The majority of visitors come to Mongolia by air through Chinggis Khan International Airport, located 18 kilometers to the southwest of Ulaanbaatar. /Mongolians are expecting a new airport with more capacity in Hushitiin Khundii 65km from UB,/ MIAT, Mongolia’s flagship international carrier, operates scheduled flights overseas to Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, Irkutsk, Huh Hot and Seoul. In addition to MIAT, Aeroflot, Korean Airlines, Air China, and United have flights to and from Ulaanbaatar, between Moscow, Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo. Tickets of airlines from around the world to multiple destinations are sold through ticketing agencies found in main streets of Ulaanbaatar
The most popular accommodation type in Mongolia is ger camps, that are found in number around the major tourist destinations. There are about 200 ger camps in Mongolia, most of that being concentrated near Ulaanbaatar in Terelj National Park, Gobi desert, Karakorum and Huvsgul area. Most ger camp is composed of 20 – 30 gers, dining place and public shower and bathroom facilities. To cater the needs of international travelers, they offer various services, cultural performances and activities
Both Mongolian and international food can be found in Ulaanbaatar and other urban areas, but outside of the city, variety is much harder to find. Local cuisine uses a lot of meat, especially mutton and beef. It’s also heavy in dairy products. Small restaurants often serve Mongolian style buuz (mutton dumplings), and huushuur (fried bread pockets with mutton), and little else.
There are, however, a number of restaurants that serve Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French, English, Latin American, Indian, and other types of food. There are even some places that serve exclusively vegetarian meals. Be warned, however, while its possible to make it in UB as a non-meat eater, it’s nearly to survive as any kind of vegetarian in the countryside.
For meat lovers, the so called ‘original Mongolian barbecue’, horhog and boodog can be ordered specially. The former is slabs of meat roasted between stones. The later is an entire animal, cleaned, and then roasted with all the organs put back into the carcass
Saying Mongolia’s roads are in very poor condition is somewhat misleading, because the drive to many destination will involve no road what so ever. The nation’s few paved roads are found almost exclusively around Ulaanbaatar. Jeeps and SUVs are important means of transportation throughout Mongolia, and are an absolute necessity when visiting most aimags. Busses and minibuses are increasingly prevalent in Ulaanbaatar and other urban areas, and it has also become easy to find a taxi as many private cars will ferry passengers for the going rate.
A wide range of entertainment from national folksong concerts to classical opera and from pubs to night clubs make Ulaanbaatar a busy place. A visitor should attend at least one national folk ensemble concert, where they can enjoy the beautiful traditional melodies of Mongolia, the attractively distinctive tones of hoomii or throat signing, tsam masked dances, and performances by contortionists.
Theaters, mostly located on Sukhbaatar Square, also stage internationally known plays and operas according to their yearly schedules. Bars and pubs, most of which offer outdoor seating for the warmer months, serve drinks, and those who like nightlife can find several clubs that play everything from rock, to techno, to modern Mongolian music.
Typical Mongolian souvenirs, garments, quality cashmere, camel wool, national costumes, boots, jewelry, silver works, paintings, Buddhist tankas on silk, handmade carpets and rugs, snuff bottles, embroideries, leather clothes, books, maps and other items are available around town at reasonable prices. The State Department Store is one of Ulaanbaatar’s most recognizable buildings, and tourists and Mongolians alike go this centrally located mall to buy everything from jeans and souvenirs to groceries. Virtually every ground floor of the city’s buildings is a shop of some kind, making the city an interesting place to browse.
Health & Fitness
As you may already know Mongolia is not a great place for relaxing travel. This vast and wild country features a rugged landscape and minimal infrastructure, and even life in the cities can prove challenging. Trekking around Mongolia, especially during an extended adventure, can be exhausting, and requiring some determination and endurance on the part of a traveler.
You will very likely encounter rough, long roads; high altitudes; unfavorable weather conditions; 10-plus hour drives; and long horseback rides, depending on how adventurous you choose to be. Therefore, we suggest that you study your itinerary carefully before your trip to Mongolia, so that you are fully aware of the physical exertion and demands the trip will require. If you are well prepared, Mongolia can afford an unforgettably positive experience.
Once upon a time, travelers had to stuff their bags with essential items before coming to Mongolia. With the expansion of the State Department Store and many other shopping venues, that is not the case anymore. However, the quality of goods in Mongolia varies (with many knock-off items entering the country from China), so if your requirements are specific, or you want to be sure you’ve got top quality, it’s still a good idea to stock up on supplies at home. The following is a rough guide for some of what you’ll need to pack to be prepared for Mongolia. This may not suit everyone’s needs, but it’s a start and can be adapted to fit any special needs or desires.
Clothes and Equipment
- Shoes suitable for walking or riding
- Thick socks
- Lightweight shoes
- Warm jacket and pullover
- Trousers suitable for riding
- Long-sleeve shirts
- Waterproof clothing
- Wool hat
- Suitable city clothes
- Sun hat
- Water bottles
- Sun Glasses
- Pen knife
- Plastic bags to protect your items from moisture
- Camera and a spare battery
- -4 seasons sleeping bag
- Sleeping bag liner
- Sleeping pad
- Small pillow and pillow case
- -Photocopies of Passport and other key documents
Medical Pack and Toiletries
- Mosquito repellent
- Antibiotic cream
- Lip Balm
- Pills for diarrhea, constipation, other stomach troubles, pills for headaches and other minor ailments, sunscreen, ointments for sunburns and other skin irritations
It’s not a bad idea to bring small gifts that you can give to nomadic families as a gesture of gratitude for their hospitality. You can pick up items in Ulaanbaatar to bring to the countryside, but people are often very excited to receive a gift from another country.