Apart from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is generally a safe place to travel. However, incidences of pick pocketing and bag slashing have been on the rise in recent years, so always keep your personal belongings in a safe place money belts are highly recommended, especially in crowded areas or in places where your attention is diverted, such as internet cafes . Notorious places for theft are the Black Market bazaar, the railway station and crowded bus stops.
Violent crime is uncommon outside the capital city, but still caution is required at night, and dark or deserted alleys and streets, in particular, should be avoided.
Corruption is a huge problem in Mongolia, and locals are convinced that the police are not to be trusted.
There are small bands of Mongolian ultra nationalists that style themselves as neo-Nazis who assault foreigners including white, black and particularly Chinese. They are especially provoked by foreigner interaction with Mongolian women.
Lone or female travellers, especially blondes, obviously need to exercise a higher degree of awareness of their surroundings as getting groped in the chest or behind regions is not uncommon.
Be careful when travelling by horse as it is not unknown for groups to follow tourists and then steal their goods, including the horses, while they sleep at night.
Dogs in Mongolia can be aggressive and may run in packs. It is a good idea to be wary of them since they are not likely to be as tame as domestic dogs elsewhere.
Nomads' dogs may have rabies. As a precaution, consider having a rabies shots before coming.
Marmots should not be eaten at certain times of the year because they can carry bubonic plague. That said, the disease is carried by the marmot's fleas so the afflicted tend to be fur traders, and marmot is not a mainstream dish even in Mongolia.
Hepatitis and tuberculosis are common throughout Mongolia.
The USA Center for Disease Control
Country by country warnings and advice
There are plenty of Internet cafÃ©s in the capital. The postal service is slow and most people have a PO Box if they want to get anything. It is possible to buy phone cards that can be used to call abroad very cheaply from domestic phones, but not all phones can do this. You can ask for MiCom or MobiCom cards. In the countryside, don't expect to be staying in contact with anyone. Most Aimag Centers Province Capitals have an Internet CafÃ© in the post office.
To make local calls in Ulaanbaatar use a phone of one of the many entrepreneurs with cellular telephones on the street corners. Expect to pay from Tg150 to Tg200 per minute June 2009 prices.
See also: Mongolian phrasebook
With the exception of the westernmost province where Kazakh is spoken, everybody in the country speaks Mongolian. The language is extremely difficult for Westerners to learn and speak, even after multiple months of being immersed in the culture. Westerners typically take a minimum of 9-18 months of full time Mongolian language study to be conversant. Most locals will appreciate attempts to speak phrases in Mongolian, although the traveller will inevitably pronounce them wrong be careful when ordering water in a restaurant - the word for water [pronounced "oos"] is indistinguishable for that of "hair" to the English ear! Makes for a good laugh over and over .... Picking up a phrasebook and practising a few phrases will help. The numbering system is regular, and fairly easy to learn.
If you can speak Russian you should not have any major problems communicating. Mongolia has had a long history of alliance with the Soviet Union, and Russia after the break up of the Soviet Union, so Russian is compulsory in all Mongolian schools and widely spoken in urban areas. English is not widely spoken, although it's been getting more popular lately.