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Hi Lawrence: (hi Chris!) This is the first I've heard of this rally. I know nothing about SSER either. Not much help so far, am I?
What I can tell you is that any paperwork issues will be on the Chinese side. Mongolia does not require a carnet, insurance or any other special paperwork to bring in vehicles.
Given the state of medical care in Mongolia (basically none), I STRONGLY advise getting medical evacuation insurance from SOS International or a comparable organization.
Depending on your nationality you might need a Monoglian visa (Americans do not need one for less than 90 days). I'm not sure about Canadians, but I think they DO need a visa. Visas are easy to get at Mongolian Embassies or Consulates, and do not require special invite letters.
China is the hurdle, as you can see from looking at other posts in this "Asia" section. It is not impossible, but there are many difficulties and lots of paperwork, plus lots of $$ required. Well-organized groups have done it successfully in the past. Independent travelers usually fail, though a few have sneaked in.
So, as long as SSER is a good organization, and you will have to judge that, you should be OK with China, and Mongolia will be easy.
If you are up for adventure, you can then continue on to Russia (also no carnet needed, but you will need a visa), east to Vladivostok and then send your bike home from there. You will need to allow at least another several weeks to do that route. Siberia is huge. Several HU members have done that ride and you can get info on their webpages.
Originally posted by scottw: So, as long as SSER is a good organization, and you will have to judge that, you should be OK with China,
Hey Scott, looks like you spend as much time on the HUBB instead of working as I do! Still too cold in UB to ride, I suppose. A balmy 12 degrees C (above zero!) here in Tokyo!
SSER is a well-know Rally organizer in Japan. The late two-time Paris-Dakar winner Gaston Rahier did some events with them, I think. They organized the "Rally Raid Mongol" but I think the last one was in 2001.
[This message has been edited by Chris in Tokyo (edited 28 February 2005).]
Thanks for your replies. I have had contact with the orgainzers and they are experienced. I e-mail with Team Sugawara, the Dakar rally truck people who will be supporting the rally. I was informed about this rally by the editor of Big Tank magazine in Japan, if I go one reasone will be to write the story for Cycle Canada magazine, the other would be to experience an incredible adventure.
Mainly I'd like your opinion on what I should expect. As example weather, security, return transport from UB, ridng conditions etc.
Originally posted by offoradrider: Mainly I'd like your opinion on what I should expect. As example weather, security, return transport from UB, ridng conditions etc.
Thanks and regards
Weather in August can be quite hot in China and crossing the Gobi. Above 35 C in the middle of the day, though the nights can still be below 15 C. Not much rain in August, perhaps 2-3 days in the month. Rain is usually just for an hour or so, not the whole day.
Security is usually not a problem in China or Mongolia. Very little violent crime, especially against foreigners. If you leave your bike alone in a city you might have something stolen from it, but probably not. In the Mongolian countryside and desert you will have no security problems.
Return shipment from UB can be arranged, though if you plan to ship your bike back to China you should ask for SSER to assist you with the logistics, since they will be familiar with the Chinese formalities and requirements. Air shipment from UB is possible but expensive. Sometimes they charge "hazardous materials" rates for air shipping motorcycles, even if you drain all the fluids. Korean Air flies cargo from UB to Seoul, and from Seoul you can connect to anywhere else in the world.
Riding conditions in southern Mongolia to Ulaanbaatar is all off-road, lots of open desert and steppe. Not very technical riding, but can be tricky if you are trying to go fast. Not very much deep sand, and where there is sand you can ususally ride around. Some river crossings. Usually not too deep, but can be fast moving. If it rains the tracks can be very slippery and muddy, but they dry quickly. Lots of dual-track dirt tracks.
Bring a GPS if you can. Garmin is best for Mongolia. Even on a rally it will be useful.
Let me know if you have any other Mongolia questions.
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