Darhan, Mongolia

  • Date
  • 28 July 1999
  • Lodging
  • Darhan Hotel
  • Distance
  • 410 KM
  • Total
  • 30640 KM

The border crossing between Russia and Mongolia opened to international travelers in 1936. Since no cars or roads existed, this was designated an official railroad crossing. Even with roads and cars in abundance in 1999, no one has changed the regulation, so today foreigners with cars must find a rare flatcar to carry their cars across this border. I am not making this up. Foreigners cannot drive across the border. Another border crossing for Mongolian and Russian cars is in a neighboring town. How simple to allow the few foreign drivers access to this border post, but no one will be bothered.

In Chita, by wild coincidence, we met the owner of the largest newspaper, who Jim encountered on his last trip through Siberia. Back then the newspaper owner, Nicholas, was a young reporter and Communist official. Over vodka we discussed the dreaded Russia/Mongolia border and Nicholas offered to call his friends, allowing us to drive across the border the rational way.