It’s best if you bring a few warm clothes as it can get cold suddenly in the Mongolian summer and fall.
Mongolian meals contain a lot of meat and fat and taste different than in other countries. Therefore, bring some of your favorite spices and maybe even something like Tobasco sauce to really spice things up...
The following are things that you should take when traveling to Mongolian countryside: Pepto Bismol for stomachaches, Advil or equal to help with a long bumpy drive, a small first aid kit (you are a long way from town) i-mosquito repellent, sunblock, a hat, sunglasses, a torch (flashlight), water-proof jacket, and don’t forget your binoculars!
If you are injured or become sick, you can be taken to professional hospital by car or if necessary, a helicopter, in Ulaanbaatar, but that can be very expensive. Therefore it is recommended that you are highly insured with travel insurance from your country.
If you haven’t ridden a horse before it is recommended that you do not ride a horse alone. It is best if you are directed by a guide or horse owner.
If you arrive by plane – be careful about choosing a taxi at the airport. Sometimes you will be approached by unofficial drivers who will quote an unreasonable price, so unless you’re in a real hurry take the official taxi which is near the exit. The same goes for those who arrive by train – sometimes the most experienced travelers can be ripped off by taxi drivers. The best thing to do is call a cab – +976-19001991, +976-19001950.
Do not go off exchanging all your foreign currency at the exchange parlors at the airport or at the train station because they will quote you the most unfavorable rates in town. If you happen to have a Visa card then you don’t need exchanges at all – you can easily withdraw any amount of cash from any ATM (within its applicable limits). The exchange rate quoted by ATMs corresponds to the rate of the bank that owns it. You will receive your money in Mongolian national currency, the Tugrik and will have to pay a small commission. You can find out about the exact size of this commission from your bank. You can visit www.xe.com before leaving home to learn more about the exchange rates prior to visiting Mongolia.
If you are traveling across Mongolia for the first time then you should consider getting yourself a guide who knows his way around. You can find a guide at any travel agency. If you happen to travel across Mongolia with our own car then you don’t really need a guide – GPRS will do fine. Just remember the language is difficult and asking directions or finding a gas station in the middle of nowhere is part of the adventure.
Shopping in Mongolia is something you will definitely enjoy if you go to the right places. Paying by credit or debit card will be accepted if you go to a supermarket or some boutique. If, on the other hand, you wish to buy a painting or a hand-made souvenir at smaller shops or at the flea market you will need to pay in cash. All produce markets work from 10:00 AM till 6:00 PM, and all supermarkets and shopping centers work from 9:00 AM till 10:00 PM. Only a few stores are open 24/7.
If you have an emergency situation you can call the emergency services – in case of a fire call 101, in case criminal activity call 102, and in case of a medical emergency call 103 or SOS Medica Ulaanbaatar at +976-11464325 or +976-91913122 for English.
Excursions, entertainment and health centers are available through tourist agencies as well as privately. If you arrived in Mongolia, don’t limit yourself to Terelj National Park – instead try to visit as many of the attractions and sites as possible in all the picturesque corners of the country. If you are traveling in a group then any tourist agency will be able to help you find a small bus to transport the group or even organize tours around the most interesting places. This way you can be sure you won’t miss anything.
As far as food is concerned, we recommend you to visit the restaurants that make national Mongolian cuisine. The restaurants in Ulaanbaatar offer good services and delicious meals at affordable prices.
People in Mongolia speak Mongolian and some English, so if you do not possess any skills in one of these languages getting a guide would be a good idea, or at least a pocket dictionary. The Mongolian language is made up of guttural sounds as well as actual words which will make the language difficult to learn or understand. The service personnel at hotels and restaurants oftentimes speak English only.
When traveling to Mongolia, it is important to take into account the vast cultural and language differences between that of your nation and Mongolia. It is possible to travel through Mongolia without the use of travel service, but it is strongly recommended that you use the services of a travel agent for your own convenience and safety. Mongolia is experiencing rapid economic, political, and cultural changes, but is still very much “closed” to foreigners in the way that mobility through the country and access to certain amenities can be very difficult for a non-Mongolian speaker. By using a travel service such as ours, you can be ensured that your travel through Mongolia will be smooth and easy, that you will experience Mongolia without having to deal with the frustrations and inconvenience with language and cultural barriers that you will experience if you elect not to use a travel service.