Traveling Luck for Mongolia

Mongolia is located in Northern Asia, between China and Russia.

Mongolia has borders with China for 4677km and Russia for 3543km.

Land in Mongolia is vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central.

Mongolian land covers an area of 1564116 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Alaska

As for the Mongolian climate; desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges).

Mongolian(s) speak Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999).

Mongolian National Map

Mongolian Map

Regions of Mongolia

The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and later came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was installed in 1924. The ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. Since then, parliamentary elections returned the MPRP overwhelmingly to power in 2000 and produced a coalition government in 2004.


Mongolia Country Profile

Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture. Mongolia has extensive mineral deposits. Copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten and gold account for a large part of industrial production. Soviet assistance, at its height one-third of GDP, disappeared almost overnight in 1990 and 1991 at the time of the dismantlement of the USSR. The following decade saw Mongolia endure both deep recession due to political inaction and natural disasters, as well as economic growth because of reform-embracing, free-market economics and extensive privatization of the formerly state-run economy. Severe winters and summer droughts in 2000-2002 resulted in massive livestock die-off and zero or negative GDP growth. This was compounded by falling prices for Mongolia's primary sector exports and widespread opposition to privatization. Growth was 10.6% in 2004 and 5.5% in 2005, largely because of high copper prices and new gold production. Mongolia's economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbors. For example, Mongolia purchases 80% of its petroleum products and a substantial amount of electric power from Russia, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. China is Mongolia's chief export partner and a main source of the "shadow" or "grey" economy. The World Bank and other international financial institutions estimate the grey economy to be at least equal to that of the official economy, but the former's actual size is difficult to calculate since the money does not pass through the hands of tax authorities or the banking sector. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad both legally and illegally are sizeable, and money laundering is a growing concern. Mongolia settled its $11 billion debt with Russia at the end of 2003 on favorable terms. Mongolia, which joined the World Trade Organization in 1997, seeks to expand its participation and integration into Asian regional economic and trade regimes.

Mongolian natural resources include oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron

landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia

Mongolian religion is Buddhist Lamaist 50%, none 40%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4% (2004).

Natural hazards in Mongolia include dust storms, grassland and forest fires, drought, and "zud," which is harsh winter conditions.

Travel Advice on Mongolia

Mongolia

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Entry Requirements section (transiting China).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • Communications and health facilities in Mongolia, particularly outside Ulaanbaatar, can be poor.

  • If you are entering Mongolia by road, you should be aware that only a few specified border crossings are open to foreigners.

  • Around 3,000 British nationals visit Mongolia every year.  Most visits are trouble-free.  The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Mongolia is replacing passports, which have been lost or stolen.

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to Mongolia.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that there have been outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) among migrating birds in Mongolia, most recently in August 2005, in the northern province of Khovsgol.  No human infections or deaths have been reported.
The risk to humans from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low.  As a precaution you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
You should read this advice in conjunction with:  Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet, which gives more detailed advice and information.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help
Keep a photocopy of your passport data page and visas as well as numbers of your travellers' cheques safely and separate from your originals.  This makes replacement of lost/stolen originals simpler.  You should register at the British Embassy, even if you are only staying in Mongolia for a few days and especially if you are travelling into the countryside.
Mongolia is a cash-based society with credit cards slowly becoming accepted.  US Dollar travellers' cheques can be easily cashed and converted to Mongolian Togrogs.  You can transfer money to Mongolia using commercial means such as Western Union or Money Gram.