Fire and rescue services
Exercise normal safety precautions in Mongolia.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Mongolia.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Crimes against travellers are most common during the:
While uncommon, violent crime occurs in Mongolia, particularly in Ulaanbaatar.
Criminals have randomly assaulted foreigners, even during the day and in busy areas.
Criminal attacks have included:
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are also common.
Be alert to thieves on public transport and in crowded areas in Ulaanbaatar, such as:
Travellers on trains between Mongolia and Russia are also a common target for thieves.
Pay close attention to your belongings, particularly in crowded areas and on public transport.
Criminals have targeted travellers using taxis to rob and harass them.
Only use licensed taxis, preferably booked through your accommodation.
Criminals posing as police officers have robbed travellers. This has happened in the Sukhbaatar Square area of Ulaanbaatar. Mongolian police officers are required to have name tags on their uniforms and carry ID. It is appropriate to ask to see their ID.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Be alert in areas with large crowds.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Temperatures vary from 35°C in summer to minus 40°C in winter.
Winter is long and severe. It lasts from October to March.
Many accidents happen during winter due to black ice, especially in urban areas. Pedestrians are involved in these accidents too.
Snowstorms can happen outside winter months. Make sure you have adequate clothing and footwear at all times of year.
Weather conditions can change quickly, even in summer. This increases your risk of hypothermia.
The rainy season happens between July and September. Flooding may happen. Avoid flood areas, monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Earthquakes and natural disasters
Mongolia experiences earthquakes.
Forest or grass fires can be a risk in the drier months.
If a natural disaster occurs:
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least eight weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Mongolia. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
The range of medicine available in Mongolia is limited.
Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:
Authorities could refuse you entry or prosecute you if you arrive without a prescription for your medication.
The standard of medical care is poor, particularly outside Ulaanbaatar. If you're in Mongolia, monitor your health closely.
Avoid contact with dogs and other animals as they may carry dangerous diseases, such as rabies.
If an animal bites or scratches you:
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get urgent medical help if you suspect food poisoning or have a fever or diarrhea.
During winter, from October to March, the air in Ulaanbaatar is dangerously polluted. This is because people burn coal and rubber for heating.
Speak to your doctor before travelling if you have breathing-related problems.
The standard of medical care is poor, particularly outside Ulaanbaatar.
Bring basic medical supplies with you.
Doctors and hospitals require payment before treating you, even if it's an emergency.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to get proper care. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. You'll probably need to pay up-front. Delays are common while waiting for approvals.
Severe weather and snowfall can delay or stop medical evacuations from remote places.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long prison terms in local jails.
By law, you must always carry your passport when travelling in Mongolia.
If you live in Mongolia, you must also carry your residency card.
If you're involved in legal action, authorities might not let you leave. You may have to wait until the issue is resolved. This includes when criminal investigations have started after commercial disputes.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Mongolia doesn't recognise dual nationality.
If you're a dual citizen, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Always travel on your Australian passport.
If you're a dual national who plans to live in Mongolia, you may need to complete national service. Contact the nearest embassy of Mongolia before travelling.
Same-sex relationships are legal.
However, the Mongolian National Human Rights Commission has reported LGBTI travellers can face violence and discrimination.
Members of the LGBTI community have also reported harassment.
Avoid public displays of affection.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Australian tourists can enter Mongolia for stays of up to 30 days without a visa.
Foreign nationals may apply for short-term (up to 60 days) diplomatic, official, or business visas on the condition they meet health-related entry requirements.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Mongolia has reopened its borders. Chinggis Khan International Airport is recommended for entry to and exit from Mongolia. You're no longer required to present a negative PCR test to enter Mongolia. Different requirements may apply depending on the embarkation point and airline. You're not required to quarantine on arrival.
You need to carry proof of your onward or return ticket to enter Mongolia.
All businesses and services remain open and available.
You must show proof of a return airfare or onward travel to enter Mongolia.
If you're staying longer than 30 days, you must register with the Office of Immigration in Ulaanbaatar within 7 days of arriving.
This includes people on working visas. Confirm your employer has registered on your behalf.
If you don't register, authorities can fine you.
If you have a working visa, you must de-register before leaving Mongolia.
You may need an HIV/AIDS test if you:
If you're travelling with a child who isn't yours, you must show a notarised letter. The letter must be from the child's legal guardian granting you permission to travel with the child.
Authorities have strict rules about importing:
The Mongolian Border Protection Authority (Mongolian) will check the equipment. It will work out if tax applies.
These rules also cover items being donated, such as medical equipment.
They don't apply to common personal items, such as laptops and tablets.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
The local currency is Mongolian Tugrik (MNT).
Some banks in Ulaanbaatar buy Australian dollars. Check the banks' websites before you travel.
You can generally exchange:
However, these currencies may not be accepted everywhere.
US currency dated before 2000 may not be accepted in Mongolia, even by banks.
Bank notes of different amounts are exchanged at different rates. Lower value notes receive a lower rate.
Outside Ulaanbaatar, carry cash.
There are few ATMs outside Ulaanbaatar.
Some smaller shops, supermarkets and restaurants don't accept credit cards.
If, despite our advice, you travel to Russia, you may experience border and customs difficulties when entering by train from Russia.
Declare all goods and cash when entering and leaving Russia.
The Embassy of Russia in Mongolia can issue tourist visas for Russia.
If you travel between Mongolia and China, you must follow China's entry and exit rules. This is the case even if you are only transiting through China.
The Embassy of China in Mongolia can only issue a visa for China to residents of Mongolia.
If you're going to China, you must get a visa before you travel.
You can't drive a vehicle or ride a motorbike with an Australian driver's licence or International Driving Permit (IDP) in Mongolia.
For short visits, use taxis or hire a car with a driver.
If you plan to stay more than 12 months, apply for a Mongolian licence.
To travel to Mongolia by car, you must get approval from the Mongolian Customs Office before you enter.
For this, you'll need to provide:
The Mongolian Customs Office will make a record on the foreign citizen’s visa stamp that the citizen has entered with a car, which will be checked when the citizen leaves the country.
Mongolian Border Protection checks the visa in addition to asking for car related documents and requires advance notice if a large number of foreign citizens enter the country by car at the same time.
Driving in Mongolia can be dangerous, especially at night, due to poor:
There are few sealed roads outside of Ulaanbaatar.
You're 4 times more likely to die in a traffic accident in Mongolia than in Australia.
Many accidents happen during winter due to black ice, especially in urban areas. Right-hand drive vehicles cause many accidents on rural roads. Pedestrians are often injured.
Take care as a pedestrian. Drivers don't always give way, even at marked pedestrian crossings.
To protect yourself when driving beyond city limits, take:
Communication and medical facilities are often poor outside cities.
For most of the year, heavy snowfall can:
To drive safely while travelling during snowy periods:
Severe weather and snowfall can also restrict medical evacuations from remote places.
Take care as a pedestrian during severe weather. Heavy snow can cause black ice on footpaths and road crossings.
Dust storms during May and June can affect visibility when driving.
If you ride a motorcycle, always wear a helmet.
Taxis can be dangerous. Book a reliable, licensed taxi company through your accommodation, restaurant, or venue.
Local transport providers may not carry accident liability insurance. This includes bus and private car operators.
Always use seatbelts, even if others don't.
If appropriate safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Mongolia's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Access to some regional districts is occasionally restricted for quarantine, including:
Restrictions can change.
Speak to the Mongolian authorities or the nearest Embassy of Mongolia if you plan to travel to regional areas.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
You can get consular help from the Australian Embassy in Mongolia.
Shangri-La Centre, Level 20
Olympic St 19A, SB District
Ulaanbaatar 14241, Mongolia
Phone: (+976) 7013 3001
Facebook: Australian Embassy in Mongolia
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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