I rode my bike to Nepal this year .. Turkmenistan, Pamir Highway, China, KKH, etc.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by emiles, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. SteveRed

    SteveRed Adventure Moto

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    I wasn't sure you could take a big bike into China without a lot of trouble!? very interesting ride.. would love some tips on your prep.

    Cheers
  2. Uzay

    Uzay Adventure Dreamer

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    Hi Emil, it was nice to meet you and toss beers with you, i'm happy to see that you have done it well and safe.:wave Great adventure:thumb
  3. tristano

    tristano Adventurer

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    great trip Emile,
    beautifull pics
    happy to hear you had a party with the italian riders :freaky :freaky

    can't wait to see more pictures of this fantastic experience :clap :clap
  4. Caddy82rats

    Caddy82rats Long timer

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    thanks for this dreaming report :clap
  5. Ohota

    Ohota Adventurer

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    Many good photo's...
  6. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    Having read quite a few tour reports of riders riding in China (an no, not on one of those pre-packaged organized tours), that is one thing they never go into any detail on.

    One tour report, the couple said they had to buy Chinese bikes to ride there. An acquaintance of mine who toured through China had to have tour guides along who where in a car and he had to apply for a Chinese licence plate which he later kept as a souvenir.

    Details are lacking in most tour reports.
  7. emiles

    emiles Lost

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    Hey Uzay!

    It sure was fun drinking some beers in Istanbul .. I really enjoyed my time there. That was the easy part of the trip :rofl

    BR, E
  8. emiles

    emiles Lost

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    The way it works:

    AFAIK, there is NO way to get into China on a bike without having arranged the paperwork beforehand. You need an agency in China to this for you. You need to have a guide waiting for you at the border.

    There are only a few agencies that know how to handle a foreign bike.
    Newland Travel in Kashgar is one of them. Highly recommended, 100% reliable.
    www.newlandtravel.net

    The whole process takes about 2-3 months (!). You need to supply all kinds of info beforehand, and then the agency takes care of all the required licences, permits and bribes. They need the formal ok of some 6 or 8 ministries, including the Peoples Army.

    You end up with a (temporary) Chinese licence plate (unfortunately only a paper version) and a (temporary) Chinese driving licence. Armed with these two and a guide & driver, you can ride around China.

    Mind you, the paperwork is only good for 1 province/region. If you want to go to another province/region, it becomes a lot more difficult if not impossible.

    Costs: I paid 650 USD for the paper work and 200 USD per day for the guide, driver and car.
  9. jigdog

    jigdog Been here awhile

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    Here is a picture from the G9 I bought, the new model of the G7 that took the pictures in this post:
    [​IMG]
  10. emiles

    emiles Lost

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    Takla Makan means "go in and you'll never come out" :eek1


    I took the "cross-desert highway" a 600km road running north-south, cutting the desert in two. The road was build in order to facilitate the oil industry active here.
    [​IMG]

    Halfway there is a village of sorts, more a collection of buildings. That's the only place in this huge desert where you can find people, food and gasoline ..

    The desert is so big, it can easily be seen from space:
    [​IMG]


    On both sides of the road, they irrigate the soil and shrubs are grown in the arid desert (the black lines are irrigation hoses).
    [​IMG]

    In order to irrigate the shrubs, water needs to be pumped up. You'll find wells/pumping stations like this all along the road.
    They are manned by people who stay out in the desert non-stop for 3 months ..
    [​IMG]

    Some more pics.
    [​IMG]

    After 600km it gets kind of boring .. I hit my "high score" here: 155 km/h :rofl
    [​IMG]
  11. emiles

    emiles Lost

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    Ok, I've shown you all the good pics I have .. I hope you liked them, I know I liked taking them and showing them.

    It was an amazing trip, something that will always be in my mind, a part of me. I'm still coming to terms with all the experiences, 16 countries/17.000km in 3 months really overloads the mind.

    I'm working on a book .. I may publish it if I can find enough interest.

    Ride safe,

    Emile

    :wave :wave :wave
  12. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    Wow.:thumb


    Man, what GPS program/mapsets did you use for this trip?
  13. Frostbit

    Frostbit Is it cold in here?

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    I'd buy the book.
    :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap
    Thanks for sharing.
  14. emiles

    emiles Lost

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    The GPS was a Garmin 276c and I used the Garmin Mapsource program. I had both the Garmin World map as well as the Smelly Biker one. I found the Garmin map to be a bit better, although you really need paper maps to ride in this part of the world (and often those aren't very accurate).

    The Garmin mapping program was running on my Asus EEE pc, which was running a stripped version of Windows XP. I also used the EEE for email, blogging, surfing and Skype. In addition to the std. 4 GB flash memory, I added a 12 GB SD card. I put the mapping software & the maps on that card. I used WindowsLive for off-line blogging (WordPress on the server). Then when I would get to a place with access, I would upload all the new posts.

    I also had a 80GB 2.5 inch disk with me that contained some 100 movies (divx format). As I watched movies, I would delete them, creating space to put pictures.

    BTW the Garmin 276c is >100% recommended .. I had lots of problems with water getting into the mount of a Zumo (shorting the electronics) on an earlier bike, but the 276c came through in all kinds of weather, never missing a beat. The only time it couldn't get sat access was in Tajikistan, riding in valleys with very steep cliffs all around.
  15. vander

    vander full-time dreamer

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    Incredible journey.

    What's the road condition in the Karakorum Highway? I'm planning a similar trip but with a road bike (Honda CB500).

    + Is the Kunjerab Pass in Pakistan or allready Chinese territory?
  16. emiles

    emiles Lost

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    The road-conditions on the Chinese side are perfect .. although due to bad weather, etc., road-conditions can deteriorate rapidly anywhere in this region.
    On the Paki side, road-conditions vary from good to pretty bad. There are lots of stretches where I think a road bike would have a hard time .. also depends on the tyres you're running. I would prefer to do the KKH on a dual-sport/adventure bike.

    The top of K. Pass is exactly on the border. Coming from the Chinese side, you clear customs in Tashgoran, a town about 150km from the Pass.
    You then clear the last Military Checkpoint, IIRC, about 1 km before the Pass.
    The top of the Pass is really empty, just some posts and signs. You can see where the actual border is as the tarmac starts to deteriorate exactly on that spot :D

    You then go down on the Paki side. About 10-15km further down the road you hit the first Paki checkpoint. These guys are a type of forest rangers that are responsible for looking after the K. Park. Really friendly guys, they invited me to drink thee with them!

    In Sost, IIRC some 20-30km further, you clear Paki immigrations & customs.

    It was kind of funny when I was there, as the customs guy was really old and could hardly see anything. So he asked me to read aloud to him the contents of my passport, visa, carnet, etc. He then asked me to fill in all the forms and to stamp them. I then had to show him where to sign them! :rofl

    As Sost is really a sh*thole, after clearing imm. & cust., I rode on to Kalimabad (AKA Baltit) to stop for the night .. Hunza Valley .. that place was as close to heaven as I've ever been .. it's really that beautiful there ..
  17. BOOTLACE

    BOOTLACE Bikie Scum. Supporter

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    This photo certainly got my attention! This is my mate Chris, on his 'Rooney Special', from Australia. Since this pic, he's ridden across Europe to the IOM, then from Norway across Russia and Mongolia, Sakarin Island and Japan. Your not gunna believe this, but he was on his way to see his bike off to Alaska, whenit started to rain. So Chris sped up to a run, slipped on smooth concrete, and smashed his foot into a gutter, breaking several bones. Trip over! He is now back home in Oz, on crutches for a couple of months..... Crazy huh?[​IMG]
  18. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    Thanks for the VERY helpful info Emiles. Learned me a few things and a couple new idears. Thanks.

    Also, with windowslive are you able to put your pictures on the post offline and then be able to post it with photos already there? Or is it a multi step process?

    Thanks again.
  19. curbjumperjones

    curbjumperjones Compulsive Lane Changer

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    :bow:bow:bow

    :thumb



    What a ride... and incredible photos as well!


    :lurk
  20. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    Bitchin ride report....

    Thanks for all the pics and stories...

    :clap

    :freaky