Top events in Mongolia

July
20

Witness or take part as the world's toughest athletes compete at Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset. Set in the scenic Lake Hovsgol National Park, runners...

August
15

Set amongst the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert, the annual Gobi Naadam Festival is a celebration of the "Three Games of the Mongols" - archery,...

September
17

The Nomads Day Festival is a celebration of the Mongolian nomads at the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve. The exciting cultural festival is a revival of...

Ukok plateau, Mongolia
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Ukok plateau, Mongolia

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Mongolia Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

1,564,116 sq km (603,909 sq miles).

Population

2.9 million (2013).

Population density

1.9 per sq km.

Capital

Ulaanbaatar.

Government

Republic. Declared independence from China in 1921.

Head of state

President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj since 2009.

Head of government

Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag since 2012.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used.

Mongolia is far-flung and little visited yet has much to offer, from the stunning scenery and wildlife of mountains and deserts to the emerging luxury hotels and restaurants of capital Ulaanbaatar.

History and culture abound in Mongolia and outside the main cities many Mongolians continue to live the traditional life of the malchin (herdsmen). Transporting their goods by camel and residing in portable felt and canvas tents, the nomadic lifestyle of modern-day Mongolia would still be recognisable to Ghengis Khan, the most famous Mongol of them all.

Mongolia's vast areas of wilderness, from the sprawling Gobi desert to the snow peaked mountains of the Bayan-Ölgi, offer plenty of scope for adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. Fishing, jeep tours, horse and camel riding, mountain biking and birdwatching are but a few of the activities on offer. Culture hunters are also well catered for with numerous temples and ruins to explore.

Infrastructure is poor and undeveloped in rural areas but the capital Ulaanbaatar is fast transforming itself into a modern city with international restaurants, luxury hotels, shopping malls and glass tower blocks - a sure sign of Mongolia's status as an up-and-coming Asian travel hotspot. But leaving the capital does not necessarily mean leaving civilisation; Internet is now available in small villages and it's not uncommon to see nomads toting mobile phones - a contrast that makes Mongolia an intriguing and rewarding destination to visit.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 18 April 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Mongolia takes border security very seriously and foreign nationals are not routinely permitted access to border areas. The authorities can regard zones of up to 100km inside the border as a border area. If you wish to travel in these areas, you must get permission from the State Frontier Guard Authority. Only a few specified land border crossings are open to foreigners.

There is a low threat from terrorism.

Avoid going out on foot alone at night. Foreigners stand out and can be targeted for attack because of their comparative wealth. See Crime.

Over 7,120 British nationals visited Mongolia in the period January to June 2012. Most visits are trouble-free.

Edited by Jane Duru
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