Mobydickworld

Two Brothers Around The World. Small house with big garden.

Tag: border

Kyrgyzstan Border

From Kara-kul (Tajikistan) to Sary-Tash (Kyrgyzstan).
Cooking time:  From 2 to 4 hours. Depends on the wind, and the way the birds are flying (or maybe the lazyness in the air). 
Difficulty: 3/5

Dish Introduction

Here we would like to recommend a special dish, something for the most adventurous palates, this is the highest office-border in the world. And it require a good amount of understanding and not fall on their game of making you pay for everything. Here we go, the border in between mountains!

Ingredients

  • Passports.
  • Tajik visa printed and stamped.
  • Police papers from the enter of Tajik border.
  • Some dollars or Tajik sommonies or Kyrgyzstan soms.
  • Car documents.
  • No Kyrgyzstan visa needed (for us).
  • Good resistance to shaky road.

Method

-1st Step;  Exiting Tajikistan.

You are at high altitude, water boils at lower temperature, so keep calm and don’t worm to fast. It requires some diplomatic skills to remove all the bones, and focuse one the main ingredients!

  • Well done, if you arrived at this point is because you had drive the M-41 with all the multiples variations. Hope you enjoyed as munch as we did.
  • You are goanna find a close gate all decorated with big and nice goat horns. We stop the car, and even before getting in the border with our car, they already try to get money from us, demanding a paper that we didn’t have, some kind of transit check document. Do not pay anything, we are not sure what was all this about, but nothing serious for sure.
  • Don’t be surprised, the border is very modest, rural, and simple. They are gonna use only pen and paper, and the office is the same place where they eat and watch tv. In this second office, they are gonna write, slowly and accurately all your names and car specifications.
  • After that, a quick, very quick luggage control. Your are good to enter in the border area. Someone is gonna try to stop you and make you pay for a disinfection fee and some kind of paper work. Be determined and say that you go to the Kyrgyzstan border. Actually, keep in mind that you should not pay anything at all in Tajikistan.
  • The road condition inside the border is terrible. A short drive and you arrive at the passport control. Another quick check inside of your vehicle, mostly looking for some cigarettes for themself. A nice stamp on your passport and they take away your visa, out of the country!

No mans-land… is quite strange but you are goanna cross 20km of horrible condition road. Is suppose to be taken care by the Tajiks, but it is a slow cooking road.


-2nd step; Welcome to Kyrgyzstan.

  • Just crossed the metal gate, if there is another vehicle inside you will have to wait.
  • First stop is passport control, we had to wait 15 minutes that someone fixed the computer. At least they have a computer…
  • Passport stamped, picture taken from us, and with a friendly and nice smile, they will send you to the costumes control.
  • Once we got there they claimed not to have light, and say that we have to wait, maybe 2 hours maybe 2 days, is hard to know how much irony they put in their sentence, so we had to park our car in front of a gasoline generator that they are not using. After 1 hour light was back.
  • You will find a guy with a price of entry tax printed on the wall. Motorbike 500COM / car 1200COM / truck and bus 3000COM .There is not much you can do, they will consider your van like a microbús, and you will have to pay the higher price. We manage to lose our fee to 1500COM after big-time discussing. Give it a try.
  • They will give you one year of a permit to freely drive around Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia. We didn’t really understood how did that work, but apparently is like this, ask and maybe they will explain it better to you.
  • Pas the last metal gate.
  • Enjoy the amazing snowy mountains around, the green fields, the sheeps and the new country!

Tips to make this dish a bit more digestible

  • Do some hiking in the sorrownding mountains. Specially before crossing the border. You can enjoy a lot this lonely part of the Pamir, just be careful with the wolves!
  • Don’t pay absolutely nothing in the Tajik part
  • Easy to exchange money at Sary-tash.
  • Be patient! And take time to ride in between borders!

Tajikistan Border

From Samarkand (Uzbekistan) to Panjakent (Tajikistan).
Cooking time; 2 hours. 
Difficulty; 2/5

Dish introduction

This dish is a very important one for all thous fellows that like mountains and adventure. By cooking it, you will be able to enter the amazing world of the Pamir; sand, dust, rock. and lots of fun. This is a mountain dish, simple but with strong flavours, with pure ingredients and ready to calm the hunger for adventure! If this one is possible…

Ingredients

  • Passports.
  • Uzbek visa not expired.
  • Tajik visa printed + GBAO if you want to ride through the Pamir.
  • Car papers.
  • Some dollars in cash
  • Tourist or hotel registration for Uzbekistan.
  • Roll it slowly, the key of any border cooking is the love you put in all the steps.

Method

-1st Step; Exiting Uzbekistan.

  • Easy passports check at the first gate; they separated driver and passenger.
  • Again together customs and passport control. Make sure you have the customs paper they give you at the enter border, and they will demand your hotel registration form. (See our solution at the end of the “recipe”, if you don’t use hotels. For adventurous chefs only). We had to fill in a form as well.
  • Quick luggage control, looking mostly porn, alcohol, weapons. No big issue, just behave as a professional chef. We suppose they can get picky, but with us, they were really friendly showing us all the hidden forbidden things they had.
  • Few more meters and you will have your exit stamp. Ready to leave the county.

-2nd Step; Welcome to Tajikistan and the awesome Pamir world.
Don’t get to excyted, the last steps is were the dish gets the full flavour..

  • Passport and visa control after the gate, nice and fast, they stamp both documents, passport and visa. So even if you had applied online is good that you print it.
  • Then you have to go to the police officers were after they look at your papers car they tell you how much would cost the Road Tax.
  • Different quotes; 10$ for a bike, 25$ for a normal car, 45$ for a bus, and 100$ for a special car.
  • They wanted us to pay 100$!! No **** way! After 2 hours of friendly discussion (really, they were willing to help). They accept to pretend that our van was a bus. So we had to pay 45$ (We heared people could bargain this price, good luck).
  • We had no problem at all at the exit border with this issue, so if you can pretend you are a bike, go ahead ;).
  • Impossible to get a car insurance. Drive carefully they said.

Tips to make this dish a bit more digestible

  • To don’t get too long with all the medicine check, you can have a small first aid box somewhere easy to find with nothing else than some stitches and scissors. Always works for us.
  • Money exchange is only possible at the Uzbek entrance.
  • Don’t say you have much cash, you may have to pay some tax otherwise. .

Tips for adventurous chefs

Grab your best knife and put some hard music on, you are gonna enjoy that one.

In our case, because we did not sleep in hotels, and we didn’t wanted to pay the money the hotels were asking us to do the registration, we found another solution. We knew that in 2018 things were changing, so we asked the touris information of Khiva and with the help of the tourist policie we got a free registration for all the days we told them. But only for the Urgench region, not for all Uzbekistan. We don’t really know what it’s written in the form, but the car is registered as well. At the border they accepted it, even if we only had it for the first 6 days of the 14th we stayed in Uzbekistan. If you want to have the full days of your stay you can try the same with the tourist police of Bukhara and Samarkand. Good luck and go cheap.

Uzbekistan Border

From Dashoguz (Turkmenistan) to Urgench (Uzbekistan) 
Cooking time3 hours
Difficulty; 4/5

Dish introduction

This one is an especial dish, it has a mix of the two eccentric countries, full of little subtlety and special spices we are sure you will enjoy it the most.

Ingredients

  • Passport.
  • Turkmenistan Visa not expired. 
  • Uzbekistan Visa. Be aware is date specific, meaning you cannot enter before the date is written on your visa.
  • Car papers.
  • The GPS gave to you at the entrance of Turkmenistan,
  • The route plan gave to you at the entrance of Turkmenistan.
  • No money needed; You don’t need to pay anything all in either of both sides.
  • A good pinch of patients and good maneers.


Method

-1st Step. Exiting Turkmenistan.

  • Right in the border you may find a huge queue of cars, don’t you worry, so you just have to jump off your car and say the magic word “tourist”(If it’s still not obvious). Then you can skip this queue and probably the next one to park your vehicle in front of the luggage check. (Some advantage to be a tourist after crossing their sandy country).
  • Get out take all your papers, fill in a form they give you. It does exist in English, so you don’t need their help. If someone asks you to pay anything they are cheating. Just don’t pay. Ask other soldier and eventually ask for the superior.
  • Plenty of young soldiers ready to help to take you inside, jumping again a massive queue (just look friendly to all these people it’s been waiting for hours). There they are gonna check your paper of route plan.
  • Out of the main building into a small office, they will ask for your GPS and the paper they gave you with it and the form you just filled up. You can try to get back the money you paid for the GPS, but they insist is not a deposit is a rent. (First time someone forced us to rent something!!!)
  • And then wait they come to check your vehicle… Take it easy, they can make you wait for an hour before checking it.
  • A quick check of the interior and some random questions, we got lucky here, we know from someone they emptied the entire car.
  • You go to the immigration register and is there where you get your passport stamped finally.
  • Last door to pas with a quick passport control, and off you are.

.
…2 km of nomans land…

-2nd Step; Welcome to Uzbekistan

  • Right away there is another queue to be jumped with the tourist technique.
  • Before getting in the vehicle, you have to pass by a car registration; so you have to bring your car documents. When the registration is done you can proceed to drive your car through a little swimming pool for some kind of disinfection.
  • Leave the car in the luggage check and go to the passport control. You will get your passport stamp and you have to fill in a form, with the common questions. Then they are gonna fill in a really detail costumes declaration, with all the specific details of your car.
  • Then a proper check with dogs and mirrors of the vehicle, and you are good to go if they don’t find anything illegal (go to Tips).
  • It’s easy and cheap to make a car insurance in Urgench. For 15 days we paid 10000SOM. This is the locations where we made it 41º33’47.23″N, 60º37’17.21″.

Tips to make this dish a bit more digestible

  • Don’t stress if they make pass your car by a 12 cm swimming pool, is to disinfect, whatever you are infected off.
  • Say the world tourist every time you have a massive queue in front of you.
  • Do not pay to any guard, no need. They will try to though.
  • In both borders they are really not in a hurry, so don’t get stress, is gonna take a while!
  • Don’t say you have much cash, you may have to pay some tax otherwise.
  • No drones allowed in this country, so hide them well and always say NO if they ask for. Same rule for parachutes (we were asked for…),
  • Easy to change money at the Uzbek site.
  • Many common painkillers, sleeping drugs and anxiety blockers are illegal in Uzbekistan. Codeine is a common component of many painkillers but is highly illegal in Uzbekistan. Benzodiazepines and sleeping drugs you own are probably also illegal. The full list of substances illegal or restricted is available here.
  • To don’t get too long with all the medicine check, you can have a small first aid box somewhere easy to find with nothing else than some stitches and scissors. Always works for us.

Turkmenistan Border

From Bajgiran (Iran) to Ashgabat (Turkmenistan).
Cooking time; From 1 hour to whole day.
Difficulty; 3/5

Dish introduction

It’s probably one of the most feared dishes on the menu, mostly for how unknown it is. There are many legends about it, and stories that make the cook hide behind the pans. Well, here we give you one recipe that worked smoothly and not too stressy for us. Sharp your knife and make space on the kitchen top, is gonna get messy!

Ingredients

  • Carnet de passage with the entry stamp of Iran.
  • Passport.
  • Iran visa not expired.
  • Turkmenistan transit or tourist visa (see the article Turkmenistan visa)
  • Car papers.
  • Dollars in cash. Around 200$ should be plenty… But in this border don’t mess around with no cash. Really.
  • Good luck; Always helps.

Method

-1st Step; Exiting Iran

  • If you have any Rial (local money) left you can exchange them for Turkmen at a black market rate on the border, the guy will find you!
  • The first thing to do is to show all your papers and a very inefficient officer will register you on a computer.
  • After this short control, there is still 2 km to drive before the real border and costumes control; There is a Y road, take the left if you don’t find anyone that guides you. There is no clear sign. 
  • Once in the big building, someone is gonna take you to the Carnet de Passage big registration books, and after adding you in the endless and probably useless list. They will stamp your CdP. Anyway, make sure they do! You can not leave the country without your stamp! And you can get in huge trouble to get your deposit back from your country without these stamp.
  • After that, you have to cross the vehicle to the other side of the fence and come back by food to do the passport control.
  • One of the passport offices will look accurately at your passport and eventually stamp it. Then you cross to the border by food and you can join your vehicle there.
  • Quick and overlooked luggage control right in front of the Turkmenistan borders. You have to show your passport again, probably to control the exit stamp.

-2nd step; Welcome to Turkmenistan.

  • One meter far from the entrance gate there is already the first passport and car papers control. They will ask you if you have dollars in cash. Don’t know what happens if the answer is no… just in case, bring them.
  • Leave the vehicle parked wherever they tell you and go to the administration fee cashier, they will give you a receipt, we paid 5$ each.
  • More serious passport control will be done, pictures, accurate examination of your face compare to the picture on your passport, fingerprints scan, and some random questions. It might take a while, but you will get your stamp.
  • Separate driver and passenger. Make sure the driver take the money and is willing to bargain with them.
  • The passenger just have to show the passport and kill the time talking about football, especially if it’s world cup time! Otherwise, they will get eventually bored willing to examine your vehicle more accurately. 
  • The driver will be put in an office, and will be asked for an enormous sum of money, including road taxes, fuel compensation, entry fee, and rent of the GPS tracker that you will have to install in your vehicle! They asked us for more than 180$!!!!!!
  • You can bargain the price, especially if you are driving a truck and they ask you 80 dollars more than a normal car. Cigarettes are a very powerful bargaining tool, they are very expensive in the country!
  • Anyway it is gonna be expensive, we paid around 120$ and 2 cigarettes; surely the most expensive border so far.
  • After it, they will give you a paper as a receipt, and an itinerary map at the same time. You better don’t change the route you had planned before. Better don’t know how Turkmen prisons look from inside 😉
  • Then they will probably check your vehicle again. We didn’t even have a quick look. It was closing time and everyone was looking forward to going home. We got lucky here, we know from someone they emptied the entire car Remember your best weapon again bureaucracy is time. 
  • After all, you are good to go, driving 30 km in a lonely military road, where supposedly you are not allowed to get pictures. The light was too good we could not stop ourselves =)
  • Welcome to one of the most special countries we have ever drive. 

Tips to make this dish a bit more digestible

  • To get to the border by your own car take the road 875 going from Kutxan, is really beautiful. We tried a more off-road solution, it was an amazing road but as well, but it was close at the very end and we have to go 200km back. Check it well.
  • Do not leave Iran without your Carnet de Passage stamped! You can lose all de deposit back in your country or wait for 7 years to get it back!
  • If you want to cross this border quick we advise going there 30 min before closing time. Like that they are as much in a hurry as you are. There is the risk of spending the night on a border, but for us, it worked very well, we were dead scared of this border and end up being the fastest of all!
  • To us, the opening our was from 9.00 a.m. to 16,30 p.m. Iranian time. But double check it, it might have changed.
  • Don’t say you have more cash than you need it for this border, you may have to pay some tax otherwise.
  • To don’t get too long with all the medicine check, you can have a small first aid box somewhere easy to find with nothing else than some stitches and scissors. Always works for us.
  • No drones allowed in this country, so hide them well and always say NO if they ask for. Same rule for parachutes (we were asked for…)
  • Easy to change money at an Iranian site.

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