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Travel on the Trans-Mongolian Railway, camp in traditional Mongolian gers or experience the Naadam festival.
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Much of Mongolia is covered in vast rolling steppe; a wilderness where nomadic traditions still flourish, herds of wild horses roam freely and the sand dunes of the incredible Gobi Desert are known to ‘sing’ in the wind. Whether it is searching for dinosaur fossils, experiencing the Naadam Festival, supping fermented mare’s milk in a traditional nomadic ger, this country is sure to delight.
February and March (winter Trans Siberian) and May to September.
Mongolia, once the very centre of an enormous empire led by Genghis Khan, is a country of beautiful landscapes, nomadic people and rich in culture and history.
Visit a traditional Ger and meet a nomadic family or try our hand at horse-riding at the Terelj National Park.
For sheer distance, intrigue and, on completion, the tremendous sense of real personal satisfaction, no other train journey comes anywhere near the Trans-Siberian and the Trans Mongolian railways.
One of the major highlights on the Mongolian calendar is the Naadam Festival.
Explore the Gandan Monastery and Zaisan Memorial in Ulaan Baatar.
Visit a camel breeding family to learn about nomadic traditions.
Country Code for Mongolia: +976
Emergency Services: Fire: 101 ; Police: 102 ; Ambulance: 103. The emergency numbers apply to Ulaanbaatar, but may not always have English speaking staff.
Internet cafes are found all through Mongolia and wifi is available in most hotels. Some websites, including Facebook, Twitter and Skype are banned in Mongolia but can be accessed via a local VPN. Ask your guide for assistance.
We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Mongolia. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia or elsewhere, and monitor the media and other sources for information on local travelling conditions. Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
The Mongolian unit of currency is the tögrög (T), often spelled tugrik because it reflects the more accurate pronunciation. It comes in notes of T5, T10, T20, T50, T100, T500, T1000, T5000, T10,000 and T20,000. (T1 notes are basically souvenirs.) The highest-value note is worth around US$12.
In all large towns and cities you will be able to find ATMs that accept international cards and use them to withdraw local currency. There are many private money changers in Mongolia, but if you choose to use them you must be sure to check the rate and your change carefully. Major credit cards are rarely accepted in shops and restaurants even in bigger cities. Some banks in Ulaanbaatar will allow cash advances against a credit card but cash withdrawals are subject to a 5% or more service charge.
Just to be safe, you should take a mixture of denomination USD notes. Banks and money-changers in most cities will now only accept bills with a metallic strip running top to bottom of the bill and which are dated from 2003 or later. You should not take worn or damaged notes, or any that have been written on. Please bring a mixture of small and large denominations as in more remote areas it can be hard to change amounts over $50.
The Travel Corporation has partnered with the company Sherpa to provide travellers with the latest government and health restrictions. Simply enter the country you want to travel to for information on safety regulations, border closures, quarantine requirements, your travel visa and more using the Sherpa travel tool.
FIND OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR YOUR TRIP
Tipping is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants, we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may want to tip your guide. We suggest US$3 per person, per hour for local guides. Pay in the local currency.
Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest US$1-2 per person, per hour for driver. Pay in the local currency.
The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a traveller's individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor.
The World Health Organization recommends that all travellers regardless of the region they are travelling in should be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, as well as hepatitis B. While making preparations to travel, take the opportunity to ensure that all of your routine vaccination cover is complete.
Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Australians travelling to Russia should also ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. For further information, please visit the Smartraveller website, www.smartraveller.gov.au
Train ticket bookings:
Train tickets in Mongolia are booked with passport numbers. Please make sure you provide us with your correct passport number. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip. If we receive changes to passport numbers less than 30 days prior to departure we cannot guarantee purchase of train tickets. We do NOT recommend travelling on multiple passports for trips that involve border crossings by train. This can cause difficulties with train ticket bookings and cause significant issues delays at Immigration.
Please note in order for our local operator to book train tickets in Mongolia, we require the following information at time of booking or no later than 70 days prior to departure.
• Passengers full names
• Full Passport Details
• City of Birth
Please bring four (4) photocopies of your passport. These may be used to assist with hotel check-in, and sometimes at road security points.
Mongolia's transport network is continuing to improve. Most travel takes place on rail, which is largely of good quality. Vehicles are of fairly good quality, with air-conditioned vans ferrying travellers.
The official language is Mongolian. Other languages spoken include Russian and some English.
In Mongolia the standard voltage is 230 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type C / E.
The best place to shop in Ulaanbaatar is the State Department Store which occupies an entire block in the city center and is 6 stories high. It has everything! The 6th floor has a cafeteria and the tourist section. This tourist section has everything and I mean everything that a traveler would like to buy. It has hats, t-shirts, leather bags, felt jackets and slippers, traditional insturments and more. The prices are good. Many of the staff have adequate English and are very eager to help.
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