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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 30 Jun 2012
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Russia in 30 days, Where to go

I orginally intentended to travel to Vladivostok passing thru Kazakstan and Mongolia this summer but due to not applying early enough for a multiple entry business visa in Ireland I had to settle for 2 entry 30 day tourist visa.
My daughter insists I must see Saint Petersburg and Moscow and while the sights will be fantastic I am worried about the costs and where to stay with the bike. Any advice gratefully received.
I am now thinking of heading south possibly to Kazakstan but not sure if enough time or on to Georgia, Armenia and Turkey and back thru Greece and the Balkans?
Any advice or suggestions would be great
Time is not too much of an issue as I am semi retired and want to travel as much as I can while I can.
Russian visa starts 15 July
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  #2  
Old 30 Jun 2012
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Definitely do St Petersburg, Moscow is nice enough and consider Suzdal and the "Golden Ring" towns. I also liked Kazan, friendly and laid back.

Umm Kazakstan is a really big place and lots open flat space with not much to see until to either get to the Caspian, Alamty or near the Chinese border. If that is you kind of thing (it is mine and even I got sick of it) then go for it otherwise I wouldn't bother. I also found their cops to be be worst I encountered in Central Asia, despite being really well paid ($2000/month).
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  #3  
Old 30 Jun 2012
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All the following is from trips in 1996 and 98. Next to no tourists and still quite 'Soviet'. All different now I think.

I second the suggestion of Suzdal and the Golden Triangle. And of course St Pete and Moscow.

For those 2 trips we arranged accomodation with Alexei Kostarev and his homestay service, here:
Budget Russian homestays, apartments, visas, hotels, services in 60 cities -- www.HOFA.ru

It wasn't cheap in those days and may be more expensive now.
If you use his homestay service you'll have secure space for your bike. And the families are so knowledgeable and hospitable that just the triangle and Moscow/St Pete will take up a lot of your month.

One year we stayed at Alexei's place in St Pete, the next visit at his son's place also in St Pete.

It depends what you want to do, but we found lots to keep us in those places for quite a while.
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  #4  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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I just checked out that home stay link, crikey that is expensive, not for a biker on a budget, they are asking 300euros a day!

It would have been a good idea though, but I think I will have to stick to a hotel
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  #5  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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Hey Richard, there are two backpackers in Moscow you can stay with for like $25 a night (that was in 2008). You can park your bike in the carparking area where everyone parks their bikes. Its not 100% safe but its pretty safe. I was happy to leave my bike there.

The other option would to to try and contact a bikers club to stay with .... Otherwise the cheap places to stay are actually truck stops. Ranging from $2 to $20 per night.

Um... Mongolia is worth a visit... Irkutsk in Russia - I loved that too...

Maybe you need to muck around for a bit for the winter and try again for next summer?? lol
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  #6  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
I just checked out that home stay link, crikey that is expensive, not for a biker on a budget, they are asking 300euros a day!

It would have been a good idea though, but I think I will have to stick to a hotel
That's quite a price hike! Will be careful about posting that suggestion again.
But we had some fascinating experiences staying with Russian and Ukrainian families.
One springs to mind. On another trip on my own in 1999 they put me up in Tallinn.
When I arrived I found I was staying with a retired professor of French language who spoke no English!
So my French got a real polishing-up over the 2 or 3 days I was there - she was a good teacher.
She spoke 6 languages - Russian Ukrainian Estonian German Polish French.
So I asked why she never learnt English. "It's such a hard language," she said (in French). "The hardest in the world!"
There y' go!
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  #7  
Old 15 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximondo View Post
Hey Richard, there are two backpackers in Moscow you can stay with for like $25 a night (that was in 2008). You can park your bike in the carparking area where everyone parks their bikes. Its not 100% safe but its pretty safe. I was happy to leave my bike there.

The other option would to to try and contact a bikers club to stay with .... Otherwise the cheap places to stay are actually truck stops. Ranging from $2 to $20 per night.

Um... Mongolia is worth a visit... Irkutsk in Russia - I loved that too...

Maybe you need to muck around for a bit for the winter and try again for next summer?? lol
Hi Danielle, do you have any contact details for Moscow, or are you talking about youth hostels? I guess I will do some research now I have a day off(pissing down with rain)

I am staying at a truck stop right now, cheap and not that bad

I will check out some bikers clubs as well

I am not sure about the winter/summer comment, but anyway I have no option, 15 days of my Russian visa left, so then it is Kazakstan

Cheers from Russia
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  #8  
Old 16 Jul 2012
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Hi Strom,

Last year in Moscow I stayed at Godzilla's which is one of the bigger/better known hostels. Good, clean, 20 minutes walk from Red Square, cheap, friendly staff and recommended. There is no car park as such, but you can park on the quiet street literally outside the front door and they have a CCTV camera from the office trained on the bike. Also on the other side of the street is a police compound. My bike spent 4 days like that with no problems.



(Godzilla's also have a hostel at Suzdal which is about 4-5 hours south east of Moscow - this is a highly recommended stop. The town is part of the "Golden Ring" and has an amazing collection of churches and monastories and whilst a tourist mecca is really quiet clean and pleasant; the hostel is purpose built down a lane, by a river and is much better than any other hostel I've stayed in - parking, whilst not fenced, is private and very low risk due to the location.)

Enjoy Russia
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  #9  
Old 16 Jul 2012
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+1 for Godzilla's Suzdal.
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Old 17 Jul 2012
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Thanks for the info chaps, noted, I will be heading down to Moscow for the weekend

The other one I heard of was A La Russe Hostel(5 mins from Kremlin), so one of the two will do me

Hmm, just checked, Godzillas is booked out so I cannot go there anyway

Cheers
TS
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  #11  
Old 17 Jul 2012
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Hostel Napoleon, Moscow

Although well established, I have just been made aware of another hostel in Moscow, additional to Godzilla and Chocolate.
About Us :: Hostel NAPOLEON

It has a 6 bed female only room and several 8 and 10 bed mixed rooms.


This one is in Kitai Gorod which is THE bars, bistros and night places area of Moscow.
Ask Motoreiter - he lives there (Kitai Gorod - not the Hostel !!).

5 minutes walk from Red Square/Kremlin/river.

I know nothing of comparative prices but at 19Euro or less per bed/night in summer it seems amazingly reasonable for Russia, let alone Moscow and this is the very centre of Moscow. We certainly paid more at some remote and rough places along the BAM.
They will do deals for longer stays.

They offer Visa support and deal with tourist Registrations.

Someone I know stayed there a while back and was impressed - except for the lack of elevator to their rooms on the 4th floor.

See Part 2...
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  #12  
Old 17 Jul 2012
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Part 2

For some reason HUBB will not post all I wrote on one post - so here is the rest :-

I might be able to work a further discount for friends I know via HUBB - but it will cost them a or five in nearby bars like -

[url=http://theinternationalpotatoe.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/bourbon-street-naked-girls-and-live-bands/]Bourbon Street – naked girls and live bands
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  #13  
Old 17 Jul 2012
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Take 3..

Still HUBB not accepting my post.

[url=http://theinternationalpotatoe.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/bourbon-street-naked-girls-and-live-bands/]Bourbon Street – naked girls and live bands
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  #14  
Old 17 Jul 2012
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This is ridiculous

This link is to a 'normal' bar in the area-
[url=http://theinternationalpotatoe.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/bourbon-street-naked-girls-and-live-bands/]Bourbon Street – naked girls and live bands
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  #15  
Old 17 Jul 2012
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MODERATORS

Why will this not accept my Cut'n'Paste links and the rest of my post with offers of discounts to HUBB friends?

I am beginning to feel it is just not worth offering to get involved.
As ever nothing in it for me - except frustration in trying to give advice and tips on Russia!
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