PORTS OF ENTRY
International flights arrive and depart from Chinggis Khaan international airport /Ulaanbaatar/. The train passes through the frontier posts of Sukhbaatar and Zamyn Uud. The passport must be valid for six months after the exit date from Mongolia. Newly arriving visitors must fill out a declaration form with the amount of money they are bringing in and declare any objects of value. This form must be kept until departure. Keep all receipts for expensive purchases, especially souvenirs. Antiques and fossils can be carried out of the country with a special certificate and receipt from an officially licensed dealer. Because of increased smuggling, bags are randomly searched at train stations and airports. The export of animal furs is subject to a special authorization.
As one of the highest and most landlocked countries in the world, Mongolia is subject to extreme continental climate with scorching hot summers and long sub-arctic winters. The average temperature in Ulaanbaatar is -25C /-13F/ in winter and 16C /60F/ in summer, although the capital can have 260 sunny days per year. The summer travel season runs from May 15 to October 15. June is usually blistering hot and dry, while August is warmer but somewhat wet. The rains bring grass and wildflowers to blossom, which delight photographers, but also make travel difficult in the northern areas. Most travelers come to Mongolia in mid-July for the annual National Naadam Festival. Crowds tend to be larger (and prices higher) at this time, so book ahead for hotels, tours, and transportation. September and October are very good months to see the Gobi.
Spring (March to mid-May) can be unpleasant. Fierce winds and dust storms blow in from Siberia. Snow may still cover the steppes; and mountain passes, and where it is melting there is potential for flooding. The lack of rain in spring means that the grasslands will ; be a grim brown. Mountainous regions, especially Khuvsgul, can receive a snowstorm even in summer. One advantage of spring is that it is relatively ‘bug free,’ with fewer mosquitoes compared to: late summer.
Travelers should bring sturdy hiking boots or walking shoes, and a pair of sandals. A wide brimmed hat will keep the sun off your face. Light clothing, including shorts and t-shirts-are acceptable. A light rain jacket or poncho is also a good idea, especially in August. A piar of long underwear (even in summer) is useful if you will be in the mountains and will not take up much room in your luggage.
In general, it is a good idea to dress in thin layers, rather than bringing bulky pieces. Sunglasses and sun block are essential, as an airtight plastic bag, which will protect your camera and other I electronic goods from dust. For your valuables/traveler’s cheques, passport, cash etc., wear a money belt. A handy item is a bandana or two, which can be worn over the face during a dusty jeep ride, or used as a wash cloth.
Other items to pack include lip balm, flashlight, notebook and pens, spare batteries, a compass, passport photos, multiple forms of identification (keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place), a small medical kit, and your personal toiletries (including dental floss, which will prove to be invaluable after a meal of mutton stew). Once you leave the capital city, supplies become more difficult to find. Countryside shops will have little more than basic food, clothing and household items. Some essentials that are very rare or of poor quality in the countryside include sun block, sunglasses, medicine/medical supplies, flashlight, batteries, spices, maps, camping gear, camera supplies and any electronic equipment.