Friday, August 21, 2015

[Khan annoyed; Guildford says no; Erchim oversubscribed; FDI down 87%; SMI deteriorates; and Reuters says Ulaanbaatar]

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Friday, August 21, 2015

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

KRI closed -5.66% Thursday to C$0.50

Khan Resources Battle for $105 Million Award Stalls in Courts

By Michael Kohn

August 20 (Bloomberg) -- Toronto-based miner Khan Resources Inc. says unlikely to see resolution to its $105 million dispute with Mongolia's govt until second half 2016 due to appeal process, according to statement late Wednesday.

* Mongolia seeking to annul award and must make submission to French court before Dec. 8: statement

* Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash, state secretary at Mongolian Ministry of Justice, couldn't be reached by phone or text message Thursday

* Khan has until April 8 to submit defense: statement

* Hearing expected in spring or summer of 2016, with court's decision three months after: statement



Khan Strengthens Board of Directors

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 20, 2015) - Khan Resources Inc. (CSE:KRI) - A correction from source is issued for the press release disseminated today, August 20, 2015 at 3:08 PM ET. The number of options and percentages regarding the "Stock Option Plan" in the third paragraph below were incorrect. The revised and updated release follows:

Khan Resources Inc. ("Khan" or the "Company") (CSE:KRI) is pleased to announce that it has appointed two additional directors to its Board; Mr. Loudon Owen and Mr. Eric Shahinian. Both appointments add significant experience and depth to the Company and supplement its efforts to collect the US$105 million international arbitration award rendered on March 2, 2015 against the Government of Mongolia in favour of Khan.

Khan also announces that a total of 400,000 stock options to purchase common shares of Khan were granted to Mr. Loudon Owen and Mr. Eric Shahinian on August 20, 2015 at an exercise price of $0.53 per share, expiring on August 20, 2018.

Under Khan's stock option plan (the "Stock Option Plan"), an amount equal to 7.58% of the issued and outstanding common shares or 5,980,000 common shares have now been reserved for issuance, including the above grant, and the Company may grant an additional 1,949,148 options under the Stock Option Plan representing 2% of the issued and outstanding common shares.

Mr. Owen is a lawyer and international businessman with extensive experience in all facets of high stakes litigation and enforcement. He has been an investor, advisor and driving force in a wide range of cases involving property rights with several substantial awards having been obtained, including a US$315 million award against Microsoft. Mr. Owen holds a B.A., J.D. and MBA (INSEAD). Mr. Owen is a director of a number of publicly listed companies.

Mr. Shahinian is the managing partner of Camac Partners, a private investment firm based in New York, which manages funds for sophisticated clients. The funds have a major investment focus on companies engaged in material litigation across the world, both in developed and emerging markets. Camac is currently one of Khan's largest shareholders. Prior to 2011, Mr. Shahinian was an analyst covering special situations and prior to that provided services for workout and turnaround situations. He received a Bachelors Cum Laude from Babson College.

Grant Edey, President and CEO commented, "We are very fortunate that Loudon and Eric have agreed to join our Board. Their knowledge and experience will be of great value as we vigourously proceed with the collection of the award."

Link to release


GUF trading flat at A$0.03 mid-trading

Guildford Decides Not to Proceed with Tsaidam Power Project

August 21 -- Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford or the Company) (ASX:GUF) wishes to update the market on its announcement of 1 June 2015 regarding an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it signed with Tsaidam Energy LLC to acquire an 80% stake in a large thermal coal project and associated power station project in Mongolia.

Following a due diligence process, the Company has decided not to proceed with the transaction.

As part of this acquisition and as advised to the market, it was proposed that Guildford would waive a US$2m fully refundable deposit it paid for the acquisition of Mongolian Petroleum Corporation LLC and in which Guildford decided not to proceed.

The Company advises that action to recover this US$2M deposit is ongoing.

Link to release


AKM last traded A$0.019 Thursday

Aspire Mining: Nuurstei Exploration Update

·         Many coal seams intersected in first ten holes of 2015 Nuurstei drilling program.

·         Near surface coal intersected in multiple banded coal seam packages. The best intersections (apparent thickness) are a cumulative 15.3m of coal from 51.4m and a cumulative 9.5m of coal from 71.6m in hole NURH1023.

·         Coal samples collected from core holes will be sent to laboratories to undertake coking coal quality analyses.

August 21 -- Mongolian metallurgical coal explorer, Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, the Company or Aspire), is pleased to provide an update of the exploration program that is currently being conducted at the Nuurstei Coal Project (Nuurstei) by the Aspire and Noble Group (Noble) Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV).

Mobilisation of two drill rigs to site occurred in late July 2015 and to date nine (9) non-core drill holes and one (1) PQ diamond core hole have been completed. The best coal intersections were found in drill hole NURH1023 with cumulative apparent thickness intersections of coal 15.3m from 51.4m and 9.6m of coal from 71.6m (refer Appendix A and Figure 1). Coal seams are consistently steeply dipping and banded (coal and non-coal). The thick coal packages in NURH1023 are suspected to be structurally thickened by reverse faults that have repeated the coal seams in the drill hole. The exact fault geometry is unknown at this stage.

Link to release


XAM trading flat at A$0.087 mid-trading

Xanadu Director Acquires Shares On-Market

August 21 (Cover Mongolia) Xanadu Mines' independent non-executive director Darryl Clark acquired 25,000 shares on 19 August for A$2,250 or 9 cents a share, according a Change of Director's Interest Notice (Appendix 3Y) filed on Thursday.

Link to XAM release


PCY closed +10% Thursday to C$0.055

Prophecy Provides Updates on its Chandgana Power Plant and Ulaan Ovoo Mining Project in Mongolia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Aug. 19, 2015) - Prophecy Development Corp. ("Prophecy") (TSX:PCY)(OTCQX:PRPCF)(FRANKFURT:1P2) is pleased to announce further to its press release dated March 16, 2015, the following updates on its projects in Mongolia:

Chandgana Mine Mouth Power Plant

Project Background:

Prophecy Power Generation LLC ("PPG"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prophecy, is developing the Chandgana coal-fired power plant project ("Chandgana Power Plant") which includes the construction of a 600 MW (4X150 MW) coal-fired mine-mouth power plant in two phases. The proposed power plant will be located next to the Chandgana Tal coal deposit, on which Chandgana Coal LLC ("Chandgana Coal") (another wholly-owned subsidiary of Prophecy) has mining licenses covering the deposit. The Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment for the Chandgana Power Plant was approved in November 2010 and a construction license was granted in November 2011 to PPG. In March 2013, Prophecy secured a land use permit covering 532.4 hectares of land to be used for Prophecy's proposed Chandgana Power Plant from the Morun soum government.

Ulaan Ovoo Coal Project

Since June 2015, Prophecy has surveyed existing customers and potential consumers regarding thermal coal sales from Ulaan Ovoo for the coming 2015-2016 winter season. Prophecy is unable to secure the 300,000 tonnes of coal sales contracts required to restart mine production. Thus, it will continue to maintain Ulaan Ovoo on standby and reassess its production decision again in the summer of 2016.

The current Ulaan Ovoo stockpile consists of approximately 19,000 tonnes of 5,000 kcal/kg GCV (gross-caloric-value) quality, and 60,000 tonnes of 3,600 kcal/kg GCV quality coal. Prophecy expects to begin coal shipments from its stockpile to customers starting in September 2015, and complete the sale of its remaining coal stockpile by spring 2016.

Prophecy has written official letters to the Ministry of Road and Transportation, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Energy, and the Selenge Province governor's office requesting their support to pave the 136km road between the Ulaan Ovoo mine and Sukhbaatar railway station, as well as to build a 56km 35kv power line from nearby Tsagaannuur soum to bring power to Ulaan Ovoo. Both infrastructure initiatives, if implemented, will significantly reduce the operating cost of Prophecy's Ulaan Ovoo operation and increase the likelihood of sustainable mining operations at Ulaan Ovoo to serve both the domestic Mongolian market and international market via Russia.

Link to release


Prophecy Completes First Phase of District Exploration at PulacayoProphecy Coal Corp., August 20

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Local Market

MSE News for August 19: Top 20 +0.45%, Turnover 833.2 Thousand

Ulaanbaatar, August 19 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Wednesday, a total of 3,272 units of 15 JSCs were traded costing MNT 833 thousand and 242.00.

"Remikon" /2,100 units/, "E-Trans Logistics" /400 units/, "Khokh Gan" /328 units/, "Telecom Mongolia" /139 units/ and "Olloo" /100 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU" (MNT 351 thousand 421), "Remikon" (MNT 142 thousand and 900), "Telecom Mongolia" (MNT 134 thousand and 830), "Shivee Ovoo" (MNT 49 thousand and 500), and "E-Trans Logistics" (MNT 40 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 295 billion 833 million 913 thousand and 632. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,275.52, increasing 0.45% and the all index of MSE was 964.43, increasing 0.30% against the previous day.

Link to article


MSE News for August 20: Top 20 -0.15%, Turnover 9.9 Million Stocks

Ulaanbaatar, August 20 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 1,861 units of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT nine million 924 thousand and 46.00.

"Mogoin Gol" /1,022 units/, "State Department Store" /298 units/, "Sor" /150 units/, "Baganuur" /100 units/ and "Aduun Chuluun" /100 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Mogoin Gol" (MNT seven million 869 thousand 400), "Bayangol Hotel" (MNT 343 thousand), "Baganuur" (MNT 260 thousand and 10), "Sor" (MNT 222 thousand), and "APU" (MNT 192 thousand and 100).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 302 billion 377 million 615 thousand and 191. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,256.17, decreasing 0.15% and the all index of MSE was 963.99, decreasing 0.05% against the previous day.

Link to article

Link to MSE trading report


18.5% Erchim Bonds 4.7 Times Oversubscribed with 2.4 Billion Bids

August 20 (MSE) Buy order of "Erchim bond", first ever insured bond in Mongolia, with face value of MNT10,000.00 and 6 months maturity at 18.5% annual interest, went successfully between 2015.08.12-205.08.20. 

There were total of 236,194 shares worth MNT2.4 billion buy order registered at MSE's trading system, which is 4.7 times more than total offered. MSE transferred the Order fund to underwriter companies Golomt Bank and Golomt Securities LLC.  

Link to release


10 Billion 52-Week 14.65% Discounted T-Bills on Offer at MSE

August 19 (MSE) --

1.    The issuer's name: Mongolian Ministry of Finance

2.    The purpose of the issuance of bond: State treasury cash management 

3.    Offering scope of securities: Offering to the public

4.    Type of securities: Government securities

5.    Face value: MNT 100,000 

6.    Discounted price: MNT 87,253.00

7.    Total amounts issued: 100,000 Units 

8.    Short-term securities performance:

 Government Securities name 

 Amount /units/

Value /billion MNT/ 

 Maturity /week/

Form of Interest payment

Interest rate (percent) 

 Starting date of the order

Closing date of the trading 









Link to release


SOEs Cleared to Invest in Government Securities on MSE

August 20 (MSE) Regarding to the submitted official suggestion letter which suggested about effective money management for surplus money to the State Property Committee /SPC/ from Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/, SPC informed that suitable condition for state-owned companies to invest in securities were created

Scope of this work, MSE organized the introduction training at "Thermal Power Plant-4" State-owned JSC on 19 August 2015. During the training, specialist of MSE presented about possibilities to earn additional profit beside main operation by investing in the Government securities at MSE. 

After the introduction training, management team of "Thermal Power Plant-4" JSC showed grateful respect for the training, and they expressed that research work of investing on government securities will be conducted in near future.

Link to release


Foreign Investor Trading Increased 2.5 Times, Domestic 28 Times on MSE in First Half

August 20 (MSE) As of first half of June 2015, the trading participation of foreign investors has been increased by 2.5 times from the same period of the previous year and reached to MNT5.5 billion. On the other hand, domestic investors' trading participation has been increased by 28 times and reached to MNT323.0 billion.

Link to release


MSE Surpasses Annual Trading Value Record Beating 350.2 Billion Set in 2011

August 19 (MSE) The Mongolian Stock Exchange was established in 1991. Since 1995, the secondary market trading on MSE has been held for 5042 times. 

On 18 August 2015, MNT10.0 billion securities traded on 5041st trading session. Since 2015, the total transaction value reached to MNT356.0 billion which is the highest in the history of the 25 years of the Mongolian Stock Exchange trading.


Link to release

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Mongolia Inbound Foreign Direct Investment Drops 87% Y/y in 1H

By Michael Kohn

August 19 (Bloomberg) -- Inbound foreign direct investment falls to $50.2m in Jan.-June vs $377.8m yr earlier, according to revised data released by central bank on Wednesday.

* Inbound FDI June was $66.4m, up from $33.2m yr earlier

* Current-account deficit for 1H 2015 was $334.4m, narrowing from $1.12b yr earlier

* Capital and financial account surplus in 1H was $394m vs $168.5m yr earlier



The Sales Managers Index: Mongolia

Mongolia SMI signals sharper deterioration in business conditions in August

·         Outlook towards future activity worsens

·         Sales and market growth decline at a slower rate

·         Deflationary pressures continue to intensify

August 21 (World Econmics) The Headline Sales Managers' Index The Headline Sales Managers' Index for Mongolia remained well below the no-change mark of 50.0 in August, posting 40.8, down from 42.6 in July. This signalled a sharper deterioration in business conditions across the country. The index has now been in negative territory for the past eighteen months. An index above 50 indicates growth, while an index below 50 indicates contraction. The downward movement in the headline figure reflected all five of its components.

Business expectations remained negative during August, with theBusiness Confidence Index registering 47.1, down from 48.2 on the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates a general positive business outlook while an index below 50 indicates a general negative business outlook. Sales managers commented on weak demand, high interest rates and uncertainty over commodity prices. 

The Market Growth Index fell to 37.5 in August from 40.8 in July, signalling the sharpest drop since December and worsening market conditions across the economy. That said, the latest reading was the lowest since May. Likewise, the Product Sales Index fell to 40.8 from 44.1 in July, indicating the strongest decline in nine months and that reduced domestic demand for goods and services continued to affect overall levels of monthly sales. 

Similarly, the Prices Charged Index fell further during August to reach a value of 38.5, down from its value in July. The index remained below the 50.0 (no-change) mark for the tenth successive month, indicating that deflationary pressures continued to intensify. Panellists have linked the fall in prices, to continuing declines in global commodity prices such as those of gold, copper and coal. 

Finally, the Staffing Index stood at 40.1 in August little-changed from its value in July, indicating an on-going weakness in labour market conditions across the country. Mongolian sales managers reported job losses for the sixteenth month running, mirroring contractions in product sales and market growth. 


World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented:

"August's SMI data for Mongolia suggests that business conditions continued to worsen across the country, with product sales and market growth seeing the sharpest declines in nine months. Staffing levels also fell but the rate was little-changed from the previous month while deflationary pressures continued to intensify. Overall, sales managers remained pessimistic about future business activity during the coming months." 

Link to release


Mongolian Tugrik Unlikely to Be Devalued, Says BDSec's Cousyn

By Michael Kohn

August 20 (Bloomberg) -- A devaluation of the Mongolian tugrik is not anticipated as part of a targeted central bank policy, Nick Cousyn, chief operating officer for BDSec, Mongolia's largest brokerage, said in an e-mail.

* A steep drop in foreign direct investment reduces demand for the tugrik and keeps the currency under pressure: Cousyn

* While currency devaluation can help boost an economy reliant on commodity exports, Mongolia's economic growth in recent years has been based more on FDI than exports: Cousyn

* NOTE: Mongolia's inbound FDI in the first half of 2015 was $50.2m, compared to $377.8m in the same period a year earlier and $2.5b in 2012.



Mongolia Exchange-Rate System Under No Stress: Central Bank

By Michael Kohn

August 20 (Bloomberg) -- Exchange-rate system is under "no stress,'' Bank of Mongolia Chief Economist Bold Sandagdorj says in interview from Ulaanbaatar.

* Tugrik little changed at 1,991.75/USD Thursday, after falling to 1,994 on Tuesday, weakest level in Bloomberg data going back to 1993; Currency is down 5.2% this yr

* The 2,000 level isn't ''important at all for us:'' Bold ''Sharp depreciation is not necessary, which is why we sometimes intervene into the market.''

* Intervention is done through twice-weekly FX auctions: Bold

* ''Right now, compared to 2013, our intervention is much less. Basically the last two and a half years, the need to sell foreign exchange to the market significantly went down:'' Bold

* ''The current floating rate is actually perfect in the Mongolian case.''



BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, August 20 Close


































































































Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,987 Sell ₮1,997), Khan (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,996), Golomt (Buy ₮1,984 Sell ₮1,994), XacBank (Buy ₮1,985 Sell ₮1,995), State Bank (Buy ₮1,987 Sell ₮1,997)

MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:

Link to rates


BoM FX auction: US$11.4m sold at 1,989.57, CNY55.2m at 309.10, accepts $22.1m MNT swap offers

August 18 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on August 18th, 2015 the BOM has received buying bid offers of USD 11.4 million in a rate between MNT 1989.57-1994.00, selling bid offers of USD 2.0 million in a rate with MNT 1995.00 and buying bid offers of CNY 55.2 million in a rate between MNT 309.10-312.06 from local commercial banks. The BOM received buying bid offers of USD and CNY and sold USD 11.4 million in a rate with MNT 1989.57, CNY 55.2 million in a rate with MNT 309.10 respectively.  

On August 18th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 22.1 million from local commercial banks and the BOM has accepted the offers.

Link to release


BoM FX auction: US$16.2m sold at 1,989.11, CNY54.7m at 308.52, accepts $89.5m MNT, $8m USD swap offers

August 20 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on August 20th, 2015 the BOM has received bid offers of USD 16.2 million in a rate between MNT 1989.11-1993.30 and CNY 54.7 million in a rate between MNT 308.52-310.51 from local commercial banks. The BOM received the bid offers and sold USD 16.2 million in a rate with MNT 1989.11, CNY 54.7 million in a rate with MNT 308.52 respectively.  

On August 20th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 89.5 million and USD Swap agreement selling bid offer equivalent to USD 8.0 million from local commercial banks and the BOM has accepted the offers.

Link to release


BoM issues 273.8 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding +21.5% to ₮423.8 billion

August 19 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 273.8 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM Monthly Statistical Bulletin, July 2015

August 18 (BoM) --

Link to report


7.25 Billion 14.65% Discounted 52-Week T-Bills Sold, Total Bids 22.25 Billion

August 19 (BoM) Auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 15.0 billion MNT. Face value of 7.25 billion /out of 22.25 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 14.65%.

Link to release


Balance Sheet of Banks, July 2015: Assets -1.84% MoM, +2.34% YoY to 21.46 Trillion; Profits -42.8% to ₮173.4 Billion

August 19 (BoM) --

/in million of togrogs/









Bank reservers








Central bank bills








Foreign assets








Government securities








Other securities
















In domestic currency








In foreign currency








Non-performing loans








Total Assets
























Current Accounts








In domestic currency








In foreign currency
















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In foreign currency








Foreign liabilities








Government deposits








Total Liabilities
























Profit/loss of current year








Link to report

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Politics & Legal

Cabinet Approves 15 SOEs for Partial, Full Privatization in 2015-2016

August 19 ( According to the resolution No.70 of the State Great Khural (Parliament of Mongolia), "The Guidelines on the Privatization and Restructuring of State properties in 2015-2016" has been approved this year.

At the regular Cabinet meeting of the Government held on August 17, 2015, the Cabinet  issued a List of fully and partially State-Owned Companies to be privatized in 2015-2016.

The ministers assigned the State Property Committee and Erdenes Mongol LLC to manage the implementation of the privatization procedures.

Shares of 15 State-Owned Entities will be privatized, including:

- Thermal Power Plant-4 (30% of shares)
- Thermal Power Plant-3 (30% of shares)
- Thermal Power Plant-2 (30% of shares)
- Thermal Power Plant of Darkhan (30% of shares)
- Thermal Power Plant of Erdenet (30% of shares)
- Shivee Ovoo JSC (49% of shares)
- Baganuur JSC (49% of shares)
- Agricultural Commodity Exchange (66% of shares)
- Khutul Cement Plant (100% of shares)
- Orgil Sanatorium Complex (100% of shares)
- University of Cinematography (shares in the state ownership)
- Auto Impex JSC (shares in the state ownership)

Link to article


MP Batchimeg: It's only right for Parliament to disband early

August 20 (UB Post) Member of Parliament M.Batchimeg talks about timely issues in the following interview.

President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj decided to lay a partial veto on the newly adopted Amnesty Law. What is your position on the President's decision?

Two important laws were discussed and approved during the recent irregular parliamentary session. They are the Amnesty Law and the Law on Economic Transparency. I support the adoption of both laws. Particularly, the Law on Economic Transparency because I believe it'll relieve the burden on wealth creators and the private sector caused by loopholes in the legislation and unfavorable economic environment. Relieving this burden will probably be significant for making underground economies transparent and recovering the economy to some extent. As for the Amnesty Law, I fully support showing state pardon on people who accidentally became criminals, business owners in difficult situations, youth and minors who committed crimes for the first time due to carelessness, and women who were involved in crimes because of domestic violence and pressures of life.

Unfortunately, a distortion was made by including corruption and officio cases in the Amnesty Law during the passage of the law. I agree with the President's decision to lay a partial veto. I believe that Parliament should accept this veto as well.

When will Parliament discuss the President's partial veto? Do you think Parliament will accept it?

The session will probably be announced soon. Some members have also expressed that they believe it's wrong to include corruption and officio crimes in the Amnesty Law. There are laws and indisputable principles of life that regulated life even before state laws and constitutions were created. I think that the public came this far believing in this. Monks and politicians both must work for the benefit of the public. This is an undeniable truth. Yet, we shouldn't break this principle and set a wrong standard by allowing people working for the state to accept bribes and the state itself overlook this crime. Politicians shouldn't pass laws that excuse them from liabilities. Even if politicians insist upon it, they can't bear the public opposition that'll arise.

Secondly, stepping on many valuable factors such as the public confidence in government, the scale of truth and lie and concept of justice will deny the basic principles of the government's existence and bring extremely bad consequences.

Why did the government pass this kind of law? Was there a reason why it had to be adopted?

Personally, I don't believe that the majority of the 76 MPs approved such a law because they don't think about the nation. It's a step taken by Parliament because they had no other choice. From what I see, there are two reasons for it. Firstly, the Justice Coalition led the working group for developing the Amnesty Law and they worked very actively on it. Some Parliament and government members who worked in the working group mentioned that the speculated provisions in the law were forcefully included by the coalition. It's quite clear to the public that former President N.Enkhbayar is behind all of this. I guess that members of the coalition will have to obey their chairman, N.Enkhbayar. However, it's really unfortunate that even our Democratic Party was included in his scheme and given no other option but to pass those provisions.

Even if the issue is discussed in Parliament, how high is the probability of MPs retracting the law they passed? Should the partial veto laid by the President isn't approved, what will happen afterwards?

Parliament must approve the President's veto. I've said the reasons at the beginning of my interview. Parliament is a representative body of the public. It can't ignore the strong opposition from the public towards this issue. I have been telling many seniors that I didn't work for 25 years in the Democratic Party for this. Regardless of whether the veto will be accepted, the fact that a law pardoning parliamentary corruption and bribery has become a major warning signal that bribery has become more complicated. Resources of the current Parliament are draining.

Moreover, political distrust and crisis that have been building up in the past is becoming even dire. I'm sure that everyone is observing how difficult the process of re-appointing ministers is preceding after six ministers from the Mongolian People's Party were dismissed. Rather than improving, the situation will continue to worsen even if some ministers or the government is changed. There are some things that are just simply impossible to do no matter how much one tries. Parliament is turning into a lost cause. Therefore, I personally consider that it's better to bring forward the parliamentary election, set to be organized in 2016, to an earlier date. This decision is most appropriate if no more harm and damage is wanted for the nation as well as the public.

What you just said basically sounds like Parliament should disband early. Also, some political observers say that a constitutional change is urgently required. Will the task to make amendments to the Constitution be handed to the next parliament?

Indeed. Frankly speaking, the current Parliament should disband earlier, before its term ends, and the election should be held earlier too. Additionally, Mongolia will host the 11th ASEM Summit next year. Having leaders of over 50 countries gather in Mongolia for a summit is a very important event. Most of the seniors that fought to have Mongolia join the United Nations so that it'll walk side by side other independent countries of the world are no longer with us. They would've been so happy to have ASEM Summit held in Mongolia. It isn't just an ordinary international meeting for Mongolia, which upholds a policy that protects our independency through political and diplomatic means. That's why, I think it's best to think about ASEM Summit and hold an election beforehand.

Some people raised the idea to commence the election after hosting ASEM Summit. Considering the present political conditions, I don't think this is the best option. As for matters related to the Constitution, it shouldn't be delayed further. It's important for this Parliament to complete it within this year. Only that way, we will improve situations and stop political crisis in advance.

There was never an instance when Parliament disbanded before its four-year term ended in Mongolia. This time, do you think MPs will have enough courage to disband?

We're not sitting in Parliament for our sake. When the situation is already difficult, there's no reason for us to keep holding onto our seats until our time ends whilst afflicting the public, plaguing the nation and burdening the society. Like the saying, "If you fall once, you'll fall seven times" [same as: "An evil chance seldom comes alone"], Parliament fell once and ended up approving a law that pardons bribery. What kind of great work would this type of Parliament accomplish in the future?

I'd like to encourage all MPs to accept the President's veto, discuss and approve amendments to the Constitution and Law on Civil Service, and then, disband altogether. Fellow members, we need to take a resolute and definite step. Situations are worsening according to the national security perspectives. Parliament isn't confident in itself anymore. Domestic and international economic conditions aren't very good.

Let's say that Parliament disbands. In advance, shouldn't the current Parliament take appropriate measures so that the next Parliament and the ones after that don't meet similar conditions as today?

There are some urgent issues in the Constitutional Law that need to be resolved. Parliament will have to approve a budget for next year. There are a few laws, including Criminal and Violation Laws, that have proceeded to final discussion stages. Also, approving the Law on Civil Service will make the work of the next Parliament and government much easier and help revitalize politics and civil organizations. I believe that these laws must definitely be discussed. It would be great if the Constitutional and Election Laws are approved. However, coming to an agreement on these two laws seem to be hard in light of the current political situations.

What changes are essential for maintaining politics?

Mongolia's Law on Civil Service has important provisions, but has too many gaps. Mass damage can be sustained by changing the name of an organization under the guise of structural changes and allowing someone who's never worked for the state to become the head. Laws on Civil Service of different countries regulate all of this in detail. One must worked for a certain period to be promoted to higher positions. The Civil Service Council should be independent from the state and capable of protecting civil servants. Conditions will improve only if a system dependent on the legislation is consistent. The system that allows Parliament to appoint ministers and politicians to appoint lower positions should be fixed.


Link to interview

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JCB to become first Japanese credit card issuer in Mongolia

TOKYO, August 17 (Nikke) -- JCB will offer credit cards in Mongolia by linking up with the country's payment network, a first for a Japanese company.

Thirteen commercial banks in the Bank of Mongolia's network will be able to issue JCB-branded credit cards, likely starting in the first half of 2016. They will also issue debit cards. 

JCB seeks to capture rising demand as more Mongolians travel to countries where it has a strong presence, such as Japan, China, South Korea and Russia. The company receives a commission for each transaction on its international network.

Mongolia will be the 19th country outside Japan where JCB offers cards. It will be the fourth -- after India, Pakistan and Myanmar -- where the cards are offered through participating banks via a link-up with an existing payment network rather than contracts with individual financial institutions. JCB aims to have 30 million overseas cards issued by the end of fiscal 2016.

Link to article


Second Annual "American Days" Expo, September 19-20, Misheel Expo

September 19, 2015 - September 20, 2015
10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Misheel Expo Center

The United States of America (Embassy) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia (AmCham) are pleased to announce our second annual "American Days" Expo. This two-day exhibition will have a special emphasis on showcasing U.S. products and services to the public at large and aims to build broader awareness of the capacity of companies in Mongolia that are offering world-leading expertise and technology. Any company who distributes or sells an American product or service, or is a member of AmCham Mongolia is eligible to participate.

Last year's event was a huge success featuring over 50 exhibitors and thousands of visitors. This year will be even bigger and we are anticipating more visitors and exhibitors. As an exhibitor this year you will have the rare opportunity to:

·         Exhibit and sell your goods and services to a large consumer audience including the general public, wholesale buyers, and fellow members of the business community

·         Elevate the visibility of your organization and gain valuable exposure

·         Identify real business development and networking opportunities

·         Participate in the event program and showcase your company to an engaged consumer audience with minimal financial investment 

Booth Fees

AmCham Members: Free(2 Days)

Premier Booth 500,000 MNT (2 Days)

Standard Booth 300,000 MNT (2 Days)

9 sqm booth

1 Table (120×80)

3 chairs

Access to power

2 Spot lights

Premier location

9 sqm booth

1 Table (120×80)

3 chairs

Access to power

2 Spot lights

Premier location

6 sqm booth

1 Table (120×80)

2 chairs

Access to power

2 spot lights

Additional Amenities:

·         Access to multimedia presentation

·         Marketing of event

·         Inclusion in the event catalogue

·         Security

·         Option to participate in the event program

·         Opportunity to display heavy machinery (Space is limited. First come, first serve)

Booth space is limited. Please submit your application form to ASAP in order reserve your booth! Applications must be submitted by September 1st, 2015.

Exhibitors Application form for "American Days" Expo

AmCham Members Application form for "American Days" Expo

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Reuters' Handbook of Journalism Switches to Ulaanbaatar from Ulan Bator

August 19 (Cover Mongolia) –



Spell the name of the capital of Mongolia as Ulaanbaatar, not Ulan Bator. This is in line with the way the city's name is rendered within Mongolia, and the style for other place names in the country.


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Parliament Secretariat Briefs Diplomatic Missions on Upcoming OSCE Parliament Assembly Meeting

August 19 ( The 2015 Autumn Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on September 15-18, 2015. 

On August 19, 2015, a member of the National committee responsible for organizational issues and providing preparation measures, Secretary-general of the Secretariat of the Parliament B.Boldbaatar provided preliminary information regarding the 2015 Autumn Meeting, where heads and representatives of foreign diplomatic and consular representative offices in Mongolia have gathered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In his statement, Secretary-general B.Boldbaatar noted that the theme for this year's Meeting is "Addressing security challenges for the OSCE region and beyond: the role of parliamentarians in fostering regional co-operation."

Parliamentarians from across the OSCE's 57 participating States are expected to attend, discussing security issues within the politico-military, environment-economic and democracy-human rights spheres.

Link to release


CAREC Investment Forum scheduled for September 24 in Ulaanbaatar

Bishkek, August 19 (AKIpress) - CAREC (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation) Investment Forum will be held in the Mongolian capital on September 24.

The sides will identify ways to improve the investment climate; attract interest from national and foreign private sector companies; develop concrete and innovative solutions with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), private sector, state bodies and development partners to attract investments.

The forum is co-organized by the ADB and the Erdenes Mongol LLC with the support of the Business Council of Mongolia.

CAREC is an ADB supported initiative which was established in 1997 to encourage economic cooperation among countries in the Central Asian region, in particular, cooperation among Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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Social, Environmental

Christian Media Alliance Plans More Mongolian Radio Stations

Reach Beyond, Far East Broadcasting Company and Moody Global Ministries Share Gospel and Nurture Vast Country's Rapidly Growing Church

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 18, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Following a month-long effort capped with a share-a-thon that included two days of live broadcasts, funds are now available to build three FM repeater radio stations in Mongolia. The increased capacity will allow broadcasters to reach an estimated 75 percent of the country with Christian radio.

Photo: Media ministry partners Reach Beyond, Far East Broadcasting Company and Moody Global Ministries have worked collaboratively to raise $311,519 to add three FM repeater stations in Mongolia. The additional stations will now cover an estimated 90 percent of the country.

Reach Beyond, Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) International and Moody Global Ministries joined forces to raise $311,519, which exceeded the goal of $200,000.

These funds will provide for all the equipment, engineering and construction costs. As a result, FEBC's award-winning flagship station, WIND-FM in Mongolia's capital of Ulaanbaatar, will microwave its signal to Bulgan, Nalaih and Sainshand for simultaneous rebroadcast.

"Mongolians represent one of the world's unreached people groups – those who may have never heard the gospel and have little possibility of hearing it," said Wayne Pederson, president of Reach Beyond. "In 1990, missiologists estimated that Mongolia had only four known believers."

The first-generation church emerged more than 20 years ago when the nation moved from communism to a democratic form of government. Today, the nation of nearly three million people has an estimated 50,000 Christians according to the Joshua Project.

"This three-way partnership multiplied everyone's efforts," said Steve Johnson, Reach Beyond's executive director of communication. "There was a synergy that helped make this a great success. Each of the ministries and its people had specific roles, and we came together as a unified part of the body of Christ."

Ed Cannon, FEBC's president and chief executive officer, cites his long relationship with Reach Beyond's Pederson as part of the impetus for this collaboration.

"His (Pederson's) mission and my mission are the same," Cannon said. "Our hearts are primarily for the unreached people groups. Mongolia is a classic unreached people group."

For Moody, the project fit their Global Partners Project launched in 2010, with the goal of developing a stronger global influence and ministry, said Bruce Everhart, Moody's vice president of donor development and channel strategy.

"We've been looking for partners that we can go deeper with, and that we would be able to develop win-win relationships with -- ministries like Reach Beyond and FEBC," Everhart said.  

Throughout July, more than 2,300 Moody listeners responded with pledges during what leaders called an informal campaign. Then, during the two-day share-a-thon, July 30-31, an estimated 1,300 listeners made pledges. Having met 155 percent of the goal, the additional funds will support the new stations' first-year operating costs. 

With these three new repeater stations, FEBC will now have seven stations in Mongolia. Their goal is to cover the entire nation by 2020 with 21 stations.

"I believe God is extraordinarily pleased when three large global ministries work collaboratively to extend His Kingdom," Pederson said.

The partnership continues to receive donations for these and stations among other unreached people groups. Donors can make their contributions by clicking here.

Link to release


Mammal Watching: Mongolia, 19 July – 1 August 2015

By Richard Web

August 8 (Mammal Watching)


My interest in Mongolia first arose when watching Planet Earth and the BBC's quest to see wild Bactrian Camels. Given the difficulty that they had filming them I thought the chances of success were limited but on discovering that James Eaton and Rob Hutchinson (from Birdtour Asia) had seen them in 2014 and that there were also good chances of 'Gobi' Bear (a possible split with only 26 individuals thought to survive in the wild), Snow Leopard (that had regularly been seen drinking at a pool at a site 2 in 2014), 'Mongolian' Saiga (a particular draw following the crash of the population of 'Western' Saiga) and a range of other species the temptation was too great. It transpired that John Wright and John Pilgrim were planning a similar trip and the three of us teamed up together with Nigel Goodgame, Dominique Brugiere and Duncan Macdonald for a two-week trip. JW and JP actually flew out two days before us to look for Hodgson's Bushchat but as a bonus also saw four Siberian White Cranes and two White-naped Cranes, most definitely honorary mammals in my book.

Although we were unsuccessful for the bear, see the checklist for details of how close we actually got to seeing no fewer than three different individuals, and JP was the only person to see a leopard, we did see the other main target species plus a host of other species including the superb Long-eared Jerboa. I can thoroughly recommend the trip although it is somewhat of an endurance test and you need to be prepared for expedition conditions particularly if you go in mid-summer.

Link to report


International SOS Handout: Sexual Health

Link to English version

Link to Mongolian version

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August 14 (Mongol Derby) --

1st Byeronie Epstein
2nd Elise Poitrinal
3rd Ben Wilks
3rd Michelle Tanaka
3rd Maxime Van Lierde
6th Braden Cameron
7th Patrick Sells
8th Thomas Ellingsen
9th Sophie Wilford
10th Bruce Chernoff
10th Paddy Woods 

Day 9 Finishers

Cassie Ekert
Louise Crosbie
William Graham
Petra Sundstrom
Andrea Westerdahl
Uma Mencia
Sara Klymkowsky
Catriona Paterson
Kathryn Whitney
Sophie Watson
Amy Johnson
Iain Hayter
Simon Pearse
Patric Norman
Liz Brown
Gerda Pohl 

Day 10 Finishers

Sarah Cooksey
Daniel Reeds
Catherine Gudde
Catherine Coward
Alexander Dobres
Jennifer Engisch
Cathrine Fodstad


Devan Horn
Sian Dyson
Jenna Carr

Only the first 10 riders were officially placed, riders who finished outside these rankings are counted as 'finished' but not placed.

Link to release


North Queensland teacher travels to Mongolia to film world's best mountain bike riders

Carrying a mountain bike, sleeping bag and passport, school teacher Peter Lister has left Mackay to take on one of the world's most challenging mountain bike races.

August 18 (ABC Tropical North) Peter Lister recalls the day he received an unexpected text message from a fellow mountain bike rider.

It was a message that has since led him on a unique adventure to ride with some of the world's best mountain bike riders in Mongolia.

"It was the most out of the blue crazy message I had received in my life," Peter laughed.

"As you do, you just reply back and say 'tell me more'."

He was asked if he wanted to help film a seven-day stage race called the Mongolia Bike Challenge.

"I think starting elevation [for the race] is 2,500 metres high, and the average stage is 130 - 140 kilometres a day with about 2,000 metres of climbing everyday throughout that time," he said.

Considering Peter is an experienced mountain bike rider he jumped at the opportunity and he has since been employed by a Japanese television production group.

His job is to keep up with seven of the top mountain bike riders and film them by attaching multiple cameras to his bike and helmet.

"I will be keeping up with them in areas that are really hard to get to over mountain passes and areas where helicopters can't get the good footage ... I just have to get them sweating and puffing and watch what is happening right there close to the action," he said.

Adjusting to tough conditions

A week ahead of the race Peter will arrive in Mongolia to try and acclimatise his body.

But it is not just the altitude that Peter will have to adjust to, he will also have to get used to the freezing temperatures at night.

"Each night [it gets] down to zero so I am sleeping in a traditional hut made out of yak's skin with a stone floor, but I think you sleep in your tent in that anyway because it is so cold," he said.

Lucky Peter is no stranger to challenging mountain bike races; in 2012 he completed the Crocodile Trophy 10 day stage race in Australia which involved riding over 1,000 kilometres in 56 degree heat.

"It is sort of the opposite with extremes, but I like extreme sports and going for endurance over many days," he said.

Peter says it costs a lot of money to do these races so he is stoked to be given the opportunity to film it.

"Unfortunately even if I am next to the winner at the end of the day, as hard as that may be, I won't get any prizes or money because I am there to film."

Camping and showering in cold climates

Peter may be well prepared to take on extreme riding courses, but he admits he is not sure if he is prepared to go without a shower.

"I read someone's blog from the other year and they said no one showered for three days ... because you would get hypothermia," he said.

"So what they do at the end of a stage race because your body is just exhausted and trying to replenish your fuel stores, they would get straight into their sleeping bags and use wet wipes to have a bath in their sleeping bags."

"I don't know how I am going to go with wet wipes and a sleeping bag because I am pretty claustrophobic myself, but I have a new tent, a nice sleeping back, a beanie and thermal underwear ready to go and hopefully that will be enough for the cold nights," he laughed.

Link to article


Hino prepares for Dakar Rally 2016 with Rally Mongolia

August 19 (Prime Mover) Multiple Dakar Rally champion, Team Hino Sugawara, has begun preparations for next year's Dakar Rally with mechanical upgrades and a shakedown period that includes competing in Rally Mongolia.

Initial shakedown testing of the Hino 500 Series Car 2 took place at one of Hino Motors' multiple test courses in Japan, and then Car 2 was shipped to Mongolia, where the team is continuing its extended shakedown.

During the shakedown period, the Hino team upgraded the vehicle's taper leaf springs and coil-over shock absorbers – components that were fitted on all four wheels for the first time at Dakar Rally 2015.

This year's set-up uses only two leaves per side for the front suspension and one for the rear suspension to reduce friction and minimise resistance between the leaf springs, providing smooth and predictable suspension strokes.

Coil springs are now fitted to paired shock absorbers supporting each wheel that reportedly compensate for the lower spring rates of the new leaf spring setup. According to Hino, the team will now carry different rate coil springs so they can alter suspension settings to suit the different track conditions encountered during the Dakar Rally.

The team will be perfecting its suspension settings, which involve complex interplay between leaf springs, coil springs and shock absorbers, during Rally Mongolia 2015.

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Why Mongolia should be on your rustic bucket list


·         New democracy (just 25 years old) offers stunning, unspoiled landscapes

·         Nadaam festivals are a spectacle of wrestling, horses, archery

·         Solar panels and a satellite dish outside a traditional yurt


KARAKORUM, MONGOLIA, August 18 (McClatchy Newspapers) A few weeks ago, I was bouncing down a bumpy Mongolian highway, seated in a Russian-made UAZ van with my wife and two friends. Our driver was a larger-than-life character named Oyunbaatar, or Ogii. He wore a beret and as he gripped the steering wheel, dodging potholes, he'd occasionally bark out streams of mystifying Mongolian.

In Russia, a UAZ van is known as a Bukhanka, or bread loaf, because of its boxy appearance. With impressive suspension, these off-road vehicles can be seen across Mongolia, rugged as the country's vast grasslands.

As we soon learned.

Suddenly, without warning, Ogii veered off the highway, hit the gas and accelerated across the scrubby landscape and up a hillside. Within minutes, he had brought us to a 360-degree view of the steppes – with flocks of animals grazing in the distance, next to groups of white yurts, or gers as they are called here.

This is what travel is like in Mongolia: Huge distances. Broad vistas. Big skies. Bright stars.

For a week, we slept in gers, hiked mountains, rode horses, swam in lakes, soaked in hot springs. Along the way, we met several Mongolian families, including traditional herders who seasonally move their gers and animals to greener pastures.

Covering 603,000 square miles – roughly the size of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah combined – Mongolia is vast, but home to a mere 3 million people. Half of them live in Ulaanbaatar, the capital. Most of the rest are spread out on the grasslands, making a traditional living herding and breeding livestock.

Yet even in the outback, signs of modernization are everywhere.

On our first day on the road, we came across a large flock of camels, including some newborns. The camels made for excellent photos, but we were surprised by the two shepherds that soon arrived. They were riding a motorcycle.

The next day, we stopped at a ger camp, perched on a plateau and run by an elegant woman named Yandag. Inside her ger, Yandag was making a batch of urum, the Mongolian name for clotted cream, or "white butter." She soon stepped outside to track her livestock with the aid of some high-quality binoculars.

Outside her ger stood solar panels and a satellite dish, for watching television.

Some Mongolians fret about the rapid change that is sweeping their country. One of these is Oyuntsetseg Suidaan – Oyuna – an Ulaanbaatar college English teacher who was our tour guide on the trip.

Oyuna isn't nostalgic about the communist days of a quarter-century ago, when Mongolia was still a closed-off Soviet satellite. But she also doesn't want her country to forget its history and customs.

"Little by little in the city, we are losing our traditions, our character," she lamented one day, as we discussed Mongolia's full-throttled embrace of capitalism. "We are becoming selfish."

Perhaps that is why Oyuna chose to bring her 12-year-old daughter, Khuslen, on the trip. All of us were charmed by Khuslen and her unbridled enthusiasm. As for Oyuna, she seem delighted that her little city girl could experience the character of the countryside.

In every ger camp we visited, families would invite us inside and offer us something, usually suutei tsai – salty milk tea. As we sipped our drinks and chatted, we took note of the colorful, ornate furniture inside these tents, including the altars festooned with photos of several generations of family.

The land of Genghis Khan is a rare destination for American tourists. According to government figures, last year there were fewer than 15,000 visits by U.S. citizens to Mongolia, compared with 258,000 by Chinese passport holders. For lovers of nature and ancient cultures, Mongolia remains a relatively undiscovered gem. It feels like one of the last frontiers in Asia.

A typical road trip takes you west from Ulaanbaatar, the capital, through Khustain National Park, where Mongolia's semi-wild Takhi horses are protected. More than 300 of these golden horses now roam the park, the result of a successful reintroduction project supported by the Dutch and Mongolian governments.

Further west is Khogno Khan Uul Nature Reserve, which is dotted with remains of old Buddhist temples, and one active one. You can camp here, explore the ruins and hike up a lovely creek into hills filled with wildflowers.

Many schedule their tours through Mongolia to catch one or more of the Nadaams – local festivals held in July and early August. These festivals, which celebrate Mongolian wrestling, archery and horse racing, are true spectacles. One of the most colorful is at Karakorum, about 230 miles west of Ulaanbaatar.

Back in the mid-1300s, Karakorum was the capital of Mongolia, made so by the heirs of Genghis Khan. But the city's glory didn't last long. When Kublai Khan conquered China, he decided to move the capital to Beijing. The city's residents have never forgiven him for that.

But Karakorum is making a comeback. At the fairgrounds, crowds of people attended the Nadaam, some arriving on horses, some in new Toyota Land Cruisers. Troupes of sequined girls danced before an appreciative audience. Young men sat tall in the saddle, taking selfies of each other. Older women practiced archery. A nearby polo match kicked up a dust storm.

Every day seemed to bring some new visual splendor. We passed by a deep gorge that looked like a tributary to the Grand Canyon. We camped at a lake so vast and undeveloped that you just wanted to stare at it for hours.

But the thing I'll remember most was a toast on the first night of our trip. Ogii, our driver, pulled out shot glasses and a bottle of Mongolian vodka. He insisted that we partake, and of course, how could say no?

The customary Mongolian toast involves dipping your right ring finger into the glass and flicking it three or four times. First we toasted the sky, then the earth. The last time we touched our fingers to our foreheads, gave thanks, and knocked back the shot.

We all did this. By the end of it, we felt like we were all members of a time-honored, secret club.


Tours: We booked our tour with Tselmeg Erdenekhuu, who runs Meg's Adventure Tours in Ulaanbaatar. ( Costs for a seven-day trip are about $665 per person for three people, which includes a driver, a guide, a van, lodging, food and tours. It does not include airfare. If Meg's is booked, Lonely Planet has suggestions for other tour companies.

Connections: There are no direct flights from the United States to Mongolia, but Ulaanbaatar is served by flights from China, Japan, South Korea and other countries. Mongolia makes for a relaxing diversion after a week of touring China.

Preparations: U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Mongolia, but a visa may be needed for surrounding countries. A sleeping bag and a pad can be helpful for sleeping in gers, which may or may not have mattresses.

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6th Floor, NTN Tower
Baga Toiruu, Chingeltei District 1
Ulaanbaatar 15170, Mongolia
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