WHEN TO TRAVEL TO MONGOLIA
You can plan your visit any time you wish; no reason why not to come when you feel like it and we will offer an itinerary adapted to the time of the year. Winters can be long and cold but always with blue skies and sunshine. Summers can be hot and sometimes rainy as June, July and August fall in the wet season. The best time of the year is from mid May till the end of September. In the South, it can still be very beautiful in October but the days are getting shorter which is not so good for camping. As always, the climate remains a factor outside our control, especially in today’s climate change, so here too, big changes are recorded. We no longer see the weather pattern from before 1990 and incidents of extreme weather conditions are on the rise. So far, we have always been successful in avoiding the worst of the elements on our travels.
At the end of February or the beginning of March, there is the Ice Festival on Lake Khuvsgul in the North. Like no other, the Mongolian people know how to dress warmly and spectacularly in their traditional colourful costume, providing a real feast for the eye during this two-day event.
Then there are various other activities which can change from year to year.
The famous Naadam festival is held in the summer in Ulaanbatar and always on 11-13 July. If you want to avoid the crowds a number of smaller towns have their own scaled-down version of the main Naadam festival of Ulaanbatar and are held before 11-13 July. Sometimes, additional so-called Naadams festivals are held in August or September to commemorate some historical event. The capitals of the 21 provinces announce the dates of their Naadams well in advance, so we can plan an itinerary dedicated to this festival if that is what takes your fancy.
The Eagle festivals of Olgii are held in September and the beginning of October and these are organised by the Kazakhs. You can see demonstrations of how eagles are trained to hunt foxes, predominantly. Fox hide is used mainly in the manufacture of hats. The Kazakhs live in the province of Bayan-Olgii (in fact 90% of its inhabitants are Kazakhs) and spend the summer in the mountains in their gers and come down to the villages in the valley for the winter months.
At other times of the year events are organised for tourists. These can be incorporated in our itinerary should we happen to be in the area.
For those tourists who wish to travel independently, singly or in a group, we can organise transport, driver and guide. There is no standard price for this and will depend on the chosen itinerary.
The daily rate for our basic itinerary is €80,00 per person. That is all-inclusive from the moment you touch Mongolian soil. But excluding the hotels in Ulaan Baatar. By ‘basic’ we mean camping where possible and overnight stays in a simple ger, usually with a nomadic family.
For the more luxurious itineraries, the all-inclusive daily rate is €130,00 per person and for this we use more up-market ger camps or standard hotels. For a top-notch experience we use deluxe ger camps and the price is €200,00 per person per day, all inclusive.
We can quote a price on an individual basis that may include extras such as national flight/train reservations, special culinary wishes, certain types of transport or very long-distance overland travel. Our standard prices are calculated on the basis of 2 to 4 people. Should you come on your own or with a large group, the price will be adjusted accordingly. If you let us know in advance, we can book national airline or train tickets.
Train tickets to Moskow, Irkoetsk, Ulan-Ude in Russia and to Erlian, Hohot and Beijing in China can be bought cheaply here. It is strongly recommended to buy airline tickets for the various capitals of Mongolia prior to your arrival in this country.
COMPULSORY REQUIREMENT FOR MONGOLIA
Since 1 January 2016 it is again compulsory to have a 30-day tourist visa. This can be obtained at the Mongolian Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. Of course, you can get a visa at any Mongolian embassy anywhere in the world.
If you want to stay for longer than 1 month you must report in person to Immigration within 7 days of your arrival. This is the case even if you already have a visa for longer than 1 month. Failure to comply will result in a fine of $100,00 and will cost you a lot of time and energy!
There is no compulsory vaccination program in Mongolia. You may sometimes find that one or other vaccination is recommended, but that is entirely up to you. Individual travel insurance is recommended and we should point out that we are not affiliated to any travel agency insurance scheme and are therefore are not responsible for any injury or theft.
TIPS FOR VISA FOR RUSSIA AND CHINA
It can be very difficult to obtain a tourist visa for Russia whilst in Mongolia. We recommend that you find out in advance that you can obtain a tourist visa at the Russian Embassy in Ulaanbaatar for your particular nationality. Better still, if you already have a fair idea what your holiday will look like, apply for a tourist visa at the Russian Embassy in your own country.
It happens regularly that tourists who want to return to Europe on the Trans-Siberia Express are not allowed to do so because they could not get the necessary visa in Mongolia. A Chinese tourist visa takes 5 to 7 days to obtain. Do not be taken in by their ‘Express Service’ as that is not for the benefit of the tourist, so apply for it in good time. Also, you have to show proof of hotel/train or flight reservation.
For more information on a diverse range of subjects about Mongolia, please go to our ‘links’ under the heading ‘Miscellaneous Categories’. The beauty of this method is that these are existing sites which eliminates the need for us to rewrite or reinvent it all over again. In addition, we can add or take away ‘links’ according to what is currently of interest to our clients. These ‘links’ are mainly in English in order to reach the greatest number of people.