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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Mongolia (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Mongolia (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: For those contemplating a move to Mongolia without a specific locale in mind, embarking on a look-see or exploratory journey to explore various expat havens can provide invaluable insights. Here are some top suggestions for places to explore while scouting out Mongolia.

Embarking on a Look-See trip to Mongolia is an essential step for anyone considering a move to this vast and culturally rich country. Such a trip allows potential expatriates, retirees, and digital nomads to explore the living conditions, culture, and communities firsthand. It provides an opportunity to assess the practicalities of daily life, from housing and healthcare to transportation and local amenities. A Look-See trip can also help in understanding the cultural nuances and in making informed decisions about the most suitable places to live based on personal preferences and lifestyle needs.

Recommended Itineraries

For those planning a Look-See trip to Mongolia, it is advisable to tailor your itinerary based on the length of your stay. A 10-day trip could focus on the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and nearby towns, offering a glimpse into urban life and the surrounding countryside. For a more comprehensive 20-day trip, consider extending your journey to include the northern city of Erdenet, the historic city of Kharkhorin, and the picturesque Gobi Desert region. This longer itinerary allows for a deeper understanding of the diverse lifestyles across Mongolia, from bustling city centers to serene rural landscapes.

Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city of Mongolia, is a must-visit for anyone considering relocation. With a population of over 1.4 million, it is the cultural, economic, and political heart of the country. Expats and digital nomads are drawn to its vibrant mix of modern amenities and traditional Mongolian culture. The cost of living is relatively higher here compared to other parts of Mongolia, but the city offers the most diverse range of housing, international schools, and healthcare facilities. Ulaanbaatar also serves as a hub for transportation, making it a convenient base for exploring the rest of the country.

Travel Tip: While in Ulaanbaatar, visit the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, a center of Mongolian Buddhism, and enjoy a meal at Modern Nomads, a restaurant known for its fusion of traditional and contemporary Mongolian cuisine.

Erdenet

Erdenet, Mongolia's second-largest city, is known for its mining industry and is becoming increasingly popular among expats for its more laid-back lifestyle compared to Ulaanbaatar. The city has a population of around 90,000 and offers a lower cost of living. Expats appreciate the city's proximity to outdoor activities and its less congested environment. Erdenet is also home to a number of schools and healthcare facilities, making it a practical choice for families.

Travel Tip: Check out the Erdenet Carpet Factory, one of the largest in the world, and sample local dishes at the Erdenet Kitchen Restaurant, a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Kharkhorin

Kharkhorin, the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire, is now a small town that attracts those interested in Mongolia's rich history. It is home to the Erdene Zuu Monastery, one of Mongolia's most significant religious sites. The town offers a peaceful lifestyle with a low cost of living and is surrounded by stunning landscapes. Expats and digital nomads looking for a tranquil environment steeped in history may find Kharkhorin to be an ideal location.

Travel Tip: Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery and explore the nearby Kharkhorin Museum to gain insight into the area's historical significance.

Gobi Desert Region

The Gobi Desert region is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique nomadic culture. While not a traditional choice for expatriates, it offers an unparalleled experience for those seeking adventure and a connection with nature. The region includes towns like Dalanzadgad, Bayanzag, and Yolyn Am, each providing a gateway to explore the vast desert landscapes. The cost of living is low, and life here is about simplicity and embracing the great outdoors.

Travel Tip: Visit the Flaming Cliffs at Bayanzag, where important dinosaur fossils have been discovered, and enjoy a traditional meal at a local ger camp to experience authentic Mongolian hospitality.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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