Urumqi - Ukraine over land: visa Russia, Kazakstan and China etc
Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 1, 2012 4:39 PM Last Post By: Justin23
Apr 28, 2012 3:56 AM
I am for the moment travelling in Southeast Asia ( I''m in Thailand now) and am thinking about getting back to Europe over land by train through China, Kazakstan, Russia and Ukraine.
Now I've been reading around on TT and I know some of this stuff has been covered more or less in previous posts, but I haven't managed to find a satisfying answer for some stuff concerning the right visa etc. I'm travelling on a Belgian passport. So here are my questions:
1. I would like to take the train from Urumqi to almaty and from almaty to Kiev. Does that sound like my best option in terms of getting the apropriate visas? Would it be easier to cross only China and Russia?
2a. Since I have to cross a part of Russia in between Kazakstan and Ukraine, the hardest part will probably be to get the Russian visa. Now I have two options here. Since I've heard its next to impossible to get one in China, I have the option of getting a transit visa in Kazakstan, I''ve heard they are quite easy to obtain if you have your train ticket, but that it takes a very long time (I read 2 weeks somewhere and I dont plan to stay in Kazakstan for that long). I don't have these tickets yet, but I'm hoping to buy them in Almaty too.
2b. The other option would be to buy a Russian visa in Phnom Penh. I suppose that this should have to be a tourist visa. I'm affraid they won't give me a transit-visa, since I don't have the Kazak traintickets yet. This might be a better option since I don't have a letter of invitation for the tourist visa application. I know you can get these on the internet, but I don't have any creditcards with me, so buying stuff on the internet will be harder.
2c. I've also heard rumours that they only give Russian visa's to holders of a 3 month cambodian ''ordinary'' visa (which I have, so that shouldnt be a problem).
3. Is there an alternative route from Kazakstan to Europe that doesn't cross Russia? Like for example a ferry over the Caspian sea?
4. I was thinking Phnom Penh would be my best option to get the Chinese Tourist visa. I''ve read that it only takes a few days and if you pay enough (anyone has an idea how much?) they have it ready within a day? I would like to get if fast, since I can't start the application process for the Russian visa as long as the Chinese have my passport.
5. If anyone else would care to go in that direction over the next weeks, we could perhaps meet somewhere. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Apr 28, 2012 5:50 AM
Apr 28, 2012 6:59 AM
2Would it be easier to cross only China and Russia?
Not from a geographic point of view as you would have to go from Urumqi to Eastern China in order to enter Russia.
According to the report made in this thread, it seems easy to get a visa for Kazakhstan in Urumqi...
Is there an alternative route from Kazakstan to Europe that doesn't cross Russia? Like for example a ferry over the Caspian sea?
As Justin23 said in #1, there are boats from Aktau to Baku. You would need a visa for Azerbaijan though. Make a search in TT about those boats. From Baku, you can continue overland to Georgia. Once in Georgia you can take a ferry to Ukraine or go the long way overland through Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.
Apr 29, 2012 4:08 AM
Kazakh visas should be easy to get in Urumqi, though you might wait awhile. There's a boat from Aktau, in Kazakhstan, to Azerbaijan: I've taken this before. It's a cargo boat which happens to take passengers, there's no schedule, and it's not unknown for you to have to wait a week or two for a sailing. I think you need an LOI (which you can probably get on the internet) for Azerbaijan these days. It's a bit of a tricky route, but it is possible.
From Azerbaijan, you shouldn't have any visa problems - most nationalities don't need visas for Georgia, Turkish visas can be bought at the border.
Apr 29, 2012 7:01 AM
4Your easiest option, If you are visiting western China, is to get a Kazakhstan visa in Urumqi and a Russian transit visa in Almaty (or maybe Astana ). I did this last year and had no problem except getting in the doors of the respective consulates. Ignore the queues and push to the front, holding your western passport. Allow three or four days in each place.
You'll need more time and a certain dedication to take the Caspian Sea route. You may avoid hanging around in expensive Kazakhstan while waiting for an Azerbaijan LOI if you organize that while still in China. The main problem is that you could run out of time in the port of Aktau and end up having to fly.
Apr 30, 2012 11:10 PM
5Justin, have you got a link or source for you statement "recently there has apparently been some issues regarding the Baku-Turkmenbashi boat, "
May 1, 2012 4:39 PM
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