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Does anyone know what the correct procedures if any, for obtaining permission to take a motorcycle into China for the purpose of tourist travel and then to take bike back out of China? And, do you know what one would have to do to obtain a Chinese drivers license? Any informaion on China motorcycle travel would be appreciated.
I just bought the very latest issue of Motorrad (January 2000) which features a story on two Germans who travelled overland by motorbike from Almaty (Kazachstan) to Pakistan, thus through Xinjiang. As they have done it, I don't see why noone else could, though I do think you can't avoid a big amount of money involved.
The author of the article is Michael Schröder. He and his friend spent 4 weeks and 4.300 kms to do this stretch. In the practical info they wrote two ways to do it:
1. you have to get
- a Chinese drivers licence,
- a Chinese "Fahrzeugzulassung" (translated this is a "vehicle registration certificate"; I suppose in Belgium this would be the pink paper, which outside Europe is replaced by a Carnet)
- a Chinese number plate,
- and last but not least: a state recognized/authorized guide plus his transport in a jeep (for whom you pay everything).
They write: "If you don't get annoyed by their bureaucracy, you can address to the China International Travel Service (CITS, info at "Fremdenverkehrsamt der Volksrepublik China", tel. 069 52.01.35)"
2. "... if you can't cope with the bureaucracy involved, address to Active Tours, a specialized travelagent". Tel.: 09131 891.80, fax: 89.18.18, site: http://www.active-tours.com. They organize a tour of 24 days with motorbikes, but again, it doesn't come cheap.
Both above mentioned services are located in Germany, but for the CITS, there should be an office in most countries.
There's someone else who might be able to give the lastest advize on China-travels because of his contacts worldwide with motorbiking travellers: Chris Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org>, the author of the excellent "Adventure Motorbiking Handbook". New issue due May 2000, two months later also in German. He also has a site: http://www.adventure-motorcycling.com with matching bulletin board.
I hope this information gets you somewhere (preferably in China). Please do let us know how things went, for this is a route we consider doing too, though only in 2002 (after the multiple leg fracture I ran in Pakistan is completely healed...)
Good luck on your planning and trip, and first and foremost: SAFE riding!
Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, usually travelling on bikes (now on DR650SE's)
[This message has been edited by iris_trui (edited 27 December 2001).]
Thanks Grant, Iris & Trui for the info...I met an attorney friend of a friend when I was in China last month and he says he can help me get a drivers license first...cost about $100.US and taking a one week or less driving course(even though I have been riding for over 30 years)...after that I can buy a motorcycle in China and obtain a license plate for traveling thoughout China , except in some cities, that require special tags. I would rather take my bmw but, the main thing for me , is to do it. Thanks again for the info....Beemer
yeah, the great "Myth China" and all the rumours of people who have made it through China with motorbikes.
first of all, there is a saying in China:"1 Country, 7500 Systems". your allowed certain things in certain areas of this vast country, but you will not allowed to do so in others.
A)to obtain a chinese drivers license, you have to hold a valid residence-card (green-card) and in some areas as well a work-permit.
B)you will not be able to register any vehicle as individual ar private person (except bikes and scooters up to 250cc)
C)the holder (company) of the license plate is responsible for all damages, accidents, incidents, fines, etc. thus,NOBODY will give plates to a tourist or traveller.
D)you might be able to enter China from Mongolia or Vietnam, but there is no gurantee, they will let you export the Bike on the other side (for example: Guangzhou/Shanghai/Tianjin).
i´m the author of that article in MOTORRAD and thank´s to Trudi (very good interpretation!!!) you allreday got some facts about travelling in China. First of all - it is possible to take a bike into China and actually it was very easy. At the border (Torugart) we got a driving licence, a licence plate and a vehicle registration. That´s the good news. The bad news: Doing it oficially, there will be a chinese guide from the CITS with you. Day and night. Since it is for a private person not much fun to deal with the CITS in China to get the permit to enter the country with a bike, we had the idea to ask a travel agency which is specialized for trips into china to make the deal for us. So Active Tours got us in. And out. We spend five days in China going from Torugart to Kashgar and ending at the Khunjerab-Pass where we entered Pakistan. For each day the CITS asks for about 100 to 150 US-Dollar per person. But that includes the guide and his driver with the car and hotels with so called full pension. But we still camped for example at the Muztag Ata despite the fact that our guide wanted us to spend the night in a poor cabin.
For more information: Lonley Planet´s "Central Asia" is a very good deal.
Pleas let me know if you go to china or not. My next plan: Tibet. With a bike.
address removed by Grant - see link above.
[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 28 January 2002).]
I will try to get my license exchanged to a Chinese one in spring - as a non-resident. It's expensive and takes about 3 weeks, but someone can do it before I arrive. But it's valid only for 2 years and has to be extended then.
There are no two year driver-license available in China and you need a "green-card" (Chinese workpermit) to obtain a LEGAL drivers license. In case you get stopped by Police / PSB / GongAn and cannot provide the required Chinese Greencard you could get into serious trouble.
Most of the times vehicle registrations / PSB (Public Security Bureau) are reluctant to issue Motorcycle License to foreigners.
The authorities changed the rules once more in may 2000 in bigger cities and you have to go through extensive testing like weight lifting, driving test, etc., i'm not kidding...
Furthermore, there are FAKE license available (as virtually everything else is available FAKE in China) but wouldn't recommend using them and having an accident in Mainland China.
Hopefully your not dealing with some well-known "rip-off artists tour organisers" based in Dalian....(call themselves HD Adventure Tours) but have never seen a HD.
Below, find the procedures described in an Expat-Magazine in Shanghai. Beijing rules are stricter:
Driving in China (Shanghai)by "THAT's Shanghai Magazine" for foreigners:
We have obtained the official document from the Shanghai Vehicle Management Bureau that gives all information required for having a Chinese Driving Licence. The official document is in Chinese so although we have translated it, we would always advise that you contact the Shanghai Vehicle Management Bureau using the details listed below should you need exact information relating to your own individual circumstances - we are told that the rules can differ dependent on Countries of Origin.
Welcome people holding foreign (or Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan) driving licences to apply for changing your driving licence to Chinese ones. Please handle the following procedures. Thank you for your cooperation.
A) The Materials Needed For Applying for Driving Licence.
a. People who hold foreign passport should supply the passport, the script and the copy of Shanghai Resident Permit for foreigners. (You are allowed to apply for Driving Licence if your resident permit is over one year. You are only allowed to apply for temporary Driving Licence if your resident permit is over three months but below one year.)
b. People from Hong Kong and Macao should supply the "Huixiang" document, the script and the copy of the temporary resident permit issued by Shanghai government. People from Taiwan who have temporary resident permit should supply the script and the copy of passport or travel document for coming to Mainland China.
c. If there is no Chinese version in your foreign , Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan , and international driving licence, you are supposed to go to authorized "Shanghai Foreign Language University Translation Company" or "Shanghai Foreign Affairs Translator association" to translate the driving licence to Chinese.
B). The Procedures.
a. Go to take digital pictures with your relevant document. ( on the ground floor of building 6)
b. Fill the Driving Licence Application Form with fountain pen.
c. Take the Driving Adapt Test or supply the medical check qualification issued by the hospital over county level.
d. Take the test about communication regulation and relevant knowledge.
e. If your driving experience is more than three years, the test driving on road is unnecessary. If Belgium Government issued your driving licence; test is also unnecessary for changing your driving licence to type C.D.E.
f. After finishing preparing for all the documents needed, pay 20 RMB for the commission fee and wait for one week to get your Chinese Driving licence.
a. The address of Shanghai Foreign Language University Translation Company: 183 Tiyuhui Road West The Address of Shanghai Foreign Affairs Translator Association: 1st floor, Building 2, 13 Kunshan Road The Address of Shanghai PSB Immigration Department: 333 Wusong Road
b. Business Time: Monday. Wednesday.
c. The Time of the Test of the communication regulation and relevant knowledge: Monday afternoon, 13:30
d. Shanghai Vehicle Management Bureau
That is the complete wording on the form, although this has been translated into English from the Chinese Version. We hope that the information provided gives you an idea of what is involved and we do repeat that it is wise to discuss your own personal circumstances with the Shanghai Vehicle Management Bureau.
Telephone: 6516 8168 Address: 1101 Zhong Shan Bei Yi Lu
Thanks again , Grant,Iris_Trul,and Butchman
and your right Butch it's probably impossible to get the license without the green card or work permit. I've exhausted my attempts with the attorney in Wenzhou. He was trying to find a company that would give me a work permit for a certain amount of money. We found one , then after I got there they backed out because I would not give them half the money up front. I think he was just going to take what he could and run. Anyway, I'm not giving up. I went home in July , revived my ole r100rs,and rode it for a month then put it back in moth balls. I finally bought a '88 mdl k75 here in Taiwan a couple weeks ago and yes it's illegal but no one cares. It has no tag and I have no license but the cops just wave and smile. Please let me know if you can think of any new ideas about China. I guess I could get married there, that would work, right?
The way I see it, if a country wants to throw up that many 'roadblocks' to my travelling there, then screw 'em, I'll go spend my hard-earned money somewhere I'm welcome. If China doesn't want me to go riding there, then I'll go riding somewhere else.
Take a look at India - it's incredibly easy for a foreigner to fly in and buy an Enfield or an Indian-Japanese 125 and go riding around.
read all those messages about hard chinese rules (cits and cts put me in jail in 1997 in inner mongolia because i was walking in a no-allowed area)
has anything changed since about how to enter a bike ?
does anyone know about visas and entering a bike in -stan countries ?
Not much changes and even the Harley Owners Group Hong Kong has a very difficult time ($$expensive$$) to arrange a ride HongKong - Shanghai - Beijing in October 2002 and the whole trip has to be under guard from Mainland China police/guards.
BTW, there were some interssting news around:
CHINA, Mar. 1, 2002 (AsiaPort via COMTEX) -- According to relevant rules
newly issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, the
tariff cut of motorcycles and their key parts will be lasted to July 1 2004.
Non-tariff measures like imports quota and imports permission on motorcycles
as well as their key parts will be abolished in 2004.
("..true or false, time will tell,BUTCH..").
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