After saying farewell to my bike at the Chinese border, I took a bus on June 16th in the morning to Mudanjiang, 150 km from Suifenhe, to board the night train to Beijing in the afternoon. The road was in perfect condition and was probably part of the new highway which was to be opened two days later between Haerbin in China and Vladivostok in Russia. Road signs in both Chinese and English could be seen as well as a few in Russian.
The next morning just before noon I got off the train in Beijing. The capital had changed a lot since the last time I was here ten years ago: new buildings, new roads, new shops, and new people from the old countryside, as well as fewer bicycles and more vehicles. Here again the roads are in excellent conditions and well marked with signs and can be compared with the ones in the most advanced industrialized countries. What a change with what I had seen in and around Vladivostok in Russia.
During the nine days I stayed in the Chinese capital I saw many motorbikes. I had been told that in Beijing, as well as Shanghai, motorbikes were not allowed. It seems like in that case as for crossing the Chinese border with a motorbike, itís legally forbidden but practically possible. I even saw quite a few foreigners riding motorbike, some with sidecars and a few without a helmet. I talked to some expats who had been leaving in China for years and they were not aware of any restrictions regarding motorbikes in Beijing. Furthermore, because Chinese administration was becoming really complicated about registering a motorbike, more and more foreigners were riding their bikes without any documents. No one had ever heard of a foreigner having had his or her bike impounded.
Posted by Fabrice Blocteur at June 25, 2006 11:31 AM GMT