kubat-tour 2020

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Torugart border crossing

Arrange through us the Torugart border crossing, we have an advantage in comparison with other Tour operators:

- Naryn where I provide service is the closest place to the Torugart border, in minimum, withtin 2.5 hours we can bring you to Torugart border line from Naryn or pick you up from Torugart .
- Drivers have a wide experiences of the border crossing procedure;
- We thoroughly familiar with border officials, who can help us there;
- We are good informed about Torugart road condition;
- in case of you need, we provide English speaking driver.
- To make your trip more interesting, on the way you can visit At-Bashy town (40 km), Koshoy-Korgon (55 km) citadel ruin and famous Tashrabat caravanserai (125 km).
All above travel notes have important meaning at the border and on unpopulated border zone road. So we have possibility to resolvemany raised difficulties quickly there.

Procedure of the arranging of the transfer over the Torugart border:
I need to have your full passport and the Chinese visa details. It may to be copies of documents. You can send it by e-mail or write a SMS message.
After getting details, I start prepare an accompanying letters by my side. The same your passport details will be send to China (Kashgar tour agencies) to my colleagues to arrange transport and to prepare accompanying letters for the China territory.
Permit papers will be done immadiately from my side and in one day in Chinese side.
Leaving for the border next day in the morning at 6.30 or 7.00 am. Duration From Naryn till Kashgar: 7 hours.

Transport types:
Minibus: Mersedes Bens Sprinter: 15/18 seater;

We are happy to suggest you car rent service for the route to Torugart or from Torugart;

Price for Kyrgyz side:

Naryn - Torugart border: Torugart border - Naryn;
Duration of the trip--- 3 hours;

1-4 people: 100$
1-6 people: 150 $
1-14 people: 230$

Price for the both side:
Naryn (Kyrgyzstan) - Torugart border - Kashgar (China);
Duration of the trip---7 hours;

- 1-3 people: 460$
- 4 people: 560$
- 5-6 people: 620$

Note: As Chinese price does not depends from us, the price may different.
Price in Kyrgyz territory:
Bishkek - Naryn - Torugart border:
Duration of the trip---8 hours;

1-4 people: 220$
1-6 people: 270 $
1-14 people: 350$

Procedure of crossing through border

Most of what is written here is based on crossing from Kyrgyzstan to China the order is not necessarily logical, but we hope you will find the answers to your questions here. If you have a question which isn't answered in the following then please feel free to ask. We'll do our best to answer.

What does it cost: Naryn-Torugart?
Exactly it depends from what kind of services you need: transport only, overnight in yurt accommodation, visit to Tash Rabat or Koshoy-Korgon citadel ruin.

Why is it so expensive to cross at Torugart?
Torugart is a quite remote. Also, because of some of the regulations it can involve agencies/tour firms, which arrange permission and transfer from the border to/from the border in extra work. They have to cover their costs. For example: they have to pay for:
Transport expences for both direction;
Wages of both peopple: driver and guide;
Taxes and official fees,

May I pay for transfer after transfer in Naryn or in Kashgar because I do not have enough cash?

How long does it take to travel to Torugart from Bishkek?
It is 550 km. It will take 9-10 hours. It is long way so we offer you spend a night in Tash Rabat yurt camps or in Naryn. We can order yurts beforehand.

Can we be sure that the Chinese will be there to be meet us?
There are stories in various books etc. of Chinese companies failing to turn up. Our partners have never let us down! If you go in our vehicle, our drivers will not leave you at the border until you have transferred to the Chinese vehicle, which is meeting you.
In Kyrgyz side we will be waiting you up to the end of Customhouse work day. But it is not advisable. Because the last hours the border guards can turn out drivers from border zone.

Why do foreigners have so much trouble trying to cross the Torugart pass ?
Technically the crossing is closed to all except citizens of Kyrgyz stan or the people's republic of china, but foreigners can get permission to cross from the department of foreign affairs in Urumqi.
Also, the crossing is classed as a “second grade” crossing. So it does not have full facilities and is governed by special regulations, e.g.: the border is closed on weekends and any public holiday, on either side of the border!
The area surrounding Torugart is a border zone and permissions are, however, necessary if you want to stop by lake Chatyr kul or visit the Ak Sai valley. If you have a Chinese visa you are allowed to travel the road between the outer check post and the customs and immigration post without a special “border zone permit”. Therefore, it is still necessary, technically, for tourists to be taken through the border zone, for group lists to be prepared and the drivers/guides have to have special permits to enable them to travel here.

Why is the border “closed” to foreigners?
The south area close to Chinese border is a restricted area for foreigners and – even locals needed to have special permit to allow drive and work in the region. Since the break up of the USSR , tensions have eased but some restrictions and regulations still remain.

When is it possible to cross – when is the border open/closed?
In theory the pass is open all year round except: at weekends – every Saturday and Sunday
On public holidays: jan 1, 7; feb 2; mar 8, 21; may 1, 4, 5, 9 (it is best to avoid the first 10 days of may altogether); aug 1, 31, oct 1, 2 (but is usually closes for the first 10 days of october); nov 7 and the following moveable feasts – Chinese new year; kurman ait, orozo ait (it is best to avoid days either side of holidays – and especially do, if the holiday falls on a weekend,) For bad weather –
You should be aware that, sometimes the border can be closed at very short notice for all sorts of reasons.
The other, southern pass (Irkeshtam) opened to passenger traffic in the summer of 2002. Although permits from the border authorities in Urumqi are not necessary, the fact remains that the border zone is still a sensitive area – and you will probably need to arrange transport on both sides of the border if you don't use the bus service. There are other problems with crossing Irkeshtam. It is a very long journey, although it can be done in one day – it is better to arrange an overnight stop at Sary Tash or the Taldyk pass.

What documents do i need to have?
(please note; the following is mainly for independent travelers: with our help it will be easier in practice for tour groups where the company deals with all of this).
Going from Kyrgyzstan to china : the Kyrgyz officials will look for: your Chinese visa

Your Chinese permission to cross Torugart (the Kyrgyz may let you leave - but not always - but the Chinese may not let you go past their guard post a couple of km down the road and you may get sent back).
Your Chinese visa
They will ask you to fill in a customs form (maybe two) - the forms they have available will almost certainly be in Russian only.
Be prepared for problems if you are missing one of these. Without the permission/visa, they won't let you pass because you will be turned back by the Chinese . Without the ovir registration they will probably try to extract a fine (“shtraf”).
The Chinese will require a visa and the permission to cross Torugart. Later you will have to fill in customs, immigration and health inspection forms. The forms are written in both Chinese and English but the compulsory Chinese guide will help you.

Going from China to Kyrgyzstan:
There is some debate about what the Chinese will require whereas many travellers have managed to cross without special permits, our partners (and every Chinese authority we have consulted) assure us that permission is required and you need to be escorted. You might say “well, they would say that, wouldn't they?” But the translation of the permit that we have clearly refers to both entry” and “exit”. It may be that they are not as fussy about checking documents for those leaving china as those arriving.

Some guide books refer to a “foreign ministry permit”, what is this?
The post is located in a sensitive border zone, and for entry to the zone a special permit is needed. Until 2003, a special stamp in the passport would usually suffice – but strictly speaking the permit is necessary – it is a small piece of paper – about a5 size, folded in half.

Is it possible to arrange a return trip to see the sunday market in kashgar?.
Yes, it is certainly possible (and we arrange a quite-popular tour). But the are a few issues that need to be considered:
A return trip may involve travelling the same route for at least part if not most of the journey - though it does look different on the way back. Alternatively, you may travel over Torugart one way, Irkeshtam the other – or via Urumqi .
You would need a “double entry” or a “multiple entry” visa for Kyrgyz stan . This may require special permission from the ministry of foreign affairs in Bishkek. A standard tourist visa is only valid for one entry and for one month.

Is it possible to do it yourselves more cheaply?
This is central asia and almost anything is possible however, you are likely still to need to arrange services with a Chinese company as a bare minimum and make your way to/from Torugart in Kyrgyzstan .

There is a bus service between Bishkek and kashgar – but it is technically not available to foreigners although it may carry you part of the way. If you are travelling to china and have been able to buy a ticket (me mean feat in itself) you are likely to get as far as the border post – and will have to hitch a lift the last few kilometres to the border itself. If you are travelling from china – you may get all the way to Bishkek, but the Kyrgyz authorities have been known to detain foreigners who were not being met.

Even cyclists who make their own way up to the border zone may have trouble – especially with the last few kilometres.
In my experience some individual tourists and cyclists who tried to get Torugart themselves were turned back to Naryn. They were wasting time and money.

The cheapest way of doing it is to get as large a group as possible together and share the transport costs. This may have some disadvantages – you may have to compromise on the date, the exact details of the itinerary and other matters. You could use the lonely planet thorn tree, e-groups like oxiana or oriental, to contact other people interested.

Some last words of advice, especially for the independent traveller:

Don't try to photograph anything that might be considered militarily sensitive. That includes the border post and any soldier in uniform!

If you cycling in Kyrgyz stan territory on first/last 60km (between Torugart and first check point) do not try turn to other side from main road. You must have special permit, in other way you may have a big trouble.

Don't believe that you have made it until you are the other side of customs and passport control on the Chinese side, on your way to Kashgar. You can be turned back at almost any point, even the American ambassador once got turned back. It may be possible to beat the system but it rarely happens.

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