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Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Edmonton
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Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Four of us are planning a trip on the TranSiberian summer of 2012. There seems to be different views on how to travel between UB and Ulan Ude. We understand there is a bus that it is faster and cheaper than the train. But, this bus takes about 12 hours and that doesn't sound like a great way to spend the day. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Irkutsk, Irkutsk...
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1. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Hello!

When would you like to travel in our region? Summer 2012?? May be it will be summer 2013? :)

If you want I can check the information about this bus for you.

Cheers,

Olga from Irkutsk

Edmonton
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2. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Thanks, Olga. You are correct - our trip is in the summer of 2013. We are planning to leave UB and travel to Irkutsk on about July 14. We had read that it might be best to take a bus to Ulan Ude and then train from there instead of taking a train all the way. We read that the bus is quicker than the train and that the border crossing is much easier. I don't, however, look forward to a 12 hour bus ride. I would appreciate any information you are able to offer.

Hamburg, Germany
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3. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Hey out there,

I want to take the bus UU-UB. I arrive in august at 5 am in Ulan Ude and the bus for UB is leaving at 7.30. Is it realistic to buy a ticket right before taking the bus or should I do it in advance (which is much more expensive)?

Thanks in advance for any help, cheers!

Bologna, Italy
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4. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

I'm going to Irkusk this summer 2014 does someone can help me with tours on the lake or informations about accomodations in a russian home. Tks Sergio

Finland
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5. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

If you have time, visit Olkhon island (lake Baikal). Try google to find some photos - it is amazing. You need more time to get there, but it is so much more beautiful than the village Listvjanka near the city Irkutsk.

The local Nikitas homestead (village Khusir) has tours on the lake and on the island.

London, United...
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6. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

travelling by train is much more comfortable

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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7. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Please, how to buy the bus ticket from Irkutsk to Ulan Bator by internet? I`ll come in Irkutsk next Monday and would like to take this bus next day, but I`m afraid that don`t find places.

Lund, Sweden
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8. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Me and my boyfriend took the bus from Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude just last week so we probably have the latest information on this topic. So I'm sharing ;-)

For starters, yes, the train is more comfortable. But it takes around 30 hours, while the bus only took about 11 hours (the train hangs around the border a lot longer).

You used to be able to buy the bus tickets at the tourist information near Peace Bridge, but we didn't find this place at all and since it's a bit off, I wouldn't bother looking for it anymore than we already have. They also used to sell bus tickets at the train station, but this seems to have changed very recently since a lot of locals we spoke to didn't know it had. So where to buy them now?

There is a tourist information in the State Department Store on Peace Avenue where they speak okay English. They sell bus tickets but the girl we talked to hadn't heard about a bus to UU.

So, here's what you do for bus tickets from UB to UU. You go to the Dragon Bus Center, about 7 km west of the center, straight down Peace Avenue. At least buses number 5 and 26 go there, they take about 25 minutes. Probably a few others go there as well but they might drive other routes and take longer. The buses stop at least once every block along Peace Avenue; there is no set schedule but they're quite frequent; you pay onboard to the person handling the tickets, not to the driver, and it costs 500T one way. Get off just after the bus turns right (buses 5 and 26 only do this once) and the ticket office is in the big glas building in front of you. Once inside, go to the youngest agent, they're usually your safest bet unless your Mongolian is up to the challenge. You will need your passport to buy your ticket, and according to our research, tickets only go on sale two days before departure. We were there the day before departure and had no problems getting tickets. The ticket office is open every day 9-18.

The bus journey itself was okay. The bus has luggage storage underneath but no bathroom, though it stops about every three hours for bathroom breaks, as well as once for lunch. Crossing the border took us only about two hours; they herd you like sheep and get you the forms to sign beforehand. In UU the bus stops at what Lonely Planet refers to as "the old bus station". When you exit the bus station, turn left, walk 2,5 blocks and you'll be on the main street. There should be a pedestrian section to your right and an arch at the top of a hill to your left; left is also where the big Lenin's Head monument is.

Hope my extremely detailed answer helps someone!

Kuala Lumpur...
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9. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

Hi Sofija! very good info! thanks for sharing..

How much the bus ticket did you buy?

Lund, Sweden
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10. Re: Ulaanbaatar to Ulan Ude/Irkutsk by train or bus?

I'm glad my research can help someone!

We bought two tickets, they were 130,000 tugruk so 65,000 T for one.