Horseback riding in Mongolia

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Equestrian tours in Mongolia

Mongolia Mini Guide
    Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

Mongolia is far-flung and hardly well-trodden, but don't let that put you off. There is so much to see and do in this sizeable Central Asian country, fro the stunning scenery and wildlife of mountains and deserts to the emerging luxury hotels and restaurants of capital Ulaanbaatar.

In the ancient land of Mongolia, history buffs and culture vultures will find plenty to keep them entertained. Outside the main cities many Mongolians continue to hold on  to the traditional life of the malchin, or herdsmen. Transporting their goods by camel and residing in portable felt and canvas tents, the nomadic lifestyle of modern-day Mongolia would still be recognizable to Ghengis Khan, the most famous Mongol of them all.

Mongolia's vast areas of wilderness, from the sprawling Gobi Desert to the snow-peaked mountains of the Bayan-Olgi, offer plenty of scope for adventurous outdoor enthusiast. Fishing, jeep tours, horse and camel riding, mountain biking and bird watching are but a few of the activities on offer. The most intrepid visitors will find numerous temples and ruins to explore.

While infrastructure remains underdeveloped in vast swathes of rural Mongolia, elsewhere the country is racing headlong into the 21st-century. The capital Ulaanbaatar is transforming at a pace that any visitors will find dizzying. In a relatively short space of time, the city has turned into an ultra-modern metropolis with international restaurants, five-star hotels, shopping malls and glass tower blocks - a sure sign Mongolia's status as an up-and-coming Asian travel hotspot.

While there's plenty of nightlife and excitement in Ulaanbaatar, don't visit Mongolia without exploring the world, largely unspoiled landscaped and traditional lifestyle of its inhabitants. Leaving the capital doesn't' mean being stranded from civilization. Internet is now available even in small villages and it's not uncommon to see nomads toting mobile phones. it's perhaps this contrast that makes Mongolia such a fascinating destination to visit today. Get planning your trip now before tourist hordes inevitably catch on.

 

Passport/Visa

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

Visa Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

No

USA

No

Other EU

Yes/1

 

Return Ticket Required?

British

No

Australian

No

Canadian

No

USA

No

Other EU

No

 

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Visas

Nationals of the USA do not require a visa if entering Mongolia as a tourist for stays of up to 90 days.

Nationals of Canada and (1) Germany do not require a visa if entering Mongolia as a tourist for stays of up to 30 days.

All other nationals referred to in the chart above require a visa.

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Visa Note

All foreign nationals staying in Mongolia for longer than 30 days are required to register with the Mongolian Immigration Agency within 7 days of arrival.

Types of Visa and Cost

Single-entry transit visa: £40; double-entry transit visa: £55

Validity

30 days within three months of issue

Applications to:

Consulate (or consular section at embassy); see Contact Addresses.

Working Days Required

Two to five. An express service is available which costs an additional £20.

 

Money

Currency

Tugrik (MNT; symbol ₮). Notes are in denominations of 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of ₮500, 200, 100, 50 and 20, but are not widely used.

Currency Exchange

Official organisations authorised to exchange foreign currency include commercial banks in Ulaanbaatar and bureaux de change at certain hotels. Rates vary slightly and are likely to be lower in the hotels. The easiest currency to exchange is the US Dollar and Russian Rouble.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

Accepted by main commercial banks, large hotels and a few shops and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most Mongolian province (aimag) capitals. Both Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most Mongolian province (aimag) capitals.

Traveller's Cheques

Traveller's cheques are accepted although credit and debit cards remain faster and more convenient. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to exchange outside the capital.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and 1400-1800.

Exchange Rate Indicators

Date

April 2018

£1.00=

₮3375

$1.00=

₮2388

€1.00=

₮2943

 

Health

Vaccinations

 

Special Precautions

Diphtheria

Yes

Hepatitis A

Yes

Malaria

No

Rabies

Sometimes

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

Sometimes

Yellow Fever

No

Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

 

Food and Drink

All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Bottled water is available in Ulaanbaatar and some provincial centers. Some milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered, long-life or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other Risks

Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Take care around dogs as rabies is prevalent. Any bite from a dog should be immediately treated at a hospital. Hypothermia is a risk in winter; visitors should dress warmly and in layers. Injuries caused by a fall from a horse are common among foreign tourists in summer, inexperienced riders should insist on riding a nomhon moir (calm horse).

Health Care

Health care facilities are improving in Ulaanbaatar and provincial capitals but still short of Western standards, Serious medical emergencies may require evacuation to Beijing or Seoul. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for health services. Visitors are urged to have health insurance including cover for evacuation, and to take any regular medication with them. For emergency care contact SOS Medica (tel: 11 464 325 or 9666 0670, after hours 9911 0335). In Ulaanbaatar the direct phone number for an ambulance is 103.

Getting There

Getting There by Air

The national airline is Mongolian International Air Transport (MIAT) (OM) (website: www.miat.com). From the UK, you can fly to Beijing with Air China (www.airchina.com) or British Airways (www.ba.com) and take a connecting flight with MIAT. Alternatively, Aeroflat (www.aeroflat.com) offers connecting flights via Moscow. Flights to Mongolia increase in price in July, to coincide with the peak summer travel season. Discounts are available in winter.

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Ulaanbaatar is 14 hours including stopovers. New York- 20 hours (including stopover).

Main Airports

Ulaanbaatar (ULN) (Chinggis Khaan) is 15km (9 miles) from the city. To/from the airport: Buses run to the city centre (journey time – 30 minutes). Taxis are also available (journey time – 15 minutes). Facilities: Bank, duty-free shops, car hire, post office and a restaurant.

Departure Tax

Included in the price of the ticket.

Getting There by Rail

Ulaanbaatar is linked to the Russian Federation and China by the Trans-Mongolian Railway. An express train runs between Moscow, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing. Trains on international routes have sleeping and restaurant cars. There are also other trains from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing and Ulaanbaatar to Moscow. Local trains also operate to the border towns.

 

Climate

A dry climate with short, mild summers and long, severe winters (November to February). In the depths of winter (December and January), temperatures can remain below zero degrees for several weeks. Cold snaps can bring the temperature to minus 30 Celsius (86F). Spring (March- May) brings unsettled weather, strong winds, and wild fluctuations in temperatures. Summers (June- August) are warm across the country, particularly in the Gobi desert where temperatures can reach 40 Celsius (104F). Thunderstorms are common in late summer. September and October are cool in the north but quite pleasant in Gobi areas. July and August are generally the best months for travel.

Required Clothing

Mediumweights are worn during summer, with very warm heavyweights advised for winter.

 

Contacts

Embassies and tourist offices

British Embassy in Mongolia
Address: Bayanzurkh District, Peace Avenue 30, Ulaanbaatar, 13381
Telephone:
1145 8133.

Website:
https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-Ulaanbaatar

Opening times:
Mon-Thurs 0830-1300 and 1400-1700. Fri 0830-1330.

Embassy of Mongolia in the USA
Address: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
Telephone:
(202) 333 7117.

Website:
http://www.mongolianembassy.us

Opening times:
Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and 1400-1700.

Embassy of Mongolia in the UK
Address: 7-8 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL
Telephone:
(020) 7937 0150.

Website:
http://www.embassyofmongolia.co.uk

Opening times:
Mon, Wed and Fri 1000-1200 (visa section).

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