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Visit the land of the blue skies and discover the rich culture of Mongolia’s nomadic people

Mongolia might not strike you as a popular holiday destination, but that’s secretly the exact reason people want to visit this intriguing country. Its wide-open spaces, unspoilt landscapes and distinct lack of tourists make this a destination where you can experience true wanderlust, feeling as though you were the first people to ever visit.

Mongolia has the lowest population density in the world, in terms of independent countries. There are just 1.7 people per km2, giving its vast expanses a feeling of alluring emptiness. Add to that the fact is has an average of 250 days of blue sky a year, and you can start to picture a place of true beauty and tranquillity.

Inner Mongolia is actually part of China. Outer Mongolia what is being referred to when people talk about the country of Mongolia.

Top holidays in Mongolia

Culture and history

Mongolia has been described as one of the world’s last frontiers. Bordered by Russia and China, it’s remote but holds a rich heritage that is still preserved today, with its nomadic and pastoral way of living. Around 40% of the country’s population live as nomadic herders, living in traditional tents called gers, which are packed up, carried across the land on horseback and re-pitched. Tourists are often given an opportunity to experience a stay in a ger.

With a history that dates back over 5,000 years, Mongolia has seen its fair share of historical events. The most famous took place in the late 12th century, when Genghis Khan united northeast Asian clans, creating the Mongol Empire – the largest contiguous empire in history.

Mongolia was occupied by Russia from 1924 to 1990 and Slavic cultural influences can be seen in north of the country.

Things to do

Despite Mongolia’s low level of tourism, there are still a plethora of things you can do to immerse yourself in this fascinating country. Fans of the great outdoors can experience living like nomadic people and trek through the Gobi Desert on camels. City-lovers can sample Mongolia’s unusual cuisine and learn more about the history of the Mongol Empire, in Ulaanbaatar - Mongolia’s capital.

The Gobi Desert

The Gobi Desert stretches across northern China and southern Mongolia and you can trek across part of the Mongolian sector from Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park either by horseback or camelback. Marvel at the stunning sand dunes, which sound like they are singing when the wind blow.

Trans-Siberian Railway

Built over 100 years ago, the Trans-Siberian Railway runs from Moscow to Beijing, with routes that travel through Siberia and Mongolia. In 2015 national treasure Joanna Lumley embarked on this once-in-a-lifetime journey in her 4-part Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure, peaking people’s interest in this experience.

Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaater is Mongolia’s capital city and largest city. Here you can experience Mongolia’s Buddhist culture, with a visit to The Migjid Janraisig Temple and Choijin Lama Monastery. You can also head to the Central Museum of Mongolian History, to view artefacts and military items from Genghis Khan warriors, as well as traditional jewellery.

Terelj National Park

Tereji is one of 24 national parks in Mongolia. It’s located close to the capital Ulaanbaatar and is home to a number of tourist camps, where you can stay in a traditional Mongolian ger tent. This is an experience not to be missed when visiting this country – the chance to sleep in a ger (or yurt) under the stars is breathtaking. You may also have the chance to take a hike and meet a traditional nomadic family.

Flight time

Ulaanbaatar has the only international airport in Mongolia. The flight time from London to Ulaanbaatar is around 11 and a half hours.

Passports and visas

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Mongolia.

To enter Mongolia, you will need a visa. Visas are issued for a maximum 30-day visit and are valid for 6 months, from the date of issue.

For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.

Phrases

Hello – Sain uu

Good morning – Sain öglöö

Good afternoon – Sain üdesh

Please – Uuchlaarai

Thank you – Bayarlalaa

Goodbye – Bayartai

Yes – Tiim ee

No – Ügüi

Timezone

Mongolia is 8 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Electricity

The standard voltage in Mongolia is 220 volts. The frequency is 50Hz. You can use UK appliances in Mongolia, if your appliances are between 220 volts and 240 volts.

The plug types in Mongolia are C and E. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type E is the plug which has two round pins and a hole for the socket's male earthing  pin.

Language

Mongolian -

Mongolian is the country’s official language and the most commonly spoken of the Mongolic languages.

Tipping

The recommended tipping amount in restaurants is 10%. Guides and drivers are tipped, on average, around $15 per person, per day. Due to the long distances between destinations, we recommend tipping drivers and much as guides. If in doubt, ask your travel host.

Climate

Mongolia enjoys around 250 cloudless days a year, earning its name as ‘the land of the blue skies’. However, this does not mean it’s warm, all year round. It has short summers and long, cold winters, where temperatures can drop to -40 degrees. The best time to visit Mongolia is from June to August.

Health

We recommend you visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to Mongolia, to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

The population of Mongolia is around 3 million and is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries.

The total land area is 1,564,116 km2, making it the 18th biggest country in the world.

Smoking

In Mongolia smoking is banned in all public places, including bars, restaurants, public transport, gardens and common areas. The law also prohibits sales of cigarettes within 500 meters from schools and dormitories.



Climate

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