In Mongolia true nomads still roam wild and free. Families simply follow the grass as their herd needs. A mix of modern in their traditional ways -many now have trucks to haul the gerts and almost all of them use solar panels for electricity. The stoves are still heated by wood fires and its advised to fall asleep before the embers burn out because even in the height of summer it’s hard to fall asleep on the uneven ground with the cold nipping at any part of you it can find. It is a way of life that is not for the faint of heart but to visit these people who choose to continue living (with some improvements) the way they always have been is something very special indeed.
Drinking water: Not safe to drink
Plugs: Type C and E (See photo below)
Negative PCR required no more than 72 hours before departure. Quarantine required for some travelers.
Official currency: ₮ Mongolian tögrög
Credit cards: You can usually pay for tours and accommodation with cards but everything else will be in cash, including tips for your guides.
Tipping: Guides are $10-$20 per person per day, tipping drivers the same as guide since based on the terrain they’re putting in as much, if not more work than the guide. 10% in restaurants.
24 countries are visa exempt including for 14 – 90 days depending on your country. This includes nations from the Americas, Asia and Europe.
**Always check with your government for the most up to date information on visa requirements.**
**Assuming you are current on routine vaccinations. Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on required vaccinations specific to your home country**
Exercise Normal Precautions
**Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on safety**
Official Languages: Mongolian
Hello (how are you?): Сайн байна уу (Sain by noo!)
Thank-you: Баярлалаа (Ba-yar-la-laa!)
Yes: Тийм (tiim) No: Үгүй (Ugui)
When to go
Ulaanbaatar holds the title of the coldest capital in the world and the winter months (November – March) are, well, COLD. It is, however, also extremely beautiful with fun winter activities available, especially in the north. But don’t go too remote as current infrastructure doesn’t allow for easy access if there is heavy snowfall.
July and August are the busiest months for tourism and when the famous Naadam festival takes place. The Gobi desert is particularly stifling.
If you’re not going to Naadam, then September would be your best bet as you enjoy mild temps throughout the country with fewer crowds.
Despite what some articles will tell you online, from what I learned in Mongolia I am not comfortable with supporting eagle hunting. Eagles are caught and starved in order to train them to rely on their master. They are tethered for most of their lives and the practice is only used now to hunt for prize winning furs as opposed to for food survival.
As always, buy local. Local guides, restaurants, locally owned hotels and guesthouses, etc. Support the growing economy in the right way
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