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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 15 Aug 2006
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Question China - Whats the real Deal ?

Hi all

A quick Q if I may.

Planning RTW for mid 2007… 2 Up Single Bike…

Whats the Skinny on China?
Can I get around the need to Hire a Guide somehow?
Which is the easiest border crossing for minimum aggravation and cost?

Would love to spend a month or two there, but….

Your advice or some pointers would be greatly appreciated…

Thanx
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  #2  
Old 15 Aug 2006
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The skinny is China doesnt like foreigners on motorcycles.

Theoretically there is no way round the need to hire a guide. However occasionally (very occasionally) people get through, depending on how lucky you are. To be legal there you will need to get a hold of Chinese drivers licences and registration, as they dont recognise foreign ones. Normally when you hire a guide, they provide you with the licences and number plates etc. Companies like any of the various Chinese National Tourist Offices will be able to help, along with specialist tour organisers like Caravan Cafe.

Perhaps some of the smaller crossings may give you the best chance of getting in guideless... as smaller border crossing may be more likely to have officials who either dont fully know the rules, or may be more 'flexible'.

Sorry thats about as optimistic as I can be for you.

If it was easy, everyone on this board would be there. Its the last frontier and there is so much to see. If it ever opens up, watch the motorcycle stampede to get in. It is potentially adventure motorcycling paradise and would open up a whole new plethora of overlanding routes between Europe and South East Asia; between North Asia and South East Asia; between the Subcontinent and South East and North East Asia ; ... the mind boggles with the possibilities. But for now mate, its very tough.

I got lucky back in 1994.
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Last edited by colebatch; 15 Aug 2006 at 11:29.
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  #3  
Old 21 Aug 2006
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Thanx

Colebatch...

Thanx for that... Ummm.... Sh*t!

Ahhh... well... Uve seen one Wall uve seen them all ;o)
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  #4  
Old 2 Sep 2006
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sharing guide in China

Hi Fletch,
We are planing to drive (4 wheels) from Singapore through South East Asia then into China/Tibet/ Katmandu/Krygistan/Pakistan...
You may be interested in joining our convoy at least for the China stint, thus sharing the cost of the guide. We intend to leave Singapore mid May , crossing Laos China border approx mid June.
Mail me if you are interested
Cheers
John
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  #5  
Old 2 Sep 2006
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You might want to read through this site.

www.danielmontejo.com

actually, this links right to his motorcycle trip...

http://www.danielmontejo.com/indexmotofall2005.html

Daniel Montejo does live and work in China, but I have corresponded with him, and he told me that someone could recreate his trip for about two thousand dollars US, including buying a brand new bike, as he knows the Zongshen dealer in Bejing.

This would probably be the only country that would be safe to ride a Chinese bike through, however, due to the availability of repair shops.

If you feel the need to ride through China, and don't want to hire a guide, get in contact with Mr. Montejo who could set you up. Good luck!

Last edited by yuma simon; 2 Sep 2006 at 14:43.
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  #6  
Old 6 Sep 2006
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Skinny on China

We are about to go to China in a couple of days. Here is my collected wisdom on the subject:

Carnet de Passage:
I talked to TCS (Automobile Club in Switzerland). They told me that China is in the process of implementing the Carnet system. However they said this may take a while and for now the system with the guide is the only one available. --> still might be worth checking on that again next year

Guide:
The people at Caravan Cafe told me that Inter-province travel via foreign-licensed motorcycle is not allowed by the Chinese authorities. But if you stay within one province they can arrange the paperwork. They need at least 30 days advance notice and they say you need a guide the whole time, unless you are in a city and your bike is parked at a hotel. Paperwork is around USD 600 per person and bike.

I have another contact Janet (I only have her e-mail, so if you want it drop me an e-mail.) She has some other info. She said Inter-provice travel is possible, but more expensive (USD 2700 per person and bike) and it takes longer (3 months) to get all the paperwork. She said you definitely need a guide if you go through sensitive borders (Torugat), but she thinks other than that it might be possible without guide.
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  #7  
Old 31 Oct 2006
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traveling in china

Hey,

I was just reading that post above about all the permits necessary in China. I'm Daniel Montejo, they guy in the story above who went around China on a chinese bike.

I've been living here for 3 years now and have done numerous xcountry trips not only on these bikes but also on WWII sidecar Chang Jiang's. Anyhow, just thought I'd tip you by saying that you do not need to worry about licenses, plates, guides or anything. Please do not make it so complicated. Law in China is respected by NOBODY, especially the police. Rules do not apply here which makes the trip much more interesting.

I've seen 18 wheelers drive on the wrong way of a 4 lane highway many times and it doesn't seem to bother anyone. The last person they're going to worry about is a crazy foreigner on a small bike. On the contraire, cops will most likely ask you for an autograph and point you the right way towards your destination, they're very nice.

So please, if you're gonna plan a trip around china, don't plan it! it's definitely the best way to travel. Improvisation is not hard here and services of all kinds are available at all places for low prices.

If you have any questions: dm@danielmontejo.com

Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 31 Oct 2006
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That's great news, Daniel. Any idea how one could enter China, as from what we read here it seems that most folks just get turned away at the border. Seems the officials at the frontier posts DO stick to their rules, except for that one crossing in the NW, so far.
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Old 1 Nov 2006
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Smile China permits

I have found another source for permits/license/plates. I got it through Roel Hendrick who has been there, done that.

Email is newlandtravel at hotmail dot com. Speak to Taher.
Taher say he can do the paperwork fo €350, plus about $50 for the visa.
He has told me he will pit both our bikes on one document - don't know if that will reduce the all-up €700 for two.

If you contact them, please mention that you got to them via Roel Hendrick and me (John Shales)... and Horizond of course, it just keeps thing flowing...

Best of luck and if you re in Xinjiang around July, we might see you;-))

John
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Old 1 Nov 2006
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That great news but as Beedhist says people seem to be turned away at the border. In addition if you do get in I have read it is not so simple to get out at the other end ifyou have not followed the right protocols.

It seems you have to pay guides etc etc to get in and out or on the other hand pay bribes to get through the country. It starts to mount up if your getting pulled up every 200km hence pay it at the start and at least be legal about it.

I am also travelling with a friend starting from London in April/May 2007. We are heading through Europe/ Ukraine/Russia/Kazak and into China. We would be happy to join up with some others to cross the China part and share cost of guides etc etc. Our ultimate destination is Tibet/Nepal from China.

Cheers
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  #11  
Old 1 Nov 2006
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmbiker
That great news but as Beedhist says people seem to be turned away at the border.
Not so according to Roel. Get the paper work and permits sorted and it worked ok.

Guides ar just too expensive. At US$100 per day its a non-starter for me. Even if there were 4 of you. We intend to be there for 2 weeks to travel through the Narim Basin. Thats $1400! Everyone would have to agree to go the same way as you could not leave your guide.

Things must get simpler for travel into China as they want the business. Its just that they are not used to allowing people in with their own transport.
I was told that we would be given a list of "forbidden" places, but as Roel said, you cant read the signs so you end up at road blocks where they will turn you back. Roel said they were quite amiable about it and were very inquisitive about his trip and his bike. He just had to go another route.

Where's your spirit of adventure? ;-))

John
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  #12  
Old 10 Nov 2006
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As said above, you can get legally into china without guide via a travel agency in China. I can give you there contact info if you email me. You can enter and exit via the kkh or to Tajiikistan. They actually put limitation on where you can go around in China. It is not that anybody will stop you. Nobody cares and the polie is very kind. But if you get into trouble like driving around in a militaria area the travel agency is in trouble, because you are their responsibility. That is why most of the agencies will never let you go without guide. Just stick to the bigger roads and there is no problem. But tell the agency what you plans are. It would be very inconveniënt if we get these friendly people into trouble be helping us.
And by the way, China is great to travel on motorcycle. But very big! It took me 3 weeks to drive on my Chang Jiang from Shanghai to Kashgar. But there are none of those tipical hotels and campings where a lot of land travellers go to, and almost nobody understands english. I studied Chinese in Shanghai fot 2 months before I left on my trip.
Now I am in Istanbul with my Chang Jiang, I have driven about 13.500km now! Ofcourse some engine (burned valves), gearbox (broken gears) and eletric trouble during the trip, but those are the things that make it a bit more interesting.
I will be back in Holland in a couple of weeks. When I am back I will try to find other border crossing for enter-exit into China to make it more easy to cross china with you own bike/car.

For more info on my Shanghai - holland trip see: www.cjroel.nl
For more info on enter China: Email me, see website.

Greetings,
Roel Hendrickx
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