I plan to base myself in the Replubic of Georgia for a while and I'm thinking of a trip from there to Mongolia but I have some restrictions:

  • No flying (overland is more of an adventure)
  • I can't enter Russia (I can't get a Russian visa outside my home country)

So I can get to Azerbaijan and cross the Caspian or into Iran without too much trouble as far as I know. But then things get tricky. Turkmenistan is probably out. Kazakhstan looks like the obvious answer but there's about 50km between where Kazakhstan ends and Mongolia begins with just a Russia-China border.

So are there ways to travel this section? Roads? Border crossings? And if not which other overland route from the Caucasus to Mongolia without Russia is more possible?

  • From Tbilisi to Baku you can go via train #38/37. It goes every day, so there is no problem with that.
  • From Baku you can get to Aktau (Kazakhstan) via ferry. People who used this ferry are saying it has no stable schedule, so you can contact ferry station by phone:

(99412) 493-19-63
(99412) 498-10-13

  • Also you can go to Türkmenbaşy (Turkmenistan), if you want - it much closer, but I can't find info about transit visa for Turkmenistan.
  • From Aktau you can get to Almaty by train #377.
  • From there you can pass to one of the main border crossing points Dostyk by train #114 (and even to Ürümqi, China by train #014, since in Almaty there is a Chinese embassy).
  • Ürümqi is a large rail point in North China, but the only two points to cross the China-Mongolia border is Zamyn-Üüd and Erenhot, so you need get a train to one of these points.
  • Silly me, when I started entertaining this idea I was imagining roads and didn't even think of trains (-: Jul 17 '11 at 16:33
  • @hippietrail exUSSR republics generally has good railroads - this is the only way to move fast across steppe. So I decided to search in this direction. Good luck with your journey.
    – VMAtm
    Jul 17 '11 at 16:36
  • just FYI, that ferry to Aktau is infamous for sometimes just waiting 10 days for more cargo/people - which can be a problem if your visa is finishing soon...
    – Mark Mayo
    Nov 14 '11 at 22:22
  • @MarkMayo: That's important now as Aussies get two weeks visa free entry to Kazakhstan these days (or two-week visa on arrival). Aug 16 '15 at 15:44
  • @hippietrail wow. I spent 10 days waiting for a Kazakh visa in Russia back in 2011. Sighs...
    – Mark Mayo
    Aug 18 '15 at 5:33

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