WHAT TO BRING OR PACK for TRAVEL
The weather in Mongolia is very variable, so you need to be prepared, even if you travel in summer. So, we’ve made a checklist for your trip to Mongolia. If you forgot something, there isn’t much chance to buy them once you’re on a tour to the countryside, so you need to buy them in Ulaanbaatar, before you head for the countryside.
This packing list will help you to ensure you have everything you need for your adventure tour to Mongolia.
Please click here for detailed packing list.
FOOD AND DRINKS
Mongolian cuisine is mainly dairy products and fatty meat . So, the most typical rural dish is cooked mutton. In the city, steamed dumplings filled with meat, called “Buuz” and deep-fried pie filled with meat called “Khuushuur” and steamed noodled mixed with stir fried meat and some vegetables called “Tsuivan” are popular. Also, a kind of BBQ called “Khorkhog” is popular for group of people which is stewed in pot with some hot rocks. Use of vegetables and spices are limited. Milk tea with salt (Suutei tsai) is available everywhere in the countryside or in cities.
Nowadays, there are many great international restaurants and coffee shops available in UB. Vegetarian meals will be available in most restaurants in Ulaanbaatar.
FLIGHTS TO/FROM MONGOLIA
There are several airlines that fly to Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar) directly from Korea, China, Russia, Turkey, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Germany (via Moscow) and Japan. Nowadays getting to Mongolia from different parts of the world is becoming easier and easier thanks to the Mongolian Airline, Hunnu Air and other Foreign Airlines like Air China, Korean Air, Aeroflot, Turkish Airline .
Links for airline companies:
TRAINS TO/FROM MONGOLIA
Train from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar with Trans Mongolian Railway. Journey takes 5 days to get from to Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia. (Trans -Siberian Train) The weekly Trans-Mongolian (train 4 eastbound, train 3 westbound) train leaves Moscow for Beijing every Tuesday night. The 7,621 km (4,735 mile) journey takes 6 days. This train crosses Siberia, cuts across Mongolia and the Gobi desert, then enters China and passes through the Great Wall. There’s a second weekly train between Moscow and Ulan Bator (train 6 eastbound, train 5 westbound). Alternatively, there are daily trains between Moscow and Irkutsk and a daily train between Irkutsk and Ulan Bator (train 263/264). There are two trains a week between Ulan Bator and Beijing.
Here you can find international train table: https://www.mongoliatraintickets.com
APPLYING FOR VISA TO MONGOLIA
Currently, a 30-day tourist visa is easily obtained at any Mongolian consulate, consulate-general or honorary consulate.Follow the following steps and requirements to obtain a Mongolian visa from your nearest Mongolian Embassy:
- One copy of visa application form is required for Mongolian visas
- State clearly travel dates
- A valid passport must be produced
- For a group visa the Consular Section needs only passport of a tour leader and the rest of the clients should provide the following. (Nationality, sex, date of birth, passport number, date of issue, date of expire)
- 3 recent passport size photographs should be attached.
- Self-addressed and registered Envelope is required in case visa applied by post.
All visas, except transit are issued by the Embassy. The normal time required for a visa to be processed is one week. But for a transit visa -48 hours without any authorizations.
To get a visa for longer than 30 days, you must be invited or sponsored by a Mongolian, a foreign resident or a Mongolian company, or be part of an organized tour from a Mongolian or foreign travel agency.
If you absolutely cannot get to a Mongolian consulate, it is theoretically possible to get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Ulaanbaatar airport. To do this you will need an invitation from a Mongolian travel company.
It is also theoretically possible to get a visa at the land entry points at Zamyn-Uud and Sukhbaatar train stations, though until this becomes common practice you are better off using this as a last resort only. For both land border visas and on-arrival airport visas you will need US$50 and two passport photos.
Citizens from the USA and Poland do not require visas for a stay of up to 90 days, Japanese, Israeli and Malaysian citizens can stay visa-free for up to 30 days and Hong Kong and Singaporean citizens can stay visa-free for up to 14 days.
MONGOLIAN TOURIST VISAS
Standard tourist visas generally last 30 days from the date of entry and you must enter Mongolia within three months of issue. Visas normally take several days, or even up to two weeks, to issue. If you want your visas quicker, possibly within 24 hours, you will have to pay an “express fee”, which is double the normal cost. If you want a tourist visa for longer than 30 days you will need to arrange for a travel agency which we’ll be able to invite you. We’ll need to have your passport copy, your date of arrival and departure; and a general itinerary. We must send your invitation to the Ministry of External Relations in Ulaanbaatar. If accepted, a copy will be sent from the ministry to your designated embassy or consulate, where you fill out a visa application form and hand over your cash.
If this seems too much hassle, remember that 30-day tourist visas are easily extendible by 30 days in Ulaanbaatar. The only snag is that you’ll probably have to return to the capital to do this.
Multiple entry/exit tourist visas are usually only issued to foreign residents who do a lot of travel. Mongolian honorary consulates can issue transit visas and non-extendable tourist visas but only for 14 days from the date of entry. Importantly, they often issue visas without requiring a sponsor or invitation. However, these visas are for entry only; they cannot issue normal entry/exit visas, so you will have to spend some of your precious time in Ulaanbaatar arranging an exit visa from the ministry.
MONGOLIAN TRANSIT VISAS
The visa lasts 48 hours (sometimes 72 hours) from the date of entry. This will only allow you to get off the Trans-Mongolian train for a very short time before catching another train to Russia or China. A single entry/exit transit visa cannot be extended. You will need to show the train or plane ticket and a visa for the next country (Russia or China).
MONGOLIAN VISA EXTENSIONS
If you have a 30-day tourist visa you can extend it by another 30 days at the immigration office on the way to Chingis Khaan airport. It officially costs US$15 for the first seven days and a further US$2 per day for a maximum of 30 days (which therefore costs a total of US$61. You will need a passport-sized photo. It takes just few hours to proceed.
If you intend to stay in Mongolia for more than 30 days you must register at the immigration office in Ulaanbaatar within 7 days from your arrival date in the country.
For more information about visa to Mongolia: http://consul.mn