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Beijing to London need Advice

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Beijing to London need Advice

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Old 02-12-09, 10:37 PM
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Sucker4speed
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Beijing to London need Advice

Hello All,

I am in need of a little advice. I am attempting a expedition trip from Beijing to London. It will included 18 countries and 3 continents. I can plan a route and map out destinations perfectly fine. However, I am wondering about visas. Once I'm in Europe I am okay, but until then I will need a visa for every country I pass through. I was wondering if any one had made a trip of this magnitude and if you had any advice on visa information or well just any advice period. I am attempting to put this trip together by march of 2010. Our tentative and being worked on path is stated below with some major locations and boarder stops. Every country with a (V) beside it is one I will need a visa for.

China (V)(Beijing to Nepalese boarder)--->
Nepal(V)(Nepalese boarder to Everest Base camp then to Kathmandu then to Indian Boarder)
India (V)(Indian boarder to New Delhi then Dharamshala, then to Chinese boarder)--->
China(V)(Chinese boarder to Kazakhstani boarder)--->
Kazakhstan(V)(Kazakhstani Boarder to Almaty to Oyzylorda to Baylonur to Atyrau to Russian Boarder-->
Russia(V)(Russian Boarder to Vologograd to Rostov to Ukrainian boarder)--->
Ukraine(Ukrainian boarder to Zaporizhzhya to Chernivtsi to Romanian Boarder)--->Hungry--->Serbia
--->Albania--->Greece--->Egypt (V)----> Libya(V) ------> Tunisia ------> Italy--->Germany
--->Netherlands--->France-->UK


Cory

going crazy in Korea
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Old 02-12-09, 11:59 PM
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I have gotten a Nepali and Indian visa in the past 2 years.

The Indian visa (I have the 10 year tourist visa) I got through the mail from the Indian Embassy here in the U.S. From what I have heard it is handled a lot the same way in many other countries that have Indian Embassies.
My 10 year visa was US$110. If my memory holds true. They have the 6 months, 1 year, 5 year and 10 year with different fees.

The Nepali visa is faster to get for you get at the border. Since it is a not as developed as mot countries they do not do mail processing for their visas. Their tourist visa is for 60 days, approx. US$40 Since you are entering at the east border I would get your visa fee in Indian Rupee from the airport at Beijing. The Indian rupee is the most accepted currency outside of their own. I got my visa at the Kathmandu airport but I have talked to others that received theirs at the border. Most people get theirs within a hour of processing but there are also horror stories of friends that get laid up over night. It is a real hit or miss on the wait. But let me assure you. IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT. The Himalayas are amazing as well as the humble and generous people. Hospitality is ingrained deeply into their culture. If you are ever low on energy, you could stop and any person/families' home and have Dal Baht (Rice and Lentils) and nepali chai tea to your heart delight. At any restaurant this meal, which is the staple, can be bought for 15-35 rupees (US 25-50 cents).
Hopefully this helps some. Also. I would love to see your route through these two countries for it is a ride I really really want to do next time visiting.

Last edited by bokerfest; 02-13-09 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 02-13-09, 06:51 AM
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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 (www.bikerussia.com), I got a Russian business visa in advance via waytorussia.net. 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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Old 02-13-09, 02:10 PM
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Insufficient data.

When asking questions about Visa's it's very helpfull to include what nationality you are, or others in your party are.

Visa regulations vary widely dependant upon the country the passport is issued from due to reciprocity.

One national will have no trouble getting a Visa, while another national may require support (and more money), or may be flatly denied access.
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Old 02-14-09, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Camel View Post
may require support (and more money),
Yes as American you defiantly see this in the visa fee with the Chinese. I guess they are just trying to have the civilians pay off the our nations debt.
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Old 02-14-09, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bokerfest View Post
Yes as American you defiantly see this in the visa fee with the Chinese. I guess they are just trying to have the civilians pay off the our nations debt.
Visa fee is reciprocal, as in if a Chinese are coming US, he/she will pay at least the same amount and with Letter of Invite, or perhaps even more stringent circumstantial requirements.

I tried few months ago to get an Iranian Visa, as a US passport holder, I can be allowed to apply guided tourist visa. A guide will cost about 70 euro per day. A friend holding UK passport was allowed to apply unguided tourist visa.

I traveled many countries that required visa. It is time consuming to queue from 6am in the morning but it is part of the experience. The worst you can do is to use an agent.
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Old 02-14-09, 01:48 PM
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In fact, according to The US Embassy in China, a Chinese visiting the US must pay $131 for a visitor's visa.
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Old 02-14-09, 01:49 PM
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Hi,

I think you have a problem with your itinerary... I have never heard anybody crossing the border from India into China north of Dharamsala. I don't think it is possible at all to cross from India into China... They're not the best of friends.
Possibility is to go into Pakistan, cycle up the KKH and enter China from there. Make sure you have all your onward visas ready, because there are no embassies in western China (as far as I know).
Good luck, Ali
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Old 02-14-09, 02:15 PM
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He might have a problem with the itinerary solely due to time constraints.

Won't know untill it can be determined what length of Visa time he can get.

Western China is kinda vast, and dangerous or impassable at times due to weather. The other issue may be political, but will not become clear untill he is in the area-as example the Olympic ban on foreigners in Tibet. China changes policy regarding travel in/thru its autonomous regions on a whim.

The tour as a whole sounds a dandy one though, and I certainly hope he can do it!
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Old 02-16-09, 04:13 AM
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Thanks for all the information guys. Keep it coming
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Old 02-16-09, 04:30 AM
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Okay, so next touring question. I am versed mostly in mountain bikes I'm not to sure about touring bikes. Actually I'm not sure even where to look for touring gear or what I will need. My only experience is biking the 250 miles to Seoul from my house, to which I did with a road bike and a backpack. So any advice on gear and bikes would be helpful.
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Old 02-16-09, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sucker4speed View Post
Okay, so next touring question. I am versed mostly in mountain bikes I'm not to sure about touring bikes. Actually I'm not sure even where to look for touring gear or what I will need. My only experience is biking the 250 miles to Seoul from my house, to which I did with a road bike and a backpack. So any advice on gear and bikes would be helpful.
Well then I would recommend you do your tour on a mountain bike, perhaps a comfy one which you allready have. Perhaps one with a front suspension lock out. Add a trailer and you are all set. Although I have never used a trailer, folks who do really enjoy them.

There is a defenite split in opinion between using racks & panniers, and using a trailer. Both have benefits.

I have given a bit of thought to using a trailer, and for another extended tour will use an Extrawheel trailer with a MTB.
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