Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   -   KKH status (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/southern-asia/kkh-status-42601)

Jezz 6 May 2009 11:37

KKH status
 
Has anyone done the KKH recently? I am tentatively planning to travel it at the start of July. Any info on current safety issues, places to avoid/go to would be greatly appreciated.

cheers,

golfish 11 May 2009 12:12

We just drove up the KKH and in to China 3 days ago (the first foreign vehicle through the Kunerjab pass/China border since Oct 08!). North of Islamabad we had no problems whatsoever. The town of Besham had a pretty heavy police presence (it has a direct road to the Swat valley), but we didn't stay there and just drove straight through. The further north you go, the more relaxed it seemed to get. We were in a bit of a hurry to just drive up in to China to make our entry date so didn't stop and see much, but north of Gilgit I would say it is currently as safe as it's ever likely to be.

golfish 11 May 2009 12:32

Jezz, just noticed you've posted in a few other KKH related threads. Feel free to asks any questions - given that we are the only foreign vehicle to have gone through (north at least, as far as I know) in the last 6 months, I reckon we can probably help!

Dave.

PS (stop being tentative and start planning - it's absolutely stunning!)

rossmac 13 May 2009 04:02

Kkh
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jezz (Post 240688)
Has anyone done the KKH recently? I am tentatively planning to travel it at the start of July. Any info on current safety issues, places to avoid/go to would be greatly appreciated.

cheers,

Jezz
I am arriving Chennai India middle June (from NZ) and will be doing the KKH around the same time as you. If you want to catch up pm me

Jezz 18 May 2009 06:15

Hey Golfish,

Thanks for the info. Its very hard to tell what is media beat up and what dangers you should take seriously! I'm still working out paperwork. I am planning on doing it on a bike which I've heard draws a bit more attention than cars. What kind of paperwork did you have? Did you get all your visas before you left or can you get some at the borders in the Stans. I understand it is necessary to get visas beforehand at least for China and a few of the stans. Did you have a Carnet for your Vehicle? This is proving tricky for me.

Cheers,

Jez

Jezz 18 May 2009 06:20

Hi Rossmac,

That would cool to catch up. I'll be riding around northern India during June. Are you planning on riding? how far have you got with paperwork?

Jez

Moodoo 18 May 2009 13:26

Hi Golfish, Good to hear about your trip!

We are in Northern India in a landcruiser heading to the UK and just had our Iranian visa application rejected. We are heading to Islamabad to apply again there, and if that is rejected then we look at KKH route you took.

- We heard a cost of 1600 euro for 5 days China transit, does this sound right?
- Did you arrange visas/paperwork in Islamabad?
- Bushcamping or hotels?

Thanks in advance for any info,

Cheers, Andrew

golfish 19 May 2009 16:31

Jezz - You are right I think about the media beat up to some extent. We were very apprehensive about travelling through Pakistan because of what we saw on the news. There are definitely security problems there at the moment and some areas you should certainly avoid altogether, but I think if you follow local and police advice you shouldn't have any problems. As I said, the KKH is totally fine and I can't see that changing.
We travelled with 3 other bikes in Pakistan (Brian and Marie who we met on here were on one bike) and I think the amount of attention was about the same as for the car. In any case, the police notice you as a foreigner and will stop you to escort you as necessary. The bikes probably got a bit more interest from the locals, but nothing that would be a security issue.

You requite a Pakistan tourist visa for yourself, and a Carnet for the bike. We had both of these and had no problems entering or leaving. I don't know if it would be possible to enter without a Carnet, but you would certainly have problems.

For China, a LOT of paperwork is required (but not a Carnet). You MUST have an agency organise this for you - it would be impossible to do this yourself. (coming through the border without an agency assisting would be hopeless) Our Chinese permits and paperwork took 3 months to organise and were very expensive. China is amazing though, and I think it was worth it!

Moodoo - For China the cost of 1600 euro for 5 days seems about right. We paid about 5000 euros for 3 weeks. It takes 3 months to arrange all the necessary permits though - I'm not sure if it would be possible to arrange it faster than that? We have been staying in Hotels in China - camping is possible though from what we have heard. Hotels are so cheap though (about 15 to 20 euros per night for twin room in 3 star hotel) that we have not tried camping. Good luch whichever way you go!

rossmac 25 May 2009 01:04

Kkh
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jezz (Post 242208)
Hi Rossmac,

That would cool to catch up. I'll be riding around northern India during June. Are you planning on riding? how far have you got with paperwork?

Jez

Jezz

Bike is currently on a ship making its way to Chennai. I arrive on 16th June, 2 days before bike arrives (hopefully). I plan to ride up to Varanasi, Agra and Rajastan prior to crossing into Pakistan probably around 13th July. Then going Iran, Turkey and on to UK.
Ive got carnet and all visas sorted. What are your plans?

Lighter 2 Jun 2009 09:17

Riding on the KKH from Kashgar starting 27th June
 
I'm now in Samarkand and about to ride on the Pamir highway. I have a planned entry into China on the 25th of June from the Torugart pass. After two days in Kashgar, I will go down the KKH. In this respect, I would appreciate :
- any updated info on the current security situation along the KKH. As I understand, despite the battle going on the SWAT region, the situation should be ok as long as a low profile is kept.
- if anyone is on the KKH, maybe can we meet up. As I said, I will go southway, so if there is someone going up at the same time, maybe can we find a nice guesthouse to meet up halfway ?

Let me know,

Cheers,

A.

sambiplane 7 Jun 2009 06:44

Kkh
 
Hi Lighter

I'm now in Bokhara and will be at the Torugart at the end of July (27th) - then down the KKH and into Pakistan - any info regarding the situation in the north of Pakistan from you and other riders heading that way would be very much appreciated.

Some info for other riders heading the Iran route: I was refused an Iranian visa after routing across europe, Turkey and down into Syria and Jordan and wasted two months trying in vain to get one. I originally applied through Iranianvisa.com and had to wait 6 weeks only to be told my visa was refused - for no reason at Erzurum. I even already had the Pakistan visa. I headed back across Turkey from Erzurum to the Iranian embassy in Istanbul to apply in person and after waiting another month was refused again!...even after a support letter from the British Ambassador in Tehran to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was the only visa that I didn't get in the UK because I wasn't going to be near the Iranian border within three months....So I'm now going the stans route. Don't plan on getting the Iran visa en route - I've had to alter my plans totally due to the refusal and have wasted a lot of time!

Sorry I'm going to be a few weeks after you Lighter for the KKH...

All the best

Sam

apapadop 23 Jun 2009 11:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by golfish (Post 241363)
Jezz, just noticed you've posted in a few other KKH related threads. Feel free to asks any questions - given that we are the only foreign vehicle to have gone through (north at least, as far as I know) in the last 6 months, I reckon we can probably help!

Dave.

PS (stop being tentative and start planning - it's absolutely stunning!)

Hi Dave - I plan on visiting the KKH in early November - what are the chances I'll be able to make it with the bike (a Vstrom 650)? Might it be covered in snow and shut for the winter already?

golfish 3 Jul 2009 05:33

apapadop - My understanding is that the Kunjerab pass is only open from May to October. When we went through in early May there was still snow totally covering roughly 1km of the road - easy enough to follow other car tracks though and not difficult driving. I think November is too late to be planning to go however - I think the road would be officially closed, and in any case there would be a good chance of it being blocked by snow.

We stayed at Horizons Guesthouse Lost Horizon Treks and Tours - trekking, tours, and travel in the Northern Areas of Pakistan in Gilgit and the guys there would be an excellent source of information. I'm sure if you dropped them an email they'd be happy to offer advice.


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