China Transit as Selfdriver - Kashgar New Land Travel Agency

All about China. Expert: bwv812
User avatar
Lysistrata
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:42 pm
x 1
x 9

China Transit as Selfdriver - Kashgar New Land Travel Agency

Postby Lysistrata » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:20 am

We would like to share our experience concerning our China-Transit from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan (Torugart to Khunjerab) in September 2019.

Short version:

PRO's
- Compared to other Travel Agencies offering this tour less expensive(1100USD per car /1000USD per motorbike)
- Quick e-mail answers
CON's
- Chaotic organization (is's hard to say what is due to Chinese system and what is due to weak organization)
- Poor information policy during the trip- often only part of the group was informed about the following procedures
- Sometimes very weak support at the border process / hours of waiting without any information of ongoing processes
- Always changing procedures during an ongoing process (maybe due to the system?)
- No foreseen fotostops in a stunning landscape except lunchbreak
- Lots of "misunderstandings"
- Bad game concerning accomodation (after getting the whole amount of money ) and unwillingness of communication
- Splitting the group in Tashkurgan
- No guide at all after Taskurgan until border


Before the Trip
We choose Kashgar New Travel Agency because it offered a cheaper price compared with others.
In a group with 7 vehicles (4 cars, 3 motorbikes) every vehicle had to pay 1000USD (Motorcycle) / 1100USD (car)
The communication in beforehand was ok, sometimes not very clear but most of time quick. For us personally it was annoying to get the hotel confirmation (to get the visa) but for some others in the group it seemed to be ok. Group members received a confirmation of hotel booking for Qinibag Hotel in Kashgar and for Crown Inn in Tashkurgan.
The group was also asking if it would be possible to transport our guide in one of our cars to reduce cost's what was denied.

We were always in contact with "Kashgar New Land Travel Agency" but for our visa we must not mention this company but another named "Shaanxi Sun International Travel Service" - this seemed very important, any idea why. We had to pay one third of 1100USD in advance and send all car and passenger information to the travel agency - handling without any issues and quick confirmation.

During the Trip
Meeting point with guide was after Kyrgyzstan Exit Border point at the Entrance of the Chinese Border at 10.30 - Torugart Pass. The very first encounter with him wasn't very pleasant because he was shouting around like on a war field. But after we told him that we wont accept a behavior like this he appologized and further on he was really ok.

From the first day on the guide was sitting in one of our cars.

The organization of all the formalities was really chaotic - no idea whose problem was this. We've been told "now 1,5h lunch time break", after wrapping out our food, 5mins later we've been told "hurry up, we have to proceed". Always between hurry up and wait.

The control at the border was quite easy. X-Ray of the cars/bikes, no search inside, no confiscation of something (knives, food, cans, spare diesel canister, mobiles etc.). No control of mobiles, computers, photo camera at all. After this we had to drive 80km of a very bad road until next checkpoint. Drivers and passengers had to go through separately. After that some more drive to the custom, also driver and passengers separately.

Everybody had to leave their car/bikes on customs which is about 100km away from Kashgar. We've been brought to Kashgar by coach. There were 2 controls again on the way. After all these controls we arrived in Kashgar about 8p.m.

We stayed at the Qinibag Hotel (as provided in LOI) in a slightly older side Building. This hotel was very good and clean, the breakfast rich and tasty.
Our guide showed us a nice street restaurant which we enjoyed.

Next morning 7am the car/bike drivers have been brought back to custom. There they waited for about 3hours (nobody knew what for exactly) and could leave as convoi. To get fuel was possible. Highway road toll was 44-62 Yuan per truck. After that 2 controls again. At 2 pm the drivers arrived again at Kashgar where we must pay the remaining amount of fees. The receipt we got the day after(after we asked about several times) was a small piece of paper without any company name. A correct bill we never got.

Afternoon and evening we could spend in Kashgar.

Next morning we had to leave at 9am (earlier wasn't possible because some papers seemed not to be ready). Control post after leaving the city and 2 more on the road to Tashkurgan. Lunch stop at wunderful Burunköl lake. After that the stunning landscape begun. But it wasn't foreseen to have some photostops except a very short one. We had to rush through the Karakorum even there was no border crossing waiting for us this day.

7.30 pm we arrived in Tashkurgan and were brought to the BEN LEI XIN Hotel and not to the Crown Inn Hotel which was mentioned on the booking confirmation. Already from outside this hotel was very run down and the rooms even more. Filthy smelling rooms with dirth everywhere (toothpicks, sunflower seeds, hair, dust), defect lights in the bathroom, insects…We told our guide that we wont accept this hotel and he replied that he would only be the guide, it wouldn't be his fault. As we insisted not stay in this terrible hotel, he started with different "explanations" and also saying he would be only a freelancer. We were told that also another group had the same problem with this hotel. We insisted to call the tour organisator what he did. But this one let us know that he would be in a meeting (8 pm) and wouldn't be able to discuss this with us. Later on we tried again to call him but he only spoke chinese at the phone so a communication wasn't possible.
Half of the group preferred to sleep in their own cars, the others slept in the hotel.

We also discussed the situation that the guide was sitting in one of our cars and did not drive in his own (as payed). Also here some funny explanations like we would have waited much longer at the checkpoints if he would had have his own car or car is in the garage…

Next morning we had to start 8am to drive 10mins to the exit customs in Tashkurgan. They open at 9am. Passengers and drivers had to do this procedure separately again. Exit procedure for passengers was quite slow but done after 45mins. Car drivers had to do X-ray again, no search in the car. After that they had to wait. This procedure took about 3h, Passengers and drivers separated. Waiting passengers did not get any information whats going on. All but one vehicle were done, than it was lunchbreak. Unfortunatly we stayed in this last vehicle. The other 6 group members were sent away to the border at Khunjerab pass without any guide while we had to wait. After waiting hours in the sun with two young kids without any food/drinks we insisted to go in the car what finally was allowed. Here we had to wait another 2,5 hours until we had the OK and could leave. Our guide told us to drive straight away to the border and that he will inform the border people through short message and that the pakistan border should be open 24hours. So we drove the last 125km to the Khunjerab pass without any guide, escort or convoy. We did not have any contact number of our guide nor a chinese sim card - just in case we would have a problem on the road. The exit procedure at Khunjerab pass was without problems but as all these controls timeconsuming so it was already late as we could pass.

Because of the high altitude we had to drive to Sost/Pakistan in darkness which wasn't fun at all. We arrived exhausted and tired at Pakistan customs in Sost where we had a very warm welcome.

After the trip
We contacted the tour operator the day after by email to discuss all these facts. Also here very weak explanations like we booked a cheap tour so we had to be ok with cheap hotel which was never mentioned before. And that the hotel on the LOI was fake because other hotels wouldn't be accepted by Tourist ministery.
4 x

CamperFamily2020
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:41 am

Re: China Transit as Selfdriver - Kashgar New Land Travel Agency

Postby CamperFamily2020 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:45 pm

Hi thanks a lot for your reports about your China transit experiences. Are these Transit companies you mentioned also organizing caravan trips from mongolia to laos and from nepal to kyrgyztan?
0 x

murg
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:22 pm
x 7
x 73

Re: China Transit as Selfdriver - Kashgar New Land Travel Agency

Postby murg » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:46 pm

Hi self-drivers ;)

I want to add our 'chinese odysee'

We are 2 gernans riding two German licensed motorbikes.
The agency of our choice was Tibetmoto. It's run by a German guy and apparently (according to their website) official partner of BMW.

Before the trip.

All questions answered very detailed.
Help with fake itinerary, advice with fake flight booking, provided official Hotel reservation 'certificate' according to fake itinerary.

Everything fine.

At the border

Our port of entry was Irkeshtam.

Day before entry: email contact. We were told to be at border as early as possible.
Left Sary Tash at 8am(all times local, not Bejing)
Arrived at Chinese Border (Kirgistan very smooth & straightforward procedures, maybe 20 minutes) at 9:10.

No guide to be seen.

Officials speak very little English.... situation is complicated.

About 10:30.
Guide appears, young guy, late 20s / early 30s.
Later it turns out that he is a freelancer, working for New Land Travel Agency.
He seems to have no clue what to do, started filling out some documents he had brought with him with the personal data we had mailed months ago.
He walked from office to office.

Then the 3 (read3.5) hour lunch brake started.

We realised that the guide was joined by a driver. First we had 'lunch' in a restaurant, we had to pay for driver & guide.

After lunch brake we had to enjoy the waiting area for 45 minutes again. Finally we could mount our panniers & bring duffle - / tank bags to the drivers mini van.
We had to ride the bikes into the x-ray machine, one at a time.
... Waiting, again. After about an hour the guide asked what's going on. One of the bikes had to be x-rayed again cause the data had been faulty when arrived (.... Wherever it's been mailed).
Finall we received the flash drives & passports.

We left for the 'real border' compound at Uluqgat. 2 hours ride.
When booking it said on the confirmation that 'all motorway fees' & 'all permits' are included.

Anyway, our Guide stopped in the middle of nowhere and told us that we had to pass the fee collection place at the rightern most lane as fast as possible and to stop in no case'
We did so. About 7 times on the whole trip.

Arrival at Uluqgat was about 9pm.

Immigration, leaving the bikes behind.

Driving to hotel in mini van, 2 hrs.
Arrival at hotel at 0.30 am next morning

Meeting.with guide & driver at 9 am.
Driving back to Uluqgat.

Waiting at some decaying shops besides custom compound for 4 hours. Driver & guide want us to pay lunch. We deny, the disappear for 90 minutes.
Entering compound. Guide meets another civilian ('a friend'), receives some documents. Some officer checks our panniers.

Riding back to Kashgar, enjoying toll booth & checkpoints again.

Guide admits that he knew that we had to wait for hours but New Land forces him to leave early in the morning.

Next day, new guide.
Arrived 1 hour to early spontaneously joins the Hotel breakfast without paying.
Leaving for Tashkurgan.... No, only for a 2 km ride. Guide disappears in a police station to register our ride.
As we had not to show up in the station this could've been done before.
In Tashkurgan/evening we had a good time with the guide.
Next morning we met the guide, I had to take him as a pillion to the customs compound.

We had to wait an hour til it opened.
After all the paper was done (took a while) our guide left.
We had to wait for 3 more hours, all tourist had to leave as a group.
We could ride to the border line / Khunjerab / without guide. Such a bliss.

Looking back I would not choose Tibetmoto again.
We payed lots of money only to be serviced by another agency.

I would neither choose New Land Travel because of all the misplanning & missing things (motorway permit....)

I would not travel to China again because it's an Orwellian Nightmare. In addition, the 4 days in China were more expensive than the 5 weeks on the road to China.
1 x
Riding the globe (well, at least some parts)
living in Germany

Madanda32
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:14 pm

Re: China Transit as Selfdriver - Kashgar New Land Travel Agency

Postby Madanda32 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:35 pm

Lysistrata wrote:We would like to share our experience concerning our China-Transit from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan (Torugart to Khunjerab) in September 2019.

Short version:

PRO's
- Compared to other Travel Agencies offering this tour less expensive(1100USD per car /1000USD per motorbike)
- Quick e-mail answers
CON's
- Chaotic organization (is's hard to say what is due to Chinese system and what is due to weak organization)
- Poor information policy during the trip- often only part of the group was informed about the following procedures
- Sometimes very weak support at the border process / hours of waiting without any information of ongoing processes
- Always changing procedures during an ongoing process (maybe due to the system?)
- No foreseen fotostops in a stunning landscape except lunchbreak
- Lots of "misunderstandings"
- Bad game concerning accomodation (after getting the whole amount of money ) and unwillingness of communication
- Splitting the group in Tashkurgan
- No guide at all after Taskurgan until border


Before the Trip
We choose Kashgar New Travel Agency because it offered a cheaper price compared with others.
In a group with 7 vehicles (4 cars, 3 motorbikes) every vehicle had to pay 1000USD (Motorcycle) / 1100USD (car)
The communication in beforehand was ok, sometimes not very clear but most of time quick. For us personally it was annoying to get the hotel confirmation (to get the visa) but for some others in the group it seemed to be ok. Group members received a confirmation of hotel booking for Qinibag Hotel in Kashgar and for Crown Inn in Tashkurgan.
The group was also asking if it would be possible to transport our guide in one of our cars to reduce cost's what was denied.

We were always in contact with "Kashgar New Land Travel Agency" but for our visa we must not mention this company but another named "Shaanxi Sun International Travel Service" - this seemed very important, any idea why. We had to pay one third of 1100USD in advance and send all car and passenger information to the travel agency - handling without any issues and quick confirmation.

During the Trip
Meeting point with guide was after Kyrgyzstan Exit Border point at the Entrance of the Chinese Border at 10.30 - Torugart Pass. The very first encounter with him wasn't very pleasant because he was shouting around like on a war field. But after we told him that we wont accept a behavior like this he appologized and further on he was really ok.

From the first day on the guide was sitting in one of our cars.

The organization of all the formalities was really chaotic - no idea whose problem was this. We've been told "now 1,5h lunch time break", after wrapping out our food, 5mins later we've been told "hurry up, we have to proceed". Always between hurry up and wait.

The control at the border was quite easy. X-Ray of the cars/bikes, no search inside, no confiscation of something (knives, food, cans, spare diesel canister, mobiles etc.). No control of mobiles, computers, photo camera at all. After this we had to drive 80km of a very bad road until next checkpoint. Drivers and passengers had to go through separately. After that some more drive to the custom, also driver and passengers separately.

Everybody had to leave their car/bikes on customs which is about 100km away from Kashgar. We've been brought to Kashgar by coach. There were 2 controls again on the way. After all these controls we arrived in Kashgar about 8p.m.

We stayed at the Qinibag Hotel (as provided in LOI) in a slightly older side Building. This hotel was very good and clean, the breakfast rich and tasty.
Our guide showed us a nice street restaurant which we enjoyed.

Next morning 7am the car/bike drivers have been brought back to custom. There they waited for about 3hours (nobody knew what for exactly) and could leave as convoi. To get fuel was possible. Highway road toll was 44-62 Yuan per truck. After that 2 controls again. At 2 pm the drivers arrived again at Kashgar where we must pay the remaining amount of fees. The receipt we got the day after(after we asked about several times) was a small piece of paper without any company name. A correct bill we never got.

Afternoon and evening we could spend in Kashgar.

Next morning we had to leave at 9am (earlier wasn't possible because some papers seemed not to be ready). Control post after leaving the city and 2 more on the road to Tashkurgan. Lunch stop at wunderful Burunköl lake. After that the stunning landscape begun. But it wasn't foreseen to have some photostops except a very short one. We had to rush through the Karakorum even there was no border crossing waiting for us this day.

7.30 pm we arrived in Tashkurgan and were brought to the BEN LEI XIN Hotel and not to the Crown Inn Hotel which was mentioned on the booking confirmation. Already from outside this hotel was very run down and the rooms even more. Filthy smelling rooms with dirth everywhere (toothpicks, sunflower seeds, hair, dust), defect lights in the bathroom, insects…We told our guide that we wont accept this hotel and he replied that he would only be the guide, it wouldn't be his fault. As we insisted not stay in this terrible hotel, he started with different "explanations" and also saying he would be only a freelancer. We were told that also another group had the same problem with this hotel. We insisted to call the tour organisator what he did. But this one let us know that he would be in a meeting (8 pm) and wouldn't be able to discuss this with us. Later on we tried again to call him but he only spoke chinese at the phone so a communication wasn't possible.
Half of the group preferred to sleep in their own cars, the others slept in the hotel.

We also discussed the situation that the guide was sitting in one of our cars and did not drive in his own (as payed). Also here some funny explanations like we would have waited much longer at the checkpoints if he would had have his own car or car is in the garage…
paris shuttle airport transfers
Next morning we had to start 8am to drive 10mins to the exit customs in Tashkurgan. They open at 9am. Passengers and drivers had to do this procedure separately again. Exit procedure for passengers was quite slow but done after 45mins. Car drivers had to do X-ray again, no search in the car. After that they had to wait. This procedure took about 3h, Passengers and drivers separated. Waiting passengers did not get any information whats going on. All but one vehicle were done, than it was lunchbreak. Unfortunatly we stayed in this last vehicle. The other 6 group members were sent away to the border at Khunjerab pass without any guide while we had to wait. After waiting hours in the sun with two young kids without any food/drinks we insisted to go in the car what finally was allowed. Here we had to wait another 2,5 hours until we had the OK and could leave. Our guide told us to drive straight away to the border and that he will inform the border people through short message and that the pakistan border should be open 24hours. So we drove the last 125km to the Khunjerab pass without any guide, escort or convoy. We did not have any contact number of our guide nor a chinese sim card - just in case we would have a problem on the road. The exit procedure at Khunjerab pass was without problems but as all these controls timeconsuming so it was already late as we could pass.

Because of the high altitude we had to drive to Sost/Pakistan in darkness which wasn't fun at all. We arrived exhausted and tired at Pakistan customs in Sost where we had a very warm welcome.

After the trip
We contacted the tour operator the day after by email to discuss all these facts. Also here very weak explanations like we booked a cheap tour so we had to be ok with cheap hotel which was never mentioned before. And that the hotel on the LOI was fake because other hotels wouldn't be accepted by Tourist ministery.

Hi thanks a lot for your reports about your China transit experiences.
0 x


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “China”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests