USEFUL TIPS

Cultural tips

Visiting a family:  At one point during your travel, you are most likely to visit a local family and here are some tips of what to do if that happens. Mongolians are welcoming and hospitable people, usually, and the guests will be offered what they have such as milk tea, airag (fermented horse milk), bread, fried or baked goods, candy, snuff bottle and even vodka. It is not so polite to refuse all those but doesn’t mean you have eat, drink sniff it all. You can take the offering, take little sip or give it a try and put it back if you don’t like or your health conditions don’t allow it. Simply refusing it doesn’t look polite.

Don’t:

  • Step over someone’s clothing article if it happens to be on the floor
  • Step over someone or body part, especially the head area if one is laying down. The head is the most respected body part and anything goes on top of the head, such as hat, which also needs to be respected and not thrown on the ground. Avoid the head area from touching, playing and fooling around to be safe and not offend anyone.
  • Throw/place someone’s hat or belt on the ground
  • Let people walk over your stretched legs or stepping over someone else’s
  • Lean against the support column inside the ger
  • Let your feet point in the direction of the altar, where pictures or statues of deity is usually placed (north side of the ger)
  • Point a finger towards a person. If need to point at someone, put your fingers together and use all of your fingers in the direction of the person.
  • Point a knife towards a person. Hand over a knife by pointing the base towards the person, while holding from the handle or mid part of the knife.
  • Take anything with your left hand
  • Shaking hands while sleeves are rolled up. Put sleeves down before shaking hands.
  • Never throw rubbish into natural water such as rivers and lakes (locals worship their river and lake spirits)

Do

  • Use right hand or both hands to receive
  • Keep your hat on if you’re wearing one when entering a ger, to show sign of respect
  • Remove gloves before shaking hands
  • Bring small gifts or leave some candy behind as sign of thank you and respect (but if you’re in the middle of nowhere where there are no shops around, don’t worry)
  • Try, sip of the delicacies offered
  • Shake or grab any part of the hand to say sorry if you step/touch/kick someone’s feet
What to do when offered a snuff bottle

Snuff bottles are offered as a greeting and it happens commonly. They are filled with ground herb powder and don’t worry they are not drugs. If you don’t want to snort any of the powder, just sniff around the cap and return it with your right hand just like how you received it in the first place.

Catching a taxi in Ulaanbaatar

In order to catch a cab, you need to stand by the road and raise your hand out 90 degrees (don’t have to be exact) indicating you need a ride. Compare to other countries, a car without a taxi sign or color can stop and wait for you to get in and that’s normal. Taxi fare is 1,000 MNT/kilometer (approx 25 cents/km). When you enter the taxi/car, the driver will zero the odometer. When in doubt or if you feel like being ripped off, just look at the odometer and pay accordingly. Ex: Your taxi fare is 5,700 MNT and the odometer should read 5.7 km. Ulaanbaatar is small and the taxi fare is cheap. Let’s say taxi driver added 5,000 MNT more ( 2 USD), which happens rarely, isn’t really a big deal so whether you want to stress over it or not is really up to you. Give the taxi driver extra 1000 MNT (approx 40 cents) is a very cheap way to make a nice gesture.

Riding the public transport

You would have to purchase a bus card called Umoney from mom and dad shops stores, small shops or newspaper stands. They cost about MNT 4000 (less than 2 USD) and replenish it with however much you need. One trip costs MNT 500 (20 cents) and you can transfer free of charge to a different line within 30 mins but only once in every 4 hour span. There is an app called “UB Smart Bus” for iOS and Android that lists all the lanes. However, the app is not in English yet so catching a cab is ideal at the moment. Ulaanbaatar is not so big and the taxi fare is cheap.  

Important note about visa and staying more than 30 days in Mongolia

IF YOU’RE STAYING MORE THAN 30 DAYS IN MONGOLIA, YOU MUST REGISTER WITH THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE IN ULAANBAATAR WITHIN 7 DAYS OF ARRIVING TO AVOID PENALTY FEE. INFORM YOUR FRIEND, HOST FAMILY, HOSTEL OR TOUR OPERATOR AHEAD.

What to bring: passport and photo (plenty of photo studios everywhere and there is one on the first floor of State Department Store)

The Immigration office is not far from the airport (approx. 5 km).

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yTah7VNGGNM2

Website: http://www.immigration.gov.mn/



Visa to Mongolia

NOTE: read #3 for important visa information

 

Travel visa:

Travel visa can be obtained in any consular or embassy of Mongolia in your country or nearest location. Visa fees vary according to the diplomatic relationship between the countries.

 

Business travel visa (31-90 day stay) requirements:

  • The inviting party (Mongolian entity) needs to bring an official letter of request to the Immigration office of Mongolia.
  • Company certificate copy (if first time)
  • Traveler’s passport copy with expiration date no less than 6 months   
  • MNT 1000 processing fee
  • Travelers belonging to countries that do not have consulate or embassy in Mongolia must request visa issuance at the border of entry minimum 14 days prior arrival date.

Temporary Residence Card requirements:

  • Request visa to Immigration office of Mongolia
  • Fill out application form at the Mongolian embassy in your country or at border
  • Bring passport and register at the Immigration Office of Mongolia within 7 days of arrival in Mongolia
  • Registration and application must be completed within 21 days of arrival in Mongolia
Visa Free Countries to Mongolia

NOTE: read #3 for important visa information

Passport holders of the following countries can travel to Mongolia without visa.

Passport typeUp to 90 daysUp to 30 daysUp to 21 daysUp to 15 days
NormalBelarus, Brazil, Serbia, Ukraine*, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, MacaoGermany, Turkey, Russia, Canada, Cuba, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia. Russia, IndonesiaPhilippinesSingapore, Hong Kong
DiplomaticNorth Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Mexico, Slovakia, South Korea, Chili, India, Poland, Cyprus, Kuwait, Peru,, Estonia***, Latvia,Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Indonesia, Cambodia, Columbia, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Brunei
Diplomatic (electronic)Germany, France, Italy, Estonia*   

*Must have invitation letter

Note: Visitors staying longer than expected days must register at the Immigration Center within 7 days of entering Mongolian borders.

Embassies in Mongolia

Following is a list of countries that have consulate in Ulaanbaatar.

Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, China, Australia, UAE, Laos, Italy, Germany, Republic of Cuba, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam,  Canada, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Delegation of the European Union, United States, France, Kuwait, Swiss Confederation.

For contact information,address and consulate details please visit: http://www.consul.mn/04ubdtg.php#

Mongolian Embassy and General Consulate located abroad

NOTE: read #3 for important visa information

Passport holders of the following countries can travel to Mongolia without visa.

CountryCityAddressContact info
KazakhstanAstanaПосольство Монголии в Республике Казахстан
Ул.Дарабоз 35, 010010 Астана
Tel: 7 (727) 269 35 70
Fax: 7 (727) 229 37 90
8 (7172) 96 51 56
astana@mfa.gov.mn
www.astana-embassy.mn
TurkeyAncaraMogolistan Buyukelciligi
A.Fethi Okyar Sokak No.4, Oran Diplomatik Sitesi, Cankaya, 06450 Ankara
Tel: 90 (312) 4921027,
90 (312) 4921028
Fax: 90 (312) 4921064
Email: ankara@mfa.gov.mn
ThailandBangkokEmbassy of Mongolia in the Kingdom of Thailand
100/3 Soi Ekkamai 22, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Tel: 66 (2) 381 1400,
66 (02) 392 1011
Fax: 66 (2) 392 4199
Email: bangkok@mfa.gov.mn
GermanyBerlinBotschaft der Mongolei
Hausvogteiplatz 14, 10117 Berlin
49 (30) 47480611
Fax: 49 (30) 47480616
Email: berlin@mfa.gov.mn
www.berlin.embassy.mn
BelgiumBrusselsAmbassade de Mongolie
Avenue Besme 18,
1190 Forest Bruxelles
Tel: 32 (2) 344 6974
Fax: 32 (2) 344 3215
Email: brussels@embmongolie.be
www.embmongolie.be
HungaryBudapestMongol Nagykovetseg
Bogar Utca 14/c, Budapest 1022, Hungary
Tel: +36 3268558
Fax: +36 2125731
Email: budapest@mfa.gov.mn
www.budapest.embassy.mn
ChinaBeijingNo 2, Xiu Shui Bei Jie,
Jian Guo Men Wai,
Beijing 100600
Tel: 86 (10) 6532 6512
86 (10) 6532 6513
86 (10) 6532 1203
Fax: 86-10-6532-6216
Email: beijing@mfa.gov.mn
www.beijing.mfa.gov.mn
PolandWarsawAmbasada Mongolii
ul.Rejtana 15 m.16
02516 Warszawa, Polska
Tel: 48 (22) 849 9391
Fax: 48 (22) 848 2063
Email: warsaw@mfa.gov.mnwww.ambasadamongolii.pl
Washington DCUSAEmbassy of Mongolia
2833 M Street, NW Washington DC 20007
Tel: 1 (202) 333 7117
Fax: 1 (202) 298 9227
Email: washington@mfa.gov.mn
monconsul@mongolianembassy.us
www.mongolianembassy.us
AustriaVienaBotschaft der Mongolei
Fasangartengasse 45, 1130 Vienna, Austria
Tel: 43 (1) 5352807-0
Fax: 43 (1) 5352807-20
Email: vienna@mfa.gov.mn
www.vienna.embassy.mn
LaosVientianeEmbassy of Mongolia in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Q.Wat Nak Km.3 P.O.Box 370
Vientiane
Tel: 856 (21) 315220
Fax: 856 (21) 315221
Email: vientiane@mfa.gov.mn
CubaHavanaEmbajada de Mongolia
Calle 66 No.505, esquina a 5ta.A, Miramar,
La Habana
Tel: 53 (7) 2042763
Fax: 53 (7) 2040639
Email: havana@mfa.gov.mn
IndiaDelhiEmbassy of Mongolia in the Republic of India
34, Archbishop Macarios Marg,
New Delhi 110003
Tel: 91 (11) 2461 7989
Fax: 91 (11) 2463 3240
Email: delhi@mfa.gov.mn
EgyptCairoEmbassy of Mongolia in the Arab Republic of Egypt
No.14, str 152, MAADI, Cairo
Tel: 20 (2) 235 86012
Fax: 20 (2) 235 91670
Email: cairo@mfa.gov.mn
United KingdomLondonEmbassy of Mongolia in the United Kingdom
7-8 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL
Tel: 44 (207) 937 0150, 7252
Fax: 44 (207) 937 1117
Email: london@mfa.gov.mnwww.embassyofmongolia.co.uk
AustraliaCanberraEmbassy of Mongolia in the Commonwealth of Australia
23 Culgoa circuit, O’Malley, Canberra ACT 2606
Tel: 61-2-628 629 47
Fax: 61-2-62866381
Email: canberra@mfa.gov.mn
www.mongolianembassy.org.au
RussiaMoscowПосольство Монголии в РФ
Борисоглебский пер.11,
Москва, РФ 115127
Tel: 7-495-690-67-92
7-495-691-46-36 (Офис менежер)
7 (495) 695 43 70 (Элчин зөвлөх)
7 (495) 690 02 45 (Ёслол)
Fax: 7 (495) 691 46 36
Email: moscow@mfa.gov.mn
Consulate: mongolconsul@gmail.com
7 (499) 252 78 67
Fax: 7 (499) 241 15 57
www.mongolianembassy.ru
ItalyRomeEmbassy of Mongolia to the Italian Republic
Via Vincenzo Bellini 4, 00198 Rome
Tel: 39 (06) 8540536
Fax: 39 (06) 8540536
Email: rome@mfa.gov.mn
www.monembrome.mn
CanadaOttawa132 Stanley Avenue, ON, Canada K1M 1N9Tel: (613) 569 3830
Fax: (613) 569 3916
Email: ottawa@mfa.gov.mn
www.ottawa.embassy.mn
FranceParisAmbassade de Mongolie
5, Avenue Robert Schuman
92100 Boulogne-Billancourt
Tel: 33 (1) 46052812
33 (1) 4605 23 18 (Консул)
Fax: 33 (1) 46053016
Email: paris@mfa.gov.mn
www.ambassademongolie.fr
Democratic Poeple’s Republic of KoreaEmbassy of Mongolia in the DPRK
Munsu dong-19, Taedonggang District, Pyongyang
Tel: 850 (2) 381 7321
Fax: 850 (2) 381 7616
Email: pyongyang@mfa.gov.mn
Czech RepublicPragueVelvyslanectvi Mongolska
Na Marne 5, Praha 6, 160 00 Ceska Republika
Tel: 420 (2) 24311198,
Fax:420 (2) 24314827
Email: prague@mfa.gov.mn
www.prague.embassy.mnBulgaria
BulgariaSofiaEmbassy of Mongolia in the Republic of Bulgaria
52 Frederic Joliot Curie, Sofia -1113
Tel: +359 2 865 90 12
Fax: +359 2 963 07 45
Email: sofia@mfa.gov.mn,mongemb@gmail.com
www.sofia.mfa.gov.mn
Republic of KoreaSeoulEmbassy of Mongolia in the Republic of Korea
95, Dokseodang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-885
Tel: 82 (2) 798 3464
82 (2) 795 1950
Fax: 82 (2) 794 7605 (ЭСЯ)
82 (2) 798 3465 (Консулын газар)
Email: seoul@mfa.gov.mn
www.mongolembassy.com
SingaporeSingaporeEmbassy of Mongolia in the Republic of Singapore
600 North Bridge Road, #24-08 Parkview Square
Singapore188778
Tel: 65 63480745
Fax: 65 63481753
Email: singapore@mfa.gov.mn
www.mongolianembassy.sg
JapanTokyoEmbassy of Mongolia in Japan
21-4 Kamiyama-Cho,
Shibuya- Ku, Tokyo 150-0047
Tel: 81 (3) 3469-2088
81 (3) 3469 2195 (Консулын газар)
81 (3) 3469 2179 (Консулын газар)
81 (3) 3469 2162 (Ёслол)
9868-2299 (гар утас)
Fax: 81 (3) 3469 2216
Email: tokyo@mfa.gov.mn
www.tokyo.embassy.mn
VietnamHanoiEmbassy of Mongolia in Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Villa No 6, Van Phuc Diplomatic Quarter,
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: 84 (4) 384 53009
Fax: 84 (4) 384 54954
Email: hanoi@mfa.gov.mn
SwedenStockholmEmbassy of Mongolia in the Kingdom of Sweden
Svardvagen 25B,
182 33 Danderyd Stockholm
Tel: 46 (08) 7531135
46 (08) 7531136
Fax: 46 (08) 7531138
Email: stockholm@mfa.gov.mn
KuwaitKuwaitEmbassy of Mongolia to the State of Kuwait
Kuwait, Salwa area, Moutaz Street, villa 35
Tel: +965 25640208 / 25646020 / 25642262
Fax: +965 25648030
Email: kuwait@mfa.gov.mn
www.kuwait.embassy.mn

Other consulates of Mongolia

CountryCityAddressContact info
KyrgyzstanBishkekConsulate General of Mongolia in Bishkek
Av, Erkindik 73, city 720040
Republic of Kyrgyz
Tel: 996 (312) 660-113
Fax: 996 (312) 660-411
Email: bishkek@mfa.gov.mn

ChinaHohhot Zhongguo Huhe Haote
Xinchenqu Wulanxiaoqu 5 hao Lou Menguguo Zhonglinshiguan
PRC

Tel: 86 (471) 4902531
86 (471) 4902262
Fax: 86 (471) 4902531
86 (471) 4303250
Email: huhhot@mfa.gov.mn
www.huhhot.consul.mn

ChinaHong Kong

Unit 1203, Tower 2, Lippo Centre
89 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Tel: 852 25222400
Fax: 852 25222405
Email: hongkong@mfa.gov.mn
www.hongkong.consul.mn

TurkeyIstanbul Levent Mahallesi, Levent Caddesi, Güvercin sokak, No: 37, BEŞİKTAŞ/ İSTANBUL/ TURKEYTel: 90 (212) 662 6162 141
Email: istanbul@mfa.gov.mn
www.istanbul.consul.mn
RussiaIrkutskГенеральное Консульство Монголии
Ул.Лапина 11, Иркутск, РФ 664003

Tel: 7 (3952) 342447 (Консул)
Fax: 7 (3952) 342143
Email: irkutsk@mfa.gov.mn

RussiaKyzyl Генеральное Консульство Монголии
Ул.Интернациональная 9,
Кызыль РФ 667000

Tel: 7 (39422) 20430
Fax: 7 (39422) 20445
Email: kyzyl@mfa.gov.mn
USASan FranciscoConsulate General of Mongolia in San Francisco
Suite 200, Merchants Exchange Building, 465 California St.San Francisco, CA 94104, USA

Tel: 1 (415) 622 4000
Fax: 1 (415) 622 3000
Email: sanfrancisco@mfa.gov.mn
www.sanfrancisco.consul.mn
JapanOsaka 3f Estate Bakurochiyou BLDG
1-4-10 Bakuromachi,Chuo-ku,
Osaka City Japan 541-0059

Tel : 81 (6) 4963-2572
Fax: 81 (6) 4963-2574
Email : osaka@mfa.gov.mn

RussiaUlan-UdeГенеральное Консульство Монголии
Ул.Профсоюзная 6
Улан-Удэ, РФ 670000

Tel, Fax: 7 (3012) 215275 (Консул)
Tel, Fax: 7 (3012) 210507
Tel, Fax: 7 (3012) 220139 (Ерөнхий консулын нарийн бичиг)
Tel: 7 (3012) 220499
Email: ulan-ude@mfa.gov.mn
www.ulan-ude.consul.mn

Republic of KoreaBusanConsulate of Mongolia in Busan 11, Haeun-daero 774beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, 48104, Republic of Korea Tel: 051 (465) 9996
Fax: 051 (465) 9997
Email: busan@mfa.gov.mn
www.busan.consul.mn
ChinaErlian Consulate of Mongolia in Erlian
No.1206, Youyi Beilu Erlianhaote,
Inner Mongolia, PRC 011100

Tel: 976 62269000
Fax: 86 (479) 7589201
Email: ereen@mfa.gov.mn
www.ereen.consul.mn
Going out and partying in Ulaanbaatar

Due to large influx of foreigners (among them good and bad people) stirred up some Nationalists. If you’re mingling with a Mongolian girl in the bar or dancing excessively in a punch in a wall pub, watch out for guys who want to pick a fight. This is no Thailand where you can do whatever you want, disrespect and get away with shit. Use common sense, know WHERE, with WHOM and WHAT time. For most travelers who are passing by, is not a problem or befriend a Mongolian or ask us for an Escort Service!

Exchanging money

If exchanging large amount of cash, money exchange centers will give you slightly better rate, especially post 1996 US dollar bills and higher denominations ($50 or $100). US dollar bills pre-1988 or bills that are handled badly (crumbled, faded etc) are difficult to exchange anywhere and will not be accepted. It is a hassle to exchange money in the countryside, however, there will be a bank in every province and soum center but the rates will be lower than the capital city. All banks and money exchange centers accept the following bills:

  • US Dollar
  • EURO
  • Japanese YEN
  • Swiss FRANC
  • Chinese YUAN
  • Russian RUBLE
  • Korean WON
  • British POUND
Withdrawing from ATM machines in Mongolia

ATM machines are everywhere that take VISA or MASTERCARD. Golomt bank ATM machines seem to have the least trouble when it comes to international cards.

Having a local phone number in Mongolia

Yes, tourist SIM cards are available from Mobicom, Unitel and Skytel. You’ll have to come to their stores to purchase one. It is a good idea to purchase data to keep your friends and family updated via email or social media etc.

Electricity in Mongolia

Electric power is 220V, 50Hz. Most sockets are designed for round prongs, European style.

Things to do in Ulaanbaatar

If you’re not a city person, we recommend leave for the countryside as soon as possible. Otherwise, Ulaanbaatar is a bustling city with many restaurants, tall buildings in the downtown and lots of young people. Starting May, Light Streets is a section of the Seoul street that is blocked off Friday till Sunday, filled with street food, entertainment that starts from 8PM till 2AM. Young people, families with children strolling around with their kids at 1AM is common during this time. Go see the concert in Tumen Ekh Chuulge near downtown.

Shopping in Ulaanbaatar

Shops near downtown offer souvenirs, antiques, artwork, cashmere and winter clothing. Leather jackets, yak, goat, camel cashmere, wool vests, carpets and blankets can be found for excellent price. However, if you’re going for a bargain price, Narantuul market aka Black market is the place to go. We recommend going there with your friend, guide or book our city tour for safety and to ensure not getting ripped off.

Mongolian cashmere

Mongolia produces 30% of the world’s cashmere and possibly more than 60% of all cashmere products have mongolian cashmere yarn due to China being the biggest importer of Mongolia’s raw cashmere. Many of the brand name cashmere products are produced in Mongolia and sent to high end Department stores all over the world with their name tag and one of them being England. The prices are much lower to buy in Mongolia than in a fancy store in the western world. Higher the price, the better quality and the finer hair. One should look for 100% cashmere sign on the product tag. If handled and washed correctly, cashmere can last for long time, even passed down to family members. Yak cashmere has been popular due to second softest cashmere, goat cashmere being the softest

Traveling vegan/vegetarian

Mongolia is a nomadic country, meaning, vegan or vegetarian food is scarce once you leave the city. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t anything to eat. Beef, mutton, goat for meat and potato, carrot, onion, garlic, flour, rice and dairy products considered to be main go to products everywhere. Either prepare and stackup on vegan/vegetarian food before leaving on a journey to the countryside or be flexible. However, most tourist camps and resorts will offer something vegetarian.

Medical emergency

The designated hospital for foreigners in Mongolia is State Hospital #2, located at Peace Avenue, Ulaanbaatar, on the north side of the street opposite the wrestling stadium, emergency tel. 976-70150234, http://www.sgh.gov.mn/contact. The most modern medical facility in Mongolia is SOS Medica Mongolia, emergency tel. 976-11-464325/26/27 or (English speaking) 976-9191-3122; http://www.sosmedica.mn.   Emergency helicopter lifts are also available through SOS Medica  but it might be very expensive (ranging USD 10,000 or more). Medical care is extremely limited and may be difficult or impossible to find outside Ulaanbaatar. Bring cash as most doctors and hospitals will expect payment in cash, regardless of health insurance. Serious medical problems will require air evacuation to a country with state-of-the-art medical facilities.