go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

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Sabino
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go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby Sabino » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:26 am

If you are in Kazajstan and you want to go shopping in China whitout visa you can go to Khorgos .
Is a free commercial area full of very big malls and you can find everything very cheap.
You have to go out of Kazajstan but really no into China. No problems with visa and you can let your vehicule in a big free parking just in front of aduane and after that to go to the center by very cheap bus arround 10 minutes from aduane.
You can stay there more than a day at the hotel(arround 25€) and you can buy thinks untyl 50Kg.per person without pay any taxes.
Khorgos is arround 300km east from Almaty and very good road like a free highway.
And you have new enter pasport stamp.
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Valikhanov
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Re: go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby Valikhanov » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:12 am

Interesting!
How did you go there (from Almaty by Marshrutka or taxi?). Can you recommend any transport fro and to Almaty?
And are there any cool things to buy or is it only the usual stuff which you can get in any mall, only cheaper?

Are you referring to a kazakh or chinese stamp?
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steven
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Re: go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby steven » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:50 pm

It's very popular with Kazakhs who have ditched Dordoi in Kyrgyzstan, which has floundered, for the new SEZ in Khorgos. Only the Chinese side is active, although even there a lot of ghost building exists.

There should be direct buses from Almaty, but be prepared to get squeezed with huge shopping bags on all sides.
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Valikhanov
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No Migration Card after re-entering Kazakhstan from Khorgas

Postby Valikhanov » Fri May 04, 2018 5:08 pm

Hi there,
i am not sure what to think so I´d like to hear your opinion:
I visited the Special Economic Zone at Khorgos on the border to China. While I received both an exit and re-entry-stamp from Kazakh customs, the didn´t take away my old migration card and they didn´t give out a new one.
Since the old card doesn´t match the newest stamps, I would guess it´s not valid anymore.
I read somewhere, that I have to register with migration police within 5 days, but I am not sure wether this information is correct.
Any experts on this topic here?

Thank you in advance!
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walkingalmaty
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Re: No Migration Card after re-entering Kazakhstan from Khorgas

Postby walkingalmaty » Fri May 04, 2018 5:42 pm

I've done the Khorgos trip. Old card is still valid. No worries.
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Valikhanov
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Re: go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby Valikhanov » Sat May 05, 2018 7:29 am

So I´ve done the trip with a friend, who is doing business there. While we had our private transport, there should be marshrutkas from Avtovokzal Sayran in Almaty: http://сайран.kz/news/394/
Price is supposed to be 440 tenge and the bus leaves at 11.30 pm.

There are trains from Astana and Almaty as well:
http://www.mcps-khorgos.kz/node/1131
Altynkol is not inside the SEZ, so you propably have to take a taxi from there.

I personally found Khorgas very interesting; not so much because of the deals you can make there but more from an observer´s point of view. The Kazakh side consists of two small buildings; the rest is totally deserted. According to my friend, this is due to corruption and because it is so far from the major cities, that people, who can afford duty-free fashion products, would rather buy in the local malls. He also told me many of the duty-free shops actually gained the status not officially but by bribery and that I should be careful about the brands. They sell Versace, for example, but he think´s it is fake. (This goes for the chinese side also)
Now, the Chinese part is one big boomtown, at least compared to the Kazakh part. There are lots of buildings, some even skyscraper-like, most of them for business or malls. There are some residential buildings also. Kazakhs are allowed to stay in Khorgas for up to 30 days in a row, so some bought flats. One calles it "Wild West", because the special status between two countries and to jurisdictional systems gives more freedom in some situations. He was also sick of the bad air and the constant noise in Almaty. And it´s true: Once the malls close at 7pm (chinese time, so 5pm kazakh time) the whole area is like a ghost town. Most of the customers are Chinese who rush in masses to the chinese customs around 7pm; after that there are only a few policemen left. Buildings and streets are deserted; there is one restaurant working in the northern part of the Chinese sector; it is calles "Almaty" and serves the worst plov ever. If you leave the restaurant and it´s belching chinese businessmen and step in front of the door, you won´t hear a noise.

So the next day i strolled around the zone and with the help of my friend found some good deals in a shopping mall at the northern end of der Chinese part. It´s generally cheaper, the farther you get away from the customs and the main square. You can purchase t-shirts for 1000 tenge there and some weird chinese stuff like liquor with snakes inside. However, this is only interesting for people, who like to purchase weird things; i´d guess the typical silkroad traveller doesn´t really need to go there for buying stuff.
It might be interesting for photographs - you have great contrasts there. For example, on de former demarcation line between the Kazakh and Chinese part, there are still some old watchtowers standing that greatly contrast to the fancy shopping malls directly behind them. It´s like a strange mix of cold war and turbo-capitalism. Some of the architecture is also impressive. There´s one huge building completely in red; in front of this massive overkill you see tiny, green trees that look somewhat lost.
And of course if you watch closely, you will see so many people doing business, offering taxi-sevices, transporting huge bags and so on. It´s really cool to sit down for a while and just relax and watch.

Maybe one last thing: After 7pm, customs also at the Kazakh side are really tedious. You have a lot of locals in front of you, that bought stuff like tires or tools in huge amounts and everything has to be searched and controlles. Supposedly, customs close 8pm chinese time (i don´t know, if that´s true) and you won´t be able to get out afterwards. That´s only what i heard, however, so no confirmation on it.
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rocketman
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Re: go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby rocketman » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:13 pm

Been there recently. I can confirm what @Valikhanov wrote above. Crossing the Kazakh border and customs is pretty easy if you're just a tourist. The area is pretty interesting, just to see what those shopping malls look like, some of the products and people. Better plan to leave earlier, as getting the bus or taxi back to Kazahstan becomes very tough in the hours of closing time (remember that time zone is different than in KZ). People fight over a place in line at the border and customs too. No problems with migration card, passports and other stuff at all. I'd recommend this for an alternative trip if you're somewhere near the border.
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tonic
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Re: go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby tonic » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:17 pm

so as i understand, this border is opened to all visitors, no need for Chinese visa or any permit? As it sounds quite interesting to visit.
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rocketman
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Re: go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby rocketman » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:26 pm

Yes, it is. I am an EU passport holder and managed to cross the border flawlessly. In fact you're not really entering China, just crossing the Kazakh border, so Chinese visas are not required.
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tonic
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Re: go to Korgos(China) free commercial area,without visa

Postby tonic » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:32 am

thanks:) will try next time as we had no time to visit this part of KZ
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