From the horse’s mouth
Visa & Health
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: https://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.
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.
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
Khan Uul District
Tél. : +1900-18-82 / +976-7
- Ambassade de France en Mongolie
3, avenue de la Paix
quartier 1 - district de Chingeltei PO Box 687
Tél. : +976 (11) 32 45 19
- Ambassade de Mongolie en France
5, avenue Robert-Schuman
Tél. : 01.46.05.28.12
Fax : 01 46 05 30 16
- Ambassade de Mongolie en Belgique
Avenue Besme 18
Tél. : +32 (0) 2 344 69 74
Fax : +32 (0) 2 344 32 15
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.
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.
Budget and money
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.
ATMs are available in Ulaanbaatar and most Mongolian province (aimag) capitals.
Telephone and jetlag
Central and Eastern Standard Time +0800 GMT
Western Standard Time + 0700 GMT
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
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.
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.
People, culture and traditions
Religious customs should be respected. Mongolia has a large number of customs and traditions although Mongolians are generally not offended when foreigners break custom.
Hello: sènne bénoo
Thank you: baïrtla
You're welcome: tzougèr
Let's go: yaoui
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?
How? : yadj
What are they saying?: yo hilsanne bè?
Okay : dzaa
Enjoy your meal: cékhan khol loreu
Excuse me: outchlarè
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
0 : tic
1 : nic
2 : kho-yeur
3 : gorove
4 : dourouve
5 : tav
6 : dzorkha
7 : doloo
8 : naïm
9 : yeus
10 : arov
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.