Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

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

Postby SHappe » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:00 am

Crossed the border from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan in the middle of May with a rental car. Two Australians (so 30 day visa free entry) and a UAZ.
Very easy for both areas - Kazakhstan wanted to take our car apart, but he was very nice about it and friendly as he looked in all our bags.

We had a document given to us from the rental car company that I think was some kind of import document. No additional fees, and nobody asked about any fees. We provided our insurance info as well, and managed to get through in about 30 min.

One person on the Kazakh side spoke English, the rest only Kyrgyz/Kazakh and Russian (and our Russian is terrible).
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby suniggurath » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:57 am

Does anybody know if this border closes on weekends?

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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby Michele28 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:59 am

Does anyone know if a border permit for a car and passengers is needed to cross the border from Kazakhstan into Krygyzstan at Karkara ? I have hired a car in Bishkek in August and will drive Almaty, Kolsai Lakes, Charyn Canynon and then over the border to Karakol. I have had mixed information from the guy I have hired the car from so it would be good to know from someone who has done this recently.

On the one hand he told me I needed a permit for each passenger at US$30 each, and then he told me "If you going directly to the Kyrgyz\Kazakh border (Kegen) without enter to Karkara zone – you don’t need a special border permit" It would be good to know from someone who has done this in a hire car recently as I dont want to get turned back !
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby halflife » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:43 am

suniggurath wrote:Does anybody know if this border closes on weekends?


I crossed this border on 22nd the last month which was a saturday. Asked the tourist information in Karakol beforehand if the border is operating and if it's open on weekends. The answers were in the affirmative.

Then I walked to the eastern end of the town and hitchiked- hitched 3 cars all successful on my first attempt to a village called Kyzyl-kyja. From there a road deviates towards the border and from here the road gets very bad. I waited there for sometime but cars were only coming from the other direction, maybe because the border had closed. A family then invited me to their home that night, next day dropped me at the road on the border from where I successfully hitchiked another 3 cars to reach the border.

The border guards are very friendly on both sides. Hardly took 20 minutes to cross the border. No matter on which date you are going make sure you reach the border before 6 pm.
'Kegen' written on the stamp in cyrillic
20190702_160803_1562062244170.jpg (99.72 KiB) Viewed 264 times
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby boonie.g » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:16 pm

Crossed this border today.

Pretty straight forward once you reach the border post. I was prepared to pay the shared taxi driver 1k tenge to go from Kegen to the border but he only brought me to the bridge and refused to continue unless I paid him some extortionate amount (I was the only passenger left). So I got off. I managed to hitchhike with a middle-aged Kyrgyz couple all the way from the bridge to Tyup, where I changed USD to som at a bank and took a marshrutka to Karakol for 30 som. I paid the Kyrgyz couple 3k tenge cos I didn’t have any som prior to the trip to the bank. They made several stops along the way to buy honey and kumis which was fun.
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby Schaniiin » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:49 pm

Date: 12th July 2019, friday
3 people with Swiss passport, no visa needed for either country

Waited at the intersection in Kegen at 8.45AM. First car stopped after a few seconds. We showed him the wallet with only 4000 tenge left. Driver accepted.

30mins later we arrived at the border. 4 cars waiting to be checked on the kazakh side. We had to show our passport and arrival card to like 3 soldiers. Then put our backpacks on a table. Were told to open them. We opened the zipper. They looked at what they saw, didn't touch anything, we didn't have to remove anything. Asked us if we had any drugs or weapons. Were dismissed. Passport control. Took us 10mins in total to pass kazakh border.

Kyrgyz border was like 2 seconds as they only stamped the passport. No money changing facilities. No toilets.

Please note: the border opens at 8AM!!! they had a note on the kazakh side on the immigration office.

So like 15mins for the border crossing in total.

We hadn't arranged any transport in advance. Border guards never asked us. Duet hostel in Karakol can arrange it for 3000 Som. So we waited at the side of the road. Many kazakh families on holidays (?). We asked 4 other cars but they all signed they were full... keep in mind we are 3 people.
1 old car from the Kyrgyz side dropped off 2 passengers. Driver took a break then asked us where we wanted to go. We said Karakol. We asked us how much we'd pay. We showed him 1500 Som. He accepted immediately.
Took us almost 1 hour of waiting.
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby Ewoud8 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:58 pm

We passed the border around the 21th of juli from kyrgyzstan to kazakhstan in kegen.
Maybe a few tips for the people who are planning to do this:
1. There is a machrutka from Karakol (leaving at the bazaar bus station) to sari- tologoi/ sari- telegei (сары телегей) who passes very close to the border (karkra of каркыра is the nearest town where the machrutka stops, it is 15minute taxi ride to the border from there)

2. You can sleep in the karkra village, where you will surely find a place to sleep, just go to the houses of the people and ask for it. We got a sleeping place offered on the machrutka.

3. Crossing the border is very easy, very nice border guards and takes maximum 10 mins. There is a very quick check of your backpacks, but they even do not open them.

4. From the karkra village, a taxi costs 400 kgz

5. The border guards called their taxi friends, so wait for a shared taxi and pay about 1500-2000 kazakh tenge

Good luck
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Re: Karkara valley (Kegen – Tup/Kensu) border

Postby trikolka » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:12 pm

crossed this border on my way from Kegen to Yssyk Kul, by bike and with a french passport, on july 31. Open from 8 am to 6 pm. Border crossing was easy and pretty fast, they just asked me to open my panniers on the kazakh side but did not really look at the content.
Note : 2 sections of pretty rough gravel road from Karkara to the border on kazakh side (12km, construction under way), and from Karkyra to Sary Telegey on the kyrgyz side (33km).
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