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I have been reading the forum in the past few days regarding entering China by land on a bike and I see sometimes what seems conflicting information. If you do not mind, I would like to try getting most answers sorted out in one thread.
Basically what are the requirements for both the person, and the bike?
* Registration - foreign registered bike is ok?
* Driving license - foreign and international are ok? Or do I need to get a Chinese license, as I read in other posts?
* Cross the border riding, can I? I read somewhere suggestions about getting the bike on a truck for the border crossing.
* Traveling across China - Are permits needed from each province?
* Guide/escort - I read somewhere that I need to hire a guide/escort to go with us for the lenght of the trip. Is this real?
* Insurance - what is required?
And please comment on any other matter that I forgot about.
Not the most encouraging info .... I guess that over the next few months as I sort out all the info, I will end up deciding what to do and what not (already gave up thinking about Vietnam).
I was resigned to getting the Chinese driver license .... now you mention a Chinese copy of my own national license ... how do I do this? At the local Chinese consulate? Or do I get my own translation by an approved translator and certify it at the consulate? I am not so keen on giving up son soon on the idea of bringing the bike through the Mongolian border.
Sound like the trick is crossing the border, once inside, things are somewhat "easier." Is this assumption correct?
I have myself tried to get into China from Mongolia having a very good and well connected contact I actually got the ok to cross the border, but about two weeks ago they revoked my permission with reference to the recent riots in China.
So after a number of emails with my Chinese contact I have decided to give up maybe I'll try later next year when things is back to normal.
.... now you mention a Chinese copy of my own national license ... how do I do this?
my license was obtained via the "agent" we used to get into China. It was of strictly limited duration - 16 days I think! The size of a credit card... as was the rego doc with the Chinese number on it... they don't make you have a Chinese plate now, so that hurdle is sort of gone... How would they know without stopping you that you are not legal
The agent then ripped us off with a bill for another 3000usd, so we just legged it. In the end we had to stump up more money to get OUT of China as they, (agent), had all the import docs.
During our "free run" from Urumqi to Tashkorgan we had zero problems with officialdom other than curiosity.
Its getting in and out with a foreign vehicle that's the bitch.
Next time, I'm going for the "get a bike in China" route.
Originally Posted by Xmegma
Sound like the trick is crossing the border, once inside, things are somewhat "easier." Is this assumption correct?
More or less... there are others here that will jump up and down and say its illegal
The problems may come in travelling between provinces... I don't know.
My trip just took me in via Korgos and out at Tashkorgan to to the KKH, so just the one province.
It IS all fly-by-wire. Some are fortunate... others are not.
It is all getting much tighter for several reasons - dissident attitudes of the indigenous people is the biggest one.
If they signed-up to the carnet system, it would be a step forward...
Entering with your own, foreign registered bike, which is possible but involves miles of red tape and a pile of cash. Most likely it will not work without "tour guide" and some unexpected charges may occur. It has been done many times and there are some agents to deal with. Consider minimum 3 months to get all necessary paperwork. One of these agents is Kashgar New Land Travel reportedly reliable.
Getting your bike into the country without an agent on the back of a truck or sitting it out at a border is very unlikely to work. If you make it in this way, you have to go out the same way.
Although it has been done before, it seems to be out of reach today.
The "get a bike in China" method is more feasible as long as you don't expect to get the bike of your dreams.
Legality of the rider is an issue and there have been many hot discussions about it already. As a visitor (except case One) it is very difficult to almost impossible to get your hands on a driving license. However, many people just bought a bike and rode all over the country without it and they were fine.
You don't need a permit to travel between provinces except for teebed and some sensitive places bordering it. Some regions are no-go for foreigners. On some inter-provincial routes you may run into check points.
All the above is based on this:
1 there are no rules
2 there are tons of rules to be followed
3 both, 1 and 2 can be simultaneously applied
4 different village - different rules
5 what worked yesterday, may not work today but may again tomorrow
Several of the members are expats from Europe or N. America living and working in different parts of China who own and ride Chinese bikes.
A few are willing and able to help people get their hands on relatively affordable Chinese bikes--far easier and less cost than trying to get your own bike into China.
It seems one of the best bikes to purchase is the Qingqi 200cc enduro or motard models which cost less than $1500 to purchase, if not less, brand new. Qingqi is the OEM for Suzuki's Dr200, and their engines are near identical to the Suzuki (no, they are not cloned, but are the OEM-probably something that Suzuki does not want the public to know, LOL )
Anyway, there are some other quality brands to consider, but your best bet is to purchase a brand new bike there using a locals name and info to be "legal" and join mychinamoto and ask the same question there, and I am sure one of the members living in China can point you in the right direction.
Thanks to all so far for the answers. From what I have so far managed to conclude from reading posts and information from many sites is that this is feasible. However, we do really need a Chinese driver license (still not sure about easiest way to get it). As to other requirements, it still looks not clear what is REALLY needed; I am not taking about legality, but real in practical terms (for example, just think that prostitution is illegal in Thailand and you get what I mean by "real in practical terms").
You won't get a Chinese motorcycle license unless you have time to deal with massive red tape or with an agency....this probably wont matter in the countryside but probably will matter in a major city. (Hint: stay in the mountains near deserts or coasts and keep away from big cities).
You should certainly make sure you have Chinese full registration and insurance even if it is not in your name, as well as good quality equipment and cash ($2000) in dollars or Chinese currency. And a mature but friendly attitude.
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