I have a well-travelled Hungarian friend currently in Kyrgyzstan in his travels around Central Asia.

He says he can't go to Mongolia overland on this trip because he can't get a visa for China unless he goes back to Hungary.

Is this true or is there something he doesn't know?

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    Not an answer because I don't know the specific case of Kyrgyzstan, but, generally, outside of HK and Macao, obtaining a Chinese visa as a non-resident is impossible (or very hard at least). However, in, how should we say, countries with a good to excellent relationship with corruption and alternative solutions, there usually are travel agencies around the embassy/consulate who can arrange things. For a price. – user67108 Aug 13 '18 at 7:44
  • @dda: I've obtained all of my Chinese visas except one in countries I was not a resident of. But I'm not Hungarian and I've not been to Central Asia. – hippietrail Aug 13 '18 at 7:46
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    And I have the exact experience to you (with 11 years in HK and 28 in Asia). But then again I'm French, and we are on China's shitlist... – user67108 Aug 13 '18 at 7:48
  • Why on earth are you entering China if you are traveling overland from Kyrgyzstan to Mongolia? You could go via Kazakhstan (which is visa free if I recall correctly) and Russia instead. caravanistan.com/transport/bus-shared-taxi/kazakhstan/… – chx Sep 15 '18 at 7:05
  • @chx. Well that friend's trip is over now but last time I met him on the road he was travelling by road and while Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia both have borders with China, Mongolia does not have a border with Kazakhstan. So why on earth and why in the air likely have different answers. – hippietrail Sep 17 '18 at 13:43

The go-to resource for this type of question is Caravanistan. Also check their forum for details.

While it seems that neither in Bishkek nor in Osh it is possible to obtain a Chinese visa at the moment, there seem to be other embassies in the area willing to hand out visa.

Also note their remark:

Chinese embassies change their rules for foreigners monthly, sometimes weekly, daily or even within the same day.

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