MIR News: Visa-Free Visits to Kazakhstan and Mongolia

MIR News: Visa-Free Visits to Kazakhstan and Mongolia

It’s easier than ever to caravan through Kazakhstan or meander through Mongolia, now that both countries are offering visa-free visits for most travelers.

Kazakhstan: Easy EntryIn a one-year pilot program begun on July 15, 2014, citizens from 10 countries do not need a visa to enter Kazakhstan for tourism stays of 15 days or less. Those countries are: the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Netherlands. Travelers from these countries can not only save about $200 dollars in Kazakh visa fees, but they also can save time – a shorter lead-time – in making their travel plans.

Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital, is in the running as one of three finalists to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. It’s a great time to visit this country’s national parks, mountains and deserts as well as to explore its diverse Central Asian culture, from its semi-nomadic horse history to its sophisticated cities. You can learn more about Kazakhstan from MIR’s Michel Behar in Apples of Almaty, and 7 More Reasons Why I Love This Kazakh Town.

A Kazakh merchant sells traditional musical instruments, like the <i>dombra</i> and <I>kobyz</i> <br>Photo credit: Michel Behar

A Kazakh merchant sells traditional musical instruments, like the dombra and kobyz
Photo credit: Michel Behar

Mongolia: Making It SimpleU.S. passport holders and those of 16 other countries – including Canada, Germany and Japan – already can travel visa-free to Mongolia for 30 days or less; now an additional several dozen countries will have that opportunity as well. Through the end of 2015, the Mongolian government is waiving visas for passport holders of 42 countries traveling for tourism for up to 30 days. As with Kazakhstan, many travelers to Mongolia will now save on visa fees as well as save on lead-time in planning their journeys.

Mongolia is a land of nomads, gers and Genghis Kahn as well as camels, deserts and dinosaur bones. You can learn more about this boundless land in Helen Holter’s story on Mongolia’s favorite festival, Naadam Festival: Mongolia’s Ancient Games.

We're not in Kansas anymore: camels are a common sight in the backwaters of Mongolia <br>Photo credit: Andrew Barron

We’re not in Kansas anymore: camels are a common sight in the backwaters of Mongolia
Photo credit: Andrew Barron

Travel to Kazakhstan and Mongolia with MIRYou can travel, visa-free, on MIR’s scheduled tours to Central Asia’s largest country, Kazakhstan, as well as to Mongolia and its Naadam Festival. You can also book a custom, private journey.

(Top photo credit: Helge Pedersen – The art of archery is handed down from generation to generation at Mongolia’s ancient Naadam Festival.)

PUBLISHED: July 17, 2014

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