Mongolia -What to Expect

Please be aware that Mongolia is a very traditional country with many customs that may be different to those of your own country. During your Mongolian adventure your guide will introduce and explain to you many of these customs and traditions. Please listen to your guide and respect the traditions of the people whom you will see and visit. We have a saying in this country ‘If you drink the water, follow the traditions’. Therefore please honour our way of life and be open-minded during your Mongolian Adventure tour.

Check Your Expectations At The Border!

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials for other countries… “What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas”; “Virginia is for Lover’s”; “Incredible India”… well Mongolia should have one that says “No Expectations”. We have some of the most incredible scenery in the world, some of the only true nomads left in the world, and when you look at the sky you’ll be truly amazed (day and night!), BUT as far as the infrastructure of the country goes, well it may be a little bit different from how things run in your country.

In the cities you’ll find some fairly modern and comfortable accommodation suiting all budgets, although we do still have power outages and water stoppages. But in the countryside its going to be as rustic as it gets. There are very few paved roads in Mongolia, and most of those are not in great shape, so much of the driving will be done on tracks, which are really nothing more than paths through the steppe that people have driven over many times to pack the dirt down. Tracks are NOT for fast travel, they constantly change because of being washed out by the heavy rains or because they get too beat-up, so the going is slow and far from being smooth. Most of the vehicles we will use are very basic 4-wheel drive vans and jeeps because of the harsh terrain. These vehicles may not look like much, but they are rugged and when they do break down its fairly easy to repair them which out on the steppe is important!

Accommodation is very basic in the countryside; you will be sleeping in tents or in the gers of local families. Typically that means we will be cooking our meals on portable stoves. We will have to stock up on food provisions in the cities, so even that will limit some of your options.  As nomads do not have their own running water supply we may not be able to have a daily shower and going to the bathroom means using some place just outside of camp (nomadic families rarely dig a pit toilet since they move so often).

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is still possible for you to enjoy Mongolia. There are more vegetables being grown in Mongolia today than there were 10 years ago, but Mongolians eat meat, so that is what is mostly available. We will go out of our way to find veggies, but the selection will be limited.

If you are the kind of person who loves an adventure, someone that can adapt to changing conditions, someone that is willing to try something new, someone that loves nature at its absolute basic and can appreciate a culture that has not changed much over the ages then you, my friend, will LOVE Mongolia!

Why Choose Us

With us, visitors experience Mongolian culture and lifestyle in a way that few other groups, large or small, could ever rival due to the close relationships we have built over the years with our host families

We help visitors to meet and understand Mongolia’s different ethnic groups

Visitors have a varied experience of the vast wealth of culture & landscapes Mongolia has to offer

We make an effort to stay with families who will benefit most from the extra income foreign visitors bring

We offer freedom of choice with your itinerary – no fixed packages. A driver and a guide to the places you want to visit

Experience camping in the middle of nowhere, gather round campfires under an amazing night sky or play football with local kids. Have the adventure of a lifetime!

Accommodation on tour may involve camping at night in tents, staying with local herder families, relaxing in the more comfortable tourist camps or a combination of the three, depending on your budget & the areas you will visit.

Not only are our guides fun, driven and passionate people who love sharing their favorite Mongolian spots with travelers like you every day, they are skilled cooks, entertainers and drivers and possess a wealth of knowledge to provide insightful commentary about the geology, history and culture of their region.

Finally: a percentage of our company profit goes towards various projects (link to Temuulen Projects)

Packing List

Mongolia is a country of extreme weather conditions. Depending on the time of year you go you should pack accordingly. For summer, it is rather hot, the evenings can get cool especially in the Gobi and mountains.

I would recommend traveling as light as possible and using a good backpack. But you can buy everything you need in Mongolia’s department stores and travel shops. The following is a rough guide of things that you will need to pack for your trip to Mongolia. Although this may not suit everyone’s needs, it can be adapted to personal requirements or the type of trip that you are planning to take.

Shoes suitable for walking or riding with thin or thick socks, Lightweight shoes, Warm jacket and pullover, Trousers suitable for riding, Long sleeved shirts, T-shirts, Shorts, Gloves.

Waterproof clothing: trousers and top
Woolen hat
Clothes suitable for the city
Sun hat
Sun glasses
Camera and spare batteries
Snack food
Flashlight and batteries for camping (head lights are very useful)
Water bottles
Matches
Pen knife
Plastic bags to protect your items from moisture
Photocopy of passport and other important documents
4 season sleeping bag
Sleeping bag liner
Sleeping pad
Washing line
Small pillow or pillow case
Medical pack and toiletries
Mosquito cream
Common antibiotics
Toilet paper and tissues
Lip balm
Soap
Pills for diarrhea, constipation, stomach upsets, headache or other pains and sunburn and skin irritation.

Other:
It is a good idea to include small gifts in your packing list, as you will inevitably be visiting local nomadic families in the county. It is polite to offer them some small gifts to show your gratitude in return for their hospitality.

Stickers or balloons or small gifts for kids

Candies and chocolates

Candles & Matches

Carry on photo printer (they will be so happy)

Post card from your home country

 

Hope you find it useful.

Visas & Passports

It is the responsibility of every traveller to ensure they have all of the proper documentation for International travel, including passports and visas.

Mongolian visas are issued at the Mongolian Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s home country or nearest third country.  In some cases the Mongolian Embassy or consulate will request you to obtain a letter of invitation to visit Mongolia.

Before you ask us for an invitation letter, please check whether you need a visa to Mongolia. According to some mutual governmental agreements, citizens of certain countries do not need a visa to Mongolia.

For the invitation letter we will need the following information:

  • Full name /Given name and Surname
  • Clear copy of your passport
  • Occupation
  • Work place address and phone number
  • Home address and phone number
  • Name of the City & Country where you are applying for your visa.
  • Date of arrival & departure from Mongolia

In some cases, if there is not a Mongolian embassy in your country, it is possible to apply for permission to obtain a visa on arrival at Chinggis Khan International Airport. We can also help you to arrange this if you provide us with similar information as above.

Please visit the links below for the official regulations:

http://www.mongoliavisa.com

http://www.consuls.net