Entering China from Kyrgyzstan via Irkeshtam

[de] Dieser Artikel ist in englisch, da er hauptsächlich für andere Radler gedacht ist, die ähnliches vorhaben.


Kyrgizstan / China - October 2017 

Our experiences when entering China from Kyrgyzstan via Irkeshtam Pass. No stories, just information.

See Video and Pictures below.


Before you go

Plan enough time to cross the border. We stayed in our tent shortly before the border. See map below for the spot.
There is a long lunch break and a taxi ride, waiting for the taxi, etc. can take a long time, so don't arrive too late.

There is also a guesthouse (Guest House Nur) in the small village right before the border.


First checkpoint

We put our knife under the saddle. Bikes weren't checked at all. Even left my GoPro mounted. Every bag was x-rayed and we had to open all and show what's inside. Our drone was recognized but was no problem. Gas/Petrol and stove: no problem. Having two passports seems to be common and was no issue.



It is not allowed to go the first 140km on bike. You need to take a taxi.

After the first check we had to wait about 2,5 hours for the taxi to arrive. In the meantime we were able to go to a small shop where they also change SOM and Dollar for a quite ok rate (1 Som = 0.094 Yuan and 1 USD = 6,4 Yuan)

Taxi was a little van. We were 8 passengers (4 chinese people and a dutch couple) and our bikes. Was not spacious, but ok. It seemed that they called the taxi for us and the other guys. No one else was there and offered the trip. Nobody told us about the price. No chance to not take this taxi. The taxi driver will keep your passports.


Second checkpoint

after 1,5h driving: we had to leave the taxi, show our passports and get in the taxi again. No luggage checked.


Third, final Checkpoint:

Leave the taxi with Everything, all luggage was x-rayed again, but we didnt have to open them again.  No fresh fruits, vegetables etc. allowed to bring this checkpoint.

Taxi was 100 yuan per Person and 50 per bike.


To Kashgar

Taxi didn't want to take us with to Kashgar, no chance, the driver just laughed and said we can stay in the next little town and go to Kashgar tommorrow. We found a camping spot after this town: see map above.

Road to Kashgar is quite nice when you take the small highway right next to the main, big highway.



We stayed at Old Town Hostel

Video - Irkeshtam to China

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