Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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trevor warman
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Re: Khorgas china kazakh border crossing

Post by trevor warman »

Not 100% sure.....i did not want to risk to it......at my hostel there was a drunk local and the police came and check 2 travelers..... both only had 1 border stamp. 1 paid 200 dollar fine cos he had not registered... 2 nights later the police were back and i showed them my passport... they looked at the entry stamp and said i had over stayed... idiots... the boss lady said i should go to the office.....

The staff at the Ovir did not say anything about having already been registerd.... the 2 stamps i got at the border did not detail the length of stay permitted, where as the paper work from Ovir clearly gave me 15 days free in KZ.


Registering was painless.... better safe than sorry... i dont have 200 bucks to pay a fine........ lgoing to Bishkek tomorrow... will write a nice border report...lol
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trevor warman
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Re: Khorgas china kazakh border crossing

Post by trevor warman »

More of an up date...... met a Finnish girl we traveled to Bishkek together, she had 2 rectangular stamps, on immigration slip, issued at Khorgas.... she also went to Ovir and was told that she had been registered and gave her printed letter in russian, detailing this BUT...... i was not told this, and they registered me (again)... so thats the story....
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steven
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Re: Khorgas china kazakh border crossing

Post by steven »

Thanks for the update, better safe than sorry indeed!
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WorldWideWebster
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BC report: China-Kazakhstan at Korgas

Post by WorldWideWebster »

A reasonably painless trip.

I arrived in Urumqi airport Wednesday night at 12am. Took shuttle bus into town (10 rmb) then a taxi to hotel I'd prebooked. Unfortunately this hotel wouldn't take foreigners and it took me until 3:30am to find a place, it was 188 kuai. This is a problem in Xinjiang so make sure you contact beforehand, don't trust them to list it on websites. Because it was expensive and also hot and I'd already arrived a couple days late I decided just to go to Kazakhstan next (well, same) day. It turned out this was lucky as the border was closed the next day for Eid, I didn't realize this.

The bus leaves at 7pm everyday though they request you to arrive an hour early. It's 440 rmb for top and 460 for bottom sleeper bus. They wouldn't sell me the back seat listed on wikitravel for 380. I don't know if you need to worry about buying tickets early- I got there at 2p but there ended up being 3 buses. Passengers were about split between Chinese Kazakhs and Kazakh Kazakhs, with a handful of Uyghurs and Russian Kazakhs mixed in. I was only tourist on my bus though there was also an untalkative and confused looking French guy on another bus.

The bus left close to 7 and made a dinner stop after one hour. They made me move from my back bottom seat to top since they put a man in the center (i'm female). Then they asked everyone for 50rmb at some point to transfer bags across the border. I said no and was fine to carry bag across if needed (I didn't have to though). Later they put another passenger in the top with me, a mother, and her 8 year old. I was annoyed because it was a teenage boy who ended up taking 1/3 of my seat and already I had to move, but I didn't know how to get my point across enough I guess in either Kazakh, Chinese, or Russian). Anyway we got to Korgas at 4:30 am and just waited in the bus lot. There is a big park nearby and places to get snacks and breakfast; you want to take advantage because it's a long day.

We left at 8:30 and the border opened around 9. I suggest to change a little money while waiting since there's nowhere to change after this. I think we were done within an hour. They made me sign a paper saying that I don't have a Kazakhstan visa (US citizen, not needed) and that I accept responsibility if denied entry to Kazakhstan.

After this we waited at least an hour for our bus. Then another 60-90 minutes on the bus (temperature was 45 C outside). Then, the fastest entry ever. I was fully prepared for it to take a while, but I got at the beginning of a line and there were no questions asked other than what city I was from and was I really coming to Kazakhstan for tourism. Big smiles, "Amerika!" After this again waiting an hour or more for bus. You could buy drinks or snacks here while waiting but they were overpriced. We stopped around 3:30 for lunch in a rather nice restaurant. I made friends who insisted to pay for me which was lucky since I hadnt changed to tenge.

We arrived about 9:30 which was 2.5 hrs late. Be prepared with money, as the bus station (not on the LP map) is somewhere outside town, you need a taxi if you didn't research how to get to your hostel. I helped a girl with moving and watching her big bags and she paid for my taxi.
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Alex Dra
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Re: BC report: China-Kazakhstan at Korgas

Post by Alex Dra »

Just crossed that border coming from the Kazachstan side beyond Khorgos, backpacking all the way:

When arriving at the first Kazakh passport check, there might be a shuttle bus (we are not sure if that’s what the border guards tried to tell us). Otherwise the Kazakh soldiers will organize a ride for you, in our case this was the next Almaty-Urumqi tourist bus which took us through all the checkposts to the Chinese border. The Kazakh side sees your passport checked around 5 times (out of the bus, into the bus, out of….), the Chinese side is much faster: Simply fill out a short entrance form there (in English as well, and a very friendly border guard speaking some English helping) and get your passport stamped. After, there will be a dozen of money changers waiting for you outside the building. Don’t get fooled and count through the changed money properly (we changed 7000 Tenge, for which they started with giving us 70 Yuan ; after insisting a long time we made it to 220). Get on a Taxi there to transport you to the bus station for 5 Yuan. Ask the English speaking border guard to write the Chinese symbols for „bus station“ for you if you want to make things easier.
Welcome to China! There are hotels around the bus station, the last bus to Yining leaves at 8pm Bejing time, to Urumqi it should be more buses though. The tickets fort he last bus to Yining were sold out when we arrived, but it was our lucky day and the very friendly station attendant organized an extra bus as there were some more people going this way as well, so it could be worth hanging around the station a little longer.
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Alex Dra
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Backpacking from Kegen border to Khorgos border, Kazakhstan

Post by Alex Dra »

Quick note in case someone wants to cross from Kyrgyzstan through Kazachstan into China this way (possible in one, long day):
From the Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan border into Kegen, hitchhiking should be easy enough (check the forum topic about this border crossing here: http://caravanistan.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=880 )
Kegen to Shonzhy: shared taxi drivers are a little reluctant to drive this way as they might have to return empty. They ask ridiculous prices (10 000 tenge), why we started walking to hitchhike the way. In the end a taxi drove after us and we agreed on 2000 tenge per person. Hitchhiking is probably slow but possible.
Shonzhy to Zharkent : We paid 1000 tenge per person for a shared taxi, so did the locals which drove with us. It might take some time until the car is full, but there are some restaurants around the taxi stop. From Zharkent, either hitchhike or get another shared (or private, it might be difficult to find other people) taxi to the border post (check the forum topic about this border crossing here: http://caravanistan.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1074 ).
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bwv812
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Re: Backpacking from Kegen border to Khorgos border, Kazakhs

Post by bwv812 »

Great info.

How did you get to the Kegen border?
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AUM
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from urumqi/china to almaty/kazakhstan, information needed

Post by AUM »

Hello!
I am in Pakistan right now, with the plan of crossing into China through the KKH and from there moving on to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyztan.
Does anyone have experience with this border crossing?
Is it possible to hitchhike? Or how much will transport cost? Are there any diffliculties in this border? Is it generally open to foreigners?

Would you recommonend this way for easiness over the route from Kashgar to Osh?

Thank you very much.
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AndrewRogerson
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Re: from urumqi/china to almaty/kazakhstan, information need

Post by AndrewRogerson »

It's an incredibly easy border to cross. Most borders with China are closed at weekends, but as this is so busy, I'm not sure if it's the case.

It is much busier on the Chinese side, so change money to Tenge there. Busses and shared taxis are common, but if you're patient you may be able to hitch. There's certainly nothing stopping you.

FYI, the site does have all of the relevant information regarding this border if you look properly.
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Re: from urumqi/china to almaty/kazakhstan, information need

Post by steven »

Thanks Andrew for stepping in - I notice you are also becoming a bit of a border crossing expert. @AUM, you should have a look at http://caravanistan.com/border-crossings/kazakhstan
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