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Old 12 Feb 2008
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Question any changes in china??

hi all,
can I expect any changes in china when it comes to enter the country on my motorbike?? we're leaving philippines this week and hope to reach vietnam/china border in the beginning of september.
any advice?? or is it useless to try??
I'm a german citizen with my philippina wife and the bike is registered inthe philippines . I have a carnet, int driving licence...
or, how much does the official/legal way cost, any ideas??
we want to travel from vietnam through china and tibet to nepal...
thanks in advance for your help guys
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Old 13 Feb 2008
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Dare I suggest a quick search of this forum, there's currently three threads on China, which are reasonably up to date, and have recommendations for guides etc.

As far as we can see there's no real change in the procedure and no real change in the cost, even though one or two of the guides have changed.
Happiness has 125 cc
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Old 16 Feb 2008
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Not meaning to shoot down your plans in any way.......... but have you sorted out, how to get your bike into Vietnam? Unless their rules have changed significantly, you basically can not do that. My experience is from December 2006, and we tried with 115cc "scooters" (Thai-registered), on 4 different border stations in Cambodia and Laos, and one of them we even tried twice, but they wouldn't let us in. There didnt seem to be any "under 175cc OK rule" whatsoever. I dont think the carnet will be your ticket there, either. China should be possible (or so Ive read here) but not without a hell of a budget, and weeks or months of time to arrange everything, so very complicated.
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Old 21 Feb 2008
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update 21/2/08


have been in Laos the last few weeks on the bike. We got knocked back at the Pakkha border trying to enter China near Phong Sali (locals only). The Boten one looks well fortified and official now with a heap of construction going on there. Left the bikes in Laos and backpacking in China at the moment shopping for Kyrghyz visas and clutch parts and a new back tyre for me. Will try later on and maybe see if can get the bike paperwork done in Kunming before retrieving the bikes.

Will keep you posted,
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Old 3 Apr 2008
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Strict Security in China

I went to China last month. Even with Olympics still a couple of months away security has been tighter...really tight
See what's in Miami >

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Old 5 Jun 2008
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You would be better off buying a Chinese registered bike from my ongoing contact with member 'Crazy Carl' who is an American living and working there.

On ADVrider, someone nickamed 'Beemer Boy' had a very wonderful thread about his experience riding from where he lives in Thailand into China--but he bought a Chinese registered Zongshen and rode it into China.

It seems that this is the best bet, either buy one in China, using a Chinese resident for registration purposes, or finding a Chinese registered bike outside of China, and riding it in all legal-like.
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Old 20 Aug 2008
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we will be entering china via mongolia end of next year. right now in argentina.

i do not know if we have special peviliage because we are singapore chinese and we understood mandarin. what i found out is that many bikers get into china because:

1) pay $ for organized tours
2) load their bike on truck to cross at a 'not so popular' border.
3) by luck.

would also like to know what is the proper procedure to cross. no one had given a definate answer to this in HUBB.

Duncan: we met at chiangmai. u r very adventurous to try the china border at laos.by the way is your website still avalible?


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Old 20 Aug 2008
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The "proper" procedure, if such a thing exists in China, is an organised tour with fixed itinerary and guide. The way I understand it the tour co. contracts a military-owned tour co. in Beijing to actually organise the guide and paperwork and it is they who take most of the money.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 23 Aug 2008
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hi... can i conclude that most bikers "smuggle" their bike in and ride without papers? when checked by police (which was unsure about the import law) the riders will bluff some stories out and the police will let them go. how did they get out of the country?
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Old 24 Aug 2008
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No, I think you can conclude that most bikers do it the official way, as there is no way past the border guards otherwise. There have been exceptions...

Police are not a problem in China. To them bikes are local transport and they don't usually bother them.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 24 Aug 2008
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China seems a bit tight to bluff your way around if they dont sell your bike in china you will get more looks than you may want. Stop at the wrong place to look around and you may find your self arrested as a spy there funny like that so im told.

From all read and seen the "right" way is to contact a government ran tour agency 6 months to a year before and start hading them cash. At last look I was seeing a a ride threw China was going for around $10,000.

Now I dont know anything about flying in to China and buying a used bike from some one and going native riding all around then flying back out. That is not the way to do it, not at all, its illegal well a little bit illegal. Dont do that in other places its hard and expensive to get bike in to.
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Old 25 Aug 2008
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I went from Honk Kong to the border with Mongolia with a RTW tour 4 years ago and the cost was about 4,000 Euros, which is still expensive compared with the local cost of living.

I wouldnt do it again. The pleasure of motorcycling is about freedom. There i felt like in a train : guide in front, guide and military in the back, programmed stops of a few minutes, programmed visits in chinese touristic places where you feel like...a tourist (a wallet on feet). The only time i felt a taste of adventure is when i got bored of the routine and fled ahead of the guides near Urumqi in Inner Mongolia. They decided to avoid the town and i was alone without being able to read chinese signs. I stopped at a police station in the center of the town to ask my way north and soon there were 100 people around, which i found embarassing, but one of them could speak some english, which solved the problem.

All in all, as a westener in China, it s very difficult to melt in the surroundings. You get always noticed and granted a "iiElloww" greeting, which makes it impossible to observe local people. Riding is China is perticularly stressing in the South East. You can t go over 50 km/h average speed and need to stay focused all the time because of the density and diversity of the traffic : cars, trucks, people on feet with bamboos on the shoulder, buffaloes, dogs, bicycles... all mix in an appearant total lack of attention for others. The only law applying is the bigest gets priority, but animals and pedestrians don t seem to understand that law. So as a motorcyclist you are the one who needs to care for all others and yourself. Add to this that asphalt roads can be very slippery while wet and pollution near big cities seriously reduces the visibility. There are even invisible borders that seem more difficult to cross than natural ones. One of the roads was once blocked due to works. So we had to change route, which made us loose hours, since an authorisation and bribe was needed through each village we had to cross to contribute to "maintainance costs". We arrived very late at destination.

North of Beijing the picture changes totally. Roads are faily new and very well maintained and nobody there except truckers going to Russia. The wind can blow very strong but it s more fun than stressfull.

I don t know how you can enter the country illegally and not get noticed, since there are tolls to pay very regularly and police making sure that nobody escapes without paying. You need to show your papers each time there.

I saw a blog of an american lady in her 40s that did it with one of her friends motorcycle illegally since she didnt pay for her local driving licence. It was very tough since she didnt speak mandarin and had to avoid main roads but well, at least she lived an adventure. She didn t risk to loose her own motorcycle tho.

So yes it s possible to travel independantly in China but i m unsure it s really worth the pain.

Last edited by Vorteks; 25 Aug 2008 at 13:59. Reason: typo
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