the fp is getting-around
Getting Around Mongolia
Internal flights are operated by AeroMongolia (www.aeromongolia.mn). MIAT Mongolian Airlines (www.miat.com) operates international flights only. Flying domestically can vastly decrease travel times; for example a trip from Ulaanbaatar to Bayan Olgii is either 60 hours by road or four hours by air.
Flights are available to most provincial capitals but any flight between provincial capitals will be routed through Ulaanbaatar. Book well in advance for July and August flights as these are often full. Flights to Bayan Olgii are full ahead of the annual Eagle Festival in October.
Alternative transport in Mongolia includes Jeeps, camels or horses, which are available for trekkers and special-interest travellers. Cycle touring is also popular but you should bring all your own equipment.
Driving standards are poor. In Ulaanbaatar, roads are congested. Ideally, hire a professional driver rather than attempting to drive yourself.
The national highway system is rudimentary and most of the roads in the countryside are little more than dust tracks.
Car hire in Mongolia is available through tourism companies. Nearly all come with a driver due to the poor driving conditions. Self-drive cars are available through Drive Mongolia (www.drivemongolia.com).
Taxis in Ulaanbaatar can be either official or non-official. When possible, use offical taxis as they are more reliable. The main company is Noyon Zuuch Taxi (tel: +976 1950). Fares are per kilometre; for the latest rates ask your hotel or guesthouse.
There are bus and trolleybus services in Ulaanbaatar. However, buses tend to be crowded and pickpockets are a danger. Routes are also difficult to understand and maps are only marked in Mongolian. Most foreigners use taxis to get around the city. Other cities have limited (or no) local transportation options.
The main rail line in Mongolia runs from north to south: Sukhbaatar-Darkhan-Ulaanbaatar-Sainshand. A branch line serves the city of Erdenet. The domestic railway ticket office is located in the building next to the main railway station.