Mongolia Country Guide
Mongolia is a country slowly opening up to the outside world. A fascinating country, it offers much in terms of culture, scenery and history. Its isolation has allowed many Mongolians, specifically those outside the main urban areas, to continue their tradtional nomadic way of life as they have done for centuries.
Mongolia offers a unique insight into an interesting culture!
This Mongolia Country Guide below gives some useful information and background about the country. For details about the capital, Ulaanbaatar, check out our Mongolia Destination Guide page. Further information about things to see and do while in the country can be found on our Mongolia Tours page.
Check out the latest Mongolia Travel features on YouTube. Or you can read about travel in Mongolia on GoNOMAD.
Mongolia Country Guide
Useful information on this page includes:
Population - 2.7 million people
Total Area - 1,564,116 square kilometres
Capital - Ulaanbaatar (over 1,300,000 people)
Time Zone - GMT/UTC +7/+8
The current time in Ulaanbaatar can be found by visiting TimeAndDate.com.
Mongolia is a land-locked country in Northern Asia lying between Russia & China. To view a map of Mongolia, click on this link to WorldAtlas.com.
Mongolia's climate is dry, with short, mild summers and long, harsh winters from October to April. Summer sees a small amount of rain, while it snows quite heavily in winter. Very warm, thick clothes are required for anyone wishing to visit during winter.
Follow the link to our Mongolia weather page for more information about the climate in Mongolia, the best time to visit and for a six-day Mongolia weather forecast.
The official currency of Mongolia is the Tugrik (MNT). Notes come in denominations of MNT 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5, whereas no coins are used. Current exchange rates can be found on Oanda.com, the currency site.
Commercial banks and exchange offices at many places and hotels in Ulaanbaatar are officially authorised to exchange foreign currency. The easiest to exchange, with the best rates, is the US Dollar.
Credit/debit cards are accepted by the main banks, large hotels and some of the larger shops and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. Be sure to check if they are accepted before ordering in places such as restaurants. Travellers cheques can be exchanged quite easily at banks in the capital, with American Express being the most widely accepted. They may be difficult to exchange outside of Ulaanbaatar.
Standard Banking Hours:
Mon-Fri 09:30-12:30 and 14.00-18.00.
Banks & ATMs in Ulaanbaatar include:
- Golomt Bank. Tel: 976-11-311530. Currency exchange and cash advance (Amex, VISA and others). All brances work for 24 hours. Branches near Trade & Development Bank and in Seoul Street work during weekends till 4.00pm. Website: www.golomtbank.com
- Trade & Development Bank. Tel: 976-11-312362. Currency exchange and cash advance (Amex, MasterCard, VISA and others). Website: www.tdbm.mn
- Khaan Bank. (branches work for 24 hours). Tel: 976-11-332333. Hotline 1917. Currency exchange and cash advance (Amex, Mastercard, VISA and others). Website: www.khanbank.com
VISA and MasterCard can be used in the ATM mashines that are spring up around town. The five most easily located ATM mashines are: Chinggis Hotel, Ulaanbaatar hotel, Bayangol hotel, and Trade & Development Bank's headquarters, Trade Development Bank's Branch #804 - south of Sukhbaatar Square along the main Chinggis Avenue.
You can also use these ATMs at the Chinggis Khaan airport in the incoming flight waiting hall. Here, you can change your money into local currency using ATMs. Note: Exchange rate might be low.
The country code to dial in to Mongolia from overseas is 976, followed by the area code (Ulaanbaatar is 11).
The mobile network is a GSM 900 network, and is operated by Mobicom, Skytel and Unitel.
Website: www.mobicom.mn; Customer service phone: (Tedy Center): 976-11-319166 + 1 (ext.), Reception can communicate in English, working time 09.00am - 06.00pm; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Main customer service center is named as 'Tedy Center' which is located to the north of the State Department Store (0.5 km) near Juulchin Str.
Website: www.skytel.mn; Tel: 976-11-319191 + 0 (ext.); Hotline: 1515 (only for making a call from Skytel network, toll free); Email: email@example.com
Main customer service center is located in the company's headquarter which is located only a five minutes walk to the north of Bayangol and Corporate hotels in Chinggis Aven.
Website: www.unitel.mn; Tel: 976-11-328888 Reception can communicate in English, working time 09.00am - 10.00pm; Customer service phone: 976-11-331730 + 1 (ext.); Hotline: 1414 (only for making a call from Unitel network); Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Main service center is located at Rockmon Building which is located to the south of the West Crossroad (Baruun Dorvon Zam) and 1 km from the Gandan Monastery.
Internet access in Ulaanbaatar is available at business centres, hotels, internet cafes and at the telephone exchange office located at Suhkbaatar Square. Internet access outside of the capital can be found in municipal centers and towns.
The main postal service in Mongolia is Mongol Post Company. Several international express mail services such as DHL, UPS and EMS are available. There are post offices all over Ulaanbaatar. Normal size letters cost 600 tugrik (Mongolian currency) and postcard 400 tugrik. The postal services is reilable but can often be very slow. Allow at least a couple of weeks for letters and postcards to arrive Mongolia. In most cases, you will have to post your letters from the post office.
The city's main place for postage and international calls is Central Post Office ('tuv shuudan') right to the south west of the Sukhbaatar Square. You will be able to spot the yellow 4-5 storey building having a sign of Mongolian Telecomunication Company. on top of it. You can send your letters, greeting cards and parcels by ordinary and express mailing services here. There are counters selling greeting cards, calling cards, papers, magazines and souvenirs.
Also, there is a tourist information centre in a different hall (when you enter the post office via the main gate facing to the south, turn left) providing foreign travelers with useful information about tourism, tour companies, public services and offers internet, fax and IDD services. During low season which is from Oct to May the center doesn't usually open.
All travelers to Mongolia require a visa, except national of the USA who can stay as a tourist without a visa for up to 3 months. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from date of arrival.
All foreign nationals wishing to stay longer than 30 days are required to register with the local police within 10 days of arrival.
Visas are generally valid for 30 days from date of entry (and 3 months from date of issue); and can be extended in Mongolia by a maximum of 30 days.
The Tourist Information Centre provides travellers with reliable information about Mongolian tourism organizations (hotels, restaurants, tourist camps, tour operators, shops selling traditional products and souvenirs, museums, air and railway ticket offices, currency exchange facilities, guides and transportation) and gives advices on how to reach to specific destinations in Mongolia. The centre is located in Central Post Office right to the south west of the Sukhbaatar Square in UB.
The Tourist Information Centre has several branches located in Chinggis Khaan Airport, International Railway Station in the city, several others in certain countryside destinations and in Beijing and Japan. While you are at the Tourist Information Center, you can check your e-mail, buy maps or take an organized city tour.
If you need advice on any aspect of your trip please email them with your enquiries.
Ambulance : 103
Fire Station : 101
Police : 102
Traffic Police : 976-11-321008
Domestic Distant Call Inquiry : 117, 118
International Call Inquiry : 106, 116
Ulaanbaatar telephone inquiry : 109 (1109 after 07.00pm)
Airport Inquiry : 1980
Railway Inquiry : 976-21-24194
City call taxi : 976-11-300000
The official language of Mongolia is Khalkh Mongolian. Kazakh is spoken by about 5 per cent of the population. Throughout the country there are a number of different Mongolian dialects.
Hello: sain - bai - nuu
Good bye: ba - yar - tai
Thank you: ba - yar - la
My name is: Mini ner 'John'
I don't understand: be oil-goh-ghui baina
I understand: be oil-goj baina
I am sorry: uch - la - rai
I don't know: me - deh - ghui
How much?: Yamar une - tai vay?
25: khorin t'av
1,000,000: negh say