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A CDP is not necessary but LOI’s and visas are a hassle.
Some other threads on here will give you more info on TU, but I would also suggest that you contact a travel agent called David Berghoff (Spelling?) of Stan Tours (Google will bring up the web site). He is very bike friendly and a specialist for TU, UZ and KAZ. As I understand you may need a “guide” if you wish to do any thing other than transit across TU.
Others have reported favourably upon his service and we have used him for LOI’s and Visas for RU/ UZ/ TA/ KY and KAZ in 2003. Even helped us arrange for spare tyres to be flown into Almaty from OZ.
I'd recommend you, time & money permitting, to take a guided tour for something like 10-15 days of Turkmenistan instead of just transit through.
David Berghof organized our trip with guide and it was one of the highlights of our bike trip last year. On photos.yahoo.com/malmoerik there is a slide show with pics (near the end) from Turkmenistan.
I think you already know that you need a Carnet for Iran, none required for Central Asian Republics. You can cross into Turkmenistan from Iran just south of the capital Ashgabat. You can get a Turkmenistan transit visa in Tehran that will give you up to five days for around 35USD. This will get you through to Uzbekistan near Turkmenabat/Bukhara no probs.You would have to already have your Uzbek visa to get the transit visa.
I dont know what the visa requirement is for someone from a part of the former USSR, but I expect its the same as everyone else now.
If you want a tourist visa you will probably have to use an agency such as D.Berghof's Stantours.
Once into Uzbekistan you shouldnt have any problems getting Kazak and Kyrgyz visa on the same day usually without a Letter of Introduction (LOI)
You shouldnt have too much trouble with the Kazakstan Russian border. The one I crossed was near Semey (semipolanisk) no trouble. Its Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan that were the slow frustrating ones.
Turkmenistan charges around 80 USD in taxes on entry plus baksheesh. Uzbekistan customs made me show reciepts for accomodation when I left the country.
I had no problems crossing borders in Central Asia (aside from spending a night in Turkmen/Iran no-mans land after running out of money). Sometimes I was asked for a bribe, but I feigned misunderstanding, then asked what it was for, then demanded a receipt and they usually gave up. Keep smiling though. The Russian customs officers at the eastern Kazak border were great, they made me drink a half bottle of vodka for breakfast (Davai! Sean. Davai!) while i was waiting for a truck to put the bike on.
Originally posted by simmo: You shouldnt have too much trouble with the Kazakstan Russian border. The one I crossed was near Semey (semipolanisk) no trouble.
There is also the border at Aralsk (closest Russian city: Orenburg), but to get there you have to take a road by the Aral sea that is in VERY bad condition (2003). The road crew I stayed one night with said the road would be fixed within three (five?) years, so it may be better now.
The border had a long line and they didn't alow the standard "foreign motorcycle to the front of the line" procedure. Our 7 hour crossing would have been quicker if there wasn't a problem with our visas. However, we solved the problem with time, not money.
[This message has been edited by Chris in Tokyo (edited 16 January 2005).]
I'm getting multiple sources of information now that it IS possible to enter Iran w/o CDP. Thy have some alternative for it that and bigger borderposts can issue it, just takes quite more of time-hassle with documents than with CDP sheet.
I contacted the STAN Tours, and they sayed it's not good idea -> Turkmenistan-Kazhastan, coz nobody done it in their knowledge they sayed. Only Turk-Uz-Kazh way is certanly doable. But UZ means additional VISA hassle, right? Is it possible to get UZ VISA in Tehran too, or should we issue it before the trip?
Do all the Central Asia's contries force their insurance or there's some standard one available? (For the bike and person)
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 16 January 2005).]
Originally posted by Margus: Do all the Central Asia's contries force their insurance or there's some standard one available? (For the bike and person)
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 16 January 2005).]
Neither in Uzbekistan nor in Turkmenistan, I was ever asked for an insurance, and we were stopped by road police dozens of times.
I don't know if the 100 USD I had to pay at the border UZ/TM included an insurance.
David (Stantours) should probably know.
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