How to cross the China-Kazakhstan border at Khorgos

Written by Donovan May 21, 2015 Category: Asia, China, Kazakhstan Tags: Comments
The process of getting from Urumqi, China to Almaty, Kazakhstan is simple because there is a direct bus.
The Northern Long-Distance Bus Station is at Heilongjiang Road.
Almaty, Kazakhstan (via Korgas) – takes about 24 hours and ¥440, tickets can be bought at the international bus station at Nianzigou (碾子沟国际客运站 +86-0991-587-8637, mandarin speaking). The international bus station is not to be confused with the domestic one, it is located to the left of the domestic terminal, just beside Wenshabao hotel (温莎堡). Daily departure at 1900h. Time spent clearing customs at Korgas make the travel time rather variable. The buses are full sleeper beds so it was quite comfortable, except that the roads in Kazakhstan are less well-maintained, so the ride after crossing the Kazakh border was very bumpy.
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Straddled across two lands, the Kazakh Chinese and Kazakh Kazakhstani speak the same language but hold different nationalities. The Kazakh Chinese learn Chinese in school and speak Kazakh at home as it is their mother tongue. Both sides have to apply for a visa in order to go across the border which is ridiculous, so most of apply for a 10 year multiple-entry visa if they need to go across the border frequently. The Kazakh Chinese were crossing the border to visit their relatives and friends in Kazakhstan while the Kazakhstanis were trying to get their cheap Chinese produce back to their home country to sell for a profit.
Crossing the Chinese-Kazakh border was crazy. My Urumqi-Almaty bus ride was supposed to be 24h long, but the bus was delayed at customs for 7h due to strict inspections and then the Chinese-registered bus couldn’t pass the Kazakh side so we had to wait for replacement bus. Crazy Kazakhs were trying to get their cheap Chinese stock back to Kazakhstan and evade taxes so it was quite chaotic as they tried to squeeze past me through the green customs channel. They even climbed over the fence and tried to throw their stuff over.
Luckily I met two Kazakh Chinese who spoke Chinese who helped me to translate and even treated me to breakfast and dinner, so nice of them!
By the time I arrived in Almaty, it was already 2am. I took a taxi to my host house and finally got to rest.

One Reader Comment on “How to cross the China-Kazakhstan border at Khorgos

  1. We are Fujian international Pakistan our company interested to take our Goods transport from Pakistan china border sust to china border with Kazakhstan khorgos border to Almaty

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