Introducing Chuysky Trakt
South of Ust-Sema, the dramatic M52 road to Olgii in Mongolia is known as the Chuysky Trakt. It offers 400km of forested mountains, canyons and glimpsed vistas, emerging eventually into peak-rimmed steppe dotted with Kazakh yurts. The views are arguably better driving northbound as the woodlands are less dense on the south-facing slopes, leaving visible the photogenic rocky cliffs. Transport is incredibly limited but shared taxis run all the way to Kosh-Agach for around R500 per seat (R1500 to R2000 per car) and drivers are generally happy enough to make brief stops en route for photos of landscapes, stone idols and petroglyphs.