The vast majority of Mongolia’s official road network, some 40,000km, are simple cross country tracks. Around 5,000km are graded, gravel covered or otherwise improved, but only 3,500km are paved. The government is currently investing heavily in increasing its better road links between the major provincial centres and its capital. In many ways, the network of pot-holed roads, gravel trails and dirt tracks are an integral part of what makes the country so appealing to travellers. Driving here is not a sanitised asphalt chore indistinguishable from your daily lives back home, but a predominantly off-road, overland adventure through diverse landscapes, rich with wildlife and nomadic culture.
The vast majority of the country is not served by any rail system. The main line carves a route from the Russian border at Sukhbaatar in the north to the Chinese border in the south at Zamyn Ud, a total of 1110km. The line is used for freight both domestic and international as well as for passenger services. A ride on the soviet style railway is a characterful and enjoyable experience. However, if it is luxury rail you are looking for, we offer the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian journey.
There are 3 companies who operate domestic flights in Mongolia.
Khalkh Mongolian is the official language and is spoken by 90% of the population. Minor languages include Kazakh, Russian and Chinese. Khalkh Mongolian is part of the diverse Uralic-Altaic language family, which spread across the ancient Mongol Empire and also contains Korean, Manchu, Turkish, Finnish and Hungarian.
Mongolian accommodation is diverse, from traditional Gers to modern hotels, to lodge style country retreats to homestays and camping.
Outside the capital, you will spend most if not all of your time at ger camps. These are locally run enterprises set in rural locations, near areas of cultural, historical, or geographical interest. Typically between 20-40 gers, each with 2-4 beds with a wood burning stove.
FOOD AND DRINK
Approximately 25 million head of livestock supply the staples of the Mongolian diet – meat and dairy products.
GETTING TO MONGOLIA
Chinggis Khan International Airport is situated 18km (11 miles) southwest Ulaanbaatar and is the largest international air facility in the country.
The number of flights and routes into Mongolia has increased significantly in recent years. The following cities have direct flights to Mongolia and are all major international transit hubs providing connections to many countries. The flight frequency is based on summer schedule (June – September).
Berlin – MIAT fly direct 3-4 times a week
Beijing – MIAT and Air China both fly direct daily
Hong Kong – MIAT & Mongolian Airlines both fly direct 3-4 times a week
Istanbul – Turkish Airlines fly direct 3 times a week (refuel en route)
Moscow – Aeroflot fly direct daily. MIAT fly direct 3 times a week
Seoul – MIAT and Korean Airlines both fly direct daily
Shanghai – Mongolian Airlines fly direct 3 times a week
Toyko – MIAT fly direct 3-4 times a week
One of the Trans-Siberian Rail routes runs from Moscow through to Beijing, passing through Mongolia. Along with the regular passenger trains, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains run an exclusive service.
Mongolia has recently relaxed its visa rules (as of June 2014), exempting passport holders of a further 42 countries from visa requirements – albeit on a temporary basis. However, visitors from any country planning on staying more than 30 days should register with the Mongolia Immigration.
Passport holders of the below listed countries may travel to Mongolia for tourist and/or business purposes without a visa and stay up to 30 days from June 25 2014 to December 31 2015.
Passport holders of the below listed countries may travel to Mongolia for up to 90 days without a visa;
Passport holders of the below listed countries may travel to Mongolia for up to 30 days without a visa;
Passport holders of the below listed countries may travel to Mongolia for up to 21 days without a visa;
Passport holders of the below listed countries may travel to Mongolia for up to 14 days without a visa;