Karakoram Highway Q&A

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Karakoram Highway Q&A

Postby Roman » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:27 pm

I spent last 2 days roaming around Karakoram Hwy and here are some points someone might find useful. All through personal experience or talking to locals.

Transport & road
- there is officially one bus per day leaving Kashgar at 9:30 Beijing time (cost 52 RMB)
- trip takes 7-8 hours depending on the road condition (particularly rockfalls that occur regularly)
- it is possible to get shared taxi in front of the bus station - cost is 120 RMB and the trip takes up to 5 hours
- bus reaches Karakol Lake in approx. 4-5 hours although costs the same price
- road quality - first 1h is a piece of cake, next 2h (mountain pass) is pure hell (however a lot of construction is going on, so good prospects), the rest is surprisingly good quality
- quite easy to hitchhike (Tajiks are much nicer than Chinese)
- there is plenty of transport back to Kashgar (seemingly more than the other way)
- there is a weekly bus from Tashkurgan to Dushanbe (through Qolma pass)
- there is a bus (daily???) from Kashgar to Sost (Pakistan) with an overnight stopover in Tashkurgan

Karakol Lake
- I only walked around during the break but other travellers told me it was not worth it

- Stone City with all the surrounding mountains are pretty impressive
- not possible to go around/camp in the mountains (guards will not let you)

Khunjerab/Wakhjir pass
- there is a immigration checkpoint right beyond Tashkurgan and generally they let foreigners pass through only with Pakistani visa or special permit to travel around the border
- the travel permit can be arranged in Kashgar however it requires assistance of an agency which comes with a car and a guide and can costs as much as 2000 RMB/car
- there is a road (finished) to Afghan border ending in the last village (Keketuluke)
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Re: Xinjiang - visiting K2 and/or the Karakoram Pass

Postby Bigboss01 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:58 am

Was wondering how busy the highway and region is at the end of April. Will homestays and Yurts be available? Will trucks be available to hitch with? Will the normally limited local transport be running? (eg. Khorog to Ishkashim)
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Re: Xinjiang - visiting K2 and/or the Karakoram Pass

Postby steven » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:05 pm

Yes. Only yurts are not up yet, only starts from june.
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Karakoram Pass

Postby WolfS » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:45 pm

Is it possible to cross the Karakoram Pass in late november / december from Kashgar by bus?
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Re: Karakoram Pass

Postby Roman » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:10 pm

If you mean Khunjerab pass (where you get by Karakorum Highway from Kashgar) it is closed during winter months for all traffic. It is over 4,500m between Himalayas and Hindu Kush, so you can imagine how much snow is there.
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