Planning & Booking
When should I go?
The ‘Land of Eternal Blue Sky’ has about 250 sunny days with clear, cloudless skies.
Mongolia has a continental climate, with long, cold, dry winters and brief, mild and relatively wet summers.
The average summer temperature is +20ºC; winter is -23ºC.
In some areas of the country the winter temperature can drop to as low as -50ºC! In the summer the Gobi area can have temperatures of around +35ºC.
Most people will visit Mongolia in the summer (end of May until September). Mostly warm and dry weather with some thunderstorms. Rivers and streams are at their fullest and it is the time when pasture, grass and crops grow and livestock gain weight and fat. It is the most pleasant time with abundant dairy product and there are many feasts and holidays with happy people.
Autumn in Mongolia is the season of transition from the hot and wet summer to the cold and dry winter, it lasts for about 60 days from the beginning of September until the early November. There is less rainfall and people start to prepare for Winter. They will harvest their crops, get ready their cattle barns and sheds and prepare firewood for warming their homes… It is also the time of the Eagle Hunting festival.
The winter starts early in November and lasts about 120 days until the middle of March. It is the longest and most severe season. All the rivers and lakes freeze, it snows throughout the country and the herdsmen stay in their winter camps. In the Gobi they have the Camel festival.
The spring starts in the middle of March and usually lasts for about 60 days, days become longer, snow starts to melt and animals come out of hibernation. The grass becomes green, but for people and livestock it can be a harsh season because of the strong cold winds.
Visa, International flights & trains?
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your date of arrival.
Most countries require a tourist visa which can be easily obtained at any Mongolian ambassy.
Citizens of the following countries can stay for 30 days in Mongolia without visa:
Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and USA.
Not many airlines fly to Mongolia, so in the high season prices are high and most flights are full, so book well in advance! Main airlines:MIAT (from Beijing, Seoul, Busan, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, Moscow, Berlin, Frankfurt, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Singapore, Taipei, Manilla, Ho Chi Minh) Air China (via Beijing),Korean Air (via Seoul), Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul / Bishkek) and Aeroflot (via Moscow)
International trains to UB can start in China (Beijing or Hohot) or Russia (Irkutsk)
How to make a booking?
Click on the INQUIRE button, if you need some additional information on some of our tours or shorttrips. Click on the BOOK NOW button to register and send us some necessary information, we will contact you then for confirmation of the booking and payment, which can be done from a bank account or via Paypal.
Sleeping & Eating
what is a Ger Camp?
In the countryside Ger Camps accomodate foreign tourists as well as Mongolian people.
They consist of a number of gers, with the addition (mostly) of a restaurant
and a building with some toilets and showers.
The Mongolian ger is an architectural masterpiece! It has evolved over many centuries to a design that is perfectly adapted to the harsh condition of the Mongolian countryside: It can provide shelter during snow- and sand-storms and protect against the extreme cold winter-conditions.
Young people get their own (new) ger when they get married, each will bring their own coffer, one for the clothes and one for their valuables. Each has one side of the ger, with the altar for the ancestors in the middle. The moment that the wife lights the first fire in the stove of the new ger, a new family is founded.
The construction is made of flexible wood-pieces kept together with pieces of leather. In the winter several layers of felt are added for insulation, in combination with the wood-stove it can get comfortably warm inside. In summer-time there is a natural cooling with some openings at the bottom of the covers. Some heavy weights are attached in case of strong winds. The opening at the top lets some sunshine in and tells the time as it also functions as a sun-dial… The Ger Camps are pretty much the same as the gers of the nomads, but most of them have some electric light and of course some additional buildings with toilets, showers, karaoke and a restaurant. It is the best way to stay in the Mongolian countryside, and a wonderfull experience for foreigners visiting the country!
Are there hotels in Mongolia?
In Ulaan Baatar, you will find more and more international chains of hotels (Kempinsky, Ramada, Shangri La, Best Western etc.) But also a lot of smaller hotels, from 3-star to backpacker hostels with dormitories.
what will I eat in Mongolia?
In Ulaan Baatar you will find many restaurants with all possible kinds of food,
even more and more vegetarian restaurants. Outside the capital city,
most food consists of meat and milk products. Mongolia is the land of livestock
which include horse, camel, sheep, goat and cow.
Milk from all these animals is used for preparing many kinds of dairy products and drinks.
Mongolians do not eat fish or poultry.
Mongolian people like milk products in summer and autumn time because dairy products clean the stomach and are rich in vitamins and calcium. In the summer and autumn seasons every countryside ger produces its own alcoholic beverage in one corner of the ger: fermented mare’s milk or ‘airag’.
Milk tea is higly appreciated and loved by everybody in any season of the year. Traditional tea is called Suutei Tsai. Mongolian cuisine features lamb and mutton, almost no seasoning (except for salt in the tea…) and most foods are boiled. People like to eat fatty boiled mutton with boiled vegetables. Also different type of dumplings are made with mutton, lamb, and beef. Mongolian diet is very dependent on a variety of meat that includes mutton, beef, lamb, horse, and even gazelle. The cause for this meat-dependent diet is the need for hearty food during long, freezing winter. Although meat is a significant part of the Mongolian diet they also eat a variety of cereals, barley, and fruit that is native to the country.
Transport & Activities
How is the transport?
Mongolia is an excellent country for riding a bicycle especially in the countryside
as there is not much traffic there. Dogs chasing you is a bigger hassle...
You will probably need to arrange your own transport, as bicycles
are difficult to transport on local busses.
There is only one cruise boat in the entire country (locally called ‘the Titanic’) that can take you on a short cruise on the Khovsgol lake) but several ger camps have smaller boats to take a short ride.
Specially arranged canoeing and kayaking trips are possible (even all the way to Siberia!) and highly recommended!
There is public transportation with fixed routes to take you to the different
cities of Mongolia, government busses with reserverd seats or shared minivans
that depart when full.
The best way to get around however is to hire a private minivan or Jeep, the cost depends on the level of comfort and the number of people sharing the vehicule. The cheapest being a shared minivan with up to 8 people, the most comfortable are the modern Landcruiser or Lexus jeeps.
Self driving is another option that is getting more and more popular, but of course you will need an experienced driver to accompany you.
Which activities can I do?
Since Mongolia is an enormous country with many natural wonders and protected areas, there are endless possibilities of interesting activities to do:
Visits of interesting museums and monasteries,
hiking, cycling, trekking, mountaineering and rock climbing, bird watching Kayaking, canoeing, rafting, trekking, horse riding, camel riding, fishing...
In the winter: Skiing, dog sledding, skating...
Local customs & habits
How to visit a Mongolian Family? Sain bain O (General greeting: Hello) The oldest person of the family should be greeted first, (with “Sain bain O” and a nod your head to him or her. Women normally sit on the right side, where all the cooking utensils are kept. Men stay on the right side. As a guest you will normally sit on the left side of the ger. The Older man may offer you their snuff box with their right hand, and you should receive it with your right hand or both hands. If you don’t use the snuff, just smell the bottle and return it back to the owner. Also tea, airag (fermented mare’s milk) and any food should be received with your right hand or both hands. If you don’t feel that you can’t finish tea, airag, or food, should put it on the table near by you.
Sitting with your feet out in front of you is considered impolite; tuck them in when seated on a stool, or kneel. Taking a photograph is accepted by the culture, but always better to ask to get a permission. If you have some small presents to the children and elders, would be nice to give them after you finish your visit and before you leave their Ger. Before you leave you can say Thank you ( Bayarlalaa)