Are you planning on taking a trip to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia during the winter?
Let me just ask you, ARE YOU CRAZY?
The winter is really cold and smoggy in Ulaanbaatar. Unless you have important business or something urgent you need to attend to, I do not recommend you visiting Ulaanbaatar during the winter months.
You could come to Mongolia during the Lunar New Year festival, at least that will be a reason to come visit. But, Mongolia is the best when you come during the summer months when it is warm.
Usually, anything below -20 degrees Celsius is to be expected once it’s November. December and January are the coldest months, sometimes the temperatures reach -40 degrees Celsius.
So you better layer up and put on some clothes that will keep you warm, otherwise, you will literally freeze your ass off in just a few minutes.
Besides the cold weather, the smog that pollutes the city makes it worse, and traffic jam caused during the winter because people don’t obviously freeze to death is unbearable. While it could take you 30 minutes to walk, people opt to spend their 2 hours in traffic jams.
Going Out To The Countryside
There is however an exception. If you are coming for the ice festival, or perhaps for the pristine nature, the air is fresh in the countryside. Not only just fresh, but you get sunshine most of the time, so it does look really pretty if you know where to go.
However, during the winter you should be wary of the weather because if you get stuck in a storm, you won’t be able to get help until it calms down, so stay extra cautious if you will be driving around Mongolia.
You should get a guide if you plan to trek Mongolia regardless of whether it is winter or summer because Mongolia is so sparsely populated that you could get lost easily.
Best of luck, my advice to you is, STAY AWAY! However, if you are stubborn and like a good challenge, go ahead and enjoy the Mongolian winter. Just don’t spend much of it in the capital Ulaanbaatar.
Otherwise, come during the summer 🙂