Bulgan - Takashiken border (Mongolia - China)

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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steven
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Re: bulgan/tashiken

Post by steven »

Please read and post reports on the Bulgan - Tashiken border crossing between Mongolia and China below.

We summarize all info on the Mongolia border crossings page.
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TonyBustamante
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Bulgan - Takashiken border (Mongolia - China)

Post by TonyBustamante »

just crossed this border from hovd to xinjiang and i just want to note, that the entire road between hovd and the border is not yet entirely paved although the chinese are in cooperation of asphalting the whole thing. non stop, it takes 6 hours from hovd to the border, and not 12 as it is stated on other websites, for now. the pavement is random on the way, although it will stand more than the regular gravel and dirt road. the price from hovd direct to the border in the morning is 40,000 tugrugs and the evening one is 35,000 with overnight in bulgan.
from bulgan to the border is just 30 minutes. if hitchhiking, patience is needed, just as the rest of mongolia. the scenery is beautiful. you pass through the altai mountain range and you can see the high peaks of mongolia. beware of mosquitos, specially khar us nuur and bulgan, they are really bad ass! they will eat you up!

border is fine. chinese side, they empty your bag and check your camera or phone for any "sensitive photos". border guards are nice.

Tony with chilean passport. :D
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steven
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Re: bulgan/tashiken

Post by steven »

hank you Tony, enjoying your updates, some good stuff from little known places. Looking forward to more of the Silk Road through a Chilean lens :-)
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jurekjerem
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Re: bulgan/tashiken

Post by jurekjerem »

I crossed the border from Takeshiken to Bulgan in the middle of August, 2015.

I hitchhiked from Urumqi (which was fairly easy) and on the next day went to the border. As I was leaving China, no-one checked any devices of mine. The Mongolian border building has a few banks in the basement (unmarked, you have to ask) where you can exchange your currency (they have different rates, so check them all first). Generally, crossing the border was as at any other border in the world - queuing a little, getting a stamp, maybe getting luggage x-rayed, that's all. Some staff speaks English or Russian (that's how we found out about the banks basement, toilet's location remains a mystery though).

The transport from the border to Bulgan still costs 5,000 Tughrik, no-one was trying to give me a higher price. I met a traveller on the border who said he would hitchhike to Tashanta and I never so him again, as he seemed very determined, I think he made it. The road to Khovd was still only partly paved, I don't know about public transport as I went with a family met in Bulgan (they charged me a little less than a minibus would, and the journey was much more comfortable).

Generally, I haven't seen the infamous 5-person soviet jeeps packed with 15 people, just the kind of micro-buses that take ~12 people and everyone has their more or less comfortable seat. (They have some special name for them, I'll update the post when I remember it, than you can make sure the car is gonna take you is of this type.) Be aware that it might take half the day waiting for the planned departure and then another 3-5 hours of waiting in the car and maybe driving around town, picking stuff (experience from travelling between Khovd and Olgii).

I think hitchhiking should be possible, especially in late August when children are going to schools, students to universities, tourists from neighbouring countries are travelling back home and many people are moving their yurts for the winter. If you're staying with a family (someone will surely invite you home) and you have a language barrier, they will most probably order a car for you even if you try to explain that you'll hitchhike.
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jurekjerem
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Re: bulgan/tashiken

Post by jurekjerem »

I wrote (much) more on our trip last August with detailed description of crossing Bulgan/Takeshiken and Tsagaannuur/Tashanta border crossings. Have a look here:

http://dropthetension.com/western-mongo ... cal-guide/
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Miczi
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Re: bulgan/tashiken

Post by Miczi »

Hey guys, any fresh information on Bulgan/Takashiken? It seems this crossing is extremely unpopular and It's hard to find any fresh information on the Internet. I will be crossing it from Mongolia in August. Anyone did it recently? How did it go? Did you manage to hitchhike through it? Of course I have a valid Chinese visa :)
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puravida
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Re:takeshiken/bulgan

Post by puravida »

Hi guys!
We are about to cross the Takeshiken/Bulgan border from China into Mongolia. We'll let you know asap how is it. Till now that was:
We took a sleeping bus from Urumqi to Qinghe (a small town 150km from Takeshiken). There are two buses everyday at 11am and 8.20 pm. It takes 8h, but for the night bus it takes more than 11h (it stops driving from 2am to 5am, regulation). We arrived at Qinghe with the latter around 8.30am. It costs 160 rmb.
From Qinghe there are several minivans to Takeshiken waiting at the bus station, people seems very few. It costs 26 rmb and takes more than 90 mins. Then there are 15km more to reach the border, should be a 15 rmb cab.
We've been told the border opening days and hours:
opened Monday to Friday 10am-1.30pm (lunch break), then 4pm-7.30pm.
We'll let you know!

Niko&Nathy
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bwv812
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Re: Re:takeshiken/bulgan

Post by bwv812 »

puravida wrote: We've been told the border opening days and hours:
opened Monday to Friday 10am-1.30pm (lunch break), then 4pm-7.30pm.
Beijing time, I'm assuming.
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puravida
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Re: Re:takeshiken/bulgan

Post by puravida »

bwv812 wrote:
puravida wrote: We've been told the border opening days and hours:
opened Monday to Friday 10am-1.30pm (lunch break), then 4pm-7.30pm.
Beijing time, I'm assuming.
Of course, Beijing time. So that when you cross the border in summer you don't change the time (GMT +8).


I confirm what written above, with some clarification:
minivan (packed with only local Kazaks) from Qinghe to Takeshiken, it takes about 100mins because of deviations to villages on the road, costs 26rmb. In the little border town there are at least one hotel with good wifi and few restaurants.
Cab from takeshiken to the border is 15rmb and it takes 10mins.

Official border working hours: mon-fri 10.30-13.45 and 15.30-18.45.
Crossing the border is easy and quick, chinese guards are nice (they invited us to sit down in a living room to rest while waiting the queue to be gone). Mongolian side a bit slower but ok. Then you have the famous banks in the basement. I advise you to cross the border not as late as us (4.30 afternoon) because they have electricity problems in the building (or only in the basement?). We had to wait almost one hour to be able to change money, after several cutoffs (didn't understand bank closing hour, nobody speaks english).
There are two banks: Tоорин банк and Хаан банк. As of 28/7 the first has better exchange rates for dollars (1 $ = 2.059 mnt; 1 rmb = 306 mnt) and the second better rates for renminbi (1 rmb = 308,6 mnt; 1$ = 2.054 mnt).

Then we found a ride to Bulgan (45km paved road, 13000 mnt for 2pax). From there we went straight to Khovd with a couple who was going there by jeep and found us (400km paved and for little parts unpaved road, about 6h, 50000 mnt for 2pax). Next step was the infamous Soviet van UAZ-452 from Khovd to (Bayan) Olgii, 10 seats but 12 people and 3 kids on board (220km almost all unpaved, 5h, 40.000mnt for 2pax, 30.000mnt for 1pax). We had four hours delay because the van broke down. Then we went by hitchhiking from Olgii to Ulaan Bataar, but that's another story (and post)!

Niko&Nathy
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Fiestje
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Re: bulgan/tashiken

Post by Fiestje »

We crossed the border from Takashiken to Bulgan by bicycle a few days ago.

In Takashiken there is still the pink\orange hotel, you can bargain on the price. Also possible to find fruit, vegetables, bread in little stores in the street opposite to the hotel.

Chinese border side was very easy, the guards are very friendly and speak some English. We didn't even have to unpack our bikes for the x-ray and they didn't check our camera.

On Mongolian side it's not very clear where you have to go, so be aware you don't pass the building as we did accidentally, they are not very happy when you do so. Climb the stairs you see on your left. You have to fill in an arrival card, pass your luggage through x-ray and get a stamp, nothing special. The guards don't speak English.

We were there just before lunch break, there was only one bank in the basement open which didn't accept USD! We had to exchange in Bulgan in the bagger bank. The smaller didn't want to do it neither.

The whole road is nicely paved by the way.
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