Crossing the Russian-Mongolian border

On the 29th of August we left Irkutsk by train for the capital of Mongolia: Ulaan Baatar. We were quite excited about it, because going to Mongolia had been a thing we had been dreaming about for many years. :-)

This time we travelled second class as there is no third class available on this track. Basically there are some separated compartments with 4 beds each, and filled up with mainly foreigners (we don’t think there were any Russians in our wagon). We were lucky though: we had the 4-bed compartment to ourselves. :-)

After a night and half a day of still crossing Russian territory, we got to the Russian border town, where the train stopped for 6 (!) hours. We don’t know really why, but it was a long wait, because there is absolutely nothing to do in this (mainly military) town. Then, after 4 hours of hanging around, we were all called into the train where we had to fill out some papers and got ordered: “Passports!” They would have an “offical look” at them before putting a stamp that gave us the right to leave Russia. Then we got a second order: “Please get out!” and as we stepped out of our compartment some “gorilla” would go in and check our compartment in a military style rumbling in our sheets and taking off even some roof-plates in order to check there. Apparently everything was ok, because after this they left without a word.

This whole process of passport-stamping and gorilla-search took about 2 hours in which we had to stay in the train, because basically we had our stamp to get out of the country and so we couldn’t stand on Russian soil anymore (no, not even in front of the train on the platform).

Then the train started moving again, quite slowly because some military guys were walking behind the train in order to verify if nobody would jump off (???). This would go on until we reached the border about 20 minutes later, which was marked by some kind of statue. Then we had a 10 minutes drive in Mongolia until we stopped again in their bordertown where the whole process would start again: filling out numerous papers and different stamps into our passport. There were some differences though. First of all the lady coming to check our passports said: “Hello! Welcome to Mongolia!” Wow! She speaks English??? First change to Russia. And then, she is friendly and not barking around??? Wow! Second change to Russia! ;-)

After 3 ours the train would go on for one more night until we arrived at Ulaan Baatar at 7 in the morning of the 31st.

Hello Mongolia, here we are! :-)

Vera & Jean-Christophe


  1. Posted September 14, 2007 at 8:41 | Permalink

    quel bonheur de démarrer la journée avec toutes ces belles photos. Vous avez l’air d’avoir un super beau temps. Surtout gardez-le avec vous jusqu’au bout. Biseeeees.

  2. Posted September 14, 2007 at 9:45 | Permalink

    Je confirme, c’est sympa de demarrer la journee (de boulot… bouhouhou) avec ces photos! Quand est-ce qu’on invente la teleportation???!
    Bon voyage en Mongolie!

  3. Posted September 14, 2007 at 16:22 | Permalink

    hey veertje hoe is jullie wereldreis, ik geloof wel goed he….. hier is ook alles goed ik zal je binnenkort een wat langere email sturen heb niet veel tijd hihi…. veel plezier en doe voorzichtig groetjes ellis

  4. Posted September 14, 2007 at 18:52 | Permalink

    Hallo Vera en Jc fotos van mogolia zijn mooi Hier is alles kits Morgen gaan we met en luchtballon om hoog cadeau van de kinderen als verjaardag geschenk Groetjes van opa en Fhelomena.


  5. mamma
    Posted September 14, 2007 at 21:43 | Permalink

    Conclusion de votre passage de frontiere russe : ah ! che la Russie est belle … sans les policiers !
    PS : votre post est trop court, c’est pour quand le recit sur la Mongolie ? On est impatient !

  6. Posted September 15, 2007 at 11:00 | Permalink

    Prachtig verhaal en mooie foto’s van Mongolie. Lijkt wel een film. Enjoy your trip, we look forward to read more and more and more….quite a bit jealous at this moment…

  7. Posted September 15, 2007 at 23:38 | Permalink

    Wow, Mongolia! Is it that mystic land? I was surprised that camels in Mongolia wear piercing.

    The people, especially the little people seem to be very nice. And it’s nice that you get in contact with them.

    Wonderful pictures!

  8. Posted September 16, 2007 at 18:15 | Permalink

    D’accord avec Jurgen, j’ai ete etonnee de te voir gonfler un ballon devant une petite mongole qui semble fascinee par toi, meme etonnement pour la photo avec le magnifique vieil homme qui te tient par l’epaule. Comment communiquez-vous ? Avec le coeur sans doute :-)
    PS : je suis probablement tout aussi d’accord avec ce que disent vos amis neerlandais mais comme je ne comprends rien, je ne le saurai jamais ;-)

  9. Posted September 17, 2007 at 14:36 | Permalink

    Plus que fascinee !! J’ai la marque du maillot (bronzage) et la petite fille a touche l’endroit precis entre la partie bronzee et non-bronzee pour voir si c’etait vrai. Ensuite, elle m’a caresse le bras a cause des poils, elle voulait voir quel effet ca faisait…
    Quand a la communication c’est avec le coeur, le sourire et les gestes (heureusement que j’ai du sang italien ;-) )