Is it possible to exit Tajikistan at Ishkashim and enter Pakistan at Dorah Pass, or any other northern from Khyber Pass?
I heard that it is possible to exit at Ishkashim. But I'm not sure if doing that route through Afghanistan is advisable, given the current situation in that area. Just a few days ago, I heard the US killed a high-ranking Al-Quaida officer with a remote-controlled drone. That might be the first signals that the US are getting less patient with the situation in Waziristan, and who knows what's gonna happen next?
I know China is a pain in the neck & expensive to do officially. But it's safer.
Bjorn, did you decide which rute will You take?
On which bikes will You and your mates be riding?
We're 2 people, both going on BMW F650s (Dakar). I'm going to do Europe on my own and then meet up with my travel buddy in Turkey – around end of June probably, then do Iran for about 2-3 weeks before we hit the stans.
I've just finished the first half of the Stans travel plans:
- Turkmenistan 5 days (Ashgabat, gas crater, Kunya-Urgench)
- Uzbekistan around 2 1/2 weeks (Nukus, Muynak for the Aral Sea, back to Nukus, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand)
- Tajikistan around 3 weeks (no definite route yet, but would like to go via the Wakhan corridor)
- Kyrgyzstan around 2 weeks
- China via Kashgar to KKH around 5-7 days
It's gonna be stinkin' hot most of the time, but I guess we'll just have to get up with the sun, get a coffee & muesli bar and then straight into the saddle... trying to avoid most of the afternoon heat.
Maybe we'll meet somewhere on the road, or could share the guide costs for China. I'm in touch with another 2-3 people who might(!) consider China/Kashgar.
I think we could get 5-7 days in China including all the paperwork down to around $600-800 dollars each, depending on how many people we are.
i am gone take more or les the same route
but for the china piece i am e-mailing with newland-travel
and the price i got was 1150$ wen i am alone
with who are you talking in china ?
maybe i can join in for the guide costs ?
i wil be in the stans the same period.
greats Samson :scooter:
This thread might help :cool4:
I should be in the Stans in the beggining of August, and I definitely will not go in China. I't is just to complicted/expensive and it risky. You just can't be 100% sure in the agencies, what if you can't enter and get to know it on the border. Kiss the door and say goodbye! Open season for new transit visas. :confused1:
I checked, at Ishkashim and there should be no problem to enter Afghanistan. The problem is where to exit and enter Pakistan. And I doesn't feel comfortable to be there long, and Khyber Pass is long way south where the toubles are. But if the Dorah Pass is a way to Pakistan then I't shouldn't take more than a day to cross into it. It is near Chitral!
And I would like to see Wakhan.
For Wakhan coridor there is a special permit, you can get it at Ishkashim.
I don't know is it possible to get fuel in Wakhan, it is one of the most remote places on earth and local people there use horses.
Here is a good link for Wakhan:
2004 Mock & O'Neil Wakhan Expedition Report
You might want a contingency plan if the Afgans don't let you in. A freind of mine had a perfectly valid Afganistan visa and when he got to the border, they simply refused to let him in. Could have just been bad luck or something particularly nasty going on at that time, but you should consider the possibility that the same thing could happen to you.
Central Asia standard problems, things change fast.
At least it is not a such loss of money, Afghan visa is some 30 euro.
I wouldn't be too concerned about a guide not turning up. There's a few people who have been recommended. See here:
A friend of mine (see www.planitearth.co.uk) was nervous about the China thing as well. Still, he decided to do it and he said he would do it again. Guide was at the meeting point, excatly as agreed. I think it is in the interest of people like Newland Travel to not let anyone down. One bad experience on Horizons Unlimited, and they can forget about future customers. More good experience, however, means more customers for them. Just like David from Stantours has probably the best reputation for Central Asia on this forum. And I believe he gets a fair amount of business through here.
In short: I don't think there is much of a risk. The risk of being rejected on the Afghan border is higher. And then it's too late to sort out a guide for China. You'd have to go back through the Stans or fly the bike from somewhere into Pakistan or India.
HOWEVER, just as a $30 safety net, I might ask for a multiple entry visa for Kyrgyzstan. But then again: IF(!) the guide doesn't turn up (and I really don't think so), no-one is going to let you starve to death between 2 borders. There's ALWAYS a way out.
I guess you could always try the border crossing East of the Pamir Highway. Apparently it's only open 2 weeks per year, possibly for local traffic only but who knows...
Thought I'd copy in a link from an F650 site, about going through Afghanistan. Have a look at page 3 of the thread:
The Chain Gang :: View topic - New F650 GS, what mods for long adventure trip?
For now I'm determinant to make a trip to Herat which is some 130 km "deep :)" in Afghanistan, it could ba a one day visit, no sleeping.
But for anything more I'm not so sure at least not until I get a reply on a email I sent to one reporter who is currently in Kabul for more than one year now.
Also as I got a little more than one month for a entire trip I will do a circular travel and stay in Iran most of the time.
I think that it is better this way because even on this "smaller" rute I should make some 600 km average per day and even that could be torcure.
Besides that Iran has a lot to offer and I't would be a pitty just to drive through.
Got my answer for Afghanistan! :(
Here are the questions and answers?
Q1: Is it possible/wise to even enter Afghanistan as a tourist with a motorcycle?
A1: It is possible but I don't recommend a motorcycle because the roads are very bad and dengerous
Q2: On the road: Herat - Kabul - Khyber, is there any bad things as looters etc...
A2: Road from Herat to Kabul is extremely dangerous besides looters there are bands of murderers which attack foreigners and kill by beheading. Even local people don't like to use that road.
Q3: Does Afghan people when they see a foreigner "a priori" assume that he/she is American which I suppose they don't like much
A3: People in uniforme are always in danger, it is easyer with civilians. Our (Croatian) language is similar to Russian so You could be often mistaken for a Russian. They like Russians in Kabul but not on the north.
Q4: Are locals friendly, or they generaly don't like foreigners.
A4: People are generaly very friendly, moreover hospitality towards stranger is a obligation here, but if You meet Taliban then it is another story, a bad one.
Q5: Are there any battles currently on the north and central Afghanistan.
A5: North is relatively paceful concerning the Taliban and the Holy War. In last 2 years they had only 4 suicide bombers. Criminals are much greater problem. If You look at poppy field in a wrong way You could get hurt.
If You want to visit Afghanistan come on a plane. The roads are very dangerous especially roads on the west Herat - Farah, Kandahar - Helmand, evel locals try to avoid them. The trip from Kabul to Bamyan is ok for a motorcycle. And a road to Mazar (Solang pass) is relatively safe.
Do not travel alone in Afghanistan, because the populated areas are reare and I don't think that a injured person could find them easely.
What is possible and safe is to come with a plane in Kabul and take a tour with www.afghanlogisticstours.com.
Well that is all, I tried to translate it from Croatian as best as I could.
While i wouldn't claim to be an expert. But advice like
'Do not travel alone in Afghanistan, because the populated areas are reare and I don't think that a injured person could find them easely.
What is possible and safe is to come with a plane in Kabul and take a tour with Afghan Logistics & Tours'
Smacks of BS. As a motorcycle traveller you spend alot of time in places with few people. Its just the problem of solo travel.
Check out the blog of the chap who rode through on a Harley. Seem abit overblown aswell. 'are bands of murderers which attack foreigners and kill by beheading'. I don't think the Afghans as a people are more or less murderous than anyone else.
Also Nixa...the Khyber pass isn't down south at all, i know the road isn't the most secure in the world, but its not a war zone at the minute. Its to the east of Kabul. It links Peshawar and Kabul. Not in Helmand or anything hairy.
The route from Herat is likely to be less secure. There is still security problems in the south west. The Kondoz/Kabul/Khyber Pass route should be doable.
Afghanistans biggest issue is mines.. forget the crime/terroism blah... steer clear of areas that the british/american armies actively engage taliban e.g helmand and enjoy yourself... and if you want to see how scary a country can sound go to a US website and lookup there travel advice for the UK! it makes it seem like gangs roam streets robbing old ladies while the IRA and Al-Qaeda take it in turns to blow up our infrastructure!!!
I've spent time in Afghanistan and have mates who work out there, its not that bad... saying that i suppose its down to experience if you've never left europe it may be a jump, but if you can cope with Morroco or India or places like that its no drama.
It's just the landmines... Thats the big issue...
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