Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
- You must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of your arrival in Mongolia.
- Foreign citizens are required to carry their passport at all times while in Mongolia and are subject to a fine if not in possession of their documents when stopped by Mongolian authorities.
- If you plan to arrive or depart Mongolia overland through China or Russia, you should be aware of Chinese and Russian visa regulations and obtain appropriate visas before beginning your trip.
- In an effort to prevent international child abduction, Mongolia requires that its citizens provide documentary evidence of relationship and permission from parent(s) or a legal guardian for a child to travel. At this time it is not required for foreigners, however having such documentation on hand may help facilitate entry/departure.
- Visit the Embassy of Mongolia website for the most current visa information or contact the Embassy of Mongolia.
- Every nation has its own code of etiquette. Mongolian traditional customs, passed down through the centuries, are unique for guests from any other countries.
- When travelling, it is custom to stop and circle an Ovoo, the sacred cairn in Mongolia, three times in clockwise direction, in order to have a safer journey. Usually, rocks are picked up from the ground and added to the pile. Also, one may leave offerings in the form of sweets, money, milk, or vodka. If one is in a hurry while travelling and does not have time to stop at an ovoo, honking of the horn while passing by the Ovoo.
- Don’t step to the eastern side of the Ger, when you visit a herder’s family. It is customary for visitors to sit along the western side of a Ger.
- Always accept some food or drink. You don’t have to eat everything, but it’s rude not to accept a gesture of hospitality. Both food and drink are passed with and accepted by the right hand.
- It is very unusual to pay for staying in Ger, except you have agreed to previously, and offering to do this can be seen as an insult to your host. Give a small gift instead.
- Give little children some candies and small gifts that can be interesting for them, if it is possible. It is usual that they expect something from visitors, as they are inaccessible to shops and entertaining places.
- Don’t ever whistle when in a Mongolian Ger, as this is really rude.
- Never step over dishes and cooking utensils when they are placed on the ground. The hosts of the family can be badly offended.
- Never place someone’s hat on the floor. Because a man’s or woman’s hat (or deel) represents his or her fortune, according to Mongolia’s etiquette tradition. If they are placed on the floor it is bad lack for the wearer.
- Putting your feet up on someone’s table is also very offensive.
- Horse riding is one of the most popular activities in Mongolia for tourists.
- Horse riding can be exciting and uneasy.
- Mongolian horses are different from other breeds both in appearance and behavior. Mongolian horse is relatively short and has a large head, but strong legs.
- Please be aware of the climate when you riding horse or camels.
- Before horse/camel riding, instructions and recommendations should be taken.
- Before jumping into the saddle, make sure the equipment is properly placed and secure.
- Take both light and warm clothes. Though it might be not during the day time, the weather gets chilly during nights and early in the morning in the countryside.
- Don’t wear too bright colored clothes or those with loose flaps. Because it may scare your horse.
- Avoid all clothing that could get tangled.
- Put on long-legged trousers and jeans. Mongolian traditional saddles with high wooden frame and silver decorations may make your legs sore, if you ride with shorts.
- Don’t approach a horse from the hind and the right side. He may kick you, as he can be scared.
- Mount or dismount a horse only from the left.
- Hold the reins in the left hand, resting it on the front of the saddle. Put the right hand on the back of the saddle, and gently hoist yourself straight up, swinging the right leg carefully over the horse’s back. Once one leg is on either side of the horse, sit down gently in the saddle and place the right foot in the right stirrup.
- Feet should be positioned half feet in the stirrup. Don’t put your feet deep into the stirrups. It can be dangerous, if the horse is scared from something.
- To steer and stop, use the reins, which connect to the metal bit in the horse’s mouth. Always be gentle with the reins.
- To stop or slow down, gently pull back on the reins while sitting up tall and pushing the heels further down.
- Don’t take pictures with a flash-light camera whilst riding.
Known as the “Land of Blue Sky”, Mongolia has four seasons and it has extreme continental climate. Weather in Mongolia is dry. It has long, cold winter and short summer. Precipitation is higher in the northern region, averages 20 to 35 centimeters per year, and lower in the south receives 10 to 20 centimeters. Average temperature is about -20 Celsius in the winter. The average annual temperature in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, ranges from -16°C (-2°F) in February to 16°C (62°F) in July. Summer in the daytime can be hot and in the evening or early morning gets chilly. In steppes or higher mountains can be windy, other hand calm in the forest.
Currency and Credit Cards
In Ulaanbaatar, some hotels accept travelers’ checks in dollars and several banks convert travelers’ checks to dollars or Mongolian currency, known as Tugrugs. You can use credit cards at some hotels, restaurants, and shops in the city.
Bank services available at some commercial banks such as Trade and Development Bank, Golomt Bank, Khan Bank, and Xac Bank. International bank wire transfers are also possible. There are a handful of VISA and Maestro/Cirrus ATMs in Ulaanbaatar, but they are not reliable. Very few ATMs exist outside the capital. Outside of Ulaanbaatar, cash might be the only possible method of payment.
Helpful Hint: Crisp foreign bills are readily accepted in Ulaanbaatar. American dollars or Euros will not be accepted if they are an old or in rough condition.
Safety and Security
Please keep your valuable safe.
- While on a train, bus, crowded hostel room, or any other public place, always keep your money, passport, credit cards and camera memory cards on you.
- Always keep your valuables (camera, laptop, or anything else you don’t want stolen) with you.
- Don’t get wasted and walk around alone in unfamiliar territory.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- The most common crimes against foreigners are pick pocketing and bag snatching when using public transportation and in crowded public areas.
As long as you are careful while traveling and stay aware of your surroundings, you will be fine and able to enjoy your travels.
On the other hand, travelers are expected to respect and obey the laws, culture and customs of the destination country, treat others on the trip and locals with respect and courtesy, observe and obey any instructions, directions, advice, rules and regulations given or imposed by us or those organizing any particular activities.
Given some of the remote locations of travelers must be aware that standards of accommodation, hygiene and health and safety precautions are unlikely to be as high as in the cities and, in the circumstances, there is an increased risk of injury and illness and that medical care standards will not be as accessible.
Photographing or videotaping
Photographing or videotaping a tourist attraction, whether publicly or privately owned, is generally considered legal, unless explicitly prohibited by a specific law and/or statute.
Permission should be granted before entering temples and monasteries. A fee is payable for photography in protected areas, although this regulation is often not enforced. Caution should be exercised when photographing government buildings, military establishments and border crossings.
Electricity is 220V two round pin, same as in most of Europe and Russia.