Housing And Job Agencies In Mongolia

by Daniel

Hello Daniel,

Thanks for your questions. You will find the answers under the relevant subheadings below...

Can you recommend housing and job agencies which can provide good advice and help for people considering long term stay in Mongolia? Thanks

Is it more advisable to drive, cycle or take public transport in mongolia? Is it right hand drive and are the signages in Mongolian or in English as well?

Where is a good place to buy good and affordable cashmere and camel products in UB? Are these products also available and cheaper in other cities?

Is there any language school that you would recommend to learn the Mongolian language? Can someone go about doing the basic things in life without knowing the language?

Is there a place where you can buy a ger and learn how to set up one? Can you simply drive to anywhere in the countryside and just set up a ger to stay? Is it safe to do so?

Are lessons in guitar, piano, gymnastics, soccer easily available in UB? Where is a good place to find such courses?

Mongolian Job Agencies

There are a few job agencies but they deal almost exclusively with Mongolians - you will need a Mongolian to help you register with them.

The best Mongolia-fixer I know is Mona (aka Munkherdene), you can contact her at a.muunuu@gmail.com. Mona gets a lot of job vacancies emailed straight to her.

The majority of foreigners are employed in mining or teaching (with a few in hospitality). Teaching jobs are often advertised on http://www.daveseslcafe.com/. There also a lot of NGOs and organizations such as the UN.

Mongolian Housing Agencies

There are a fair few housing agencies with English speaking staff who will be eager to help you find properties. Problem is they are also expensive!

Again I would recommend you contact Mona who can help you liaise directly with landlords and sellers and also act as a go between with housing agencies – and since she knows the market well, she will likely negotiate a better deal for you.

If you want to fly solo, Google Mongolia properties and you will find a number of agencies listed.

Getting Around

Traffic drives on the right (although cars are both left and right hand drive).

Road signs follow an international standard and are easy to understand. They can be written in English, Mongolian or both. Plenty of foreigners drive without any difficulty.

Cycling is really not advisable in Ulaan Baatar! The countryside is a different matter – but more suited to mountain biking than anything more gentle.

As far as public transportation goes - buses are very crowded and tend to be well staffed with pickpockets. But there are hundreds of taxis on the road these days (many private cars will also stop for you). Just stand at the side of the road for two minutes and someone will stop.

Buying Cashmere

Gobi Cashmere stores have the widest choice of good quality cashmere products. Altai Cashmere has slightly better designs but tends be a little more expensive. These stores can be found all over Ulaan Baatar and in all the major cities - prices are similar wherever you go.

You can also buy Mongolian cashmere online from Pure Cashmere Boutique.

Mongolian Language Schools

I learnt my Mongolian at Leeds University in the UK.

The best Mongolian Language school is Bridge International (http://www.bridge.edu.mn/). They have their own textbooks and have been in business since 1995.

You can definitely get by without the language. More and more Mongolians speak excellent English. It will be more difficult in remote regions.

Buying A Ger

Purchasing a ger is easy here – in fact my family bought one last year and had great fun putting it up!

We purchased ours from Narantuul Market (called the Black Market locally). When you buy you can also hire someone to help you put it up. You will need a truck to take it away though (unless you have a few camels)!

Built up areas have restrictions on where you can camp – but once you’re in open countryside, you can put up your ger pretty much anywhere.

Is it safe? Mongolian nomads leave their gers unlocked – that should say something.

Music And Sports Lessons

You can get many of these lessons and more at the Children’s Palace (Huuhediin Ordon) opposite the Bayangol Hotel. I went there late last year and most lessons were priced at 80,000 tugrik for a year (running three days a week for two hours a time). The language ability of the teacher will be hit and miss though.

For lessons with a musical flavor you could also try the Music College (Hugjim Bujig) next to the Chinese embassy. Some of the teachers and students are bound to give private lessons and have reasonable English.

A few high schools have recently invested in artificial football pitches – I’m sure a deal could be struck if you popped in with a good negotiator.

Hope the above helps!

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