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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 16 May 2008
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Safety Russia?

Sorry I don't have time or oppurtunity to read the archives

We will be driving a 4x4 soon from Estonia to St Petersburg then on to Finland.

We would also like to visit moscow from ST, P and return to carry on to Finland
What sort of roads, checkpoints, hassle etc. can we expect.

Is it generally safe?
Where can we camp (we sleep in the car)? Petrolstations? Bush? etc

Tnx
Ian
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  #2  
Old 16 May 2008
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All roads to Narva (Estonia) are as good as anywhere in the EU.

Once in Russia, from Narva to StPeter and then to Moscow are generally good with some potholes and deformed sections but improve the nearer you are to big cities.

From StP to Mosc avoid the marked "new" road by-passing Novgorod to the east. It was less than half built when the money ran out. One carriageway graded but hardly surfaced, taking both directions of traffic. The other carriageway virtually non existant - good for off-road practice except it's not open! Far more comfortable going through the town, and probably quicker too, as all the lorries crawl along the by-pass. Unless things have changed since last July, that is.

Apart from Borders, Roads Police spotchecks occur from time to time - generally documents checks. No hassel if your docs are in order. You are on your way within a couple of minutes. Expect to be stopped on average once every few hundred miles on main roads/entry to big cities. Its a game of chance - having foreign front number plates will attract more attention than usual, as you are more interesting that the beaten up old Ladas held together with duct tape!

Radar speed checks often in villages along main roads - note the town name signs, which indicate an automatic speed linit. Often these extend a long way either side of the built up areas. Oncoming drivers often helpfully warn of radar checks by flashing lights. But if not, the going rate for bribes is about 500 rouble ($20 - £10)

No experience of camping. Should be OK in those parts off the main roads and out of sight. But what do I know....
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Old 17 May 2008
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Thanks for the useful info.

Our visa cost us so much in the end that we want to make the most of it and visit Moscow while we are in the area.

Although we have heared that getting a visa outside own country can be a problem it was real easy in Vilnius, Lithouania. They didn't however accept our insurance as it is in Dutch . We got a 'new' insurance across the road for 15 us for 14 days

After travelling almost 70000 km around Africa, Arabia and Europe I shouldn't sound like a novice but

Do I need to use th Carnet for Russia and will I have to buy compulsory insurance at the border?

Grtz

Ian
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Old 17 May 2008
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no carnet for russia and yes I am pretty sure you get the insurance at the border
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  #5  
Old 22 May 2008
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[quote=Tony P;189780]

Radar speed checks often in villages along main roads - note the town name signs, which indicate an automatic speed linit. Often these extend a long way either side of the built up areas. quote]

Thanks for the tip...also heard something about town names indicating change of speed limits...
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Old 22 May 2008
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Russia - Insurance

Russian authorities (border, police etc) only accept Insurance issued by a Russian Company. They do not recognise anything else, even if you are fully covered with Insurance bought elsewhere.

You can buy Russian Insurance just before the borders at Travel Agencies. I went to the Tourist Office in Narva to ask and they gave me a list of 20+ places where I could buy it, all within the town.

For up to 3 months on a bike last year this cost me 725EEK (about GB£32 or US$60). But this is only the very minimum legal "Roads Insurance" liability and does not cover your own vehicle in any way. That is what you get at home on your Green Card.

The resulting Russian Insurance Certificate is valid for multi-entries up to the expiry date - anywhere in Russia including Kalliningrad..

Carnet not required for Russia.
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Old 22 May 2008
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Thanks for the info

Do you know if there is a minimum validity that can be bought?
We will only be there for about 10 days. Buying a 3 month insurance will be very costly.


regards

Ian
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Old 22 May 2008
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Ian

I think it was by the month with 1 month as a minimum.

But I am not certain on that - although I planned to be there for about 2 months I bought 3 months to be safe in case I was delayed for any reason.
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