MONGOLIA : A BASIC TRAVEL INFO Print
 

Area                                              604,200 sq miles                        

Comparing to the size of U.S.           2.25 times as big as Texas

Borders with                                    Russia & China.

Population                                      2.9 million

Time Zone                                     GMT + 8:00 

Religions                                        Buddhism, Islamism, Shamanism

Capital                                           Ulaan Baatar

Government                                    Parliamentary Republic

Language                                        Mongolian

Passport & Visa Formalities

A valid passport is required for American citizens. No visa is required for Americans visiting for fewer than 90 days; however, visitors planning to stay in Mongolia for more than 30 days are required to register with the Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreign Citizens in Ulaanbaatar within the first seven days of arrival.

Visit the Embassy of Mongolia web site at http://www.mongolianembassy.us for the most current visa information. Travelers can also contact the Embassy of Mongolia at 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007, telephone (202) 333-7117 for the most current visa information.

Weather & Clothing

Mongolian Climate is one of extremes - hot summers and freezing cold winters. Known as the 'Land of Blue Skies', it has over 260 sunny days each year. The winter is long and cold with temperatures often well below -30 Centigrade. Despite these temperatures, the blue winter sky makes it often feel warmer. There is very little snowfall but it and ice can remain for several weeks at a time.

The rainy season is from July to September, but the showers are often brief. The summer is a very pleasant time because, although temperatures can reach +40 Centigrade, the air is very dry. The Gobi usually has the hottest temperatures. Summer evenings can be cool because of Mongolia's high altitude. The spring is a time of strong winds, especially difficult in the sandy areas of the Gobi.

The main characteristics of the climate of Mongolia are sunny days, long and cold winters, low
precipitation and large annual, seasonal, monthly and diurnal fluctuations in air temperature. The average mean temperature recorded in January is -34'C in the plateau and depressions, but extreme temperatures have been recorded between -50 and -56 degrees centigrade. In the northern mountains the average mean temperature in the warmest warmth is between +35'C and +41'C, depending on the area.

Health & Immunization

There are no immunizations required for entry into Mongolia, but consult your physician before you come for extra precautions to be aware.

We advise you to drink only bottled water and not to eat the raw food in order to be safe and staying healthy during the tour.

The Centers for Disease Control provides an International Traveler’s Hotline offering recorded messages or faxes on current health risks. Call 877 394 8747 or visit cdc.gov/Mongolia for suggested immunizations and food/ water precautions For other health-related inquiries, call 404 639 3534 (8 a.m. 4:30 pm EST).

Customs & Declarations

Every tourist should fill up a custom declaration form on arrival, which must be retained by him or her until his or her departure. 

The customs declaration forms asks the visitor to declare the amount and currencies of money being carried. Visitors are advised that if theyfail to declare the amount of money they are carrying, customs officials can confiscate the money. Visitors taking antiques and fossils out ofthe country must have official documentation to do so. Some shops will provide the necessary documents upon purchase. Alternatively, permission can be obtained from the Ministry of Enlightenment in Ulaanbaatar.

Money, Credit Cards & ATM

The Mongolian currency is the Tugrug (T or MNT), which is available in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000, & 10,000 Tugrug Notes. Coins are beginning to become into circulation and are in denominations of MNT 20, 50, 100 and 200. All notes carry the face of Chinggis Khan or Sukhbaatar on them and because of their age can often look alike. The exchange rate is constantly changing.

Most banks and the larger hotels in Ulaanbaatar will be able to change the major currencies, although US Dollars are the most widely accepted.

The American Express, VISA and MasterCard are the most widely accepted in major hotels and shops in the city.

ATM is available only in the Ulaan Baatar.

Culture & Etiquette

Mongolians have eveloped unique nomadic civilization since Neolite. They have run animal husbandry in their vast land and move for the best pasture and ater frequently. But it does not mean that Mongols are all nomads iving in their Gars (traditional dwelling). Also they have developed heir own urban civilization and architecture. The first Mongolian Empire the Khunnu had its capital city on the bank of the River Orkhon. Each Empire of Mongolia had capital cities. Mongolian Architecture was influenced by Buddhism a lot like many other Buddhist Countries.

Buddhism is main religion with 90% of the whole population are Buddhists. The rest are Muslims, Shamanist and few Christians. Mongolans' first religion was shamanism, it arose during the Clan structure. At that time it was simple, just magic. According to archeological findings, about 100000-40000 years before the people lived on the land of today's Mongolia had this religion. On the ancient earth, every clan had a belief about their origin that they were descended from an animal or a plant, and they called it tutelary genius. The Mongols
adored deer or wolf from number of monasteries.

Miscellaneous

When you arrive at the airport or border

When you arrive,  someone from our local supplier will meet you at the airport who will be displaying your name. You will be then transferred to your to hotel.  In case,  because of earlier or delayed flight, if you do not  see anybody to pick you up, then give a call to the local tour operator listed on the “Local Operator’s Contact Detail” which is in the information package you have received from us before you left U.S.

Telephone, Internet and WIFI

The country code for Mongolia is 976 . Most hotels have International Direct Dial Facilities. Alternatively, calls can be made from various telephone exchanges around the city. 

Internet Cafes are available in the cities. WIFI is available in the most of the hotels and tourist class restaurants.

Electricity
The power supply in Ulaanbaatar is now very reliable and there are only the occasional blackouts. Electricity is 220V, 50Hz. The sockets throughout the country accommodate the European-style 2-pin plugs.

Shopping

Most of Mongolias economy is based on natural products. Hand woven carpets, leather clothing and articles, woolen clothing, furs, cashmere, camel hair products, Mongolian oil and water paintings, and wooden toys, puzzles and games. There are a number of souvenir shops. The most popular items are paintings, antiques, handicrafts, carpets, books, cashmere, traditional Mongolian clothing, leather goods, wall hangings, puzzles, and postcards, snuff bottles and woodcarvings.

If you are thinking of purchasing any products, which you cannot carry with you, then think twice before you purchase it. The salesman or guide may tell you that they would pay the shipping charges to your address.  However, besides the shipping charge, you must understand that there are other charges involved at your end, which they may not be aware of, such as destination charges, custom clearance fees, warehouse fees and other fees. By the time, the product reaches your home; the chance is high that you will also receive a bill for all the other charges, which might be higher than the cost of product itself. So, unless you are very sure about these charges, shipping anything home is not suggested.

Tipping

 Roughly 10% of bills at restaurants.Your driver and guide also expect a tip at the end of the tour.  Below is a general idea on tipping in the group size beween 2-5 people.  If there are more than 5 people in the group, a little more would be expectd. The mentioend tipping is to be divided by the number of people in the group.  The tips can be more or less depending on the services you get from them.

Tour Guide :  US$ 10 a day

Driver  :         US$  8 a day