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General Info

Facts about Mongolia

Official Name: Mongolia
Area: 1,565,000 square kilometers (604,800 square miles)
Population: 2,475,000 (2002), 1.5 person per sq. km (4 persons per sq. mi)
Capital: Ulaanbaatar (869,900 people in 2004)
Official Language: Khalkha Mongolian
Major Religions: Buddhism, Islam
Literacy: 92.9%
Prominent Features: Gobi desert, grasslands, salt and fresh water lakes
Highest Peak: Tavan Bogd Uul, 4374 m
Mountain Ranges: Altai, Khangai, Hentii
Form of Government: Republic
Chief of State: President
Head of Government: Prime minister
Voting Qualification: All citizens above 18 years of age
Political Divisions: 21 provinces and 1 autonomous municipality, Ulaanbaatar
Major Cities: Ulaanbaatar (680,000), Darhan (85,800), Erdenet (63,000)
Chief Manufactured & Mined Products: Food products, textiles, chemicals, leather, construction materials, fluorspar, copper, molybdenum, gold
Chief Agricultural Products: Crops - wheat, potatoes, vegetables; Livestock - sheep, goats, cattle, horses, camels

Duty-Free Items:
The following goods may be imported into Mongolia without incurring customs duty:
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 1l of vodka and 2l of wine and 3l of beer; personal effects; goods up to a value of US$1000.
Prohibited items: Guns, weapons and ammunition without special permission; explosive items; radioactive substances; narcotics; pornographic publications; any publications, records, films and drawings critical of Mongolia; palaeontological and archaeological findings without special permission; collections of various plants and their seeds; birds and wild or domestic animals; wool, raw skins, hides and furs without permission from the appropriate authorities.

The unit of currency is Togrog or Tugrik (MNT), 1 MNT = 100 Mongo. The denominations of the banknotes are 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5,000 and 10,000 Togrog. Coins are in 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Togrogs and are rarely used.

Local Time in Ulaanbaatar is GMT +8 hours. The three western provinces are one hour behind the capital. Mongolia observes daylight savings time in the summer months.

In Mongolia, the current is 220V/50Hz. Electrical sockets take European-style two round pin plugs.

Bank Opening Hours:
9 am - noon and 1-3 pm, Monday – Friday; Golomt Bank works round-the-clock.

Credit Cards:
You can use VISA, MasterCard and American Express cards in Ulaanbaatar at hotels, all airline offices, in some super markets and most travel agencies. ATM machines are available in many hotels and supermarkets.

Store Hours:
Most large stores and shops are open 10 am – 8 pm, daily.

Best Buys:
Cashmere products, leather, jewelry, traditional clothes,

Useful Telephone Numbers:
Police 102, Ambulance 103, Fire 101

Two mobile phone operators, Mobicom and SkyTel, provide mobile phone networks. GSM 900 network is operated by MobiCom and available throughout the country. In every province center GSM mobile phone service is available so you can keep in touch with your home while you are in Mongolia if you bring your GSM.

Internet & Email:
Ulaanbaatar has dozens of Internet cafés where you can surf the Web and access email accounts. Many province centers have Internet access at their Post Offices. Email is easily the most reliable, cheapest and quickest way of communicating with outside world.

News & Current Affairs:
BBC World Service (FM 103.1 MHz) and VOA (FM 106.6 MHz) radio broadcasts are available on FM in Ulaanbaatar. CNN, BBC World, DW-tv, NHK broadcasts are provided by the most cable operators and available in most hotels.