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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 7 Sep 2013
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Maps for Mongolia

Hey guys,

I'm currently in Central Asia and recently decided to tour a little further up to Mongolia. I didn't start out prepared for Mongolia so I have no maps - also no GPS, which I prefer not to use. I understand there are no roads... What are the best maps for navigation? Do the Soviet maps cover this area? I plan to traverse from west to east, basically along the track that runs from ulaangom to ulan batar.

Any advice at all would be appreciated!

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 7 Sep 2013
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I think you'll find that there are quite a few more than just 'one track'!
So without GPS best thing I'd recommend is a compass. No batteries required!
Maps- I favour Reise Knowhow maps- they are very good, tough and the rain doesn't affect them.
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  #3  
Old 7 Sep 2013
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We bought a little atlas type map in UB when we were there. Got it from the main department store on the 4th level with the touristy things. It was very good and we used it a lot even though we had a GPS.

This was a few years ago, so not sure if they still sell it.

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  #4  
Old 7 Sep 2013
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without a GPS, you are going to be much more restricted in where you can confidently go in Mongolia without having local knowledge. You would be wise to confine yourself to the main routes across the country.

Decent paper maps (in for form of the popular Mongolia Road Atlas) are available in UB, but there is very little that will be available in the west of the country, or in the Russian border town of Kosh Agach. Maybe you can get lucky and meet a biker or group coming out of Mongolia who can give you their maps, tho it is late in the season now.

Failing that, Bertrands suggestion of the Reise KNow How map is probably your best bet - if you can get it. The STans are not exactly well equipped with map shops and the best maps, even of their own countries, are typically only available outside of the stans.
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  #5  
Old 8 Sep 2013
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Thanks guys. Colebatch - I'm definitely planning to stay on the main routes. It's just hard for me to visualize exactly what to expect for road conditions. Everybody I meet says - "Oh! No roads at all! Absolutely nothing! Totally off-roading all the way!" That's definitely what appeals to me, but I'm trying to imagine what that looks like in reality. If there is nothing at all, and I'm just off-roading across the steppe, great! But that means I need to navigate with the map and compass, pretty much at all times, no? You seem to suggest that the main routes are a bit easier to follow. So I guess my main question now is: Is the Reise-Know-How map sufficient for navigational use? Just one map of the whole country? I've used the Reise maps in other countries and I think they're great road maps. But if I'm trying to analyze the topography of the landscape, take a bearing on my compass, and charge across the wilderness, is the Reise map going to be enough? Or are the tracks clear enough to follow where I don't need to be so meticulous with the navigation?

Also, I'm not totally against buying a GPS, it's just that I prefer to use map and compass and I have loads of experience navigating the old-fashioned way. But I don't know where to buy a GPS at this point in the trip and have never even used one before anyway!
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  #6  
Old 8 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabista View Post
Just one map of the whole country?
Yes- double sided


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabista View Post
So I guess my main question now is: Is the Reise-Know-How map sufficient for navigational use?
I would say yes they are, very much so but only you can decide.
What is £10 for an excellent map compared to attempting to cross Mongolia without it?
It can be ordered by mail order via the internet as can a gps - but as for the knowledge on how to use one- that's a bit more tricky!
Good luck to you whatever you do- have fun!
Here is a screen shot to help you decide
Attached Thumbnails
Maps for Mongolia-reise.jpg  

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Old 9 Sep 2013
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Where are you now?
We're in Osh, and I have two different Mongolia maps with me, i can give you one for free...
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  #8  
Old 9 Sep 2013
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O yes, btw:

Mongolia is 90% off road, ie there is no pavement BUT you just cannot miss the "track" as trucks use them also if you stick to the main ones. (North/south)
So no need for a GPS if you're not venturing into the wild.
A map would be fine, just to know where to go and the approx. distances. Recent pictures (two months old) can be found on our website > blog.
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Old 9 Sep 2013
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Thanks so much everybody! This definitely helps. oo-seb-oo I am in Bishkek but returning to Osh in the near future. If you're not heading this direction, maybe you could leave the maps in the care of some guesthouse? It's up to you... I would greatly appreciate the help! Where are you staying specifically? I stayed at a really nice place there called TES Guesthouse where there were lots of other bikers and I plan to go back.
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Old 10 Sep 2013
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I'm not staying at Tes, have found better and cheaper (with a swimming pool...) but I'll drop it there for you.
Give me your name so I can tell them to give it to you when you come for it.
Tomorrow evening (11sept) I'll be gone, so if you want a free Mongolia map, you know what to do...
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  #11  
Old 10 Sep 2013
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Sweet thanks! Just drop it wherever you like! My name is Athanasios. I'm from Greece. You can tell them I'll pick it up in close to 2 weeks. Just let me know where! Thanks so much - I really appreciate it!
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Old 10 Sep 2013
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I'll drop it today at TES GUESTHOUSE, since you know where that is, it will be the easiest...
Have fun with it!
(it's not the best map, but better than nothing...!)
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Old 10 Sep 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo-SEB-oO View Post
I'm not staying at Tes, have found better and cheaper (with a swimming pool...)
Sounds worthy of a waypoint
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  #14  
Old 10 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
Sounds worthy of a waypoint
Of course... I already did it two weeks ago... ;-)
You'll get them all soon!

@ Jabista: I've given the map at the reception at TES bw, with your name and my sticker on it and told her that you would come and collect it.
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  #15  
Old 10 Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
Sounds worthy of a waypoint
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