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 4 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 41
stans visas and travel - our experience

Have been meaning to put up a post re the visa circus for the Stans. Here it is.
Our experience was actually pretty easy:
look in Donkey and the Mule - Home for more details and pics.
Applied for Kaz, Kirg and Uzbek in Istanbul. All were obtained without LOI, although the Kaz one took some explaining to the consulate. They took from 5 days (Kaz) to 3 days. Cost varied but sorry I cant remember what they were. (we are travelling on Australian and Italian passports)
Tajik visa and GBAO was obtained in Ankara, again without LOI, same day.
Turkmenistan… the tricky one.
We used Stantours who arranged the visa and a guide. They were pretty good to deal with but I would do some things differently next time. Wouldn’t ask for a guide, only a driver (cheaper) and wouldn’t book any accommodation with them either – their idea of ‘budget’ and our idea of ‘budget’ were very different, the 3 star hotels they booked were way too nice for us, and 2x more expensive than what we would have used (the driver will find you cheap accommodation without problems).
Although not really a stan, Azerbaijan visa was obtained in Georgia, pretty straightforward, no LOI, 3 days. The rumor of only being allowed in AZ for 3 days with your vehicle is true. 72 hours after you enter you will need to park it in the customs carpark. Ridiculous but true. We met a guy who didn’t know and had been riding his Yamaha for a week there, and he was still in customs 3 hours after he went to ask about it, “big problem” he said…
The ‘ferry’ from Baku to TM is not really a ferry, it’s a cargo ship that also takes people. Very rundown, and no booze on the boat, but there was a restaurant. It took 5 hours to leave port, 12 hours to get to TM and another 16hrs to dock and disembark. Then it took 5 hours to process through immigration, no problems just a whole lot of red tape.
At Baku, you don’t really buy a ticket for the boat, you go to the well camouflaged ticket office, ask about a boat, and are told to come back in 4 hours. Repeat this ?? times until the ‘captain’ says ‘maybe boat tonight, come back at 2am’ when he may or may not sell you a ticket. Expect delays.
The ferry from Baku to KAZ is a whole lot less regular, we met others in Baku who had been waiting 10 days, and then the next boat was a petroleum boat so no passengers, they were back to square one!
The riding in the Stans was breathtaking though, well worth the effort of getting in there. Take a look in our blog for more accounts and pics if interested. (Kirg is quiet now, we went thru both Osh and Jalalabad without any probs at all).
Oh and we were warned against using 2 different passports in the area, but it was no problem at all.
Cheers,
Dean.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 20 Jan 2012
Ekke's Avatar
HU CanWest Meeting Organiser
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Redwood Meadows, AB, Canada
Posts: 360
Just the info I was looking for!

Thanks Dean,

We are just starting the processes for our upcoming trip. We'll apply for the Russian and Chinese visas at home in Canada but getting all the 'Stans figured out ahead of time would be a nightmare. We're coming from the north so we could get the Kazahkstan visa in Moscow and then the other 'Stans plus Mongolia in Astana.

When I checked the Stan Tours website it gives instructions on how they can help in obtaining the visas but reading a little more closely it seems all they're really doing is getting the Letter of Introduction (Invitation). Then you need to apply at your local consulate/embassy with the LOI. Since you didn't seem to need the LOI that seems like a waste of time and money.

__________________
Ekke Kok

'84 R100RT 141,000 km (Dad's!)
'89 R100GS 250,000 km (and ready for another continent)
'07 R1200GS Adventure 100,000 km (just finished Circumnavigating Asia)


www.ekke-audrey.ca
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 1 Feb 2012
Haakonbj's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oslo
Posts: 129
Well done Dean

At first I started looking at the info from Europe to the Stans, cause this is where I am heading summer of 2013. Then I saw you guys had been through Arlit, Assamak and in to Algerie, and I recognised my guide from 2007. Great to see he is still doing what he does really good. I have great memories from that Sahara crossing.

Haakon
__________________
Haakon
Check out: North Africa 2007 and The Great African Run
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
Any experience with 1 World Travel Insurance? worstell Trip Paperwork 0 2 May 2007 02:22
Applying For Stans Visas In Istanbul MotoEdde Trip Paperwork 0 16 Apr 2007 13:05
congo mining zone travel permits/nigeria visas patonki sub-Saharan Africa 17 19 Feb 2006 22:02
some tenere travel experience aukeboss Yamaha Tech 4 2 May 2002 23:07

 
 
 

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

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 19:30.