felt covered ger, as guest rooms. Each ger normally has between 2 and 4 single beds in it, along with a traditional stove, a simple table, and sometimes cupboards and wash stands. There will generally be a central building that houses hot water showers, sinks, and western style toilets. This building will be some distance from your ger. In a separate building there will be a restaurant or dining room, and sometimes a bar or a recreation room. If a Ger Camp was not connected to central electricity system, Ger Camps usually run a generator in the evening or provide lighting from solar charged batteries for some part of the night, allowing you to have light for using the washroom facilities, reading, charging your camera gears. Taking shower is possible.
When to go and weather
Mongolia Weather | Mongolia Climate
Mongolia’s climate can be described has highly continental dominied climate with warm summers and long, dry and very cold winters. Known as “the land of blue sky”, Mongolia is a very sunny country and has usually about 250 sunny days a year.
Summer from mid-May to mid-September is usually warm with average temperature of 18 to 26 C. There are short rains in July and early August. On some days temperature may go above 30 C which can be felt hard, especially in the South Gobi region. Almost 70% of precipitation falls in the summer, but this does not mean rainy days. Rains rarely last for more than 2-3 days. Most of rains occur in mid- July and early August and wise herders prefer to move away from rivers and put up their dwellings on hills to avoid sudden floods. The highest temperatures are in the Gobi Desert region with 30 Celsius lasting for more than 40 days. On some days it can be 40 Celsius.
When to go
The best time to visit Mongolia is during the Mongolian summer, from the mid of June till last week of August.
This is the safest time of the year to travel to Mongolia in terms of weather, sunny days throughout Mongolia and sufficient rainfall to make the steppes lush and green.
June and September are both very pleasant times to visit Mongolia. September, autumn is enjoyable, colorful, not hot, and not cold. Nomads have plenty of dairy products and are busy processing milk and preparing for winter. Beautiful countryside of Mongolia is even more beautiful and picturesque with the autumn colors.
Months to Best:
> July is the best time to see the Mongolia Naadam Festival.
> The best season for Gobi Desert tour: from June to September and October is shoulder season.
> July to August is the best season to travel to Northern Mongolia and Khuvsgul Lake tour and September is shoulder season.
> First of October is chance to see Golden Eagle Festival in Altai, Western Mongolia.
> February is the best time to experience Mongolia winter season.
Health, Safety and Emergency
Mongolia is one of the safest countries in the world. The policemen are quite friendly to the tourists. As a visitor you are unlikely to experience any serious problems. However, like anywhere else there are a few things that visitors should be aware of, things that will need extra care and attention. Foreign visitors are targets for a very small minority of thieves. Theft is seldom violent. Pick pocketing and bag slitting is most common in crowded places such as the black market, on buses or at tourist attractions such as Gandan Monastery and shopping places. Valuables should be kept in a money belt and kept underneath your clothing. Be careful about being seen with large amounts of money outside.
Vaccines and Medicines
Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.
In generally, No special vaccinations are required for travel to Mongolia unless the traveler is coming from a yellow fever infected area. In general, it is advisable to follow the advice of the World Health Organization or USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have some vaccinations in advance.
Medical services in Mongolia are available everywhere. However, in some remote regions, the health service may not be as standard as big cities’. So please ensure that you are in good health and take all the suggested precautions to avoid illness.
We recommend you carry some common medicines along while traveling Mongolia, such as the medicines for flu, coughing, sore throat, diarrhea, etc that you use at home. It is advisable to go to see your doctor and follow his or her advice on which medicines you should take.
What happens if I get sick in Mongolia during my tour?
Most of time, if you get sick during your tour in Mongolia, you can be cured in the local hospitals. But, for some tours in the remote places, the hospitals could be far away, requiring the help of planes. Besides, the hospitals in Mongolia are different from those in western countries. It is possible for you to pay for the medical services in advance, and receive the compensation from your health insurance company later on.
Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation either within Mongolia or to other countries are extremely expensive and can cost more than $100,000. Evacuation companies will not take you to another location without a full fee guarantee beforehand. Please note that not all insurance companies provide medical evacuation coverage for Mongolia. Please check with your insurance provider before traveling and consider supplemental medical or travel insurance. Currently, SOS Medica Mongolia UB International Clinic is the only clinic that has medical evacuation services in Mongolia.
Getting to Mongolia
THERE ARE TWO MAIN WAYS TO GET TO MONGOLIA, BY AIR OR BY TRAIN.
You can get to Mongolia by the Mongolian airline MIAT, the Russian airline Aeroflot, Air China, Korean Air, and Turkish Airlines. The Mongolian airline MIAT has direct flights to Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, Osaka, and Seoul. Korean Air has several flights a week to Ulaanbaatar City. The Russian Airline Aeroflot makes 2 flights a week to Ulaanbaatar City. If you are coming from Europe, our recommended routes are, first to fly to Berlin, then to transfer there to a MIAT flight or fly to Moscow, then take a MIAT or Aeroflot flights to Ulaanbaatar City.
U.S. travelers might find less expensive to buy tickets from a Mongolian air-ticket agency in the U.S. If you are coming from the U.S., one option is to take a United Airlines flight to Beijing and then transfer to MIAT or Air China flight to Ulaanbaatar. Another option is to fly to Seoul, Korea and then take Korean Airlines flight to Mongolia.
Travelling by famous Trans-Siberian railway gives you lifetime opportunities of experiencing different countries, different cultures on one holiday and many more besides it is cost effective, practical and reliable. When you are in the train, you will look completely different landscapes all daylong through the windows of the train, which is like watching live TV through your window.
There are several branch lines of Trans-Siberian railroad. The longest rail line (7900 km) runs from St. Petersburg through Moscow, Russia and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Beijing, China. The train spans seven zones and two continents. The journey takes 5 days from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar and takes 35 hours from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing.
We book a train ticket according the client’s request, and please note that tickets can only be purchased at least one month in advance.
How to get Mongolian Visa
Visa is required for all, except citizens of the following countries. Visas are available from the Mongolian embassy in your country. If there is no Mongolia embassy in your country, one month visas can be obtained on the spot once you arrive at the airport or railway station. There will also be a visa fee of $53 US. We will supply an official confirmation letter (by email or post) for your visa application once you book a travel service with us.
- Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Kazakhstan, Macao,USA –no need a visa for a visit not exceeding three months
- German, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Russia,Turkey – no need a visa for a visit not exceeding one month
- Philippines – no need a visa for a visit not exceeding three weeks
- Singapore ,Hong Kong- no need a visa for a visit not exceeding two weeks
- People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Thailand, Romania and Chile –who has diplomatic or official passport -no need a visa for a visit
- Laos, Yugoslavia, Czech, Slovak, Mexico -who has diplomatic or official passport -no need a visa for a visit not exceeding three months ·
- Hungary, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea – who has diplomatic or official passport -no need a visa for a visit not exceeding three month
- India –needs Mongolian visa without visa fee
- Cuba –no need a visa for a visit not exceeding one month Mongolian visas are issued by Mongolian Diplomatic Missions abroad or upon arrival at a special request.