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Old 15 Jan 2014
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Arrow Free self-driving in and around China? - How to..

This is just a short excerpt of my experience over the last 3 years, traveling in and around China. Because my experience partially may look rather different from the stereotypes, spred by nearly all "official sources", I want to give some hints on the subject "How to self-drive free and individually (="unguided") in and around China ", of course in 100% agreement with the laws. I do this, because I think, some potential travelers might be interested in this topic (, not because of any commercial interest, that was seen by Grant, when he deleted my first message and offer dealing with this topic).

BTW: This is not for the fast traveler, visiting "all of Asia" in 3 or 7 days. It is more for people, really interested in Asia and China. People who stay there at least for some months and/or go there again and again...

So: HOW TO...

1. Make FRIENDS in China! This is the key for everything and to get many things done, that often are said to be "impossible"...

2. Get a Chinese driver license. Of course, you have to do it in China, and there are different ways (more or less easy) to get a 100% legal one. Needs a 3 month visa.

3. Buy your own car with Chinese license plate and insurence. Needs a 3 months, sometimes 12 months visa. Can be done easily with some help of 1., and of several car shops. Find a permanent parking spot.

4. Drive around in China independently where you want, of course in accordance with the law. Being accompanied by 1. can be helpful in many situations.

5. Watch your PERSONAL restrictions as a "Westener", according to your passport and visa. (Has nothing to do with your car, but mentioned here to avoid confusion. )

6. If you want to leave China temporarily (without your car), leave your car with 1. and/or a ("your"?) local car shop.

7. If you want to drive to other countries, apply for an ATA carnet (with some help of 1.), and you have to bring back your car to China within 6 months.

8. If you want to leave China (for a long time), sell your car (and license plate, and insurance). Can be done with some help of 1. and of some car shops. Is more easy, if you have bought your car with a buyback option.

That's it. Hopefully nothing forgotten. .

I can give some further hints if necessary, but canNOT discuss every point into every detail. And remember the most important point is 1. B-)...

Greetings from Guangzhou/ China
yongshi

PS: These points of course go for traveling by bike and/or car.

Last edited by yongshi; 17 Jan 2014 at 08:08.
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