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China - Kazaghkstan Border Crossing by train

by theoldgeezer Online Now Oct 22, 2006 at 4:01 PM

Reference the previous queries regarding this topic, has anybody recently had any success on this route i.e. Urumqi - Almaty, has it improved at all? Lonely Planet currently says to expect 8 hours, with difficult officials and no plumbing facilities. To save all that, is it easier to fly from Urumqi to Almaty?
All views welcome.

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  • GyuriFT's Profile Photo

    RE: China - Kazaghkstan Border Crossing by train

    by GyuriFT Online Now Oct 22, 2006 at 7:14 PM

    Please check out my home page: you will see a ticket scan from one of my friends. He had no issue.
    You will also get some idea, how much such ticket should cost (NOT MUCH AT ALL!!!) and keep yourself alert if you see more expensive price.

    As far as corrupt border guards: yup, it may happen - everywhere in former socialist countries. The most corrupt ones are known to be not in Kazakhstan but in Europe, so don't worry but be alert. They don't like to target westerners, esp. yelling westerners who ask for the boss.

    8 hours could be true: the train needs the wheelsets being changed. You can use plumbing facilities at the station, you don't need to be on train while the wheels are changed.

    It's by a magnitude more expensive to fly and there is certainly no nice scenery. You also can meet corrupt odfficials at the airport if you have bad luck. Normally if you know, you are right ask for the boss.

    Make sure all your entry stamps and registration is OK in Kazakhsan and there is no slightest issue they can make a deal of, if you enter the country make sure you have the entry samp. If you stay longer than one day, register the pasport a the police, not sure the latest regulations - check them out.

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  • RE: RE: China - Kazaghkstan Border Crossing by train

    by theoldgeezer Online Now Oct 24, 2006 at 1:49 PM

    Hello GyuriFT,
    Many thanks for a very helpful reply.
    Kind regards,
    Tim

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