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 What is this?
The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!

Travel Guide for Mongolia

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Mongolia that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Mongolia Page.

Basic Facts

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Official Country Name: Capital: Ulaan Baataar Population: 2,5 Million (around 1 Million are living in the capital with it's suburbs) ; 85% of the Population are mongolian people, the other people are ethnic groups, people from Kasachstan, Russia, China,.... Telephone Code: 00971 Time Zone: GMT - 6 (western) GMT-7 (central) Area: 1,566 Million km Language(s):main language is mongilian language, of course,... the older genration also learned russian in school, the jounger generation is le ... more

Attractions and Things to See and Do

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Ulan Baatar: -Gandan Tempel, tibetian style, very nice and calm atmosphere and especially at the weekend full with mongolian people who go for praying... entrance to the main temple is 1000 Tugrik for foreigners, there's a big buddhasttue inside, that has been robbed in the sowjettimes and is rebuild now...... - old summer palace...also caled Bogd-Khan-Museum, the buildings are almost not renovated, there are a lot of tankas to see, nice to go

Maps

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Here you can include references to maps that are somewhere on the internet. Two conditions apply: they cannot be protected by copyright, (or you have to make sure that we are allowed to use them), and you have to make sure that it is ok if we call them up from here. If that is a problem, you can also send us the image file and we will upload it to our server.

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

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Some useful hints for a longer trip to the countyside and the bigger cities.
You may find accomodation at Hovd Hotel in Hovd city (3000 T) and at the Basteau hotel (5000 T)in Bayan Olgii, and the Ayanchin Hotel in Bayanhongor (8000 T) . The other cites have no good hotels or they are totally overpriced, but no warm water. So bring your tent with you and do some camping. All aimag capitals have public hot showers, 20 minutes for 900 T. To be in the wilderness a nice 3-day trip is of conce ... more

Suggested Itineraries

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1 Day Go to Terelj nature reserve or to Mandzhir monastery. For only a day stay go to Sainhand war memorial, have a nice look to UB and on the way back visit the Bogd Gegen Museum. This museum is the residency of the state chiefs and the former leaders of Mongolia. , 1 Week, Visit Lake Hovsgol, it is 24 hours (direct way) or 2 days by public transport. 2 Weeks Make the 10 day trip with a group to Gobi desert, it is really worth seeing it. 1 Month The ro ... more

Transport

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Getting there and away, Getting around

Border crossings
You can cross the border by any transport means (but not by feet) at Erlian/Samiin Uud at the south and Ulan Ude in the north. There are some other border crossings, but mostly you need special permits to get there and a second permit to cross the border as a foreigher to China and Russia. In Bayan Olgii there is a bus connection to Almaty in Kasakhstan, but until now it is not clear if a ... more

Accommodation

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If you do not want to stay with other HC members, or noone is available, here is what other members suggest. Hostels Hotels Camping Other Options There are several guesthouses and hotels in Ulan Baatar. The price for a guesthouse is always between 3,50 and 5 US Dollar a night. The nicest guesthouse I got to know here is Idres guesthouse. The have two buildiungs, one near the main bus terminal and one in the center (if you stand infront of the department store go ... more

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

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Restaurants, Supermarkets, Street Food, ... There are several restaurants in Ulan Bbatar. You can eat mongolian food, but I can not recommand any place, because I'm vegetrain and mongolian food is nothing for vegetarian people.... but the mongolian milktee is very nice, it's called suetechai, it's tea with milk and salt and very nice and it costs between 80 and 100 Tugrik. the potatoe salat is one of the best i ever ate and also the carrotsalat (with lost of garlic) is very ... more

Money and Costs

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Actually (june 2007) lot of banks in UB and the aimag capitals Hovd, Bayan Olgii and Uliastai change Dollar, Euro and most common to Tugrik currency. Also you can withdraw local money using a Visa card. In UB lot of banks have a 24 hour service. ATM machines are unknown outside of UB. Be sur you change Money befor heading to countyside, In Ulan Bataar you can change any currency, Mainly, Euros,Chinese Yuans, Russian Rubles, Swiss Francs and Dollars. Credit card are accepted in bank cou ... more

Visa and Documents and Embassies

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Who needs a visa? How to get it? Embassies & Consulates, of the country abroad and in the country

Mongolian Embassy in Berlin

Special for people living in Germany: there are some Visa agencies in Berlin, who arrange your Visa for 18-40 euros, and the 30 day Visa fee for Shengen citizens (EU+Switzerland) is 35 Euro, visa are issued usually within a week, sameday service is availabel for +75. It's better do do this with an agency because there are no honorary consuls ... more

Borders and Customs

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Post and Communications and Internet

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Post, Telephone, Fax, Internet Access ... There is one postoffice in Ulan Baatar, it's on the peace avenue. You can buy postcards there, envelops,.... a stamp for a postcard to europe is 400 Tugrik (plus 60 Tugrik Tax) and a stamp for a letter 500 Tugrik (plus tax). If you're going to live in mongolia you should know, that the streets in general ahve no name, so you can't recive letters at your homeadress, but your friends can send them to the postoffice to psot res ... more

Questions and Answers or Forum

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Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospi ... more

Hospitality Club Meetings

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Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.

Travelogues

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Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.

Photos

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Here you can include photos that are hosted somewhere on the internet. As with maps, you have to make sure that it is ok for us to use the photos here (so they should be either your photos, or you should ask the owner), and that it is allright to call them up from here.

Activities and Sports

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Nightlife and Entertainment

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Bars

Some cool bars are on the south side of the Suhbataar Place. At the right side of the national theatre there is you find the Irish Pub with some real irish beeres, in bottles but also they have Guinnes Draught.

On the opposite is Khan Bräu, where you can have a good meal, and of course some mongolian beers brewed by the Deutsches Reinheitsgebot, and also german beer.

Paraleel to the Peace Avenue in east direction you find the Radio Club, where are often TV t ... more

Population and People

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Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

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On the internet and in the Lonely Planet it is listed a lot of rules for how to behave in a ger. I found some of them wrong, some less important and some very true. Here is what I found out my self:

sleep with the head to the altar and the feet to the door.
recieve bowls with both hands.
Give a knife with the handle toward the reciever
Dont sit on the threshold
Dont put dishes on someones bed
When offered food and drinks, taste some, if ever so little, and then lea ... more

Language and Useful Phrases

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English
Many mongolians try to learn it and some know it to a comunicable level.
Russian
Most people know some basic russian. Some speak it fluently, but dont take it for granted.
other
Japanese, Korean and chinese is also common.

Events and Holidays

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Festivals, Sports, Concerts, Public Holidays...

Climate and When to Go

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Geography

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Environment and Flora and Fauna

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Dangers and Warnings

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Dont walk alone at night, too many foreigners have been violenty attacked since the begining of 2005. (like myself) Most of the poorer expats that dont have security at theyr home or body guards, have been agressed violently at least once while in Mongolia. And if you go to Markets, hide your valuables in a money belt undwer your clothes, and avoid wearing a handbag. Pick pocketing and Crime is a serius problem here, but you can avoid those if you prepare yourself. You can rent a safe on a d ... more

Tourist Traps

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The big tourist trap is to spend most of your time in the car...Mongolia is so big, and most tourists dont realise it!!!

If you anyway decide to take a car trip around the coutry, at least let it take double as much time as suggested. Of course it will be double expensive too, but you will see more than the interior of the car.
Do more and longer stops and drive less each day, or drive every second day and do some hiking or resting every second day.

Health

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If there is somewhere where you really should take a rabies shoot before you go it is in Mongolia. For some strange reason some health centres doesnt advice to do it, but I would really recomend it everyone that is going to the countryside. With so many dogs, and so bad transportsystem it is very likely that you get bitten by a dog and cant get to a hospital in 24 hours. The shoot will give you more time.
If an angry dog runs after you, shout at it, throw things on it, kick it, hit it with ... more

History

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When I was in Mongolia I learned that the Mongolian horse came as far as Iceland, but no longer. Therefore the Icelandic and mongolian horses are very close related and look very similar.
Since Iceland is an isolated island the horse was preserved here and still have the same properties as it had for long time ago. Including the famous walk tölt.
The mongolian horse was inbreeded and therefore most of them cant do this anymore, but still you can find some rare horses that do it.
... more

Government and Politics

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Economy

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GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...

Arts

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Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...

Media

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Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...

Religion

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Volunteer Opportunities and Work

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Organized Tours

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Daka can arrange a stay with a local familly, you stay in a Ger (yourt) next to the familly,(but you have to pay a little) and you can participate in theyr herders works, or ride a horse, or hike etc...The location of the familly is in a superb place,and the experience of staying with locals at theyr Yourt is a must!! it's 55 km from Ulan Bataar. It's much much better than to stay at a boring tourist camp !!! And real cheap too!!! Daka fone is 976-99 844 844 and e-mail dakaa1379@yahoo.com

What to Bring or Packing List

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Shopping

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The most interesting place to go to look for things is the black market, called naranthul zach. The minibusses leave on the main street on the ither side of the suchbaatrsquare at teh busstation.... just wait for the small busses and the man in the bus shoutig zach, zach, zach.... it's 200 or 300 Tugrik to get there. Entrance to the market is 50 Tugrik. You can find everything at this market.... also old nails, things to built a ger (jurte), clothes, teapots, whatever... . the market opens at 10 ... more

Books and Further Reading

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Guidebooks, Travel, History and Politics
Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.

Other Information

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Could not fit it into any of the categories above? Put it here...:-)

External Links

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Official Country Website:
Only add really valuable resources here. Also, please ask the webmaster of the site you link here to add a link back to the Hospitality Club. If the link exists, please add (L) behind the URL of the link.
GertoGer You travel from one nomadic family to the next. This is a good way to get close to their life and culture in a short time. Their tours last from two to nine days.
more

Offtopic Messages

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Here you can add messages that are not exactly related to the aims of the Hospitality Club (but related to the country). Do you need a visa invitation? Looking for an internship, job or a flat to rent? Just add this here, and if you are lucky other members will read it and contact you. Remember: do not send messages like this directly to members - after giving you this space here, we will fight spam even more strictly!
Disclaimer: The Hospitality Club has no control over the information above and accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this website. Please correct false information or send us feedback about it.
Copyright: Feel free to use the text on your website as long as you notify us and include a clearly visible link to www.hospitalityclub.org above the text.

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