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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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I haven't been everywhere...
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Old 28 Jan 2012
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Solo Russia advice

I’m planning on joining a tour from Latvia to Mongolia this summer. However there is a chance the tour won’t have enough participants and might be cancelled (I’m holding thumb sit will still be OK)
If the tour does not go ahead I will need to do the trip alone (6 months sabbatical signed and sealed so ain’t no way I’m wasting that time)

So my question is, how safe is solo travelling across Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia? No scare mongering please I really only want to hear from people who have done the trip solo or in a group and can give me some first hand advice.

Any advice, tips etc are MOST welcome
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Old 28 Jan 2012
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I have ridden solo in Russia many times - south to the Caucuses, east to Altai/Mongolia border area and from UK, via Latvia & Estonia to/around Moscow & St Peter. That was always solo but also in company with at least one other, onwards from Altai to the Asian Arctic Circle in Yakutia and to the Pacific Ocean in 3 places.

I have never lost anything and never felt threatened (other than by Moscow driving!).

Assuming you mean personal security, Russia is as safe as most of Western Europe - possibly more so.
Take the usual precautions and maintain awareness as you would elsewhere.

Larger towns/cities increase the risks from those attracted there by greater comparative wealth.
In rural areas you will meet the most helpful, interested, warm and generous people in the World.

Someone said of them "Those who have nothing give the most."

If camping, depending on the season, get Tick Borne Encephalitis innoculations.

Learn the Cyrillic alphabet - at least. Preferably simple phrases too.

As you are taking 6 months off, be aware of the 90/180 days Visa rule.
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Old 28 Jan 2012
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i have also travelled there (Russia and Mongolia) solo many times, completely without incident. Nor have i felt any heightened sense of risk. Mongolia is less friendly or less open to foreigners than the Russians are, who are often overwhelming in their friendliness and willingness to help. Its not that Mongolia is unfriendly in any way just not as open as the Russian. The Mongolians are a bit more reserved and a drunk Mongolian is something to be wary of.

In general, I do not feel its any more risky than western europe apart from the driving habits.
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Old 29 Jan 2012
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I wanted to make sure that every understands, as per your other thread, that you are female, because it makes some difference.

I too have traveled extensively by myself in Russia with absolutely no problem, and expect that it will be the same for you. The vast majority of Russians are extraordinarily kind and helpful, but like everywhere else there are some people that should simply be avoided. The key to traveling in Russia, just like everywhere else, is your ability to distinguish between them.

In any event, you are almost certain to encounter some drunk Russians during your travels and would be well-advised to avoid them to the extent possible. Not that all of them are dangerous, but best-case, drunk Russians can get really sentimental and you might not want the attention.

I guess this is all just common sense, and I don't mean to be patronizing, but I just want to be sure you take appropriate precautions and in general go in without any rose-tinted spectacles.
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Old 29 Jan 2012
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I rode Russia solo three times (+ 1 time in Kazakhstan) and found only welcoming people, always disposed to help and assist.
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
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Old 30 Jan 2012
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Hi me and my friend rob will be traveling through Latvia to russia and down to dagastan in early june, this would be my 3rd time in russia, possible you could travel with us for a few days till you get the feel of the place (pm,,me)


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Old 30 Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
a drunk Mongolian is something to be wary of.
If two, watch out for flying bottles/objects. An angry Mongolian is a interesting thing to see as long as you're behind the bars of a white shark proof cage.

Apologies for the joke, do not intend to mislead: they are nice and friendly... but good to avoid when drunk, as anywhere else. It's not by chance they conquered the world.
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