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Help with route planning through Kazakhstan please!

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Help with route planning through Kazakhstan please!

Hello! 

I am currently in the midst of planning a big trip, basically i want to cycle from the most westerly point in Portugal to Shanghai, starting in March/April 2018. 
I am currently thinking i would like to head north, going through Russia into Northern Kazakhstan, and heading from there into China. 
Every blog etc i have found online from people doing a similar Europe>China tour seems to head south and go through Turkey/Iran, i cannot seem to find anyone else who has stuck North and so i'm wondering if i am missing something big? Is there an actual reason everyone heads south (and therefore so should i?), or is it just personal preference? 
I'm struggling to find much info on Kazakhstan, so any info/personal experience would be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks, 
Jade

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The reason that many people

The reason that many people head through Iran – or take the Caspian sea ferry – is because 1) Iran and the Caucasus are quite welcoming, friendly countries that have excellent cycle opportunities, and 2) Russia has something of a bad reputation for cycling touring due to aggressive/drunk drivers and many other hassles. Plus, cycling from Russia into Kazakhstan in the time allowed you on a 30-day Russian tourist visa would make you enter Kazakhstan in a very barren and remote part of its northwest, where you would then have to cycle through hundreds of km of empty steppe. Tourers who do go from Europe to Kazakhstan often take the train across Russia so that they can enter Kazakhstan around Petropavlovsk, where there is more civilization.

Get your Chinese visa before you leave home; foreigners cannot receive a Chinese visa in Central Asia. Do not tell them that you are cycling, because if a Chinese consulate suspects that you will enter China in the politically sensitive Xinjiang region, they will automatically deny the visa (or simply refuse to take your application at all). Book refundable plane tickets in and out of eastern China like tourists are supposed to. When you get your Chinese visa, you can then enter overland.

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Thank you for the reply!

Thank you for the reply! Thats all really good to know! 

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Do you have a blog

Link me to your blog as I want to cycle this starting November to open ended... also as American may not be able to cycle through Iran as , well you know...

 

Please post a map 

 

Thanks

Aaron Scott Bullock 

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Check this blog
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