At the end of the long road from Barnaul, across the Altai High mountains, lies the quiet village of Tashanta. A small town made up of fistful of wooden houses, a desert fuel station, and around 570 inhabitants, Tashanta stands out because it is the last stop in Russia before crossing into the wide landscapes of Mongolia.
There are very few amenities in Tashanta, except for a small store, a bar, and the border. There are travelers around and stories to be shared and listened, especially in the weekends when the checkpoint is closed. And for two days the bar is crowded.
You can see change in the landscape around the border town. The scenery changes from rocky peaks filled with pine trees to the green naked mountains. These are the Altai Mountains, which cross the borders and have sections in Russia, Mongolia, China, and Kasakhstan. Silence, water, eagles and a wide world all around, constantly 2,000 meters above sea level.
Know Before You Go
If you plan to cross the border, be aware that the customs post is closed from Friday evening through Monday morning. Its regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.