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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 24 Jan 2010
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Current Situation for travel through Burma and into China?

I was on here a few years ago reading about travel through Burma as well as travel into mainland China (with motorcycle). At that time, the consensus was that you could not cross Burma by land, and you could not enter into mainland China without an expensive escort.

I just watch the season of Globe Riders and they entered into China and ended their expedition in Xi'An.

It seems things have changed in the past few years. What is the low-down on Burma and China?
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Old 25 Jan 2010
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It does seem you could do China, but not unless you´re well off financially, and can plan your entry long in advance.

Burma seems even tougher to get into with your vehicle, nevermind to be able to cross the whole country, to get from India to Thailand (or v.v). Very few have managed to do that.

But there are plenty of countries in that region, that you can easily do. And it´s also possible to bypass China or Burma by freighting your bike.
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Old 25 Jan 2010
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Well, I'm not planning on arriving in SE Asia until 2012/2013, so hopefully things will ease up.

I am not sure how much it would cost, but the guys on Globe Riders managed to obtain some China plates for their bikes.

I came across this article:
Seems as though the Chinese are easing up on travel to my country. Hopefully things will be made easier for Canadians traveling to China.

I traveled through China last year (not by motorcycle). I have a college friend who moved back there; and has a business in Xi'An and houses in Shanghai and Beijing. I'd like to make China a country on my trip so that I can visit him again. It would be good to see a friendly, familiar face and to have a place to stay and rest for a while.

I also recently came across this article by a guy who managed to get into China from Laos.

How to Cross the China-Laos Border by Motorcycle

By chrismaupin
User-Submitted Article Article Rating: (4 Ratings)

Cross the China-Laos Border by Motorcycle

So you are a tourist and you want to travel through China by motorcycle without a license.. then you want to take your purchased motorcycle into Laos - even though you don't legally own it. No problem! (NOTE: stated how-to was true at the time of crossing in sept. of 2008.)
  1. Step 1
    Make your way down to the border town of Meng-la in the bottom of Xishuangbanna area of Yunnan province. Stay the night at a local guesthouse or inn and start the crossing in the morning, rested.
  2. Step 2
    Go to the immigration inspection station which is located in a sort of strip mall next to the border gate. Park bike on curb outside. Process paperwork for exiting the country as a person. Tell the immigration inspector that you have a motorcycle (Chinese bike) and that you will be taking it out of the country.
  3. Step 3
    Go to Customs office and tell them the same story. They will also say you shouldn't do it etc. Again, insist on taking the bike out of the country. Customs has no jurisdiction and will refer you back to immigration.
  4. Step 4
    Back at immigration tell them that Customs said you were good to go. They will most likely relent and ask you to pay a fee of roughly $1 and give you a paper ticket you will take to the guard at the border. Take the ticket, passport and other docs with you to the border and cross.
  5. Step 5
    You will be told to walk your bike the 3km road through 'no man's land' between the border stations. You can hop on and ride once out of eye sight of Chinese officials.
  6. Step 6
    Once at the Laos side, stop at the immigration office and park your bike on the street outside. It is up to you whether you want to mention your motorcycle to the immigration officials. They may enter you into customs paperwork and ask for a small fee, or they may not. I rode all the way to cambodia without any customs papers from Laos. Also, sources say customs and immigration paperwork are not entered into the same system so there is really no record of your having entered with a bike as far as immig. is concerned.
  7. Step 7
    Finally, enjoy your ride through one of the most beautiful countries on earth! If the cops stop you, you will just pay them a $5 bribe. Be careful in Luang Prabang.
Not sure how reliable this is; and I'd prefer to do it the legal way, but...
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Old 26 Jan 2010
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^ that quote seems to refer to entering Laos coming from China, not going into China from Laos. Laos is quite easily do-able on vehicles from abroad.

At gt-rider dot com I read about a guy, who did manage to sneak into China from Laos a couple years ago, and he toured many southern parts of the country. But there was one drawback - he was on a Chinese-registered bike, that he´d been able to buy from somewhere in Thailand.

And even if you managed to find a bike like that, there´s no guarantee the same would still work, or that it would work for you. It is not the ´official´ way, where you´ll be assigned a guide, and pay big money.
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