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What to take into account when planning to visit Mongolia

Is visiting Mongolia part of your plans for a getaway? Today we will discuss what to consider when planning to visit Mongolia. But, before we proceed, let’s understand the Mongolia landmark.

Mongolia is a landlocked nation in East Asia that surrounds itself with China to the south and Russia to the north. With a population of fewer than 3.3 million and a land area of 1,564,116 square kilometers (603,909 square miles), it is the world’s least populous sovereign state. 

The vast majority of Mongolia, the biggest landlocked nation in the world without a closed sea, constitutes of grassland steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. About half of the population lives in Ulaanbaatar, the nation’s capital and largest city.

What to take into account when planning to visit Mongolia

Here are some things to take into account when planning to visit Mongolia:

Some hardly many people speak English

While hand gestures and the normal fumbling with miming, grunting, and pointing might get you by, mastering the language will give you a deeper insight into what it’s like to live as a nomadic herder out on the steppe. You miss a lot of information when you don’t comprehend what is happening.

Meeting the natives here is fascinating and eye-opening because of these particulars, especially with visits from family. Employ a driver who can also serve as a translator for at least a few days of your journey, go on a small-group tour, or hire a translator. It’s worth it, I assure you.

There are not always roads when you visit Mongolia

Roadways are defined as paved roads. In addition, there are several dirt track roads. The challenging part is learning how to navigate them.

After looking at a map, you’ll probably think, “This point doesn’t seem that distant from this point; we can accomplish it in a few hours.” Wrong. The state of the road is something you’re not taking into consideration. Or perhaps I should say the complete lack of a road.

Several “major roads” are motorable and in decent driving condition, but you shouldn’t always count on that. Because as you begin to explore farther into the steppe and the adventure, all the roads are dirt tracks, and they are the ones that will figuratively beat you (and your car) to a pulp. One can refer to it as a Mongolian massage.

Limit your alcohol intake to reasonable amounts

We recognize that you are on holiday, but it’s crucial to remember that alcohol consumption is a regrettable reality when you visit Mongolia. You are of legal age. Make the best decision you can.

Hey, it’s tough to live here. Particularly in the countryside where keeping your herd healthy over the long winters is a daily struggle. Here, there are no days off for mental wellness. Do not report absent.

It’s a formula for catastrophe anyplace, but out here, it’s made worse since a bottle of vodka only costs a few thousand tugriks, and you’ve had one hell of a week (or month or year). You can see the issue here if you find yourself in the middle of the steppe with no one or a local police agency to contact.

To address this issue, the government has outlawed the sale of alcohol on the first of every month (payday). This is also something to keep in mind if you want to go shopping or prepare supplies one day before going fully off the grid.

When it comes to trash, especially disposable bottles, leave no trace

There is nowhere to throw garbage outside, as you can see. Therefore, you must carry anything you bring to the countryside back to the city (or a soum). If not, it will destroy the picturesque grounds, and the residents will have to burn it, emitting hazardous, poisonous gases. Have you ever touched a bottle of plastic? It stinks. It reeks. It’s poisonous. Ever heard of Mongolia? It is lovely. It’s far away. It’s not a nomad’s responsibility to pick up trash after you’ve spoiled behind. You should probably clean it up and bring any litter you find back to the city whenever possible.

Eliminating needless plastic waste is simple with tools like a Grayl portable water filter (a piece of equipment that any serious traveler needs).

Bring warm clothing when you visit Mongolia

There are no mountains, significant hills, or even trees in Mongolia. Instead, small hills and lowlands dot the scenery. This means there is nothing to block the wind, which is lovely.

In Mongolia, the nighttime might be chilly and windy if you are camping. Therefore, you must ensure that you have appropriate clothing, a high-quality sleeping bag, and a weather-resistant tent.

Make friends with the Nomads

Mongolia is one of the few places left in the world where nomadic tribes still roam the countryside with their cattle. You will undoubtedly see them sometimes, whether driving or taking a bus across the nation. So relax, don’t be shy, and spend some time getting to know them.

It is simple to converse and make acquaintances with the nomadic people since they like visitors. They are kind individuals who welcome you into their house for supper and even allow you to spend the night in their Ger, a white-clothed nomadic tent. You’ll experience a moment like no other. Another piece of advice is to be considerate and leave a donation for the family’s food and lodging.

No Wi-Fi and no mobile service

In Mongolia’s most distant regions, only satellite communication systems are functional.

No issue if there is no cell service till there is a genuine issue. And then, well, you are in deep trouble. No one is going to rescue you here. Therefore, if you want to live completely off the grid, consider purchasing a Garmin inReach Mini and a service package since you’ll need to be able to contact for assistance if anything goes wrong. As a result, it will unavoidably.

Understand the Ger Rules

When living in a Ger, there are certain cultural customs that you should observe. When camping with nomads, the rules are simple but crucial, and you should abide by them to the letter.

Never lean on the Ger’s walls. Never point your finger when sitting in front of someone. Never make contact with a Mongolian’s head. Never refuse food or beverages that are given. And whenever you receive or give anything, always use your right hand.

Consider Visiting During a Festival

Mongolian celebrations are lavish, enjoyable, and exciting. Ancient traditional sports, wrestling, and horse riding are still prominent features of many of these festivities. The Camel Festival in March, the Golden Eagle Festival in October, and the Naadam Festival in the summer are a few of the most well-known events in Mongolia. Additionally, the festivals are a great chance to learn about Mongolian culture and customs while having fun.

Mongolia does not belong to the third world

That irritates me when people refer to Mongolia as a third-world, underdeveloped nation. Mongolia is a Second World nation with its share of issues. There’s no arguing that 28% of Mongolians remain below the poverty line, that nomads still wander the countryside, or that industrialization and growth aren’t exactly at their height. Nevertheless, Mongolia is a developing nation where industries are expanding, especially when it comes to mining and cashmere. 

Some interesting activities are going on in Mongolia concerning financial technology companies that might surprise the world one day soon. Of course, this is thanks to Soviet influences and being a part of the old “Eastern bloc.”

If you would like to get more facts about Mongolia, you may want to check the Fact sheet found on Mongolia – United States Department Official Website.

Forging Your Path is the Perfect Way to See the Country

The most excellent way to experience the nation is to get in the vehicle and go on a road trip of a lifetime, whether driving across the steppes, passing over a mountain pass, or exploring the desert. Two strategies exist for doing this.

The first option is to hire a driver who will take you nationwide. The simplest choice, while not nearly as exciting, is this one.

Rent a vehicle and do it yourself if you’re seeking something more challenging. Make sure you are equipped for such a trip. There are unpaved roads, GPS, road signs, markers, and maps in many parts of the nation. By navigating the desolate plains while determining the most effective route to your destination, the journey is given an epic feeling of adventure. In any case, a Mongolian road trip is a memorable experience.

Get Ready to Leave Your Comfort Zone

Although Mongolia may not be the world’s most straightforward nation to navigate, it is the ideal place for adventure and adrenaline seekers. The nation’s problem is the effort it takes to move from one area to another. However, the people are nice, the cuisine is delectable, and the scenery is lovely.

Don’t worry too much about it; for those who are prepared to put in the effort, the benefits are a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Traveling over Mongolia’s vast, strange landscapes makes a lot of people uneasy. But, in actuality, the picturesque land of nomads and horse lards is lovely and endearing. It’s where you remember the people and the culture long after you’ve left. So plan a trip to Mongolia at least once in your life if you want an unforgettable vacation.

Also Read: Mongolia Residence Permit: Guide on how to apply for it

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out other related searches to visit Mongolia:

How much should I budget for a trip to Mongolia?

For your holiday in Mongolia, you should budget around 71,036 ($22) daily, which is the typical daily price based on previous tourists’ spending. Past visitors have spent, on average, $7,932 ($2.48) on local transportation and $22,233 ($6.96) on food for one day.

How many days should I spend in Mongolia?

We advise a two-week itinerary for Mongolia due to the nation’s enormous size and to do the country justice. This will give you the time to learn about the Genghis Khan legacy, go to the country’s mirror-like lakes, and visit the Gobi Desert.


Preparation and counting the cost before embarking on any project is the key to a successful outing. We believe this article has answered some questions on your mind when considering visiting Mongolia.

Now that you are ready, you may look at Mongolia Visa – Application, Types, Fees, and Requirements to kick start your journey.

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