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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LiangPingPiJiu
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby LiangPingPiJiu » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:22 pm

Hi @all,

I already read a lot in this forum so I decided to register today :)

I also wanna go from Almaty to China this May again.
Before, in 2017, I took the direct Bus from Almaty to Urumqi already and everything was fine. But since thats only a transit step for me I already wanna buy my connecting train tickets in China in advance this time, so I need to be sure, when I will arrive in China.
So I did a lot of research, but it seems to be impossible to buy train or bus tickets for the bordercrossing in advance online.

So my plan is now to buy kazakh train tickets to Altynkol and than walk to Korgos. Does anyone here knows whether thats possible, to cross by walking?
If this Altynkol station is really the one you can see on google maps (incl. satellite) and OSM, that would be a bit more than 10km walking, that would be ok for me :)

Would be glad, of anyone could help!
Tobias
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steven
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby steven » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:09 am

Maybe you can walk, otherwise you might have to take the bus. Just follow instructions once you get theree.
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LiangPingPiJiu
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby LiangPingPiJiu » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:13 am

Hi Steven,

thanks for your response! :)
Do you mean a lokal bus close to the border? Are there busses you can hop on?
Btw.: Is there a lunch break known for this border crossing? Couldn't find anything here.
But I should be quite early, since the train 393Т from Almaty arrrives at 07:34 at Altynkol.
The train arriving at 15:17 could be a bit late I thought.

Tobias
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campingoncloudnine
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby campingoncloudnine » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:24 pm

Hi everyone,

We just crossed the border between China and Kazachstan at Khorgos - and Nur Zholy.

We took the overnight train from the Urumqi high speed train station to Khorgos (Huo'erguosi). It is a normal train and it will take about 9 hours and cost 170 yuan. You will arrive early morning in Khorgos (huoerguosi) . Khorgos is a little far from the train station, but there are taxis once you arrive. We paid 30 yuan, but you could probably pay less if you bargain. If you tell the driver you go to kazachstan he drops you at the bus station. You can change money there (1rmb = 53 tenge) and there are good places for breakfast. The bus station opens at 9 in the morning and you can buy tickets to Zharkent (it is not possible to cross the border on foot so you need transportation). Tickets are 70 yuan and busses leave when full. We had to wait three hours.

The bus drives you to the border where you have to get off and show your passport before entering the border area. Then there are two security checks for baggage and then you get stamped out of china. Once you have the exit stamp you need to give away your phone and they will scroll trough your photos. Nothing got deleted on our phones and we just had to wait for 20 minutes. Then the bus drives you to the Kazach side which is much more straightforward. You get the stamp and have to put your baggage on a scale. Then you are welcomed into Kazachstan. The bus will take you to zharkent from where you can take a bus or taxi to Almaty. We met some Kazakh on the way there who took us for free from the Kazakh border to Almaty by taxi. The ride took about 4 hours.

We arrived in Almaty around 6 pm (almaty local time which is two hours earlier than China). Our train that morning arrived at 7.45 am at Khorgos Station so it takes a long time. If there is a train that arrives later at Khorgos it is better to take that one. The
border opens at 10.30 (Beijing time).

The border crossing is not too difficult and definitely possible, it just takes some time. But it is much cheaper than a flight or a train from urumqi!

Cheers,
Alissa and Ewald
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LiangPingPiJiu
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby LiangPingPiJiu » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:29 pm

Hi Alissa and Ewald,

thanks for your report!
How do you know, that it's not possible to cross the border on foot, are you sure?
Thats exactly what I planned to do :|

Best wishes,
Tobias
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LiangPingPiJiu
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby LiangPingPiJiu » Thu May 30, 2019 9:16 am

Hi,

I've been at the border a couple of days ago, came by train from Almaty to Altynkol.
Wanted to walk to the border. Was good in the frsh morning air, route exactly as on openstreetmaps.
But half way some soldiers stopped me and said this would be some military, no go area,... But no sign at all.
However, no way since they already saw me.

All the way back and walking would be a long way, maybe even more than 20km? not really funny with all the luggage.
But after some time a driver stopped and took me first back to the train station and later after driving some collegues of him also fpr 1000 tenge to the big street leading directliy to the border.
There I kept walking but already after five minutes or so another driver catched me up and took me for free to the border, very friendy :)

The kazachzs could speak english but said I'm not allowed to cross by walking. Had to hop on a bus which was luckily the first one in a very long lane of trucks. This bus is much slower than walking for these few hundret meters....
later on the chinese side they also said no way of border crossing by walking, also not by bike. bikes ar ok, but only in the bus, not by riding.

some infos about this bus:
- goes from sharkent to korgos
- twice a day, every day, including sunday for 3000 tenge
- there are also 3 or 4 mini busses, same route, same price
- tickets available in sharkent, I guess not online

border crossind on the kazach side was ok, quite friendly, very clean toilette, nothing special.

chinese side... I will not write everything here, but for me this was probably the last time entering xinjiang province, even though I really really regret since it's the only reasonable way to go to west china from europe without flying.
The only good thing: No trojaner on my phone, but they wanted to see a lot on my phone (pictures and some apps) and even on my laptop.
It is hard to discuss with them even if you speak chinese and it was clear that I wont be able to enter the country without these chicaneries, but at least I could talk to them that they to the controls one by one and I'm always next to my device. I also said I had to concentrate on what they are doing and answered questions afterwards.
After that control of complete luggage. Be also perpared that they check your documents, books, everything.

After all these processings was the normal passport control to enter the country, including taking fingerprints of all fingers.
Later controls everywhere, cameras everywhere, registration on train stations,...

Hope this helps.
Tobias
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nielba
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby nielba » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:45 pm

what you mean by "registration on train stations"..? do they ask you your plan after entering the country..?! thx..
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BakuBound
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby BakuBound » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:42 am

In all train stations throughout China these days you must have your ticket and passport scanned at the station entrance. But in Xinjiang your passport may be scanned up to three times on your way in. Then once you're on the train, security personnel in Xinjiang will probably come by and ask for your passport again, registering your details -- including your mobile number -- in a logbook they carry. They may or may not ask about your plans.

To repeat, travel to Xinjiang only if you are looking for a police-state experience.
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nielba
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby nielba » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:09 am

well, I'm not looking for this kind of experience but there are not many options if u want to cross from Europe via land.. probably the best is to catch the bus straight to urumqi and then a train to gansu, ~48hours in and out..
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Jealgu
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Re: Khorgos border crossing Q&A (Almaty - Urumqi)

Postby Jealgu » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:31 am

In 2018 Turpan was still a good experience. There are some police state signs, and checkpoints if you drive around the city for the sights. I did not stop me from having a good time, Turpan is one of my favourite cities.

Also Kashgar was not too much hassle, as long as you are not Uyghur. Too bad the place is ruined, with or without police state. Tashkorgan was awesome, but at some forums it is being said one cannot travel there independently by public transport anymore. It seemed that if you sticked to the 'approved' tourist spots it was okay, only some hassle around train stations.
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