Russia (Kyakhta) - Mongolia (Altanbulag) Border

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Russia (Kyakhta) - Mongolia (Altanbulag) Border

Post by Granite2018 »

I didn't find a thread for this border crossing, so thought I'd share my experience here. I got the direct bus from Ulan Ude to UB in early May.

The Russian border was straightforward. We took all our belongings off the bus and entered the passport control/customs building and waited about 15 minutes before things got going. All bags were put through the Xray machine, which was followed by passport control. I handed my passport and first registration card over. No questions asked and stamped out a few minutes later. I had all my train/plane tickets ready in case they asked for them, but they weren't interested.

Bags back on the bus and following a 100m drive, we arrived at the Mongolian side. The driver gave us the Mongolian immigration card we had to fill out. Again, all bags off the bus. Passport control was fast and customs didn't check any baggage. There is a Khan Bank ATM in the building, offering free withdrawal (i.e. no commission).

All in, the whole crossing was easy and took about an hour. The bus stops at a restaurant right after the border where several money changers are waiting. After an hour, we departed for UB.

Slightly off topic, but here's my Irkutsk-UB routing, which saved me around 2,500 RUB by avoiding the train to UB.

•Daytime train from Irkutsk to Ulan Ude, which departed at 14:30, arriving at 22:20. Great views of Lake Baikal. Ticket cost around 450 RUB

•Two nights in Ulan Ude Travellers House (UU Hostel) cost 1,000 RUB (500 per night)

•I stayed at UU Hostel because they can book bus tickets for you in advance. The ticket cost me 2,200 RUB and the journey took about 12 hours. The bus is ok, but has no A/C. No drama in May but will get fairly hot in August. The road is fairly bumpy and it wasn't a very comfortable journey, but significantly cheaper than getting the train.

When I checked, the train cost around 6,000 RUB. My routing cost me 3,650 RUB, which could be cut down to 3,150 if you only stay one night in Ulan Ude.
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