Category: Travel tips

Before leaving

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Here is a small non exhaustive list of the things you shouldn’t forget:

  • You should rather take a small limp bag or a travel backpack, because it’s easier to shove them in the cars, on the horses or yaks’ back
  • A small backpack for your dairy stuff
  • Fast drying underwear
  • One urban outfit (optional)
  • Light clothes and warm clothes because the temperatures range is sometimes very important from one place to the next, according to the climate and the moment of the day
  • Fleece jacket, wind-cheater, Polartec-type or Windpro-type
  • Comfortable trousers for hikes, treks and pony treks
  • High socks and thermic tights, just in case, if you travel in May or September
  • Waterproof trekking shoes with grip soles and high ankle. You must feel good inside your shoes, don’t bring new shoes, they could give you a lot of blisters
  • A bonnet and a scarf in case of big drop in temperature (except from the 10th of June to the 20th of August)
  • Gloves, especially if you will ride a horse
  • A raincoat, K-way-type or Goretex-type. Please don’t bring ponchos or other loose rain clothes, because they could frighten the horses if you ride
  • A foulard, bandana-type, a hat or a cap to protect yourself from sun and dust
  • Sunglasses with a protection factor 3 minimum
  • A sleeping bag sheet you will place inside your sleeping bag
  • Biodegradable soap, shampoo and washing powder
  • Towelettes and antibacterial gel
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Batteries for camera or solar batteries
  • A protection bag for your camera: dust is everywhere
  • Paper handkerchieves
  • Knife Opinel-type or Swiss army knife-type, lighter, sewing accessories are always useful
  • Bin liners you can place inside your travel bag to protect your personal stuff from the rain
  • Head lamp (easier to use)
  • A flask for the pony treks

For the pony treks, you may want to add:

  • Equitation boots
  • Equitation pants
  • Sheep’s skin to put on the saddle (optional)

Please note that’s not uncommon that luggage arrive lately the day after your arrival, if not, but rarely, two or three days after. To protect yourself against any troubles, we recommend you to bring a change outfit and to keep it with you in cabin. Also when you travel with your spouse or your family, we recommend you to share your belongings between the different bags. Doing this way, if a bag doesn’t arrive, it’s not all the belongings of one person that will lack, but some belongings of each person.

Please don’t bring new cases, or brand cases. Mongolia is a dusty country and your bags are sometimes manhandled.

Travelling with children in Mongolia

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Mongolia lends itself to travel with children, but it’s very advisable to choose a tour that suits their skills. Mongolians are very thoughtful with children and your little ones are most welcome here. You can even entrust them to the guide or a host family, they will be delighted to play with them. Moreover, they often enable to break the ice with the local people and to faster fit in. Nevertheless, according to the age and temperament of your child, some tours must be avoided.

There are long journeys in most tours. Some journeys, in itself tiring for adults, can turn out be exhausting for children, especially if they’re nervous; that’s why you’re recommended to choose tours with not that many jeep journeys.

Nevertheless, some young children are rather quiet and open and are able to get used to hard conditions. The youngest traveller was Marceau Beauvois, 3-and-a-half-years-old, who did the “great loop” tour in 2007. According to its parents, he was the least tired of the group!

According to us, the stays in “nomadic life” among nomads best suit to young children (3 to 10-years-old). These stays allow you to merge into the Mongolian traditional environment staying with a host family. Parents will stay in a peaceful atmosphere and will enjoy sharing unique moments with nomads. Children will be delighted with the neighbouring nature, the first horse rides, and the games with the nomads’ children.

Under 3-years-old, we recommend you to wait a bit longer. Hygiene and medical infrastructure make this destination inadequate for young children.

For the pony treks, it all depends on the level of the children.

In conclusion, pony treks for children less than 16 years of age, ok but only if they have excellent riding skills.

Health and vaccination in Mongolia

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Itching, indigestion, blister, small injury… These little things might easily waste your trip. This is what my personal medicine bag could contain:

 Medicine bag

– Repellent against mosquitos and other insects

– Soothing cream in case of vegetal irritation or insect bite

– Solar protection cream

– After sun cream

– Disinfectant

– Sterile compresses and plasters, among others anti blisters plasters

– Bandage

– Paracetamol

– Anti haematomas and anti muscles aches cream

– Medicines against diarrhoea and constipation

– Throat pastilles

– Eye lotion, in case of eye dryness

– Broad-spectrum antibiotic

– Tweezers

– Purifying pastilles

Vaccination

No vaccination is obligatory to come to Mongolia. Nevertheless you will travel in a remote zone of the world. So take some precautions. Vaccinations that Institut Pasteur recommends:

– Diphteria, poliomyelitis and tetanus

– Hepatitis A (if you travel a lot)

– Typhoid (if you fear for risks)

– Hepatitis B (for long or repeated travels)

– Rabies (for solo travellers or adventurous tours)

– Tick encephalitis (for the pony treks in Khovsgol in May, June ade July)

Mongolia entry formalities

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Since the 1st of June 2014, European (including the Swiss) and Canadian nationals are exempted from entry visa for touristic or business stay lasting less than 30 days for the 2014-2015 period. The exemption of the Mongol visa concerns the arrivals in Mongolia from every country, whether you arrive by air or overland.

For a stay lasting between 30 and 60 days, it’s possible to ask the Immigration agency a stay extension. You will have to pay 60 USD for a 30 days extension.

For a stay lasting between 60 and 90 days, you will have to obtain a visa near the Consulate of Mongolia in your country before arriving in Mongolia. An invitation from a travel agency and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, in required.

American citizens don’t need visa to stay in Mongolia less than 90 days.

In all the cases, your passport must be valid again six months after the estimated date of your comeback.

Do you need a long stay visa? Are you part of the nationals who need a visa to come to Mongolia? Do you want information about Mongolia? You can get in touch with the nearest consulate of Mongolia. This is a non-exhaustive list of the consulates and embassies of Mongolia in the world.

Consulates and Embassies of Mongolia

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Australia
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
Level 10, 80 Mount st.

North Sydney NSW 2060, PO Box 1731
Phone & Fax: +61- 2-9966 1922
E-mail: monconozyahoo.com

Austria
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
Auhofstrasse 65

A-1130 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43-1-877 3733
Fax: +43-1-877 373 340
E-mail: mong.consulate.viennajagdstiedl.co.at

Belgium
Embassy of Mongolia
Avenue Besme 18

1190 Brussels
Phone: +32-2-3446974
Fax: +32-2-3443215
E-mail: embassy.mongoliaskynet.be

Bulgaria
Embassy of Mongolia
FederekJolioKuri street 52

Sofia, 1113, Bulgaria
Phone: +359-2-9630765
Fax: +359-2-9630745
E-mail: mongembmbox.infoPhone.bg

Canada
Consulate General of Mongolia
1 Bedford Rd., Suite 1

Toronto, Ontario M5R 2J7
Phone: 416-921-7250
Fax: 416-960-1498
E-mail: monconattcanada.ca

China
Embassy of Mongolia
No 2, XiushuiBeijieJianGuo, Men Wai Da Jie

Beijing
Phone: +86-10-6532-1810

Fax: +86-10-6532-5045
E-mail: monembbipublic3.bta.net.cn

China
Consulate General of Mongolia in Hoh Hot
ZhongguoHuheHaote, XinchengGuWulanxiagu, Bldg No 5, Lou Mengg u Linshiguang
Hohhot
Phone: +86-471-4953254
Fax: +86-471-4953250

Cuba
Embassy of Mongolia
Calle 66 No 505, Esguina a 5 ta-A, Miramar,

Havana, Cuba
Phone: +53-7-242763
Fax: +53-7-240639

Czech Republic
Embassy of Mongolia
Na Marne

Praha-6, 160000
Phone: +42-2-24311199
Fax: +42-2-24314827
E-mail: mongemb@bohem-net.cz

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Embassy of Mongolia
Mansu-Dong

Pyongyang
Phone: +850-2-3817322
Fax: +850-2-3817616

Denmark
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
UNISCRAP A/S, Genvindings Industry, Fiskerihavsgade 6
DK-2450Kobennavn SV
Fax: +45-33-120373

Egypt
Embassy of Mongolia
No 14, Str. 152

MAAD, Cairo
Phone: +20-2-3506012
Fax: +20-2-3414229
E-mail: monemby@intouch.com

France
Embassy of Mongolia
5, Avenue Robert Schumann

92100 Boulogne-Billancourt
Phone: +33-1-46052318
Fax: +33-1-46053016
E-mail: 106513.2672@compuserve.com

Germany
Consulate of Mongolia
Dietzgenstrasse 31

13156 Berlin
Phone: +49-30-474 806-0
Fax: +49-30-474 806-16
E-mail: mongolbot@aol.com
E-mail: post@mongolian-embassy.de
Internet: http://www.mongolian-embassy.de/


Germany
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
EschersheimerLandstrasse 62-60
D – 60322 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49-69-153 096 10
Fax: +49-69-153 096 66
E-mail: pfeildirkaol.com

Germany
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
Schachte 39-40
D – 28195 Bremen
Phone: +49-421-176 230
Fax: +49-421-1769 315
E-mail: fischermelchers.de

Germany
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
Reitmorstrasse 15
D-80538 Muenchen
Phone: +49-89-21 024 910
Fax: +49-89-21 024 919
E-mail: mongoliapitum.de

Hungary
Embassy of Mongolia
BogarUtca 14-c

1022 Budapest
Phone: +36-1-2124579
Fax: +36-1-2125731
E-mail: mnkmail@datanet.hu

India
Embassy of Mongolia
34, Archbishop MakariousMarg

New Delhi 110003
Phone: +91-11-4631728
Fax: +91-11-4633240
E-mail: embassy.mongolia@gems.vsnl.net.in

Israel
Honorary Consul General of Mongolia
M. Gellert and Frishtik

LLP, 20 Lincoln St. Rubinstein Tower 24 Fl.

Tel Aviv
Tel: 972 3 5618484

Fax: 972 3 5617272
Cell: 972.50 5566665
E-mail: aorkaby@bezeqint.net

Italy
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
Via Giulia, 10

34126 Trieste

Phone: +39-40-575422
Fax: +39-40-575 431
E-mail: consolato.mongolia@net96.it

Japan
Embassy of Mongolia
21-4 Kamiyama Cho Shibuya Ku

Tokyo 150
Phone: +81-33-469-2088/2092
Fax: +81-33-469-2216
E-mail: embmong@gol.com

Kazakhstan
Embassy of Mongolia
Aubakerova 1/1

Alma Ati
Phone: +7-3272-200865
Fax: +7-3272-293259
E-mail: monkazel@kazmail.asdc.kz

Laos
Embassy of Mongolia
Q. WatNak Km.3

P.O.Box 370 Ventiane
Phone: +856-21-315220
Fax: +856-21-315221
E-mail: mongemb@pan-laos.net.la

Malaysia
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
45th floor Empire Tower, City Sq. Center, 182 JalanTunRazak
50400 Kuala-Lumpur
Phone: +60-3-262-1933
Fax: +60-3-2620 933
E-mail: baizurapc@jaring.my

Netherlands
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
Notarissen De Cuserstraat 5, 1081 CK Amsterdam-Buitenveldert, Postbus 791094

1008 88 Amsterdam
Fax: +31-20-6449638

Poland
Embassy of Mongolia
Ul.Rejtana 15 m, 16

00478 Warszawa
Phone & Fax: +48-22-849 9391
E-mal: mongambikp@atm.com.pl

Romania
Embassy of Mongolia
str. Faragas-6

Bucarest
Phone: +40-1-6387370
Fax: +40-1-3121325

Russia
Embassy of Mongolia
str. Borisoglebovskaya 11

Moscow 121069
Phone: +7-095-290 692
Fax: +7-095-2916171
E-mail: mongoliag@lasnet.ru

Russia

Consulate General of Mongolia in Irkutsk
Str. Lapina 11

Irkutsk
Phone: +7-3952-342145, 342445
Fax: +7-3952 – 342143
E-mail: irconsul@angara.ru

Russia
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia in Ulan-Ude
Erbanobastr, 12, HoPhone Baikal

Ulan Ude
Phone: +7-30122-15275/20499
Fax: +7-30122-14188
E-mail: mn@cbss.ru

Singapore
Chamber of Commerce of Mongolia
100, St. Patrick Road, St. Patrick Garden
Singapore 424191
Phone: +65-3480 745
Fax: +65-3481 753
E-mail: sukhee@singnet.com.sg

South Korea
Embassy of Mongolia
1-104 Riverside village I-Dong 300-24, Dongbuichon-Dong, Yong san-Ku

Seoul, I-104, Korea
Phone: +82-2-794-1950
Fax: +82-2-794-7605
E-mail: monemburiel.net

South Korea
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
189-17, Onchon 1-Dong Dongrae-Gu,
Pusan, 607-061, Korea
Phone: +82-51-555 81 82/5583 891
Fax: +82-51-555 4715

Sweden
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
Gotabergsgatan 34

S-411 34, Goteborg
Phone+46-31-160770
Fax: +46-31-160770

Switzerland
Permanent Representative of Mongolia
4, Chemin des Mollies

1293 Bellevue/GE
Phone: +41-22-7741974
Fax: +41-22-7743201
E-mail: mission.mongolia@itu.chor mongolia@ties.itu.int

Thailand
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
94 Rimklongprapa road Banksue

Bangkok 10800
Fax: +66-2-2590 359

Turkey
Embassy of Mongolia
KozaSokak 109, G. O. P.

Ankara
Phone: +90-312-446 7977
Fax: +90-312-446 7791
E-mail: mogolel@cturnet.net.tr

Ukraine
Embassy of Mongolia

M. Kotsibinckogo 3

Kiev 252030
Phone: +7-44-2168639
Fax: +7-44-2168751
E-mail: postserv@monelch.kiev.ua

United Kongdom
Embassy of Mongolia
7 Kensington Court

London W8 5DL
Phone: +44-171-937 0150
Fax: +44-171-937 1117
E-mail: embmong@aol.com

USA
Embassy of Mongolia
2833 M street, N.W.

Washington D.C. 20007
Phone: +1-202-3337117/2987137

Fax: +1-202-298 9227
E-mail: monemb@aol.com or / monconsul@aol.com

USA
Consulate General of Mongolia
6 East 77th st., New York, NY 10021.
Phone: +1-212-4746 517
Fax: +1-212-8619 464
E-mail: mngun@un.int
mngun@undp.org

USA
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia
1221Lamar Suite 1201

Houston TX 77010
Phone: +1-713-759-2922
Fax: +1-713-646-6666

Vietnam
Embassy of Mongolia

39, Tran phustr.

Hanoi
Phone: +84-4-8453009
Fax: +84-4-8454954
E-mail: mondemb@hanoihn.vnn.vn

Photos and videos in Mongolia

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Films and equipment: Mongolia is very photogenic. Many brands of films and even Polaroid are available in Ulan Bator’s shops, but anywhere else in the country. But the prices are high and it’s better to check the date of expiry.

Near Genghis Khan Square, many shops propose to print your pictures for a bargain price. But although quality is getting better and better, it’s not always there. You can also have your pictures printed at the ground floor of the department store, or wait to be back home.

Technical advices: during the jeep trips on the tracks, remember that there will be a lot of dust. It’s very important to keep your camera in a safe place in a plastic bag. Keep the films away from the sun in the Gobi Desert, and keep them warm in winter, because cold temperatures can prevent your camera and batteries from working properly. Bring some spare batteries, because they can stop working because of cold, even in summer.

During the tours, you will have a few opportunities to charge the batteries. It will be possible almost exclusively in the ger camps, if you entrust your batteries to the staff of the camp. A charger adaptable to the cigarette lighter of the car can be a feasible solution for the jeep trips, but during the self-sufficient tours, you should rather be autonomous with the batteries during all the tour.

Restrictions: it’s forbidden to take pictures inside the monasteries and temples. There’s no restriction outside. Sometimes, you can be authorised to take a picture in exchange for an offering. Inside most of the museums, you have to pay an – often high –  extra if you want to take pictures. You’re recommended to try to have a quick look inside the museum before deciding to pay the extra or not.

Remember that lamas and nomads are not models and if they don’t want to be photographed, you must not. It’s more polite to always ask before taking a picture.

Be careful if you want to photograph sensitive areas, especially borders and military buildings.

Coming to Mongolia

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Coming to Mongolia can turn out to be an adventure. From Europa, five airlines serve Mongolia: MIAT from Frankfurt or Moscow, Aeroflot with a transit in Moscow, Korean Air with a transit in Seoul, Air China with a transit in Beijing, and Turkish Airlines with a transit in Istanbul.

You’re recommended to book quite early to get a better price, flights being quickly full in July and August.

If you have enough time, you’re recommended to travel from Moscow, Irkutsk and Beijing via the Trans-Mongolian. It’s a cheaper solution and a nice opportunity to travel in this legendary train. The journey to Ulan Bator takes six days from Moscow, about thirty hours from Beijing, and a bit less from Irkutsk.

Best season to come to Mongolia

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Mongolia enjoys more than 260 sunny days per year, which means it’s one of the sunniest countries in the world. In winter, the sky keeps its intense blue colour but combines with biting cold.

Spring

April and May are transitional months. It’s spring. The climate is certainly getting warmer but it’s the sandstorms period: being caught by a storm in Gobi desert can be an unforgettable experience. May is reputed to be the most unsettled month; the four seasons can pass in a single day… From which the Mongolian motto: “beware of the morning sun”.

The reward for the traveller is that spring is the period when the livestock gives birth, which entails a great activity in the countryside (shearing-time). If you want to be alone in the steppes and to live at the pace of nomad (transhumance, birth, combing out, cashmere, this is certainly the best period

Summer and autumn

Then come the four most pleasant months for a trip to Mongolia: June, July, August, and September.

From June, temperatures are higher than 20°C (68°F) and it’s pleasant to visit Mongolia. June and July are the most humid months and showers in the end of the afternoons are frequent, notably in Khovsgol.

June and September are the most favourable months to visit Gobi.

In July, the steppe takes her nice green colour and keeps it for about two months.

From the 15th of August, night temperatures significantly drop with frost risk, but the days remain pleasant with temperatures varying between 15°C and 25°C (59-77°F), and this lasts until mid-September. From mid-September, the forests of larches take the colours of autumn, which gives the country a breath-taking beauty. Weather is still dry and sunny, but temperatures begin to drop. It remains possible to visit Mongolia until the end of October, but think of bringing warm clothes, because temperatures may drop under 0°C (32°F).

Snow risk in altitude from mid-August, and in plains from mid-September.

Winter?

From November to March, temperatures remain negative, with averages fluctuating around -25°C (-13°F) during the coldest months of the year (December and January). Cold remains dry and there is very little snow in that period (besides, snow is a sign of mild spell). If you have fitted equipment, it remains possible to visit Mongolia. A stay among breeder in that period is a magical moment; the reception is as warm as it’s cold outside. In that period, some activities get possible: hunting with falconers, dog sledge, or attending the Ice Festival.

Money in Mongolia

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Local money is the tugrik. It’s composed of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 1.000, 5.000, 10.000 and 20.000-tugriks banknotes. The face of Genghis Khan or Sukhbaatar is represented on each banknote.

The exchange rate constantly varies. On the 1st of January 2015, 1 euro was 2150 MNT, 1 dollar was 1876 MNT, and one pound was 2920 MNT. You don’t need to change euros in US dollars before coming to Mongolia, euros can be changed directly in Ulan Bator.

Except Ulan Bator and a few other big cities, it’s not possible to use your internation credit card or to withdraw money. You’re adviced to have tugriks with you as soon as you’ll go far from the capital. The Visa card is accepted in more places than Master Card (that is accepted only by the Golomt Bank, Ulan Bator). You don’t need to change money at the airport or the hotel, your guide will come with you to the exchange offices whose commissions are more attractive.

Although Mongolia has a very low standard of living, it remains rather expensive regarding electronic goods, household equipment or farmproduce products. In effects, the country has a very low level of production and is very dependent from the imports.

For your stay in Mongolia, you’re recommended to bring between 50 and 100 euros per person for your personal  consumptions.  In Ulan Bator, a meal in a good restaurant costs about 10 euros and a beer (0,5 liter) costs between 1 and 1,50 euro (1,13-1,70 USD ; 0,74-1,12 GBP). Cashmere is a solid value. A pullover costs about 50 euros (56,71 USD ; 36,22 GBP), and a scarf 20 euros (22,67 USD ; 14,88 GBP).