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Old 14 Aug 2010
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Kazachstan to Mongolia via Altai Mountains, permits?


I am planning to enter Mongolia from Kazachstan by driving in to the Altai mountains and taking the western border of Mongolia.

I read in my Lonely Planet from 2009 that I need to send papers to the migration office in Gorno-Altaisk, it says I should register my visa a the Federal Migration Service office, and that I need a document from the visa sponsor (khodataystsvo).
It needs to be faxed.

Also and even worse, I need a submit an application for permission to the Altai Republic border zones. This is some russion document with all kind of information about the route to take, passport details and needs to be faxed 10 days in advance.

Is this still the current situation? I will travel by car from Gorno-Altaisk to the Mongolian western border.

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Old 15 Aug 2010
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To clarify.
From KAZ to Mongolia you must enter Russia. Normal Russian Visa rules apply.

In Russia you can enter a Border Zone on Federal roads (main roads) without further papers, but only if en-route to the border.

What we did.
This time last year, we joined the M52 half way between Gorno-Altaisk and Mongolia. We rode south east towards the border. Just after Kosh-Agach we entered the Border Zone where you must stick to the Federal road, the M52.

We were stopped at a border guards temporary spot check just south of Kosh-Agash, exactly where we wanted to turn left to see if the track to Murgur-Aksi was viable. We bluffed that we were going to Mongolia (Colebatch had a Visa for there and pushed his Passport forward - I did not, so kept quiet!!). We went a short way down the road, and once out of sight and sound, then cut left overland to pick up the track later.

A very hard day and a half later, at Murgur-Aksi, while looking for fuel, we were stopped by some off-duty border guards asking what we were doing there. We diverted the conversation to fuel availability for our bikes. The fuel garage was dry, but the same guards sold us some petrol they had in a container in their truck. They then directed us to their border garrison, right on the border further south-east, to get permission to continue along the border track towards the Chadan road.

The Commandant was friendly, gave us tea and eventually his verbal consent to continue - as long as we stayed on the track. Nothing in writing.

The journey was then uneventful except Colebatch had a flat tyre that caused us to camp the night within sight of the garrison. The Commandant tooted and waved to us from his vehicle as he went off somewhere for the night and again when returning next morning.
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Old 15 Aug 2010
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You just have to be careful around there.Ride safe but not into the nights.
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Old 15 Aug 2010
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WE came through there just over amonth ago, we asked in a couple of places about registration, indicated in the LP, no one seemed to know what we were on about & nobody asked us at the border. Maybe if you leave the main road you might need it, by the way the Russian Mongolian border is only open 9am -6pm & closed on Sundays get there early as the Russians kept us waiting outside for 6 hours & we heard they don't always let people through after 4.30pm as there is a 20km no mans land before you get to the Mongolian customs & its the same buisness hours on the Mongolian side.

Have fun in Mongolia
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Old 28 Aug 2010
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My Tip

Dont believe lonely planet for travel info in this part of the world
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