Cycling Iran to the Stans, Visa ,travel advice
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 3, 2012 8:01 AM Last Post By: R88
Sep 6, 2012 6:37 AM
Cycling Iran to the Stans, Visa ,travel adviceHi
I thought this is going to be the best place as anywhere to ask, quite a few people have been recommending the Thorn tree forum,, basically im planning on cycling across Iran to Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan on to Kyrgyzstan then to China then to work out a route to India, at the moment im in Istanbul
1, What is the visa situation like at the moment for applying for a Chinese visa, i was under the knowledge it is possible to apply for a visa in Uzbekistan?
2, What route(s) are they to take from the Stan areas to arrive to India,(Kathmandu)area, what is alsothe situation for applying for Ivisas while on route to arrive to India?
3, Regarding i`ll be arriving in winter time time to kyrgyzstan, ive heard of border crossings being closed depending on the weather, is there a certain of year border crossings are open closed on into China,
i hope this makes sense,, basically im looking to obtain a Chinese visa while on route to the Stan areas and then looking to head down to India from there,
Thanks in advance for any help of expertise
Sep 6, 2012 8:44 AM
1Just a couple suggestions, why would want to detour to the upper Himalayas/Katmandu/Nepal in winter?
Also, you might find the adventure motorcycle forums more helpful for Visa's/border crossings in the Stans/India.
Recent Chinese Visa restriction may require a a roundtrip airfare and hotel bookings, so you may want to use a agency to arrange your Visa and work the Consulate obstacles.
Good Luck, an epic trip indeed...want to get to Iran myself.
Sep 6, 2012 8:52 AM
2Your plan is going to be very difficult to realize. China does not welcome independent travelers, especially in western border regions. It is not possible foreign travelers to travel independently in Tibet, so cycling across Tibet (alone) will not be possible. The only other ways into India from the Stans would be 1) across Afghanistan and Pakistan, and 2) into Xinjiang, China, and over the Karakorum Highway into Pakistan, then across northern Pakistan into India. Obviously, route 1 is through what is more or less a war zone where westerners can be targets and therefore extremely risky. I have no idea whether it would be possible to get visas for overland travel through Afghanistan into Pakistan, but I can't imagine why anyone would be foolish enough to try. Route 2 is less risky, though westerners have been targets in Pakistan too, and I personally would not attempt such a trip. On route 2, obtaining a visa for overland transit through Xinjiang, China, may not be possible. Xinjiang has been experiencing ethnic tension in recent years. Chinese authorities are reluctant to grant visas for overland travel, especially in politically sensitive areas. The visa application form basically requires you to list flights in and out of the country. You might reserve flights that allow free cancellation while a visa application is pending and then cancel them, but I don't know whether you could count on Chinese border officials in Xinjiang letting you in on a bicycle, even if you have a visa.
Sep 10, 2012 12:51 AM
3There are only two access points overland to India through Pakistan and through Nepal. Going through Pakistan means the Karakorum Highway which typically closes on or about 1 December and it means having a Pakistan visa already on your passport. Neither seem likely for you.
The alternative is equally unlikely. China to Nepal is through Tibet and UK passport holders are unlikely to get permission to enter Tibet especially as a solo cyclist.
As of August 1 2012, obtaining a Chinese visa will mean showing air tickets for travel into and out of China as well as accommodation bookings and perhaps an invitation from a local. Seems unlikely that this will happen.
Bottom line. Rethink your plans.
Sep 18, 2012 8:42 PM
Sep 18, 2012 11:23 PM
5Getting the Chinese visa is only the first step and a minor one at that.
You still haven't gotten to Kathmandu. Crossing Tibet to Nrpal on a cycle seems highly unlikely as cycling in Tibrt requires a guide and a group,and a host of permits. Your other option,is the Karakorum Highway two concerns there. One, you need a Pakistan visa before getting tomChina and the border. Two, this border is weather dependent and is almost always closed by mid December if not earlier.
Please keep us posted as imam not sure will alone will overcome these obstacles.
Sep 19, 2012 10:50 PM
Sep 19, 2012 11:23 PM
7Would that obtaining visas and crossing international borders were simply a matter of the gods' willingness. Unfortunately that is not the case and it is men who sometimes have petty reasons for complicating the process.
Getting into China is NOT the problem.
Please understand that access to Tibet is essentially closed and will be for the foreseeable future. See the sticky at the top of the NEAsia branch for information.
Regarding the alternative path through Pakistan and the Karakorum Highway, this is dependent upon your obtaining a Pakistani visa (increasingly difficult away from home) and the pass which closes due to severe weather and rarely is open beyond early mid December.
So unless you work out these not inconsequential issues, you won't be traveling overland to Nepal this winter.
Sep 20, 2012 12:19 AM
Sep 21, 2012 11:34 PM
9Obtaining a Pakistan visa, i`ve heard while in a 3rd country could be made more possible with an Indian visa already in passport.
I wish success to anyone applying
Oct 29, 2012 3:52 AM
10You won't get a visa for Pakistan once you've left your country of residence. Full stop. Even if you apply while at home, you may need to supply a more innocuous itinerary than one that has you cycling down the KKH (or entering overland from Iran).
Congratulations on getting your visa for China, considering your itinerary. For others yet to attempt this, you are extremely unlikely to get a visa for China if you mention plans to travel into Xinjiang province, which is inescapable if you travel overland from Central Asia.
Nov 3, 2012 8:01 AM
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