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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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safety in kygystan and uzbekistan

dear peeps

am planning a singapore to sweden ride in FEB MAR 2014. was hoping to get through these stans, but have been advised by some kazaks that kygystan, espcially around the isikkul lake and the ferdana valley, has got a little dangerous lately for solo riders

something about a drop in local law enforcement

any truth in this? my alternative route would be to head further up xinjiang and enter kazakstan from the east

please let me know

phil
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  #2  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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We have recently rode through the 'stans two up, though not specifically those areas. No problems a all all. Tough as recently seen in Khorog things change fast. But even with the Khorog situation tourists were able to get out safely.
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  #3  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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While I'm not up on the current situation in those areas, I always take "the next country is wild and dangerous" stories from locals with a big grain of salt.

On our trips:
Russian - "You are crazy going to Mongolia, they have no roads, nothing"
Kazakh - "Kyrgyz is dangerous, look out once you cross the border"
Northen Kyrgyz - "Steer well clear of Osh, it's drug riddled and seedy and scary"
Southern Kyrgyz - "Tajikistan? And the Pamir? You are crazy"
Etc, etc, you get the point. And we didn't meet any problems.

See if you can find any objective reports of recent troubles in the area and decide for yourself.
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  #4  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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Throughout Russia, in response to answering "Where you are going?", you will be advised "Don't go there its dangerous".

It's a standard conversation opener, like the weather is to the English.
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  #5  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Throughout Russia, in response to answering "Where you are going?", you will be advised "Don't go there its dangerous".
Hah,hah if have heard this once, I have heard it a thousand times.

In all of this I have felt very safe almost everywhere we have been. In many parts of Russia I leave the bike in places I would never dream of in Australia or an large western city.

The only place I felt unsafe was Kylob in Tajikistan, just an unhappy city.

We have found Russians and central Asians are almost universally friendly towards travellers.
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  #6  
Old 10 Aug 2012
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And when I was in Kylob last week I felt completely safe and really enjoyed chatting to all the friendly people I met. Everybody has different experiences and a little common sense will go a long where no matter where you are.
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  #7  
Old 13 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philip iau View Post
dear peeps

am planning a singapore to sweden ride in FEB MAR 2014. was hoping to get through these stans, but have been advised by some kazaks that kygystan, espcially around the isikkul lake and the ferdana valley, has got a little dangerous lately for solo riders

something about a drop in local law enforcement

any truth in this? my alternative route would be to head further up xinjiang and enter kazakstan from the east

please let me know

phil
Was in Issy-Kul and spent a two weeks touring Kyrgyzstan, no problems at all .
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  #8  
Old 31 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig.iedema View Post
We have found Russians and central Asians are almost universally friendly towards travellers.

This is also my experience.

I heard "don't go there, it's dangerous" in Russia and Kazakhstan a thousand times, and never had any problem.
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  #9  
Old 2 Sep 2012
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Safety . . . little to worry about

Let's see, in my 12,000 miles across the Stans, Mongolia and Russia I did have my valve stem caps "removed" . . .

And it's true that the police in Bishkek vanish at night - maximum revenue generation opportunities seem to set with the sun.

I was awoken by 5 drunk Mongolian men and didn't enjoy it - mostly the fact that they insisted on leaving the door open (-10C) to an unheated room.

Potholes, staring at scenery, and the odd unpleasantry at border crossings would sum up my "serious" risks.

It IS hilarious how often you're assured that "the next village is not safe".

The number of times that I was asked "alone" (одинокий) was beyond count.

Kurt
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  #10  
Old 4 Sep 2012
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Hi folks
After 14 000 km and 35 days in "stans" I truly say: it is very safe places.
No problem at all, be careful in Russia on roads and don't brake the rules.
If you do this russian language can help you (I speak ruusian).
In Kazachstan don't drive to fast, police have radars, also be careful in Kirgistan. Drivers always give you ligts signals (it is eastern europe drivers help system).
Even Khorog was no problem for us.
If you have questions just ask.

Bartosz
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  #11  
Old 18 Sep 2012
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Speaking for Kyrgyzstan

I am an American living in Sukuluk Kg. about 40 km west of Bishkek. As far as danger, it is everywhere. It does not matter where you ride, what country you ride, you always have to keep you head on a swivel and know who is watching you. As for Kyrgyzstan being more dangerous than other stans? No, I would would say she is pretty friendly to travelers. Everyone is interested in what you are doing, where you are from, where you are going. The average Kyrgyz will help help you but there are those who will do what ever it takes to relieve you of some of your burden.
I believe the biggest danger we have here are the idiot drivers. They will pass you on both sides at just cm's of clearance. If you move over a little for them they think you should move over even more. Again, keep your head on a swivel!
If you come to Kyrgyzstan and need some help just call 0551500998. Ask just about anyone if you can use their cell phone and they will let you. Might ask for a little money. You could call and just say that you are a downed biker and ask for me to call the number back.
Ride safe, have fun, we have a lot of wonderful roads to ride, mountains to see, and some interesting historic sights. God is so good to us, enjoy all He has created!

Mac
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  #12  
Old 14 Jun 2013
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Dear Mac

Thats so good of you to announce that u r there to help.
Its a great feeling for bikers going that way.

God Bless
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