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  #16  
Old 26 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Big Empty View Post
The KKH is now open to all traffic, however a German group was turned back last week. They were asked to get an noc from the ministry of interior . The plan is to provide escort to all foreigners traveling on KKH between Behsam and Gilgit however this is still in the works and there is no clear policy yet. I'm told that it would be resolved in a week or so...
We are crossing into Pakistan next week and will see what the deal is when we get to Islamabad.

According to my information police is escorting the vehicles in convoys around Chillas area. We can always contact the NATCO and hotels in Gilgit for the latest information.
One thing is for sure traffic is running in convoys.
BTW the more scenic and shorter route, my favorite, via Babusar should be opening in June when the snows melt.
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  #17  
Old 27 Apr 2012
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Big Empty: thanks for the information. So your crossing over in a week?
I should be crossing over in 2-3 weeks I think and heading for the border for a crossing on the 24th or so.

Let us know what you find out in Islamabad!

Pecha: I'm not sure how much research Ryan's done. He was initially thinking about flying the bike from Delhi to Istanbul, but he's still looking into various options.

Cheers!
Drew
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  #18  
Old 3 May 2012
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Yeah we will probably cross the border early next week. We have spent more time than anticipated here in the Indian Himalayas which by the way you really shouldn't skip - amazing! Much better than Nepal in my opinion. So you're not spending much time in India and Pakistan then? Is it you who is riding a vespa?
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  #19  
Old 5 May 2012
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Originally Posted by Big Empty View Post
Yeah we will probably cross the border early next week. We have spent more time than anticipated here in the Indian Himalayas which by the way you really shouldn't skip - amazing! Much better than Nepal in my opinion. So you're not spending much time in India and Pakistan then? Is it you who is riding a vespa?
Ahh ok.. thanks for the tips.

Yes, I'm riding the Vespa (Vescapade | Facebook) and have been travelling with Ryan from Melbourne since Pokhara (Super trip of awesome). Were currently in Varanasi - and my plan was to meet a Chinese guide in northern pakistan in about 3 weeks time, but at the rate I'm going I'm not going to get there - so a considering the south-western dash into Iran. Are you guys going that way? What kind of timeframes have you in mind for Pakistan?

Cheers!
Drew
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  #20  
Old 6 May 2012
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If you follow along the KKH, you do not need a NOC but if you head over through the Babusar pass, I have heard of people been stopped and asked for a NOC. This again is not entirely true, but they use it if there has been problems along the road. If you can not go on one road try the other before giving up. Its well worth going up the KKH.

My friend is the Director of Tourism in Gilgit-baltistan area, when they had the problems they informed all the tourist and helped them to get out of the area quickly and safely. Pakistan, do not want any problems with tourist but the love tourist, so they are very caring and thoughtful. SO, IF something does happen again, be confidant in the Tourism Department to help all the tourist out.

Pakistan is well worth visiting! I thought I would be there for less than a month and ended up staying for 6! It is the most beautiful country ive ever been too!
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  #21  
Old 14 May 2012
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Originally Posted by Big Empty View Post
Kevin - is this you??? It's Sanne and Mark - we met in Krabi! So you have started your trip then? Regarding Pak visa - you can fedex your passport to the embassy in Germany - Frank the KTM rider did the same.
Yes, it's me and I finally started my journey - with more than a week delay due to the accident in Bangkok and the visa issues.
I arrived in KTM on Saturday and got my motorbike the next day. I'll stay in the Kathmandu valley till Friday, the day I'm supposed to get my Indian visa (crossing fingers). Then I'll have to rush through India and Pakistan to be at the Pakistani-Chinese boarder on 31.05.
You are in Pakistan now, aren't you. Are you going to Iran or China after that?
You mentioned that you liked the Indian Himalayas very much. Any specific road/city you would recommend?

Drew,
where are you at the moment?

Cheers,
Kevin
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  #22  
Old 15 May 2012
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Hey Kevin!

Good to hear from you.

I've been in a similar boat to you I think. I was planning to meet my guide on the 24th of may at the Chinese border, but I've been delayed by varying illnesses , and well.. the roads aren't too quick anywhere! Am about 500k's east of Delhi at the moment, and have been in this town for almost a week due to illness, and not the night or two I had planned.

With my delays I'm thinking of going from Pakistan straight down to Iran.. there's no way I'll be getting that far within 2 weeks (and I'd still need a Kyrgyzstan visa)

Am not sure how fast your thinking of travelling but it's quite a long way from Kathmandu. Took me a couple of days to get to the Nepal/Indian border from Pokhara (although I don't travel ultra fast).

Keep me in the know!... especially if you re-route through to Iran instead of China like me !

All the best,
Drew
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  #23  
Old 16 May 2012
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I've been in a similar boat to you I think. I was planning to meet my guide on the 24th of may at the Chinese border, but I've been delayed by varying illnesses , and well.. the roads aren't too quick anywhere! Am about 500k's east of Delhi at the moment, and have been in this town for almost a week due to illness, and not the night or two I had planned.
I hope you're feeling better now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewsome View Post
Keep me in the know!... especially if you re-route through to Iran instead of China like me !
Well, I don't have an Iranian visa and I've already transferred a considerable amount of money to the Chinese agency. So I don't have much of a choice than being at the Pakistan-Chinese boarder in time.
If my plan works out, I'll arrive at Lahore on 26.05. I want to stay at the Regal Internet Inn for one night. The next day, head to Islamabad and stay at the overland campsite. So I'll have 4 days for the KKH.
Maybe, I'll catch up with you (and Ryan?) somewhere on the way.
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  #24  
Old 17 May 2012
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Originally Posted by Kette View Post
I hope you're feeling better now!



Well, I don't have an Iranian visa and I've already transferred a considerable amount of money to the Chinese agency. So I don't have much of a choice than being at the Pakistan-Chinese boarder in time.
If my plan works out, I'll arrive at Lahore on 26.05. I want to stay at the Regal Internet Inn for one night. The next day, head to Islamabad and stay at the overland campsite. So I'll have 4 days for the KKH.
Maybe, I'll catch up with you (and Ryan?) somewhere on the way.
One night for Lahore shouldnt be enough. I would recommend you to spend a few more days and enjoy this wonderful city and discover its varied charms like

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Let me know if you want any kind of help.

Have a nice trip.
Cheers
Omar
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  #25  
Old 19 May 2012
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In Kathmandu now.

Hi Drew,

Have been following this thread very closely. I am in KTM now and should pick up my bike on Monday to head for India and Pakistan, then KKH, China and Kyrgyzstan etc. Hope you get everything sorted out. May meet you somewhere between Kathmandu and London.Thanks for all the useful info too.

Omie: Will PM you when I get to Lahore in early June.
Cheers,
Brian
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  #26  
Old 19 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kette View Post
Yes, it's me and I finally started my journey - with more than a week delay due to the accident in Bangkok and the visa issues.
I arrived in KTM on Saturday and got my motorbike the next day. I'll stay in the Kathmandu valley till Friday, the day I'm supposed to get my Indian visa (crossing fingers). Then I'll have to rush through India and Pakistan to be at the Pakistani-Chinese boarder on 31.05.
You are in Pakistan now, aren't you. Are you going to Iran or China after that?
You mentioned that you liked the Indian Himalayas very much. Any specific road/city you would recommend?

Drew,
where are you at the moment?

Cheers,
Kevin
What accident did you have in Bangkok?
We just arrived in Lahore today, after spending some time in Amritsar recovering from illness
We will be going to Iran afterwards. Yes, if you have time you must go to Himachal Pradesh, especially Manali, one of our favourite places in India and cool... From here you can try to take the road to Keylong via the Rotang Pass if it is open. From Shimla up to Tatopani is also a really nice road with next to no traffic (a rarity in India).
Maybe we'll see you on the KKH somewhere

Sanne
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  #27  
Old 23 May 2012
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Thanks for the tip! I'll go that direction tomorrow.
I'm at Rishikesh together with Nic (www.froma2b.com.au), another Aussie who's riding his BMW F800GS to London.
See you on the KKH

Last edited by Kette; 27 May 2012 at 20:04.
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  #28  
Old 2 Jul 2012
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KKH update from end of May 2012

I saw a few a other threads that are talking about taking the KKH in the near future, so it's high time for me to share my experience (sorry for the delay, but I'm still traveling):

I took the KKH end of May this year (2012) to cross into China. I drove all the way from Lahore to the landslide lake within two days. It took me two more to do rest of the KKH from there to Khunjerab pass.

I was escorted by the police from Besham to Chilas which slowed me down a lot (driving slowly, registration at checkpoints, waiting for handover every ~10 km). To my surprise they were even driving in the dark with me for quite some time.
On the first day we stopped at “Hotel/Restaurant Pakistan”, a place where many buses stop and which is about 10-15km before the PTDC @Dasu where I actually wanted to stay. But it was very late already (after 10 pm) and so they insisted that I stay at this hotel. At first I was skeptic and suspected them to have some kind of “deal” with the owner of the shabby hotel. In the end, I got invited for dinner by another guest and didn’t have to pay for the room either. A policeman with his AK-47 shared the room with me for my safety.
It took almost the entire morning of the next day till we reached Chilas. Eventually, I arrived at the landslide lake around 6:00 pm (had a puncture just after Chilas). There were no other passengers anymore to share a boat with and therefore, the boat ride would have cost 3000 PKR which I didn’t have. In addition, the policemen asked me for a NOC (no objection certificate). As I had not heard/read that I need it to cross the lake, I didn’t have it. They told me it is possible to get in in Hunza, but they gave me a “special permission” after showing them my Chinese letter of invitation with the date of the next day on it and explaining that my Chinese guide will be waiting at the border (which was true).
So I stayed with them at an abandoned Chinese camp for the night and took one of the first boats the next morning around 9 am (500 PKR + 200 PKR for porters to help me loading my bike onto the boat). It is impossible for cars to get loaded on boats – it was possible in the past, but not anymore according to the policemen – so there’s no way for cars to cross the lake and drive the KKH from Pakistan to China or vice versa. Loading and unloading was done within a couple of minutes, crossing the lake took about 1.5 h, getting the bike (~165 kg) and luggage back on the KKH after unloading took about 1 h plus a lot of sweat of 3 porters (8 USD) and me. Due to another landslide that came down there in mid of May, the road to the KKH was blocked by boulders and a rapid stream of glacier water. I didn’t dare to give it a try to ride through. Later I saw a huge digger driving through it and the water reached almost till the half of its big wheels, approximately the height of my bike’s seat. This small landslide might be cleared by the time of writing. The huge landslide lake will be there for at least two more years according to locals.
I arrived at Sust/Sost around 13:00 and had to stay there one more night because the Pakistani customs and immigration offices are only open 9:00 – 12:00. There are no ATMs and gas stations after the landslide lake, but you can get petrol in some backyard in Sost. I paid 425 PKR for 3 liters. It’s ca. 290 km after the landslide lake to the next petrol station at Tashkurgan, China, so better top up in Hunza.
The last unpleasant surprise was the 8 USD admission for the KK National Park which you have to pay on the way to the Khunjerab Pass just after leaving Sost.

The landscape after the lake up to Khunjerab pass isn’t much different from what you see before the lake, but it was mind-blowing for me on the Chinese side and that was great reward for all these difficulties.
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  #29  
Old 17 Jul 2012
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Hi

I was on the KKH also in May 2012 and I was able to ship my car over the lake. In fact we were four car's (2 Toyota Landcruiser, 1 IVECO Daily, 1 Mercedes Van) plus three big trucks (IVECO, Unimog, Mercedes).

The army ferry is currently out of order so we had to ship the vehicles with the ordinary fishing boats. We put two of these boats together and shipped two small car at a time over the 30km lake. The trucks went one by one.

The loading is a bit dodgy so is the unloading, but in general it was quite ok. Shortly after our crossing they blowed part of the damn to release some of the water, so I guess you just arrived after that event and they have not set up yet a proper up- and unloading for the massive amount of goods they transport each day.

I spent about a week around Karimabad and talked with loads of people and officials about the lake etc.! For all other travelers of the KKH I advice to contact local sources for recent news about lake crossings. In my opinion, knowing the Pakistanis quite well, there will be 100% a way to cross with car by now, since many locals also cross with there vehicles.

For more details about the crossing or local contacts please contact me. By the way we paid 14'000 Rs for two boats which carried up to two car's. The horror stories of 1000USD plus are not true or there was very bad "handling" involved.

Cheers and safe travels
Roman
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  #30  
Old 17 Jul 2012
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Ow if you like to see some pictures of the crossing. Check out the following link on flickr.

Pakistan - KKH Lower Hunza - a set on Flickr

Greeetz Roman
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