ORT Tour Information Center

The ORT information center is designed to help you plan and prepare for a trip to Xinjiang, China.  We've included information about booking with our company, visas and paperwork, weather and climate, what to pack for your trip, cultural do's and don'ts and much more.

Visa Information

Most international travelers will need a visa to travel to China and it is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain the visa. We will help you in any way we can and provide a letter of invitation along with advice for the application, but as we are not the Chinese Embassy, we can only advise you on the application process, but you will need to check with the embassy in your location about required documentation and steps. As we have Americans on our team, we are most familiar with the application process for Americans and generally, Americans do have the easiest time of applying for Chinese visas, but we do also have lots of experience assisting Europeans, Australians, and other nationalities. If you would like to use a visa agency to assist you in the visa application process, we can make recommendations.

Once you obtain your Chinese visa, you can also enter Xinjiang, no permit required. There are certain areas like the Karakoram Highway where we do need to obtain a simple permit for travelers to visit. In these cases, we will need you to send a copy of your passport and any other members in your group. Failure to do so, will result in us not being able to arrange the trip for you and no refunds will be made.


Visa Extension

It is at times possible for ORT to assist customers in extending their visa. This depends upon the visa type and individual situation.

Can you issue Letters of Invitation (LOI) for China visa applications?

We are happy to issue a Letter of Invitation (LOI) and an official itinerary for customers who book a trip with us and pay a deposit.

What border crossings does ORT arrange?

Khunjerab (Hunjirab)Pass (Kashgar-Sost)

  • ORT partners with an agent in Pakistan for drop-off/pick-up in Tashkurgan
  • ORT will meet you or drop you off at Tashkurgan
  • Highest border crossing in the world
  • Tourists can only cross into Pakistan in the mornings, not afternoons.
  • Open from May 1st to December 31st, closed from January to April. (subject to change and weather conditions)

Irkeshtam pass (Kashgar-Pass)

  • ORT partners with an agent in Kyrgyzstan for drop-off/pick-up at the border
  • ORT will meet you or drop you off at the border (before/after customs)

Torugat Border Pass (Kashgar-Pass)

  • ORT partners with an agent in Kyrgyzstan for drop-off/pick-up at the border
  • ORT will meet you or drop you off at the border (before/after customs)

When can we cross those borders?

Borders are closed weekends and certain holidays. They are also closed for lunch break.

Are special permits needed for border crossings to/from neighboring countries?

A special permit is needed to cross the China-Kyrgyzstan border at the Torugat border crossing.

Torugat Border Permit: We can normally arrange this permit in one day for you or your group if you want to cross the border from China to Kyrgyzstan or Kyrgyzstan to China. To receive this permit our tour guide and driver must accompany you. Please provide us with the following information:

  • Full name (as listed on your passport)
  • Gender
  • Passport Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Nationality
  • Chinese Visa number and type of visa
  • Date of arrival or crossing at the border and number of people

Are special permits needed to travel to Xinjiang?

No, you do not need a permit to enter Xinjiang. The major cities and tourist attractions can be accessed like any other city in China - no special permits necessary.  However, some out-of-the-way areas of Xinjiang require a special permit to access. ORT has many years of experience obtaining special permits for our guests. Here is a list of some of the more common permits that are required:

Muz Tagh Ata Climbing Permit

This is a special permit for the Adventure tourists. We can get this permit for you and your group in 30 days officially. For this permit, we need all your passport and Chinese Visa details. Additionally we must provide the office with our official climbing itinerary.

Karakul Lake Area Trekking Permit

If you would like to do some trekking around Karakul Lake, a permit is also needed. As of May, 2017, the permit price has increased and is now around 4,000-6,000 RMB per group for overnight trekking around the Karakul Lake area. Due to the uncertainty of the permit price and regulations, we cannot guarantee this price will not change. 

K2 Base Camp Trekking Permit

This is a permit for trekking in this area. We must get permission from several different related offices to get the permit. It takes about 15- 20 days. You will need to provide us with all of your passport and Chinese Visa details and confirmed trekking itinerary, which we will help you prepare. To receive this permit our tour guide must accompany you.

Niya Ancient City Visiting Permit

This is one of the most costly permits to obtain. It takes about 3-5 days to get the permit.

Bayanbulak (Bayingolin) Traveling Permit

You will need this permit to visit Swan Lake or to stay overnight there. We can arrange this permit in one working day.