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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 21 Feb 2011
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Mongolia, is it possible?

Hi
In summer I have plan to visit Russia and Mongolia (LR Defender)
About 1300 km from my city in Poland, Ukraine to russian border. This part I know, I was few times in Ukraine.
Although I know Russian people, I know russian language and I'm close to this culture as Polish, but I do nothing about roads, time of driving and possible distance to drive a day.
I have 30-35 days to drive about 12000km (2 ways in Russia) and about 2800 km in Mongolia.
How many km I can drive in Russia a day, how many in Mongolia? Is it possible to do it in 30 days?

Thanks for help

Bartosz
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  #2  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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Impossible.

You could do Poland to the western Mongolian border in maybe 12 days, if you were fast and drove every day. That would give you 6 days in Mongolia, which is not enough to see anything. I met a Ukrainian biker practicing for the Paris Dakar on a KTM 950, who was riding FAST and did it in 9 days from Kiev to the western border with Mongolia.

How far you can drives depends on how fast you drive, and how long you drive.

From Poland to the Monglian border is all good asphalt, Mongolia has some asphalt but it's days and days away from the western border.

Better change your plan... I suggest going to the Caucasus in Russia, or driving down to Turkey / Georgia if you want some adventure closer to home. You might get a chance to stop somewhere for a day and see something too, if you don't object t that

Daniel
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  #3  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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The Ukraine and Russia police will be everywhere. Most have radar and watch the center white line for anyone crossing it to pass slower truck traffic. The speed limits are 60, 70 and 80KPH Max so good luck riding those speeds and getting Mongolia fast.
Last year I was stopped at least twice a day for 30-60 minutes each time because the police wanted to check my papers and practice their english Ha. Cost me $100usd in fines the first few days trying to ride fast.
The roads are paved but dangerous. I couldn't take my eye's off the road, the pot holes, ruts and spots of gravel and debris will pop up when your thinking WHAT A GREAT ROAD then it turns to S__T.
Don't forget the on-coming traffic will pass using your lane, they expect you to move over so they can squeeze between the car they are passing and you. Ha Ha Ha you will S__t the first couple times it happens to you but after a while you just expect the dumbasses to do it everytime.
Good Luck. Be safe, take a lot of 5, 10 and 20 US dollar bills for the police, they don't like Euros or Pounds.
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  #4  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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Thanks Daniel
Indeed I have about 6000 km to western border of Mongolia.
As I looked in my diares from travels usually I drive average 400-600 km a day. During my last Iran, Armenia and Georgia travel I drove 14 536 km in 24 days. We have time for visiting many places, staying sometimes in interest place for 2 days, but there are excelent roads. My last travel in Maroco was also fast 11000km in 19 days, but we drive a long distances in Europe.
I know that Russia is very interesting country, but I also know that we have to drive througt long taiga forests which are beautiful and boring.
I think that 6000 km I can do in 10 -12 days, next 14 days for drive from Kyahta to Poland. So left 4 days is not enought for distance 2800 km in Mongolia.
Tell me if 9 days (300 km a day) is possible? It will be 35 days.

Thanks Kestrel
We are more accustom to russian kind of driving. I'm 38 and I perfectly remember no rules on roads in Poland and Ukraine in early '90. Yes it was russian rulete.
Now many things change. Calm trafic, not many stupid and drunk drivers.
But for many nationalites we are creazy drivers.

Bartosz
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  #5  
Old 22 Feb 2011
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Hello,

I rode last year from Finland through Estonia, southern russia, southern Kazakstan to Mongolia and then from Lake Baikal back to Finland. I think from Lake Baikal to Finland border is quite close to 6000 km?

When i was coming back it took from me 6 or 7 days (I dont remember correctly). I rode long days but i was driving roughly 90-100 km per hour.

Totally we were riding something like 40 days and during that time we were stopped by the police total 3 times. Twice it was in those traffic police checkpoints. Then police didnt ask nor we pay them anything.

When i was riding back i broke turning rule as i turned over white line when i left petrol station. Milis was filming everything there with videocam and they also stopped russian car drivers there. Milis was asking from me 150 euros or 1500 usd. I refused to pay anything and as they realised i wont pay them any bribes they told me to leave. This was in Russia.

I dont know how it is in Ukraina and i was riding with motorcycle so perhaps milis was thinking that i am russian. I dont know but my own personal experience says that those stories of money asking and constantly harassing policemen are overexcaggerated. Road condition was also reasonably good in main highway going though country so you can drive there quite safely driving same speed what other traffic is driving. Just make sure that you follow speed limit when your driving in village and city as there is 60 km/h speed limit. On the road russian drivers tend to warn about policecars and radars by flashing lights. I dont think driving style is very different than what it is in Poland. Just make sure you keep watching your mirror and be ready to give some space if someone is going to pass you. On the other hand you will find out that people tend to give you space when you are passing them.

If i would be going from Poland i would estimate that it takes perhaps 10 days to drive to Mongolia, 10 days in Mongolia and 10 days back so to answer your first question. Yes, driving to Mongolia and back in 30 days is very much possible to do from Poland.

Sami
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  #6  
Old 23 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartosz View Post
But for many nationalites we are creazy drivers.

Bartosz

Don't worry for this, Bartosz, because when in 2009 I rode from Krakow to Lithuania crossing the entire Poland, I felt more respected as motorcycle rider and I was more relaxed while riding in your Country than in mine (Italy).

Good luck for your trip, it's also my dream to go and return from Mongolia in 30 days in the future (the maximum I may get from my boss at work), so I am reading your and the other HUbbers' replies with interest.
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Old 23 Feb 2011
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Thanks Sami and Knight of the Holy Graal

I belive that 30 days is possible. As I remember my all car travels I did during 20 years everything is possible. Many times we drove 1500 even 2000 km a day in Europe to save time for intersting places in another countries.
Of course it is long distance and we will have next 5 days for reserve.
I always do detail journal of my travels with kilometers, times and places we visit. I can send you for helping to prepare own trip. In abuot 1-2 months journals will be available on my new travel www.

Bartosz
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Old 24 Feb 2011
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Hi Bartosz,

I plan to be crossing Latvia to Russia border around 13th June, heading for Kaz and on to Mongolia. I'm not one for stopping and smelling the roses so will keep an eye on this thread as your time frame seems even shorter than mine. I plan about 4 weeks to UB one way.
Let us know your departure date - maybe our paths will cross. Best of luck.

Chris
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  #9  
Old 24 Feb 2011
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Hi Chris
30 days one way is really very much time.
I plan driving only Russia and enter Mongolia in Tashanta-Tsaganur.
Then heading for UB and then north to Bajkal Lake and back.
If everything will be ok I will start from Poland about 8 july.
Let's keep in touch.

Bartosz
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  #10  
Old 24 Feb 2011
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You can make it. 1000 km a day is nothing special. But it means about 18 hrs driving daily. I suggest not to waiste time och Ufa - Chelyabisk section. Start to Ukraine, then Kiev, Saratov and enter to Asia below Ural mountais. It can save time.
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