The reminders of the once great leader Genghis Khan (or Chinggis Khaan as he is referred to in Mongolia) are everywhere. From the centre of Ulaan Baatar to the remains of his great wall to the east. His spirit, along with the spirit of many other warriors still lingers here, probably trapped within the bodies of the golden eagles still used by Western Mongolian men to hunt for prey. The scenery itself is breathtaking, often dotted with Gers (also known as Yurts) and overshadowed by odd cloud formations that add a different dimension to the beauty of its landscape. Mongolia, an unforgettable travel destination.
Fast Facts about Mongolia Travel
- Mongolian power voltage is 220-240 V 50 Hz; Power sockets C & E
- The local currency is the Mongolian Tugrik (MNT) and is around 2,000 MNT to 1 USD
- Adopt MST (Mongolian Standard Time) – Mongolians are less aware of time and locals have a very relaxed attitude about it. So sit back and make sure to go with the flow.
- Leave some room in your suitcase for souvenirs: Monoglia is known for its cashmere blankets and sweaters
- According to World Nomads: Mongolia is one of the least crime-ridden countries to visit. With one of the lowest crime rates in Asia, you won't have to worry too much about getting into trouble while visiting, so long as you play it safe and use common sense.
- Be forewarned: it is almost impossible to use your credit cards in the countryside, however you can withdraw cash from any ATM or use Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB cards in all major towns.
Top Packing Tips
Mongolia is known as the Land of the Blue Skies as it is cloudless for more than two thirds of the year. It is also one of the highest countries in the world and thus subjected to extreme continental weather from short, sweltering summers to long, frigid winters. Average temperature in most of the country is below zero from November to March and close to it in April and October. During the summertime temperatures can reach as high at 40°C in the Gobi Desert and around mid 30° in the capital.
- Layers (Winter)– Temperatures can go down to -30°C in the wintertime. The general rule of thumb is to pack at least four layers: a base layer, long sleeve shirts, a fleece (mid-layer) and a top layer such as a windbreaker (waterproof!). Base layers should be made of wool or synthetic fabrics – these fabrics offer superior moisture-wicking and temperature control protection than cotton. And don't forget your head, fingers and toes!
- Layers (Summer) – Temperatures can fluctuate during the summer time, largely depending on the time of day. During the nighttime it can be quite chilly, especially if you are camping. Pack a base layer, long sleeve shirt and a fleece/top layer – don't forget a hat, scarf and gloves.
- Headlamp – if you plan on going camping, there is nothing worse than stumbling in the dark as you try to go to the bathroom, which brings us to our next point…
- Toiletries – outside of major citie s,it's just you and the open road – expect to wash in rivers and frequent outhouses. As a result bring a good stash of toiletries from wet naps, bio-degradable travel soap, facial cleansing pads and dry shampoo.
- Hiking Boots – pack a good pair of boots with good grip that are waterproof and insulated for spring/winter travel.
- Insect Repellent – Along with natural beauty and hot weather, Mongolia is known for its pretty vicious mosquitos. Travellers are advised to bring a mosquito net, insect spray or a mosquito headnet.
Top Things to do in Mongolia
- Drive in the Mongol Rally – enter in the greatest motoring adventure on the planet. Start off in Europe and drive to Mongola, 10,000 miles across the mountains, rivers, desert and steppe. There’s no backup, no support and no set route; just you, your fellow adventurists and a tiny car you bought from a scrapyard.
- Sleep in a Ger – also known as Yurts outside of Mongolia, these tents keep you cozy and warm for a night spent underneath the stars.
- Visit to Gobi Desert – the region is known as the location of the first nest of dinosaur eggs and other fossils found here in the 1920s. So go dino hunting or why not learn about the Gobi nomads and hop on a camel to ride into the desert sands.