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As you can see, it's not really like I did do anything. Just somehow I was allowed in. I hope the same can be said about you.
PS - A rather late continuation on my previous post. On May 1 I drove my bike up to Shanghai port customs, and after a brief searching, they took it away and put it on the Ferry to Osaka. Nobody batted an eyelid about me having it there. I next asked for a stamp in my carnet - the customs lady thought this unnecessary - said I had done everything they needed, but relented when I told her I needed it for _my_ government. Nobody asked to see my "Declaration Form" either, which I had been told at the entry border that I would need on exit.
Getting through China (and Vietnam) trouble-free has been a big highlight of the trip, but I must stress it's not through anything special that I've done. I'm sure I wasn't any more worthy than anybody else, anyway.
Thanks Olav. I have been trying to contact you through your site--no luck. Can you please email me direct? Now in Phnom Penh trying to follow your route. Which border crossings did you use for Viet Nam into China and Cambodia into Viet Nam?
Another update from the China invaders front. I tried to enter from the Zorgos border in Kazakhstan. No luck unfortunately. The border officials were very well informed and within half an hour I was heading back again.
As someone who read this particular thread over and over again, I hoped for good news from my side. Sorry. Hopefully other people have more luck and can help others. I am not ready for a systematic hunt of every border post. I guess 'cancelled exits' all over my passport are not helping either.
thanx for your very interesting and detailed posts.
could you give more info please about the delaies, authorities you met in china or abroad to enter china : for the paperwork, on the way near the border, in china and neighbour countries (pakistan, kirghistan, mongolia ...), kind of paperwork at the border, eventual problems and advice, etc ...
just to make sure :
about, as you like, entering china with a bike or car "legally or illegally" by "paying or not paying"
how much did this paperwork etc ... cost you , did you have to pay a day expensive pass with guide/escort, or just the paperwork ?
just to know as i failed going there.
and congratulations for determination
We are currently arranging the crossing of western China from the Tourgart Pass in Kyrgzistan to the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan via Kashgar, China.
To do this legally, you need all the permits and paperwork and a guide must be with you while on the bike. When you are not on the bike, you will not need the guide.
We are using Caravan Cafe in Kashgar for our paperwork, www.caravancafe.com and Greg has lots of experience doing this kind of thing.
The cost is not cheap, around $1100usd for all the paperwork and guide for one bike excluding visa costs. But on the other hand shipping a bike from Central Asia or vice versa is expensive too. You will need to arrange the paperwork a good 3 months in advance, this is not something you can do at the last minute if your "un-official" attempt at crossing fails. And most Central Asian visas are only good for 30 days, so if you try "un-officially" and don't get into China you could be in a real bind.
I will let you know how our crossing goes, we make the trip in late October.
I made the trip from Schweinfurt/Germany to Beijing/China just this July, passing Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakstan, with a party of three. We entered at Korgas (400 km east of Almaty) and guess the Chinese border guard's first question before even letting us cross the border line into China: "where is your guide?" Only after I had called our guide by cell phone and made him appear in person with all documents at the border control we were permitted to enter into China. Normal border procedures were handled efficiently, but the formalities for the bikes took more than an hour, and we had to unpack and show all our luggage at customs. - Trying to get our route approved (three months earlier) was not easy, most of the smaller and interesting roads "not open to foreigners". So we have been restricted to the main roads, controlled tightly by our "guide". As I am resident in China I can go whereever I want, but having entered into China on a motorcycle and with two non-residents, I was not allowed to deviate from the official route also. (However, I am exploring western China on my locally purchased and registered F650dakar anyway...). The bikes which we used for the trip to China had to be shipped out immediately after we reached Beijing, no hope to import my KTM, even if paying official duty and taxes.
So all in all, my experience from this trip: the regulations for entering China by motorcycle are strict and tightly controlled. As we three had to return to our jobs immediately and did not have any leeway timewise, we did not try to enter on a remote border station, taking risks. Rather followed the regulations and succeeded, but at a price: costwise and because we could not take the intended route. But anyhow, we made it!
I wish good luck to all who try it by other ways and means, and maybe (just maybe...) China really opens up like other countries and even Russia have done.
As a chinese, i'm glad to see so many travellers like to visit my country. But it's a little pity of so many paperworks.
Well, as a chinese, i know some tricky. Actually if you want to ride bike in China. Best way is: Buy a bike in China. it's not expensive. a countfeit honda 250cc costs around 8000RMB(about 800 euro). Of course, you can resell if after the trip.
For bike registration, it's not big matter. go to some small cities, it's very easy. half day work. you dont have to tip anybody.
Chinese driving license, check your embassy in China. normally european can easily change their driving license to chinese one.
Enfin, it's still complicate. But it's a kind of challenge. if everything so easy, people lose their interesting.
good luck guys!
any question about china, you can mail me
fwang at tiscali.be
I tried with Mason from USA to cross the Irkestan border , Kirghistan,like Goetz did, without special authorization, only visa and Carnet, answer:
Welcome in China! You can go in China for shopping, but not your bike!
They knew exactly what needed.
I eventually cross the boarder with all papers: CYTS, a chines agency, arranged it, driver, papers in 3 weeks approximatively... Cost: 680$, 3 days trip to Pakistan. Everything was ok, but what a price!!!
"i know some tricky....Buy a bike in China. it's not expensive. a countfeit honda 250cc costs around 8000RMB(about 800 euro)"
1) as a foreign visitor you cannot just buy and register a bike legally in Mainland PRC! do not get fooled with fake license plates (rego) from some bike shops or "back alleys friendly natives". most smaller / bigger cities do not allow foreiners to register vehicles (cars/motorbikes). you will most probably need a Chinese ID card (hukou) to register a vehicle.
2) how do you insure the bike? ever been in an accident as a foreigner in PRC, your always at fault first.... "will get very tricky..." afterwards....
"you dont have to tip anybody"
right, everything is for free, dream on!
"Chinese driving license, check your embassy in China. normally european can easily change their driving license to chinese one"
WRONG, totally wrong! the countries consulate/embassy cannot assist AT ALL regarding Chinese driving license. to drive a motorized vehicle legally in Mainland China you need a valid Chinese driving license, period:-)
"it's still complicate"
correct, there is still the inprovince travelling ban by motorcycle and many bigger citie ban motorbikes.
well, the applicant still needs the residence permit of china. but u dont have to do any exam anymore.
i think this rule can work for the other citizens of european union.
2. buying the bike.
i know some guys in china use fake license plate, coz in some cities forbid to register the bike which is above 250cc. actually one of my friends does like that.
but goverment never forbids a foreigner with a chinese license to ride a bike which is registered and insured. the bike seller can register and insure by his name.
anyway, the first question is get a chinese license. i will ask my friends in shanghai more the detail to sort it out.
"probably u know a little bit of China"
might know more then you about biking in China!
"for changing the driving license.
if you check out belgian consulate in shanghai"
above only applies to BELGIUM nationals since there was sort of an diplomatic incident couple of years back! other EU countries do not qualify.
"i think this rule can work for the other citizens of european union"
will not work at stated above for all EU countries, only for Belgian citizens!
"i know some guys in china use fake license plate, coz in some cities forbid to register the bike which is above 250cc"
thats actually one of the reasons the PRC government cracks down on big bikes and implemented an interprovince travel ban.
currently 80+ cities / municipalities banning motorcycles in there downtown areas as well. see one newspaper clipping below from a Hebei province crackdown.
"actually one of my friends does like that"
hope never meet that "friend" of yours since a very good Shanghai mate (on his bicycle) was heavily injured by a motorcycle rider with fake plates! accident happened and the Chinese "fake plate" rider just fled from the accident scene.... cowards!
Best Regards, Seeya in the pub or on the road somewhere....
Hebei Province authorities have detained six traffic police officers for their part in a license scandal that hit seven counties and cities, the Beijing-based Legal Daily reported yesterday.
The report said traffic police departments in the seven areas illegally issued more than 110,000 vehicle plates and driver's
licenses in the past seven years. Illicit income was valued at more than 11 million yuan (US$1.32 million).
The illegally registered motorcycles and tractors were blamed for 25 deaths in more than 210 traffic accidents, said the paper, citing the provincial traffic police administration. Another 279 people were injured in the mishaps.
The administration has suspended all the illegal plates and driver's licenses issued in the seven areas, the paper said.
It also launched a six-month crackdown on illegal plates and driver's licenses across Hebei.
Prosecutors said traffic police in Wuqiang, Hejian, Qingxian, Cangxian, Dacheng, Wuji, and Shenze issued the plates and licenses
to outsiders at unspecified lower prices than the normal level.
The report said some of the vehicles were allegedly stolen or substandard. Drivers didn't take a medical or give a test to get
licenses in these areas.
The scandal surfaced in mid-2002 when police in neighboring Beijing found it suspicious that many vehicles carried Hebei plates.
Among the six officers, four were from Wuqiang, including the county's former top traffic police chief Geng Tongling. The two
others from Hejian City and Qingxian County have been bailed out.
Geng's department allegedly issued at least 28,000 plates and licenses from February 2000 to last October, earning 3.5 million
It allegedly forwarded 1.33 million yuan and used the rest to fund construction of 30 villas for its employees. The villa project has since been suspended. Each villa was valued at 260,000 yuan.
[This message has been edited by butchman (edited 16 August 2005).]
a frenchman has been driving recently in china for a few months on a bike that he bought in china (is he still there now ?) : i don t know more about the administrative part of his trip (driving license, numberplate, license, ownership ...). i read an article about him in a french magazine in feb or march 2005 and met his brother who works at the Federation Francaise de Motocyclisme. he has been travelling for 20 years around the world, almost non stop.
his name : fred. you can email him directly at : fredtranduc at yahoo dot com
hope it helps
[This message has been edited by vincent danna (edited 04 October 2005).]
sorry man, i think u r just a little bit over confidence. i'm a native chinese. riding my bike in shanghai since 16 years old(illegal age )
well, at this moment i'm not living in shanghai. but i still know a lots friends with their big bike and do nite pursuit in sub shanghai(of course illegal).
here i just wanna help people who wanna travel in china with bike. I dont inspire people to do illegal. just introduce some small tricky. maybe i can present some my friends in shanghai to u guys. they can help you to solve some problems for the traffic.
anyway i hope i can meet u guys next time in shanghai.
"obeying the rule is against the rule" -- That's shanghai
one more chinese saying:
"grassroot always has solution to screw goverment policy up"
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