DO'S AND DON'T

Mongolians are very tolerant people and most will not take offence when a foreigner is unfamiliar with local customs. It is not possible or even expected of you to know all the customs of the Mongols in the course of a short trip. However, Mongolians are always happy and appreciative when a foreign visitor takes the time to learn some of their customs and shows this during greetings or visits. We’ve noted some of the most important customs below. Taking the time to read through them and remembering a couple of them will delight your Mongolian hosts and friends.


MON 7076


DO always camp next a family of nomads. Preferably with women, children and without vodka


DO watch out for dogs, especially around a camp of nomads. They are there to provide security and take their role very seriously. Do not try to pet them, they won't get the message. 


DO be ready for an elbow in the side in crowded areas. It is common to shove a little in Mongolia, but don’t get carried away. 


DO sit if there is seating in someone’s home. Mongolians show respect by sitting.

DO remember, If your are giving a gift do so when your leaving and not when you are arriving. This is customary in Mongolia. 

DO be aware that it is customary for Mongolians to offer tea and food to guests. You do not need to say, “thank you” each time it is offered, but give your thanks when you leave.

DO avoid as much as you can drunk people. 

DO use two hands or the right hand to give or receive something. 

DO  be patient and expect the unexpected. It will always come.




MON 7073




DON’T underestimate the vodka…


DON’T relax your guard on your wallet, Pickpocketing is a national pasttime specially in Ulaan Baatar but also in the steppe.


DON’T wash in the middle of a river. Always do it with discretion and preferably in the dark. 


DON’T Dont expect to eat lamb, do expect to eat lots of boiled mutton full of fat.

DON’T say no when people offer you tea or food. You should accept it and taste it (or pretend to do) fefore placing it on the table

DON’T drink untreated water. Try to find bottled water or boil the water yourself. 

DON’T urinate in or next a river.

DON’T sit with one leg over the other or people will think you are looking down on them.

DON’T cross your arm over your chest or people will think you’re sick.

DON’T point at people. It is thought that pointing at someone brings evil to them.