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Old 02-13-09, 06:51 AM
bicycle tourist
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,603

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

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Some visas you might be able to get from embassies/consulates along the way. Others will require some advance application. Some tidbits related to some of the countries on your list:

Russian visas were one of the more awkward (and expensive) ones since they needed an advance invitation before the visa application. When I traveled from Amsterdam to Vladivostok (, I got a Russian business visa in advance via I couldn't apply more than 45 days in advance and then needed to first do an invitation step followed by the visa application step. Also look up on the internet for visa registration requirements (which have changed a few times recently and get to be fun anyways for cyclists).

Ukrainian visas weren't required for EU citizens, US or Canadians so I didn't need one there, but may still be needed for citizens of other countries.

Chinese and Indian visas seemed pretty straightforward. I ended up getting a 10 year Indian visa from local consulate. If you are getting visas during your trip, it may be handy to have a few passport photos with you in advance. Typically there will also be little shops to provide this service but having your own photos in advance is handy.

I've gotten Chinese visas a few times. The last one I got in Hong Kong and made a mistake of telling the visa office that I would be bicycling. They then told me that I would need a special invitation letter from tourist office in Beijing. So, I modified my visa application to delete any mention of bicycle touring.

I haven't gotten a Kazakh visa, but am curious what you find out. (I have a touring bicycle I left behind in Russia in 2006 and plans in 2010 to retrieve that bicycle and ride from Samara, across Kazakhstan and into Xinjiang).
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