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Travel Tips for First-Time Travelers in Mongolia



How big do you think the territory of Mongolia is?


Mongolia is vast it is equal to the area of 42 of the 47 European countries. Mongolia is located at 41-52 degrees north latitude of the globe and is marked as a country with a continental, extreme, and temperate climate. The mean temperature difference between summer and winter is 80 degrees in some cases, and the temperature difference between day and night averages 20 degrees. It is located between the Altai and Khingan mountain ranges from west to east, creating a dry intracontinental climate, with moist ocean air unable to enter. If you imagine extreme weather being miserable dark or grey you would be wrong. Mongolia is called the country of sunshine, and this is not just a name.

The amount of precipitation that falls in one year is 200-350 mm, the same amount of precipitation that falls on one day in the rainy season in Japan. The number of sunny days is high, and in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, 250 days a year are sunny, while in the Gobi region to the south, the sun shines for 300 days. In addition, Mongolia has four distinct seasons and non-stop strong winds throughout the year.


Requirements Covid

Travelers arriving in Mongolia no longer need to present a negative PCR test result or proof of vaccination.


Visa-free countries travel to Mongolia

Except for visa-free countries, every visitor needs a visa. If there is a Mongolian embassy or consulate in your country, complete the application form and give it to the embassy.


Visa requirements

Visas for Mongolia must be arranged before travel and full details will be sent at the time of booking. Travelers must ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months beyond their planned return date and the passport has at least one blank visa page. Please remember that if you travel via China a Chinese visa will also be required.


Money

As for the money, all transactions are in the Mongolian currency TUGRUG (MNT) in the country. US dollar or Pound sterling won't be accepted in most places. (Banks don’t accept or are very careful with dollars that were printed before the year 2009, worn US notes and sometimes even a little tiny broken will be refused in Mongolia) So, please prepare some new ones without folding them for bank exchange for your further use in Mongolia. Credit cards are widely acceptable in most places in Ulaanbaatar city, but not in the countryside. Therefore, please, make sure you bring some cash along. ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar (please consult with your bank or credit card company before departing to notify them of your travel plans and to make sure that your credit card will be accepted in Mongolia). The 20, 50, and 100 US dollar bills are convenient for exchange.


Payments: When paying out large sums of money (to hotels, tour operators, and sometimes airlines), it's fine to use either US dollars or tugrug; the merchant will act as a money changer, though the rate will not generally be very good. Other forms of currency aren’t usually accepted, although the euro is probably the next best. Cash offers the best exchange rates and you won’t be paying any commission charge, but for security purposes, you can also use debit cards.


ATMs

  • Golomt, Trade & Development Bank, Khan Bank, and Khas Bank all have ATMs in their Ulaanbaatar and countryside branches. ATMs are also found in many shops and malls. These ATMs accept Visa and MasterCard and work most of the time, allowing you to withdraw up to T800,000 per day, although the amount may depend on your home bank. Chip cards are not accepted at most ATMs – try the Khaan Bank ATMs. You could also visit the HQ of the Trade & Development Bank on Peace Ave.

  • Before leaving home check with your bank about fees for making ATM transactions overseas. A 3% charge is standard nowadays but some banks will only charge 1%. If you plan to use your debit card a lot, it may be worth opening an account with a bank that has the lowest ATM fees.


Credit Cards

Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted across the country – card readers are available even in small grocery shops and cafes. Bring one that won't charge a foreign transaction fee. Note that some merchant names might appear as a series of numbers on your statement, so retain your receipts if you are keeping track of your accounts. Banks can give cash advances on credit cards, although a fee of 3% usually applies.


 Internet service and WIFI hotspots

It’s easy to use an internet service in Ulaanbaatar. There is a WIFI hotspot and internet cable in hotel rooms and some restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. In Terelj, since it is closer to Ulaanbaatar you will have internet access.


Food and drink

It is true to some extent that Mongolians live only on red meat and dairy products. However, nowadays this phenomenon is slowly fading as the country is getting more urbanized and people are aware of a balanced diet. The variety of vegetables and food in grocery stores has improved significantly within the last two decades, so we have vegetarian or vegan options on the menus. But if you compare the variety with what you have back home, it can be pretty limited. During your trip, we are mostly going to have a fixed set menu at the restaurants and ger camps chosen for the safety and quality of their meals.

 

Holidays, festivals and celebrations

Naadam is the most popular celebration in Mongolia and the festival is held every year on the 11th and 12th of July. The festival is registered with the Intangible Heritage Fund of UNESCO and originated many centuries ago as a test of courage, strength, daring, horsemanship, and marksmanship, all necessary for nomadic people and warriors. The largest celebration is held in Ulaanbaatar beginning on July 11.

 

Shopping

Best shopping in Mongolia, which is renowned for its wool garments, hand-woven textiles, and traditional handicrafts usually purchased from nomadic traders. Please note that it is illegal to take antiques out of the country without a special permit.

 

As for electricity

Electricity power here in Mongolia is 220V. Electrical sockets in Mongolia are one of the two European standard electrical socket types; The “Type C” Europlug and the “Type E” and “Type F” Schuko. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t have the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter to plug in. Even though new buildings and new facilities have multi-plugs it is better to have one with you.


Where to Stay and Eat

Wellspring Voyage Tour Operator designs and coordinates travel itineraries for individuals, groups, and organizations with a passion for discovering the most visited destinations in Mongolia such as the Gobi Desert, Terelj National Park, and Lake Khuwsgul regions which we have our comfortable lodges that offer authentic, comfortable, and memorable taste of Mongolian culture.  Knowledgeable travel planners answer your detailed pre-trip questions.

                                  

DREAM GOBI LODGE         N43’54’31,7” E103’51’53,7”

 Outdoor swimming is rewarded with endless expanses of the steppe mirages or the breathtaking view of the Milky Way.
Outdoor swimming is rewarded with endless expanses of the steppe mirages or the breathtaking view of the Milky Way.

 

The lodge is located in the middle of nowhere, with a great panorama of the endless horizon of the Gobi Desert, only to be disturbed by the grazing horses. It is the wide-open, calming, and quiet atmosphere where your mind and body heal from traveling. The ensuite bathroom adds comfort to your stay in a traditional ger/yurt. Outdoor swimming is rewarded with endless expanses of the steppe mirages or the breathtaking view of the Milky Way. After a good meal, you are welcome to treat yourself to traditional relaxing spa treatments. Dining is a gastronomical adventure with camel steak, traditional goat jerky soup, or pleasure with home reminding good burgers

 

 

TERELJ HILLS LODGE       N47’52’26,57” E107’25’51’,54”


This is a family-friendly environment with lots of fun activities for everyone.
This is a family-friendly environment with lots of fun activities for everyone.

Conveniently located near Ulaanbaatar city, Terelj Hills Lodge welcomes our visitors with a heartfelt smile and care. This is a family-friendly environment with lots of fun activities for everyone. While children are roller skating, playing ping pong, badminton, or swimming, parents are making barbeques and grills, or simply nursing beer near the firepit. Both hotel rooms and Gers display a great panorama of the valley where horses and yaks graze near the wellspring. We host scholars, counselors, and peers to share their experiences and help us learn more about the Terelj National Park, one of the most unique and interesting natural formations in our fully equipped study room. Your stay at our lodge will ensure a great learning experience, and an opportunity to try new things, create beautiful memories, and bond with your family.

 

 

LAKE FOREST LODGE      N50’29’1,300” E100’9’37,600”

 Lake Forest Lodge is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surrounding areas.
Lake Forest Lodge is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surrounding areas.

Located on the bank of Khuvsgul Lake, surrounded by larch forest, your stay at our ger lodge will be private, pleasant, and panoramic. The morning sun lights up the dining room for breakfast with the smell of fresh coffee and wood fire. A boat ride to the most scenic spots of this immense freshwater lake is followed by a hike up a panoramic hill. There are many choices for delicious meals and a small bonfire by the lakeshore in the evening with wine and chocolate. Your Ger, comfortable and warm, and with your bathroom will be a welcome change after the exploration day of the area. You can start your next day riding well-trained Mongolian horses and visiting yak breeding families to learn more about their lifestyle. We offer traditional games and a handpicked selection of Mongolian movies for your free time. A walk at the lakeshore, along with grazing yaks and cute little ruddy shelducks and bar-headed geese round out your experience. Lake Forest Lodge is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surrounding areas.



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