Get to Mongolia
AIRPORTS & AIRLINES
Ulaanbaatar’s Chinggis Khan International Airport is Mongolia’s major international airport; the code is ULN. At the time of writing a new airport was under construction 52km southwest of Ulaanbaatar. It is expected to be complete by June 2018.
Flights to/from Ulaanbaatar can be pricey, as there is a limited number of carriers. The main carriers are MIAT, Air China, Korean Air, Busan Air, Turkish Airlines and Aeroflot. Apart from major cities like Bĕijīng, Seoul and Moscow, there are flights to smaller destinations in China, Russia and Kyrgyzstan. These include an AeroMongolia flight to/from Hohhot five times a week for US$208 one way. Other regional flights to places like Mănzhōulǐ, Ulan-Ude and Èrlián, however, change with the seasons.
Flying to Mongolia usually requires one or two stops en route and you are likely to spend some time in either Bĕijīng International Airport (PEK) or South Korea's Incheon International Airport (ICN). Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) and Istanbul's Ataturk Airport (IST) are possible stops if you are coming from Europe. Here is what you need to know while in transit:
TRAINS & RAILWAYS
The Trans-Mongolian express follows an ancient tea-caravan route from China to Russia through Ulan Baatar and further on to Europe. The 1810km of the railway line is made up of the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which is the second primary access to the Mongolia. The journey from Moscow to by Ulaanbaatar train takes approximately 5 days. The train has 1st and 2nd class compartments and a restaurant carriage. This train is unique because it is frequently filled with Russian and Mongolian traders with their goods. The police may also make a detailed inspection of the compartments due to the high trade activity.
From Beijing to Ulaanbaatar the train takes approximately 27 hours. For group passengers, tickets are available for booking 60 days prior to departure and then issued 14 days prior; for individuals, tickets can be booked 30 days ahead of departure and printed 7 days ahead. Before leaving China in Erlian, the dining and dormitory carriages and 2 hard sleeper carriages will be unloaded. As the Chinese and Mongolian rail widths are different, the trains change wheels while stopping at Erlian, which takes about 3 hours. During the process, passengers can stay onboard. After entering Mongolia, a Mongolian dining carriage and a dormitory carriage will be joined on. The Mongolian train is equipped with 17 carriages: 10 hard sleeper carriages, 3 deluxe soft sleeper carriages, a luggage carriage, a dormitory carriage, a dining carriage, and agenerator carriage.