Published: June 17th 2008June 8th 2008
nomadic tribes living in their yurts, allowing the Karakorum highway
we have spent 5 days in tashkurgan, the border town of china before pakistan, trying to get past the chinese immigration. the chinese immigration will not let us EXIT their country because we do not have a onward (pakistan) visa. us being very smart and prepared travellers, have read up information that we can get a visa-on-arrival at sost, pakistan.
the chinese have refused us exit as they cannot verify the fact that the pakistani can issue us a visa, and if we are turned back into china it will be an administrative lapse on their part for two reasons. so, we have spent the last 5 days sitting in the "interrogation office" (just like the movies) alternating between a cooperative traveller front and a i-am-about-to-lose-my-cool approach. well, it worked to a certain extent. the issue has now been brought up to the headquarters in urumqi (capital of xinjiang) and will be resolved soon (not,really).
fortunately, we met a very kind pakistani friend of ours, Naz. we met him at a bus station as we were trying to find transport towards pakistan. this was the first time we have witnessed the hospitable nature of the pakistani, regardless of your
the highest-elevated man-made road in the world!
nationality. through his contacts (his father has relations with the pakistani national assembly), we managed to escalate the matter and hopefully, quicken the buearucratic process. after 5 long days, the pakistani high commission pressued the chinese immigration at tashkugan and we were eventually let through.
its a really long story.. and this is the main part of it. we spent the 5 days playing basketball with the local kids, interacting with the ppl in tashkugan, and staring at our ceilings, wondering if we have to turn back to beijing (72hrs on a train) and continue or cancell our trip. well it turns out well now, onward to pakistan!
There are more photos below