Hitchhiking in Mongolia is an adventure. How to hitchhike in Mongolia? Everything about my hitchhike experiences in Mongolia.

How is hitchhiking in Mongolia?

Hitchhiking in Mongolia is an unforgettable experience. It’s different than anywhere in the world.

hitchhiking in mongolia
Empty roads while hitchhiking in Mongolia.

First of all, the country is huge. There are not many roads and there’s not many traffic. Hitchhiking is definitely a challenge.

As there are not many roads, the few cars are always going in the good direction. Provided that you are on the right road. Furthermore roads are very often unpaved.

The good part of it; almost every first car that passes you will stop. The Mongolians are super friendly and hospitable. They will most likely always try to help you.

hitchhiking in mongolia
You’ll encounter many friendly people, these people invited me for tea while I was hitchhiking in Mongolia.

How to hitchhike in Mongolia?

Hitchhiking in Mongolia is an adventure. Expect long waiting times because of the few traffic. Take enough food and water.

Of course our general hitchhike tips are applicable for Mongolia as well. But as we said, hitchhiking in Mongolia is different. That’s why we have more tips for how to hitchhike in Mongolia.

  • Download the maps of Mongolia on MAPS.ME and offline maps of Google Maps can be useful as well. Both are not super good in Mongolia, but they work.
  • To hitchhike, go to the edge of the village, stick out your hand and stop cars.
  • Translate some useful phrases with Google Translate and take screenshots of it before you leave. In the countryside you wont have internet connection, so screenshots are neccesary.
  • Before you get in, you might want to ask if it is for free. Mongolians are used to pay for rides as many of the locals don’t have their own car.
  • Some useful phrases are: Where are you going? Can you take us there (for free)? We are hitchhiking. How many kilometers do you go? Do you know a place to sleep? Can I place my tent here?
  • It’s nice to have some more social phrases as well, like: I am from Germany. Where do you live? Do you have children? What is your job?
  • You can show photos on your phone of your family or some travel pictures, for example of your tent so they get an idea what you are doing.
camping in mongolia
Camping in Mongolia, I asked the owners if I could pitch my tent next to theirs. After that they invited me for tea and food in their tent.

How much traffic is there in Mongolia?

Almost all roads lead to Ulaanbaatar. Half of the population of Mongolia lives there, the other half has very often a good reason to go there. So hitchhiking to Ulaanbaatar over the main roads shouldn’t be too difficult.

For example the main south road from Ulgii to Ulaanbaator isn’t too bad. Almost 30% of this road is brand new and paved. Although big parts are still unpaved or in bad condition.

On average every hour a car will pass you by on the road from Ulgii to Ulaanbaator. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Once you go off the main road it gets dramatically more difficult. I wanted to hitchhike to the Gobi desert. So in villages like Bayanlig and Band I had to wait a day before one car passes by that can take me.

Hitchhiked to the Gobi Desert
Hitchhiking to the Gobi desert isn’t easy.

Luckily every village has a shop where you can buy food. Furthermore the Mongolians are very helpful. They always allowed me to pitch my tent near their Nomad tent when I asked them.

This is hitchhiking in Mongolia

You should be ready for an adventure if you want to hitchhike in Mongolia. Be prepared to wait long. But I am sure you’ll enjoy it.

The landscape is great! It’s super outstretched and super remote. Mongolia is the most sparsely populated independent country in the world.

Mongolians are very friendly and hospitable.
Mongolians are very friendly and hospitable. These are some of my drivers.

Only 3 million people live in this big country (20th largest in the world). Half of the population lives in the capital Ulaanbaator.

Anyway, the best impression of hitchhiking in Mongolia will you get from my video. It’s short, only one minute. But it gives you a quick impression of how the hitchhiking can be.

Categories: BlogMongolia

World Hitchhiker

Hi there! I am the guy behind worldhitchhiker.com. I am hitchhiking from Holland to Vietnam in 2019.

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