Important Travel Information
Round-trip airfare from the U.S. to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is NOT included in the cost of the total trip package price.
Your 2 internal airline flights within Mongolia (a total price of $1,115), are included as part of your total package price of $6,395.
You need to arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, no later than the evening of October 2, 2013.
As of June 2012, the cost of and the easiest way to get to Ulaanbaatar, round trip from Los Angeles, is Korean Air (via Seoul, Korea): $1,367.44 midweek, including all taxes and fees.
We suggest you book your international air reservations from the U.S. to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, with our travel consultant Early and soon after registering for this trip, to get a good price! Please contact Ciretta Green at Montana Travel to make your airline arrangements:
CANADIAN RESIDENTS, please call 406-587-1188
Other gateway cities to Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar are Beijing (Air China or Mongolian Airlines), and Tokyo (Mongolian Airlines). Additionally, there are weekly flights from Berlin (Mongolian Airlines) and Hong-Kong (Mongolian Airlines) as well. Due to the time difference, passengers originating from the USA or Europe, will have to leave 1-2 days prior to the trip commencement date.
Please be aware, however, that if you are traveling to Mongolia via China, you are only permitted 24 hours or less in the Beijing airport without a visa. If you plan on leaving the airport or have a layover, it is imperative that you obtain a double-entry Chinese visa in advance.
Travel Documents & Visa Requirements, Health Requirements & Health Insurance
Citizens of the United States must possess a valid passport, which must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay in Mongolia. If you do NOT have a passport, get it now! Please don’t wait until the last minute. You should always carry 2 extra passport photographs with you in case of emergency (if your passport is lost or stolen.)
As a U.S. Citizen, you do NOT need a visa for travel into Mongolia.
Most other nationalities, including Canadian and European, DO need a visa to enter Mongolia. Please let us know if you need an invitation letter to support your visa application.
If you are traveling through Beijing, China, you are only permitted 24 hours or less in the Beijing airport without a visa. If you plan on leaving the airport or have a layover, it is imperative that you obtain a double-entry Chinese visa in advance. Please make sure your passport has at least one full blank page for the Chinese visa.
No special inoculations are required for travel to Mongolia, but you should be up-to-date on all vaccinations such as tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis A and B. Please consult your personal physician.
This trip is rated as moderate. While hiking is not extremely strenuous, you must be fit and in very good health. You should be able to walk/hike 5-8 miles in hilly terrain and on rocky paths on day hikes, be able to climb flights of stairs to monasteries, and walk on sightseeing tours within the villages and cities. Horseback riding and camel trekking are included, and it’s okay if you’re a beginner.
You must have your own health insurance, and not have any physical problems or conditions that would be adversely affected by walking at higher altitudes (approximately 5,000 feet in most of our locations), driving on bumpy roads, and the general rigors of international travel.
Mongolia’s unit of currency is the Tugrik (togrog). As of June 2012, the exchange rates are:
1 US Dollar = 1.325 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Mongolian Tugrik (MNT) = 0.0007547 US Dollar (USD)
It is not normally possible (and it is certainly not necessary) to purchase Mongolian currency outside the country. Travel with U.S. currency, which is widely accepted. Money can be exchanged at the airport on arrival and at your hotel in Ulaanbaatar.
You can check the following website to find out the current rate of exchange: http://money.cnn.com/markets/currencies
Credit cards (VISA and MasterCard) can be used at a variety of hotels, restaurants, and shops in Ulaanbaatar. Outside of the capital, travelers should have U.S. cash, not travelers checks.
There is an increasing diversity of food choices in Mongolia; however meals are typically meat-based and include noodles, rice and/or breads. Although vegetables and fruits are not widely cultivated or consumed in Mongolia, most meals are also likely to include potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, and/or tomatoes. Fruit may be available fresh, but is typically canned. Breakfast usually includes eggs, sausages, toast, tea, and coffee. Lunch is the main meal of the day and includes salad, a bowl of soup, and meat with rice or potatoes. Dinner usually consists of a salad and meat with rice or noodle and vegetables. In Ulaanbaatar, there are a variety of international restaurants that offer delicious Chinese, Continental, Bhutanese, and Indian Cuisine. Grocery stores in the capital sell western imported food and fruit, such as crackers, peanut butter, tuna fish, and raisins.
A vegetarian diet can be accommodated on this trip if clients let us know their dietary restrictions.
The official language of Mongolia is Mongolian, although English is now beginning to be widely used by many residents of the capital. Mongolian is the language of most of the population of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and of separate groups living in other provinces of the People’s Republic of China. The modern Mongolian language was developed after the Mongol People’s Revolution of 1921 on the basis of the Khalkh dialect. The Cyrillic script was introduced in the 1940s and now most Mongolians use the alphabet. However, there have been several calls during the last nineteen democratic years for the traditional script to be reintroduced. There are a total of 35 letters in the Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet. Many phrasebooks and dictionaries are available in the capital now.
Electricity is 220V, 50Hz. The sockets throughout the country accommodate the European-style 2-pin plugs with round pins.
It is best to bring as few electrical appliances as possible, as their use is limited. At ger camps the use of electricity is extremely limited, but there is some ability to recharge digital camera batteries, video cameras, and battery packs. So make sure you bring extra batteries and memory cards for your digital cameras.
Most of Mongolia’s economy is based on natural products. Hand woven carpets, leather clothing and articles, woolen clothing, furs, cashmere, camel hair products, Mongolian oil and water paintings, and wooden toys, puzzles and games. There are a number of souvenir shops. The most popular items are paintings, antiques, handicrafts, carpets, books, cashmere, traditional Mongolian clothing, leather goods, wall hangings, puzzles, postcards, snuff bottles, and woodcarvings. The food markets are well stocked with Mongolia, Russian, and East and West European products although they may be a little more expensive than you expect.
What to Expect
The rewards of visiting a seldom-explored country require traveling with a spirit of adventure and flexibility, as well as a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services. Mongolia is a developing country in terms of infrastructure; delays or changes in the itinerary are possible, and indeed likely. Accommodations are comfortable and clean and include first-class hotels in major cities, beautiful traditional nomadic gers in the Mongolian countryside (dome-shaped tents constructed of latticed walls, covered by felt and canvas), and in luxury gers at a luxury lodge in the Gobi desert. There is a great range of food choices in Mongolia. However, meals are typically meat-based. Transportation is by bus and 4-wheel drive vehicle. Most roads are unpaved and are very bumpy and dusty.
We make every effort to accommodate special diets. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to let us know about your dietary restrictions.
Please note that all scheduled flights originate in Ulaanbaatar. Therefore, to fly from one destination within Mongolia to another, you always return to Ulaanbaatar first. Also, it is not possible to arrive in Ulaanbaatar and connect with another flight on the same day. Therefore, we must overnight in Ulaanbaatar for at least one night before flying to another destination.
Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, airline schedule changes, road conditions, and other reasons beyond our control. When changes occur in routing or activities, we will do our best to provide the best alternatives possible.
Cultural & Environmental Responsibility
In our rapidly changing and shrinking world, travel is increasing to destinations that were once inaccessible. Contact between unique cultures, such as the traditional nomadic horse-based culture of Mongolia, and the outside world, can have a definite impact on both sides. By promoting cultural interaction based on mutual respect and an understanding of cultural differences, we strive to maintain a delicate balance, neither accelerating the modernization of ancient cultures, nor suppressing their natural evolution.
Liability Form & Final Payment
Part of what AdventureWomen, Inc. hopes to foster is the taking of more self-responsibility for our own lives, health, and safety. Please read the Liability Form carefully, sign it, and return it with the remainder of your balance due by June 1, 2013.