Horse & Rider in Mongolia, Asia
Asia

Horse riding trails in Mongolia

The experience of a riding holiday in Mongolia will stay with you for life! The vastness of the rolling steppes, dense forests, crystal clear rivers and peaks are legendary. The nomadic Mongolian people offer hospitality which, despite their stoic temperament forged by harsh living conditions, is delightfully warm and welcoming and the Mongolian horses are fast and strong despite their small stature. Whether you choose horseback trails through the Gobi desert, across the vast steppes of Kentii, or a visit to meet the reindeer herders in the far north, a riding holiday in Mongolia will leave you uplifted and in awe.
See all our trips

From the horse’s mouth

  • Wonders of Zavkhan
    Kristina, aged 46, Ireshopeburn
    Tranquility unlimited! What an amazing country and what a way to explore it! Not a trip for the faint-hearted or for those who enjoy creature comforts, but if you can put up with that you will be rewarded beyond anything you could ever imagine!
    More about this trip
  • Riding the Gobi Desert
    Marcos, aged 46, Discovery Bay
    The trip exceeded all expectations.The riding was second to none, the food was unbelievable and Mongolian people are some of the most gracious I have come across in all my travels. Journey of a lifetime.
    More about this trip
  • mongolia and horse
    Mongolian horse
  • horseback in Mongolia
    Rider in Mongolia choosing horses for your ride!
  • Mongolia and riders
    Steppes in Mongolia
  • Horseback trail ride in Mongolia
    Ride the courageous horses of Mongolia
  • Cantering in the mongolian steppe
    Cantering at the side of Lake Khuvsgul
  • horseback in Mongolia
    Equestrian guide in Mongolia
  • Mongolia and Naadam
    Young riders in Naadam
  • A trail ride near Lake Khuvsgul  Mongolia with Tsaatans people
    Reindeer riding with Tsaatans people
  • Mongolian horse in Mongolia
    Ride authentic Mongolian horses across Mongolia
  • Yurt camp and horseback trail in Mongolia
    Immerse yourself in the lives of nomads
  • horseback in Mongolia
    Rider and horses in Mongolia

Visa & Health

Formalities

To travel to Mongolia, a passport valid for at least six months is required by all nationals of Australia, Canada, USA, UK and other EU countries.

Visas:

To visit Mongolia, you will need to organise a visa. A Mongolian visit visa is usually valid for a stay of up to 30 days within six months from the date of issue. You can find more information by following the link below.
www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mongolia/entry-requirements.

Nationals of the USA do not require a visa if entering Mongolia as a tourist for stays of up to 90 days.

When travelling to Russia or China from Mongolia, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises you to get visas before travelling - seek advice from the Chinese and Russian Embassies in London BEFORE travelling. There have been issues with getting Russian visas in Ulaanbaatar.

Types and cost:
Single-entry transit visa: £35; double-entry transit visa: £55; single-entry tourist/business visa: £40;
double-entry visa: £55;
multiple-entry visa: £70.

Validity:
Single-entry visa: 30 days within three months of issue;
double-entry visa: 30 days within three months of issue;
multiple-entry visa: six or 12 months.

Online visa:
As of 1 May 2019, companies and individuals who are inviting foreign citizens to Mongolia can request entry permissions online for visa on arrival. This is for single or multiple entry visas for tourism (J) and business visit (B) categories only.
You should remember that at the entry point, the immigration authority might interview you and they can refuse your entry to Mongolia. It is important for the inviting individual or company to provide full and true information about the person.

More information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mongolia/entry-requirements


Addresses of consulates

  • Agence de l'immigration, de la naturalisation et des etrangers
    Buyant Ukhaa
    Khan Uul District
    Oulan-Bator
    Tél. : +1900-18-82 / +976-7
    Fax :
    http://www.immigration.gov.mn/
  • Ambassade de France en Mongolie
    3, avenue de la Paix
    quartier 1 - district de Chingeltei PO Box 687
    Oulan Bator
    Tél. : +976 (11) 32 45 19
    Fax :
    contact@ambafrance-mn.org
  • Ambassade de Mongolie en France
    5, avenue Robert-Schuman
    92100 Boulogne-Billancourt
    Tél. : 01.46.05.28.12
    Fax : 01 46 05 30 16
    info@ambassademongolie.fr
  • Ambassade de Mongolie en Belgique
    Avenue Besme 18
    Foret
    1190 Bruxelles
    Tél. : +32 (0) 2 344 69 74
    Fax : +32 (0) 2 344 32 15
    brussels@embmongolie.be

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Mongolia. It's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Mongolia. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also a hepatitis A vaccination is recommended and when travelling longer than 2 weeks also typhoid.
If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk (travelling by bike, handling of animals and visits to caves) you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as hepatitis B is also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months. It is also recommended to have a vaccination against tick borne encephalitis when you go hiking and/or camping for several days or more in the north of the country in the period of March to November. A vaccination against meningitis is recommended when travelling for more than 6 months, in combination with close contact with the local people.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Our recommendation:
Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used

Budget and money

Tugrik (MNT; symbol ₮). Notes are in denominations of ₮20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of ₮500, 200, 100, 50 and 20, but are not widely used.
Credit cards:
Accepted by main commercial banks, large hotels and a few shops and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most Mongolian province (aimag) capitals. Both Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.
ATM:
ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most Mongolian province (aimag) capitals.

Telephone and jetlag

Mongolia Country Code 976

Central and Eastern Standard Time +0800 GMT
Western Standard Time + 0700 GMT

Country information

Country ID

Capital: Ulaanbaatar
Area: 1,564,116 sq km (603,909 sq miles).
Population: 2.9 million (2013).
Population density: 1.9 per sq km.

Language: Khalkh Mongolian is the official language. Kazakh is spoken by 5% of the population. There are also many Mongolian dialects.
Religion: Buddhist Lamaism is the main religion, although there is no state religion. The Kazakhs in western Mongolia loosely adhere to Sunni Islam. About 5% of Mongolians are Christian. The traditional animist religion is still popular in northern Mongolia.
Political regime: Republic
Head of state: President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj since 2009

Socio-economical data

Mongolia's economy has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture. Mongolia has extensive mineral deposits; copper, coal, tin, tungsten and gold account for a large part of industrial production.
Mongolia's economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbours. For example, Mongolia purchases 80% of its petroleum products and a substantial amount of electric power from Russia, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. China is Mongolia's chief export partner.
Remittances from Mongolians working abroad both legally and illegally are sizable, and money laundering is a growing concern. Registered unemployment was at 2.7% in 2007 but the real figure is 30% or more because so few register. Unemployment figures increased in early 2009 as the global economic downturn slowed the flow of money in the country.
Mongolia, which joined the World Trade Organization in 1997, seeks to expand its participation and integration into Asian regional economic and trade regimes.

History

Mongolia has been inhabited for over 800,000 years. Mongolia, since prehistoric times, has been inhabited by nomads who, from time to time, formed great confederations that rose to prominence. The first of these, the Xiongnu, were brought together to form a confederation by Modu Shanyu in 209 BC. During the 7th and 8th centuries, Uyghurs and then Khitans and Jurchens ruled. By the 10th century, the country was divided into numerous tribes linked through transient alliances and involved in the old patterns of internal strife.
In the chaos of the late 12th century, a chieftain named Temüjin finally succeeded in uniting the Mongol tribes between Manchuria and the Altai Mountains. In 1206, he took the title Genghis Khan, and waged a series of military campaigns - renowned for their brutality and ferocity - sweeping through much of Asia, and forming the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in world history. Under his successors it stretched from present-day Poland in the west to Korea in the east, and from Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south, covering some 33,000,000 square kilometres.
The next centuries were marked by violent power struggles between various factions, notably the Genghisids and the non-Genghisid Oirads and numerous Chinese invasions. The last Mongol Khan was Ligden Khan in the early 17th century. He got into conflicts with the Manchu over the looting of Chinese cities, and managed to alienate most Mongol tribes. Until 1911, the Manchu maintained control of Mongolia with a series of alliances and intermarriages, as well as military and economic measures.
Mongolian independence was achieved in 1911 after the fall of the Qing Dynasty. China attempted to reassert its rule following the Russian Revolution of 1917 but was beaten back in 1921, with Soviet help. The Soviet intervention led to virtual occupation by the USSR for the next 70 years.
China finally recognised Mongolian independence in 1944 and in 1990 pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in Ulaanbaatar eventually leading to the demise of communism and the creation of a new constitution based on democratic principles.
Mongolia is undergoing dramatic change with the demise of a traditional nomadic lifestyle that, a generation ago, was lived by a third of the population. Mongolia's cities are growing rapidly as people leave the land. Another important change has been the resurgence of Buddhism, which was largely suppressed under Communism; Mongolians are adherents of the Dalai Lama, although this is handled with great caution by the country's leadership for fear of upsetting the Chinese.

Geography

Mongolia is located in the northern part of Asia and is landlocked between China and Russia. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its westernmost point is only 38 kilometres from Kazakhstan. The terrain is mainly mountains or rolling plateaus. The high Altai Mountains of the west and the north slowly descend into the plains and depressions in the east and the south. The Khüiten Peak in the extreme west of Mongolia and bordering China, is the highest point at 4,374 metres above sea level. The lowest point in the country though is still above 500 metres and the average elevation is 1,580 metres. The landscape includes one of Asia's largest freshwater lakes (Lake Khövsgöl), many salt lakes, marshes, sand dunes, rolling grasslands, alpine forests, and permanent montane glaciers. Northern and western Mongolia are seismically active zones, with frequent earthquakes and many hot springs and extinct volcanoes. The name "Gobi" is a Mongol term for a desert steppe, which usually refers to a category of arid rangeland with insufficient vegetation to support marmots but with enough to support camels. Mongols distinguish Gobi from desert proper, although the distinction is not always apparent to outsiders unfamiliar with the Mongolian landscape. Gobi rangelands are fragile and are easily destroyed by overgrazing, which results in expansion of the true desert, a stony waste where not even Bactrian camels can survive.

People, culture and traditions

Social conventions:
Religious customs should be respected. Mongolia has a large number of customs and traditions although Mongolians are generally not offended when foreigners break custom.

Useful words

Some useful words:

Hello: sènne bénoo
Thank you: baïrtla
You're welcome: tzougèr
Goodbye: baïrtè
Let's go: yaoui
Wait: bèdjé
How much is it: in hid bè?
I'm hungry: bi oulsoudj bènne
I'm cold: bi dartch bènne
What's your name?: tani nir khin bè?
My name is Mya : mini nir Mya
It's good: cékhan bènne
Good night: cékhan amrarè
What is it?: in yo bè?
When?: hidzè
Where?: khanne
How? : yadj
What are they saying?: yo hilsanne bè?
Yes: tiim
No: ougoui
Okay : dzaa
Really?: tiimou?
Enjoy your meal: cékhan khol loreu
Excuse me: outchlarè
Car: machinne
Driver: djolotch
I don't know: bi mitkoui bènne
I don't understand: bi eulgokhgoui bènne
It is not possible: inne bolkhogoui
It is possible: inne bolone
Bathroom: djorrlon
Stop!: dzokhsorè
0 : tic
1 : nic
2 : kho-yeur
3 : gorove
4 : dourouve
5 : tav
6 : dzorkha
7 : doloo
8 : naïm
9 : yeus
10 : arov
Big: tom
Small: djidjik
Good: sène
Bad: mou
Hot: khalon
Cold: khuiten
Expensive: ounetè
Inexpensive: khiamda

Choosing the right riding holiday

Choosing the right riding holiday

Horses play a large role in the daily life of the Mongols. As Elizabeth Kendall, a traveller, once said "A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without wings". Mongolia is home to more than 3 million horses -  in fact, the equine population is larger than the country's human population. The horses there live outdoors all year round, even during the freezing -40 °C winters and will fend off for their own food. The Mongols are very dependent on them to serve as riding animals for the daily works their nomad lifestyle entails.

In the 13th century, Mongol horses were  key  in conquering territories and helped consecrate the famous Mongol Empire under the lead of the famous warrior Genghis Khan. After their incredible success, it is no mystery why horses are held in such high regards within the culture. A nomad with many horses is considered wealthy, and usually it is only the men that do the herding, racing and tacking, even though women also have an extensive horsemanship knowledge.