|06ULAANBAATAR616||2006-08-14 07:20:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Ulaanbaatar|
VZCZCXRO9375 RR RUEHLMC DE RUEHUM #0616/01 2260720 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 140720Z AUG 06 FM AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0245 INFO RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0008 RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5178 RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2398 RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC 0339
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ULAANBAATAR 000616
1. Embassy warmly welcomes and grants country clearance for the
August 22-26 visit by HIRC staff members Melanie Bixby, Paul
Oostburg Sanz, and Lynne Weil to examine the proposed Millennium
Challenge Account programs in Mongolia.
2. Embassy control officer for the visit will be DCM Brian
Goldbeck, assisted by Economic/Political chief Patrick Freeman.
Contact information follows. Mongolia is 13 hours ahead of Eastern
Cell: (976) 9904-5336
Home: (976-11) 326-424
Embassy phone: (976-11) 329-095 x 4545
Patrick J. Freeman
Cell: (976) 9904-5337
Home: (976-11) 313-212
Embassy phone: (976-11) 329-095 x 4771
Embassy Fax: (976-11) 320-776
3. Embassy has reserved three rooms for the staffdel at the Khan
Palace Hotel. The rate is within per diem. The phone number for the
Khan Palace Hotel is: (976-11) 463-463, and fax is: (976-11)
463-464. The rate includes breakfast. An Internet connection is
available in the room. The hotel's website is:
4. Embassy will meet and assist the staffdel at the airport on
arrival and departure. Information on the notional schedule for
Mongolia will be sent via email.
5. VISA: A visa is not required for Mongolia. If you will travel
via Beijing, you must have a valid Chinese visa for each time you
land in China. This means a double-entry visa if your itinerary is
Beijing-Ulaanbaatar-Beijing. The Chinese require a visa even to
transit between two international flights. If you don't have a
valid (unused) visa, the airline will not let you board, and your
travel will be delayed.
6. DOMESTIC AIR TRAVEL RESTRICTION: The U.S. Embassy prohibits U.S.
government personnel use of the domestic services of MIAT and all
services of Hangard and Trans-Ulgii for official travel because of
uncertainties regarding service and maintenance schedules, aircraft
certification and insurance status. This prohibition does not extend
to MIAT's international flights.
7. EXPORT LIMITS: Mongolia limits the export of art, antiques, and
icons. Reputable art and antique dealers can give you documents
that will let you export what you buy. Customs duties, however, may
apply, and you must be ready to pay in cash (not credit card). We
can give you more information.
8. SECURITY SITUATION: Mongolia and Ulaanbaatar are generally safe
places to visit. Mongolians accept foreigners readily and are
congenial hosts. There is no known specific threat to Americans.
However, the poor economic situation and obviousness of foreigners
makes us easy targets for petty crime. We strongly recommend that
you carry only the money you expect to need and leave your passport,
wallet, and other valuables in the hotel's safekeeping. We
recommend that you be especially cautious at night and in crowded
public places, such as the "black market," within and in front of
the State Department shopping store, and anywhere foreigners
frequent. Pickpocketing is an increasing problem.
9. HEALTH CARE: Health care for Embassy personnel and visitors is
provided by the Embassy's Health Unit and the SOS International
Clinic in Ulaanbaatar.
The Embassy's Health Unit's telephone number is (976-11) 313-133.
The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 1:00pm - 5:00pm.
For appointments outside of scheduled office hours please call Eric
Wood at 9905-2911.
The SOS International Clinic's telephone/fax number is (976-11)
342-550. The clinic is expensive and requires payment upon receipt
of services. It is important that your health insurance is up to
date. Filling an insurance claim is the responsibility of the
visitor. SOS International takes MasterCard, Visa, or cash as
10. GENERAL MEDICAL INFORMATION: We suggest that you talk with your
medical office about recommended inoculations. Over-the-counter
drugs such as cold, fever, and painkiller medications are not
readily available. Plan to bring enough over-the-counter and
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prescription medicines to last your entire time in Mongolia. You
should take health precautions in Mongolia: drink only bottled or
boiled drinks, and eat only hot, freshly prepared food. Also, we
recommend that you wear sturdy shoes with good traction.
11. WEATHER: Ulaanbaatar has an extreme continental climate. The
weather is unpredictable. It can be cold anytime September through
May, and is extremely cold November through February. Summertime
temperatures can approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit but may dip into
the 50's. Spring is an uncertain time of year, with occasional high
winds and snow. We recommend you be prepared with layers of
clothing and warm, sturdy footwear. Several internet sites,
including Yahoo! Weather, give forecasts for Ulaanbaatar.
12. DOLLARS AND TUGRUGS: Mongolia's financial infrastructure is
still limited. Traveler's checks are rarely accepted. Mongolia is a
predominantly cash based economy. Western-oriented businesses and
hotels accept credit cards - Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Hotels provide official currency exchange. ATMs are infrequent and
unreliable. The few existing units are VISA only.
13. WEBSITE: Please visit our Embassy website at
http://ulaanbaatar.usembassy.gov . It provides interesting and
useful information. Mongolia is a beautiful and fascinating
country; we hope you will have a chance to see a bit of it after
14. We look forward to your arrival. Regards.