From Irkeshtam Pass to Kashgar
For independant travellers arriving from Kirghistan...the first step is to cross the 10km "no man's land" from the border
to the first check point. The kirghize officer let you get into the next available place in a truck for a ride to the trucks line waiting to enter China.
We then have to walk about two kilometers to reach the first chinese checkpoint. If the border is opened , an officer will check up if you have any weapons on you, then your luguages are completely opened, Every book will be questioned and sometimes non-accepted maps will be confiscated.
Your passport will be directed to an officer who will take the bus to the passcontrol...some 100km further!
After this long ride and the time at the border, you have to bargain a taxi to Kashgar for about $6.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
a good local driver and spare tires
Xinjiang is a district with so wide area. It's a good idea to rent a car, incluing a local driver, for the sake of safety. Be sure it's in a good condition. In my opinion, it's the best way if you have enough time.
Not all the road are in good condition.
If you want to drive by yourself, remember take more spare tires. When the car runs on the road, expecially from Urumchi to Tulufan, the temperature is high, sometimes tires will blow up. It's dangerous.
Last time the van I was in changed tires twice in 8 days.
We were supposed to reach Urumqi (China) from Alma Ata (Kirghizstan) by bus in about 1 hour, but in the last minute the plane was not available and the Agency changed the plan: we should reach Urumqi by bus (in fact a minibus for 8 people) crossing the border by Khorgos, across the Tien Shan Mountains! It was gonna be a 24 hours bus ride by small provincial roads...
After the initial surprise I was delighted to have the possibility of knowing close up this region of the world that I wouldn't (probably) have the cahnce of visiting again. Though the landscape was monotonous and the bus uncomfortable, it was a great experience to cross that nowhere land between China and the former USSR and I remember specially crossing the beautiful "Heavenly Mountains" of Tien Shan, about which I had read so much in tales about the Silk Road!!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
To get around in Xinjiang you most likely have to take a few busses. Not so bad ofcourse, but they pack them full, and sometimes...the bus gets stuck on the side of the road. Then you learn how hot it is in the desert.
the most popular
Within cities, bicycle is the One. Between cities and towns... you don't want to be left behind in the dessert. Yet, with enough water, it works for short distances.
When in Xinjiang, a horseback riding trip in the mountains is an unforgettable experience. Many of the lake areas like Tian Chi and Karakul have horses for rent.Related to:
- Horse Riding
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Province Hotels
When in China, westerns should choose a "5-star" hotel. Not because its fancy, but it helps being...more
Here's another pic of Seman hotel in zoom out mode able to see two black young ladies...more
No.230 Wenhua Road, Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur, 838000, China
Good for: Solo
Top Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Province Hotels
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