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Mongolia is a country of Dos and Don'ts. It comes to traditions and lifestyle, specifically in the countryside. 
Some of these rules are of religious background, and others are derived from the nomadic culture's practical necessities. And obviously, there are also examples of superstition. 

Though these practices are less strict in the city, one might see a few of the city people not following the rules. However, it does not mean that you should not follow the rules. 

The Mongols have lived in solid harmony with Mother Nature for millennia, and most of the Dos and Donts rules are related to respecting nature and netiquette in the Ger. Ger also means home in Mongolian and is considered a sacred place. So whether it's a Ger or a house, it's a home, and whether you are a Mongol or not, these rules are for everyone...

Here are some of Mongolia's essential Dos and Don'ts (indoors and outdoors). It sure will come in handy when visiting this ancient and diverse land of nomads. Take in mind that depending on the region you're traveling in, there might be stricter rules, so please ask your tour guide about this. Enjoy every moment with us.

Mongolian tours



  • Greet the people when entering the Ger.

  • Give/receive presents with both hands.

  • Hold a bowl by the bottom, not by the top rim.

  • Try to speak Mongolian even if it's just Hello (Sain bain uu?), Thank you (Bayarla!), or Bye (bayartai!)

  • Enter or leave Ger through the left.

  • Accept food or drink with your right hand or both hands.

  • Receive the snuff bottle and gently loosen the top without removing it.

  • Bring some small gifts such as stationery for the children.

  • Always get on horseback from the left.

  • Watch over your wallet/purse. Pick-pocketing is common in crowded places.

  • Shake the hands of someone with whom you have accidentally bumped feet.

beautiful nature and an old car


  • Stand on the threshold when entering the Ger/house.

  • Refuse to offer drink or food in the Ger/house (it’s customary for Mongols to offer tea and food as a welcoming omen); at least try to enjoy a sip.

  • Whistle inside a Ger.

  • Lean against the pillars in the Ger.

  • Throw water or any rubbish into the fire (fire is sacred!)

  • Pee in natural water, such as lakes, rivers, and streams! (Water is sacred!)

  • Touch other people’s hats or, especially, men’s heads.

  • Walk over the Uurga (horse-catching pole).

  • To point at someone with a single finger.

  • Spill milk/dairy in the rivers, wells, or lakes.

  • Talk or joke about bad things that may happen.

  • Estimate travel hours as drivers believe it brings evil on the trip.

  • Ask the names of big mountains while the mountain is still in sight. 

  • Say thank you too much or for small gestures (Mongols are often shy)

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