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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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Old 17 Aug 2008
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When I in Russia last year, the heat was more of a problem than the cold. We were in vlad in June, central Siberia in July and around the golden ring in August. Even the arctic circle in September was OK, with temperatures around 0 C.

Wearing clothes inside a good down sleeping bag actually keeps you cooler.

A sleeping bag works by using your boody heat to warm up pockets of air between the feathers. Extra clothes prevent the sleeping bag from functioning correctly as they insulate the sleeping bag against your body heat. The only clothes you should wear in a sleeping bag are a good hat or balaclava and dry socks.

Also if your clothes are wet or dirty they will ruin your bag.

In my extensive experience from climbing, camping, ski touring, adventure motorcycling and snowcaving, a water resistant down sleeping bag in a good sealine or ortlieb roll top bag is best. It's warmest, smallest and most comfortable. Get a good Macpac reflex coated bag and you be warm and dry, even if the interior of your tent gets wet.

Don't forget your thermarest, probably the best thing for a good night's sleep.

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Old 18 Aug 2008
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Take care in Bashkiria

Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
Rarely saw police, and when I did see them, they were very friendly, usually just asked about the bike. Rarely even had to show any documents. Only exception was Bashkiria (Bashkortistan), where they were out in force and pretty greedy.
My description of the trip through Russia would be exactly the same: no problems with the only exception of Bashkiria. The same happened to my friends traveling one week later. I would be double-cautious in that region.

Regarding temperatures, I dig historical measurements on Weather Underground. For example, mid-May 2007 in Ufa looked like this: Ufa. Results available for nearly every major city of the world, usually at least few years into the past. Priceless.
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Old 31 Aug 2008
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Thumbs up

G'day Baron, I am in Vladivostok at the moment, the weather is fantastic.We left the U.K. on 20th June and apart from Norway (always wet) the weather has been great. Mild to warm days and coolish nights.We have not had any touble with the Russian, Kzakistan or Mongolian Police. On the rare occassions we were pulled up we could talk our way out of it. The were always friendly and polite. No one ever asked for, or was offered a bribe. I intended to do "the Road of Bones" but broke my frame at Tynda, so after repairs, headed to Vlad. My Mates rode to Magadan, although most of the way was on the Kolmya Highway. The rivers were still to high on The Road of Bones. They said it was bloody cold and wet the last two days to Magadan. They flew their bikes to Vlad and are shipping them to Austarlia. I am entering Japan via Vanino and Sachalin Island and will fly to Canada from Japan. In Vlad the Iron Tigers will look after you.
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Old 31 Aug 2008
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Continuously amazed at what a fantastic resource the HUBB is for those of us planning or dreaming the first big trip!

Half a dozen or more responses to a question about riding East, from people who have done it or are doing it now is simply amazing.

My tuppence worth is to agree with Mountain Man about synthetic over down bags.
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Old 1 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Chris Cowper View Post
I am entering Japan via Vanino and Sachalin Island and will fly to Canada from Japan. In Vlad the Iron Tigers will look after you.
Chris, please let us know of your experience getting into Japan via Sakhalin.
You need to get your carnet validated by the Japan Automobile Federation ( JAF For Visitors Bringing Vehicles with Carnet de Passages en Douane ), and the nearest office to Wakkanai (where the ferry arrives) that I know of is in Asahikawa, which is a good 200 km from Wakkanai. If customs won't let you off without validation, you will have to take a train or bus to Asahikawa to get your paperwork done.
Also see Motorcycling to Japan for information on Japan.

There is a direct ferry to Japan from Vlad, but customs even getting out can be hell there! The JAF office is closer to the port, though.
Japan touring information
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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I made the trip to Vladivostok this summer, .. June July 2008.

As stated, Police in west greedy, .. keep false walet with most 500 RRu. Police in East just want to pose for photographs.

Magadan is a bit of a 'Dead End', RTW people this summer had to re-route to Vladivostok to exit Russia.

Vladivostok Air promise great things, .. but bikes were getting stranded in Kamchatka and prices were hikesd up massivley.

Best exit, .. ferry from Zarubino (100Km south of Vladivostok) to Sok Cho in South Korea. From Korea,.. Air or Ship to Seattle or Vancouver. Use Wendy Choi or Areo International as your agent.

In Volgograd,.. contact 'Bikecity34', .. Roman is the owner,.. a great guy who will help you out and show you around.

Amur highway is ok, .. rough but nothing too severe between Chita and Khabarovsk. In Vladivostok make contact with the Iron Tigers, they'll put you up free of charge in their clubhouse and help you out with things you might need.

Good lucky,.. Russian Hospitality is amazing. Get some small tin badges made and give them away to people you meet,.... you'll get free accommodation most of the way.

All the best, ... Geoff 'Poor Circulation': Riding Around The World, ...................... on £20 per Day?
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Old 21 Jan 2009
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I'm doing a similar route this summer. My first RTW. Through Turkey and Stans into Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia down to Vlad.

I'm building a Google map. See here. I placed some markers along the South-east Russia route with statistical climate information based on WorldClimate

What scares me most is the amount of rain during Jun Jul Aug... The hottest months of the year are also the wettest.

I don't know what is worst. Wet or cold? I'm riding a V-Strom DL 1000. Mud is not my favorite playground.
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Old 21 Jan 2009
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Poor Circulation

Blue 88,
I just wanted to tell you that I made the mistake of clicking the link at the bottom of your post. That was about 6 hours ago. I won't make it to work tomorrow.
Thank you. It's been great reading it all... Good luck with the book.
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Old 25 Jan 2009
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I'm going to be in Turkey around May and in Kazakhstan and Mongolia during June July... Hope to see you on the road...
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Old 31 Jul 2011
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I know this is an old thread but didn't know where else to post this.

I stumbled on this web site: New Vladivostok-Sakhalin-Kamchatka Ferry Line Opens This Fall || News || Russian Transport Daily Report

With this info: New Vladivostok-Sakhalin-Kamchatka Ferry Line Opens This Fall

The regional authorities decided to give the green light to a new cargo and passenger ferry line, to connect Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The new ferry line should be open by this fall. There has been an agreement to transfer a ship from the Baltic Sea to Primorye that could operate the ferry line.

I've sent an email to find out if it's up and running but no reply so far. If anyone knows more about this I'd like to know please.
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