Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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steven
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby steven » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:42 am

Please read and post reports on the Isfara-Batken border crossing between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan below.

We summarize all info on the Tajikistan border crossings and Kyrgyzstan border crossings pages.
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boney
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Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby boney » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:45 am

Hi everyone! Need help.

23 of July we start with our biketrip through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. We will start from Bishkek and firstly we wanted to hit to Kyzylart border crossing, but i just read that there are problems with getting permisions to GBAO in Bishkek.

Now I plan to turn the course of the route, and I think about Border crossing Isfara-Batken, and issue visas in Dushambe - wherefrom we will hit to Pamir Highway, and GBAO.

However, I have doubts about that border crossing. There are many Uzbek enclaves (like Sokh for examples), and the road often enters the territory of Uzbekistan, and I dont want to pay for visas really. Are there any controls?

Question is - is it possible to cross the border to Tajikistan, skipping these enclaves? I mean something like this(map belov), and is it possible to use the road along the border with Uzbekistan from Uch-Korgon to Pulgon without buying Uzbek visas on the border?
map; http://ifotos.pl/zobacz/trasa-bat_eenanpa.png/

Greetings,
Karol
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby steven » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:24 am

You can go to Batken-Isfara border without passing the enclaves or Uzbekistan. Locals also don't want to go to these enclaves, so they can tell you the right way.
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby boney » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:46 pm

Thanks Steven!

Can you (or someone) marked on the map like i did correct way from Batken to Osz without crossing Uzbek territory?
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby steven » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:13 am

I dont know, ask locals. This is very tricky.
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby boney » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:59 am

Alright, I will, but...

If there will be no chance get there without crossing Uzbek borders, is it possible to get visa there, or visa should be in passport befor, and we will have to turn back?

Any idea?
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby steven » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:15 pm

There is no visa on arrival on Uzbek land borders, please see http://caravanistan.com/visa/uzbekistan
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby kiwiot » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:09 am

Hi Karol,

Apparantly GBAO's are back in Bishkek, however my wife and I (cycling) had already left. We are going to cycle from Osh to Dushanbe tomorrow avoiding the enclaves so I will post info and GPS route once we have done it
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby kiwiot » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:55 am

Boney.

Biking from Osh and to Tajikistan is not an issue at all. Did it last week. There is a check point 100km from Osh where you will be guided to an unfinished but smooth dirt road to the left. This is a steady climb and then down around the enclave area. You will come into a town at the end of the road. Turn left here and follow the signs to Batken. If you turn right you will hit another checkpoint which you cannot go through. The locals were extremely friendly at the small shop we stopped for a break at and pointed us in the right direction.

It's another 100 or so km to Batken and 10km more to the border crossing from there. Again there is nothing to worry about at all. You wont stumble into Uzbekistan if you stay on the main road.

Two important notes. The road around mentioned above is not on google maps and there is a road directly from Batken to Isfara which is also not on google maps but is on openstreet maps.

There are a lot of border crossings that are only for locals (on google maps). We made a wrong turn on the misguided advice of a local and found we could not use one of these.

Just make sure that you ride all the way on the nicely paved road to and through Batken and then follow the road out of town.

Hope that helps.

Also in Tajikistan I seriously do not recommend cycling the "tunnel of death." Normally my wife and I are up for this sort of thing but due to time constraints we caught a shared jeep from Khojand to Dusnabe (150 com each inc bike and gear, 5hrs)

Seeing the tunnel first hand in a jeep I would not take my chances at all. The amount of traffic, water, massive pot holes, and not to mention the toxic gas that made it hard to see the car ahead aren't what I would call fun nor ideal for an extended life.

Read a couple of reports about people hitching through by chucking their bikes on the backs of tankers going through. And got another account today in Dushanbe of another cyclist doing the same but getting her bike bake with spokes broken on the other side. It is that bad.

Also one more thing to consider. A British cyclist at the hostel I am at has gotten various emails back from his embassy stating that the other border crossing is apparently open to foreigners again but still no confirmed crossings.

Hope this helps
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Re: Border crossing Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (Isfara-Batken)

Postby Roman » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:57 am

Just a note to Osh-Batken-Isfara route.

We took public transport from Osh to Batken. Although we clearly expalined driver and someone else on the station that we need to bypass Sokh enclave (and they agreed multiple times that it is no problem), we were quite suprised when we passed directly though there. So we ended up hiding behind the curtains of marshrutka hoping nobody would check. Indeed there was no control - in fact it looked like the main road is somehow exempted from check as there was fence on both sides (and crossroads leading to the Uzbek city), but nobody checked buses/cars passing through. Only after that we used the relatively new road, but that was just the one marked od Google Maps.

As for Batken-Isfara, is was quite easy. In Batken, we encountered some greedy taxi drivers offering overpriced rides so we decided to hitchhike instead and indeed it took us less than a minute to find a driver willing to take us (we paid like 50 som each). Border crossing was easy. Kyrgyz side was the modern one, with computers, scanners, duty free shop etc., while Tajik was more like a garden with couple of animals and officers writing stuff down the notebooks. There were taxis and after some negotiation, we got lift to Isfara for 2 USD pp (didn't have Tajik somoni yet).
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