5 things that are hard to get in Mongolia

If you are planning on living in Mongolia or you have been living here a while then you will know there are some things that are really hard to get like cream cheese or some of your favourite goodies. By the end of this post hopefully, you will have a better idea about what some of those items are. These five things you should bring with you if you are moving to Mongolia!

Item 1: Cream cheese/double cream

As we said in the intro cream cheese or double cream can actually be really hard to find and it can be a bit of a hit or miss whether you can find them. So if you are hoping to make that curry or cheesecake you may be out of luck. However, unlike other items on this list, you can find them with a little searching!

Cream cheese can be really difficult to find.

The first place might be a no-brainer but you can actually find both items in the Chingis Emart (I’m unsure about the other two Emarts). Now you may ask then why is this on the list of things that are difficult to get then? Well, Emart has only recently started stocking both these items but it doesn’t consistently unlike other products. I have only ever seen double cream in the Emart once.

Another store you may find worth trying is Minii Hypermarket. This supermarket generally stocks some items which are harder to find around Ulaanbaatar the capital, so if you are looking for several items at once it may pay to have a look here first. One last location that we could recommend is Saruul Market. This market is actually great for finding a range of baking products including nestle chocolate chips if chocolate chip cookies are your thing. You should be able to find several vendors here who sell cream cheese or double cream.

Item 2: Hot water bottle
A hot water bottle can really make a difference in winter in Mongolia.

Now this one really surprised me, Mongolia, a country where it can get to minus 40 and it is so hard to find a hot water bottle to purchase!!! I have looked high and low for them but I have never found a store to purchase one from. My recommendation is to buy several before you come to Mongolia and perhaps one for a friend, which would make a great gift idea. When Mongolians have tried using several of mine they think they are amazing! While Mongolian apartments are warm in winter there is nothing like hopping into bed with a hot water bottle to cosy up to. You won’t regret that you bought several with you!

Item 3: Crockpot/slow cooker
A good crockpot can be invaluable for those days you don’t have time to prep a meal.

This next one some of you reading this might argue that crackpots can be found in Mongolia as you can easily find pressure cookers or multifunctional rice cookers. However, they aren’t the same as a crockpot slow cooker, with its ceramic bowl that you can leave all day and have dinner ready as you come in the door in the evening. I’m sure many of you may have fond memories of your family meals with delicious recipes from this amazing home kitchen appliance. Unfortunately, they are very, very hard to come by in Mongolia. A few stores in the past have sold them, but they ran out quick and weren’t restocked. Because of this, it may be better to order this one online and get it shipped to you or if you have a family member who could ship one to you that would work just as well. Nothing beats a warm crockpot meal on a winter’s day.

Item 4: Blu-tack
If you are from certain parts of the world you will know how useful blu-tack really is especially when you need it.

Depending on the part of the world you are from, you may never have heard of this next item. Blu-tack is like a sticky tack, just ten times better. It is great for sticking posters, displays or holding other things in place. It is much sticker than a standard tack and doesn’t leave a mess behind so you don’t need to worry about the paint coming off that classroom wall, if you are a teacher that is. Sadly this amazing item is really hard to find in Mongolia, with most Mongolians having never heard of it. I always try looking for it in stationary and similar shops but haven’t had much luck. The good news is that this item takes up no room at all in your suitcase. So make sure you bring a pack or two with you as it will really come in handy!

Item 5: Tea tree oil
If you grew up with tea tree oil then this is annoying to not be able to find it easily.

The last one on the list some of you may not mind that you can’t find this one as people I find either love it or hate it! I love it as growing up whenever you had a sore or infection it was able to work wonders. Trying to find this product really is a challenge. However, it is possible with a little searching. At the writing of this post we were able to find it at a store located at Zaisan in the Zaisan Square Center. Fortunately, this item also doesn’t take up much space in your luggage and you shouldn’t have any issue bringing it with you as long as you don’t put it in your carry-on. so bring a bottle or two with you if you are planning on staying a while.

Bonus item: Sunscreen

We couldn’t complete this list without a bonus thing that’s hard to find. Sunscreen you would think you could just go to any pharmacy and buy it but you would be wrong. Most pharmacies will not have it as Mongolians don’t really use it that much. When it comes to summer Mongolians just tan. So to avoid any nasty sunburn it may not be a bad idea to bring a small block of sunscreen for that outdoor adventure you have planned.


Those are the products you are going to have serious issues trying to find and apart from item 2, you can easily pack the others in your suitcase. Is there something you think we have missed? Let us know below otherwise, we hope this list will help others to know what’s hard to get in Mongolia.

Enjoy Everyday Mongolia!


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