Cycling in Xinjiang

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steven
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Re: Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby steven » Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:59 am

Please post your reports and questions on cycling in Xinjiang below. We gather all Xinjiang travel info in the Xinjiang travel guide.
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edoardo
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Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby edoardo » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:50 am

Just made it by bike to urumqui from bulgan takeshikent border (Mongolia). As it was written in many topics, police situation is just creazy i have been stop in average 3 times a day. Till urumqui i didnt find any hotel accepting foreigners. Looks like also impossible to make a sim card here in xinjiang. Last thing, if you travel with msr stove whisperlite, in xinjiang is impossible to refil the bottle in petrol station. All petrol and diesel are under strict governamental control, no way. Just met other 3 cyclist coming up from kashgar, they said the situation is even worse, most of the road in Tianshan mountain are closed and they were forced many times to take a bus.
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edoardo
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Re: Biking Xinjiang

Postby edoardo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:52 am

Thanks for your report, no i wont go to kashgar. I will be cycling to Korgas and then into Kazakistan. Where are you now? I will leave from Urumqui the day after tomorrow
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edoardo
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Re: Biking Xinjiang

Postby edoardo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:37 pm

Wow! For me till now was not that bad.. i could bike the whole way to urumqui. But i have sleep in a tent every night i tried few times to get ma hotel and then i give up. Lets see how is going to be the next days, of course patient and self control will be part of the game. See you in Almaty maybe if you stop for a while. And still thanks for the news
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Rupert
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Re: Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby Rupert » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:21 am

I cycled across Xinjiang in August 2018. The police of Hutubi County insisted that I be escorted across their jurisdiction - 50 km. Best to stay on the G30 around there.
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billets
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Re: Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby billets » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:26 am

I just arrived in xinjiang today by bicycle from gansu. was driven all the way from the border to hami (200km) by police, more of which then tailed me around hami offering to help me find a hotel. when I politely declined they kept following me anyway and repeatedly stopping me to check my passport. finally I let them 'help' me in order to get rid of them.
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sardar
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Re: Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby sardar » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:01 pm

How did they help you?

I am interested in cycling in xinjiang.

What attitude did they have with you?
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sardar
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Re: Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby sardar » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:12 pm

Any update on your situation billets?

I am wondering if its even worth trying to cycle in jinjiang or if i should skip it out. What was it like in gansu ??

any info would be much appreciated, i am in kazakhstan just now and will be doing a tour of kyrgyzstan before trying to cross into xinjiang at horgos.
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Robinosaurus!
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Re: Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby Robinosaurus! » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:46 pm

I just arrived in Xinjiang today (from Beijing via Ulaanbaatar). Thanks to everyone who went before - great info from everyone.

Crossing the border at Takashiken/Bulgan took about 3.5 hours, 1.5 of waiting in nonsense queues on the Mongolian side, and 2 hours of lots of searches and questions on the Chinese side.

Everyone in China was super-friendly, and spoke great English. As far as I could tell I was the only non-mongol visitor. Several police/guards wanted photos with me and the bike, after the searches. Questions were a mixture of genuine curiosity about the trip, and fishing for anything untoward (i.e. being a journalist I guess). Nobody asked directly about the U word, just whether I knew people in China/Xinjiang, where I planned to go, what my job is/was.

They asked me to log into my laptop, USB drive and phones, which I did. I had removed WhatsApp/VPN from the home screen but didn't uninstall them. Nobody noticed, or they didn't care. My VPN (PIA) no longer works in China so I didn't need to bother. They were mostly interested to look for photos (but didn't care once they saw they were genuine holiday snaps), and then one officer sat down with me for 15 mins and opened a few random documents from my computer and asked me what they were.

Had to empty my bags 3 times, plus 2 lots of x-rays. All for different groups of uniformed people, not sure what the difference was. Happy (relatively) to do it, except they confiscated my camping gas, so no hot dinners for me until Almaty. Bit annoyed about that.

In the 20km to Takashiken there are security cameras every 50-100m, not kidding. Going for a pee by the side of the road is going to feel awkward if this keeps up. Still got stopped twice by police in those 20km but again they were very friendly, didn't ask to see papers or anything. Just asked the usual (how long in China, first time, any friends here, profession, where are you going, are you crazy).

Nobody has asked me where I'm staying between here and Urumqi, maybe they're happy with don't-ask-don't-tell RE camping, since there is literally nowhere for tourists to stay on the way.

I'll update when I've done more than a border crossing and 1 hour cycling in Xinjiang :-)

Edit: police just knocked on the hotel door at 11pm to check who was in the room. They're doing the whole corridor, so not just foreigners. My early optimism may fade soon.
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billets
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Re: Cycling in Xinjiang

Postby billets » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:27 am

sardar wrote:How did they help you?

I am interested in cycling in xinjiang.

What attitude did they have with you?


they were friendly, but insistent. they basically want to have you where they can keep an eye on you, or have you gone from their jurisdiction. this can mean constant tails by marked and unmarked police cars, being driven by them to the next jurisdiction, being questioned a lot. in the case of hami I believe it's a sensitive area so they are worried about journalists.
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