Digital Nomads in Mongolia

1. What is the digital nomad scene like in Mongolia?

The digital nomad scene in Mongolia is still emerging but steadily growing in recent years. Mongolia’s vast landscapes, unique culture, and relatively low cost of living compared to western countries make it an attractive destination for remote workers and digital nomads seeking a new experience. Key aspects of the digital nomad scene in Mongolia include:

1. Infrastructure: Mongolia may not have the most developed digital infrastructure, especially outside of major cities like Ulaanbaatar. However, access to high-speed internet is improving, making it more feasible for digital nomads to work remotely.

2. Accommodation: Accommodation options for digital nomads in Mongolia range from budget hostels to luxury apartments. Co-living spaces and coworking facilities are also starting to pop up in urban centers, providing a supportive environment for remote workers.

3. Community: While the digital nomad community in Mongolia is still small compared to popular hubs in Southeast Asia or Europe, there are opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals through meetups, events, and online forums.

4. Visa regulations: Mongolia offers relatively lenient visa regulations for digital nomads, with options for extended stays and easy visa renewal processes. This flexibility makes it easier for remote workers to live and work in Mongolia without facing the usual visa restrictions.

Overall, the digital nomad scene in Mongolia offers a unique blend of adventure, cultural immersion, and affordable living for those looking to combine work with travel in a less mainstream destination.

2. What are the best cities in Mongolia for digital nomads to work from?

For digital nomads looking to work from Mongolia, there are a few cities that stand out as ideal locations:

1. Ulaanbaatar: As the capital and largest city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar offers a wide range of amenities for digital nomads, including coworking spaces, high-speed internet, and a variety of accommodation options. The city also has a vibrant expat community and plenty of cultural attractions to explore during your free time.

2. Darkhan: Located in the north of Mongolia, Darkhan is known for its relatively modern infrastructure and stable internet connection. The city is less crowded than Ulaanbaatar, making it a peaceful and serene place to focus on work. Darkhan also has picturesque surroundings, with mountains and forests nearby for outdoor activities.

3. Erdenet: Another popular city for digital nomads in Mongolia is Erdenet, which is known for its mining industry and relatively low cost of living. The city has a growing number of cafes and coworking spaces where you can set up your remote office. Erdenet also offers a quieter pace of life compared to the capital, making it a great option for those looking for a more relaxed working environment.

Overall, Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, and Erdenet are among the best cities in Mongolia for digital nomads to work from, each offering its own unique advantages for remote workers looking to experience the beauty and culture of Mongolia while staying connected to their work.

3. What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Mongolia?

1. As of current regulations, digital nomads who wish to reside in Mongolia are required to obtain the appropriate visa based on their purpose of stay. For individuals planning to work remotely, the most common visa option is the “Temporary Residence Permit” which allows for stays exceeding 30 days.
2. Applicants need to provide a valid passport, completed visa application form, proof of sufficient funds to support their stay, and a detailed itinerary or work plan outlining their activities in Mongolia. It is essential to note that visa requirements and processes may vary based on the applicant’s nationality, intended length of stay, and specific circumstances.
3. Additionally, digital nomads are advised to consult with the nearest Mongolian embassy or consulate in their home country to verify the most up-to-date visa requirements and ensure a smooth application process. It is crucial to comply with all visa regulations to avoid any legal issues or complications during their stay as a digital nomad in Mongolia.

4. Are there co-working spaces and digital nomad communities in Mongolia?

Yes, there are co-working spaces and digital nomad communities in Mongolia, particularly in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. These spaces provide a conducive environment for remote workers and digital nomads to work, collaborate, and network with like-minded individuals. Some popular co-working spaces in Ulaanbaatar include Nomad Coworking Space, Impact Hub Ulaanbaatar, and CoworkStation. These spaces offer amenities such as high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and events tailored for digital nomads. Additionally, there are digital nomad communities in Mongolia where individuals can connect, share resources, and participate in various group activities. These communities often organize meetups, workshops, and networking events to foster a sense of belonging and support among digital nomads in the country.

5. What is the cost of living like for digital nomads in Mongolia?

The cost of living for digital nomads in Mongolia can vary depending on their lifestyle choices and preferences. Here are some key factors to consider:

1. Accommodation: Renting an apartment or staying in a guesthouse in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, can range from $300 to $800 per month, depending on the location and amenities.

2. Food: Eating out at local restaurants can be quite affordable, with a meal costing between $5 to $10. Cooking at home and buying groceries from local markets can also help reduce food expenses.

3. Transportation: Public transportation in Ulaanbaatar is relatively inexpensive, with bus rides costing around $0.30. Renting a car or using ride-sharing services may increase transportation costs.

4. Communications: Access to reliable internet is crucial for digital nomads. Purchasing a SIM card with data plans from local telecom providers can cost around $10 to $20 per month.

5. Recreational activities and entertainment: Mongolia offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, horseback riding, and visiting historical sites. Costs for these activities can vary but are generally affordable compared to Western countries.

Overall, Mongolia is considered to be a budget-friendly destination for digital nomads, especially for those who are willing to live modestly and embrace the local way of life. It is recommended to have a monthly budget of around $800 to $1200 to cover basic living expenses comfortably.

6. How reliable is the internet connection in Mongolia for remote work?

The reliability of internet connection for remote work in Mongolia can vary depending on the location and provider. In urban areas like Ulaanbaatar, where most digital nomads are likely to be based, the internet infrastructure is fairly developed and reliable. The connection speed is generally adequate for most remote work tasks such as video calls, email communication, and file sharing. However, some areas outside of major cities may have more limited access to high-speed internet.

1. Some remote work setups may require a backup internet solution in case of outages or fluctuations in connectivity.
2. It is recommended for digital nomads working in Mongolia to have a pre-arranged backup plan in case of unreliable internet, such as using a mobile hotspot or a coworking space with more stable connection.

Overall, while the internet connection in Mongolia for remote work is typically reliable in urban areas, it is always important to have contingency plans in place to ensure uninterrupted workflow.

7. What are some popular activities for digital nomads to do in Mongolia during their free time?

Digital nomads in Mongolia have a diverse range of activities to enjoy during their free time. Some popular options include:

1. Exploring the Gobi Desert: Digital nomads can take a break from work and immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes of the Gobi Desert. They can go on camel treks, visit ancient dinosaur fossils, and experience the nomadic lifestyle of the locals.

2. Cultural experiences: Mongolia is rich in history and traditions, making it a great place for digital nomads to delve into the local culture. They can visit monasteries, attend traditional festivals, and learn about the fascinating customs of the Mongolian people.

3. Outdoor adventures: Mongolia offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and camping. Digital nomads can take advantage of the pristine natural surroundings and enjoy the fresh air and wide-open spaces.

4. Visiting historical sites: Mongolia has a wealth of historical sites to explore, including ancient ruins, Buddhist temples, and museums. Digital nomads can delve into the country’s past and gain a deeper understanding of its rich heritage.

Overall, Mongolia provides a unique and enriching experience for digital nomads looking to unwind and explore during their free time.

8. Are there any specific cultural norms or customs that digital nomads should be aware of in Mongolia?

Yes, there are several specific cultural norms and customs that digital nomads should be aware of when in Mongolia:

1. Respect for elders: Mongolians have a deep respect for their elders, so it is important to show deference and listen attentively when interacting with older individuals.

2. Hospitality: Mongolians are known for their hospitality and generosity. If invited into someone’s home, it is customary to bring a small gift and always accept any food or drink offered to you.

3. Avoid pointing: It is considered rude to point directly at someone or something in Mongolian culture. Instead, gestures with an open hand or nodding in the direction are more appropriate.

4. Removing shoes: It is common practice to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home or a sacred place such as a temple.

5. Communication style: Mongolians may have a more indirect communication style compared to Western cultures. They may use subtle cues and non-verbal communication, so it is important to pay attention to these cues during conversations.

By being aware of and respecting these cultural norms and customs, digital nomads can foster positive relationships and experiences during their time in Mongolia.

9. How easy is it to find short-term accommodation for digital nomads in Mongolia?

In Mongolia, finding short-term accommodation for digital nomads can be relatively easy, depending on the specific location and time of year. Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Ulaanbaatar Options: In the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, there is a range of accommodation options suitable for digital nomads, including serviced apartments, guesthouses, and co-living spaces. Platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com offer a variety of short-term rental listings in the city.

2. Remote Areas: If digital nomads are looking to stay in more remote areas of Mongolia, such as near national parks or rural communities, accommodation options may be more limited. However, there are still guesthouses and ger (traditional Mongolian yurt) camps that cater to travelers and offer short-term stays.

3. Booking in Advance: It’s generally advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons like the summer months when many tourists visit Mongolia. This can help ensure availability and better rates for short-term stays.

4. Local Connections: Utilizing local connections, such as networking with other digital nomads or reaching out to expat groups in Mongolia, can also be a helpful way to find unique short-term accommodation options that may not be widely advertised online.

Overall, with proper research and planning, digital nomads should be able to find suitable short-term accommodation options in Mongolia that meet their needs for work and exploration in this unique destination.

10. What are the best ways to meet other digital nomads in Mongolia?

1. Attend co-working spaces and events: One of the best ways to meet other digital nomads in Mongolia is by visiting popular co-working spaces in cities like Ulaanbaatar, such as The Hive or Impact Hub. These spaces often organize networking events, workshops, and social gatherings where you can connect with like-minded individuals.

2. Join online communities and forums: Platforms like Facebook groups, Meetup, or digital nomad forums are excellent resources for finding and connecting with other digital nomads in Mongolia. These online communities often share valuable information, tips, and resources for remote workers in the country.

3. Participate in local expat events: Many expat communities in Mongolia often host events and meetups where digital nomads are also welcome. Keep an eye on expat websites, social media pages, and community boards for information on upcoming gatherings.

4. Explore networking opportunities: Consider attending business networking events, industry conferences, or even language exchange meetups in Mongolia. These can be great places to meet professionals from various backgrounds, including digital nomads.

5. Utilize coworking and coliving spaces: Some coworking spaces in Mongolia also offer coliving accommodations, where you can live and work alongside other digital nomads. This setup provides a conducive environment for making connections and building relationships with fellow remote workers.

By combining these strategies, you can increase your chances of meeting and networking with other digital nomads in Mongolia, creating a supportive community while exploring all that this unique country has to offer.

11. Are there any digital nomad-friendly cafes or restaurants in Mongolia?

Yes, there are several digital nomad-friendly cafes and restaurants in Mongolia that cater to the growing community of remote workers and freelancers. These places offer high-speed internet access, comfortable seating arrangements, and a conducive environment for work. Some popular options include:

1. Urban Nomads Cafe: Located in Ulaanbaatar, Urban Nomads Cafe is a favorite spot for digital nomads due to its cozy atmosphere, great coffee, and reliable Wi-Fi.

2. Cafe Bene: Another well-known cafe with multiple locations in the city, Cafe Bene provides a tranquil setting for remote work along with a variety of coffee and snack options.

3. Talkh Chikher Cafe: Situated near the city center, Talkh Chikher Cafe offers a peaceful ambiance for digital nomads to work undisturbed while enjoying delicious local and international dishes.

These establishments understand the needs of digital nomads and often have amenities like power outlets, ample seating, and friendly staff who understand the importance of a quiet working environment.

12. What are the best transportation options for digital nomads moving around Mongolia?

1. Public Transport: Public transportation in Mongolia, especially in Ulaanbaatar, consists mainly of buses and trolleybuses. It is an affordable option for digital nomads looking to move around the city. However, the schedules can be irregular and routes may not cover all areas of interest for nomads.

2. Private Drivers: Hiring a private driver or taxi can be a convenient way to get around Mongolia, especially for longer distances or when traveling to more remote areas. This option provides flexibility and comfort, albeit at a higher cost compared to public transport.

3. Rental Cars: Renting a car is another popular option for digital nomads who want the freedom to explore Mongolia at their own pace. It allows for easy access to remote locations and offers flexibility for planning itineraries. However, nomads should be prepared for challenging road conditions, especially outside of urban areas.

4. Motorcycles: For the adventurous digital nomad, renting a motorcycle can be an exciting way to travel around Mongolia. It provides a sense of freedom and allows for exploration of off-the-beaten-path destinations. However, it is essential to prioritize safety and be prepared for the rugged terrain and unpredictable weather.

Overall, the best transportation option for digital nomads moving around Mongolia will depend on their budget, comfort preferences, and the level of adventure they seek. It is recommended to mix and match these options based on the specific travel needs and destinations within Mongolia.

13. What are the opportunities for digital nomads to collaborate with local businesses or startups in Mongolia?

Digital nomads in Mongolia have several opportunities to collaborate with local businesses or startups, leveraging their skills and expertise in various fields. Some potential avenues for collaboration include:

1. Consulting: Digital nomads can offer their knowledge and experience in areas such as digital marketing, website development, or business strategy to help local businesses improve their operations and achieve their goals.

2. Skill sharing: Digital nomads can organize workshops or training sessions to share their expertise with local entrepreneurs and help them enhance their skills in areas such as social media management, graphic design, or e-commerce.

3. Partnership opportunities: Digital nomads can explore partnerships with local startups to co-create new products or services, tapping into the local market knowledge and resources while bringing their unique perspectives and global experience to the table.

4. Co-working spaces: Digital nomads can collaborate with local co-working spaces to organize events, workshops, or networking opportunities that benefit both the nomad community and the local business ecosystem.

By actively seeking out collaboration opportunities with local businesses and startups in Mongolia, digital nomads can not only contribute to the local economy but also gain valuable insights and connections that can enhance their own entrepreneurial journey.

14. How safe is Mongolia for digital nomads, especially for solo female travelers?

Mongolia is generally considered a safe country for digital nomads, including solo female travelers. However, there are a few aspects to consider to ensure a safe experience:

1. Low Crime Rates: Mongolia has relatively low crime rates compared to many other countries. Violent crimes are rare, and the locals are known for their hospitality towards foreigners.

2. Safety in Ulaanbaatar: While Ulaanbaatar is a safe city overall, travelers should exercise caution in crowded areas such as markets and public transportation, where petty thefts can occur.

3. Cultural Sensitivities: As a solo female traveler, it’s important to respect the local culture and customs. Dress modestly and be aware of any specific cultural norms that may apply to women in Mongolia.

4. Remote Areas: Venturing into remote areas of Mongolia, especially as a solo traveler, may present additional safety concerns. It’s advisable to inform someone of your travel plans and consider joining group tours or hiring a local guide in such circumstances.

5. Communication: Language barriers can sometimes be a challenge in Mongolia, so it’s recommended to have essential phrases in Mongolian or Russian, as English proficiency can vary.

Overall, with proper precautions and awareness, Mongolia can be a safe and rewarding destination for digital nomads, including solo female travelers.

15. Are there any language barriers that digital nomads may encounter while in Mongolia?

While Mongolia is a beautiful country to visit, digital nomads may face some language barriers during their stay. Mongolian is the official language and is spoken by the majority of the population. However, English is not widely spoken, especially outside of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Some common language barriers that digital nomads may encounter in Mongolia include:

1. Limited English proficiency: While younger generations and those working in the tourism industry may speak some English, overall proficiency is low compared to other countries.

2. Difficulty in remote areas: In more rural or remote areas of Mongolia, finding English speakers can be challenging, making communication more difficult.

3. Technical terminology: When it comes to more specialized or technical conversations related to work or specific industries, understanding and being understood could be a challenge due to the language gap.

To navigate these language barriers, digital nomads can consider learning some basic Mongolian phrases, using translation apps, hiring local interpreters or guides when needed, and being patient and understanding in communication interactions.

16. What are the healthcare options like for digital nomads in Mongolia?

Healthcare options for digital nomads in Mongolia may vary depending on their specific needs and preferences. Here are some considerations regarding healthcare for digital nomads in Mongolia:

1. Public Healthcare System: Mongolia has a public healthcare system that provides basic medical services to its citizens. Digital nomads may be able to access these services in case of emergency or for minor medical issues.

2. Private Clinics and Hospitals: There are private clinics and hospitals in major cities like Ulaanbaatar that offer more advanced medical services and facilities. These may be more suitable for digital nomads who require specialized care or treatment.

3. Health Insurance: It is advisable for digital nomads in Mongolia to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and repatriation. This can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen health issues.

4. Telemedicine: Given the remote nature of Mongolia and the limited access to healthcare in some areas, digital nomads can also explore telemedicine options. This allows them to consult with healthcare professionals online and receive medical advice or prescriptions if needed.

Overall, while Mongolia may not have as developed healthcare infrastructure as some Western countries, digital nomads can still access adequate medical care by utilizing a combination of public services, private facilities, health insurance, and telemedicine options. Prior research and preparation are essential to ensure a safe and healthy experience while living and working as a digital nomad in Mongolia.

17. How easy is it to find remote work opportunities while in Mongolia?

Finding remote work opportunities while in Mongolia can be challenging, but it is certainly possible with the right approach. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Online Platforms: Utilize remote job platforms such as FlexJobs, Remote.co, We Work Remotely, and Upwork to search for opportunities that match your skill set and experience.
2. Networking: Connect with other digital nomads, expats, and local professionals in Mongolia through social media, online forums, and networking events to uncover potential remote work opportunities.
3. Freelancing: Consider offering your skills as a freelancer in fields such as digital marketing, graphic design, web development, writing, and translation services.
4. Remote-Friendly Companies: Research and target companies that have a remote-friendly culture and are open to hiring remote employees, even if they are based in Mongolia.
5. Language Skills: Having proficiency in Mongolian or other relevant languages spoken in the country may open up additional remote work opportunities with local businesses or organizations.

Overall, while it may require some proactive effort and patience, finding remote work opportunities while in Mongolia is feasible for digital nomads who are willing to explore different avenues and leverage their skills and networks effectively.

18. Are there any specific events or conferences tailored for digital nomads in Mongolia?

As of now, there are no specific events or conferences tailored exclusively for digital nomads in Mongolia. The digital nomad community in Mongolia is still relatively small compared to other countries with established hubs for remote workers. However, there is a growing interest in this lifestyle, and it is possible that in the near future, events and conferences catering to digital nomads may emerge in the country. In the meantime, digital nomads in Mongolia can connect with each other through online communities, coworking spaces, and networking events aimed at entrepreneurs and remote workers. Additionally, attending general business or technology conferences in Mongolia may also provide digital nomads with opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and expand their professional network.

19. What are some unique experiences that digital nomads can have in Mongolia that they wouldn’t find elsewhere?

1. Living with Nomadic Families: Mongolia’s nomadic culture offers a truly unique experience for digital nomads. Staying with local families in traditional gers (yurts) allows you to immerse yourself in their way of life, from herding livestock to milking cows, providing a deep and authentic cultural exchange that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

2. Horseback Riding in the Steppe: Mongolia is renowned for its vast grassy steppe landscapes, and what better way to explore them than on horseback? Digital nomads can embark on horse trekking adventures, riding across the rolling hills, navigating open valleys, and camping under the starry skies, offering a sense of freedom and connection to nature that is unparalleled.

3. Visiting the Gobi Desert: The Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia is a starkly beautiful and otherworldly destination that digital nomads shouldn’t miss. From towering sand dunes to the Flaming Cliffs where dinosaur fossils have been uncovered, the Gobi offers a contrast to the lush steppe in the north, providing a diverse range of experiences in one country.

4. Participating in Naadam Festival: If timing allows, digital nomads should try to experience Mongolia’s biggest annual festival, Naadam. This traditional event showcases the country’s prowess in the “Three Manly Games” of wrestling, horse racing, and archery, along with colorful parades and cultural performances, offering a vibrant insight into Mongolia’s heritage and identity.

20. How can digital nomads make the most of their time in Mongolia while balancing work and travel?

Digital nomads can make the most of their time in Mongolia by following these tips to balance work and travel effectively:

1. Choose the right accommodations: Opt for coworking spaces or accommodations with reliable Wi-Fi so that you can work efficiently while exploring Mongolia.

2. Plan your schedule wisely: Allocate specific work hours during the day and explore Mongolia during your free time. This will help you stay focused on work while still enjoying all that Mongolia has to offer.

3. Work during off-peak hours: Try to work during off-peak hours to maximize your time in Mongolia. For instance, work early in the morning or late at night so that you can explore during the day.

4. Utilize weekends and holidays: Make the most of weekends and public holidays to travel around Mongolia and experience the culture, landscapes, and traditions while not compromising your work schedule.

5. Connect with other digital nomads: Join digital nomad communities or coworking spaces in Mongolia to meet like-minded individuals. This can not only provide networking opportunities but also allow you to share tips on balancing work and travel in the country.

By implementing these strategies, digital nomads can successfully balance work and travel in Mongolia, making the most of their time in this beautiful and unique destination.