Mongolia’s landlocked location lies between China to the south and Russia to the north. With an average altitude of 1,580m above sea level, Mongolia is one of the highest countries in the world.
The western Altai gives way to the fertile central heartland, with the forested north fading into endless green steppes in the east, and the arid southern Gobi making up the country’s five distinct ecoregions.
Ulaanbaatar, in north central Mongolia, is the capital city
The currency in Mongolia is the Tögrög (MNT). It is not possible to obtain MNT outside of Mongolia so after you arrive, use US Dollars, British Pounds and traveller’s cheques to exchange for local currency (traveller’s cheques are accepted in fewer places). You can withdraw money at ATMs in Ulaanbaatar and over the counter at some banks. Credit cards are accepted in many shops, while in the countryside, only MNT is accepted. US Dollars are accepted in some places in the capital.
We recommend a per person cash amount of US$300 (based on a two-week trip), with the option to use credit or debit cards for big ticket items like cashmere, leather goods, musical instruments, fur or antiques.
Mongolia has one international airport in Ulaanbaatar, with another slated to be open in 2019. Most visitors will transit at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and catch a connecting flight to Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN). For our Singapore visitors, the average flight time from Singapore to Ulaanbaatar is 10 hours.
For travellers transiting in Beijing, please note that there is one airport in Beijing with three terminals. We recommend that you allow at least 2.5 hours for the transfer in Beijing if transferring between terminals, and 1.5 hours if no terminal change is required. For more information, please refer to the Beijing Capital International Airport website.
Alternatively, visitors can opt to transit at Incheon International Airport (ICN) or Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and catch a connecting flight to ULN.
For Singapore passport holders, tourist visas are not required for stays of up to 30 days in Mongolia. For all other passports, please check here.
If you are transiting through Beijing airport and there is less than 72 hours between your scheduled (flight) arrival and departure times, you will not need a Chinese visa. This rule currently applies to air passengers from 53 countries. Please refer to this link to see if you qualify.
When checking in without a Chinese visa, you may need to clarify with the check-in staff that you don’t need one.If you’re transiting through Beijing on your return leg and have a single-entry visa, please ensure that the visa is not stamped when you transit through
Beijing on your outbound leg. It is your responsibility to inform the customs officer of this.
You must complete a customs declaration form upon arrival, which must be retained until departure. This allows the free import and export of articles for personal use during your stay. The contents of checked-in baggage must be declared on arrival if the total value of those contents exceed US$5000 in value. The contents of checked-in baggage must be declared upon departure if the total value of those goods exceed US$500.
A US$12 airport tax is levied on all passengers departing from Mongolia.
The best time to go to Mongolia is during the summer and autumn seasons from May to September. You may experience the occasional snowfall and chilly climate of spring in May, as well as some showers and light drizzles during the rainy season from July to August. Dust storms are an occasional occurrence in Mongolia, especially in the Gobi and steppe areas, but such experiences are quite a sight to behold.
Winds blow hot and cold depending on your location and changes in temperature can occur suddenly when the wind direction changes. In the summer, the average temperature ranges between 15-25°C. Temperatures can reach a sweltering 40°C in the Gobi Desert in summer, while Khövsgöl’s temperature plummets to a bitter -52°C in wintertime. Such extreme temperatures can be uncomfortable and you are advised to avoid travelling to these places during these seasons.
In the city, enjoy modern comforts in hotels near the iconic Chinggis Square. These properties would be a great base to explore from. We’d be happy to recommend other options based on your budget and comfort levels too.
In the countryside, we encourage our travellers to allocate part of their journey to a family homestay with our local friends. Most of our furnished gers don’t have full bathroom facilities but are nonetheless very comfortable. However, if you want a boutique ger with ensuite bathroom facilities, we will happily arrange one for you.
Alternatively, you can stay in a private, traditional ger at a ger camp or “countryside hotel”, complete with a stove and nearby western-style bathroom facilities, including hot showers.
And if you prefer to spend a night out in the wilderness under the stars and surrounded by nature, we can arrange for you to camp out in your campsite. All necessary equipment and sleeping bags will be provided.