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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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Old 3 Jun 2012
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UK to Mongolia and back.

At last we're thinking about another trip, this time UK to Mongolia and back, again 2-up by bike. I like the sound of the direct route through Russia as suggested by someone else in another thread for ease of travel although would not rule out any interesting diversions! At the moment, though, I'd be interested to know what is the best time of the year for such a trip weather wise. I'm thinking of between April and September and possibly extending through Scandinavia and including Tallin and St Petersburg.

Any other relevant info/advice/suggestions would also be welcome.
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Old 3 Jun 2012
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april to Sept would be about the right time to be in Mongolia.

If you have ever dreamed of riding your bike for days / weeks without a patch of tarmac insight then Mongolia is the place to go. I loved it
Compass expeditions adventure motorcycle tours
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Old 3 Jun 2012
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Hi Greynomads,

We are doing this sort of trip at the moment 2 up.

Left the UK at the end of April rode straight to Stockholm and caught the Ferry to St Petersburg arriving right at the end of April. Weather was okay but decided against Norway as it was too cold.

Since then we have been to Moscow, Suzdal, Kazan, Samara, crossed to KZ, Uralsk, Aktobe, Almaty (via Astana), crossed to UZ, Tashkent, Samarquand, crossed to TJ, Dushanbe. So that has taken about 5 weeks, with plenty of rest days.

From there we are doing the Pamir, back into KZ, Barnaul for new tires and a service. Mongolia, probably Lake Bykal and then a beeline for Vladivostok to catch the Ferry to South Korea.

We are 2 up on a KTM950.

I should add that in hindsight I wish I had gone down to Aqtau and of entered UZ from the west, UZ was so much different than what I expected. Everyone was really nice, went out of their way to make us feel welcome and helped us when we needed it. Even the UZ cops, who dont have the best reputation were fantastic, when they eventually did stop us at a check point (waved us through most of the time) they checked what they needed and then asked a pile of questions about our trip.

I would loved to have spent time just cruising around and stoping at the small towns, drinking tea and eating fresh food, especially in the Southern part of the country. My wife went into the markets in Denov (Denau) and had a blast. So I would definitely consider adding this to any trip across there, maybe your return leg.
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Old 4 Jun 2012
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Hi Greynomads,

I'd agree Mongolia up to end of September is good - though as ever what type of year we have makes a difference. Last year after leaving Russia in late October for estonia it was still (just) warm enough for me to cruise around Scandanavia for a month. My trip described in the blog link below was roughly the reverse of most of yours so it might give you some ideas - my best advice though is not too worry too much about the big cities but go to as many small places as possible to get the best possible chances of meeting and talking with locals. Happy planning and have a good trip.

planning to get back on the road again

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Old 6 Jun 2012
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Thanks guys for the replies so far - all very useful stuff. Anybody got any info on visas?
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Old 6 Jun 2012
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We got our Russian visa in Australia (LOI required) before leaving Oz, the Stans in London.

Uzbek will require a LOI.
Kazakh a 3 day hotel booking and a letter.
Tadjik a hotel booking and letter.
Kyrgyz just the application.

Mongolia in Alamty.

Note the requirements for UK citizens could be different.

This what I had to do as an Australian.
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