Why You Should Visit Mongolia
Nothing compares to the pleasure and excitement of traveling to Mongolia. There’s something for everyone, from the culture to wildlife, the natural environment, local festivals, and cuisine.
The landscapes in Mongolia are famous for being rough yet amazingly beautiful. With towering sand dunes, beautiful mountains, enormous grassy meadows, and the astonishing silence of the open air, you can see why Mongolians refer to their country as the “land of the blue sky.”
When the sun sets in the evening, stars fill the sky and appear close enough to touch. One of the highlights of visiting Mongolia is the chance to experience the nomadic culture firsthand.
Although some Mongolians have adopted the modern lifestyle, most live a tranquil nomadic lifestyle, herding cattle and other animals as the seasons change. Consider visiting the rural parts of Mongolia and choosing a family to live with.
The best thing is that Mongolians are friendly, and they’ll welcome you. Get up with them each morning to milk the cows, fetch water, and assist in cooking the day’s meals.
This is a truly enlightening experience that reminds you of the true meaning of life. Don’t leave Mongolia without visiting the eagle hunters in western Mongolia, commonly known as the Kazakh people.
They pick chicks from the nest as soon as they’re hatched and teach them how to hunt big animals such as wolves. Travel to the far western Altai Mountains between September and October to experience the spectacular Kazakh Eagle Festival.
Seeing the fourth-largest desert in the world up close is also reason enough to travel to Mongolia. This place offers a lot, from free-roaming camels to views from the top of Khongoryn Els’ enormous “singing sand dunes.”
Visit the Flaming Cliffs to see the fossil dinosaurs, and schedule a camel ride for a once-in-a-lifetime trip through the desert. No trip to Mongolia would be complete without tasting the local cuisine.
The rural nomads depend on their cattle for meat and dairy products. Making Mongolian dumplings with a nomad family is a fascinating afternoon activity. Vegetarians need not fear, as they can still get alternative dishes.
However, there are some key times you should know about in order to have the best trip. Fortunately for you, our travel experts have rounded up the best, cheapest, least busy, and worst times to go. Let us be your guide!
Overall Best Time to Visit Mongolia
The best months to visit Mongolia are June through August. During this period, the country is lush and green, and the temperature ranges from 64°F to 82°F.
Mongolia experiences winter from November to February. During winter, the temperatures are extremely low and may fall as low as -22°F. The region also experiences few strong winds and a snowy landscape that clears when the sun shines.
Although the temperatures are extremely low, you can still enjoy some winter sporting activities like dog sledding. You should also attend the Winter Horse Festival and enjoy seeing a parade of unique horses.
When the weather stabilizes in February, you can attend Tsagaan Sar, Mongolia’s biggest cultural festival. Between March and April, Mongolia experiences spring, where temperatures range between 41 to 59°F. Spring is one of the best times to visit.
You’ll enjoy Mongolian festivals such as the Yak Festival and Ice Festival to see how Mongolians welcome and enjoy the onset of spring after the prolonged, harsh winter weather.
Visit Terelj or Hustai National Parks to experience wildlife sightings, flowers, grassland, tree blooms, and the scent of spring. The summer season in Mongolia starts in May and lasts up to August. The temperatures in winter are quite high, and they range from 68 to 77°F.
If you want to enjoy the best touring experience in Mongolia, this is the best time to visit the country. There are various things that you can enjoy in Mongolia during summer.
For example, you can attend the Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar, similar to the Olympics. Each province in the country also organizes festivals throughout the season, allowing tourists to enjoy their visit no matter where they decide to stay.
Nature in Mongolia is at its best between September and October, featuring a beautiful landscape and moderate temperatures.
This period is commonly known as autumn. It can be the best time to take a wildlife tour and see animals and birds in their natural setting. You can also try other activities like hiking, horse riding, and fishing.
Cheapest Time to Visit Mongolia
Traveling to Mongolia can be quite expensive. You’ll incur several expenses, including flight and accommodation costs.
Also, you’ll have to pay for other expenses like taxi fees and food. However, the high cost should not scare you because you can still tour your dream destination at a lower price.
If you’re on a budget, consider visiting Mongolia during the off-peak season, normally between November and February. The cold temperatures during this season discourage tourists from visiting the country since they can’t participate in many outdoor activities.
Nevertheless, you can still enjoy winter-friendly activities, including:
- Searching for the snow leopard
- Climbing the Genghis Khan Statue Complex
- Ice skating
- Ice fishing
Since most people don’t visit, hotel rooms are normally empty, forcing the management to lower the prices. You can enjoy staying in a fancy hotel at a lower price. Besides low accommodation prices, flight rates are also quite affordable this season.
In some instances, the tourist destination sites’ entrance fees also reduce. September and October can also be the best months to visit Mongolia on a budget.
Heavy downpour marks these months, and most parts of the country are wet, discouraging outdoor activities. The only advantage is that the landscape is usually beautiful during this season, allowing you to take beautiful pictures for future memories.
Least Busy Time to Visit Mongolia
Mongolia is less busy during the off-peak season, which typically starts from November to April. Remember to wear warm clothes when you visit Mongolia in winter to avoid catching a cold.
In November, the average daily temperature falls below freezing, especially in the northern region. The days also end early, with the sun setting around 5 pm. This means that you won’t get enough time to explore the country.
These two factors are deal breakers for most tourists, who tend to avoid visiting the country during the season. It means that most hotels and tourist attraction sites will receive fewer visitors.
If you’re looking for a laid-back touring experience, grab this opportunity to visit the country of your dreams. You’ll freely mingle with the locals and learn more about them without feeling rushed. March, April, and May are also less busy months in Mongolia, especially in rural areas.
The nomadic herders move from one place to another, looking for greener animal pastures. The movements make it impossible to interact with the locals.
Worst Time to Visit Mongolia
March and April are warm months in Mongolia, attracting visitors to the country. Despite the weather being friendly, these months can be unpredictable due to sporadic strong winds and dust storms.
The general landscape in Mongolia also tends to be gloomy during this time. As the snow melts, the bleak, grassless land becomes exposed.
Animals don’t get enough grass to feed on during this period and will become too weak or even die at worst. These conditions make horse trekking impossible. Also, you won’t get the chance to experience Mongolian culture fully.
Although summer is favorable for tourism activities in Mongolia, the temperatures may go too high in July, making it difficult to enjoy yourself. You’ll be forced to look for ways to beat the extreme heat and have fun.
Things to Consider
If you’re planning a trip to Mongolia, there are some things you should know to help you make the most out of your tips and avoid landing in trouble.
- Don’t miss a special throat singing performance. Many travelers are unaware of the special throat singing performance in Mongolia. For a long time now, throat singing has been a distinctive aspect of Mongolian music and culture. Here, the singers perform while playing the horsehead violin and a bow-stringed instrument known as morin khuur. They produce the vocal pitch by adjusting the mouth roof, lips, throat, tongue, and molars or jaw.
- Know the Ger rules. When staying in a Ger, there are certain cultural customs that you should observe. When camping with nomads, the rules are simple but crucial, and you should abide by them to the letter. For instance, you should never lean against the Ger’s walls or point your finger while sitting in front of someone. Additionally, you should avoid contact with a Mongolian’s head. Always accept the foods or drinks the locals offer you, and you should receive them with your right hand.
- Four-wheel driving might make you motion sick. Most parts of Mongolia are rocky, and you may feel sick when driving through, especially when using a four-wheel drive. Remember to take a motion drive sickness tablet an hour before heading out to enjoy your trip to the fullest. You can also pack extra tablets in your purse for emergencies.
- Beware of dehydration. Dehydration is common among many people who visit Mongolia, especially during the summer. The temperatures can be so high that you may not realize you’re sweating since the heat will absorb it. Always carry a bottle of water and stay dehydrated.
- English is not a widely spoken language. Most Mongolians don’t speak English, making communication quite difficult. If you plan to camp with one of the families in the rural areas, consider hiring a translator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are frequently asked questions by people who wish to travel to Mongolia:
Is Mongolia safe to visit?
Mongolia is a safe country for visitors. Nevertheless, there are some reported cases of petty theft and pickpocketing in crowded places and on public transport. Always store your valuable items carefully to avoid problems.
What should I avoid in Mongolia?
There are specific things that you should avoid when you visit Mongolia. For example, you shouldn’t throw trash away into a fire since fire is sacred in Mongolian culture. Also, never turn your back on the altar except when leaving the room.
How many days should I spend in Mongolia?
Given Mongolia’s size, you should spend at least two weeks in the country. This time is enough for visiting all the interesting places and experiencing the culture.
Do you need a visa when traveling to Mongolia?
No, you don’t require a tourist visa when traveling to Mongolia, especially if you plan to stay for less than 90 days. However, your passport should be valid for six months or more after your arrival date.
Can you drink alcohol in Mongolia?
Yes, alcohol is allowed in Mongolia. But the law prohibits the consumption of alcohol in public places such as streets and parks.
So, When Should You Visit Mongolia?
Generally, the best time to visit Mongolia is during the dry season, from May to August. The weather during this period is friendly, allowing you to participate in outdoor activities and travel freely.
Book your trip between November and February if you’re on a budget but still want to visit the country. During winter, the temperatures are quite low, discouraging many people from visiting.
The hotel and flight rates significantly reduce, allowing you to have fun at pocket-friendly prices. For a laid-back and calm touring experience, travel from November to April.
So, with so much to see and do in all four seasons, there’s no reason to delay — book your trip to Mongolia today!