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  #1  
Old 8 Apr 2008
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Need waypoints for Driving in Mongolia in small private car-West to Russia

Greetings Friends,
I am driving around the world this summer with my daughter in small private car. as I am little nervous about road system in Mongolia, I will highly appriciate if some one has any "waypoint" for better tracks from UB west to Russia?
I am prepared to pay for this.
Thanks
arun
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  #2  
Old 8 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunp View Post
Greetings Friends,
I am driving around the world this summer with my daughter in small private car. as I am little nervous about road system in Mongolia, I will highly appriciate if some one has any "waypoint" for better tracks from UB west to Russia?
I am prepared to pay for this.
Thanks
arun
As these are dirt tracks...somebody else's waypoints from 1-2 years ago may be outdated.
There is ALWAYS a main track between towns and sidetracks that are in better condition than the main track. As long as you keep your eye on the maintrack, you can choose whatever sidetrack you fancy.

Relying on GPS waypoints may get you following *some* track and that track may be deeply rutted and WILL thrash your vehicle. This may leave you on a side track where there isn't a lot of vehicular traffic to assist you. The tracks that don't stray too far from the main track, usually converge.

So be careful, the certitude of GPS can be its on folly in places where tracks/routes change frequently.

Pic for example...there more there that will give you a taste.
img_1284.jpg

Lastly, when in UB, go to the state Department store(the souvenir section)...and ask for a Road Atlas...its a joke but a very useful thing at the same time. Over 90% on Mongolia is literate, so if you pull out your Atlas, even a shepherd will be able to point you in the right direction.
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Last edited by MotoEdde; 8 Apr 2008 at 14:58.
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Old 8 Apr 2008
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Tracks

In regards to directions, there are some aspects unique to Mongolia. When getting directions from locals, some time they will give you directions as the crow flies i.e. the straightest route possible. Many times this will not correspond to the map which shows the "main" route. The locals route maybe a lot better, or it may be a lot worse.

We tried to figure this out and best we could do was they seem to intepret the request for directions as "which direction is this village" instead of "which way to follow the main route to this village". Once we figured this out and asked both questions, we would get directions for both options.

Best theory we could come up was that this how things were done after generations on the steppes. By horeseback, you ride pretty much straight. Vehicles foul up this process by getting stuck and not climbing ravines well so they end up going around things more than over them. Bikes go over things well, if you have the time, take some of the shortcuts and they will lead to unbelieveable, out of the way spots. Knowing a bit of Russian will be helpful in finding your way out

(Great shot Edde, takes you back when you look at it.)
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Old 8 Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
(Great shot Edde, takes you back when you look at it.)
How bout this one Tom?

dscn8250.jpg

Don't remember if you made it out there with your broken foot and all.

Anyways, I agree...you have to pay attention to how the locals direct you...BUT its not like there are too many choices when you leave a big town or village.

Relying on GPS in Mongolia may get you stuck in a rut, not just proverbially.

Orienteering or learning how to, is a better option...OR you may end up on the wrong side of the mountain...

img_1106.jpg
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Old 9 Apr 2008
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Thanks Guys.
good information. question. what is the "main Route" is this one shows on google map? from UB to West border of Russia?
Thanks
arun
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Old 9 Apr 2008
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Roads

Don't be fooled by major routes shown on the map, just because they are designated as major doesn't mean they are paved. The only one that is is the road north to Ulan Ude. The road straight west to Tsetserleg is paved for about a hundred or so kms and you will soon wish it wasn't as the potholes are much worse that the dirt tracks. The road north west to the ironically named city of Moron sees a lot (relatively) of tourist traffic headed to Lake Khovsgol. It can get be bone jarring rough in spots. Can't say I would recommend driving west as it is dirt/gravel track all the way to the Russian border and it will be tough on a small, low clearance car, especially if it rains...
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Old 11 Apr 2008
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gps waypoints

Hi Arun

MountainMan & MotoEdde have both really given a fair and accurate definition of 'roads' and 'navigation' in Mongolia. I agree with all they've said. (Hi Guys !).
Mongolia 'road' system is I believe quite unique, and that is the very lure that we love, it is wilderness, can be utterly confusing, is certainly unfair (if you expect maps to be accurate or if you think there may be a roadsign!!!) But is is fantastic !
You've got another co-rider in the car just get them to look where the sun is and point your car accordingly !

Seriously it is a vast country with minimal infrastructure, be prepared.
The emptyness can be an advantage, there are few towns and so most routes (valleys) we ultimately lead you to a 'major' town. There was times when we would be driving and in the distance spot a line of telegraph poles and literally you would follow the poles ! they'll lead somewhere.
It can be disconcerting at first but it's really not that difficult.

However, with all that said we did have a GPS so we knew where we were. We also used some Mongolian maps (buy in UB as Edde suggested), we used a compass ! on our laptop we had running the Garmin world map program. I updated the garmin software by subscribing to the smellybiker.com who for a small fee can supply far more detailed and sometime more accurate garmin map.
While often the route you are following is way off anything that either Garmin or the standard papermaps by utilising all these it was good enough to get you where you need to be.

Couple of times we did indeed end up having to turn around, not often but i remember at least twice routes had been washed or eroded away and we had to turn around, retrace, replan. There's always a way, you are never far from locals and their Ger Positioning System ! works a treat.

After all that if you want an idea of where we went then download from my site the garmin tracks and waypoints we created, look here :

Index of /finally/Coming-this-way

phil.
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