Passport has to be valid for at least another 6 months
and you need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan. See Additional
Information on how to get a visa for Kyrgyzstan in Almaty.
We did not have a valid insurance for
Kyrgyzstan. Nobody checked or seemed to care.
Did not get checked, but I am sure that officially you
are required to have one.
All you need is
your 'vehicle passport' (vehicle registration papers).
Own license plates are sufficient.
How it went
Kegen is a
very small border crossing down a dirt road. They are not very busy
here, so the process took less than 15 minutes and was totally straightforward.
Immigration: No paperwork need to be filled out. They checked the passports
and put an entry stamp into it.
Customs office: We did not need to fill out any paperwork for bringing the motorcycles
into the country. No papers were issued. They looked the bikes over,
had a look into one of our bags and that was it.
Point of Exit
Torugart Pass to China
How it went
We had spent the night before the border crossing at a
yurt camp at Tash Rabat. We left there early in the morning at 08:00 am,
to beat the rush. From Tash Rabat it took us one hour to reach the first
checkpoint, which was supposed to open at 09:00 am. There was already
6 vehicles there in front of us, a couple of trucks and some tourist buses.
Check Point: At the checkpoint our papers were checked and they phoned ahead
to let them know that we were coming. Then we were waved through.
From the Check Point it is a very dusty drive, passed a lot of struggling
trucks up to the border. It took us about 90 minutes to get to the border
at the base of Torugart Pass. Here the line of waiting vehicles was even
longer. We passed them all and drove up to the front of the line. The
soldiers manning the border asked
to see passports and a fax confirming that a guide and a support vehicle
form the Chinese was meeting us up at the border.
We did not have such a fax, but I had printed out the e-mail from the
traveling agency through which I had organized the guide. After a lot
of arguing they finally agreed to accept this and let us into the border
Immigration Office: At first the Immigration officer refused to sign us out of the
country, because we couldn't produce a fax stating that a guide was waiting
for us on the Chinese border. More arguing, before he accepted the e-mail
as proof and put an exit stamp in our passports.
Office: At the customs office they made us fill out the usual customs paper
we had been filling out all over Central Asia.: two for each bike. The
information gets copied into a big book, the forms get stamped and we
are sent back out to Customs inspection. They weren't really interested
and instead sent us on our way.
Getting visa for Kyrgyzstan: We got our visa for Kyrgyzstan in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Here for
those with a GPS: N43 14.358 E76 57.678
The visa was issued the same day; for an additional charge. Show up
at the Kyrgyzstan embassy in the morning. Fill in the visa application
form and complete it with one passport picture.
Return in the late afternoon to pick up your visa. You will have to
pay the visa in US dollars. A visa issued on the same day costs you
Changing money: Coming into Kyrgyzstan at Kegen:
There is nowhere to change money at this border. First place to do so
is in Karakol where there is money changing offices that will change
Kazakh currency and US Dollars. Luckily we had bought Kyrgyzstan Soms
in Almaty, because on the way from Kegen to Karakol you go through the
Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve. You have to pay an entrance fee of 500
som per vehicle!
Leaving Kyrgyzstan over Torugart
Pass to China: At the official Chinese border there is a lot of money changers
who will change Kyrgyz currency into Chinese money. Do it here, because
getting money changed in Kashgar is more complicated.
are the details of the border crossing into this particular country.
The information is correct as of the date on which the border was
crossed. But, due to the stability and vagaries of the regimes involved,
it is prudent that you get additional data directly from the embassy
involved, preferably in your own country. Also you should keep in
mind that the procedure can vary depending on exactly who is on duty.
So never assume anything is a particular way, and regardless of what
anyone says, the impossible is often possible if you are in the right
place at the right time. Good Luck.