We had pretty good weather the whole week apart from one day of rain
Problems / Breakdowns
We only road very good tarmac roads
Visa: Everyone needs a visa in advance before entering the country. As it is very difficult to obtain on the road (either we were too early or in a country where we as foreigners couldn’t apply) we sent our passports home with DHL from Osh, Kyrgyzstan. The visa service of Globetrotter took care of the visa and Xenia’s mother sent the passports back via DHL. All in all it took 2.5 weeks. We don’t carry second passports, therefore we just stayed put in Osh with our passport copies.
Carnet de Passage: No need for a CdP
Insurance: No idea if we were insured. Everything was organised via a guide.
Tour: It is obligatory to have a guide if you enter China with your own car/motorbike. Therefore we started to organize a group already about 8 month before the actual tour. The paperwork has to be done latest two month before entering the country, therefore we were very happy to already have everything prepared before. We chose to go with Taher from Kashgar Adventure International and he did a pretty good job (not so much his co worker though…but read more in the blog)
The Uigur locals that still live in this area are really friendly and make yummi food. The Chinese people were not so friendly (at least most of them) but they also make some yummi food.
Here some very country specific information:
Bring patience with you….lots of it. China crossing is not fun or easy (even with the guide and so on) and you might need to wait…a lot!
Make sure you have a day off in Kashgar on a Sunday and tell the guide you want to visit the animal market. Even if it is not as big as it used to be, it is still very impressive.
You might need to leave your bike/car back at the border so it is wise to plan ahead and pack already the most important thing in a carry on luggage, so you don’t get too stressed
Canned and fresh fish/meat and all kind of milk products are not allowed to be imported, so don’t go shopping too crazy before you enter. Still, make sure you bring some food to snack as you will have a lot of waiting time and no restaurants in the border regions.
Some impressions of our time in China
Goodies we recommend for China
How about some reading while you wait…and wait….and wait for Chinese customs
Nobody speaks English, so if you don’t want to eat dog (just joking..we did not see any dog meat), better bring a point it!
It’s great to have some tea and snacks with you while you go from one custom place to the next, as you need to wait…loooong times
Even in August it gets really cold up on the Karakorum Highway, better bring something warm to wear
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