Can I visit (or pass through) Altai without my invitation stating Altai?
I am on the boat from Sweden to Finland. I have just started my roundtrip to Mongolia through Russia.
The plan is to drive to Novosibisrsk and then enter Mongolia at the western end (near Ulgii). Today I discoverewd that acording to the LP guide book one has to mention Altai (Aktasch or Kosh-Agach) as a destination in the invitation.
Well I didn't think of that when I applied for the visa through an travel agency, so does that mean I'll have trouble? or is there some way around it?
On my way to Mongolia I just want to pass altai as fast as I can, but on the way back I want to stay 3-4 days for the solar ecplise.
Tomorrow I'll phone my travel agency and see if they can help me out. If everything go as planned I'll be in altai in 5-6 days, so we'll see if anything can be done in a few days...
It would be very nice to hear if someone else have had any similar problems...is it possible to get though without it? What kind of problems am I facing?
If there'll be lots of problems I'll just head to UB via Ula-Ude, but I rather not.
I'll be on the road for the next days and won't have access to internet on a regular basis, but will try to check the replys before I get to altai...
Thanks in advance!
I made a spontaneous detour to Altai region in 2005 on my way to Vladivostok. I tried to register in the capital and was told by the official that I would stay illegally in the region, because I had no letter of invitation mentioning Altai region.
He refused to register me for that reason and told me while it was ok to explore the north, I should not venture too far towards Mongolia, because, if caught by the border police, I would be in serious trouble.
Did not try to get to the border, so I cannot tell if that would have been true.
The Altai isssue is for a border crossing from North Eastern Kazakhstan into Russia directly via the Altai mountains...its a remote border crossing and you need special permission.
If you're coming form Novosibirsk, via Barnaul down to the Tashanta entry point into Mongolia, you won't need any special permission. Tashanta is the Western entry point into Mongolia for foreigners
and leads to Olgii.
Hope that helps.
Thanks both of you. That helps a lot.
It's the tashanta border I am planning to cross (didn't know the name when I posted before). On the way there I'll just pass thru as quickly as possible, but on my way back I want to drop by a solar ecplise festival that's located 390 km from barnaul. They haven't posted the exact location yet, but I figure its just south of the Altai capital.
I'll ring my travel agancy and see if they can arrange the permit just in case for my visit to the festival. If not possible I'll just visit there (illegal or not).
Now i can get off the boat and pickup some wheel bearings for my van (found out yesterday that they are in bad condition :-( Then I'll head to st:petersburg :-)
Yes you did :-)
That's why I check them up. Fortunatly they only needed to be tightened said Mitsubishi in Helsinki...we'll see how that works out :-)
Anyway..I am in Vladimir now 180 km east of Moscow. I am trying to get my visa registred but the hotells are fully booked and they can't do it even if I pay. Love this Russian buraucrazy (or how you spell it)...it's crazy anyway.
Got my welcoming ceremony in st:petersburg from the cops...they wanted to charge me 300 rubels for making a u-turn over a white line. I just played dumb an they soon got tired of me and riped the ticket and let me off :-)
I also talked to my travel agancy about Altai and they made some research and said it shouldn't be a problem. We''ll see about that :-)
Got to keep on going east. Don't want to spend to much time in Russia in my van. I rather spend it in Mongolia on my bike :-)
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