Renting my way through Asia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Doogle, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Koonzee

    Koonzee Been here awhile

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    Ditto! Doogle: Thank you for the time and effort to provide the frequent updates to your RR, especially while being tired at the end of a long day of challenges and while working with limited Internet access. Good job checking a few more countries off of your list! Also, thanks for demonstrating to all that there is an alternative to expensive motorcycle tours and/or motorcycle rentals for those currently considering a trip to China. I hope you have an uneventful return flight to the United States/Ohio. (If you are flying with United Airlines, I suggest you comply with any demands from the flight crew. <g> You'll understand once you are plugged into the 24 hr news cycle.... Trump and the Pentagon are considering United Airlines to remove or unseat Kim Jung-un!) During the next week, I hope you are able to reflect on your fast paced trip to China, and appreciate it for all of its wonderful cultural differences and generous people you met along the way. Perhaps your mind will drift while day dreaming... and you will have an awakening experience that all of it really was not a dream. Take care Doogle!
    Nixels and Culcune like this.
  2. Sanibel

    Sanibel Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the vicarious adventure. Kinda knew you would succeed when we met in October. You had that determination to do it despite the obstacles. Congrats and safe trip home.
    Culcune likes this.
  3. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    809
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    2017-04-13 Sold bike 8 miles

    My only objective for the day was to sell the bike. I left the hotel and went about 200 feet and saw a truck with 3 new bikes on it. I stopped but nobody was there. A street cleaner tried to assist me the next half hour. Finally a crowd assembled. Then a guy on a scooter stopped. He also rides dirt bikes.
    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 6 by

    He rode it.
    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 12 by

    He spoke good English. He said he had a friend interested. I was asking $640. He said putting a plate on in Beijing was very difficult. After test rides I eventually sold it for $320. I had to sell it or give it away in the next 24 hours. A bird in the hand. It was a stress reliever.

    With that out of my mind I could go sightseeing. I took a cab to Tienanmen square. I'm lost in the area. Crossing a street a man says something to me in good English. He ends up being my tour guide the rest of the afternoon and evening. His translated name is King or Emperor. He is 37 years old. He's a bank manager from Shanghai. He shows me Tienanmen square,
    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 17 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 18 by

    Mao's tomb,
    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 16 by


    Hutongs. This is an area of 600 years old housing. It looks poor, and probably was at one time. The inside of these houses are very nice. It's an expensive area. The streets are very narrow. Some only 30 inches.
    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 25 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 28 by

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    This is the Beijing Theatre. The building on the right.
    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 23 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 22 by


    We went to the Maliano Tea Street. It is 2 1/2 miles long and is the premier tea area in China. Tea on Maliano Tea Street is like wine in Napa Valley.

    We tasted 8 teas at the sitting. I bought 1 type of tea. Didn't know what I'd gotten in to. Great experience. But it cost $85. Kings bill was $175. He'd been here before. He buys tea for family members when he comes. The 8 teas are on the table.
    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 34 by

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    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 34 by

    We were told what each tea was good for- eyes, blood pressure, etc. If I bought and drank all of them, I shouldn't ever need a doctor again.


    KING loves beer. I said before we part, we should find another street that sells beer. He hails a cab and we're off to a bar. He asked if I knew what a karaoke bar was. I said I think so. But I just want a beer. We went to a karaoke bar. It was like going into a strip bar with many private rooms. I told King I wasn't interested in any action. He said this is the public secret area. No thank you still. So the 2 of us sat in this room and talked and drank 4 large bottles of beer.

    [​IMG]2017-04-13 Sold bike 38 by

    And then 5 more. He told me when he drinks he likes to sing. When he sang I finally had to record. He has a hell of a voice. Gave me goosebumps. I thought it must be a recording.

    After declining the 10th bottle of beer I said I need to go. I wish I had another day in Beijing. He told me so many things about China. He tried to to convince me to stay another day. No can do. But he was a perfect ending to my tour in China.

    When I got to the hotel, I started my ride report. I also decided to open the green bottle I bought yesterday. I described it to King. He said it was rice wine. It had the flavor of model glue. It's 46% alcohol. I didn't go very far down into that bottle.
    Mofrid, wera688, Nixels and 3 others like this.
  4. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    Thanks for following along again. I didn't forget Drina's birthday. Just didn't have time to email.
    Culcune likes this.
  5. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    Hope to see you again this fall.
  6. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    I don't think I'll get to San Diego before going home. Maybe next fall we can get together and talk. I am flying from LA to El Centro. Decided I would be too tired to ride in a car or bus. I really really appreciate your offer though.

    I plan to do a follow up on my China trip. The people, police, food, hotels, gas, roads, and traffic. But it will be a few days of rest first.
    Nixels and Culcune like this.
  7. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    809
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    2017-04-14 Flying home.

    I leave for the airport in 1/2 hour. About an hour ago Li Kai stopped here to pick up the second set of keys for the motorcycle. He said he was going to keep the Shineray instead of his friend buying it. I think he already has 13 bikes. He also gave me some China tea and some key ring holders. We talked for 1/2 hour. I'm glad I met him. He got a good deal. And I am happy the bike is gone.
    Nixels and #1Fan like this.
  8. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    Another brilliant move on my part. As I am checking in at the airport, they tell me everything is okay EXCEPT I'm a day early. I'm at the YaMei Hotel near the airport. $58. King wanted me to stay another day. I should have listened to him.
  9. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
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    Location:
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    2017-04-14

    Since I arrived at the airport a day before I was supposed to, I have time for my thoughts and experiences in China.

    PEOPLE. I didn't think I would ever meet any people as good and helpful as the Russian people. But my experience here has shown that Chinese people are the same. Any time I had a problem, people were there to help me. Coco and Dont when my chain locked up, Chishui and his father when my brake line needed replace, the man that towed me to the mechanic to fix my flat- FREE tow and tube installation, the man that led me to the shop to replace my broken master link and rear brake pads ($3.50 total). It wasn't the occasional good person. It was every time I needed help. Thank you CHINA. Most of the people want to look at you. But most look away if you make eye contact with them. Hundreds will boldly come up and ask if they can take a picture with you. White people are so rare. I enjoyed it.

    HOTELS. Many people on the forums told me I would have problems getting hotel rooms. I don't know if they were fear mongers or they just had some bad luck. I had little trouble. Once I went to the police for help. They escorted me back to the hotel and got me registered. They even carried my luggage to the room. Beijing was somewhat of a problem. Some would send me to other foreign approved hotels. And some of them offered to lead me there.

    The rooms. All rooms were decently clean. The whole time in China I only saw 1 spider in my rooms. The lights are the same as in the USA. You usually need to bring a 100 watt bulb along to see. Especially if your eyes are old like mine. Every room had tooth brush and tooth paste provided. Usually 2 bottles of free drinking water. All provide toilet paper. Usually enough to blow your nose with. Half the showers were on the bathroom floor instead of atub or stall. Room heaters usually wouldn't allow enough warmth for me. Especially after riding cold and wet all day. You always leave a room deposit. And they always check the room before you get it back. The standard usa electric plugs worked everywhere in Asia. Finding light switches can be interesting.

    ROADS. Most roads are in good condition. There are many signs with English underneath. Many 4-6 lane roads come to an abrupt end with no English help. There was a lot of new road construction. On a motorcycle it's not much of a problem if you have adapted to this very different style of riding.

    POLICE. I was warned of all the police check points going into cities and provinces. Going over 3000 miles across China Stephen and I were stopped once. We only showed our passports and were waved through. Other check points I was just waved through. Seeing police on the roadway is rare. In cities there many pedestrian police at rush hours. They seem like regular people. Not authoritative.

    ECONOMY. Most of the places I saw seemed to have a decent standard of living. I see more slum areas at home than I did here. Hotels and food are a little cheaper here. Gasoline was $3.00 a gallon. But many clothes cost more here than at home. Plain nameless sweat pants were $30. King and his wife make good money. He can't afford to buy a 3 bedroom apartment. They cost a million dollars. I asked why they build all the huge apartment buildings. He said very rich people buy the buildings and plan to sell in the future. What about the communist system. Well, maybe they are more capitalist than the USA. The disparity between rich, middle class and poor is striking. Most people think of China like everything would be cheap. Not so.

    DRIVING. Or riding. Riding in Central and South America is hectic. But it is another major leap riding here. Riding in Vietnam and Thailand was a good preparation for China. I can't recommend anyone trying it. It's like riding where 1/2 the drivers are drunk. People coming straight at you in your lane. Pulling out and going straight across the road in front of you. Many don't look first. Most drive on lane lines, not in the lanes. They meander- why go straight? Too boring? Some people obey traffic lights.

    FOOD. Pointing at pictures works pretty good. But hot hot doesn't show very well in a picture. I usually used the translator to ask for chicken and rice. I can get most food into my mouth or lap with the chop sticks now. I don't think I lost any weight on this trip.


    COMMUNICATION. The translator on my phone was a huge success. But without it most people had it on their phones. It's like the GPS. Not always perfect. But your sure glad you have it. Very short sentences work best.

    MAPS. I brought 2 GPS 's with me. I used Open Street Maps on them. I wish I had downloaded more points of interest. But I also have the MapsMe app on my phone. It my replace my GPS when I learn it better. I brought 2 paper maps. I didn't use them at all.

    INTERNET. It was in every hotel. Not all was good. The app WeChat is great. I don't bother with Skype anymore. Before getting to China you need to setup your browser. Google is blocked out here. Yahoo seems to be the right browser to use. You can't download from the Google Play Store after you get here. I was half way setup before I got here.

    SAFETY &SECURITY. I always felt safe in Asia. I didn't have deep concerns about things being stolen. I still was cautious. But many times I left my helmet, gloves, and coat unsecured on the motorcycle while I walked around.


    That’s all I can think of now. I will edit more things in if I think of anything else. This post is mostly for people who may be thinking about riding in China. Dave, Merrill, Kith, Sanibel. Stephen told me there are only 4 other foreigners that he knows of that have ridden China unescorted. I met and spent several days with one of them while in Buenos Aires. Mika Kunh. Surely there are others. But I think he was going by what is posted on forums. I hope my ride report will encourage others to attempt it. If solo is not in your comfort zone, I think Stephen may start a very reasonably priced tour service soon.
    wera688, Nixels, #1Fan and 4 others like this.
  10. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    Very good ending to you RR and a good insight into how you see and view China.
    Good luck for the future and it was great privallage riding along apart of the way.
    When I have more information concuring the tour/rental business I will update you.
    Nixels and Culcune like this.
  11. Sanibel

    Sanibel Been here awhile

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    Sanibel FL
    Hope not. Nothing personal, but I am planning on being off on my own adventure. Maybe we can talk after you have caught your breath.
    Nixels likes this.
  12. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    Are you thawed out yet? Or still playing in the snow?

    Thank you for getting me off on the right foot.....and motorcycle. And thanks to your wife also. The sweater she suggested I buy was perfect for me. I needed that extra warmth.
    Nixels likes this.
  13. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    I assume you got that oil burner straightened out.
    Is your adventure ride a secret? Your not going to Disney World are you?
    Nixels likes this.
  14. Culcune

    Culcune Been here awhile

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    Yuma, AZ
    Are you that close to me?!
  15. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    I am in a town called Guilin now ChinaV knows how senic this area is?
    Left the snow 1 day at -6 C and made it to Chengdu and temperature was +34C
  16. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

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    Lakewood, CO , USA
    Thanks for another great RR, Doogle!! Loved it!! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us!!
  17. wera688

    wera688 V-Stromer

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    cookie.jpg

    As I finished reading your ride report at dinner at a Chinese restaurant tonight here is the fortune cookie I received. It summed up your thoughts exactly. A Great ride and trip! Great scouting trip!

    -Kith
  18. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    Just an hour away. We usually come to Yuma several times in the winter. And of course a couple visits to Algodones.
    Culcune likes this.
  19. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    I felt like I had 1.4 billion friends in China. And only them 2 jerks at the gas station. Wish I knew what they wanted. But I couldn't chance getting involved with a problem.
  20. Culcune

    Culcune Been here awhile

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    Nov 17, 2007
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    Yuma, AZ
    How long will you be here till this season?