Travel Report Tesla in Kyrgyzstan: Enter from Taraz to Bishkek, Exit from Bishkek to Almaty

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Travel Report Tesla in Kyrgyzstan: Enter from Taraz to Bishkek, Exit from Bishkek to Almaty

Post by eexplorer »

Intro: in May-July 2017, we drove the first Tesla/electric car in Central Asia, see Outright adventure in some regards, but no emergencies. Our rear-wheel drive safely carried us between 0-3000m asl, in sand at the beach, rough terrain on mountain tops, or through the heat. No desert driving, though. Charging time: 3h (strong three-phase connections) up to 1.5 days (weak one-phase), then driving for 400km possible.

Kyrgyzstan, entry on road from Taraz to Bishkek, exit on road from Bishkek to Almaty

Enter Kyrgyzstan
  1. Super swift for passenger. Faster than coming back to EU.
  2. Driver took probably 45-60 minutes to get in. I mainly had to wait in a wooden booth overlooking the border until all the details of the car had been typed down in their computer. The import papers to Kazakhstan with a cyrillic translation of our car documents helped. Very superficial search of the car. Nice people all in all.
In Kyrgyzstan
  • Border to Bishkek: around 50 km/h maximum, mostly villages. Roads in decent condition.
  • All of Bishkek: good condition.
  • Bishkek airport road: very good condition.
  • South of Bishkek, going into the mountains south-west of Bishkek: everything possible from good road to worst
  • gravel and potholes road barely manageable by a normal car (= 10 km/h).
Not stopped at police checkpoints (except one, see below at exiting), generally friendly people.

Exiting Kyrgyzstan
Beware of the Kyrgyz police checkpoint right before the border to Kazakhstan. They're real suckers.
  1. The Police checkpoint just in front of the border is waiting for easy prey (there are many other reports in this forum and on the main page for Kyrgyzstan). Admittedly, I parked in a no-stopping-zone (sign was clearly visible) to change our last Kyrgyzstan money back to Tenge. But I parked in between a bunch of other cars all standing in the forbidden zone, and I figured that should be ok. 100 meters later, the police checkpoint made a big show and asked me to come out of the car and follow him to the station (with papers). I saw that I had violated a rule, but also saw that I was discriminated against. I protested for around 15 minutes, dragging the junior police guy to the spot in question, pointing towards all the other cars parking there (which made him give all of them a ticket, which I think was another fake show) and generally complaining about their crappy attitude (when the rest of our time in Kyrgyzstan was so great). In the end, I was forwarded to the checkpoint boss, who jovially waived my ticket and let me go. Other travelers report similar behavior from exactly that police checkpoint (pay attention to the stop sign as well!). Just follow the rules 100%, and fight if you're treated unfairly.
  2. Border queue is chaotic. Just stay calm. Weird queue handlers pushed us forward (we didn't want to!), other people were angry, we didn't give money. Queue alone took 60 minutes.
  3. Driver drives, passenger walks. Once in the actual border, exiting was a breeze.
This post is part of a series of postings in this forum. Main overview here:
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