Kyrgyzstan - Kashgar
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jun 12, 2012 7:40 AM Last Post By: CBriales
May 11, 2012 11:05 AM
I'm planning to cross the Kyrgyzstan border at Torugart towards end of October. Wondering whether the road closes for winter around those dates. And am worried as well with the visa delivery for China. China Embassy in Paris told me I would need special permit to enter the country by road. Can someone confirm ? Any alternative scenario to get the visa somewhere in the region ?
May 11, 2012 7:53 PM
1There are two border crossings between Kyrgyzstan and China: Irkeshtam Pass, near Osh, KG, and Torugart Pass, near Naryn, KG.
China has classified these as two different types of borders. Torugart Pass is a Class 2 border crossing, so -pre-approved paperwork and pre-approved vehicles on both sides are required for non-Chinese, non-Kyrgyz citizens to cross. If your paperwork is not in order, you will be turned back. If your approved vehicle on the Chinese side does not arrive, you will not be permitted across the border into China.
Irkeshtam Pass is a Class 1 border crossing, so no special paperwork nor vehicles are required.
Travel agencies in Kyrgyzstan like Celestial Mountains can arrange for your paperwork and transport. They can also arrange for lodging in Naryn or, if you like, camping near an ancient Silk Road caravansarai of Tash Rabat on the way to Torugart Pass.
China strongly prefers for tourists to get their Chinese visas in their home country. Do a search here at ThornTree to see what your options might be.
In late October, there is risk of the pass being closed for a few days due to snow, so plan for some flexibility in your travel.
May 11, 2012 8:56 PM
2Hi there ,
As it is mentioned by both of these passes you can through from China to kyrgizistan ,and borders are not going to be closed unless specail festival like National holiday or others , Turgat pass will require you to have permit to cross ,but Irkeshtam is open to the tourists as well so you do not need any special permit for Irkeshtam pass .Also there is bus service from kashgar to Osh of kyrgizistan through the irkeshtam pass .And end of Oct is not going to be very difficult time to do it anyway but earlier is better scince the pass are almost 3700mt and 3200mt above sea level and in case of early snow it makes you a bit difficult for you to do it . Best Wishes !
Kashgarguide Team .
May 11, 2012 10:06 PM
3Special permit means u need to contact a agent in kashgar need them to fetch ur up at border.
Get visa u should try get Invitation letter from local kashgaragent Visa for china.
May 14, 2012 4:02 AM
4We just went to apply for our Kyrgyz visas in Urumqi this morning. After a little trouble finding the place it was very simple. The gentleman at the consulate was very friendly and helpful.
AND he informed us that there were now three buses a week between Kashgar and Bishkek via the Torugart pass and Artush (the schedule was posted on the consulate wall) and that we would be allowed to use this border crossing.
Can anyone confirm that what he's saying is correct?
May 14, 2012 8:32 AM
It is not possible to take this bus to cross Torugat Pass. You should have a permit from travel agent who will arrange a car with permit and tour guide to cross this pass. Tomorrow I have 7 people from different countries cross this border. They are required to have permit to cross this border. If no permit and no tour guide, it is not possible to cross this border. Good luck.
May 14, 2012 6:11 PM
6Possible but unlikely. It would be a significant change if Torugart Pass were changed from one class of border to another, so word of this would likely have been announced officially, with some fanfare likely reaching this forum.
Your consulate contact may be more familiar with Chinese citizens/residents, who can use the pass without special permission. S/he may not be familiar with the restrictions on non-Chinese, non-Kyrgyz residents.
May 16, 2012 4:43 AM
May 17, 2012 7:12 PM
May 17, 2012 7:35 PM
May 19, 2012 12:24 AM
May 21, 2012 1:59 AM
11It appears (as most everyone expected) the guy at the Kyrgyz consulate was mistaken. The only way to get across the Torugart Pass is with a permit, which seems to only be available to those using private transportation.
That said, the bus to Osh is so expensive that a jeep with four people in it going Kashgar-Naryn works out to about the same price.
So if anyone's interested in sharing a ride from Kashgar across the pass on or slightly after May 28, do let me know :)
Jun 9, 2012 2:51 AM
Jun 10, 2012 12:13 PM
13The bus to Osh is RMB 570 (around US$85) though I believe it might be possible to do it cheaper by combining shorter distance minibuses and share taxis.
The private car is around US$400 for up to four passengers and takes roughly 8 hours to get to Naryn (which is the first town that you reach in Kyrgyzstan that has regular public transport.)
We arranged it with Old Road Tours in the lobby of the Seman hotel. They told us that the Irkeshtam Pass road, which the bus takes, is under construction and in terrible condition. This has been confirmed by people we've met in Kyrgyzstan who took this route.
They managed it on pretty short notice. We went in on a Thursday saying we probably wanted to leave on Monday morning, but would confirm on Sunday afternoon (in case we or they found others who were going later in the week in the meantime.) This arrangement wasn't a problem. They (especially Abdul, the eldest of the brothers that run the company) were very friendly and professional.
The Old Road folks offered us the best price of three operators we checked out, and arranged it such that if we had more passengers we'd pay a bit more in total, but much less per person, thus giving them motivation to find others to go with us (though it ended up being just two of us, making it a bit pricey.)
The one downside was that our Kyrgyz driver didn't stop at Tash Rabat as Abdul suggested we could do (I don't actually recall if he said we WOULD.) But the weather was poor and by that time we'd been on the road long enough that I wasn't that upset at having missed it.
Hope this helps.
P.S. Reading this again before posting I realize it comes off a bit like an ad for the tour company. I'm in no way connected with them, just reporting on the trip we took and what I thought of it.
Jun 12, 2012 7:40 AM
14Thank you for the useful information.
Where did you go in Kyrgyzstan?
Did you go back to China?
We are going to China this summer. After one month we need to cross to another country. We had thought to cross to Kyrgyzstan and spend there around two weeks. After that we would like to go back to China and keep travelling for one month more.
What do you think about this plan? Any inconvenients?
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