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/trv/ - Travel - Breakaway Territories

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File: 090411_Drapeau_du_Haut_Karabakh.jpg-(22 KB, 448x336)
Breakaway Territories
Breakaway Territories Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:03 UTC+1 No.885891 Report

Breakaway states, land disputes.
I've always been really fascinated by them, and want to visit.

Any information on unusual travel to places like these? I understand it's fairly easy to get tours to Transnistria, a little easy to go to Abkhazia, moderately hard to get to South Ossetia and I've found almost zero info on Nagorno Karabak, which I really want to visit when I'm in the region.

I heard somewhere the embassy of Karabakh will send cabs to take you to the capital. Is there any truth to this?
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:08 UTC+1 No.885893 Report

Here's the visa for Karabakh, this looks awesome.

Do the cab drivers in Armenia speak English? Would it be possible to contact a tour agency and ask if they would extend the tour to include this?
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:21 UTC+1 No.885897 Report

I've been there. It's very easy to get there even for foreigners outside the ex-USSR. The only difference is that foreigners have to pay a small fee for the visa, while Russians get in free. You just get to the capital city, go to the Foreign office and get the visa there, you have to show it on the border when you exit.
I hitchhiked from Yerevan, it's probably even faster than the bus.
Local agencies in Armenia do offer verious tours in Karabakh.
I've also been to Transnistria, South Ossetia, Palestine, Western Sahara, North Cyprus and Kosovo, plan to visit Abkhazia as soon as ticklet prices to Sochi drop.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:22 UTC+1 No.885898 Report

New to travel though, how do I find the bus that leaves from Yerevan?

There have to be tours somewhere that go from Armenia's capital to Karbakh.

Also, more about your travels?
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:29 UTC+1 No.885901 Report

There is a bus station in Yerevan, it's in the southern part of the city, so buses to Stepanakert should go from there.
Many people opt for guided tours in Armenia because there's a lot to see, but most of the sights are outside of the cities, and public transport is poor and slow. So you can either take a tour, rent a car, or hitchhike around.
In the Caucasus region hitchiking is actually faster than taking public transport, which is astonishing.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:30 UTC+1 No.885903 Report

But I'm a sheltered American who has only been to Chile, I'd rather take the bus. Do they speak English, would I navigate well?

Also post pics.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:38 UTC+1 No.885906 Report

I'm not sure about English, I communicated everywhere in Russian, but I guess that it's not very common in Armenia. You'll have more luck with younger people.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)07:44 UTC+1 No.885907 Report

It says on WikiTravel
>The embassy in Yerevan and also tour companies there (Artsakh in Armenian)can arrange drivers to take you to Stepanakert and to show you the region's biggest attractions. This costs about US$100–150 per person.

Should I just contact the Karabakh embassy and ask? I'm a shit noob traveler and freak out if something is going wrong, I'd rather fork over the extra money and have them get me at the airport in Yerevan.

If I pick this route, what should I see?
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)08:29 UTC+1 No.885928 Report

Just sent the embassy in Yerevan about the taxi travel thing on wikitravel.

>Western Sahara
Gaza or West Bank? Do they stamp your passport/give you a travel visa?
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)08:46 UTC+1 No.885938 Report

Western Sahara is practically a part of Morocco, there's no border control, just road posts here and there.
West Bank, Gaza has been closed off for decades. There is no border control at all, only the Israeli security control.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)09:02 UTC+1 No.885943 Report


Also, just for advice, Nagorno-Karabakh might be pretty dangerous at the moment.

Like its stable and everything, but just with the whole Azerbaijan president declaring war over twitter in the past week it might be worth just looking from afar till things have calmed down, because if the Azerbaijani army comes in, they will most likely do what they did last time, which is pretty much just completely shell major population places like Stepanakert.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)10:08 UTC+1 No.885960 Report

Anyone a fan/speaker of minority languages? I'm taking a four week course in Tashelhit next month, and have casually pursued Welsh and Breton.
Apparently to get an Abkhazia via you have to phone the embassy as they don't bother responding to online applications.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)10:37 UTC+1 No.885963 Report

Yeah, I speak Irish. Hard enough language to learn unless you integrate yourself in the west of Ireland where it's natively spoken
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)11:54 UTC+1 No.885981 Report

Hells yeah man

I tried teaching myself Welsh in highschool (I guess because muh ancestry and I'm a huge nerd), and I'm currently studying in Basque country and picking up bits of Euskera
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)13:25 UTC+1 No.886003 Report

It's as easy as pie to visit. You have to deal with generally dickheaded Israeli border guards. Just don't give them any lip, or any reason to delay you, you'll do fine. For West Bank of course. Getting into Gaza is a headache even for media and NGO. It's a shithole anyway.

I agree Western Sahara was a land-grab by Morocco, but they should just accept de facto autonomy and move on. It's just more sand.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)15:40 UTC+1 No.886039 Report

Supposedly it's possible, but >>885943.

The Lonely Planet duide for Georgia/Armenia/Azerbeijan actually has some good info, even if it might be somewhat outdated. Almost illegally crossed into South Ossetia myself, but Georgian border guards waved us back.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)15:44 UTC+1 No.886043 Report

Hardly any English in the Caucasus, I've noticed. Learning some Russian is your best bet, but as said before, hitchhiking really east - place names are universal after all, and people will gladly pick you up - and fast. Picked up a hitchhiker who was heading for Yerevan, coming from Moscow. He covered 2500km in three days. As we dropped him off, we saw him getting a lift exactly one minute.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)20:22 UTC+1 No.886139 Report

That's actually pretty cool, I suck with language. Already sent the embassy in Yerevan an email, but maybe I'll try to learn Russian - it couldn't hurt.

Any tips?
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)20:25 UTC+1 No.886140 Report

Easy to get to Karabakh from Yerevan. A little bit of paperwork, and then there are loads of omnibuses going there from the main bus station in Yerevan - you'll probably hear their drivers calling out things like ' Artsakh', 'Karabakh' or 'Stepanakert' to drum up custom
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)20:26 UTC+1 No.886141 Report

Minibuses, not omnibuses! Auto-correct...
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)22:04 UTC+1 No.886166 Report

I'm just worried about paperwork and how I'll get back. Will the buses bring you to immigration and get the visa before anything else? Because WikiTravel makes it seem like I have to go find the immigration in Stepanakhert.

Also, how will I get back?

I want to make sure I don't get stranded in a diplomatic nightmare of a breakaway state.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)22:39 UTC+1 No.886184 Report

>Will the buses bring you to immigration and get the visa before anything else?
Probably not, unless they pass by it and you ask for them to stop.

Getting back should be simple enough: whereever the minibuses stop in Stepanakert, they also leave for Yerevan. It's possible they only leave before noon, sometimes happens in smaller places. Just be there early. Lonely Planet says there's at least three buses to Yerevan, between 8 and 11am. Or hitchhike back.

And yes, learn some Russian. Armenians usually speak Russian fairly well, and don't mind speaking it. Learn to read the Armenian alphabet too, to read place names.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)22:42 UTC+1 No.886186 Report

No, I *think* now you have to get the paperwork from the Karabakh "embassy" in Yerevan first - info should be available online, in English, from one of the NKR official websites. I think (again, check), you may have to register in Stepenakert - but again, official information about that, in English, shouldn't be hard to find before you go. That the Armenians have such a large diaspora certainly helps with the availability of info.

Getting back shouldn't be a problem - again, lots of buses. Remember that you only need documentation as a foreigner. In practice, if not in legal fact, Karabakh is effectively an arm or extension of the Republic of Armenia (or - given how many of the most senior Armenian politicians have come from Karabakh - arguably the reverse...) the intersection between Armenia proper and "Free Artsakh" is seamless - it is far more straightforward to visit than Abkhazia, say, as crossing the border is an ordinary and everyday thing that a lot of locals do on a regular basis.
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)22:48 UTC+1 No.886188 Report

See here for official stuff http://www.nkr.am/en/the-procedure-of-foreign-citizens-entry-to-the-nkr/92/
Anonymous 08/12/14(Tue)22:52 UTC+1 No.886190 Report

And also (very similar info from their DC office) http://www.nkrusa.org/nkr_office/visa_travel.shtml
Anonymous 08/15/14(Fri)16:47 UTC+1 No.887499 Report

Try North-Cyprus.
It's only recognized by Turkey.
The weather seems nice, and it's full of ghost towns.
Anonymous 08/15/14(Fri)20:23 UTC+1 No.887565 Report

I've actually been curious about Northern Cyprus, and remember this thread is about breakaway states in general so there fan be a discussion about any of them.

I'll research it, but I have maybe another 8 or 9 months to a year before I am actually getting on the flight. I found a tour on Undiscovered Destinations that takes you to Moldova, and part of it goes through Transnistria's breakaway capital, Tiraspol, on September 2nd, their independence day. One of the only places on earth where you can see Soviet military parades.
Anonymous 08/15/14(Fri)22:26 UTC+1 No.887603 Report

It gets a lot of Turkish and Russian tourists. Anyone can visit, the only difference is you can't go from the 'Greek' side, you have to fly in from Turkey or elsewhere.
Anonymous 08/16/14(Sat)07:05 UTC+1 No.887701 Report

How about South Osettia?

Abchasien Reisen Ankhazia Tours does a 7 day tour of South Ossetia, that goes to the same valley I think, near Truso, that has mideival pillars and ruins.

Anyone ever been?
Is it worth it, or too dangerous?

I'd love to go to all the places on that series, "Places that don't exist."

I could do Crimea, maybe.

I have a year to plan all this. Take in mind I want my chances of getting shot high, but not higher than Somaliland.
Anonymous 08/16/14(Sat)07:16 UTC+1 No.887708 Report

Anonymous 08/16/14(Sat)08:17 UTC+1 No.887714 Report


Friend has done it.

He told me the Visa situation for it was pretty complex and costly. You also need a multiple entry Russian Visa (which are hard to get) as the boarder with Georgia is closed.

Oh and he said it was pretty boring, there's not much to do there, its pretty much just another province of Russia, he did some hiking in the Caucasus which he said was pretty good.

I'm told Abkhazia and Transnistria are the more interesting non-recognized states.
Anonymous 08/16/14(Sat)14:06 UTC+1 No.887813 Report

No, you can get in just fine. I was in Cyprus last summer and just walked through the border. I just had to fill a small paper form. Though from what I understand it may not be possible for non-EU citizens.
FF 08/16/14(Sat)15:07 UTC+1 No.887837 Report

I used to know some sami, forgot everything
Weird language
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