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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 27 Jan 2008
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Road conditions in Siberia

Hi all

Currently I am in SE Asia with my Landcruiser and contemplating where to go after this. It will either be shpping the car from Bangkok back to the UK or to Vladivostok (by far the preferred option) to drive back across Siberia, Mongolia, Russia and the Stans. This would be about March/April/May time BUT I have been hearing worrying stories about the road conditions. Has anyone got any experience of doing this route? Also, what about getting a car into Russia/Mongolia/the Stans? Is it a problem?

Mark
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  #2  
Old 27 Jan 2008
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Ask Charley and Ewan

Have you seen Longway Round ?
Should be a good trip.

Cheers
Ian
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  #3  
Old 27 Jan 2008
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all ok

road conditions are ok for Landcruiser all the way from Vladik to european Russia. no fuel shortage, no gangsters, but you should registrate at every road police station.
there's only one big hazard - it's mostly gravel from Khabarovsk to Chita - big hurt for paint.all vladivostok car traders, going on the road, got all the front of the car covered with several layers of paper guffer tape (i don know exact word for it). and be aware of tire punches - you'll score no less then 5. take spare tires or better couple of assembled wheels. tire repair is in every town. and dust. there are lots of cars on the road - traffik is really big and every overtake must be planned carefully.
detailad plan of this part soon will appear at SmartMoney > àíàëèòè÷åñêèé äåëîâîé åæåíåäåëüíèê if not i get it scanned
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  #4  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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Heading North

Mark,

If you decide to go north through to Vladivostok, have a look at shipping your truck to Seoul, South Korea, drive across the country to Sokcho and catch the Dong Chun Ferry to Zarubino Russia. I am planning a trip across Russia to Europe in 2009 and from all accounts the roads are passable. Don't get the roads confused with the road to Magadan that is real wild territory and bridges washed away etc.

If you would like some info send me a message.

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  #5  
Old 29 Jan 2008
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Vladivostok to Kazakhstan

Hi all,
Got a similar question as Mark - We were planning to cross China to arrive in Central Asia but had to scrap the idea - too many hassles. Now planning to take car ferry from S Korea to Vladivostok end Feb. Anyone know how the roads are on this route: Vladivostok, Tchita, Oulan Oude, Irkoutsk, Krasnoiarsk, Novossibirsk, Astana?

Moto belka - the gravel road from Vladivostok to Tchita is accessible year round?
Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 29 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgranier View Post
Hi all,
the gravel road from Vladivostok to Tchita is accessible year round?
winter even better - smoother i mean. good for go-over-the-roof adventures ( very often on this road. seriosly speaking it's the only pass from east to west so it's of course open all year no matter what weather. traffic there is always very vivid.
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  #7  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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Hi all

I have pm'd Chris D re shipping car to Seoul and driving across to Sokcho and catching the Dong Chun Ferry to Zarubino Russia. But does anyone have any info on how easy it is with Carnets, paperwork etc to get a car into either S. Korea or Russia?

I also see from Igranier that there's a ferry from S.Korea to Vladivostok - any information re this as well?

Mark
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  #8  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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The ferry that goes from South Korea (Sokcho, on the eastern coast) is indeed Dongchun Ferry. We are checking with them to confirm schedule but it sounds like it leaves Mon and Thursday: Mon ferry goes to Zarubina, Thurs ferry to Zarubina and Vladivostok - I'll confirm this once I know more.

According to a guy named Tobias, who arrived in Vladivostok with his landcruiser this month from Japan and is continuing on to Europe (his website is www.pan.mundo.com), he tells me RE: customs in Vladivostok: "if you need help with customs I would like to recommend Julia Klinova from Discovery Travel Club: Trans-Siberian trips, Vladivostok, Kamchatka, Sakhalin (Julia@vdt.ru) – she is super efficient and getting the car back from customs was easy with her help." Can't say about Korea - the last time we entered about 5 years ago, we had help but still, it wasn't a major headache - we have had much, much worse elsewhere in the world!


ps. thanks motobelka!


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  #9  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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Vladivlostok - Europe ( June 2008 )

lgranier,

i'm a couple of months behind you, planning to arrive in Vladivlostok in June and head west. Besides the un-sealed roads between Chita and Khabarovsk, a. did you encounter other many motorcycles doing the run..??
b. did you have any trouble with the local police..?
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  #10  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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road conditions in Siberia

Hi see this Link, has useful hints all he way through
Practical details on driving through Russia and Mongolia (Feb-2005)
I am married to a russian,info we have is if you get multi entry visa (private) (maybe from a visa company) you register with the OVIR (MVD office where you arrive) and you are free to travel inside Russia until you leave except army bases etc
Should be no problem
now with GPS as Russia has also put up its own system into space
Ignore police when they want bribes, even if you can speak Russian don't its easier to act as the dumb tourist, after time they will leave you and get a russian to extort instead, mention dipolmat, etc all the time!!! they love officialdom
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  #11  
Old 29 Mar 2008
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Hi,

Do you really mean Siberia, or do you really mean Far Eastern Russia.

Siberia stretches from the Baikal to the Urals. It does not include the Far East.

Now that that's out of the way.

I did about 22,000 km last year through Russia.

The main roads in Siberia are fine. They're sealed and in moderately good condition. Of course there are potholes and some gravel sections etc, but it's easy to drive say a Mini or 2wd Toyota Corolla all the way across from Vladivostok to the German border.

Your paint work will get damaged, but that's it.

The 'B' roads vary enormously, from absolutely mint blacktop to sand, mud and deep gravel.

The 'C' roads are OK in some places, but can get very rough in others. It really depends on how much it's been raining. Siberia is very flat and drainage is bad. Deep mud builds very quickly after rain.

The 'winter roads' require winter (when the ground is frozen hard like concrete) or a vehicle with self laying tracks, eg tank, digger etc.

The roads in the east are generally a bit worse. Again the main roads are fine, although they're not necessarily sealed you can still comfortably drive a 2wd Toyota corolla or hiace van across from Ulan-ude to Vladivostok.

The smaller roads can be impassable after rain, so you might get stuck for a few days. We had generally excellent weather though, and the drainage is better in the east. So, although you might get stuck for a few days, you'll get through soon enough. Just carry a few day's food and water at all times and tell someone reliable where you're going if you're really planning to get off the beaten track.

On the motorbike I frequently deliberately took the smaller back roads, because the traffic was lighter and the surface was, on quite a few occasions, much better because the black top hadn't been chewed out by trucks. This was especially true west of the Urals.

In any case it is what you make of it. If you just want to drive on the black top you can (except for a small 1500 km section east of chita which is well maintained gravel) or at the other extreme you can try the winter roads, or you can forget the road all together and just try to drive across the swamp. I wouldn't advise that though unless you have a decent winch and some very good mozzie protection. Russia has something for everyone, then.

Cheers,

Mark
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  #12  
Old 2 Apr 2008
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Ship car to S. Korea

does anyone know what about regulation in S. Korea for shiping a car from USA to drive around the world.
I am planning to drive around the world this summer for charity.
I will be shipping the car to S. Korea and drive to sokcho to take a ferry to Russia.
we have small SUZUKI SX4 car.
could you please tell us the schedule for ferry.days it sails.
arrival date and time
cost of the ferry
what kind of paperwork needed.
Thank you so much.
Best Regards
arun
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  #13  
Old 2 Apr 2008
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You will probably have to ship out of LA by boat to Busan...cheapest and fastest.
Contact Tony P in Seattle...he can arrange it with Wendy C in Seoul...I did the reverse...from Seoul to Seattle.

TonyShan "hat" apexwp "dott" com
WendyChoi2 "hat" yahoo "dott" co "dott" kr

When shipping your stuff, you need to make sure it arrives when its supposed to..sounds simple but rarely is.


HTH

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  #14  
Old 4 Dec 2009
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Friends of mine made the whole route (From Wroclaw, Poland, to Wladiwostok) on old Lada (Russian Fiat 124) 2WD car. No problems.
A few years befor on that car they made the route from Poland to Mongolia.
If you have 4WD it will be easier ;-)
Land Cruiser is very popular in eastern part of Russia. Now more popular are Toyotas, than Ladas :-) Mostly RHD, as they are imported from Japan.
I read a book about a guy, who made such route on old russian UAZ (very simple 4WD, kind of Land Rover Series), on winter! And he was alone. One advice - if you will have anything broken during the night - don't expect, that anyone will stop to help you. Only in daytime.
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