Planning to travel from mongolia to china on road and especially from western border? If you have longer days of tour, just say yes. You will be surprised how funny it is and memorable.
It is mongolian memory similar of Tuk Tuk in south east asia but just that is takes 7-18hours 😂
I wanted to travel from bayan olgii to taikiskan , so that i can reach urumqi(china) to take my return flight to singapore. I have read two articles from silk road caravan and another blog which is going to be long journey. And am in for it as this sorts of journey could show the rural side and also some scenic spots even though it is tiring.
– Minimum one time thet car or mini van get got a problem
– and people will say happily it is paved road better than central mongolia. May be in their definition, a plain space with no big stone is considired paved road (guys it is not road😁 at all)
– the driver taking his toolbox out of the car 😂(This is epic becuase in one srticle somewhere a girl mentioned about her trip and how the mini van was broken down. The driver always take out the toolbox, search for something, and put it back. And it happened to me as well as exactly like what she said)
Anyway So how do you can travel ?
1. Easy – speak with your hostel (or hotel) host
Fact is you have very less number of hostel and hotel in bayan olgii. I believe it is less than 10.
I read rare reviews of blue wolf, traveller guest house and kazakh tours(they dont have accommodation it seems). It is hard to find this cheaper hostel listing in booking.com or even in hostelworld. The reviews are neutral about everyone both positive and negative. Due to the reason Traveller guest house got Gher and it is kazakh style, i just want to try as i had experience with mongolian before, got their phone number from lonelyplanet book on the day before i reach that place. Believe it is off season and so the availability is confirmed by a women named nazka who runs that business.
On the second day of my stay there, i asked about this to her and she said she can arrange for it.
Price for the trip until border: 70,000 Tugrik
If you by your host, you can avoid the below situation and can enjoy peace of mind
More about them on end of the article
2. Hard Way
Go to Fake market, ask around the mini van drivers asking which goes to taikishkan becuase around the mini market on each side there is differenr destination it seems. I found on 3 sides there is line of cars with board of destination name.
So it is better to ask them and they will point you to the one. When i went asking on the day there was no service to taikishkan
Else just note down the taikishkan or bulgAn name in mongolian letters from any mongolian and look at the board on each car. Read this article as well as they mentioned about going to bulgan and them taikishkan. Mine is direct to border.
Price: am not sure as i couldnt find one
Time : 15 hours – 20hours
Sorry i really forget to take picture of the market as was busy asking them, actually one student was roaming with me from the middle of my search And helped translating. Anyway good direction below:
“say Hi to kazakh, they will reply with hi for sure ”
So i choose the easy way as i need to focus on other stuff and make my job easier. My host arranged the car to come my guest house and pick me up 😎
Anway it wasn’t a luxury car like before day with land rover. Same mini van with full of luggages and full of people (13 without me) and thankfully they have seat for me. I just smiled at them and sat on the van. This guys took their sweet tims to recharge, petrol bunk and finally started on 7.30pm instead of 5pm mentioned by host. I kinda okay understanding its mongolia bro. The van started and was running smoothly on a real paved road. I was like “JK tonight we got a good sleep with no bumps) but ya the shock came on the next 45 minutes as shown in below pic where there is a problem. Almost a hour went for it and we started around like 9ish.
Once in a while i think this guys will be making funny laugh at me saying something in kazak. I was laughing to it as well. We both dont speak same language and it is another story!
And in middle of the night the van stopped in a remote area where it has a small restaurant to eat
The food is asusual a meat ingrediant with so much of oil. This is happening on mid night and i didnt really go for it. Instead just bread and milk.
And also we had a small quick breakfast on next morning which you can see from the women pic.
Then we started and the driver was quick reaching us on 9AM Which is very quick comparing what my host mentioned . Approximately he took 12 hours 45 minutes to mongolian border
Ps: Just avoid this land trip if you have less than 24 hours deadline to reach there.
mongolian immigration was smooth as usual and ya remember to change your currency at before the immigration. Mentioned by other travellers, there is no sign board to really explain that.
Border open on 9am. If you come before, you can wait the border to open.
- Physical inspection | pure inspection
- xray verification of luggage
- if pass through, dispatch luggage and go to main immigration building
- If not, luggage questionairre
- if not, take out all the items from luggage
- pass> go to main immigration building
- if not> go to intelligency legal division
For me the luggage are mostly okay except my binocular. They took out, played with it and surprised they can see the far mountain… i was like “dude That’s the basic functionality ! ”
then they got my mobile phone. This is the most interesting part that they need to check all the photos in the phone becuase there are some prohibited photos people take. They went through for almost 45 minutes. Yes becuase my phone has around 6000 photos😜 And they found something suspicious
1. The photos i took in war museum in vietnam
2. My marketing plan about push notifications (may be that look like a secret intelligence document for them)
Meanwhile i was very tired and hungry, so i took out the apple from my bag and start eating it.
Simultaneously checked my luggage as well one by one as shared before. Then the security guy brought me to intelligence legal division where i spent 3+ hours!!! 8 police offers.
- 4 officers checked through all my album
- why did you went to taiwan ? (I told them i went to yangmingshan mountain and jioufen)
- why did you went to malaysia? (Becuase i have went to malysia many times its because its just few kilometres from singapore to see my uncle and weekends
- And they again wanted to check my luggage, this time i wasnt happily doing. I just keep getting everything out of book with strange behaviour and they are observing it.
- They found two things: my old phone and my old passport 😱
- The oldphone got no charge and they are ahead trying to find the wire and charging it . But i try to convince the girl that there is no such thing there. To be honest there where photos but all of them already copied to my iphone as well. So by fair they have checked already.
- And the old passport 😞, Again lot of malaysia immigration stamp. And new stuff is my old china visit. Why did you visit china for two days?
- I told them becuase from hong kong to shenzhen is easy via one train and wanted to see windows of world and shopping
One important thing to note is all this government immigration system are well connected as they have like mind map flow chart where it has all my passport and visa photos and where i have travelled too. That was so awesome how people are monitored but anyway i got nothing to be worried, so happily let them do whatever they want
meanwhile one of the officer was offering me cigaratte and there is another girl who can speak english keep saying “Dont worry, it is just normal and cooardinate with us” hmm for 3hours coordinating! And final 30minutes was giving the permit and another guy noted down all my trip visa number and all countries travelled.
Finally they ask me to sit again and said “Sorry and thanks for coordinating , you can go now”
i replied with big breathe “sisyan” and they replied affirmative in chinese and i asked “can we take a picture now?” Hahaha becuase i dont want to forget that memory.
Took two picture and was hurry to check back whether everyone is there or not
the girl below really helped . And helped to get taxi as well to urumqi but anyway i got down from the taxi as it costly and started hitchhiking
better to avoid border crossing , if you still want adventure, better clear off your photos .
In the same note, two people from germany and serbia was rejected a entry at laos to china border and they went through 14 hours of checking plus a room stay 😊 And that guy ipad data was fully downloaded. One of the reason he was rejected is becuase he done ngo activity in turkey for syrian refugees , almost 4 months. And he still is not a muslim 😐
Thank god he made it easy for me and i can leave to urumqi
My face was really tired after 14 hour journey and waiting in mongolian and this china immigration was well. I donno how i still can smile and take a selfie 😆
But i still miss to take a nice picture and post in facebook😂 I just need to hide this to my dad hahaha so he dont get scared !
I have been keep updating this article on live haha
And When i try to hitchhike, a mini van brought to qingili town and i too believed that i can take a bus from there.
And yes i did got a shared taxi to urumqi which is cheaper 150yuan and he can leave only on 7pm but i need to finish afternoon prayer and so i told him to bring me to masjid and when we reached there, there was another set of police 😫who thought am from Pakistan which was very serious with two more standing in front of me, checked my passport and brought me to the police station.
They took pictures of me and passport and again brought me to another big police station.
While the car was riding, there is siren and different seating position where i was covered by police in different direction and in the front sear a guy with ak47 kinda gun😱 Hahah when i reach there, it was lot of police coming out of the station to make sure i dont escape. In my mind” guys am not that much big”
I donno why i wasnt really scared but worried that how many times!!! But just praying to god inside
And there was one guy who spoke english(selfie with me in pink tshirt ) and verified my documents. When he said there is no problem, i ask him to leave me back on the same Place where they Pick up😕
When he was driving he was so much helpful asking about all things and he shared his phone number to make sure am safe and also they called the taxi guy to leave in urumqi safely. Now am sitting in the taxi. As the taxi is full now, they left by 4.40pm ifself and it took almost 6.30 hours to reach Urumqi city.
Did i mention there is usual check on higway as well? And this driver respectable idiot keep mentioning am a musalman from pakistan to those police! I was able to correct him this time😐 The worse thing is this police cant read the english in your passport and so it is hard for them to identify from which country am 😞
Also i forget to mention that all this people are kazakh and they are very good to sharing the salaam between their staff whenever their speak and but just that i am very suspicious for them and this guys look cautious which i can see from their face and very carefull. Anyway this full DAY is for experiencing and learning about security of china in western part.
Decide whether Yu want this much of adventure !
Let me know if you need any information on land transport from bayan olgii to urumqi, I can do best sharing some useful info.