crossing into Xinjiang,China
Korgas Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
July 7th, 2009 – by: beebah
We left Almaty around 5:30 AM and arrived at the border about 4 hours later. (it would take longer by bus, and first bus available is only at 9:00 AM so we couldn't wait for the bus. We wanted to make sure that we would have enough time to do all the border crossing ritual)
Anyway, Border was open.
I nearly cry from relief! Most people who were crossing there are Chinese (some Uygur, some Chinese-Chinese) apparently we couldn't just walk through the border, even Kazakhstan side. We had to take another mini-van (500 Tenge) which dropped us just few metres away, in front of custom office.
A guy who shared taxi with us was also going to Yining. So we agreed that we would share taxi again. So we tried so stick together during this 'check-out' time.
Leaving Kazakhstan side was not a problem. It went smoothly. Took some time but it wasn't so bad at all.
Once we finished 'leaving the country' When we got off, we needed to take another van. Our Chinese friend was already getting on it. But the van was getting full. So the guard told us to take the big bus next to it instead.
I'm telling you. DON'T take the big bus. Choose the mini-van as they go through custom (China side) much faster, less hassle, more civilized-small-group of people.
We did take the big bus.(350 Tenge) That's why we know. It was HORRIBLE.
Hundreds of people on the bus. It's never pleasant. Plus this bunch of uncivilized people who were yelling, shouting at each other for no obvious reasons all the time. I mean ALL THE TIME. Plus the bus was so darn hot. It was "closed" bus. All the windows, doors were sealed. With hundreds of people inside in the middle of summer time in the desert area. Imagine that.
Some were getting really frustrated. Started yelling at the driver to at least open the door to let some breeze in.
The big bus stopped on the border, China side. "Masked-Inspector" came up with termomitor to check if anyone had fever. He checked every single of us. Took several minutes and left. But the bus did not move.
Few minutes later he came back for us. Told us to step off the bus and follow him to his medical tent to do some more 'test', asking more questions, measure our body temperature.
But no, later he came back and now everyone had to go though this check-up. Some old man wouldn't even do it and refused aggressively. Other folks had to beg him to do so we all could go.
It took at least an hour. Bus was standing under the heat, hottest time of the day. No shade, Nothing.
We were running out of water.
After nearly 90 minutes they let us go. Everybody was told to get back on the bus and then the bus went 100 metre further. And there it was, a custom office. For all this time. Anybody who's done with swine flu check-up, could have just walked and stamp in, walk into China. But No, they let you wait, tell you to go back on the bus.
What's the point of that. I'm not so sure.
But when we arrived at the custom. It was nobody in there. I looked at the watch. Wait a second. China is 2 hours ahead. The Chinese have lunch from 1-3 PM. Now is not even 2 PM yet. THIS IS JUST GREAT.
Some people there were really getting on my nerves. As I sat on the floor, stretching my legs. Some Chinese woman was blind or something I don't know, kept kicking my legs and made her pants "dirty" (wait a second, YOU walked across my feet, I was JUST SITTING STILL) She was totally annoyed and started yelling as she has been doing for past 2 hours.
I was not looking forward to go into China. To be honest. I'm sure it's great nation and all but maybe this is not going to be my cup of tea.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!