Mar 25 2008

The routes to China

Published by at 5:38 pm under World Tour 2008

There are 3 main routes from Europe to China:

  • Northern route (Russia and Mongolia)
  • Central Asia route (Russia and Kazakhstan, possibly Kyrgyzstan)
  • Southern route (Middle East and India)

Click on a route to see more information:

View Larger Map

My initial plan was to spend more time in Russia and stop in St Petersburg to learn the language for a couple of months but as I explained in this post, the new visa regulations wouldn’t give me enough time to then cycle to Mongolia.

I finally decided on the Central Asia route for various reasons:

  • Russian is still widely spoken through Kazakhstan, this gives me only one language to babble in until China.
  • A route slightly more varied than 3000km of flat Siberia.
  • The ship cemetery in the disappearing Aral sea
  • The 3 months visa for Kazakhstan is supposedly much easier to obtain than the equivalent Russian visa (wait & see!)
  • Possibility to cross into China from Kyrgyzstan via the Irkeshtam pass.

My aim is now to enter China from Kyrgyzstan and head South to Tibet and Lhasa. Not a great timing, I know… Hopefully the situation will be less tense in the coming months.

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