I was looking at google maps and decided to zoom in on the Mongolian/China border just to see what was there, and saw this:

enter image description here

This screen shot is at 42.266383, 106.722115

I followed it for a bit and it appears to be a road, or a trench; kind of hard to tell.

Looking further down the map at 46.362984, 117.235606 it appears to be something that was bulldozed:

enter image description here

It appears to span for hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. A quick distance calculator puts these 2 points at 950 KM from each other, so this is one long man made line.

Is this an actual dug out border, or is it something else?

If this is a road, is it possible to travel it's path? If so, where does it start and end?

  • 1
    Why the vote to close? This question is about travel. Jan 5 '16 at 21:00
  • 1
    Wait until you learn about the even longer border vista between the US and Canada. Jan 5 '16 at 21:16
  • @ZachLipton that's pretty cool. I've never seen that crossing the border into Canada. Even in the more foresty parts Jan 5 '16 at 21:20
  • 1
    @JasonHeine, the trench between Pakistan and Afghanistan is still garrisoned. You might find that one more interesting :)
    – Gayot Fow
    Jan 5 '16 at 21:28
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    This could be the temporary road made to be able to build the fence (which you will see if you zoom in more)... Jan 5 '16 at 21:59

I would say with 99% confidence that it is a road. You don't have to follow the structure for long before you can easily identify intersections with other roads, e.g. here: 41.77533, 105.36238


I believe it's common practice at some international borders to leave a stretch of land processed in such a way (e.g. bulldozed/tilled/softened up) as to make it very easy to detect illegal border crossings (i.e. crossing tracks of people or vehicles). This may be at least part of the reason for this structure. Another purpose may be to provide a visual marking of the border. Of course, it may also double as a road, especially for the border patrol forces (from what I've seen of the Mongolian wilderness and the people driving there, pretty much any flat stretch of land can double as a road :)

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