Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Northern Asia

Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Refreshing, funny, informative, thought provoking, honest, inspirational, infectious, budget overlanding. A handbook, a guidebook but ultimately a genuine traveller’s tale

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 6 Mar 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 44
Kyrgyz Border @ Karkara and the A372

Hi there,

Having just learnt to spell Kyrgyzstan, we are now looking for a way into the country, and I was wondering whether anyone has any info regarding the crossing south of Karkara. I understand it may not be possible to get a stamp there, as we are headed via the rest of the stans to the Ferry at Turkmenibashi, will this be an issue? And more importantly, is the border open at all/ reliable ?

Also, does anyone have any information regarding the A372 between Sary-Tash and Karamyk? This road seems incredible, and as we are 4wd I was concerned whether it is feasible and possibly a quicker way into Tajikstan rather than going via Osh.

Cheers,
Tom
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 6 Mar 2009
Pumbaa's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On our bicycles, probably pushing up a hill!
Posts: 432
We were there in Nov 08. we were thinking of going to Karamyk as well because it was late in the season and we weren't sure about the Pamir being snowed in.

We were told by locals that foreigners can not cross at Karamyk, not even sure if we were allowed to go on the road. We were also told the same by the guy who runs Osh guest house. He made a few phone calls on our behalf and assured us the Pamirs were still fine. Turned out to be piece of cake in a 4x4, just a bit cold at -20 sometimes...
__________________
Jacques & Mandy with Pumbaa II
www.seeyouwhenwegetthere.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 6 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Paide, Estonia
Posts: 349
Why not go through Pamir Hwy? It is well worth it and the road surface is not at all that bad.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 6 Mar 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 44
But of Course!

The Pamir Highway! Of course, i cannot believe we didn't think of that!

Just out of interest, how long would you suggest to complete such a journey between Osh and Dushanube, we will be travelling in summer too.

In terms of the border formalities, how stringent are they...would it be necessary to allocate 24hrs into Tajikstan and then 24 hours into uzbekistan at the other end?

But back to my original question, is anyone aware of the border crossing south of Karkara from Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan?
Thanks again,
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6 Mar 2009
todderz's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newcastle / Harrogate
Posts: 179
That's the way we're going and as far as I can tell it's no problem to cross there. Lonely Planet says -


To/from Kyrgyzstan

Official Kazakh–Kyrgyz border crossings are largely hassle-free.
Seven daily buses and a similar number of minibuses (600T to 700T), as well as shared taxis (2000T to 2500T), make the four- to five-hour run to Bishkek from Almaty’s Sayran bus station, crossing the border at Korday. There are also overnight buses all the way to Cholpon-Ata and Karakol from Sayran, and minibuses to Bishkek from Taraz (500T, five hours).
No public transport makes the Karkara valley crossing, south of Kegen, Kazakhstan, and east of Tüp and Ken-Suu, Kyrgyzstan, but from about April to October you can get through by a combination of hitching, taxi and patience.
Trekkers and mountain bikers making the haul across the mountains between Almaty and Lake Issyk-Köl should note that there is no official crossing point so it’s impossible to get a passport stamp. Consult a trekking agency before setting off.
__________________
RTW 2009 - Europe - Central Asia - Russia - Mongolia - Korea - Canada - USA

2010 - Near-fatal brain injury - hit by car while cycling

Scandinavia 2011 - Germany - Denmark - Sweden - Norway - Finland - Estonia - Latvia - Poland

Asia 2011 - Vietnam - Cambodia - Laos - Thailand - Malaysia

http://rideroundtheworld.com
http://facebook.com/AliTheBiker

"A study shows drivers responsible for 87% of accidents with cyclists. Another shows drivers fail to see 22% of cyclists in clear view"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 6 Mar 2009
todderz's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newcastle / Harrogate
Posts: 179
Note that the part about "no official crossing point" is for the mountain hiking trails, not the Karkara Valley.
Not that Lonely Planet is always right......
__________________
RTW 2009 - Europe - Central Asia - Russia - Mongolia - Korea - Canada - USA

2010 - Near-fatal brain injury - hit by car while cycling

Scandinavia 2011 - Germany - Denmark - Sweden - Norway - Finland - Estonia - Latvia - Poland

Asia 2011 - Vietnam - Cambodia - Laos - Thailand - Malaysia

http://rideroundtheworld.com
http://facebook.com/AliTheBiker

"A study shows drivers responsible for 87% of accidents with cyclists. Another shows drivers fail to see 22% of cyclists in clear view"
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 6 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Paide, Estonia
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstimeflyer View Post
Just out of interest, how long would you suggest to complete such a journey between Osh and Dushanube, we will be travelling in summer too.
I traveled this about 8 days on moto, but it can be done much more quickly. In middle of Pamir Hwy I turned south and followed Afganistan border to Khorog. This is much smaller twisty gravel road then Pamir Hwy. Road is worst between Khorog and Dushanbe.

On Tajikistan border I spent perhaps an hour to arrange papers and another hour to talk to border guards and drink tea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by firstimeflyer View Post
But back to my original question, is anyone aware of the border crossing south of Karkara from Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan?
If it was the one east of lake Issyk-kul then I crossed it. No problems. Easy and quick. Nearby is also Sharyn canyon (nice in the evening).

South side of Issyk-kul is more interesting that north. In Barskoon do drive to nearby mountains, towards Kara-say (and back).
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA/Tajikistan
Posts: 3
dushanbe contact

Hi I am in Dushanbe and can help with repairs and logistices here ...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 20 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 135
I too can confirm what Rebaseonu wrote.

We also crossed through Karkara without any problems. The Pamir took us about 14 days, but we rode slowly and took the Afghan border route and doubled back from Khorog. Some Czechs we know rode the Pamir highway within their 7day Tajikistan visa, even while having motorbike troubles.

Hen
__________________
Vladivostok - Denmark 2008... Finished.
Denmark - South Africa 2010-2011... Finished.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 44
6 Days?

Hi there,

Having juggled a few things round and being in a (hopefully still running 4wd) we've compromised at 6 days from Osh to the border east of Dushanbe with tursunzada following the pamir highway the whole way along the border of Afghanistan ....is this still doable?

It averages at around 203km per day but I am not sure of the road conditions, obviously we want to take time out to do this, but still have to press on!

Thanks,
Tom
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 135
The main Pamir highway east of Khorog all the way to the Kyrgyz border is in relatively good condition. Sealed and not full of potholes. From Khorog most of the way to Dushanbe it is not nice, rocky, loose and twisty. The southern loop down along the Afghan border is a decent road, but unsealed, often loose and often corrugated.

All up though, 200km a day is entirely doable, if you can slip away from some of the 800 daily invitations to tea.

Ben
__________________
Vladivostok - Denmark 2008... Finished.
Denmark - South Africa 2010-2011... Finished.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 17 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 44
When it comes to tea...... well i find it hard to say no...!!

As i've said, we're headed there in a nice big....heavy land rover, i've read on some parts of the web that the pamir goes up to 4335m above sea level. I know it's a high road and it's clearly not that tall the whole way round, but does anyone know at what point the land rover will conk out? if at all?

Is it possible to traverse the entire thing without specially adapting fuel lines/ pumps or will the original set up do?

Thanks
Tom
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 17 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Cracow, Poland
Posts: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstimeflyer View Post
When it comes to tea...... well i find it hard to say no...!!

As i've said, we're headed there in a nice big....heavy land rover, i've read on some parts of the web that the pamir goes up to 4335m above sea level. /.../

Is it possible to traverse the entire thing without specially adapting fuel lines/ pumps or will the original set up do?
Highest pass - Ak Baital - is 4655, but is very easy and you will have no problem. You will lost a lot of power but you will do it without any modifications...
We have done it last year with some nissan patrol...

cheers

Sambor
__________________
www.africatwin.com.pl
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 19 May 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Berkeley, CA USA
Posts: 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by todderz View Post
That's the way we're going and as far as I can tell it's no problem to cross there. Lonely Planet says -


To/from Kyrgyzstan

Official Kazakh–Kyrgyz border crossings are largely hassle-free.
Seven daily buses and a similar number of minibuses (600T to 700T), as well as shared taxis (2000T to 2500T), make the four- to five-hour run to Bishkek from Almaty’s Sayran bus station, crossing the border at Korday. There are also overnight buses all the way to Cholpon-Ata and Karakol from Sayran, and minibuses to Bishkek from Taraz (500T, five hours).
No public transport makes the Karkara valley crossing, south of Kegen, Kazakhstan, and east of Tüp and Ken-Suu, Kyrgyzstan, but from about April to October you can get through by a combination of hitching, taxi and patience.
Trekkers and mountain bikers making the haul across the mountains between Almaty and Lake Issyk-Köl should note that there is no official crossing point so it’s impossible to get a passport stamp. Consult a trekking agency before setting off.
I crossed there in 2004 and no, you don't get a stamp, but it was no problem exiting into Kaz. They might not have even looked at my passport. Kyrgyz border crossings were some of the easiest anywhere. For up to date info ask David at STANTOURS - Central Asia Travel Resources
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 23 May 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 5
Hi,

Road condition in Kyrgystan

Kyrgyzstan gives you open spaces, high passes, beautiful lakes, beaches, high pasture mountains and desert like landscapes, all connected through roads constructed in Soviet time. As Kyrgyzstan was the main supplier of sheep meat for the Soviet Union the pastures were heavily used in summer and a myriad of roads connect them with the valleys and cities...The main roads are, although mostly rough for cars, good for cycling. The main part of the Bishkek-Osh road has been repaired and is in perfect condition. The stretches Tash Komur – Jalal Abad and Usgen-Osh are still under repair in 2005. Most of the roads especially in the mountains and to the jailoos are unpaved, but good for cycling....

Kyrgyz visa

TRAVELAZERBAIJAN - RENA SALMANOVA - ALLA RAKHMANINA - letter of invitation 12 euros to Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan, Mongolia etc..

Kyrgyzstan Visa: $55/person for 30-day, single-entry tourist visa from an embassy; if purchased on arrival at the airport, $35 for the same visa. Multiple-entry and 60-day visas are also available at the airport for around $55.
Kyrgyzstan Visa Extension: We paid 1560 som/person ($40) for a 20-day extension of our tourist visa. We don’t know if that is the normal price or a price with “special fees” included.

OVIR TAJIKISTAN...

When you arrive in Tajikistan, you are supposed to register at OVIR within three days. We tried to do this in Murghab, the first Tajik town we stayed in, but the office had run out of forms. We were forced to register in Khorog instead. The woman at the Murghab OVIR office was very kind, though. She noted our passport details and said she would call ahead to the military checkpoints along the road to ensure we didn’t have any problems. While we trusted her, we had visions of young military recruits hassling and extorting our passage through their checkpoints. We asked the woman to write us a note, indicating our passport details and explaining why we didn’t have our OVIR registration cards. For added assurance, we asked her to affix it with an official OVIR stamp. As informal as the document was, it was rather impressive. We showed it several times at the checkpoints on the way to Khorog and never had any problems. Bureaucracy always knows the value of the stamp.
Upon arrival in Khorog we spent a morning running between OVIR, photocopy shops and the bank. The registration fee is around $20 per person, paid at the bank next door. Electricity, paper and toner are all in inconveniently short supply, so you may have to make multiple visits until you get someone with all three..
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buying Bike in Kyrgyz/Kazakh - Market in Bishkek Braaart Northern Asia 12 15 Jul 2014 04:29
Kaz/Kyr border. PaulM Northern Asia 2 18 Jun 2008 16:29
Mexico Border rossphoto Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 2 16 Oct 2007 18:26
Rosso Border? qwer1234 sub-Saharan Africa 10 18 Feb 2006 00:32
Mauritanian border roro Sahara Travel Forum 14 23 Apr 2004 15:26

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:37.