Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

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Cassarian
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Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby Cassarian » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 am

Hello,

I have to reach Almaty from Bishkek.

The best option is the mini bus from Bishkek Western bus station, right?

I have some questions:

1) Which is the aesthetic difference between "shared taxi" and "Mini Bus"? Which one would you choose for this trip?

2) Is there a Mini Bus every hour from the Western Bus station? The tickets could be bought on board?

3) Is there the possibility of being dropped - during the border controls - and left in the middle of nowhere? I heard that sometimes the bus driver is not waiting for the people dropped for the border controls. If it happens, should I wait the next mini bus? Or should I use a taxi?

Many thanks
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plhughes
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby plhughes » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:45 am

Hi! I actually just made that trip last week!
1. I took a marshrutka (mini bus). It was 400 som. Marshrutkas have~16 seats and are a bit roomier, in my opinion, than the back of a car. Shared taxi's are standard cars that usually seat 5 to 8 passengers including the driver. They are more expensive than a mini bus.
2. Marshrutkas leave from the station when they are full. They typically fill up within an hour or an hour and a half. Tickets can be bought at the ticket window (касса) located near the entrance of the terminal or through the driver.
3. The marshrutka I was on waited for all the passengers. That being said, I have heard similar stories about people being left at the boarder. On the way back to Bishkek, the marshrutka only waited for 4/16 of us. The others were left at border control or choose to take a taxi. There are always taxis available at the border. I would suggest taking a picture of your marshrutka's licence plate so that you remember which one is yours.
Best,
Phoebe
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Cassarian
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby Cassarian » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:50 am

Many thanks for the answer.

You're referring to mini bus leaving from Bishkek station, right? I have to go from Bishkek bus station to Almaty (only one-way).

Another question: the taxis at the border are expensive?

Thanks again
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plhughes
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby plhughes » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:59 pm

Yes, the Western bus station or the new bus station as most here call it.

I am sorry, I don't know the price of a taxi.
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steven
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby steven » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:24 am

Taxi is a bit more expensive than the minibus. From Almaty to Bishkek, plhughes reports the minibus only waited for 4/16 passengers. That's because others took a local minibus, a taxi or were picked up by their relative. They will wait for you, don't worry.
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Cassarian
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby Cassarian » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:29 pm

I have another question: which is the final destination of Bishkek-Almaty route with a minibus? Almaty Bus Station?
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby steven » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:49 pm

yes
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adi
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby adi » Thu May 17, 2018 11:05 pm

Arrival: Almaty bus station is a fair way out. With luggage take the TRAM into town from the main road, much roomier than squeezing onto a city bus with a backpack. Alas in ALmaty “every car is a taxi” just as a foreigner you'll pay double.

Departure: The counters on the 1st floor only sell tckets for government buses, private ones (more frequent) you pay the driver.
Tickets to China are sold in the shack by the left exit not the main bus station building.
Left luggage in the basement. Also use the toilet here before any long trip. It's disgusting, but many times better than anything you'll see in the country.

PS: When coming from Bishkek make sure you get TWO stamps on the little white slip immigration gives you -- the second one is your proof of registration.
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby steven » Tue May 22, 2018 3:53 am

Hi adi,

not sure when you were last in Almaty but there are no more trams.
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ChrisD
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Re: Bishkek - Almaty: bus and border crossing

Postby ChrisD » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:09 am

My experience travelling from Biskek to Almaty by Taxi.
https://chrisdesmond.org/2019/05/25/kaz ... -may-2019/
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