Mongolia is a country that is shrouded in mystery and it is fast becoming a popular destination for travellers around the world. If you are planning a holiday in Mongolia, you are strongly advised to book with an established tour operator and, of course, you should travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is the highlight of the holiday. If you are looking to plan for a holiday in Mongolia this year, here are a few important factors to take into account.
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- Extreme Temperatures – Most people visit Mongolia in the summer, and although it is extremely hot during the day (up to 45C), it is freezing at nights. You will need winter clothing for the nights, and when you are on the train, there is heating, which makes things bearable. Pack a combination of light cotton T-shirts and heavy woollen sweaters, with shorts for the day time and long pants for the evenings. When planning for exciting tours along the Trans Siberian express railroad route, suitable clothing is essential and your tour organiser will be happy to furnish you with a list of essential items to pack.
- Horses – Mongolians love horses, which is no wonder when you consider that is their main form of transport. If you can ride, you simply must take a ride on one of the tough little Mongolian horses, and if you don’t ride, you can still be taken around for a short walk; just don’t say “Tchoo” which is the command for the horse to canter!
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- Sunshine and Wind – Mongolia is always windy, so make sure you pack at least one scarf and don’t forget the lip balm! Sun block is advised, as well as a hat that covers your neck, and, of course, a pair of polarised sunglasses. The wind can be very cold at nights, so take this into account when packing, and should you be unsure about anything, talk to your tour organiser, who has years of experience is preparing tourists for their Mongolian experience. There is a great blog (with images) that really highlights a few things you should know when travelling in Mongolia.
- Bumpy Rides – Most tourists are expecting a reasonably level road surface, yet in reality, the roads are some of the worst in the world. Traveling by bus can be quite painful, and you will quickly realise why the interior ceiling on the bus is padded! Of course, your time on the train (your main form of transport) is smooth enough and with stunning vistas passing your carriage windows, you have the perfect environment for viewing the countryside. In the event you suffer with travel sickness, make sure you take more than enough medication, as it seems impossible to buy this anywhere in Mongolia, which implies that the locals do not suffer from motion sickness.
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The secret to a smooth and trouble-free experience when holidaying in Mongolia lies with your preparation; if you have packed properly and have a good idea of what to expect, then you will no doubt get the most out of the experience.