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An update from Evaneos

Safety and security in Mongolia, a country you can feel safe visiting and travelling around

When visiting Mongolia, forget your fear and anxiety: this is a country you can travel around without a care in the world! The Mongolian people are very tolerant and little inclined towards violence. However, when it comes to encounters with people under the influence of alcohol (drinking is a major problem in Mongolia), this may not necessarily be the case.

Safety and security in Mongolia

Mongolia is undoubtedly one of the safest countries in the world! Consequently, a woman travelling alone has nothing to fear with respect to personal safety; and travellers who leave their tent pitched when they go off walking will find it in the same condition as they left it when they get back. Additionally, there's no need to be at all reluctant when a Mongolian person invites you into their yurt.

In fact the potential danger you may encounter when visiting Mongolia does not come from the people themselves, who tend to be peaceful and non-threatening. What really you have to be most careful about is not getting lost when visiting the country: the roads are virtually non-existent, and the chances of just randomly coming across a yurt camp are practically zero. The best idea is to carefully plan your trip so you don't end up facing unexpected problems. Because in addition to the chance of getting lost, there is also quite a strong possibility of encountering wolves and other animals – the Mongolian countryside is quite wild and untamed.

Be cautious nethertheless

Of course, there still remains the chance of something unpleasant happening, despite what we've already said. So you need to be careful when visiting the capital, where many pickpockets operate. You need to be especially vigilant and avoid drawing attention to yourself at the Black Market, on buses, and when visiting sites that attract a lot of tourists, such as the Gandantegchinlen Monastery.

Additionally, you should be wary of the problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption, with vodka, in particular, very popular in Mongolia. After the fall of the USSR, unfortunately, the Soviets did not take all the vodka with them when they left and it can now be found everywhere. It's not unusual to encounter drunken people, which is obviously something to avoid if possible! For safety reasons, therefore, it's essential not to walk around the towns and villages at night. Not only are there more drunks around at this time, but the streets also tend to be fairly deserted and, to make matters worse, badly lit (or even completely unlit), even in the capital.

Despite all this, and even though the Mongolians themselves claim you need to be careful due to the increasing crime rate, Mongolia is one of those rare countries where there's little reason to be suspicious of other people and where you can travel around with considerable peace of mind.

Marie Cavalié
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