Today was visa-day. Our plan was to see if we could work out how to extend out Mongolian Visa from 30 to 60 days. The first challenge in this plan was to get a taxi to the Immigration office near the airport. So armed with the word "airport" on a piece of paper in Mongolian and a photograph of the Immigration office (courtesy of a travel forum) we stood outside the Oasis and waved at passing cars (many cars act as informal taxis), within minutes we were on our way. Except for more chaotic traffic the drive was uneventful and within 40 minutes we were deposited in the parking lot of our destination the Mongolian Immigration office.

The process of extending the visa was simple enough. One had to buy a visa registration form from one of the windows (1000 T each) and fill it out. Get a photo copy of ones passport facing page and Mongolian visa page from the desk in the buildings entrance hall and pay for the visa extension at the bank office in the same building. With all those in hand return to the "visa extension" window (in our case window 4) and wait 5-10 minutes while the office did the processing and put two additional stamps in our passports (one to record registration and one to record the extension).

Interestingly the Austrian guys we met a couple of days ago had parked their truck on the grass outside the Immigration Office. They seemed not to be home so we left a card and note and went looking for a taxi to return to the city. We were pleased to see that they had made it out of Russia.

We were incredibly lucky to find a taxi waiting outside the Immigration Office with a driver that spoke English and who knew the location of the Embassy of Kazakstan. So after some more interesting traffic we were deposited at the Embassy gate. This was an incredible stroke of luck as we had been having trouble getting good directions to this place. So just for the record this is how I would describe getting to the Kazakhstan Embassy.

Find your way to the Bog Khan's Winter Palace on the Zaisan Rd north of the Zaisan Bridge. Walk south on Zaisan Road until (on the right) you see a multi-story building with a green wall facing you and the name Green House on the wall (approximately 47.892542 106.908970). Turn right at street immediately before the Green House. About 100m along on the right is the Kazakhstan Embassy.

Update: there is construction taking place that may eventually obscure the green wall and the sign for the Green House.

At our first visit to the Embasy we picked up and filled out visa application forms, got a list of other requirements (photocopy of passport facing page and Mongolian visa page), and got a piece of paper to take to a local bank to pay for the visas. Later in the day (after Embassy extended lunch) we returned and submitted our application and were told - it would take 5 business days. (For those using the Embassy note they are open Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri only between 10-12 and between 4-6pm.) Thus we are in UB until at least Friday 7th June.

Between our Embassy visits we walked into the center of the city and spent some time people watching around Sukbaatar Square.