- Days: 38 days
- Period: from 18th of August untill the 24th of September
- Weather: Weather was good. We hardly had any rain and a lot of sunny days. The temperature was comfortable during the day (15 - 25 degrees). At the end of our stay it was slowly getting colder and we even had some nights with frost in Ulaan Baatar. Because of the dry weather we had no muddy tracks.
Internet: Easy to find in the more larger cities and villages but even in the smaller ones you will be able to find it.
ATM's: ATM's for visa are everywhere
Creditcards: Accepted in quite some restaurants, shops and hotels in Ulaan Baatar and a few other cities. In the rest of the country it is mainly cash.
Safety: Mongolia is pretty safe and the emptyness of the land makes that you will be able to find private spots for wild camping everywhere.
Prices (August 2014)
Value Money: €1 = 2450 Tugrik / 1$ = 1853 Tugrik
Fuel: diesel is approx. 2000 Tugrik per liter (about € 0,80 per liter)
Camping: As we wild camped most of the time camping was mainly for free. in Olgii we paid 10.000 Tugrik per night for 2 persons and a car including hot shower and Wi-Fi.
Prices: Mongolia is quite cheap. Also with groceries and you will be able to find a lot of products here so no need to stock up in Russia or Kazakhstan which are much more expensive.
Visa & Registration
Some nationalities could already enter the country visa free and since July 2014 more countries have been added to the list. One of them is the Netherlands. You can now go to the border and get your entry stemp for free which will allow you to stay 30 days maximum. In combination with a double entry for Russia you can enter the country twice and have a 60 days stay in total. We got our visa just before the new visa rules. We obtained our visa in Almaty which was quick and easy. Here we were able to get a 40-days visa valid for 3 months.
Visa obtained at the Mongolian embassy in Almaty (Kazakhstan). Normally the procedure takes 3 days (apply on day 1 and pick up on day 3). We got our visa on the same day. (We camped in front of the embassy and when they saw us they brought it to our car in the evening - because it was ready they said which was a very good service)
Visa is valid for 40 days from date of entry (you have to ask for it as normally you only get 30 days). From date of issuance you have 3 months to enter the country.
- In Almaty the price for the visa was $ 60 per person.
- Registration =
you have to register your visa when staying longer than 30 days. We
have therefore tried to register in Olgii, but officials told
that even for 40 days it was not neccesary. (they called someone and
checked it before they send us away). When leaving the country however
this information turned out to be wrong. When staying in Mongolia for
more than 30 days you always have to register. Let no one send you away
and insist on your registration. They do check on exit and when you do
not have it the fee is the equivalent of 1 or 2 months salary. As we
did not had it we were held up for 3 hours on the Mongolian/Chinese
border. In the end the officer in Olgii (they called him) confirmed our
story so we did not had to pay and still got stamped out. NOTE:
Registration is only needed when
you have a visa. So when you enter Mongolia without a visa you
not have to register. When you however extend your stay you might need
to register again (we do not know). If you just leave the country and
re-enter for again a max of 30 days you can avoid the registration
We were able to get a Mongolian insurance at the border. Just after
you have entered the country there is a stop sign. Here is a small
office. Most likely there will be a man stopping you. Price was 69.300
Tugrik. According to the police you are not obliged to have an
insurance and also most locals do not have one. We had one small
incident and having the insurance protected us againt paying (the other
car was wrong but still wanted money. When we showed them our insurance
he knew there would be no money from us and not from the insurance as
well because it was his fault and that settled the case).
Entry: At Tashanta (coming from Russia). Entry was easy and without any costs. You will receive many small papers on several points and you will have to fill in a few forms here and there. It may be confusing at first, but the people on the border will send you from one counter to another. You do not need any special paper to get your car into the country.
Exit: At Erenhot (going to China). Make sure you do not overstay and if needed (see visa information) have your registration organised. They do check here. For the rest procedure is quick and easy and free of charge.
From Tashanta border- to Tsgaannuur : 10 km off road
- From Tsgaannuur to Olgii: new tarmac
- From Olgii to Khovd : first 60 km is new tarmac the rest is offroad. On this stretch there are 3 river crossings and the last one was the most challenging (deep and strong current). Once there was a bridge at this last crossing, but when we were there the bridge was ruined. In some parts this track would be very muddy when wet. Trip is doable in one day
- From Khovd to Altay : The first 160 km is new tarmac. The rest is off road and for the largest part with heavy corrugation (our avarage speed was max 20 km per hour). The last 40 km goes over a pass and this stretch is very bad and would be extremely slippery and muddy when wet. We did this stretch in two days.
- From Altay to Bayanhongor: The first 140 km is new tarmac. After that it is offroad. On this part there was one river crossing. Some offroads parts were bumpy and would be muddy when wet. This stretch took us 2 days.
- From Bayanhongor to Arvayheer: Tarmac and most of it is pretty new. Only the last 70 kilometers the tarmac is damaged with a lot op potholes.
- From Arvayheer to Bayangol: Good jeep tracks. Piste a bit bumpy the dried up parts that, when wet, will be very muddy. Driving about half a day.
- From Bayangol to Sayhan Ovoo: Good tracks over a flat plain. There is a river crossing Sayhan Ovoo. Driving time about half a day.
- From Sayhan Ovoo to Mandal Ovoo: The first 40 kilometers is hilly and rocky. In the small gorge is a nice tourist camp. After the hills the tracks turns into a good piste over a vast empty and flat plane.
- From Mandal Ovoo to Bayandzag: Piste with lots of heavy corrugation. Piste had several sports that will be very muddy when wet. When dry they are very bumpy.
- From Bulgan to Kongorin Els (dunes): Piste with lots of corrugation. There is one part where the piste runs through the mountains. The road here is a dry river bed which your driving upstream with quite big stones at the bottom and sand higher up.
- From Kongorin Els to Bayandalay: Piste with a lot of stones at the beginning, lots of heavy corrugation in some parts and places that will be muddy when wet or bumpy when dry.
- From Bayandalay to Dalandzadgad (via Yolyn Am): Despite some corrugation in a few places the piste is quite good. Just before Yolyn am the piste follows a dry river bed that can be sandy in some places. The last kilometers before Dalandzadgad you are back on the tarmac. There is also an alternative route through the Dunegee Gorge to Yolym Am. This should be an amazing drive and although most tourist guides told us we could easily drive it we returned. There is one spot where the gorge is really narrow and we did not dare to drive our car through. We did not exactly measure but it would have been a matter of centimeters. On the eye it looked like we the car would be too wide.
- From Dalanzadgad to Ulaanbaatar: Road is mostly tarmac. New in some places, bumpy with holes in others and under construction here and there.
- From Ulaanbaatar to Kharkhorin (south): Tarmac all the way. Both good parts and bad parts with many potholes and many roadworks.
- From Kharkhorin to Dashinchilen: Took the offroad track. A bit rough in some places but very nice.
- From Dashinchilen to Ulaanbaatar: Good tarmac
- From Ulaanbaatar to Great Chinggis Khaan Statue: Perfect tarmac
- From Ulaanbaatar to Terelj NP (turtle rock): Good tarmac
- From Ulaanbaatar to Erenhot (border Mongolia): Good tarmac
Fees for Toll roads, briges, tunnels and ferries
Where there are new road sealed roads there are also toll gates. We were always glad to see them as it meant we would have some comfortable kilometers ahead. In total we paid 5300 Turgrik for 5 toll roads (less then 3 Euro).
- Careful - They will try to
charge you for entering into Ulaanbaatar but this has changed and is
free now. Just refuse end drive on.
Highlights or not
The adventure of driving through the land: This is the main attraction and free of charge. Driving through the vast and empty landscapes is amazing.
- Camel ride to the Dunes: Near the high dunes several places offer camel rides. We did a sunset ride and it was great fun. Ride is about one hour. We joined a group and were with 5 people in total. The price then is 10.000 Tugrik per person.
- Yolyn Am NP: Very nice park. In the gorge you can make a nice walk. Although officially forbidden we were allowed to camp on the parking near the gorge. Nice sport as at the end of the day everybody goes home and you have the place all to yourself. Entry fee = 3000 Tugrik per person.
- Kharkhorin monastry: Old walled monastry with a lot of history. Definitely worth a visit. Entry fee is 3000 Tugrik per person.
- Giant Chinggis Khaan Statue: Impressive because of its size. Nice to climb to the top. Entry fee = 7000 Tugrik per person. Note: the place is closed during lunch time.
- Terelj NP - Turtle rock: We only saw a very small part of the NP as we only drove to the turtle rock which was a nice spot. The parts we visited were nice and the roads were good. Entry fee = 3000 Tugrik per person. Note: be careful when bush camping here as one couple with a big truck were robbed here shortly before we were there.
For lovers of Indian food - Try Restaurant Namaste in UB. Best one of the whole trip.
For vegetarians and vegans. There are a few good places where you can eat good vegan food even coffee shops with vegan pies. For us, our favourite was Loving Hut. Very cheap but very good food and all vegetarian and vegan. They have several restaurants in town. You can find them on the internet.
- Next door to Oasis is a good
garage run by a Japanese guy. He works very accurate.
Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"
|MN-ATM1 - N48°58.225 E89°57.633
ATM for Visa
MN-ATM2 - N46°22.371 E96°15.166
ATM for Visa
MN-CAMP01 - N48°57.812 E89°57.926
Camping behind the Ger camp. Place known by overlanders. Price 10.000 Tugrik per night for hot water, toilets and wifi
MN-CAMP02 - N48°16.617 E91°19.714
Bushcamp in the field after river crossing between Olgii and Khovd, No facilities
MN-CAMP03 - N46°55.691 E93°59.208
Bushcamp in the field 25km after Darvi. No facilities
MN-CAMP04 - N46°21.450 E96°12.087
Bushcamp in the field near Altay. No facilities
MN-CAMP05 - N46°00.859 E97°49.989
Bushcamp in on a hill between Altay and Bayanhongor, nice view, no facilities
MN-CAMP06 - N46°00.714 E100°23.571
Bushcamp in a field 37 km before Bayanhongor. No facilities
MN-CAMP07 - N46°11.728 E102°53.863
Bushcamp in a field after Arvaiheer on the way to Bayangol. No facilities
MN-CAMP08 - N45°20.032 E104°00.500
Camped on the parking of the "Secret of Ongi camp". Nice camp, good restaurant. Parking was free, paid 10.000 Tugrik for 2 showers. Beautiful area.
MN-CAMP09 - N44°08.291 E103°43.330
Bushcamp between the flaming cliffs. Amazing spot. No facilities.
MN-CAMP10 - N43°46.492 E102°20.390
Camped on the parking of Gobi Discovery camp near dunes. Parking was free, showers was 5000 Tugrik per person. Nice camp with excellent restaurant and cheap.
MN-CAMP11 - N43°32.872 E104°02.257
Bushcamp at the entrance of Yolyn Am. Nothing special. No facilities
MN-CAMP12 - N43°29.374 E104°03.854
Bushcamp on the parking in the heart of Yolyn Am. Great spot. Many people here during the day, but after the tourist leave you have it all to yourself. Camping might be forbidden, but we got no problems. Toilet nearby.
MN-CAMP13 - N44°44.874 E105°24.718
Bushcamp in a field near the road, no facilities
MN-CAMP14 - N47°54.704 E106°58.859
Camping on the parking of Oasis Guesthouse. Best overlandspot of the whole Asia trip. Hot showers, heated sitting room, restaurant, laundry, hairdresser, garage nextdoor, and a supermarket, atm and busstop nearby. Price for two people and a car 30.000 Tugrik per night.
MN-CAMP15 - N47°36.621 E104°49.734
Bushcamp in a field between Ulaanbaatar and Kharkhorin, no facilities
MN-CAMP16 - N47°28.711 E103°08.299
Bushcamp in a field near Khashaat, no facilities
MN-CAMP17 - N47°51.210 E104°51.606
Bushcamp in a field between Dashinchilen and UB. Nice view, no facilities.
MN-CAMP18 - N44°46.277 E110°24.126
Bushcamp in a field near the road nearby Sainshand, no facilities
MN-CAMP19 - N43°44.091 E111°50.673
Bushcamp in a field close to the Chinese border, no facilities
MN-CARWASH - N43°34.408 E104°25.315
MN-CHINGGI - N47°48.419 E107°31.876
Chinggis Khaan Statue
MN-CN - N43°41.888 E111°56.007
Border between Mongolia (Dzamvn) and China (Ehrenhot)
MN-COPY - N48°58.141 E89°58.137
MN-DALAY - N44°12.990 E110°50.479
Dalay Els dunes
MN-EMBASSY - N47°55.396 E106°55.370
Chinese Embassy for visa in UB
MN-FLAMING - N44°08.311 E103°43.667
Flaming cliffs viewpoint
MN-FUEL1 - N45°27.428 E103°54.375
Fuel, only cash
MN-IMMIGRA - N47°51.204 E106°46.903
Immigration office, visa extension here. Visa free is max. 30 days.
MN-INFC - N48°58.081 E89°58.074
Visa registration. Any stay longer than 30 days should be registered.
MN-INSURAN - N49°36.305 E89°27.881
MN-INTERN1 - N46°22.303 E96°15.198
Internet here, also laptop
MN-INTERN2 - N43°34.425 E104°25.792
Wifi in the lobby of Gobisands hotel, used it for free.
MN-KHARKHO - N47°11.979 E102°50.542
Erdene zuu monastry in Kharkhorin
MN-KHONGOR - N43°47.182 E102°01.998
Khongoryn Els dunes
MN-MARKET1 - N47°59.817 E91°38.571
Fruit and vegetable market
MN-PASSAGE - N43°44.056 E102°22.645
Passage through the Khongoryn dunes
MN-REST1 - N48°58.135 E89°57.915
Pamukkale, Turkish restaurant in Olgii
MN-RIVER1 - N48°19.236 E91°18.620
River crossing, no bridge
MN-RIVER2 - N45°51.255 E99°20.133
MN-RIVER3 - N45°27.686 E103°53.839
MN-ROCKS - N47°11.193 E102°51.160
Penis turtle, parking
MN-RU - N49°36.412 E89°27.996
Border between Mongolia and Russia
MN-SDA - N47°55.505 E106°54.285
SDA church in Ulaanbaatar
MN-SHOWER1 - N46°22.143 E96°15.234
Public bath house
MN-SHOWER2 - N46°11.963 E100°43.284
Public bath house
MN-SHOWER3 - N43°34.104 E104°25.375
Public bath house
MN-SHOWER4 - N43°43.073 E111°54.003
Public bath house
MN-SUPER1 - N48°00.178 E91°38.510
Supermarket in Khovd
MN-SUPER2 - N46°11.097 E100°42.817
Supermarket and ATM
MN-TOYOTA - N47°54.430 E106°49.117
Toyota dealer in UB
MN-TURTLE - N47°54.509 E107°25.428
Turtle Rock in Terelj NP
MN-YOLYNAM - N43°32.969 E104°02.235
Entrance Gate and Museum Yolyn Am