China without guide - possible???

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by rallioso, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. rallioso

    rallioso boGSer

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    #1
  2. Hund

    Hund born to be wild

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    #2
  3. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Well ~ the wishful thinking and a lot of talk about motor-vehicle travel in China pops up every year.....

    Do get in touch once you get into the greater Shanghai or Beijing regions, might be around, bear in mind all the time please ~ the Middle Kingdom called China always has been and always will work in mysterious ways....

    TIC = This is China!
    1. Everything is possible in China.
    2. Nothing is easy.
    3. Patience is the essence of success.
    4. The answer "yes" is not necessarily an indication of agreement or confirmation.
    5. "You don't understand our country" means they disagree.
    6. "Provisional regulations" mean they can change the rules any time they want, even retroactively.
    7. "Basically, no problem" means a BIG problem.
    8. "Signing a contract" means the beginning of the real negotiation.
    9. When you are feeling optimistic, think about rule number two.
    10. When you are feeling discouraged, think about rule number one.
    11. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.
    12. If they tell you, that you know China very well, say NO - otherwise they'll show you, that you don't!

    ***above are just some of my simple China business rules***
    #3
    Pecha72 likes this.
  4. vroomvroom1

    vroomvroom1 Adventurer

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    Easier to buy a smallish bike in China and sell before you leave. Overland crosses by motorbike are notoriously difficult without the right connections (expensive tour operator).
    #4
  5. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Yeah, buying small second hand motorbikes in China is very easy but most visitors are not aware about documents like the CHINA motorbike registration and the proper CHINA driving license required.
    Common for bike shops to tell lies bluntly and only relay info the buyer wants to hear.... buyers beware ~ smoke & mirrors all the way!
    #5
  6. MrsRoynie

    MrsRoynie Adventurer

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    In reply to OP, we were informed, by a Chinese contact in Shanghai, that un-guided motor touring has been (theoretically) possible since 2013. Unfortunately, as TBR says, you still need all the correct paperwork, and must rely on Chinese Travel Agents to sort it for you. The official position is that you will still need a guide (not necessarily a Gvt-appointed one) to meet you at the border and facilitate the process of re-registering your bike in the nearest large city - but then, in theory, you are on your own (though there are some politically sensitive places were a guide is still mandatory). The problem is finding a Travel Agent who will handle your paperwork as, obviously, they have been used to making a tidy living providing guided tours and thus stand to lose money. Most stick to the old line about a guide being essential and charge handsomely for their services.

    We understand that there are a mythical half dozen or so companies willing to organise un-guided travel, but the only one we have so far identified has been denounced elsewhere as a fraud and (luckily for us, perhaps) appears to have gone out of business.

    We're due to enter China from Mongolia at the end of June. We'll keep you posted as to how we get on. The Chinese portion of our trip is mission-critical so, if it turns out in the end that we have to employ a guide, we will.

    Look us up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inaghtochina or see http://www.inaghtochina.com.
    #6
  7. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Well ~ unfortunately thats quite a common scenario, big promises to get the $$$'s and change of directions afterwards and no refunds due to changing regulations they claim, be aware & warned....

    Good luck and keep us updated on the progress, as mention earlier, great riding and beautiful regions around China but hard to get into as temporary visitors with motor vehicles.
    #7
  8. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Can the Chinese travel freely within their own country? Can a Chinese citizen travel by motorcycle thru his own country?
    #8
  9. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    YES and so can foreigners (legally) with the correct docs (China motorbike rego / China driving license).
    Restrictions are only in place for TAR = Tibet Autonomous Region (foreigners) and sometimes for Xinjiang province (foreigners / chinese).
    China has some great areas and provinces to explore away from the busy cities and tourist spots....
    #9
  10. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Rules eased for foreign tourists on road trips
    China Daily Newspaper 2015-09-03

    China has simplified procedures for international travelers who drive cars through the country, making it more practical.

    The ministries of Public Security, Foreign Affairs and the National Tourism Administration jointly released a notice in late August to manage international tourists' driving trips in China, effective Oct 1.

    "Public security bureaus and tourism administrations at all levels are no longer issuing approval documents for international tourists' self-driving trips in China. Organizations should not require these documents to issue driving permits for international travel," the notice said.

    According to the notice, all international tourists' driving trips must be arranged by a certain number of tourism agencies with approval licenses. Agencies must arrange tour guides to follow the entire trip. No individual trip is allowed.

    "It is a sign that China's tourism is going global and becoming more open, aiming to link to the world," said Wei Xiao'an, China Tourism Leisure Association secretary-general, adding that the regulation is not for foreigners who reside in China but for tourists only.

    "Under current policy, it is very complicated to have a self-driving trip for international tourists, including going through public securities and customs. The complex procedure makes foreigners' self-driving hardly possible in China," Wei said, adding that the new policy might be a signal to gradually nurture the market of foreigner's driving trips.

    However, Wei said it is hard to predict the potential of the market. "It depends heavily on the tourism products and season," he said, adding that the notice is only a start for the market to grow.

    "Currently, foreign travelers' driving business accounts for less than 1 percent of the company's inbound tourism business," said Yu Liangbing, deputy general manager of inbound tourism under China CYTS Tours, adding that many countries have complicated procedures regarding foreigners' driving, not only in China.

    He also hopes that the future policies regarding foreigners' driving can continue to be simplified.

    "For instance, if international travelers rent vehicles in China, there will be more specific policies to manage their trips," he said.

    Source = http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-09/03/content_21781620.htm
    #10
  11. Drop bear

    Drop bear Been here awhile

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  12. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    And this is an easing of the rules? VVVV

    According to the notice, all international tourists' driving trips must be arranged by a certain number of tourism agencies with approval licenses. Agencies must arrange tour guides to follow the entire trip. No individual trip is allowed.

    What was it like before?
    #12
  13. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Very costly, time consuming and a lot of red tape... who knows ~ they might streamline the process but as China works in mysterious ways all the time lets wait and see...
    #13
  14. lewi

    lewi dreamer

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    Any progress on this matter?
    Heading out to Mongolia soon and want to do China as well!
    #14
  15. CACH

    CACH Circumnavigator. Now heading south.

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    Planning to cross into China through Kyrgyzstan early April 2016. Looking to team up with a group all the way to Chengdu then Hong Kong or via alternative routes if required.
    #15
  16. Asiarider82

    Asiarider82 n00b

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    Hi guys. We are 2 motorcycle enthusiasts looking for a way to cross China, this year in August, from the Kyrgyzstan border, through Tibet, all the way to the Myanmar border. Have any of you done this or can you recommend me a travel agency able to take care of all the paperwork and special permits? Thanks a lot.
    #16
  17. Pcq

    Pcq Adventurer

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    Yes also looking to descend from Mongolia into China and down to Laos on own bike registered in Spain ... would that be possible ?
    #17
  18. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Yes.
    With a Chinese guide, preparations for this done months in advance.
    (and lots of $$$$$$$$..)
    #18
  19. aussiehusky

    aussiehusky Adventurer

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    I'm currently looking at the possibility of the ride from Aussie through to Europe, hoping to do it on a larger ADV bike, but what I am reading and finding, is this is becoming one of those dreams never to happen ??.
    If I understand it Thailand has restrictions on size of (cc) and they don't accept an IDL, China you need to use a local travel guide and this is quite an expensive exercise, gaining a Chinese licence is doable, but difficult due to communication issues.
    It would appear shipping the bike into Japan then across into Russia is maybe the only cost effective route. This is a shame as there is so much I would like to experience through SE Asia. Doing an arranged tour through these countries is in the MANY thousands of US $.

    If I have misunderstood this information would appreciate being corrected, it would be good to be told I have misunderstood all the restrictions and costs......
    TIA
    Pat S South Brisbane Qld
    #19
  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We've done the Aus to Europe in the last 22 months or so. It's doable for sure, a pain in the arse for sure, worth it for sure. Take a read here to give yourself some idea. http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/chasing-rainbows-rtw-on-a-h-a-t.1172713/

    Briefly you can bluff your way into Thailand from Malaysia and avoid the guide BS. Myanmar is impossible without a guide. The cost for us was $820 US ea, but bare in mind that includes hotels and some meals, so actually not too bad. China was 4 days and $1200 US. No matter how you do it, it's gonna cost. By far the biggest cost were visas, these are of course unavoidable no matter which way you go. Don't talk yourself out of it before you go.
    #20