Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Trip Paperwork

Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By Kette

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15 Sep 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 22
Post World trip - Chinese import regulations / driving license...

Hey there,

In 2013 I will be driving all the way from Malaysia back to Germany:
Malaysia - Thailand - Cambodia - Laos - China - Pakistan - Iran - Turkey - Greece - ... - Germany

Everything seems to work out except China which turns out to be a massive pain in the ... I can deal with seemingly pointless regulations but China really is too much :P You can check out my route here: Route nach Shangri-La, Dêqên, Yunnan, China - Google Maps
Here are my main problems:

1) Carnet de Passage does not work in China so I will have a problem bringing my bike (either a new Yamaha XT660Z or an old BMW) there. I read tons of stories online about import fees several times the value of the bike or even that it's not possible to import motorbikes with more than 125cc. Others seem to have no problem at all importing their vehicle.
I would highly appreciate evidence-based information about import regulations. I could not find any reliable source so far. Even the embassy didn't know what to do.

2) Driving license. My German/International driving license is not valid in China so I will have to obtain a Chinese one. This involves paperwork and a written exam which seems to be challenging. Is there any way around this exam? Are the questions for Yunnan province available online? There's one great website that used to offer the question for free but doesn't work anymore (howchinaworks.com).

3) Let's assume I manage to import my bike + obtain the Chinese license; what other problems might arise? Do I need a guide? I really enjoy riding alone and (even apart from the money aspect) wouldn't want a guide to accompany me on my travels.

4) Yes, I know the possible consequences of Plan B(ribe) (losing the bike, fines, possibly jail): Just ignoring all regulations and bribing my way through China (6.000km). I'd drive on small roads in rural areas anyway and would avoid all major cities. If policemen stop me I'd just act stupid (which comes naturally to me) and pay them a small fee. I read several stories of people who tried that and got away with it. Obviously the reports are heavily biased towards success because nobody would post his "I lost my bike and spent two weeks in prison" story to get the inevitable "I told you so".


I'd really appreciate your help... To be honest I'm pretty much lost here and don't know what to do. Once China is out, driving all the way from Malaysia seems to be impossible (Myanmar doesn't work either).
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15 Sep 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,586
I seriously doubt sneaking in, and bribing your way through entire China would work. Lately they seem to have forbidden inter-provincial travel even with a guide, so it's not looking very good. Burma is practically impossible, too.

But getting a carnet, shipping to India, and riding from there should work.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 16 Sep 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 22
Thanks for your comment.

Yes, shipping (or flying) to India or Nepal is possible and if everything else goes wrong I'll do that. However, my dream is driving all the way and not taking any other means of transportation along the way. Call me romantic but that's simply the way I always pictured it and I would love to make it happen.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 18 Sep 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by thammasat View Post
Yes, shipping (or flying) to India or Nepal is possible and if everything else goes wrong I'll do that. However, my dream is driving all the way and not taking any other means of transportation along the way. Call me romantic but that's simply the way I always pictured it and I would love to make it happen.
Dude, I suppose we all have this dream, but unless you have very deep pockets or are lucky enough to find another group of overlanders going the same direction at the same time you probably have to bite the bullet.
It was still possible to go from Laos into China and exit to any other country in spring this year, but only with a Chinese travel agency and - to my knowledge - absolutely impossible without it. I received a quote of over 10.000$ from Navo (China Driving Tour; drive your vehicle to China, 4X4 Silk Road - NAVO) for a route from Laos to Kazakhstan in about 25 days.
In the end, I drove from Pakistan (KKH-Khunjerab Pass) through Xinjiang (China) into Kazakhstan, organized by Wayne from Xinjiang & Tibet Expeditions and his local coordinators (Drive into China : Drive your motorcycle or foreign licensed motor vehicle into China : permit and license requirements) for 2000$ (for all the paperwork). I had an official time frame of 15 days (date to date). Except for the first 2 days (arriving at Tashkurgan and then going to Kashgar together) and the last day (crossing at Korgos into KZ) I was without a guide and was free to ride anywhere within Xinjiang. I haven't taken any exam but received a temporary driver's license and license plate (laminated pieces of paper ;-). But I was told by Wayne's local coordinator that it's a lot of hassle so they usually don't get them. In fact, I met two other overlanders who entered from Kyrgyzstan, stayed only about 5 days and then went back there. They used the same agency as I did, but never got any driver's licenses or license plates. I guess it depends on how many days you're in the country. Cross province traveling on my own was a big no-no: This is where the guide usually comes in because there are allegedly military checkpoints which you can't pass by yourself. There was actually one on the way from Tashkurgan to Kashgar so that's why the guide had to be with me that day.
So you could contact the various agencies (there are a few more than the two mentioned above) and ask them about the current situation re cross-province driving. It changes so quickly in China, like the ridiculous "5 people of same nationality"-regulation for foreigners going to Tibet the authorities introduced in May/June this year...

One last well-intentioned advice: don't ship your bike to India, better to Kathmandu. I've heard lots of bad stories about the first one, where in contrast Kathmandu is quite OK. Clearance and various service fees were some 30-40 $ (60 $ the highest I've heard) earlier this year.

I hope that helps you a bit on the issues re planning your itinerary.

Cheers,
Kevin
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 18 Sep 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,586
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kette View Post
don't ship your bike to India, better to Kathmandu. I've heard lots of bad stories about the first one, where in contrast Kathmandu is quite OK.
Good point. I´ve shipped from India to Thailand, so just wrote that without thinking.. or maybe "Indian subcontinent" was what I was thinking, to get across the Bay of Bengal. But yes, Nepal appears to be a lot easier to send to (or from!)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 18 Sep 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 22
Thanks for your comments!

Can you recommend a company to ship my bike from Bangkok to Nepal?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 18 Sep 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by thammasat View Post
Can you recommend a company to ship my bike from Bangkok to Nepal?
Have a look at this thread: Air Freight Bangkok to Kathmandu. It's not outdated yet, maybe the prices, but both companies are still operating and doing a good job according to research and own experience.
I chose Mr. Thira (Excel Transport Int.) because his offer was a bit cheaper. Nice guy, good service, would do it again with him.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13 Nov 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Shandong, CHINA
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by thammasat View Post
Hey there,

In 2013 I will be driving all the way from Malaysia back to Germany:
Malaysia - Thailand - Cambodia - Laos - China - Pakistan - Iran - Turkey - Greece - ... - Germany


4) Yes, I know the possible consequences of Plan B(ribe) (losing the bike, fines, possibly jail): Just ignoring all regulations and bribing my way through China (6.000km). I'd drive on small roads in rural areas anyway and would avoid all major cities. If policemen stop me I'd just act stupid (which comes naturally to me) and pay them a small fee. I read several stories of people who tried that and got away with it. Obviously the reports are heavily biased towards success because nobody would post his "I lost my bike and spent two weeks in prison" story to get the inevitable "I told you so".
.
Doing it on the cheap could work out "the expensive way"
It can be done, but I feel thee is too much risk.
You can lose your bike, and get thrown in the slammer for up to 15 days, and a 2000 RNB fine, about US$350.

I think best to join a group, and stay with the group while in China.
Find a group that is planning similar to what your planning, and adjust and change to suit.
You really don't want to be going off on your own.
Motorbikes are not allowed on Chinese motorways, even the big bikes must not use them.

vette
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 13 Nov 2012
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Shandong, CHINA
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
I seriously doubt sneaking in, and bribing your way through entire China would work. Lately they seem to have forbidden inter-provincial travel even with a guide, so it's not looking very good. Burma is practically impossible, too.

But getting a carnet, shipping to India, and riding from there should work.
.
Inter-provincial travel is still no problem.
You first need to get an "inter-provincial" permit from Beijing.
Then you need to get a provincial permit from the traffic dept. of the first province you will enter at, normally
Xinjiang.
This is along with the entry customs clearance
Also the customs exit clearance.
Also the temporary Chinese driving licences.
The guide, you already know about.

vette
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 13 Nov 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 67
we looked at China a couple of years ago and in the end thought stuff them and all the rules regulations and restrictions. Shipped to Japan instead and had a great time... truly a totally underrated and ignored destination by most overlanders. From Japan we island hopped to sakhalin then Vanino on the Russian mainland.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16 Nov 2012
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 89
my suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kette View Post
Have a look at this thread: Air Freight Bangkok to Kathmandu. It's not outdated yet, maybe the prices, but both companies are still operating and doing a good job according to research and own experience.
I chose Mr. Thira (Excel Transport Int.) because his offer was a bit cheaper. Nice guy, good service, would do it again with him.
Hi there

We did Oz to UK in early 2011. Same dream as you, same issues... In the end we flew the bikes from Bangkok to Kathmandu - all very easy with Trans air cargo (speak to kittima). We organised our China bit through Newlands travel. Pretty easy (did application etc whilst on the road in about 6 weeks). Went up KKH nd into China there. Impossible to get in without a company to do it for you. Don't think of the guide as any hassle. He was barely with us, might depend on who you get but our bloke Sadiq was really chilled and nice.
PM me if you want any more details

Cheers
__________________
www.wollongongtowoolwich.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 19 Nov 2012
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Renting a car

Hi, has anyone tried renting a car in Xinjiang, having got the temporary driving license from an agency like Navo or Wayne's? I am going to be making a trip with my family, and would like to be able to rent a car and drive around as independently as possible.
Any advice much appreciated
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 25 Mar 2013
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Siegen
Posts: 9
still wanna go?

hey,

where are you right now?
I am in Bangkok and also want to cross china. maybe we could go together and share the costs?

Max
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
china, chinese, import, license, regulation


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Driving in West Africa without an international license Equatorial Matty sub-Saharan Africa 14 9 Jan 2014 12:41
TX to South America 2up on ninja 250 jordan325ic Ride Tales 75 23 May 2012 17:41
Around the World in 80 Movies jopos Ride Tales 0 17 May 2012 08:45
Around the world trip unimatrix1 Travellers Seeking Travellers 9 11 May 2012 06:50
Car driving license for a 125cm3 in America Alban Trip Paperwork 5 25 Apr 2012 13:41

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:38.