- Four nights 4* Ramada Hotel or similar and six nights Ger Camp.
- Ten breakfasts, ten lunches, and ten dinners.
- All in-tour airfares Ulaanbaatar-South Gobi-Ulaanbattaar-Muron (Lake Khuvsgul)-Ulaanbaatar.
- Sightseeing admission fees.
- Transportation by 4WD vehicle.
- English speaking tour guide.
- Daily supply of bottled water.
Trip Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Travel insurance.
- Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone, internet and other personal expenses.
- Optional additional activity cost (Horse riding, camel riding etc. are optional activities and does not include the price).
- Excess baggage charge, airport taxes and fees.
- Single room supplement.
Note on the itinerary
We try our best to adhere to the plan, but it should be taken as a general guideline or scope of activities rather than an inflexible schedule. Depending on the local conditions or time factor; itinerary order can change from the exact sight to see to the correct city or village for overnight stops, but we will still maintain the total quality of the tour. Our guide and driver are flexible and will do their best to help you enjoy the trip at your pace.
Trip Difficulty Level, Road, and Transport
This is easy to moderate plus graded trip, rated three on a scale of 1-5 (1 being easy and 5 severe). So, all travelers in general good health can go on this trip. That said, be prepared for long day drives on bad roads. The tour involves such mild adventures like camel riding, horseback riding, dune hiking, and boating. Drives can be four or five hours long, with occasional stops. Road conditions vary. We use 4WD vehicles for all transfers and tours.
Although no extreme adventures are involved, this is also not the trip for luxury and leisure seekers. But any discomfort will be more than rewarded by a great experience. You should be willing to walk and hike, in addition to the long day drives on dirt and rocky roads. Outside Ulaanbaatar, roads are unpaved, so they are bumpy and can be dusty as well. Please bring the pollution mask to protect your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling the dust. This trip requires some degree of physical fitness. The more physically fit you are, the more you will be able to enjoy the journey. If you do not lead an active life, please start soft training two or three months before the trip. Engage yourself in hiking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or aerobics for 25-30 minutes a day. Avoid using elevators or use bicycles instead of a car if it's a short ride.
We use 4WD Mitsubishi Delica van, which is right in Mongolian terrain. There will be a maximum of four passengers per vehicle on a group tour.
You have 4-star deluxe hotel accommodations with all modern amenities in Ulaanbaatar. Once you are away from the city, you will sleep in the traditional style tourist ger camps with shared toilet/shower which are usually in the main building.
Tourist ger camps are closely located to attraction sites through the country, where visitors can experience and feel a nomadic way of life. It is a portable round felt house perfectly suited to the Mongolian nomadic lifestyle. The GER consists of a wooden frame carrying a felt cover. Traditionally furnished with beautifully painted wood-framed beds and furniture, the lodge is built in a traditional architectural style. There will be 2-3 twin-size beds, provided with foam or futon style mattresses and blankets or quilts. They also offer towels but limited and so you may want to bring your own. The bed sheets and blankets are generally clean, but as they are hand-washed in cold water, sometimes, we can see stains. Some travelers bring their sleeping bag and bed sheets but not required. Some travelers said the mattresses were hard and also the pillows. So, please consider bringing an air pillow.
There will be a fireplace with a chimney in the center of the ger. If it rains, the nights can be cold, and you may want to request firewood for the evening and morning.
There will be 4-5 toilets and shower rooms in the camp which you share with other guests. They are located in a convenient location outside your ger. It's essential that you bring a flashlight with spare batteries as you may need them to walk to the bathroom at dark. The water in the shower is solar heated. If it's a cloudy and rainy day, water may not be warm enough, and we request for your understanding.
Some camps have a few en suite gers (yurts) which can be booked with an additional fee of $50 to $100 per person, but sometimes it's not worth as due to harsh climate conditions and inadequate maintenance, they may not be in the best condition and may have plumbing issues. Flush speed is also not so good.
Ramada Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
Ger Camp Accommodations
As a growing capital city of Mongolia, there are many modern Italian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Japanese, Latin American and Mongolian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, where is available to be served western and eastern standard meals or traditional Mongolian cuisines. Most of the old style restaurants serve Russian food, and this type of food is common in the tourist camps in the countryside. Small local restaurants and cafes serve Mongolian food such as buuz and khuushuur (steamed and fried beef, mutton dumpling) and others.
While in Ulaanbaatar, you will have a western style full buffet breakfast at your hotel. Lunch and dinner will be arranged in tourist class restaurants in the city which can be Asian or western styles. In tourist ger camps, we have limited choices but they are adequate. Usually, breakfast includes bread with butter, cheese, jelly, eggs, pancakes, and cereals with milk. There also will be some fresh fruits. For lunch and dinners, you will have soup, some appetizers, rice items, noodles, dumplings, and chicken or pork or beef. There will also be vegetable dishes. If you have a special dietary requirement, please let your guide know in advance.
If you have an early morning flight, you will be provided a breakfast box. There are some long day drives and maybe we don't reach camps in time for the meal. It's advisable that you bring some foods, energy bars, etc. to munch on the way but you can buy them in Ulaanbaatar and Dalanzagdag town in South Gobi.
Please be informed that Mongolia is not the destination for fine dining!
Guide & staff
Our tours are led by experienced local guides who are proficient in English, with ready knowledge on history, culture, and religion of Mongolia. Guides in different cities can sometimes change.
Passport and visa
Remaining validity of your passport must be at least six months on the last day of the tour. Please also make sure you are not running out of blank visa pages for entry and departure seals. American citizens don't need a visa for Mongolia for up to 30 days.
Best Time to visit Mongolia
June to September is the best time to travel to Mongolia. The weather is mild and generally dry throughout the central and southern areas. It can still be cold in the northern mountainous regions. The temperature in the steppe averages around 66°F, and may fall to 50°F, or below, at night. In the Gobi, temperatures in summer average 85-95°F; however, the nights can get quite chilly. In the mountains, temperatures will decline with the rise in altitude. It can rain in July and August across the northern and southern areas, but the rain is brief and doesn't affect the tours. Winter begins in October and lasts through April. This is not the best time to travel to the north.
Climate and Weather
Mongolia is located in the Northern Hemisphere temperate zone. Situated at an average altitude of 1500 m (4,920 ft.) above the sea level separated from the oceans, surrounded by high mountain chains that are blocking the wet winds, Mongolia has an extreme continental climate. While the winter continues long with cold temperature but summer is short and warm. Winter lasts from November to late April, Spring May through June. Summer continues from July through to September. The highest day time temperature in Ulaanbaatar ranges from 70-80 degree F and at night, it drops to 55-55 degree F. Temperature in South Gobi is few degrees higher than in Ulaanbaatar, so at some point, you can feel the heat.
In Mongolia, there are 250 sunny days a year, often with clear cloudless skies. Therefore Mongolia is known to the world as a country of "Blue Sky," however July is a raining month, and the chance of precipitation is more than 50%, but the rainfall is usually light or moderate and often comes with a light thunderstorm. So, please, be prepared with wet weather clothing. Mongolia is also humid during this time of the year. The relative humidity ranges from 80-90% during the month of July.
Here are the general packing suggestions. You may or may not want to bring all and so please, use your best judgment. Large, flexible bag- instead of a sturdy suitcase, it's advisable to bring a sizeable flexible bag with plastic liner as it needs multiple loads and unloads from the cars. We travel on varying road conditions and mostly on a gravel road while in South Gobi. Make sure your bag is waterproof, though.
While the main luggage is transported by the car, you may still want a small backpack for your personal items such as a camera, wallet, snacks, medicines, cosmetics, etc.
Morning and evenings are cold and can be chilly. But days are generally warm, and at times you may feel hot and humid, particularly in the Gobi. There is also a good chance of rain, and so you need to be prepared with the wet weather gears. For the evening and morning, you will feel the need for a light jacket, fleece, or light sweater.
During a typical day, when you leave your hotel or camp, you may choose to wear a light cotton shirt or t-shirt, a pair of long pants. If you are starting early, surely, you may want to wear a fleece or light jacket on top of your t-shirt. The trip doesn't involve any significant hiking, so light but waterproof walking or jogging shoes should work. But make sure your shoes are well-broken in and that you wear thick cotton socks to prevent blisters.
Cotton shirts and blouses absorb moisture and can leave you shivering if the temperature drops or if you are hiking and stop to rest. Some travelers prefer polypro, as the polypro tends to absorb odor more readily. You may find that you want a light pair of sneakers or rubber flip-flops to walk in at day’s end in the camps. Don't forget to pack some pollution masks that prevent you from inhaling dust when you are traveling in the desert.
Headlamp Or Flashlight
When you are camping in the South Gobi or the in the Lake Khuvsgul, headlamp or the flashlights are very useful. Electricity is nearly unavailable, or it goes off at night, and if you need to go to the bathroom, it will be helpful. Bring spare batteries.
Footwears. Our trip involves some hiking, and there are opportunities for camel and horse riding experience. Make sure your shoes are right for these activities, and they are well-broke in.
You also need rubber slipper for use during camping.
Binoculars and Cameras. There will be opportunities to see the birds and animals and binoculars are very much recommended.
Photography Equipment. Mongolia is a paradise for photographers! Please bring a good camera with powerful lenses and spare batteries.
A detailed packing list will be provided with the final trip dossier that will be sent 8-10 weeks prior departure.
Tukrig is the national currency of Mongolia. The exchange rate is approximately 1900 Tukrig for the US $1. Most banks and the larger hotels in Ulaanbaatar will be able to change the major currencies, although US Dollars are the most widely accepted. It is also possible to change traveler’s checks and get cash advances on your credit card. American Express, VISA, and Master card are the most widely accepted in significant tourists centers. In Ulaanbaatar, one of the most centrally located banks for both traveler's checks cashing and credit card advances are the Trade and Development Bank. You are also able to change money at your hotel in Ulaanbaatar, but once you leave Ulaanbaatar, money exchange facility is almost nonexistent. So, when you travel outside Ulaanbaatar, please bring enough local money to buy drinks (beer, soda, etc.), souvenirs or tip the luggage helps or for the horse or camel rides.
Many shops and restaurants only accept local currency, be sure to exchange your money upon arrival. Exchange rates are better outside in the street.
Tipping is optional, but it has been now a practice due to the influence of tourism. Obviously, your guide and driver are the staff you need to tip. There is no definite structure for tipping but US$ 5 per person per day to the guide and $2-3 per person per day to the driver should make a decent trip. Other staffs such as hotel bell desk, camp boys and girls who help with your luggage, etc. will be happy with some loose changes but it's not an obligation.
Photography is prohibited inside the monasteries and museums. There will be signs posted or your guide will let you know when photography is not allowed. Some monasteries charges fee for the camera which is not included in the trip cost. If you do not plan to take pictures, you can just put your camera inside the backpack when you enter the monuments. We do not encourage you to do so but those who are taking pictures inside are rarely asked if they have permit or not. Camera fee is also charged at the culture program house but you are least likely to be checked if you had paid the cost for the camera.
The Mongolian telephone system is in the process of being modernized but still lacks many of the services we rely on elsewhere. Dialing Mongolia is relatively simple, although it may take several attempts. Mongolia's national code is '976'. Making international telephone calls from Ulaanbaatar is relatively easy. Most hotels have International Direct Dial Facilities. Alternatively, calls can be made from various telephone exchanges around the city. The 'Central Post' Building located on the southwest corner of Chinggis Khan Square is the largest telephone exchange.
Cheaper calls are available if calling from other telephones in the city, i.e. offices & hotels, especially between 22.00 and 07.00 weekdays, 17.00 and 07.00 Saturdays and all day Sunday. The large telephone exchange on Chinggis Khan Square has the facilities for you to send faxes and emails.
Your hotels in Ulaanbaatar also have Wi-Fi in the room and common areas. If you bring a quad band GSM unlocked phone, you are able to buy a local sim and use it while you are in Ulaanbaatar but once you are away from the city, the phones are not reliable.
Vaccinations and Health Concerns
There are no particular immunizations required unless you are coming from a yellow fever infected area. It is essential that you consult with your physician for appropriate vaccination you want to take. Other than the updated routine vaccinations, CDC recommends Hepatitis A and typhoid which you can get through contaminated food or drinks while you are in Mongolia. Some travelers consider taking Hep B, which you get through sexual contact or contaminated needles. You may also want to consider rabies as stray dogs are common, and you may come in contact with other animals.
In Asia, untreated water should be avoided; visitors can buy bottled water or purify on their own. Stomach upsets are likely to be the most common cause of illness in travelers. Drinks or salads can contain ice or have ingredients washed in unsafe water. Standard of care in hospitals varies, but there are traveler’s clinics in Ulaanbaatar. Medical insurance is essential. For traveler’s health advice, visit the websites:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Traveler's Health Info.
Travel Health, Public Health Agency of Canada.
Electricity, plugs, and sockets
In Mongolia, the standard voltage is 230 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type C / E.
Please, check the label in your appliance if it can be used in Mongolia. If it does not, you will need a voltage converter. Also, bring a set of an International adapter.
The Mongolian language is the official language of Mongolia and best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.7 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Other than the Travel trade professionals, tour guides, hotel front desk staffs, others do not speak English. So some basic knowledge of Mongolian Language will be helpful. Here is a resource on learning some primary Mongolian language.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
We also suggest you enroll US government's SMART program to get updated about the travel conditions of the countries you are traveling.
While we plan and do our best that your trip goes smoothly as planned but there are always chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather conditions, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It's also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High's tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses, and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.