Launch Party: Saturday 15th July 2017
Launch Day: Sunday 16th July 2017
Find out first when the rest of the dates and info is released
Launch Party: Sat 14th July
Launch Ceremony: Sun 15th July
Finish line opens: Friday 10th August
We worked out a way to save you around £1000 per team on the Mongol Rally by moving the finish line a tiny bit to the Russian town of Ulan-Ude.
For eleven splendid years the Rally spluttered and clunked over the Finish Line in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. But, like an old pair of slippers, we felt the Rally was getting a little too cosy, that it was high time for a major shake up.
First we devolved. Then in 2015, we moved the Finish Line to Siberia.
Don’t panic. It’s still the Mongol Rally. It’s still the ultimate chaos machine. You’ll still drag and cajole your sorry carcass of a car across the dusty Mongolian steppe and vomit Chinggis Gold through your nose after a heavy session with some friendly nomads.
The only difference is that the Finish Line is in the Siberian town of Ulan-Ude, 400 miles due north of Ulaanbaatar.
‘But why Ulan Ude?’ we hear you cry.
It saves you a stash of cash
Finishing here saves you about £1000 per team. Rather worth doing we think.
What with the ‘10 year rule,’ the rising cost of flights and the ceaseless march of modernity, the Mongol Rally had become a little too pricey for our liking. We yearned for the spirit of 2001, when Mr Tom and Mr Joolz trundled East with only a fistful of dollars and a hunting knife.
First we took the first bold steps in the Rally devolution, halving the entry fee and scrapping all those pesky rules about bringing new cars. To date it's even more wallet friendly. Not only are return flights from Ulan Ude several hundred pounds less than those from Ulaanbaatar, but shipping your car back from Siberia is significantly cheaper than getting the beast home from Mongolia.
Because Ulan Ude rocks
Ulan Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia, is a splendid city with less limbless drunks and infinitely more partying options than your pickled mind can handle.
You can snort Guinness off the bar in seedy Irish pubs; dance till dawn in pounding nightclubs; pass out in grotty hostels or swanky hotels; absolve your sins with visits to buddhist monasteries and dodgy shamans; attempt some traditional wrestling; gorge yourself on greasy Buryat dumplings and take a dip in the sacred waters of Lake Baikal.
On a dull yet practical level, it not only has an international airport but is bang slap on the Trans-Siberian railway.
It's a day’s drive from Ulaanbaatar
We fully intend that you still get to experience driving across the Mongol steppe blinded by dust, listening to all the bolts in your Robin Reliant shake themselves loose. The only difference is that once you get to Ulaanbaatar you turn left and drive on to Ulan Ude, a journey that’s possible in a single day.
Of course if you’re a massive wuss or very short on time you can just go straight through Russia. But if you’re considering that, we’ll probably put on our special stern faces and waggle a disapproving finger at you.