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Is it possible to get Mongolian currency (the Mongolian Tugrik) in Sydney, Australia?

I tried looking at Travelex, Australia post, and Westpac, and none of them seem to offer Mongolian currency.

A blog called No More Maps says that it's not possible to get Mongolian currency outside of Mongolia:

Where to buy tughriks?

In Mongolia of course. There is no way to buy them abroad. Neither there is a way to exchange them back while staying abroad. Here is the current rate for 1000 MNT.

Do I have to wait until I get to Mongolia to get Mongolian currency?

  • 1
    I would split this into two questions: one about getting Tugriks and one about using ATMs in Mongolia. – JonathanReez Jul 2 '16 at 8:18
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    I can't even specifically remember using ATMs in Mongolia, but I survived there for a month without any money issues I can recall so it must've been easy. Then again I did a cash trade with another tourist in China and had enough tugrik from that until I got to UB. It's always a good idea to have US or another strong or regional currency. USD is the safest bet for most places on earth. – hippietrail Jul 2 '16 at 9:11
  • Apparently I did use ATMs there: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/22695/… – hippietrail Jul 2 '16 at 9:19
  • @JonathanReez how does it look now? – Andrew Grimm Jul 3 '16 at 3:25
  • @AndrewGrimm I would remove the USD question and place it into a separate question about ATMs in Mongolia. – JonathanReez Jul 3 '16 at 6:55
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For all practical purposes, the Mongolian tögrög is a closed currency, meaning you can't buy it outside of Mongolia. I'm not quite certain why this is so, but probably because it seems to be illegal to take more tögrög out of the country than you bring in, so there's no easy way for an overseas bank to gain a supply of tögrög to sell to you. (But don't worry about getting into trouble taking a few left-over notes out of the country.)

ATMs are plentiful in central Ulaanbaatar. They're often inside banks, rather than on outside walls, and are typically labelled 'ATM' or 'банкомат'. I had no difficulty using a British bank card there. If your first stop in Mongolia is Ulaanbaatar, you won't have any difficulty obtaining currency. If you arrive by train, then it's normal for a man to come down the train selling tögrög in exchange for various currencies. I brought some US dollars with me for that purpose, as that tends to be the most easily traded currency.

  • While ATMs are plentiful in Ulaanbaatar, it might be a good idea to have some cash to exchange anyway. During high season ATMs are sometimes not restocked fast enough and the hunt for an ATM with money can take awhile. – Avelina Jul 7 '16 at 17:36

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