bicycle travelling
preparing for 3onTour!
BackOnTrack – Info

15. May 2010
Mexico | Canada | USA | Cambodia | Thailand | Laos | China | Tadjikistan | Usbekistan | Kasachstan | Azerbaijan | Georgia | Russia | Ukraine

Mexico Mexico


Border Calexico-U.S / Mexicali-Mexico

  • no official exit office on US side. we asked US border petrols to return the green immigration card.
  • no border checks on Mexican side. You have to take care of a proper immgration by yourself!
  • You need a tourist card. Costs: 261 Pesos, to be payed in Pesos at at certain bank at the border
  • Allowed duration of stay: 180 days

Canada Canada


Arrival Beaver Creek

  • no hassles, no questions, no return ticket, no money-proof
  • duration of stay with Visa Waiver: 6 months

United States of America United States of America


2nd Entry - White Rock (CA) / Blaine (US)

  • Overland borders do not need Return- or Onward flight ticket
  • lot of questions, not very nice, but we succeeded. best is to answer honest and direct.
  • 90 days of stay
  • you have to let remove the green Immigrationcard out of your passport when entering Canada from Alaska!!!!!


1. Arrival - Flight Tokio to Seattle

  • people from countries which are part of the Visa Waiver program need no Visa for tourist purposes (list of participating countries: here)
  • duration of stay with Visa Waiver: 90 days
  • you have to register for „Electronic System for Travel Authorization“ (ESTA) via internet:
  • theoritically, when entering USA by plane, you need a return- or onward ticket. we had not, and therefore some problems and argueing with immigration. finally they let us in.

Cambodia Cambodia


Visa at Lao border

  • 30 day visa "on arrival" at the border!
  • Price: 20 USD, plus 1 passport photo

Thailand Thailand


Thai Visa in Savannaket

  • 60-day Visa in 2 working days. For free!!
  • Notice: Thai Consulate has moved: 229 Thahae Rd (at the Lao Deum Savan Restaurant at the Mekong). Visa Application 9 AM to 11 AM. Collection Visa on the following working day at 2 PM
  • 2 Passport Photos, Visa application Form (download here ), passport copy
  • best is to have everything finished (also attach the passport photos to the application form with a glue) before, then it is all very fast. There are quite a lot of people (especially Lao people) who are applying for a Visa!

Laos Laos


Visa Run Thakek/Nakhon Phanom - back at Mukdahan/Savannaket

  • our 30-day Visa expired, so we left Laos at Thakek and crossed the Mekong by boat (no bridge) to Thailand, to Nakon Phanom
  • 15 day Visa on arrival in Thailand, no fees
  • we did not came back to Laos immediately (would be possible), but because of good, cheap food and a shorter way to Savannakhet, we stayed in Thailand until Mukdahan...
  • 10 km north of Mukdahan is a bridge (cycling possible) and a border. visa on arrival without any hassels on lao side, same conditions as at chinese border


Border Mohan (CN) / Boten (LAO)

  • 30-day visa available without any hassels directly at the border
  • 35 USD for Austrians, 30 USD for Germans. Can be paid in Kip, Bath, USD or chinese Yuan
  • 1 Passport Photo necessary
  • Money Exchange from Yuan or USD to Kip in Mohan(CN) possible. ATM available in Mohan. BE CAREFUL: Check money carefully!!!
  • there is a bank in Boten (LAO)

China China


Visa Extension Kunming

  • ATTENTION: PSB has moved! To be found now at Beijing Lu, a few hundred meters south of Dongfeng Lu
  • processing time: 5 fu***ng working days
  • 1 photo required


Visa Extension Chengdu

  • NEW: you have to prove that you have a certain amount of money! 100 USD per day you like to extend. To show credit card was not accepted. We managed to show them the money in cash, otherwise they want to have an official bank document in (at least) english language, which seems to be impossible in China without an chinese bank account
  • takes 5 working days
  • 1 photo and copies of passport, entry stamp, visa and hotel registration necessary


New Chinese Visa in Hong Kong

  • just 1-month visa available at the moment!!
  • took us one day at one of the many Agencies in Kowloon district of Hong Kong, costs unbelievable 700 Yuan (!!!) per Visa
  • 2 photos necessary


2nd Visa Extension

  • took us two days at PSB in Jiayuguan, 160 Yuan per Visa
  • 1 photo, copy of Passport, original Visa and 1st Extension necessary
  • IMPORTANT!!! Visa Extension was NOT POSSIBLE anymore in Dunhuang


1st Visa Extension

  • took us one day at PSB in Kashgar, 160 Yuan per Visa
  • 2 photos, copy of Passport and original Visa necessary
  • Visa Extension was NOT POSSIBLE in Aksu, and i doubt if it is possible in Korla. In Ueruemtschi possible.


Entering at Irkesham

  • totally easy and good border crossing for individual travellers
  • no permit, no other transportation necessary



  • In the year of 2008 it is a "special" year for chinese Visa because of the Tibet Riots and the Olympic Games in Beijing, normally it is much easier to get a chinese Visa
  • thus different regulations we got a 30-day Visa in the chinese Embassy in Tashkent
  • Flight Reservation needed, and 10 Hotelbookings (we did it via Internet with (a few cents of cost)
  • normally takes 3 days, we made express Visa in one Day (80 USD)

Tajikistan Tajikistan


GBAO Permit

  • when travelling in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) you need a special permit which is definetely checked a few times
  • we arranged it before with (40 USD per permit)
  • ask to include all regions of the pamir region



  • you need register yourself within the first three days staying in TJ
  • copy of your passport and your tadjik visa, one passport photo needed
  • we did in Penjinkent, took 2 hours and costs about 25 EUR
  • we know also possible in Kohjand and Murghab
  • Dushanbe seems to be a bad place for this



  • Tourist Visa valid for 30 days
  • applied in Tadjik Embassy in Tashkent in Usbekistan
  • Leter of Invitation needed, we arranged it before with (45 USD per LOI), but can be arranged at the Embassy on the spot (35 USD)
  • normally takes 3 days, we made express Visa in one Day (100 USD)

Uzbekistan Uzbekistan


Train Beneau (KZ) - Kungrad (UZ)

  • goes every day at 6:30 AM, ticket price: 6 euro per person, bicycle for free
  • duration of travel: 11 hours
  • now extra space for luggage, very crowded, be there at time and find a good place for your bicylce
  • you can buy all sorts of products during travel, also changing money no problem



  • applied visa in embassy in Baku (AZ)
  • duration of stay: 1 month. Price: 75 USD
  • valid from-to a specific date
  • processing time: 2-4 days
  • no LOI needed for EU citizens!
  • friendly consul
  • Adress: 370021, Baku, Patamdart; 1-shosse, 9-str., 437; Phone: (99-412) 97-25-49 Fax: (99-412) 497-25-48

Kazakhstan Kazakhstan


Ferry Baku (AZ)-Aktau (KZ)

  • ripp off of 100 USD per Person, but good cabins and big ferry
  • do not mention your bicycle, it goes for free, they just want to charge you extra moeny
  • going every 3 to 6 days
  • crossing takes 22 hours
  • we waited 5 days for the ferry, one day on the port in baku, 24 hours before port of aktau and had to stay 2 nights on the port in aktau because customs was on holiday. so it took us 9 days to get from baku to aktau!
  • be careful with your visa planning, you have to have time for this



  • applied visa in embassy in Vienna (Austria)
  • duration of stay: 3 month. Price: 25 Euro

Azerbaijan Azerbaijan



  • Tourist Visa for 30 Days available easily (valid for one month)
  • Price: 60 Euro (!)
  • Duration from Application until Recieving: 4 Working Days
  • Opening Times: Mo-Fr, 10 AM - 1 PM
  • 2 Passport Photos needed
  • Address: 2nd block Kipshidze street, building 1, Tbilisi, Georgia. Phone: +995(32) 25-26-39, 25-00-14, 25-35-26, 25-35-27; Fax: +995(32) 25-00-13; E-mail:; Website

Georgia Georgia


Ferry Sochi-Batumi

  • Working again since 27th of March 2008!!
  • Departure from Sochi to Batumi: every Tuesday at 12 AM (express, duration 5-6 hours), every Friday at 6 PM (normal, Duration 12 hours)
  • Information, Telephone Number: +7 8622 609 603 (russian only)
  • Ticket Office, Telephone Number: +7 8622 609 646(russian only)
  • Prices: Express 2600 russian Rubel p.P., normal 2200 Rubel p.P
  • we had nothing to pay for our bicycles
  • Departure was several hours later than the official Departure times mentioned just above


  • no Visa needed for Citizens of European Union

Russian Foderation Russian Foderation




Ferry Crimea-Russia

  • goes every 3 Hours, 24 Hour a day
  • Duration: about 15 Minutes
  • Prices: 30 Hrivna p.P, 15 Hrivna for one Bicycle

Ukraine Ukraine


Border from Slowakia to Ukraine

  • the Border from SK to UA at Uzhorod is closed for Bicycle and Pedestrians! No way for us to cycle
  • luckily we found a friendly bus driver who took us to the Ukraine
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