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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 17 Mar 2010
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2009 Altay Republic transit

I have read quit of bit of older information of those crossing the Altay Republic going to Mongolia, but it probably changes all the time. I am looking for the most current information. We will be traveling by M/C from Kazak to Mongolia this summer (Barnaul - M52 - Mongolia). What have you run into in 2009 crossing this area in terms of required paperwork / permits / who knows what?

KP
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  #2  
Old 18 Mar 2010
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All you need are visas for Russia and Mongolia. Both countries have restrictions on movement in border areas, but this does not apply if you are transiting through on the road.

We got stopped after crossing the border into Mongolia and made to buy bike insurance, even with a proper professional certificate etc. But I'm not certain that was definately legit. But for 10 USD not worth quibbling about.
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  #3  
Old 18 Mar 2010
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No problems in Altai, tho as Nath says, there are border zones in Russia within 50km of the borders that mean you are not supposed to enter them unless you have a permit or are transiting on a federal road. In the Altai, on the M52 to Mongolia, the border zone kicks in soon after Koch Agach. I have seen (and been stopped) by border police on that main road checking that I was headed for the border. Its OK to head for the border, but in theory after Kosh Agach you are not supposed to turn off the M52 main road - you must stay on the main road.

If you are staying on the main road from Barnaul to the Mongolian border you will have no issues and need no special permits.
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Old 18 Mar 2010
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CB,
What's the story on the road between North Eastern Kazakhstan that crosses into the Altai, allowing you to avoid having to exit around Semey, heading to Barnaul and then heading South to Mongolia.

I remember that road as an option but restrictive in terms of a special permit required...does anyone know what the story on that is?
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  #5  
Old 18 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
CB,
What's the story on the road between North Eastern Kazakhstan that crosses into the Altai, allowing you to avoid having to exit around Semey, heading to Barnaul and then heading South to Mongolia.

I remember that road as an option but restrictive in terms of a special permit required...does anyone know what the story on that is?
There are two border crossings further to the east than Semey ... a border main highway crossing I would avoid if possible - boring busy road and busy slow crossing.

The most easterly is approx 60 km east of Ridder / Leninogorsk in KZ though lovely countryside ... but sadly it is a locals only border. Its not an "international" border. I have been to within 20km of that border but was turned back at a barrier across the road.

The only international border to the east of the main road from Semey to Rubtsovsk is between Shemonaikha (KZ) and Zmeinogorsk (RU). You get there via Ust Kamenogorsk in KZ. Its a nicer ride, especially on the RU side as you can cut thru lovely backroads and sweet farmland to Petropavlovskoe and from there eastwards to Gorno Altaisk or South East, rejoining the main highway near Ongudai. The road thru the back woods of Altai Republic from Petropavlovskoe to Ust Kan and then to Ongudai is awesome scenery and I highly recommend it.

As an added bonus, it shaves 200 miles / 300 km off going all the way on main roads thru Barnaul
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  #6  
Old 12 Apr 2010
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Interesting alternative, colebach.

I will ride back from Ulanbatar to Spain this June and I will cross from Monolia to Kazajtan. Can you give me more explanation about the track from Onguday to Shamanaikha (please with the google maps names because every map have its owns names).

Thank you.
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Old 12 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by ialbizu View Post
Interesting alternative, colebach.

I will ride back from Ulanbatar to Spain this June and I will cross from Monolia to Kazajtan. Can you give me more explanation about the track from Onguday to Shamanaikha (please with the google maps names because every map have its owns names).

Thank you.
OK here are two different alternatives through the Altai on google earth:
Attached Files
File Type: kml Altai 1.kml (143.6 KB, 196 views)
File Type: kml Altai 2.kml (247.0 KB, 172 views)
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  #8  
Old 12 Apr 2010
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Hi Colebatch

Which of the two routes would you recommend for scenery, though without anything too technical (i.e. requiring a winch etc). Could you give me place names? Sorry if it repeats what you posted on my thread!

Thanks

Daniel

P.S. I'm really looking forward to Dagestan next month - any tips? Which routes did you take?
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  #9  
Old 12 Apr 2010
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The fiirst of the two routes takes you through much more "Altai" country ... Altai villages etc. The second is predominantly though Russian populated regions focussed on the main highway.

Both are nice, though the first would be my preference if I was doing them again.

Dagestan? Hmmm ... visit the Nogai town of Terekli Mekteb out on the steppe. Try and meet the senior folk in town. Nice people. Another tip? I would avoid spending too much time in Makhachkala ... it seems a bit dangerous right now.
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  #10  
Old 13 Apr 2010
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Thanks you very much Colebach, it's just I need.

It's all on-road, or some of off-road.

Another question. A person say me than in the border from Tsagaannuur (MN) to Tashanta (RU) (in this direction) do not allow to cross with a own vehicle. It's very strange.
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Old 13 Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by ialbizu View Post
Thanks you very much Colebach, it's just I need.

It's all on-road, or some of off-road.

Another question. A person say me than in the border from Tsagaannuur (MN) to Tashanta (RU) (in this direction) do not allow to cross with a own vehicle. It's very strange.
The first half of route 1 is mostly asphalt, the 2nd half is mostly graded gravel roads.

The person who says you cant cross that border with your own vehicle doesnt know what he is talking about. Hundreds of westerners cross it in vehicles every year. I crossed it from MN to RU in October last year.
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Old 13 Apr 2010
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thanks Walter, you're the best.
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  #13  
Old 14 Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
No problems in Altai, tho as Nath says, there are border zones in Russia within 50km of the borders that mean you are not supposed to enter them unless you have a permit or are transiting on a federal road.
...

If you are staying on the main road from Barnaul to the Mongolian border you will have no issues and need no special permits.
I like i think all of our group from last summer in Mongolia were amazed and faschinated by Altai mountain range and i am thinking currently if i next summer would go to Kola Peninsula for a week or ride to Altai mountains and spend a some time in Altai region in Russian side and then some time in Nortwest Mongolia in same mountains in Mongolian side as i missed that area last summer and i wish to see it and spend some time there when i dont have so thight schedule.

Last summer we saw lot of roads taking off from M52 so small valleys and villages in Altai region and i understood that you need special permit if you wish to leave M52. Where you can obtain this permit?
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  #14  
Old 14 Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by Tirpse View Post
i understood that you need special permit if you wish to leave M52.
You do not need a permit to go into smaller roads/tracks turning off the M52 until you reach the Border Zone. This starts a few kilometres south of Kosh-Agai.

There will be 'Borderland' signs telling you when you enter the zone - generally within 50km of the actual border. Once in the zone you should only stay on the M52

By then, in my opinion, the most beautiful part of Altai is ended.
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Old 14 Oct 2010
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You do not need a permit to go into smaller roads/tracks turning off the M52 until you reach the Border Zone. This starts a few kilometres south of Kosh-Agai.

There will be 'Borderland' signs telling you when you enter the zone - generally within 50km of the actual border. Once in the zone you should only stay on the M52

By then, in my opinion, the most beautiful part of Altai is ended.
Thank you. That clears it for me.

I assume borderland/border area is something like pogranisoi in russian language?

And i have to agree based on brief visit riding from Kazakhstan to Barnaul and then to Mongolia using M52 that most amazing part was between Gorny Altai - Kosh Agai. I have understood that when you enter to Mongolia and head to Nortwest and southwest part of country there is also very nice mountain area.
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