Kashgar to Lhasa

Post your itinerary questions and trip reports here
Post Reply
eliottsmithfan
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by eliottsmithfan »

Hello Caravanistan folk!

Great website, whatever is left from my travel budget, i will set something aside to make a donation!

My question: Is there anyone with (preferably recent) travel experience from Kashgar to Lhasa over land? If everything goes as planned, I will be cycling from Kyrgyzstan, but I have yet to arrange my Chinese visum (I think Tashkent is my best bet) and i am not counting on more than a one month visum. İ would like to get on any kind of transportation (train, truck hitch, bus (it is required that it takes a bicycle)) as soon as possible and preferably also relatively budget friendly. I would pick up cycling again in Lhasa and head for Kathmandu.

I believe there are two options:

1. The only official one seems to go via Golmud. How long should it take and how much should it cost me (Travel permit included)?

2. The other via Ali. I've read cyclists have travelled this road crossing checkpoints under the cover of night, and 'regularizing' their illegal status in Ali, but is there any kind of transportation running on that arduous road and can permits be arranged without hiring the expensive 4X4 car and driver? Again, how long should it take and what would be the cost?

It will take me at least two more months to get to Kashgar, but if İ ever reach there, İt would be extremely helpful to have at least some kind of plan so any information is most wanted!

Thanks!
0 x

steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3843
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3226
x 453

Re: Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by steven »

Hi elliotsmithfan (nice choice for a name!),

and thanks for the compliment, we sincerely hope you won't spend your last money on a pricey Big Mac in Lhasa! :D

I am personally out of my depth here, and I don't know who here could answer such a specific question. So someone will hopefully still chime in. If not, please let us know what you did, I know this stuff is tricky for non-Chinese.

Where are you now? Gives me an indication of the timeframe for figuring out this question.
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

eliottsmithfan
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by eliottsmithfan »

Hi Steven! No big mac in Lhasa, you have my word!
İ am now in Erzurum. Roughly scheduled İ count on one month İran and one month in Central Asia combining cycling and public transportation. Hence İ should be on China's doorsteps somewhere in the course of october (either before or after the Chinese national holidays week).
Btw, locals here advise against cycling up to the İran border nowadays so I will take the bus from here. I can not really assess whether the threat is real but awareness is never a bad thing!
0 x

bwv812
China expert
China expert
Posts: 743
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:02 pm
x 3523
x 176

Re: Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by bwv812 »

eliottsmithfan wrote: My question: Is there anyone with (preferably recent) travel experience from Kashgar to Lhasa over land? If everything goes as planned, I will be cycling from Kyrgyzstan, but I have yet to arrange my Chinese visum (I think Tashkent is my best bet) and i am not counting on more than a one month visum. İ would like to get on any kind of transportation (train, truck hitch, bus (it is required that it takes a bicycle)) as soon as possible and preferably also relatively budget friendly. I would pick up cycling again in Lhasa and head for Kathmandu.

I believe there are two options:

1. The only official one seems to go via Golmud. How long should it take and how much should it cost me (Travel permit included)?

2. The other via Ali. I've read cyclists have travelled this road crossing checkpoints under the cover of night, and 'regularizing' their illegal status in Ali, but is there any kind of transportation running on that arduous road and can permits be arranged without hiring the expensive 4X4 car and driver? Again, how long should it take and what would be the cost?
I honestly don't see this plan working out unless you have gobs of money to spend. All foreigner travel to Tibet (outside of Lhasa) requires a guide and a private car. I have heard of people cycling in Tibet... just that they need to be closely accompanied by a support vehicle and guide as they cycle.

I have enormous difficulty believing people can get their status "normalized" after they sneak in. The more normal result for unauthorized incursion into Tibet is detainment and expulsion, and that's without them essentially turning themselves in to the PSB as illegal entrants.

http://www.thelandofsnows.com/2015-tibe ... gulations/
http://www.thelandofsnows.com/faqs-on-travel-in-tibet/
0 x
My 2012 overland trip from Tokyo to Istanbul: https://silkroadwanderings.blogspot.com

steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3843
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3226
x 453

Re: Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by steven »

eliottsmithfan wrote:Btw, locals here advise against cycling up to the İran border nowadays so I will take the bus from here. I can not really assess whether the threat is real but awareness is never a bad thing!
I am also not following the recent attacks by Turkey on Kurds, but it seems to be Iraq-only AFAIK. But still, best to be careful.
bwv812 wrote:I have enormous difficulty believing people can get their status "normalized" after they sneak in. The more normal result for unauthorized incursion into Tibet is detainment and expulsion, and that's without them essentially turning themselves in to the PSB as illegal entrants.
Seems like elliotsmithfan perhaps knows more? I know lots of people have been detained in the past, but I have also heard recently of people traveling with Chinese backpackers who got through, although I am not sure of the details. Anyway, as has often been said, the best place for Tibetan culture is outside of Tibet.
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

bwv812
China expert
China expert
Posts: 743
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:02 pm
x 3523
x 176

Re: Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by bwv812 »

steven wrote: Seems like elliotsmithfan perhaps knows more? I know lots of people have been detained in the past, but I have also heard recently of people traveling with Chinese backpackers who got through, although I am not sure of the details. Anyway, as has often been said, the best place for Tibetan culture is outside of Tibet.
That's possible, but I didn't find any promising, recent reports when I Googled... instead I found people saying that the PSB now stops people between checkpoints (whereas they used to only inspect foreigners at checkpoints) and that Tibetans are "encouraged" to turn in any unaccompanied foreigners they see. Western cyclists are going to stick out, and I'm not sure how you could explain yourself at the Nepal border if you managed to make it that far by camoflauging yourself amongst a Chinese group.

Maybe they have better and more promising information via PMs on warmshowers or something, but even the public posts on the forums there are unpromising.

This is probably the cheapest legal way to cycle between Kathmandu and Lhasa:
https://cs.warmshowers.org/node/83359
http://velotrekenglish.weebly.com/kathm ... tibet.html
0 x
My 2012 overland trip from Tokyo to Istanbul: https://silkroadwanderings.blogspot.com

steven
Admin
Admin
Posts: 3843
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:32 pm
x 3226
x 453

Re: Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by steven »

@BWV I know independent travelers in those parts tend to be overly optimistic... :-)

Velotrek looks cool: I especially like the look of that final descent towards Katmandu - :0
0 x
If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

eliottsmithfan
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: Kashgar to Lhasa

Post by eliottsmithfan »

Ok, It seems I had based my travel plans on some outdated information. Bwv812 put me with my feet on the ground (thanks for that) and perhaps saved me from getting stuck somewhere north of Tibet. My only chance was the organised group travel, but the trip has been cancelled.

Circumstances which consider me to cancel the China part alltogether (also saves me the hassle of getting Chinese visa), too bad, I really wished to reach Nepal overland.

At the bright side, I will have more budget left for the promised donation :)
0 x

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post
  • Kashgar to Lhasa
    by eliottsmithfan » » in China
    5 Replies
    3597 Views
    Last post by carabruan
  • Kashgar Q&A
    by Alaskaflyer » » in China
    4 Replies
    350 Views
    Last post by Alaskaflyer
  • Direct Bus Osh to Kashgar
    by daftmovement » » in Roads, borders and security updates
    2 Replies
    4520 Views
    Last post by steven
  • how to go from tadjikistan to kashgar ?
    by wegman » » in Tajikistan
    1 Replies
    1240 Views
    Last post by bwv812
  • Karakol to Kashgar
    by larab » » in Kyrgyzstan
    1 Replies
    2126 Views
    Last post by bwv812