FAQ about Mongolia Travel
Do you organize transiberian tours?
No. We only organize tours to Mongolia.
Why traveling to mongolia is expensive?
Mongolia is known for its vast and rugged expanses with attractions that are long distance of each other. It takes a town to reach important attractions and require private/shared transportation. Most importantly, lack of public transportation, expensive gas, seasonal service and accommodation are the main factors to make your travel expensive comparing to other Asian countries.
Why should i choose travel buddies?
We always strive to achieve excellence & fulfillment in our service and product while endorsing sustainable tourism through building partnerships with locals. Choosing Travel Buddies as a travel partner you will not only discover Mongolia but also enjoy an opportunity to impact local society positively from little to grand scale.
Is there any time difference within mongolian territory?
Yes, some of the remote provinces such as Bayan Ulgii and Khovd are one hour behind local time in Ulaanbaatar. Make sure you are aware of the time difference before heading there.
Which books / movies about mongolia would you recommend?
We recommend you to watch well known movies that show historical and adventurous sense related to Mongolian nomadic culture such as The cave of yellow dog, Mongol, The story of weeping camel and Genghis Khan: to ends of the Earth and sea. We suggest you to read books such as On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads and Walking the Gobi.
Is there official taxi in Ulaanbaatar? What is the rate?
Yes, official taxis can be booked calling 1900 – 1950. It costs 1000 MNTs /50 cent/ per kilometer.
Also, we recommend you to use UB cab- online taxi service application that has English language and is easy to use. You can find a link for download here http://www.ubcab.mn/.
Is it safe to walk in the street?
Yes, it is safe during the day time. However, we suggest you to be careful on your belongings when walking in the crowded street. Avoid walking outside your hotel after 11 p.m. for safety reasons.
What time do supermarket / shops close?
In summer time, most of the big markets like Black market and Sunday shopping center close at 7 p.m. whereas they close at 6 p.m. in winter. State Department store closes at 10 p.m. on week days and closes at 9 p.m. on weekends. Most supermarkets close at 9 p.m. in the city center while small shops in countryside close at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Is there any etiquette tip for visiting buddhist monastery / temple?
Make sure you take your hat entering the monastery and give respect to the altars and monks keeping silent. No skirt or inappropriate clothing allowed. Also no photography inside the monastery.
What I should bring for nomad family visit ?
It is polite to leave some form of gift with the host to repay them for their hospitality. In general, money does not make a good gift, so leave something personal like postcards from your country, Polaroid photographs and sweets are all thoughtful tokens. It is however impolite to take photographs without asking. Many Mongolians dislike tourists taking photographs of them or their children without warning. However, they are usually delighted if you do take their photograph, provided you will then send copies back to them.
How can I send photos to the nomad families i met or stayed?
Feel free to mail us your photos as we will help you delivering your photos to the nomad families.
Is there any luggage allowance on your tour?
There is no luggage allowance on our tour but there is a luggage allowance on domestic flight for carry-on and luggage is 15 kg. If it exceeds, you need to pay 3000-5000 mnt togrog per kg.
What will be the minimum level of english and experience of your tour guide?
Our tour guides qualify minimum advanced to fluent English level and 3 to 15 years of experience in guiding.
it is 1.5 liters of water total provided per day (or per person). Additional water we will need to purchase?
We will provide you 1.5 liters of water per person per day. Yes, if you need to have additional water you will need to buy from the local markets in the town.
For my winter tour, are there any opportunities to buy warm clothes?
Yes, you can buy affordable warm clothes here. Usually our traditional clothes are warm jacket, outfit and cashmere clothes.
What is your emergency contact number if i cannot locate your representative?
You can call +976 95012698 or +976 99591766 if you cannot locate our representative.
Can I hire a tour guide only?
We provide all-inclusive tours that enhance your travel experience.
What gifts/ souvenirs would you suggest to buy from Mongolia?
We suggest you to buy cashmere, woolen stuff, Mongolia Ger chocolate, Naadam Mongolian assembling Ger game, Lhamour brand, Seaberry and Chinggis khan’s wall painting / story books for souvenirs.
What activities I should try in Ulaanbaatar?
Singing in karaoke, eating in hot pot restaurant, watching traditional Mongolian concert, watching wrestling, visiting Light Street in Seoul street during the weekend and trying street food.
Do I need my walking stick?
Yes, it is very useful for hiking / trekking on uneven terrain.
How to post things to my home country?
Mongol post is the most economical company to post things. Express post companies are DHL, UPS and SF express.
How can share my travel photos with travel buddies?
Feel free to post and tag Travel Buddies Mongolia on FB, Instagram and twitter. Also do not forget to use our hasgtag #travelbuddies
Weather and climate
The terrain of the country is very remote from the oceans of the Mediterranean, and the Eurasian mainland is surrounded by high mountains, with an average elevation of kilometers above sea level. The main feature of the climate in Mongolia is the four-season difference, with high air temperature fluctuations, low precipitation, and latitude and longitude differences in the climate. The short duration of Mongolia (spring from June to mid-August), dry summer, very cold, long (lasting from November to January), and spring and autumn periods vary widely from year to year.
The annual average temperature of Mongolia is 0.2 is 0.2 ° C (32 ° F), average winter temperature is -10 ° … -30 ° C (14 ° to 22 ° F), summer season 10 ° to 27 ° C (50 ° to 80 ° F). Average annual temperature is colder than -4 ° C (24.8 ° F) in Altai, Khangai, Khentii and Khuvsgul areas, including inter-valley depressions and large river valleys -6 °C to -7.4°C (21.2 to 18.7 ° F ) is warmer than 2 ° C (35.6 ° F) in the cold and desert steppe zone and 6 ° C (42.8 ° F) in the South Gobi. The average 0 ° C average annual air temperature is in the semi-desert zone of Mongolia and 46 degrees north-west of the Gobi region. Permafrost soils are distributed in colder areas than the average annual air temperature is -2 ° C (28.4 ° F). In winter the absolute low temperature reaches -28 ° C to -40 ° C (-18.4 ° to 65.2 ° F). In summer, the absolute high temperature is 30 ° C to 40 ° C (86 ° to 113 ° F) is heated.
Do I need visa for Mongolia?
You can find a list of Visa free countries here http://www.consul.mn/eng/02visae.php
I am going to travel Mongolia via Russian / any other country’s border. Do I need Russian / any other country’s visa or need just Mongolian visa?
You will need to get transit visa for the country which you will visit through.
How can I get visa since there is no embassy or consulate of Mongolia in my country?
You need visa upon arrival if you are travelling to Mongolia from a country that has no Mongolian consulate or embassy, you can pick up a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival at the airport in Ulaanbaatar. You’ll need 108,000 tugrugs (45 USD) and two passport photos – you should also have a pre-approval letter from an organization or company in Mongolia. In case of booking a tour with us, we will help you to get visa support letter and further assistance.
Flights and train tickets
Do you sell airplane / train ticket?
No, we don’t. However, we can help you to purchase the train ticket if available on sale and you confirm a tour with us.
Can you book train ticket?
Yes, we can help you to book the train tickets if available for sale.
Food and beverage
How is the food in Mongolia?
Mongolians widely eat traditional meal consist of meat and dairy products that affected by our challenging climate and weather condition. However, there is variety of restaurants in the city that offers Western and Asian meals. In the tourist Ger camp we will also serve European, Asian and Russian meals.
Is the water provided bottled? Treated or must bring treatment tablets?
Yes, water is provided daily and no treatment tablets needed.
What local beer would you suggest?
We suggest you to try local beers called Golden Gobi, Chinggis Khaan, Sengur and Borgio.
Can I buy fresh fruit in the countryside?
You can buy some fruit (apple or orange) in small to big towns but not fresh fruits.
What meals are available for gluten free in Mongolia?
For gluten free diet, you will have rice with some vegetables, fruit, yogurt and meat. However, we highly recommend you to bring some nutrition and extra food when it is necessary.
Are vegetarian meals available?
Vegetarian meals are available to serve but options are limited and simple. The dish can contain rice, fried or cooked vegetable (carrot, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, and beet), pasta and few beans. It would be helpful if you can take your own supplements.
Where can I try Mongolian mare’s milk ?
In countryside, it is available at nomad families from July till September. It is not sold in supermarket but available to drink at traditional restaurant called Хөх-үүр.
What traditional beverage I should try?
There are some drinks we suggest you to try are mare’s milk and sea buck thorn juice.
What traditional meal I should try?
The most common traditional dishes are offered by nomad families or some tourist camps such as buuz, huushuur, horhog, tsuivan.
Which Mongolia restaurant would you suggest ?
We advise you to choose these Mongolian restaurants that offer delicious traditional and European cuisine called Modern nomads, Mongolians, Хөх-үүр.
Contact list for emergency
My luggage has not arrived. What can I do?
The first step you need to do is to tell our representative and he / she will help you connect to the missing luggage department. You will wait until next departure and call 976-11-333999 as soon as it departs.
I lost my wallet. How do I report to the police? Where is it ?
You should dial police number 102 for this case but it takes several minutes to connect English speaker. If you are traveling with us, our tour guide will help you to report to the police.
Festivals in Mongolia
National Naadam festival
July 11 to 15 – Mongolians are the people who have been proudly celebrating Naadam festival for hundreds of years. If you are planning to visit Mongolia in July, the festival, must participate celebration is Naadam, definitely! The three-manly-sports which were the way to train soldiers for battle, and were also connected to Mongols’ nomadic lifestyle are held on throughout the country every July. In 2010, Naadam was registered on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.
Can I book Naadam festival ticket with you?
If you book a tour with us, we can help you to book Naadam festival ticket.
Can you provide me timetable for 2019 Naadam in Khui Doloon Khudag?
10 July, 2019
8:00 – 11:00 Four-year-old horse racing
14:00-16:30 Three-year-old horse racing
11 July, 2019
8:00-11:40 Stallion racing
14:00 Opening ceremony of Naadam in Khui 7 Khudag /Special program/
14:00 – 17:00 Seven-year-old horse racing
12 July, 2019
07:00-9:20 Five-year-old horse racing
10:30-12:30 Two-year-old horse racing
13 July, 2019
7:00-18:40 Naadam festival for race horse trainer
Electricity and network coverage in the countryside
Where can we find local SIM card?
You can buy local SIM card at the airport or in local operators office with Unitel or Mobicom logo in the city. Our tour guide can help you to buy it1
Can I bring my laptop, iPhone or iPad, when travelling Mongolia?
Internet access and Wi-Fi connections are available in use while you are staying in Ulaanbaatar city. Once leaving the city, a few tourist Ger camps can offer you free internet access. Thus, you don’t need to bring your laptop.
Is it available to recharge my devices while I am traveling on the car?
Yes, you can recharge your devices with USB plugged in car cigarette lighter.
What kind of plugs are used for Mongolian gadgets?
In Mongolia the power plugs and sockets are of type C and E. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
VPN for Mongolia – can I access to my Facebook, social media in Mongolia?
Yes, you can easily access to your Facebook and social media without restriction.
Is WIFI available at tourist Ger camp and on our tour?
When you are traveling in the countryside, WiFi will be limited You can access the Wifi only in a few tourist camps. Therefore, buy a local sim card with 3 to 10 GB and access to data wherever the network coverage is available. Most of towns and villages are covered with cellular network.
Is electricity available in the countryside?
Electricity is available after dinner in the tourist camps whereas nomad homes have no access to electricity.
What accommodation (hotel, Ger camp, nomad homestay) do we suggest to our customers?
We suggest accommodations which are highly recommended on Tripadvisor and other sources. Also we provide high – qualified accommodations that are assured with our permanently research, our experience and most crucial indication is based on feedback from the clients. Our tour managers give you an advice to choose from the wide range of accommodation depending on your requirement and compulsion.
Does hotel staff speak English ?
Yes, they do. They can be very helpful, too.
Can you book a hotel room for me?
Yes, we can book any hotel on your request.
Can I store excess luggage at the hotel and collect it after returning from our tour as we stay there for another night?
Yes, you can. However, make sure you are returning from tour in latest two weeks as they will not charge for securing your excess luggage. If you are touring for longer period of time, we would suggest you to leave it with us at tour company office.
Is it safe to drink tap water?
It is not recommended to drink the tap water, especially in Ulaanbaatar, as tap water might be contains unnecessary microbes. Drinking bottled water is recommended, and, bottled water is very easy to find throughout your travels.
How is the tourist camp Ger heated /during cold weather/ ?
The tourist camp Ger is heated by burning wood and coal. Staffs at tourist Ger camp make fire.
Is it possible to upgrade our tourist Ger camp?
Yes, you can upgrade it to Ger camp with en-suite bathroom or higher quality service such as food, facilities and location. Also the exclusive lodges such as Three Camel lodge, Terelj lodge, Dream Gobi camp, Toilogt can be options.
Is there laundry service available at tourist Ger camp? How much is it?
Yes, most tourist camp offers laundry service. It costs from 5 to 20 USD depending on what size and type of clothes you clean.
Can I use my sleeping machine / CPAP over night in Ger?
No, but bring extra battery can that be charged at tourist Ger camps from dinner time to late night.
Are pools are at hot spring segregated by sex?
No. There are usually two pool for all. Please make sure to bring your own swimsuit for visiting hot springs.
Should I bring my pillow?
No, tourist camps will provide you pillow. However you might find some pillows hard as filled with rice so if you cannot sleep with hard pillow, make sure you bring your own.
Are toilets heated?
No. Toilets are not heated; it is western style toilet and shower in the separate building.
Is there double bed available at tourist Ger camp and nomad family homestay?
Some tourist camps have double bed that we try to book if available. Expect twin bed in most of the tourist Ger camps and nomad family homestay.
Should I bring my sleeping bag?
No, we provide sleeping bags.
Do we need swimsuits for hot spring?
Yes. You need swimsuit for hot spring.
Do Ger have locks?
If it is tourist camp, yes it has lock but not for nomad family’s Ger.
Is nomad family homestay Ger heated?
Yes, we will heat the Ger during you stay.
Payment, exchange money and atms
Are credit cards widely used (in hotels, restaurants and taxis)?
Yes. Especially in hotels and restaurant but rare in taxis.
How much money do we need to bring in Mongolia?
It depends on your length of travel and souvenir shop visits. If you will need 150 to 200 USD for buying snacks, local souvenirs, alcohol drinks and rest can be used in the city. Souvenirs in Mongolia can cost from 1 dollar up to 200 US dollars.
Is it easy to withdraw local currency with ATMs there ?
Yes. You can find many ATMs in bank and shopping centres and it has option to choose English.
Is card payment available for the balance payment ?
Yes, you can pay the balance payment by using your credit card.
How much tipping would he be expected to pay?
There is no must or expected percentage so it is up to you.
Mongolian tugrugs left. Can i exchange it back at the airport?
Yes, you can exchange it to USD easily at the airport.
Is it possible to exchange AUD and NZD readily in Ulan Bator or do you need USD € or £?
We will prefer you to bring USD because it is easier to exchange in Mongolia.