Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Forbidden Passes

These days I'm searching intensively for all the related information... mainly because I want to assure the viability of the trip.

But the more I search the more difficulties I find.

The proposed itinerary got obsolete just after the first half an hour of information gathering; there are many borders that aren't that easily crossed.

I'd mention three examples:

- Crossing between Myanmar and the Indian subcontinent doesn't seem to be possible, at least not for ordinary or independent tourists.

- Apparently there is not way out from India to China (I couldn't find any references). The only possibility would have been entering Nepal from India, and then from Nepal to China but that road is only allowed to Chinese or Nepali and to package group tourists (this could be solved if I get into one of those groups in Nepal, but maybe planning should be done in advance).

- Getting into Central Asian countries (namely, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) from China is challenging. Transportation is scarce, but apart from that, one should get to Urumqi (in Xinjiang or East Turkestan/Uighurstan) almost from Central China, and from there to Kashgar (1000 km away, in the Kyrgyz area of China), about 60 to 100 km from a border crossing with Kyrgyzstan.
There are a number of border crossings between China and Kyrgyzstan, but only Irkeshtam and Torugart are used, the former not usable by tourists (only for Chinese and Kyrgyz) and the later accessible to tourists if they're being driven through by a local (and a need for a special pass/visa).

Except those, not small, gaps passing from one country to another without taking planes could be done in my itinerary. I will have to think a workaround (quite literally) for those, then.

I'm not writing anything about the (pan)American trip that will take place after the Asian one, but it will be thoroughly easier (for instance, the only part not crossable by road in the whole continent is a gap of about 100 km between Colombia and Panama).

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