Currency The Mongolian unit of currency is the tögrög (T), often spelled tugrik because it reflects the more accurate pronunciation. It comes in notes of T5, T10, T20, T50, T100, T500, T1000, T5000, T10,000 and T20,000. (T1 notes are basically souvenirs.) The highest-value note is worth around US$12.
Moneychangers Banks and exchange offices in Ulaanbaatar will change money with relative efficiency. Banks in provincial centres are also fine; they change dollars and give cash advances against debit and credit cards.
Payments When paying out large sums of money (to hotels, tour operators and sometimes airlines), it's fine to use either US dollars or tögrög; the merchant will act as a moneychanger, though the rate will not generally be very good. Other forms of currency aren’t usually accepted, although the euro is probably the next best. Cash offers the best exchange rates and you won’t be paying any commission charge, but for security purposes you can also use debit cards.
Travellers cheques It’s possible to cash travellers cheques in Mongolia, usually for a 2% fee. American Express travellers cheques can be cashed at the Trade & Development Banks and Golomt Banks in Ulaanbaatar but getting cheques cashed outside Ulaanbaatar is more difficult.
Leaving Mongolia Remember to change all your tögrög when leaving the country, as it’s worthless elsewhere.
Depreciation Bear in mind that the tögrög depreciates around 10–15% per year, so prices in this book are likely to adjust upwards to compensate for the falling value of the currency.
Traditionally, Mongolians don’t tip. However, Mongolians working in tourism-related fields (guides, drivers, bellhops and waitresses at restaurants frequented by foreigners) are now accustomed to tips. If you do feel service was good, a 10% tip is appreciated.