Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Joeri
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby Joeri » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:53 pm

Three of us crossed the border on the 10th of July. We arranged a car and driver for some days in Almaty and visited Charyn Canyon and Kolsai Lakes along the way before being dropped at the Karkara border.
The guy who clearly was in charge on the Kazakh side was very friendly and came out to greet, the two who checked the passports spoke pretty decent English and were joking around, finally our luggage was also checked but it seemed they were looking for a chat more than something else. We shared some smokes before heading to the Kyrgyz side. They had been observing us and getting in took about a minute.
Altogether it cost us 15-20 minutes in total but it could have been half without a chat with the friendly borderguards.
We arranged pickup by the guy from CBT in Karakol (Azamat), but were two hours early. Within minutes a borderguard asked us if we needed a ride. We told him we arranged a ride at CBT, he insisted he would do it for less. We stuck to the deal we made first of course.
In the end Azamat showed up well over an hour early too in quite a new and comfortable car. Price Karkara - Karakol 4000 soms, Karkara to Cholpon-Ata 8000 soms.

Although we had a private driver in KZ, shared taxis from Almaty are available, they should be around 2000 tenge per person to get to Kegen. In Kegen there were quite some taxis waiting near the gasstation. Our driver said they ask around 4000 tenge per car to get to the border.
The border is open from 09.00 to 18.00
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steven
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby steven » Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:05 am

Thanks Joeri for filling in some blanks here. Enjoy Karakol, do let us know what you thought about the place.
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janesther
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby janesther » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:35 am

After reading so many helpful posts, we feel like sharing! We tried to cross the karkara border coming from kyrgyzstan today and unfortunately had to turn back as we got completely snowed in. Considering the border is supposed to close in a few days anyways, i assume it won't be possible to take this route anymore this year.

For future reference: there seems to be a marshrutka that leaves karakol for san tash at 10:30-11am (70som+30 baggage fee). However there were no taxis to take us the ~40km to the border from there, only private cars, so we recommend taking a private car all the way, as it's only 3000-3500som (which is what both CBT karakol and a guy at the kyrgyz side of the border quoted a friend of ours a few days ago). On that note though, as has been noted before, CBT Karakol didn't show up within 1.5 hours of the arranged time and later came up with a lame excuse according to our friend, so they seem pretty unreliable. However, he had no problems finding a ride from the border
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mechacek
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby mechacek » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:10 pm

I went thru Karkara valley border crossing this year in June with my car. The only point to mention was "ecologic" tax, which the custom clerk has requested, question is whether that was legal or not, we doubted about it but paid some 25 USD. Otherwise very calm, no traffic at all, everything was finished in 50 minutes.
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IDClare
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Kegen - KarKara border crossing

Postby IDClare » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:11 am

We are planning a self drive trip along the Silk Route (8 x MGBs). We are planning to cross into KZ from China through the Horgas crossing and down the highway to Kegen KZ and into Karakol KG.

We were hoping to do this around the end of April 2017. However, I note that in recent years (2014) this border crossing has not opened until mid May. Can someone provide updated info - or should we just plan to go through Almati to Bishkek?

thanks,
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steven
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Re: Kegen - KarKara border crossing

Postby steven » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:45 am

Last year it was Mid-May too. I can update when it will be this year once somebody crosses. You can try contacting the border guards to get more info, but it is very unlikely they will do it a month earlier. Best to go via Almaty-Korday- Bishkek or wait a month.
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testesser
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Re: Kegen - KarKara border crossing 2017 open from May 1

Postby testesser » Sun May 15, 2016 4:12 pm

Kegen - Karkara border crossing (Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan) 2017 is open since May 1
[source: Madanur Hotel owner in Karakol, May 14, 2016]
Will cross there on May 24 or 25 from Almaty to Karakol. Anyone here on a similar route?

And many thanks to Steven and Saule for creating this wonderful forum. I am Joerg from Germany actually backpacking from Germany to Japan.
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Re: Kegen - KarKara border crossing

Postby steven » Mon May 16, 2016 6:11 am

Thanks for the good info and for the compliment, Joerg! I copied your request into the travel sharing forum, more likely to get a response there.
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testesser
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Re: Kegen - KarKara border crossing

Postby testesser » Tue May 24, 2016 5:36 pm

today successfully crossed Kegen - Karkara :-)
open till 6 p.m.
shared taxi Almaty - Kegen 2000 KZT
taxi Karkara - Karakol 9000 KZT for the car (bargained), driver started with 100$...
Almaty - Karakol (350km) needs almost 8h!
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real2234
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Re: Kegen - KarKara border crossing

Postby real2234 » Sun May 29, 2016 10:17 pm

Hi, this is my first post :D

I want to ask if it's possible to hire a taxi from Karakol to Kegen to cross the Karkara border from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan. I will there in July, I have to reach Almaty from Issy-kul lake. I ask if it's possible to do it without going back to Bishkek?
I have read that there is no public transport from and for the Karkara border post, It's difficult to find cars giving a lift and maybe it's mandatory to walk for many kilometers... but here I read that someone has done it by taxi.

Thank you.
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