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Frequently Asked Questions

This page is designed to answer most of your questions regarding an expedition in Mongolia with us.
How does an expedition day look like? On a typical day, we try to be on the road by about 9 o’clock and travel until the late afternoon with a relaxing break for lunch. By average we spent 6 hours in the saddle (horse or bike) or on foot every day. Meals are prepared by our cook and you are not expected to share any of the camp routines or saddle the horses. However, you are expected to pitch your own tent and on bike trips, maintain your won bicycle.

How fit do I have to be? Our trip are for everyone as long as you have a positive attitude. We will adjust the daily itinerary according to the abilities of the group. For our hiking trips, you should be comfortable with walking up to 6 hours a day but without a pack. To enjoy our cycling trips you should be used to riding a few hours in one go.

How much riding experience do I need? We have had complete beginners on our trips. However, to maximise your enjoyment we suggest you take a few basic riding lessons before you leave home. Our Mongolian staff knows how to put a nervous riders at easy, but they also allow experienced riders the freedom to roam around the group on their own.

What about the horses? We ride the local horses which are ideally suited for the extreme climatic conditions of Mongolia. Chingghis Khan used the same mounts to conquer his empire on horse back. They are tough but small (13 – 14 hands) compared to European stock. We use Mongolian made “Russian Cavalry” saddles, made surprisingly comfortable by a large pad stuffed with sheep wool.

How is the food? Our diet is based on noodles, rice, potatoes and of course meat – beef whenever we can get fresh supplies, otherwise it is mutton which we will buy from herders along the way. We make the point of including as much fresh green vegetables as possible but sometimes towards the end of the trip these supplies might run short. Our Mongolian cooks pride themselves of their freshly baked bread and whoever has tasted it covered with jam (or Peter’s favourite chocolate spread) will be converted to a bread lover. Coffee, tea and hot water will be provided at all meals if the conditions allow.

Can vegetarians be catered for? Yes, with prior warning and after consultation with you, we will be able to cater for a vegetarian diet. We might suggest that you will bring some freeze dried meals with you in addition. If you are a strict, uncompromising vegetarian, Mongolia might not be the right destination for you.

How is the accommodation? Accommodation is always on a twin sharing base. When we are travelling in the countryside we provide you with high quality German made double tents which all clients are expected to pitch themselves. Click here for a picture and specs of our tents. Often we will stay in ger camps, where accommodation will be in gers (the ubiquitous Mongolian felt tent) with a small wood burning stove for warmth. Up to 4 people might share a ger. Some nights, especially in UB, will be in hotels, also on twin sharing base. These are basic middle class establishments.

What about single supplement? Please contact us if you prefer a single supplement. In Ulaanbaatar you would occupy a room by yourself, while camping you will have your personal tent. Please note that it is not always possible to have a single supplement while staying in ger camps and guest houses. This varies from itinerary to itinerary and needs to be decided on an individual basis. Contact us for details if required.

What is included in the trip fee? Our trip fees are all inclusive once you have landed in Mongolia and cover most costs during your visit to Mongolia such as transport, accommodation, guides, food and specialised trip equipment. If there are any exceptions, it will be made clear in the trip itinerary before booking. For some trips, a domestic airfare is included while with others, it isn't. Ask us for details.

What is not included in the trip fee? International air fares, airport taxes, excess luggage payments, medical and evacuation insurance, medical/medivac costs, visas, alcoholic beverages, extra meals and drinks apart from the scheduled breakfast – lunch – dinner, hotel room bills, costs resulting from delay in your international flights, film and photo permits.

Which language will be spoken? All our trips will be accompanied by at least one Mongolian translator/interpreter. Some of our trips might also be accompanied by a foreign guide, often by one of our directors themselves.  On request we can provide interpreters for German, Russian, Kazakh, Czech, French, Korean and Japanese.

What is the weather like? Weather in Mongolia in summer is generally hot and dry with occasional rain. However, the weather can turn any time and if a front will pass through from Siberia, cold days can be expected. We make the point of always having a rain jacket and a long sleeved top with us at all times. If you decide to join us for the ice festival in February, be prepared for temperatures down to –20 Celsius.

Is it dangerous? Yes, any travel into a remote place such as Mongolia has it’s inherent physical dangers, especially when using horses, bikes or kayaks and therefore we cannot guarantee your safety 100 %. However, your safety is our top priority and we go to great lengths to have solid risk management policies in place. Our 15 years of experience and training in the outdoors provide the necessary background for that. Please remember that horses are animals and like humans are not always predictable in their actions.

Mongolia is a safe destination to travel to and within. It has a stable democratically elected government and a peaceful Buddhist religion. On the countryside, we are subject to the ancient tradition of open hospitality of the nomadic people. We suggest you apply common sense rules regarding your valuables and behaviors at all times, especially when in the cities.

How do I get to Mongolia? MIAT, the national airline has frequent flights to Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Beijing, and Seoul. Korean Airlines, Air China and Aeroflot all fly to Mongolia. From America, best way is via Seoul. Many travellers take the opportunity to stop over in Beijing from where there are daily connection to Mongolia. Some even decide to take the 36 hour train journey through the Gobi dessert, a truly memorable experience. Please note that transit passenger through Beijing might need a visa. Check out Links page for the relevant links.

How about visas? Most nationalities need a visa to visit Mongolia, American nationals do not need a visa for Mongolia. Visas can be acquired at any Mongolian consulate or embassy abroad. Visas are normally valid for 3 months after the date of issues. This means that you should not get your visa earlier than 2 months before your trip.. Visas cannot be issued any longer at the airport in Ulan Bator, even with an invitation letter from us.

If you are transiting through Beijing, most European nationals do not require a visa if you connect internationally the same day. However, be aware that some airlines do not know this rule and won’t let you board your flight to Beijing without a visa. Check with both, your local Chinese embassy and the airline you are flying with.

What are the medical facilities like? All provincial capitals have basic hospitals. In Ulan Bator is the western run SOS clinic which operates a 24 hour emergency service to western standards. Our trip leaders carry comprehensive first aid kits on every trip. We also require every client to bring his/her own first aid kit. We cannot accept you on any of our trips without a full medical insurance including evacuation cover. This is in your own interest and we require proof of purchase. International SOS has a clinic both in Ulan Bator, Mongolia and Beijing and provides various evacuation plans.

Is there an age limit? Not really. We have had great experiences having youth or kids along on our trips but it is imperative that you discuss this with us beforehand. As long as you are fit enough to ride a horse and have a positive attitude and a good sense of humor you are always welcome on our trips.

How can I contact Blue Bandana Expeditions? E-mail us at More contact details are on our contact page.

What do I need to bring? Please contact us for a gear list for your chosen itinerary.
Choose your type of journey in Mongolia:
Active Adventures
Overland Journeys in Mongolia
Trips to the Gobi Desert
Familiy Hollidays to Mongolia
Winter trips to Mongolia

Blue Bandana Expeditions Co. Ltd. --- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia --- --- Copyright 2012