China, Takishant Border - UlaanBaatar Tracks
We are being forced to ride from China into Mongolia via the Takishant border crossing and from there to UB
Has anyone done this using the southern road? I have the OSM maps but there is nothing there
Anyone have any tracks I can use as a guide, and or info about fuel etc?
I have all the Asia waypoints as supplied by Colebatch(thanks) but these are more the middle route, which we may end up on, but if I had some user tracks I could start calculating the time it will take us to transit
Cheers from Almaty
Do you mean the Tashanta border crossing?
Last year I went down S. Gobi using the route shown on the map at:
and it is described at:
I was coming from UB and the route and km readings were:
07/09/11 Wednesday Ulan Bator
08/09/11 Thursday Near Hadatuul 38,870
09/09/11 Friday Near Togrod 39,113
10/09/11 Saturday Near Mandal Ovoo 39,322
11/09/11 Sunday NearBayandalay 39,517
12/09/11 Monday Khongor 39,619
13/09/11 Tuesday Khongor
14/09/11 Wednesday Gurvantes 39,790
15/09/11 Thursday Near AlagDund bulag 39,920
16/09/11 Friday Bayantsagaan 40,120
17/09/11 Saturday Burgus Oasis 40,293
18/09/11 Sunday Altay 40,450
19/09/11 Monday Altay
20/09/11 Tuesday Near Darvi 40,700
21/09/11 Wednesday Khovd 40,900
22/09/11 Thursday Olgii 41,130
So 16 days and about 3000kms. Where it says "near..." we were camping the rest were small hotels or ger camps. The middle bit (between about the 10th and the 16th) was, by my standards, fairly tough going on a KLR650 but I made it. I don't think I would have coped on a VStrom (assume thats what you are riding) but a good rider in reasonable weather might. I did it with two other riders and myself would not do it on my own there is some empty country down there - but the scenery and people were fantastic.
If you want the way points for the places I camped at night I can probably get those off my GPS tomorrow night (out of town at the moment)- let me know by replying or a PM. I didn't really use my GPS, except in compass mode, so don't have my full route recorded but I found the OSM when I checked seemed to have a lot of the tracks I used marked. We navigated the old fashioned way with maps and asking the locals - however of the five maps we had of Mongolia none agreed exactly on which places were linked to which by track, so there was a lot was suck it and see. The great thing in Mongolia is when you find a track is not heading where you want you can often correct yourself by riding a compass bearing until you pick up a track that seems to be going the right way. Fuel was usually available every 150km or less - but we did have one place where the station was dry and we had to wait around for a day. Water availability was the same in the furthest south regions. Many of the local maps have fuel stops marked on them (but with varying accuracy) - its a case of fill up regularly the problems only come when you decide you can push on pass this one and stop at the next. By the way outside the town it is all 76 octane only - although many fuel stops seem to sell octane booster.
Enjoy your trip - I'm envious. One year later I'm stuck back in the office saving for my next one.
Hi and thanks for your reply
I could not get that first link to work, it just opens a generic google map of OZ, but I did manage to look at the map on your blog page. From what I can see you are up north and taking the north and middle route, so it will not help me much at all.
We will be entering Mongolia from China at this border point
Takeshikenzhen, Altay, Xinjiang, China
The one you mention is way up north.
Cheers for the info though :)
The route marked on the OSM that you are calling 'middle route' is the 'South Route'.
I can't find that border crossing you are talking about, but there is a road that runs from China, though to the village of Mankhan (about 100ks from Khovd) that joins the route marked on OSM, It is marked kinda on OSM but you will only see it at higher zoom levels. It is a actually becoming a major road as the Chinese are build a new road through here. You mention Altay which is the west of Mongolia so this may the road you need so I think you will need to ride up to this road from China border crossing.
Maybe PM Walter Colebatch, he may know.
Tashanta is not the one you want, this the crossing from Russia.
Worse case follow the tire tracks that head in right direction and ask the locals, if this is a multilateral border traffic to major towns (for want of a better word) will go this way.
BTW make sure you bike is happy on 80 octane petrol. It might all you can get in smaller villages.
How are you riding through China? I've heard that it's impossible to be licensed/registered to do that without an escort?
Apologies to those who tried the map link on my first post and found it didn't work - should have checked it. I think it works correctly now. Route was to the south but exited up North.
@navalarchitect - no worries, it works now thanks
@Chinggis - We have a guide and tour company and 10pax, 8 bikes, one 4x4
@Craig I think you are correct, the border area is paved according to the information gleaned from the following link:
To Mongolia: The Bulgan Border Crossing
As for the route to take, I was given some tracks by a chap called Alex, he rode his Vstrom 650 along the green route in the following map with the following information:
"the southern route is the easiest to UU, and the western part is very scenic from Altai region in Russia
the road is basically a gravel road with its fair share of corrugations, no deep sand. got a bit problematic when it rained but was able to ride around the puddles. I did not go to the gobi desert where there is sand.
so southern route to Ulan bator is ok.
i did the mid route which was more scenic, more mountains/passes, so travelling east you would take a left at Altai and head up towards Ulastai and onto to Tseterleg. the road is more challenging but vstrom made it! there is new bitumen road from about Tariat eastwards to UU.
i am glad i did that route as there was probably some of the best riding of my trip.
I stayed at the Oasis which a great meeting place for riders, 4wd guys.
So, his track is green and if there is no deep sand I should be fine. Our actual route in China to the Bulgan border crossing is in purple, this is paved roads and is routable. The part we are unsure about is the actual road to get from there to join up with that green track, but I know now that the border road to Bulgan itself is paved, then we would need to take whatever north for an intersection, hope all that makes sense
I have found most of this since my original post but this may be of use to others in the future. Of course once I have crashed and burned through there I can update again with real time conditions
Hey TS ... yes there are a number of minor border crossings in Mongolia that are normally only open to locals, but can be used by foreigners as part of organised tour groups. Another one is the border to Russia just north of Hovsgul.
I have never heard of non locals using this one before. The road on the Mongolia side will not be asphalt (unless the CHinese have just built a mine on the Mongolian side of the border in which case its an asphalt road with a double track railway next to it). And in fact I doubt it will be graded. Your two main choices on crossing the border will be to go to Khovd (marked on the left of your map) or Altai City near where the green line turns northwards on the right of your map) and rejoin the southern route at either of those points. The southern route is not sandy but may have a few smaller sand patches. If you stick on the southern route all the way it also will not be particulalrly scenic. I would do what your friend in green did and turn north at Altai City, via Uliastay and take a middle route to UB via Tosontsengel, Tsetserleg (note both those town names appear dozens of times in Mongolia so do pick the right ones), Karakorum (Kharkhorin), and then UB. Its asphalt from Karakorum to UB.
I woils take colbatch's suggestion, thief is a bridge out on the southern route that cars were being towed across, you will nEed to put you bike in a truck to cross.
@Colebatch The link I provided specifically says it is now fully manned international, but open during working hours only.
I guess the more scenic route is the better route then, but we are limited in time. We enter Mongolia on the 6th Oct, then enter China again on 20th to pick up tour guide.
So that leaves us 14 days to ride to UB and wait 5 days to get new visas and then ride 700km south to Erenhot
I need to find the fastest safest route that can let us do that.
I have a China City Nav map so that part is fine.
I guess we can backtrack using Alex's tracks and see what roads we can find to match up
Thanks for your inputs fellas
We ran into a guy on 1200gsa. Who by his own admission wasnt that quick and hated sand he did this way easy. I think by the time you muck about getting over the river on the south crossing if wont make much difference. This was our intended route until our truck ride from Mankhan.
It is still under consideration, because 8 other people have to agree, sort of, but it looks like head north to Khova on whatevr road we can find and then head east.
Tracks Takashiken (China) Bulgan (Mongolia) to Khovd
The border crossing is named Takashiken (China) Bulgan (Mongolia).
Download the KML from this map http://goo.gl/maps/hgPBY , it has the detailed tracks from the border crossing to Khoved.
Once you hit the main southern route connecting Khuvd to UB, it is easy to follow as this is the main route.
Road condition - it is paved from the border crossing up to Bulgan. From there it is desert dirt road.
Petrol - In Bulgan, and than several stations along the main route between Khuvd and UB.
Water - In Bulgan and a few wells on the way up to the main route. On the main route, there are several shops all along the way.
More details on the Takashiken Bulgan border crossing.
Hi Dan, thanks for that info that is great
That route was the one I had pretty much decided on, for me anyway. When you say desert road, you ar enot talking sand are you?
My bike and sand are a happy couple, they spend a lot of time lying together, but if it is just hard road, then that will not be an issue
I downloaded that KML file but when I import to Basecamp I see nothing, any ideas?
Thanks once again
OK, I converted the file to gpx and it shows up good. I notice your track is nowhere near any of the marked trails on Garmoin Global map in BC
Did you just follow a goat trail on that track, because it looks less than ideal for a big heavy pig of a bike?
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