INFORMATION ABOUT MONGOLIA
 
     
 

“WHO DRINKS WATER IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY

MUST FOLLOW THE WAYS AND CUSTOMS”

(mongolian proverb)

ABOUT MONGOLIA:  situated between China and Russia, Mongolia is well-know for its biggest steppes. 1 565 000 km2 for 3 000,000 inhabitants, lowest population density in the world: about one person per km2. Before it was totally nomadic now about 60%  of the population lives in towns. Mongolian practice a mixture of Buddhism and shamanism.

FORMALITIES: As formalities change often we recommend that you ask for the most current information at the nearest embassy.

click here for list Mongolian embassy abroad

You can extend your visa on U.B: only one time for 30 days more and only on UB :go to the Immigration office with 3 photos to write a motivation letter , 4 days delivery and if hurry you will pay 14000T for service fee instead of 7000T plus the price of 3$ for each day you want more (7days= 20$ + tax , 30 days=61$ + tax) Price 2012
INVITATION LETTER: contact in English: mejet69@yahoo.com
VISA LONG STAY: contact your nearest consolate or visa on line agency
MONGOLIAN VISA on Irkoust / Ulan de: necessary 3/5 working days
MONGOLIAN VISA IN CHINA (2015)
The embassy is in Xiu Shui Beije street between subway stations Jianguomen and Yonganli. Open from Monday to Friday 8.30Am -11.00AM, it’s better to arrive before opening! You will find the apply forms on embassy.
You will get your visa the day after (no other choice) It’s almost impossible to have the visa the same day!
You can ask for Mongolian visa in Erlian (Chinese border) price >100 euro
RUSSIAN VISA IN UB: for touristic visa + invitation letter go to Legend Tour on Seoul avenue with 120$ (2016) contact: http://www.legendtour.ru/eng/mongolia/russiavisa.shtml


Useful information to get the tourist visa to Russian in Mongolia in 2016:
The all process to get the Russian visa takes from 10 to 16 business days (after you will give all documents). It depends on citizenship. Seem cannot arrange the Urgent Russian tourist visa in Ulaanbaatar.
You should have with your original passport with at least 2 blank pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia, 1 photo. At out office you will fill in application form where you should write information about yourself correctly. You should have an original health insurance with you for traveling to Russia.

At the Russian consulate in Ulaanbaatar we can provide you with Russian tourist visa. For this you need to buy the tour package in Russia (minimum to reserve hotel accommodation in Russia) Invitation letter for Russia costs 25$ (2016) see https://mongolia.mid.ru/en_GB/


Get an insurance attestation if you hold a visa premier card you can get insurance ( please control) or ask www.chapkadirect.com


Invitation letter : different agency on line will provide ! www.russieautrement.com/

RUSSIAN VISA IN ASTANA (Kazasthan): need 7 days to get it and will be valid 3 days later. Different documents to prepare as the ticket wit the dates you are leaving the country. Consolate open Tuesaday and Thursday 15.30-17.30! (info 2017)
Be aware to go to Mongolia from Kazasthan you need a Russian visa! the easiest and less expensive to go to Mongolia from Astana is the bus (Astana-Olgy) > 30 euro (2017) buy the ticket to bus station near the train station.
MONGOLIAN VISA IN ASTANA (Kazasthan): easy, 60 euro, need a picture, 48h. (2017) ask Mongiolian visa only after obtain the Russian transit visa!
CHINESE VISA IN UB: identity photo +copy of your passport +passport+ hotel booked in Cina 8ca ne later cancelled)+ insurance for all your trip in Cina +student card or bank account with 100$ per day and head for all trip +tickets in and out of Cina +apply form to download.
Air Market in Ub can make you false tickets of transportation.
go EARLY to the consulate as long queue, be there 2 hours before! sometimes impossible to go in, sometimes they give tickets to make the queue. 2 lines: one quick for Mongolian and one slow for tourists!
3 prices: 7 days (30$) 4 days (45$) same day: 60$ (2018)


HOW TO GET THERE:


1. BY PLANE: Aeroflot, Turkish, Korean….idea: plane for Moscow-Irkoust and train Irkoust-UB
Taxi will wait outside for downtown, negotiate the price 20-60 euro! Also BUS ask on airport for information


2. BY TRAIN AND BUS

Information:http://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian.htm#Trans-Siberian_timetable


• FROM RUSSIA


with the TRANSIBERIAN: Moscow - U.B=5days. You need a transit visa for Russia and the train ticket costs less if you buy it on Russian train website http://eng.rzd.ru/ . If you buy your transiberian ticket through agency compare as different price! Time table change in summer and winter and it’s not daily.
Time table and tickets: http://eng.rzd.ru/ & http://www.poezda.net, http://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian-timetable.htm


Yaroslavski railway station a moscou pour : Irkutsk, , Trans-siberian trains


How to read your train tickets?
http://www.legendtour.ru/eng/train-ticket/train-tickets.shtml


TRANSIBERIAN transiberian map: click here!&information Transiberian here (French)


Advice to buy a train ticket in Russia
If you want to stop often on the way Moscow-UB it’s possible to buy train tickets from town to town according your need. If you buy a direct train ticket Moscow-UB you can’t stop without loosing your ticket.
Time table: all times are express in Moscow time (different time between Russian towns) If you buy a train ticket leaving at 10AM it will be 10Am Moscow time, so you must calculate your local time in the town you are. All clocks in all railway stations in Russia are with Moscow time!
Train tickets: all tickets will have your name, so you can’t sell it or leave another day than the one mentioned on your own ticket. You will have to show your passport when leaving. On main railways stations you can find international tickets lines where someone can speak English.
On summer recommend to book 45 days preview departure.


Transiberian to much expensive? No seat available? You might use the local solution! You will need an average of 2-3 days more than Transiberian (4-5 days according way).
In Moscow buy a train ticket for Perm or Yekatarinburg ,Omsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyark, Irkoust, Ulan De; according time table in that way you will reach Mongolia. Better to know some Russian to buy tickets in railway stations, if not buy a vocabulary and ask for translate some sentences in Russian to can buy tickets easy in the railway stations (same for UB- Moscow)
If your dates aren’t fixed you can find easier some solution.
Railway station in Russia: all booking-offices are not open with same horary and close on different time each others!
Sometimes in the big towns you can buy tickets in some special booking offices and also outside the railway station in some travel agencies.


BUS: Irkoust –Ulan De- UB and return: in each town go to travel agencies or bus station to get tickets and information.
Irkoust – Ulan De – Irkoust: each 2 hours from 7.30AM to 9.00PM with mini bus of 15 seats
• Ulan de – UB – Ulan De:
12 hours per way, custom time: 2 hours
• Ulan Ude - Suhbatar
• Ulan Udé -Darkhan
• Ulan Udé - Altan Bulag
• Kyakta - UB
• Guzinoozersk - UB


OPTION BUS AND TRAIN: Irkoust – UB- Irkoust and return: according train and class from 150$ to 400$ (2012) 36hours (2 nights) trip, 6 hours waiting for customs. From Irkoust train arives at 6.00AM in Ulan De and you might take at 7.30AM the bus to Ub from the bus station at 15 minuts walking fron train station. Customs take 4 hours by train trip and only 2 hours by bus trip.
IRKOUSTK: http://nerpahostel.com good place and they give many information about the aerea. baikal lake on May is still icy only from june you can go to Olkhon island.


• FROM KAZASTHAN

The less expensive and easier is by bus (Astana-Olgy) for 30euro (2018) the bus station is in front of the railway station.
The visa for Mongolia and transit visa for Russian you can have them in Astana.
The Russian consulate open Tuesday and Thursday 15.30/17.30 (2018) The transit visa cost 35 euro (price NOT urgent) and you have it in 7 days and it's valid 3 days after it issue.
For Mongolian visa need a photo, 60$ and 48 hours to have it!


FROM CHINA

Beijing-U.B. with TRANSMOGOLIAN: 2/3 times /week according to the season.
On Bejing transmongolian train lives from the railway station called “Central Station” Sometimes on guide books called as railway station of Bejing. This means nothing as many railway stations in Bejing! The one who interest usi s near BEIJING ZHAN SUBWAY (LINE2) and also called “Beijing Railway station” (situated SE of the forbidden city) check!!!!
If you can’t get tickets you can choose this solution from Bejing:


BUDGET OPTION: BEIIJING – UB - BEIJING
- Budget option, costs about 60€ instead of €200-350 (price 2016)
-from airport you have bus (16 yuan) and subway (22 yuan) or taxi for central railway station and can catch a train for UB (transmongolian)
Go to MUXIYUAN statio with the subway and go out at LUJIAYAO (line 5) then walk 4km or take taxi until Muxiyuan station
- Take the bus departure 5PM (please control) price > 200 yuan (2018) to Erlian, a border city on the China/Mongolia border where it's possible to ask for a visa for Mongolia. Another bus station, 2km South of LuiliQiao join each day Erlian for same price and departure 5PM (control price and time departure) attention full early so book ahead as soon as possibile !
- The ride takes about 12 hours, you will arrive early in morning in Erlian. You will find easier and hotel to finsh the night and also jeeps wait to help you to across the border, as to accorss the border you must be in a car (no walking, no bicycle) cost is on 2018 50-100 yuan per head + luggage, bike... Possible to ask less in downtown but not at border
-need 3 hours to pass custom control
- ask the driver to drop you at the railway station
- opening border at 9.30AM
- from Erlian ( Chinese border) possible to take the noon bus to Zamyn-Uud ( Mongolian side)
- there are 2 trains daily (5PM and 9PM) arrive on same time, the 21PM train is a little more expensive 40.000Tugrugs (2018)
You arrive at 10.30 in UB
- Same on the way UB-Beijing (UB- Zamyn Uud daily train 4PM and Sun/Thu direct UB- Erlian, 12/15h trip)


Other solution: BEIJING- KHOKH KHOT - UB and way back change in Jinning 2/week (UB-KHOKH KHOT : Mon/Fri)
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china-trains/ &http://www.china-train-ticket.com/


PS: Some difficulties to buy on UB train tickets for Moscow and Beijing for Transiberan and Transmongolian , be careful if you don’t have time to wait because it isn’t possible to reserve seat for all trains. Be careful also at the beginning of university as students will reserve seats so long time before as they return in China or Russia to study.


PS: Don't rush out of the train, it is then that the pickpockets operate! Some board the train to rob the unaware. Look after your luggage, and DO NOT use porters!


TODAY NEW (2019):

In few years UB and towns in countryside changed a lot. Everywhere modernization is going on: new hotels also in countryside open and also restaurants who sell not only Mongolian food but also dishes inspirited from European food. The large number of restaurants in all the country permit now to eat in the restaurants and not to have to cook and make pick nick. Supermarkets are now full and you can find them everywhere in countryside. Now nomads have a Japanese jeep.

Internet cover 80% of . In the ger now it’s easy to see mobile near saddles!
Government gives a piece of land free once in your life if you want to settle near a village or town except UB now you can see new areas where inside the wooden fences you can see small wood houses, they take the place of the ger as Mongolian consider wooden houses more comfortable than the ger for a settle life near the towns. Slowly the wooden houses are remplaced by cement house.


Outside UB asphalt increase, roads are better permitted to small car or Asiatic jeeps to reach some towns quickly and without mechanic problems. Many signs roads now except on running tracks. Alcool 0%, many control and also radar!


TRAVELING IN MONGOLIA:
Traveling in Mongolia is not always easy as depend also how you will discover this country and how many days you have vacation. Traveling by jeep can be sometimes tiring because of bad climate or bad roads, so better to not want to make many KM! prefer do less Km but take time to enjoy countryside and its nomadic life. Independent drivers often don’t have a shop downtown so it could be difficult when on UB to choose the best one for you. So just search before leaving!


1. BY LAND: all vehicles can be rented from private owners just stop a car and tell your destination. BUT WRITE ALL DESTINATIONS WITH CYRILLIC LETTERS as nobody will understand you (ask at your hotel), also good for the few taxi running in U.B. For longer stay the price will depend of what kind of deal you can make, the number of persons, the price of gasoline.
• RENT A JEEP: around 130-140€/day/jeep all included (petrol and driver) for a jeep for 4 people plus the driver. If you rent a mini bus (van) enough for 6 p with all luggage. The price can be higher than for a jeep
With a good driver, taking a guide is not necessary, as a good driver can make you discover all you want to see.
• NEED A DRIVER? we can recommend you Mejet who has been a wonderful traveling companion and was always ready to help us during our 7 trips. Mejet, for 110-115€/day/jeep, including petrol and driver, the price is not per person, but the price is to divide between your own group. He will show you his marvelous country which he knows perfectly. You can be sure that almost every night will be spent in ger with nomads according your choice. Mini van or jeep: same price!

Mejet will pick you up free on your arrival and he can arrange your accommodation in his small guest house, but the important with him you will always decide about program, how many days, stop, changing program on the way of course all of this according logic!
Mejet will help you by choosing your program, will show you where can be the difficulties and find with you the right solution according your needs and time you have to visit Mongolia. He can propose you some ideas as well some programs where nobody go and of course not the agencies or programs make by guest houses. Just contact and feel free to express yours ideas, doubts and desires!
You will have from Mejet help for everything: the can go with you for formalities if necessary, buy/reserve air plane/train tickets, to buy specific things, medical problems…

CONTACT FOR THE DRIVER: www.mongoliatours.org
E-mail: mejet69@yahoo.com
Tel/Fax: ++ 976 11 45 41 67 (English, Russian) mobile ++ 976 99 164 335


BE AWARE THAT MEJET RECEIVES A LOT OF REQUESTS…SO DON’T WAIT TOO LONG…AS SOMETIMES TO FIND GOOD DRIVERS IS NOT SO EASY …AND AUGUST IS FULL SOON EVRYWHERE


TIP
: according your satisfaction and of course you aren’t obliged…


BE AWARE: if you take a tour organized by a guest house, they will prefer to look at the real costs than the quality of the tour you will do: no possibility or really difficult to add days or finish before the tour, also difficulties to change the itinerary as even for few KM, so ask what is included on the price as often a low price doesn’t include the driver, the gasoline, the food or depend of the number of people going on tour and sometimes at least the price will be almost the same or higher then a independent renting. Example if they ask you for 50€ day/person all including and you are 3 persons you will pay 150€ day, so more than with a honest independent driver without the freedom to do as you want and choose your itinerary and how long you want to rent. If on the price taxes for national parks are not included be sure to not pay for all your trip more than 15€ per person. Be aware if food included, as many tourists talk to not have had enough to eat during the trip, so take with you some more food! If food not included in the price, it’s better for you as you can choose what you want and the quality you need, , you will spend around 5-7€ day so this can't justify some high prices you will find as on the way outside UB you will never find famous restaurants only small restaurants where a meal is average 4 euro.
CALCULATE WELL BEFORE FINAL DECISION AS MAYBE YOU CAN SAVE MONEY!!!

This can happen also with independent drivers they will ask more if you are less than 2 person or only 2 by example. Also is good to optimize the renting, so we recommend you to ask more and more what is including on the price, if price by person or per vehicle telling how many persons you will be and so make the addition.
Often drivers will not drive you to nomad families to sleep at night and so where you can divide nomadic life under the ger, same for guest house who organize or agencies, you will sleep under your own tent and no difficult to have contact with nature and nomadic life. Sometimes they will choose to stop in guest ger who is a good choice as gers beyond to nomad and so you will participate at local business. As even now many agencies in UB it’s always difficult to localize them or to find the one good for you, or to compare them often because no time to search them. As advice we can give is to search information before you go in Mongolia and so choose the agencies or independent drivers who can be the right choice for you without doing definitive reservation and so when it will be time, or also in UB, make the better choice for you. In summer, july-august, it’s the high season and so it will be difficult that the agencies or independents drivers you think okay for you have a drivers for you. Maybe you will have to wait some days before to leave, or to short your program or to accept the first driver you will find without have the choice to compare with others. An advice could be to reserve if during your search you think to have find the right person for you and so no have surprise after.
It’s also important to verify the qualities of your driver, it’s not easy, some drivers say they know all but outside UB they have difficulties or don’t know what to show you on the area you choose to visit.
Language problem is easy to jump as the kindness of your driver as well a phrase book and speaking by hand will help to communicate easy, so no need really an translator.
Another point to think is the difficult life you can have if you join a group in a guest house as not everybody have same ideas and same interests.


BE AWARE: since some years now you can find Japanese jeeps and mini bus, if more comfortable than the traditional Russian WATZ, you have to know that modern vehicles are electronic and if you have some engine troubles it will be really hard to repair on countryside. The traditional Russian WATZ always can be repair anywhere in countryside as only mechanic. It’s also an important point to verify with your agency or independent driver especially if your destination is really difficult.


• RENT A JEEP WITHOUT DRIVER: now possible. Prepare well your itinerary especially if you rent a small car who can’t go easy out of the asfalt roads.


Public transportation
is not non-existent but not daily and with some others difficulties. Actually a bus system runs to the major cities but later if you want to visit the area you need a private vehicle and you can have serious difficulties to find one out of U.B and cities (only few agencies and English is not fluently.)


TRUCKS can take passengers but really trying and no intimacy and autonomy! You have to pay!
BUSES : are now more modern, everybody have a seat now! in the steppe there exists a good network but they only cluster towards the capital or aimags capitals. Few lines between major towns without need to pass throught UB. Price >20 euro for 400 km.You can go in countryside by local bus because every towns or village have a bus stop where to find a collective taxi to go next village or town. This means that from all sun it’s always possible to go to capital of aimag and from capital of aimag to UB. Departure aren’t daily. The taxi will go only if full or you have to buy all the seats or to pay for the remain seats, in that case the taxi will go immediately towards the destination. Be aware this doesn’t mean that the bus will be only for you. Drivers always know about people who are waiting for such opportunity! Price will depend of the KM to do, petrol price, if you rent all for yourselves and your capacity to bargain. The difficulty will be to understand each other especially if you want to rent for some days or special destination as nobody will speak English. To travel in that way request more time and to prepare well your itinerary but in any case will not you permit to go out of the village towards nomadic families as of course no bus will drop you in front them or make ger to ger (except if you rent only for you the taxi)
To reach GOBI by regular bus: UB- Dalazagad: twice x day. When arrive you will find people who will propose guest house and tour . price depend of number of days and how much you are… mejet69@yahoo.com have a good contact in Dalazagad, fell free to contact and ask for information.


Bus Stations
There are four main departure stations in Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator and run also during naadam).
Dragon (Songino Khairkhan)- buses going north and west, Karakorim
Teevriin Tovchoo - vans going north.
Bayanzurkh- buses going south and east.
Narantuul (Black Market) - vans going west and north.
bus: more information & prices click here


2. TRAIN: only a railway line crosses the country from North to South going to Irkutsk in Siberia or Beijing in China. There are 3 routings, one for Edernet, the other to Sharyn Gol and the last to Baganuur. Not expensive at all
UB- MOSCOU: 2-3 times week
UB- IRKUSK: everyday
UB- PEKIN: 1-2 times week
UB -ERLIAN: Sun/Thurs
UB- ZAMUN-UUD: Everyday; 15H journey
UB- ZAMUN-UUD: Fri/Sun; Express 12H
UB- SUKHBAATAR: Everyday; 8H journey
UB- KHOKH KHOT: Mon/ Fri
Can change so just inform you again!


3. PLANES
: flights to major cities. Luggage limited at 15 kg (3$/kg extra).. Be careful: flights can be delayed and cancelled because of bad weather or damage to the runways. Reserve as soon as possible your tickets as often tour operators reserve all the seats!
If you arrive by plane in local place you can find some taxi waiting passengers.

 

 

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