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The Essential Backpackers' Guide to Mongolia

Backpacking in Mongolia has a wealth of experiences to offer the young western traveller, and it is one of the trips on most people’s bucket list, especially those who are still single and have few commitments to get in the way. Ask any seasoned traveller the best way to approach a new adventure and they’ll tell you it’s all about planning, and luckily, all of your preparations can be carried out online, and if you are new to the world of backpacking, here is a guide on how to arrange a backpacking holiday to Mongolia.


Know your Limitations

While you might attempt hitchhiking across Europe, Mongolia is a different ball game. The only way you can navigate the vast plains is by train, which is where the Trans Siberian Railway comes into play. There are Trans Siberian tours with specialists who can help you to plan your trip, and they’ll offer as much, or as little help as you require. The great thing about this train adventure is you can have the tour operator help you every step of the way, or if you really want an adventure, you take the lead, and should you ever need their help, they are always there.

Visas

Of course, you will need visas for both Mongolia and Russia (if you plan to visit Beijing, add a Chinese visa) and you’ll be happy to learn that they can be applied for online, and the tour operator can assist you with that, should it be necessary.


Research the Culture

You will appreciate the experience so much more of you have some background knowledge of Mongolia, all of which can be found online, and by learning some basic phrases, the locals will warm to you. Learn about these amazing nomadic tribes, who carve a living out of some of the most inhospitable terrain, and marvel in their skills that have been passed down for centuries, and of you are into horse riding, you are in for a real treat!

Time of Year

If you are not restricted in any way, avoid the summer season, as it will be extremely hot and there will be crowds of tourists, all with the same goal, to see and experience Mongolia. Spring or Autumn is the preferred time to visit, although if you love minus 50C, why not do the winter trip for a really unique experience?


What to Take?

If you have never done a long haul backpack before, put everything you think you will need on the trip, then eliminate 60%, which should see you covered. Things you will need include:

• Good Collection of SD Memory Cards
• Universal Electrical Adaptors
• Couple of Good Quality Power Banks (for all your devices)

The tour operator’s website has all the details regarding what to include in your pack, which includes a basic first aid kit, mosquito repellent and some sun screen. Use your common sense regarding clothing, and take the advice of the tour operator, who knows the seasons better than anyone, and we mustn’t forget our polaroid sunglasses, as the sun can be very bright on the plains.

You can still make it for the spring on 2019, and with an online search, you can make your booking for the train journey of a lifetime.

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