Overland Route: Kazakhstan - Mongolia

The Silk Road by train. Experts: Milad, Provodnik
JonasLuminas
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Re: Overland Route: Kazakhstan - Mongolia

Post by JonasLuminas »

Hey,
I'm planning to do the same trip - Kazakhstan to Mongolia with a Russian transit visa.
I was wondering if it's possible to buy a train ticket for the visa application, later cancel it (will i get most of the money back?) and then cross Russia on my own by hitchhiking (Or optionally fake a train ticket just for the sake of getting the transit visa).

Do the border guards actually check the train ticket?
Can I book a big detour train route in order to get a longer transit visa (10 days)?
Has anyone done something similar here?

Lots of questions, I hope you guys can help me ;)
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steven
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Re: Overland Route: Kazakhstan - Mongolia

Post by steven »

see http://caravanistan.com/visa/russia/

and http://caravanistan.com/transport/train/kazakhstan/

Border guards do not check train tickets. They check visas.
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JonasLuminas
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Re: Overland Route: Kazakhstan - Mongolia

Post by JonasLuminas »

Thanks for the answer Steven.
I checked your articles on the Russian visa and public transport from Kazakhstan to Mongolia already, but they didn't answer my questions , so i decided to ask here :)

So if they don't check the train tickets at the border, I can just hitchhike (or whatever I want) with the transit visa, nice.
And the length of the transit visa depends on the route - so will I have problems at the visa application if I don't choose the shortest way?
I would rather make a big detour to get more days but don't know if that's possible.

And yeah about booking the tickets and then cancelling it after I got the visa - is it worth it? I mean, how much money will I get back?
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steven
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Re: Overland Route: Kazakhstan - Mongolia

Post by steven »

Hi Jonas, on either of these questions, I don't know. Please let us know if you find out!
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Crazydre
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Re: Overland Route: Kazakhstan - Mongolia

Post by Crazydre »

JonasLuminas wrote: And the length of the transit visa depends on the route - so will I have problems at the visa application if I don't choose the shortest way?
I would rather make a big detour to get more days but don't know if that's possible.
In practice, if it isn't obvious you're taking a detour on purpose, i.e. you're playing the system, you'll be fine. They realise travel planning in this region isn't exactly easy for Western tourists.
JonasLuminas wrote:And yeah about booking the tickets and then cancelling it after I got the visa - is it worth it? I mean, how much money will I get back?
If booking online at the RZD Website (Russian Railways), you'll get a full refund minus a charge of 185.40 rubles (less than 3 euros)
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JonasLuminas
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Re: Overland Route: Kazakhstan - Mongolia

Post by JonasLuminas »

long ago, but thanks for the answer!

finally, i just told the guys at the russian embassy that i would drive my own vehicle.
my supposed to be route was: astana - omsk - novosibirsk - krasnoyarsk - ulan-ude - ulaanbaatar.
just by the amount of kilometers divided by 500, it would be less than 10 days, but i kindly requested a few resting and buffer days for emergencies, like repairing the car, etc.
I was given 10 days eventually, without questions about the vehicle. this is interesting, because the russian embassy in mongolia wants to see car documents such as driving license, plate number, vehicle type and so on. in kazakhstan, none of this was needed, i only had to present a route.

i crossed the border at semey by hitchhiking. i had to give an interview there. not because of the non existing vehicle, but because of turkey and iran visas. when they understood that i'm not a terrorist but a traveler, they wanted to see some pics of my visits to these countries and were very interested in my stories. basic russian helps! finally, they wished me good luck with hitchhiking and i continued my way to mongolia.
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