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.

Visas and Border Crossings

You cannot get a Chinese visa at the border crossings; this must be obtained prior to your visit. Exception: Singaporeans are able to stay in China for fifteen days without requiring a visa.

If intending on crossing the border from China into Pakistan it is possible to get a visa in Sost for around 230RMB. Please check with ORT to ensure that this number is correct when pricing.

Some nationalities are able to cross into Kyrgyzstan without a visa. Other nationalities will require a visa ahead of time. It is possible to obtain this visa in Urumqi. This process will take approximately four to seven days.

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 Sost
  • ORT will meet you or drop you off at Sost
  • 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.

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)

What time can we cross those borders?

  • China to Kyrgyzstan-morning only
  • China to Pakistan: mornings from 10am -1:30pm only (BJ time)
  • Kyrgyzstan to China: anytime before 8pm (BJ time)
  • Pakistan to China: anytime before 8pm (BJ time)

* Note: Kyrgyzstan 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 and to cross the Hunjerab Pass to/from Pakistan (if you do not already have a visa for Pakistan)

Torugat Border Permit: We can arrange this permit in one day (for rush orders a few hours) 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 ofvisa
  • Date of arrival or crossing at the border and number of people
Hunjerab Pass Permit:  A permit and driver are required if you do not already have a visa for Pakistan, a guide is not required.

Are special permits needed for travel within 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. We can arrange this on the same day of your trek, if needed. You do not need to provide us with any passport or your Chinese visa details.

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.

Rawak Ancient City (Hotan) Visiting Permit

It takes one or two hours to get this permit. 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.

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