The Stans are intriguing me

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by DavidM1, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I see there are several riders in or near the Stans at the moment G B, bizoo_n, saralou, the Dominator guys. I'll be keeping an eye on these.

    It seems that it's fairly easy to travel within those countries - no carnet needed, fairly easy visa regimes (except Turkmenistan) - it's the getting there that needs the planning, I think. My preference would be avoiding Russia and Iran and take the Baku-Aktau ferry, which bizoo_n is about to take (and judging by reports, that's a saga in itself).

    If anyone has information about motorcycle insurance in those countries, like do you buy it at the border, I'm interested.

    I'm gradually making a list of sights to see, which must be ticked off one day. I'm especially interested in the Silk Road caravanserais - I've visited 25 of the old Seljuk ones in Turkey and would like to extend that east a bit.
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  2. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Why avoid Russia? Security concerns or lack of things to see along the route.? I ask because I am in the early exploration stages of a trip across Europe, the 'stans, Mongolia, Russia, China if there is a way to get in with a foreign plated bike (a Chinese friend from Beijing thinks it isn't possible) and on to Vladivostok. I am also considering doing the trip in reverse, shipping into Vladivostok and riding west.
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  3. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I haven't totally ruled out Russia, having just read the Polish guys' return from Kazakhstan. But I think I would just be hammering across it.
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  4. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Having not long come through the Stans, insurance is very Lassez-faire affair. At no border crossing were we asked for it. But once in Uzbekistan one of the local bikers told us that if you don't have the local insurance and IF you are asked for it upon exiting Uzbekistan then you can be hit with a $100 US fine. We'd not heard of this, but consulted professor Google and yes indeed, some overlanders had been hit up with the fine upon leaving Uzbekistan. So we dug deep into our wallets and payed for the probably useless local insurance. It cost $15 US. Turkey needs insurance, but as an EU citizen you are most likely covered already with your Green card insurance. Crossing from Turkey to Georgia is a very simple affair. Georgia to Azerbyjan we didn't do, but we don't hear of any horror stories.

    As you say the ferry crossing is the biggest drama, but just look upon it as part of the fun. We chose to enter the Turkmenistan transit visa lottery and somehow we got it, so no ferry for us.
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  6. mojoblues

    mojoblues Adventurer

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    I am planning a similar trip with a friend, Croatia - Serbia - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Russia - Kazakhstan - Russia - Mongolia - Russia to Vladivostok. Then ferry to Japan, few days there and then back. We have chosen not to travel across Caspian sea, but go around it.
    No carnet needed, but visa for Russia might be the problem, only 2 entries for tourist visa, and I need 6 :D
    I have sent an email this morning to visa center in Croatia to see what is possible (business visa with multiple entry).
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  7. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Cheers, I'll do more research into the insurance. As you say, my UK insurance company can give me a green card for Turkey, they've done it 3 times before.

    I was entertained by bizoo_n's crossing of the Caspian:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...ast-to-mongolia.1100755/page-15#post-32614616

    Hopefully it'll become easier - I like ferries to have timetables, preferably with a website nowadays.
    As a reference, the little one across the Euphrates in Turkey has a website:
    http://www.pertek.gov.tr/feribot-saatleri
    About every half hour, 2TL for a motorbike (51 cents US).
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  8. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I'm still in two minds about Russia, but I would only need the 2 entry tourist visa at most.

    I find the Russian visa annoyingly expensive - £113 plus £38.40 service charge - about the same as the cost of fuel for crossing Russia to Kazakhstan.
    As a comparison - the 1500km of motorway from Calais to Madrid is cheaper in tolls - €120.

    Edit: that's for a double entry visa, a single is £70 + charge, I would assume one doesn't need an invitation nowadays.
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  9. mojoblues

    mojoblues Adventurer

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    Woah, I did not know it can come to that much!! On the Croatian site it states about 70€, service charge included! And that is for business visa..
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  10. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I've now decided to rule out Russia and concentrate on the Caspian route.
    And far more sightseeing opportunities with the southern route, which is my primary reason for travelling.
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  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We spoke to countless people who did the ferry crossing and they all reported the same. It's an effing circus. You can get lucky though and wait as little as 2 or 3 days.
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  12. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I see the ferry from Alat to Aktau costs $110 for motorbike + $70 passenger or so. It all adds up.
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  13. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Oh one more thing, try to time your crossing when the Mongol rally is NOT crossing.
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