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India to England via the Stans - possible to arrange in a month
I'm on a trip from Sydney to London on an old postie bike and, like many other people, have found myself in a bit of a pickle what with the problems in Iran and Pakistan.
I think I'd just go through and risk it but at the minute I still can't get an Iranina visa. That;s why I'm looking into the other route, through the Stans, and wondered if anyone could give me a green or red light to say if it's possible or not to organise that route in a month. Also, looking at the map am I right in thinking you can skip China and cut briefly through Afganistan?
I'm in Delhi so have access to all the embassies but would really appreciate any advice on routes and best methods of obtaining the necessary visas and paperwork as the last thing I want to do is put the bike on a plane to Turkey and fly. That'd be cheating.
Sorry,I forgot to mention, the reason I only have a month is becasue that's when my Pakistan visa runs out.
That;s why I'm looking into the other route, through the Stans, and wondered if anyone could give me a green or red light to say if it's possible or not to organise that route in a month. Also, looking at the map am I right in thinking you can skip China and cut briefly through Afganistan?
I rode my bike from Iran via the 'Stans and China to Pakistan last year.
Re visa's: count on 3 months work (and even then you're not certain ..)
Re skipping China via Afghanistan: good luck, you'll need it (ie: no way)
If you want to go via China, the paperwork will take 3-4 months.
Fly to Kazakhstan?
Or are you trying to avoid flying at all costs?
You certainly don't want to ride through Afghanistan (well, maybe you want to. But you probably shouldn't...)
Can you even get to the border? I thought that Pakistan-Afghanistan border area was off-limits to foreigners.
I like that idea. If you are going to fly the bike, fly it to a "stan" rather than Turkey. If you fly to Turkey, it will probably be cheapest to fly to Istanbul, so if you carry on from there to Europe, you will effectively have missed Turkey as well. If you fly from Pakistan to Tajikistan, you won't have flown very far at all.
Nathan - been reading your ride report on advrider, brilliant!!! I'm going to be heading home to the UK from Sydney by bike in the next few months, not on a postie though. Madness, but I love it!
I can't speak from experience but have been looking at other options to avoid Pakistan & Iran just in case. I don't know for sure but have seen people on here talk about the possibility of going by sea from India to Iran, or maybe UAE etc.
Definitely think it would be worth looking into? Perhaps head to the main port in that region (dont know which one that'd be) and start asking around, there must be a way?
I'd certainly look at that as a better last resort than flying?
I only mentioned Afghanistan as I remember reading somewhere that it might be possible. I guess it's not.
Okay, so that leaves the flying to Stan option, which I kinda like. Definitely better than the flight to Turkey as like you said, I miss most of that as well.
I've been looking at the map though and can't quite figure out the route when you go up the KKH. Does it take you briefly into China then into the Stans?
Also, does anyone know if it's possible to ride from India into China - of course with the necessary guide - that way I could avoid flying all together.
... just been reading of the Frenchman kidnapped in Pakistan recently and the Polish guy beheaded last year. I'm curious to know other people deal with that info, do you just say it's just part of the territory and one of those things you have to be prepared for, or does it change your plans?
Based on your CC...you might not need a guide in China. You vehicle might not be considered a foreign registered vehicle if you arrive at the Cinese border without plates.
Also, I wouldn't write off Afghanistan...India or Pakistan is the easiest place to pick up and AFghan visa...I travelled with someone in Uzbek who came through Afghanistan in 2007. I can relate another traveller or two from Afghan...but worth checking.
Worth checking into...and there are plenty of cargo flights from India into the stans...check at the airport with cargo companies...they might be able to find someone to arrange your visa for you as well.
In 2007, i helped DodgyDago fly from Kyrgyz to India on a cargo plane...dirt cheap...something like $125 for he AND his F650. His post about this option is on the HUBB...use Google to find it.
That's right, the KKH (unquestionably one of the most spectacular roads in the world) ends in north Pakistan and then you are briefly in China, then the stans. I don't think there is a way to go from India to China. You can go from Nepal to Tibet, but that will include all the paperwork hassels and guides.
As for Pakistan, I'd say go. I know people have been killed there, but I live in Oakland California and people get killed in my hometown everyday, so I guess I'm used to it. The being said, if you get your head cut off, don't come crying to me
That is some good info. First of all I like the idea of claiming you are not on a motor vehicle at all. More of a bicycle with a little motor. Take the plate off and confidendly tell the Chinese you cross all the borders without declaring it a vehicle. It would be quite a gamble, but it could work. A LONG time ago, I knew a guy who couldn't get a bicycle across that very border though.
As for Afganistan, it changes by the day I suppose. In 2004 I rode with a guy that had the visa and was refused entry, so I guess it just depends.
That's super good news that there are dirt cheap cargo flights fom India to Kyrgyz. That was my favorite stan, plus Nathan coul see all the cool sites in Uzbek.
The update on this is that after an unsuccessful trip to the Iranian embassy here in Delhi I started the ball rolling with entry to China.
It was possible to get me in before my Pakistan visa expired. Until yesterday when I was told it wasn't.
Rather than go through the whole process and expense of getting another Pakistan visa and gaining legitimate access to China, I just wondered if that pan mentioned earlier - just turning up at the border and winging it - would actually work.
I could strip Dot of all her mods - extra tank, box, panniers etc - send them over to Turkey and do the trip on a bike that really does look like a scooter. Of course I'm not that keen on riding the KKH only to be turned back. but seriously, do you think this might be a possible option?
I suppose the only thing is I'd have to get Chinese and Stan visas not knowing if I could use them or not. Could be a massive waste of time and money. But....
Anything could happen. If you search around here, you will find stories of people just riding bikes into China (with a visa). But I've never heard of it happening at that border. It's usually coming in from a stan at a remote border crossing that people get away with it.
impossible to do paperwork for China on the boarder.
contatc agencies in Kashgar. To enter with your, it takes4-6 weeks to make papers, or you can arrange import/export doc, put your bike on a truck and cross Xinjiang in this way. this second option can be arranges in few days.
Personally, I was in Kirgystan 3 weeks ago, tried to enter China, I had to leave bike at custom house, go to Kashgar, due all papers with a local agency - which took only 3 working days, back to the border, put bike on the trucke, crossed China and got my bike back on track on Pakistan boarder.
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