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travel info

transportation

Flights

International flights land in Genghis Khan Airport of Ulaanbaatar. There are several major frequent flights such as Beijing – UB, Seoul – UB, Moscow – UB, Bishkek/Istanbul – UB and Tokyo – UB, Moscow -Ulaanbaatar, Berlin – Ulaanbaatar and Frankfurt – Ulaanbaatar. Major air companies are: MIAT, AEROFLOT, TURKSIH AIRLINE, KOREAN AIRLINE, ASIANA AIRLINES and AIR CHINA.  All flights are operated due to seasonal schedule.

Trains

An international train to Mongolia is a Trans-Mongolian railway that starts from Moscow, passes through Mongolia and ends in Beijing. It also runs in reverse direction. It is the longest and most famous railway journey in the world. It will take you about 5 days to cover 7,500 km train journey.

Transportation

Mongolia is a huge country with limited infrastructure outside of capital city Ulaanbaatar. There are regular daily buses in and out capital city to aimag centres (province towns). Any public bus and transport cannot bring you to worth sightseeing places and major attraction spots. Organised transport is the only way to get to beautiful places.

Our Road

Mongolian Road Network

Mongolian roads are classified in three groups:

  1. State roads connect the capital Ulaanbaatar to the provincial centres (Aimag centres), important towns and important border crossings points. Most roads between Aimag centres and Ulaanbaatar and to Russia and China borders are connected by tarmac.
  2. Local roads connect provincial centres (Aimag centres) to Sum centres (little village communities). Many of them are not connected by State Road.
  3. Internal roads connect Sum centres to other little settlements, small communities, sightseeing places, farms and nomad camps.

Mongolia’s road network (including state, local and internal roads) totals approximately 49,000 km’s, connecting 24 major cities and more than 160 villages (Sums and Bags). There are approximately 11,219 km of state roads and 37, 859 km local roads in Mongolia. Mongolia is connected to China and Russia by road network along famous Trans-Mongolian railway.

Most of the roads in Mongolia are poorly maintained gravel or earth roads especially on tour to visit beautiful sightseeing places.

Mongolian government has been putting enormous effort to connect all Aimag Centres to Ulaanbaatar by tarmac and the ambitious goal has been more and less achieved by 2020. 

When estimating driving distances and times, you should always allow extra time for your journey. Count on an average speed of 45 km/hours in north Mongolia and 55 km/h in the Gobi Desert. Driving faster is risky and can badly damage the vehicle.

More and more bridges are built in Mongolia, but depending of your itinerary you will need to cross rivers and driving through or taking a cable ferry (less and less used now only in far West of country).

Mongolia has a lot of cattle. Unfortunately, cattle have no road sense. Road security is good though there are safety issues due to cold temperatures in winter and the isolated nature of many roads.

We do rent following vehicles

It might seem not too important but choosing a convenient vehicle for your comfort and budget is essential on overland tour. We see our vehicles as part of our family.

Land Cruisers have 4 passenger seats. Comfortable on our bumpy road, forward facing seats equipped with seat belts and has air condition and plenty space for luggage in trunk and on roof track.

Delica Japanese 4X4 van. Delicas have 5 passenger seats. Comfortable on our bumpy road, bit slower on off-road than Land Cruisers. Forward facing seats equipped with seat belts and has air condition. Panoramic view windows. Having not much space in trunk, luggage mostly put on roof rack.

Furgon Russian military van. Furgons have 7 passenger seats. Mostly forward facing seats. It has plenty space. Furgons have no air condition. If you are in group and looking for adventure on tight budget it might be a good solution. Excellent vehicle on rough off-road condition. However less comfortable than Land Cruisers and Delicas.

24 and 45 seater luxury bus

If you are travelling in bigger group, we offer comfortable, air conditioned buses. Whatever your travel preference, we adjust to your requirement.

Self-Driving option with Land Cruisers are possible. Please check our Self-Driving web site.

Accommodation

Choosing right accommodation fitting your budget and comfort is essential while away from home. In Ulaanbaatar we have different option from 5 stars’ hotels to dormitory room in guesthouses.

While in the countryside you can have three different types of accommodation.

Ger camps

The nomads of Mongolia having to move regularly with their animals to fresh pastures, developed a light house easily dismantled and movable: The Ger or Yurt of the people of Central Asia.

Gers are the traditional felt tents made with wooden frames and layers of felt of nomadic herders.

Each Ger is furnished with a wood stove and beautifully painted furniture such as beds, a table and stools. Gers are mostly based on double or twin occupancy. Ger camps have separate buildings with flushed toilet and hot water. Men and women separated.

 Family staying

Most visitors find their stay in Gers, which provide an authentic taste of Mongolian culture and adventure, their most enjoyable experience in Mongolia. Many local nomad herders build extra Guest-Gers next to theirs and welcome guests. However, facilities stay limited and restricted. There will be no shower and flushed toilets. Washbasin is provided in Ger. Toilets are outside mostly in small wooden cabin.

Tented camping

Each time we will travel far from the usual tourist tracks, we will have no other solution than to overnight in western style tents because no other accommodation is available. We will however do our best to offer you the best available service. For this a special jeep will accompany us with camping and kitchen equipment. We pride ourselves on the level of comfort we provide while camping in these remote areas, but camping is not for everyone. It is important to remain open-minded and physically willing.

You could mix three different types of accommodation to experience all of them. Please contact us for further details about accommodation. We will suggest you based on your personal wish and budget.

Climate

Mongolian climate can be described as extreme continental dominated climate with short warm summers and long, dry and very cold winters.

Our region is completely landlocked. Generally, it is plateau between 900 and 1,500 meters’ high.

Since the plateau is high, landlocked and northerly, it results in a climate that is dry and cold. Known as Land of eternal blue sky, the country averages 257 cloudless days a year, and it is usually at the centre of a region of high atmospheric pressure. The average temp in summer is 15°C, in winter -22.3°C.

Mongolian is a windy country especially in spring. When wind blows from north, temperature can drop sharply, when wind stops the wheatear warms up quickly. Even in high summer depending on which region you are in you might need all season clothes. One minute you walk in T shirt and sandals next you might need coat and boots.

Food

Our cuisine is rooted on nomadic lifestyle includes a lot diary and meat but little vegetable and fruit. Traditional Mongolian typical food is fried or cooked mutton with some garlic and onions, meat filled steamed dumpling and a sort of deep fried meat pie etc…

We eat diaries and heavy meal seasonally due to our harsh climate of cold long winter and hot dry summer. However, eating habit has been a lot changed lately. Nowadays our food culture is becoming more diverse and you can easily find international restaurants with great selection of menu. Our supermarkets in bigger cities offer variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. While on trip our cooks accommodate all dietary restrictions and allergies. We generally prepare mixture of western, eastern and Mongolian cuisine.

Packing list

1. Documents

Passport – Passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival time.

Visa and Permission

Travel Insurance (Required)

Service voucher or Tour Booking Form

Flight Info (Please print out E-tickets you might need at borders)

2. Personal equipment

Camera/Charger/Extra memory card– There will be a lot of photo opportunities

Head torch

First aid-kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, Aspirin, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similiar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Watch/Alarm

Binoculars (Optional. Given huge scale of the country)

Cash, credit and debit cards

Ear plugs

Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, music players, cards etc…)

Money belt

Reusable water bottle

Day pack – useful during excursion

Waterproof backpack cover

Towels (small and big during camel trek) In Ger camps towels are provided.

3. Health & Safety related with Corona virus

Face masks (required)

Hand sanitize (required)

Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents)

Rubber gloves

4. Clothes

Mongolian is a windy country especially in spring. When wind blows from north, temperature can drop sharply, when wind stops the wheatear warms up quickly. Even in high summer depending on which region you are in you might need all season clothes. One minute you walk in T shirt and sandals next you might need coat and boots.

Please check weather prior arriving. We recommend you to bring all weather condition clothing. Please be prepared for warm and cold weather.

Warm jacket – Typical summer days can reach up to 30 degrees, but can be 5degree at night in the desert area.

Rain coat – Better to bring water proof jacket for unpredictable weather. It is not good ride without rain jacket during rain or strong wind.

Sun hat – Some people easily get sun stroke. Hat can protect you from strong sunlight.

Walking/Hiking shoes

Long trousers

Scarf

Long sleeved shirts or sweater

Sandals/ Flip flops

Gloves – During camel riding, gloves are essential for holding the reign.

5. Sanitation/Laundry

Sun Block Cream – We have a dry and strong wind in most part of Mongolia.

Insect Repellent – Morning and evenings are time for mosquito and flies. None of those insects are dangerous but it is not good to get bitten.

Hand sanitizer – Some parts of the itinerary has no regular toilets especially in the middle of the Gobi Desert

Lip balm – Dry weather

Soap/Toothpaste – You may buy them in local grocery shops.

Laundry service is widely offered among most of the hotels we work with and some of the Ger camps we stay. Note: Price is different in different areas, it costs depending how many pieces and how big your clothes are.

faq

Is this country safe

Politically the country is very stable. An elected President and Parliament is at the head of country’s management. Administratively, if you meet your visa requirements, no other hassle will be experienced. Policemen are helpful to foreigners and no street violence exists. No natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods were registered recently. As general rule in any other countries avoid walking during night and drunken people. The only problem you might encounter is a drunken Mongolian who at night start relating you his life stories in Mongolian language.

The country and its people.

Mongolia is a huge country with a population density close to 1 person a square kilometre. Mongolian landscape diversity is impressive. It goes from the mirror flat Gobi Desert to the high with snow-capped Altai mountain peaks, passing by with forest covered rolling hills of Central Mongolia. The nature is unique, unexplored and has a rich biodiversity. People are as diverse. Khalkh people in majority. They coexist with Buriat, Kazakh and many other minorities. They all live in respect of their traditional culture. All of Mongolians have an incomparable hospitality. Mongolia will make you delighted.

What is the quick and easy access to Mongolia?

Transport to and from Mongolia is usually by air or train. Flights are run all year around by MIAT (Mongolian Airlines) to and from Berlin, Frankfurt, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong. Aeroflot, Air China, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines have regular weekly flights in and out of the country. You can also travel to and from Mongolia by train. The Trans-Mongolian Express Train takes few days to travel from Moscow and Beijing stopping in Mongolia.

You can enter Mongolia by overland as well at following border points:

West Mongolia: Tsagaan Nuur in Mongolia side, Tashanta in Russia side.

West Mongolia: Bulgan in Mongolia side, and Takashiken in Chine side.

North Mongolia: Altanbulag in Mongolia side and Naushki in Russia side.

East Mongolia: Zamiin Uud in Mongolia side and Erlian in Chine side.

The weather

Being far from any ocean influence, Mongolia has a very continental climate. The summers are pleasantly warm; winters are freezing cold. The touristy months are from May to October. Winter tourism is now slowly taking off with numerous winter festivals glorifying mighty Mongolian winter in its all splendid. Mongolia is also known as the land of blue sky. With over 280 sunny days a year, very little rain is to be expected during your stay in Mongolia. Khovsgol region in the month of August however a little rainy.

The food

Traditionally Mongolians eat meat, dairy products and vegetables such as onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, turnips and cabbages. We drink salted milk tea, fermented mare milk and alcohol made of fermented, distilled cow milk.

However, eating habit has been a lot changed lately. Nowadays our food culture is becoming more diverse and you can easily find international restaurants with great selection of menu. Our supermarkets in bigger cities offer variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. We generally prepare mixture of western, eastern and Mongolian cuisine. On our tour our cooks prepare well balanced healthy meals respecting your eating habits. Our cooks accommodate all dietary restrictions and allergies.

Tours: How about accommodations?

In Ulaanbaatar has many luxury, western style hotels. Many of them are centrally located, in walking distances from shops, restaurants, cafes and sightseeing places.

In countryside you can stay in Gers of Ger Camps. Gers are the traditional felt tents of nomadic herders. Each Ger is furnished with a wood stove and beautifully painted furniture as beds, a table and stools. Gers are mostly based on double and twin occupancy. Each Ger camp has its restaurant, western styled toilet and hot water and showers.

Most visitors find their stay in Gers which provide an authentic taste of Mongolian culture and adventure, their most enjoyable experience in Mongolia.

While away from tourist attraction there will be no other solution than to overnight in western style tents because no other accommodation is available. For this we will carry all camping and kitchen equipment. We pride ourselves on the level of comfort we provide while camping in these remote areas, but camping is not for everyone.

However, nowadays at most even remote sightseeing places we have Ger camps with hot water shower, flushed toilet, restaurant and comfortable beds in cosy Gers.

What are trips like?

Travelling in Mongolia is exciting and you will enjoy spectacular different scenery, observe wild life and experience unique culture and nomadic lifestyle and its people.

If you are coming to trek, or horse and camel trek, you should have a certain level of fitness. You may encounter rough bumpy roads, high altitude and basic accommodation. During these trips, the stream might be your bath while toilet can be a discreet rock or bush!

What standard of service do we provide?

All our tours are fully supported. This means that your luggage is carried either by horses, camels or vehicle: we put up and take down your tents, and food is prepared and cooked for you. All you need to carry is small rucksack and enjoy your trip to fullest.

How many members make up a group and who will look after me during the trip?

In order to ensure the utmost in personal service and quality, we limit our groups to a maximum of 8 to 10 passengers. During the expedition knowledgeable and sympathetic guides will look after you with our local auxiliary staff. While camel and horse trek, local nomads will guide around destined areas. They know the best all hidden corners. For each expedition we provide an English speaking guide who will be with you from your arrival in Mongolia until your departure. German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean speaking guides are also available on request.

Can you arrange private itineraries? How long is a typical tour?

Half of the trips we organize involve tailor-made itineraries for private small groups. An average trip lasts 2-3 weeks. We would be happy to organize a custom made trip for a group of 2 or more people. All you need is drop us a line. We will make you your dream itinerary meeting your time, budget, interests and request.