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

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 30 Jan 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wiltshire, England
Posts: 21
Lakeland-Lhasa 'The Silk Road'

My wife and I are in the planning process for a trip that will see us travel from the UK through:
Balkans, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgzstan, China (Inc. Tibet), Nepal, India (Export bike to UK).
This trip may start in August 2007, lasting six months. I have gathered a great deal of information on the route, however the following questions still remain only partly answered:

1. Has anyone used a travel agent/guide to attain the relevent permits and bike documents for China, entering from Kyryzstan and once in Xinjiang managed to travel on without supervision?

2. Has anyone managed to travel through western Tibet on a motorcycle?

3. If the answer to question two is yes then can the answer the following:

a. What was your route, including entry and exit points to Tibet?
b. Did you use a Tibet Tourist Bureau Permit (TTP) or an Alien Travel Permit and if so where did you get them.

4. Has anyone travelled in the following areas during October/November, and if so what were the conditions like?

a. The Pamir highway; Khorog - Osh (Tajikistan)
b. Kokshal range/Torugart Pass (Kyrgyzstan)
c. Tibet

Any help with any of these would be most helpful and I will be sure to return the favour once I have completed the route!

I will soon have a website to update this trip and detail my previous trips, which include:
Vietnam 1995
Deli - Leh, Ladakh 1995
Venezuala 1996
Deli - London 1999/2000
UK - Turkey (Through E. Europe) 2005
UK - Morocco 2005/06
Baltic countries - Anti - clockwise (Inc Russia) 2006

Should anyone have any questions on these trips please contact me at foulerton@hotmail.com.

Nick Foulerton
Reply With Quote
Old 30 Jan 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Togliatti, Russia
Posts: 248
Look at my topics about western Tibet (Southern Asia forum). If you will have a concrete questions concerning my route I will try to help you.

Reply With Quote
Old 30 Jan 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: France
Posts: 9
Silk road

Hi Nick,

i have ride from france to China in 2005 during six months, i also try during this trip to go in China by the torugart, but without guide or agency and they turn me back !!!. Finally, i was successful to go to China from kazakhstan without guide or agency and ride freely to Beijing, same road used by Alex in 2006. Aniway if you want to try through Kirghizstan, i may still have agencies adress.

Reply With Quote
Old 31 Jan 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wiltshire, England
Posts: 21
Kashgar - Lhasa

Alex & Chris,

Firstly thank you for replying so quickly, secondly this thread should really be in the South Asia section. I am still trying to get to grips with website!

I have looked at both your sites/information and gained much information and have been most impressed by the photos.

Chris, I understand that you managed to travel your route without the Chinese bike docs and plates, correct?

Neither of you rode the route (219) from Kashgar, Yecheng, Sumzhi, Samsang, Lhatze, Lhasa. You will however come across the same problems;

I aim to use a tour company to get my bike docs and permits (TTP and Alien Travel Permit - if possible) and meet me at the border (Irkeshtam/Torugart - weather dependant). Once I am in Kashgar I aim to go on my own along the route described. Does this sound possible?

Neither of you travelled in Tibet in November, do you know anyone who has, or who have travelled along the route I am planning?

Any help would be much apprieciated.

Reply With Quote
Old 31 Jan 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: France
Posts: 9
Thanks Nick,

You're right, i manage my way without guide, plates, all docs and stuff i have seems to be enough for them ;o)

If you want to go in China through Kirghizstan, you may try to arrange this with a chinese or kirghiz agency, i will e-mail you some contacts.

When i was turned back in Torugart, i 've meet a french couple with bicycles, they have arrange everything with a chinese agency to go to Kashgar. i meet them again 2 weeks after in China when i was heading to Kashgar, and they told me that after leaving Kashgar they were free to go wherever they want, then i think it should be possible !!! Aniway ask in advance...

i don't have any information about the road 219 or the one you intend to follow. After Yecheng, i continue towards Hotan, Minfeng along taklamakan

Reply With Quote
Old 1 Feb 2007
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: england
Posts: 19

hi waterloo

im planning to do pretty much the same trip but in reverse a year later, all ive found is that china is a bi*^h but try,


there a good kiwi company who can organise visa for nearly all those countrys and they have done the trip, so they know what there on about,

found it usefull for the weather reports, and what it should be like in diffrent months, hope these are usefull,

Reply With Quote
Old 1 Feb 2007
davidmc's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Francisco, CA USA
Posts: 377
I would not plan on being on the Torugart Pass or the Pamir Highway after October 1. We crossed the Torugart Pass in mid-October of 2005, but our bike was in the back of a van due to snow and ice.

Quite frankly, I think October/November is the wrong time of year to be planning a trip from Central Asia to Tibet on a motorcycle.

There are agencies who can get you the necessary permits, like www.caravancafe.com in Kashgar, but I doubt they will give you permits knowing that you will be travelling on your own afterwards, this could get them into some trouble. Greg at Caravan Cafe told me that even with the proper permits, inter-province travel in China is very difficult. And the bicyclists don't have the same restrictive rules as vehicles, i.e., no chinese driver's license, registration, guide requirements, etc.

However, in your situation I think the weather will hold you back before the paperwork does. Unless you plan on putting studded tires on your bikes and being totally self-sufficient.

Sorry to be so negative. You can check out our blog at the link below, check out the Kyrgyzstan and China sections to see what the roads look like in mid-October. If you break down in these conditions, there may be serious consequences.

Last edited by davidmc; 1 Feb 2007 at 21:28.
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Feb 2007
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wiltshire, England
Posts: 21

Thank you for your comprehensive reply, certainly food for thought. I travelled back through Iran/Turkey and the Alps on an Enfield seven years ago in December/January and yes it was a touch chilly! These timings are not of my own choosing and are far from ideal and I think Tajikistan will be the biggest problem. Crossing the lower Irkeshtam Pass may be a more sensible option in this situation.

Tibet I believe is clearly going to be cold, however snows tend to fall earlier in the year and therefore may not have the same impact.

Bike paperwork appears to be a combination of attaining the most you can and touch of luck, but I don't fancy Chrismas in the Hindu Hush!

Once again thank you and I will give you a full report if I get through.
I have emailed the Caravan Cafe and now wait for a reply.

Nick Foulerton
Reply With Quote

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
Round road trip from Pakistan to London Switzerland khurramkhan Route Planning 3 13 Apr 2010 07:48
Round road trip khurramkhan Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 4 7 Mar 2008 19:05
Silk road ( China to Turkey ) Route planning & help Required Silkrider Route Planning 1 2 Nov 2005 12:45
Chita to Khabarovsk route description Chris Scott Northern Asia 3 23 Feb 2005 17:13
djibouti - eritrea miles murray sub-Saharan Africa 3 13 Jan 2005 18:56


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

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

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

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


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 14:54.