UK to China in a 4x4 which EU route?
Ignore the costs of driving in China, with the "guide" etc.
We will deal with that later, as I have full Chinese residency, and Chinese driving licence. My Chinese wife will have passed her tour guide exam.
I would like to consider a drive in our Land Cruiser from UK to the Eastern side of China, Shandong province.
I read that there are a number of preferred entry points into China.
1/ One entry point into China seems to be Torugart Pass in Kyrgyzstan.
2/ Second entry point seems to be Karakorum Highway in Pakistan.
Is there a third preferred entry point that I don't know about?
So my questions are.
1/ What route/countries to pass through in EU and non EU to get to Torugart Pass in Kyrgyzstan, most directly.
2/ What route/countries to pass through in EU and non EU to get to the start of the Karakorum Highway in Pakistan, most directly.
A quick look on Googie maps, tells me.
Kyrgyzstan -----> Torugart Pass
Pakistan Islamabad where the KKH almost starts.
I must say, route 2 really does seem to have a lot of extra work and visa's involved, or am I mistaken?
The route I was thinking for the return in both cases.
Outer Mongolia Ulaanbaatar
Then exit Mongolia into Russia on the M52, at the juncture of China/Mongolia/Russia.
Onwards to Kiev, and Calais.
I would go with your 1st route option as gaining a KAZ visa shouldn't be hard and Kyrg are now visa free.
Whichever option you chose will require a RUS visa which is likely to cause you the most hassle. Return option looks good to.
The only alternative route I can suggest is the ferry across the Caspian Sea from Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan but this route can be tricky (we have now decided to drive around from Georgia/RUS/KAZ instead).
Cant help you with China entry points sorry as its not somewhere we are going. There is however another entry point in Tajikistan but I think this may only be for locals.
Let us know your plans, we will be in that area next year.
After doing more research, I also feel route 1 is far easier.
Calais, ---->Germany, ---->Poland,----> Ukraine,----> Russia,----> Kazakhstan,----> Kyrgyzstan -----> Torugart Pass, then into China and towards Kashgar, the first city of size.
We would spend 3 weeks in China, before exiting via Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia and back to UK.
As you say, the Russian visa will have to be a multi entry business visa.
For China, and the notoriously difficult temporary import, temporary drivers licence, and the all guide costs.
My Chinese wife has been studying hard, and will sit exams around middle of December.
If she passes, then she can become an English tour guide.
The loose plan is to set up a small adventure tour company here, and if it all works as planned, she then offer tours around the interesting parts of China.
Her, as the guide in our Land Cruiser, would fore-fill the Chinese law requirement for foreigner travel.
She would do the temporary vehicle import, temporary Chinese number plates, arrange temporary drivers licenses.
We would plan for small groups of up to 2 or 3 other vehicles, totally 4 vehicles at the most.
That would take the group to 6 additional persons, with ourselves making the party to 8, after that, the group could become to diversified, and you can't do that in China.
The route has to be planned, laid out, and approved by all the PSB (Public Security Bureau's) who's jurisdiction you will travel through, and the group needs to stick to it. This is typically why the Chinese tour company's charge so much.
She would advise on completing the Chinese tourist visa, which really isn't that difficult.
Land Cruisers or Land Rovers as these are very comprehensively spares supported throughout China that I know of.
Hi when is your trip planed for, please.
Little early to say yet, as she still needs to pass the exams.
All being well, it is looking like it could start in May, June, or July time.
probably more to July to be honest.
There are possibly 3 "interested" parties from UK doing the China loop, and back to UK.
My wife and I would be very interested in joining you if you are looking for other vehicles and planning to go in 2013
Hi Chris, sure would ad a bit more adventure with your plans.
Another roue option
Another option would be via Turkey and across the Black Sea to Sochi. We did this last year on the way back from Mongolia. There is a ferry once per week but not on a regular day and some weeks does not go at all. You can ring in advance to reserve and pay when you get there . There is a Skype number and we did it from a restaurant with the help of a waitress (that spoke no English, but we just drew a picture of a truck on a boat, changed the screen to Russian and pointed at the appropriate crossing).
At £600.00 (Nov 2012) the crossing is not cheap and fuel in Turkey was the same price as UK.
We are planning to do the Karakorum route to India in mid 2014 so if you are planning anything then it would be good to join you
I think the £600 is an "off putter"
Entering China is already expensive, so adding another £600 on top, is crazy for us.
I wish you luck for your plans - i think there is a big potential - because the language seems to be a problem - with most tourguides and operators in china...
Guess who is the new holder of a full Chinese driving licence.
All legit, done the tests.
Failed first time.
Went back, a second time and passed.
if may do you think to drive along the KKH you should to consider how to cross "the lake" in Hunza valley.
Even if it is "easy" to carry a bike on that boats it would be useful for you to check in advance, if possible, if boats are "strong" enough to ship a full loaded off road veichle.
as far as i know i didn't heard, or seen while i was up there on 2010, any big car loaded on a karakoram "ferry".
The "pier" on the south side it is dramatically challenging and steepy, plus huge rocks along the lakeshore wont helps you. But it is also possible they've managed, in some way meantime, to get the "pier" access more "comfortable".
On the other hand i saw picture of a small Suzuki Rascal sailing across the lake on a boat...
Lungastrada - Donato Nicoletti - Phototraveller
Good news on your Chinese driving licence we are planning a trip across China around Aug -Sept 2013 from Mongolia to Tibet/Nepal seeing all the sights possible.
We have a 4x4 Pinzgauer camper and would join other like minded travellers
Is this the sort of thing you will be doing?
Hunza is gorgeous but lake Attabad would be a challenge for a 4 wheel vehicle. But they do transport small & medium trucks. There are no docks, just rocks & steep dirt by the water. It's wild. The KKH is great with variable surfaces but the last bit before china is really offroad with water crossings. Fun;)
On the other side kyrgyzstan is fantastic, magnificent landscape. The ride thru Kazakhstan to get there is long and challenging. Lots of rOcky sandy endless bypasses.
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