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Mongolia Guide

Driving

Bordered by giants such as China and Russia, Mongolia is one of the world's few countries where a quiet, nomadic life can still be enjoyed. By car, tourists can split their time across the ‘Land of the Blue Skies’ by visiting the northern region of Selenge, the copper mines of Erdenet (which are Asia's largest) and the captivating Orhon province.

Driving Tips for Mongolia

Mongolian roads between cities are well-maintained; however, those in the countryside may be difficult to drive on and dangerous for drivers without previous experience with the terrain. The country doesn't have an extensive road network and signage can be scarce.

Driving licences: an International Driving Licence and full UK driver’s licence are required to hire a car and legally drive it here.

Which side does Mongolia drive on: the right.

Speed limits:
Motorways: 62mph (100kph)
Rural areas: 50mph (80kph)
Built-up areas: 37mph (60kph)

Alcohol limits: 0.02 per cent compared with Britain's 0.08 per cent limit; those exceeding this limit run the risk of being imprisoned or receiving another severe penalty.

Driving age: 18 years.

Seatbelts: compulsory for passengers and drivers. Child restraint laws exist but aren't always enforced.

Mobile phones and GPS: using any mobile phone or similar device while at the wheel is strictly prohibited. GPS is allowed and is advised given the lack of signage on Mongolian roads.

Cost of fuel in Mongolia: a lot less expensive than in Britain.

Car hire and fuel payment: credit card payments are accepted by most car hire companies but not by most petrol stations. British card holders that are bound for Mongolia are advised to notify their card supplier of their plans to travel before they leave the UK.

Insurance: third-party insurance is often included with car hire although the amount of accidents on the road here means that excess insurance comes highly recommended.

Traffic and parking: traffic is at its busiest in Ulaanbaatar. Parking spaces can be scarce but clamping and fines for illegal parking aren't regularly enforced as they are in the UK.

Transport

Trains
Rail travel to Ulaanbaatar is possible via the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing in China and the Russian cities of Moscow and Vladivostok, with fares costing anything from £80 to £200. Domestic rail travel is possible with Trains to Mongolia, typically costing between £10 and £30.

Taxis
Taxis are available in Mongolia's largest cities and cost around £0.35 per kilometre. Due to most vehicles being fitted with meters, fares do not need to be agreed upon prior to travel.

Buses
Buses from the Chinese capital of Beijing take 12 hours and are cheap at only £17 per person. Domestic travel is possible to the country's capital city of Ulaanbaatar from most provincial capitals, such as Dornod Aimag and Choybalsan.

Airports
Air travel to the country's only international airport, in Ulaanbaatar, is possible from Asian cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul. The only direct flights from Europe come from Berlin twice weekly. Domestic air travel isn't common here.

Explore

Exploring Mongolia

Most visitors begin their Mongolian adventure in Ulaanbaatar, the country's capital. Here, historical attractions such as the Gandan Monastery and Choijing Lama Monastery are often enjoyed, while historians often head to the impressive National History Museum.

Erdenet is the country's second largest city and is most famous for hosting the largest copper mine in Asia. Also popular are visits to the remarkable carpet factory and photos next to the iconic Fraternity Monument.

Those that wish to sample both Mongol and Kazakh cultures in the same city, and learn more about the history of the two, often put time aside for Hovd. For similar reasons, the ancient capital of Karakorum is also well-visited, especially by those interested in the legacy of Genghis Khan.

Although they aren't as laden with attractions as the other mentioned cities, provincial capitals including Uliastai, Ondorkhaan, Moron and Tsetserleg are frequently visited by foreign holidaymakers.

Weather

The best time to visit Mongolia is generally considered to be between May and July, as this is when temperatures often exceed 30°C. Generally, the country experiences 250 sunny days per year, which means that the climate is almost always favourable. Temperatures drop, especially at night, from November until the New Year.

All cities in Mongolia

We compare car rental suppliers in each of the following cities: