Mongolia Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Mongolia
How safe is Mongolia?
Threat level: Low
The current travel advice for Mongolia is to be aware of your surroundings and to carry out sensible security measures to ensure your stay is one that is without incident.
COVID 19 Situation in Mongolia
Due to the sanitary situation around the world, Mongolia has taken a series of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. Mongolia has made compulsory the use of face masks in public places, public gatherings are banned, domestic flights have been cancelled, all borders with China are closed and road crossing between Mongolia and Russia are closed. International commercial flights have been halted and entry is banned to foreign travellers. To avoid contracting the virus, apply good hygiene practices, wear a face mask, maintain social distancing and avoid social gatherings.
Recent Security Risk Events
There are no substantial recent security threats, however during the summer months the crime levels do rise and there has been an increase in crime over the past few years. Prominent areas of risk are built up busy areas and places visited by tourists.
Some places frequented by organized groups seek to target tourists for robbery and pickpocketing purposes. Areas which should remain extra cautious are:
- Chinggis Khan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar
- The State Department Store and the area around the Circus: Exits and entry points such as elevators
- Naran Tuul Covered Market
- Open air markets
- The Central Post Office
- The Gandan Monastery
Although violent crime is low in Mongolia it is on the rise within Ulaanbaatar, mainly in the evening hours and incidences of theft increases during busier times, such as celebratory periods of the year: New Year, Tsagaan Sar (December – February) and Naadam (July). Theft related to crime such as robbery/muggings/bag snatching or whilst using the public transportation system are more prominent during these times. It is advisable that you show low signs of affluence and follow sensible security precautions keeping all valuable belongings secure.
Although there is a low threat of terrorism within Mongolia, please be aware of the global terrorism risk with regards to popular tourism districts especially on prominent political dates.
Do not take photographs of the government establishments or personnel such as police, police escorts or armed forces as this is not taken to well and considered a crime within the country. You should ask permission before taking photos of relics and religious establishments.
Homosexuality is generally not accepted in Mongolia and as such, discretion is advised. Natives also do not like seeing foreign men in relationships with Mongolian women, it is best to be discrete to not cause any offence.
Mongolia is a Buddhist country so you should be mindful of customs and differences to traditions known to you, including protocols such as not wearing short sleeve shirts. Dress modestly and act respectfully throughout your trip.
Be mindful if you are of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean descent as you may be a target for nationalist groups.
The best travel advice for Mongolia is that, if you do not obtain a Mongolian registration card you will be required to carry your passport at all time, please keep a copy of your biometric data (which will be taken upon entry – fingerprints) and Mongolian border immigration stamp in a secure place.
Mongolia's International Relations
Mongolia has wealth in terms of its natural resources, which will help sustain its potential growth for the future. With a majority of its inhabitants in the capital, it does have tribes towards its outer regions dependant on farming. Mongolia holds international ties with over 183 states, with its main ally sharing a 3,500-kilometer border with Russia. There have been previous disputes over territory with its neighbour to the south, China, however in recent years its relations have been somewhat dependent on the attitudes between China and Russia.
Travelling around Mongolia
The weather and air pollution may affect sufferers of bronchial conditions and asthma conditions, the use of a face mask may aid this. This is more prominent in the winter months.
You should only use official taxi services and preferably not alone, this is due to an increase risk of robbery by drivers. Most taxi drivers do not speak English and as such if possible to have destinations written in Mongolian to aid your travels.
The general road conditions especially in rural areas are poor and driving can be especially hazardous. There is little regard for traffic regulations and accidents do occur frequently. Access during the winter months can be hazardous also due to heavy snowfall.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency Services in Mongolia
Police emergency: 102
Medical emergency: 103
Fire emergency: 101
Time zone: AST (UTC+8)
Time now in Ulaanbaatar:
Consular information for Mongolia
U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar
Denver Street #3,
Telephone: +97670 076001
British Embassy Ulaanbaatar
Peace Avenue 30,
Telephone : +97611 458133
Visa requirements for Mongolia
Visas are required to enter Mongolia. Biometric data such as fingerprints will be taken on entry to the country. Further information on requirements for Mongolia can be found at: Visa Check Mongolia
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to the Mongolia are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. You should ensure that you have been further vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, which is usually administered when you are a young baby. You may also want to consider a Hepatitis A vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Within the capital city there is basic healthcare facilities, however anything beyond this may vary in its quality. Most doctors will ask for cash payment before treatment begins and this can prove extremely costly, particularly in serious cases where medical evacuation may be required. You should ensure that you have adequate travel and health insurance to cover this.