How to move around the country

© mazaalai store \ bayan-ulgii aimak

By plane
Mongolia has an internal air network and airfields. By plane from Ulaanbaatar you can reach the south and west of the country. This is what foreign tourists do, this method is not popular among Russian travelers due to a lack of confidence in the service of carriers and the qualifications of local pilots.
By car
There are almost no roads in Mongolia, but many destinations. Therefore, to see the whole country, and not just Ulaanbaatar and the sights within a radius of 100 kilometers from it, you need to go on a trip by car. It is better if it will be a jeep, “loaf” or any other off-road vehicle. On such cars you can drive off-road, cross small rivers and not get stuck in the sands of the Gobi. Experienced tourists recommend changing the city soft rubber to a harder one before the trip and taking at least two spare sets. There are many thorns in the steppe and at the approaches to the desert. They are long, hard and easily pierce the wheels.
The country has almost no driving culture. In cities, a special service monitors compliance with traffic rules, but there is no control in the outback. Drivers sometimes abuse alcohol, do not include turn signals, and due to the fact that animals often go on the road, in the dark everyone drives with high beams.

It is difficult to find spare parts for European cars in Mongolia, and the quality of the work of masters in car services raises a lot of questions, so you need to have an advanced repair kit and the skills of a car mechanic to deal with the breakdown yourself.

On a motorcycle
An option for experienced tourists. It requires careful preparation, miscalculation of the smallest details and good equipment, capable of driving more than one thousand kilometers without major repairs. Either heavy motorcycles, or models for cross-country or enduro, are suitable for motorcycle travel. You can’t go far on sports bikes in Mongolia. The first exit from the asphalt threatens to be the last. Ideal if in the group some tourists ride motorbikes, and some – on cars that carry all the cargo and help in case of an accident or breakdown. On a trip in a small company, all the equipment will have to be taken on a motorcycle and only rely on your experience and knowledge.
On a rented car
Suitable for tourists who travel to Mongolia from afar and want to see more attractions during the trip. Cars can be rented in Ulan Bator, Muren, Darkhan, Sayshanda, Erdenet, Dalanzadgad. It is better to book a car and find out the conditions and cost in advance through online services. Many companies include driver services in the rental price. If you do not want to spend your vacation with a stranger, even if he knows the roads and local customs perfectly, it is better to read the rental conditions carefully.
By taxi
So they travel too, but the trip can result in a round sum. In large cities private owners offer their services, there is no fixed rate, so it is difficult to calculate the cost of moving around the country. Have to negotiate with the drivers in person.
By public transport
The railway network in Mongolia consists of two lines with branches extending from them. One leads to the south-east of the country (to the border with China), the second to the north (to the border with Russia in the Trans-Baikal Territory). On them you can get to large settlements, and buy tickets on the site. The northeastern areas are reached only by road.
Locals use regular buses that run between cities. It should be borne in mind that the distances here are large and the roads are unpaved, so it will take a long time to travel and the whole road will shake. We advise you to be careful when boarding a bus at bus stations. On the tablets, the Mongols indicate the name of the aimak to which the transport goes. They often do not match the name of the locality. You can mix up and go the other way.
On bicycle
The toughest autonomous bike route is to cross the country from west to east: from Gorny Altai to the Transbaikal Territory. This is more than four thousand kilometers. You can shorten the distance and go home by train or bus from Ulan Bator. And for short radial trips, any area with hard ground is suitable. For example, the Mongolian Altai or the Basin of the Big Lakes in the south-west of the country. You won’t be able to drive through the Gobi desert – the wheels get stuck in the sand.

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