What Do Mongolians Think Of Foreigners?

Mongolia is one of those places when you hear about it for the first time you try to visualise where it is, that in fact, it is actually a country which is full of amazing people, culture and history. In my opinion (and I’m biased) there are few places that offer such a rich amount of these things as Mongolia does. I still remember hearing of it for the first time and locating it on the map. I was very curious about this mysterious land that once conquered the known world and I ended up going there to visit. Long story short, four years later I would call it my second home. However, there were some things I wish I knew before deciding to live there longer term and I ask some of my Mongolian friends to help me out with what they think of foreigners and what advice they would have for them if they plan to work and live here. If you want to know what they think, keep reading!

As I said, Mongolia is rich in culture and history and the people themselves are warm and welcoming but hopefully, by the end of this post, you will have a better idea of what they think and what to expect. Here are 5 things Mongolians think and advice they would give expats!

Expect The Changes In Season

Mongolians are used to this but the seasons can be pretty crazy in Mongolia. It’s not uncommon to get snow at unusual times of the year and the wind can really surprise you! It can be really confusing to have one week hot as summer in Autumn and the next week chilly with snow. The weather is unpredictable but so its best to be prepared so you are not shocked when it changes suddenly on you. Although you do expect it, winters can be rough, and I mean rough as in it is extremely cold so get your winter coat, boots and gloves early as it will suddenly spring upon you. Mongolian weather can be very unpredictable but you can be prepared for it!

Make Connections

Mongolians are fun and adventurous to be around!

Out of all the answers I got, this one was at the top. Mongolians believe in making friends and building those connections. Now, Mongolia is a very social society which isn’t surprising considering the family unit is at the core of Mongolia culture. Making friends early on when you arrive and start to work in Mongolia will save you a lot of hassle down the line. Of course, Mongolia is not a native English-speaking country and although you will find many people, especially the younger generation that speak English, not everyone does. So having some close friends to help you with any issues or going shopping, or even going to the bank or solving any other issue is very helpful and will make your time here so much more enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for help, often what you may see as a big issue for you is very easy for your friends to help you with. The other side to that coin though is that you should be willing to help out your friends where you can and these can be little things that mean a lot to them. So go on! Make some friends that you will have for life!

Insensitive Culture?

Okay, so this next one you need to have lived here a little while before you really understand it. Sometimes Mongolians may appear or seem unfriendly or even unapproachable just because by the way they look. Often Mongolians may appear as if they are frowning or even downright angry which can make it seem difficult to approach a stranger at first. However, this is far from the case and Mongolians are very happy and approachable people. Don’t be afraid to ask a stranger a question if you need to. They will be more than willing to help, even go out of their way at their own expense. So don’t be worried or off put by how Mongolians may appear, they are as friendly as any other nationality you may come across.

Find The Hidden Gems

If you are planning on living in Mongolia for a while and not just becoming a tourist, then you should definitely take the advice of Mongolians when they say to know your way around and where things are. Find out where you can get your phone fixed, where to get a piece of furniture or the best deals on groceries and other essentials. Also finding out where great places are to eat is a must, especially when you want a cosy restaurant with a warm atmosphere on a cold winter’s evening. If you want to know more about different places you should know about if you are planning on staying for a while, you should check out our other blog post here, 5 places you should know in Ulaanbaatar! It’s safe to say knowing these places and not just going where tourists end up will really enrich your experience of living in Mongolia.


Not everything on this list is positive and it wouldn’t be right of me to say everything is perfect and rosy about Mongolia. Some Mongolian friends said you should be careful of being taken advantage of which I would agree with. While most Mongolians are friendly and nice people there are some bad apples that you should be wary of. Some Mongolians see foreigners and see dollar signs, as a way to make more money and if you are not careful you can become one of their targets. Often you can be charged more as a foreigner, especially at unconventional stores or shopping areas like the black market. Just be careful and to be safe you could take a Mongolian friend shopping with you which normally avoids this problem. Learning some Mongolian early on can also help mitigate this problem. Try learning some important simple phrases from our basic course. You might thank us later that you did!

Adding to that point, guys beware that many Mongolian guys don’t seem to take too kindly to foreigners dating Mongolian women, especially younger men as they feel you are ‘stealing their women,’ However, older Mongolian fathers seem to not have a problem with it as fathers want a good life for their daughters and normally its seen that foreigners are able to provide that. How much truth there really is to this, who can really tell, but from my own experiences, even just walking with female friends, men can say some pretty mean things to women. It’s just something to be aware of, especially if you are on the dating scene.

So that’s some advice from Mongolians for you if you are planning on visiting and staying a while in this fantastic country. It really does have a lot to offer and by no means is this an exhaustive list. If you are reading this and feel we have missed out on some important advice, let us know.

Happy living everyone!

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