The bus from Almaty to Yining has ceased operations since September 2017.
Yining bus stop to Almaty
In Chinese, the parking lot in Yining where the Almaty bus is leaving from is called
It looks like this
Buying a ticket and getting on the bus
The bus ticket costs 250 RMB and it is a sleeper bus. You need to buy your ticket a day in advance. There will usually be a bus leaving the next day that will sell it to you. It is good if you speak or know someone who speaks Chinese, Uyghur or Kazakh.
Bus drivers’ telephone numbers:
Bagdat: number in China: 14799914494, number in Kazakhstan: 87018410042
Abaydolla number in China: 13999381756, number in Kazakhstan 87756622271
The ride to Almaty
April 2016: Buses to Almaty leave on Monday and Thursday. Buses to Khorgos leave every day, you can catch transport to Almaty from the other side of the border.
May 2014: The bus leaves every day at 7:30 Beijing time from the parking lot.
The bus arrives at about 9:30 am at the Khorgos border but the Chinese border only opens at 11 am. All luggage is scanned as part of the bus so you do not Need to take anything out, you just need to queue inside the building to get checked and wait on the other side until the bus is ready to come and pick up everyone.
The luggage check takes hours, expect to leave at 2pm. At the Kazakh border you do need to take your luggage out to have it scanned and have your visa checked and your photo taken. The border guards only give 1 entry stamp so don’t forget to register within 5 days in Almaty. The check at the Kazakh border takes about an hour, expect to be on the road again at 3 pm. From the border it’s straight to Almaty, with one extra stop 2 hours into the journey for food that lasts about an hour. Expect to arrive in Almaty at midnight Kazakh time.