Renting my way through Asia

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

  1. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    It's been another great adventure. Steve was/ is a great help for China travel. If others are contemplating riding in China I would suggest contacting him for advice or possibly arrange a tour with him. Starting with him got me adjusted. But for me traveling solo is exciting. Have a problem, deal with it.
    #1Fan, prince666 and Culcune like this.
  2. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    Good news you found a better chain.
    I am still in Ya'an doing needed work on my bike after the snow slide hehehe

    I thank you and you wife for sorting out that problem it's all done now a big thanks.
    Ride safe be carefull which I kown you will be.
    You still have a long way to go and enjoy the rest of your ride .
    Culcune likes this.
  3. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 80 miles
    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 4 by
    It was a short ride to Mt. Emei. You must park and take a bus up the mountain. I couldn't find information on which ticket to buy or where it would take me. So I bought the most expensive ticket. $13 for old people. And the bus ticket was $5. See my bus?
    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 2 by

    It started at 7800 feet. The bus ride took about 1/2 hour up many switch backs. As we went up it turned foggy. When the bus stopped I didn't know which way to go. There are several temples up there. I went to one that was a mile away. Started out wearing too many clothes.

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 5 by

    Sometimes you have to guess what signs mean.

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 12 by douglas lear, on Flickr


    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 8 by

    And of course it was up on slippery, uneven, always wet stone steps. I ready this is the Shaolin temples where the martial arts originated. I read fog could be bad here. And sometimes I could only see 50 feet in front of me. I think it might be very scenic without the fog.

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 9 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 7 by

    There was a lot of snow and ice on steps.

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 11 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 6 by


    I went back down to the bus staging area. There was a cable car that went to the top. I didn't, but should have. But with the fog I thought I probably wouldn't be able to see anything. So I took the bus back down the mountain and set my GPS for Xian. It wanted me to get on the toll roads. But I wanted to see things. But it said it was 1600 miles . If I sneak on the toll roads it's 500 miles. With only about a week left, what do you think I'm going to do?
    I saw these 3 guys as I was riding through a town. They would have their heads down on the ground like they were praying. Then they would get up and walk about 5 steps and repeat.

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 15 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-05 Mt. Emei 16 by



    So, I start look for a hotel. I'm not far out of Chengdu. I am at the Jinhui Hotel- $60.
  4. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    The Terracotta Army next that should be fun never seen them myself.
    Mt Emei is no fun when you have fog cover.
    We was lucky with the Tolls road in yunnan provinces ?
    Not all provinces are that easy, be carefull.
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  5. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-04-06 Ride to Xian 490 miles

    Not much to take pictures of today . I tried to sneak on to the toll road about 9 am. A man came out yelling at me. I kept going. I know I'm not supposed to be on the highway. But the other route would take 3 times as long. I don't have that much time. There were 2 toll stops between Chengdu and Xian. One was easy, cutting between some pylons. The other was close on the handlebars. I had to tilt the bike pretty far. Around noon I passed 4 cops on the shoulder of the road. One raised his hand at me. I just kept looking forward and continued on. Then an hour later I passed another cop by his car. He pointed and yelled something. I kept looking straight ahead. Didn't really have anything I wanted to talk to them about.

    90 miles before I got to Xian traffic was stopped. I wiggled past about 1/2 mile of them. At the front of the line I stopped. They were working in the tunnel. For an hour and a half. So I made 30 new friends. Had my picture taken 15 times. Quite a few spoke some English. One guy said there were 80 tunnels between us and Xian. I didn't count them, but I think I was in the tunnels more than I was out. All but one had lights.
    [​IMG]2017-04-06 Ride to Xian 3 by


    And about a dozen of the group were over the guard rail picking plants.
    [​IMG]2017-04-06 Ride to Xian 2 by
    I exited the toll road 15 miles before Xian. I thought it was less likely to have police there. I squeezed past a closed gate. Then I followed a dirty dusty road for 5-6 miles. The first place I stopped to ask about a room was $180. The second was $165. I said I wanted a a cheaper room. She gave me the promotional rate. $105. The center of the city looked expensive. It reminded me of Las Vegas. I took a couple pictures walking back from my bike.
    My hotel 1- The Brantley.

    [​IMG]2017-04-06 Ride to Xian 4 by

    And looking the other way.
    [​IMG]2017-04-06 Ride to Xian 5 by
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  6. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    The Shineray X Trail.

    I've wanted to do my review of the bike I'm riding.
    At first I thought it was very underpowered. I think most of that was caused by the altitude. It has adequate power. It's not close to the Honda 250 though. The speedometer and odometer broke at 334 kilometers.
    The fuel gauge was iffy the first tank full. Then it was useless.
    The left turn lights don't work anymore.
    The tachometer works most of the time. But if I have the lights on, it reads about 1/2 the actual rpm.
    The headlights are very weak.
    One of the 2 bolts that attach the headlights was missing.
    The high beam indicator is on when the beam is on low.
    The rear brakes are very weak.
    The front brakes are strong.
    Suspension is better than I expected.
    The seat is better than on the Honda.
    The panniers are tough to lock. And the 16 bolts attaching each should have acorn nuts on the inside. The long bolts tear things up.
    I think most of these things could be fixed easily if I had it at home. So I have just gotten used to it.

    I've changed the oil twice. It hasn't used any oil. And the oil has come out very clean.
    It has been a great bargain for me. Yes, things could have been better. But a better bike would have cost 3 to 4 times as much.

    I did have a fall/ slide on ice with the bike. The damage from that:
    1. Broke clutch lever. Replaced.
    2. Bent shifter lever. Obvious looking at it. But I don't notice it when riding. Still bent.
    3. Left pannier rack is bent in slightly.
    4. Bottom of the left pannier has minor scuffs. You can see if you get on your hands and knees.
    5. Wires pulled out of the left hand brush guard. They light the supplemental turn signal lights on the brush guard.

    Through April 7, I have approximately 2270 miles on it. I expect to add another 1000 miles going to Beijing.
    =========================================

    This bike will be for sale on April 13 or 14. I paid about $1350 for the bike for and 1 years insurance. I want $700 now. Half price. It isn't plated yet. My understanding is you have 30 days to put plates on when buying a new bike. And the next owner can plate and register wherever they want.
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  7. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    In Xian already that's nearly 800 km in a day that's not bad.
    It's sounds you are like a duck in water with the Toll roads now lol.
    Good move about getting off 15 km before the city.

    Ride safe.
    Culcune likes this.
  8. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    2017-04-07 Xian, China 80 miles

    My cheap $105 room at the 5 star Branley Hotel didn't include breakfast. So at 8 am I head out into a traffic brick. Luckily I've learned to pass on any side, ride on sidewalks, go in the wrong direction of traffic, and use my horn. I'll have an adjustment period when I go home. But I covered the 30 miles rather quickly. I got my non discounted $23 ticket and had no idea which way to go. I followed a group that was more interested in taking pictures of the trees and flowers.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C1 by

    A quarter mile later I arrived at some buildings. There are 4 pits. I visited 1, 2, & 3. What I didn't like. Your 15-20 feet above everything. And the lighting was poor. Basically, most was from skylights. All the pictures you see advertised are taken from ground level and within arms reach. Of course you can't allow the mobs of tourists that close.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C68 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C67 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C64 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C63 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C88 by


    Next I went looking for the Forest of Stone Steles. It is one of the centers of ancient Chinese stone-engraving. I mistakenly bought a $9 ticket to the adjacent Daming Palace. It was a bust. It was built in the late 600's. I guess it burned down. Because all that's left is stone and foundations.

    When I left there I found a run down building with the words Stone Steles on it. After walking around the closed looking building, I got on the bike and headed to the Xian City Wall. On the way I finally hit reserve on my gas tank. I'd read about getting gas in some areas. They think it's safer to park the motorcycle 30 feet away. Then they fill a spouted bucket. You take that and pour it into your tank. You guess how much you need.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C9 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C8 by

    This is something I've seen a lot of in China. I call it cluster building. You design a 30 or 40 story building. Then you build 10 or 20 identical ones side by side.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C11 by


    I drove half way around the city wall looking for a place to park. A pedestrian cop stopped me and said whatever to me. I opened the front of my helmet and gave him some English. He waved me on. 2 minutes later I went around a sharp curve and a police car going the other way almost hits me. He blocked the whole road. 4 cops jump out real fast. I'm thinking there must be a bank robbery and they are the swat team. Until.....they all run over to me. They point to the bike. I opened my helmet. They all smiled and waved me on. In this big city, I haven't seen another gasoline powered motorcycle. Before I left the hotel, I asked if I was allowed to ride in the city. The manager said I could. Locals can't. So that's why the police just smiled and waved me on.

    I finally found a place to park the bike. Then I walked about a mile to the steps to the top of the wall.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C111 by

    After buying an $8 ticket. At the top I rented a bicycle. I think it was about 7 or 8 dollars. But I was tired of walking. I rode about a mile out. Not near enough to go around.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C119 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C118 by

    But at a point, it's all the same. So I returned the bicycle and walked back to my Shineray. Walking back next to the wall, you have a moat on the other side of the sidewalk. It's maybe 100 feet across.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C108 by

    The area between the wall and the moat is park like setting.
    Many people exercising.

    And many playing traditional music. I stopped and videoed a couple times.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C102 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C105 by
    Wish I had more time. But it was getting late and I wanted to see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

    I think the ticket to the Pagoda area was 7 or 8 dollars. When you get to the Pagoda it cost another $5 if you want to climb the steps to the top. Nothing there except a better view of the area. Of course I can't resist climbing to the top of anything.

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C26 by

    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C47 by

    Here's the view. Mostly smog.
    [​IMG]2017-04-07 Terra Cotta, Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian C34 by

    Now dark is closing in. So I ride back to the hotel. I think I passed it twice before I pulled in.
    roadcapDen, #1Fan, Mofrid and 2 others like this.
  9. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    Best day ride report very Intresting to read.
    From adding up the amounts you paid today it comes to about $55 ? Not a cheap day , sorry to hear you was unable to receive the over 60 discount.
    From you remarks about riding in all directions left,right pavements made me laugh.
    Glad to hear you are using the bikes horn alot.
    Now with the local swat police stopping you and letting you go.
    Who says now you can't ride China on a motoerbike without a tour guild and no Chinese DL?
    Good on you mate .
    Let's hope you get to the end with as little problems as you have had so far lol
    I leave Ya'an in the morring heading north.
    Steve
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  10. Koonzee

    Koonzee Been here awhile

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    Doogle: Hello. Thank you for your impressions of the Shineray motorcycle and the frequent posts. I know it is time consuming. Your posts regarding your LEO encounters are very helpful and insightful. It is nice to learn you have acclimated to the local traffic. I am sure the Shineray horn is getting a work-out!
    Ride safely!
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  11. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    Stephen, you certainly empowered me with many of the above mentioned. SD Splash on the below post, may be interested in riding China. You 2 may want to communicate by PM.
  12. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

    Joined:
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    I spend a lot of time writing the reports. A lot of the time is picture uploads, reducing, renaming, moving back and forth on SD cards, and saving to the cloud. And a great deal of time is from slow internet or servers. The last 2 nights I was up past midnight and 1 am working on it.
    Forums are such a great resource for me. I need to add to the resource myself. It enables others to think- I could do that if Doogie can. And I need it to remember what I actually did.
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  13. Koonzee

    Koonzee Been here awhile

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    Doogle: (Nǐ hǎo!) Hello again. Thanks again for your time and effort! I am personally aware of the frustration of poor or slow Internet access in China. It is often hit or miss. Lately, I have been wondering about the tools you are using to navigate. I have read on MCM about China skewing or distorting the accuracy of GPS. How is your experience with navigating via GPS? I assume you obtain English text otherwise you couldn't use it. Are you complementing the satellite GPS with offline open street maps for your phone/GPS or simply a paper map? Are you able to search for hotels, gas, attractions and grocery stores via your GPS? Please reply whenever you have time to kill.... perhaps in a Beijing airport. Thanks again Doogle! Ride safely. (Zàijiàn)
  14. Koonzee

    Koonzee Been here awhile

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    Doogle: Sorry....I should have checked Garmin.com before writing the previous post. I have confirmed Garmin offers maps for China with points of interest. Good news! Did you purchase the following? TIA! ttyl

    City Navigator® China NT - English; PART NUMBER: 010-D0084-00; $120
    Navigate the streets with confidence. This product provides detailed road maps and points of interest for your device, so you can navigate with exact, turn-by-turn directions to any address or intersection.
    Displays roads and names in pin-yin English.
    Includes detailed coverage for more than 980 cities, including Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao and Qingdao.
    Contains nearly 19 million POIs, including sports venues, restaurants, hotels, airports and train stations.

    nüMaps Onetime™ City Navigator® China NT: 010-D0775-01; $44 (one time update)
    Streets change and businesses open and close. Get the most up-to-date map data on your device with this single map update.
    Updated detailed street maps.
    Updated points of interest, such as gas stations, parking garages, restaurants, hotels and ATM locations.
    Faster, more accurate routing when you drive with the latest map information.
  15. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    I've never bought a map. I'd rather be lost. I use OSM maps- free. They have a few hotels and POI's. The Maps ME app is very good. I use it from my phone when OSM isn't enough. No problems with the GPS. China doesn't control the satellites the USA put in the sky. Another app that Stephen got me using is WeChat. An excellent communication tool. I don't use Skype anymore.
  16. Koonzee

    Koonzee Been here awhile

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    Noted. Thank you Doogle!
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  17. Koonzee

    Koonzee Been here awhile

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    Doogle: Hello again. I have another quick question that may also be on the minds of others following this thread. Based on your posts, you have obviously been successful securing hotels and obtaining fuel. Have you ever been refused service at a hotel or service station due to being a foreigner? I have read other ride reports of foreigners being refused service. Also, have you noticed any of the more affordable budget hotels along the major roads that are frequently used by truck drivers and budget travelers? I assume you may have learned to seek out more expensive international hotels with English speaking staff. I have stayed at 7-Days Inn many times and find the hotels a great value for a budget traveler... clean and simple. After browsing their English website for a while, I don't think securing an advanced reservation is very convenient or possible. Unfortunately, the interface fails to complete a hotel name/location search. I obtained the same result while using IE and Chrome. (If you wish to try, the URL is 7DaysInn.com Good luck.) Thanks in advance! Ride safely.
  18. Smackit

    Smackit Life Is Good

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    Location:
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    Hotel rejection can happen if the hotel is not licensed to server foreigners. Many smaller hotels with budget accommodations do not have the license, so they won't risk serving foreign travelers. This is all based on an old system where foreigners need to register their location every day. Hotels register you at check in so the authorities can keep tabs on where you are. Most cities will have a licensed budget hotel somewhere, but a lot of smaller towns only have one "foreigner approved" hotel, and it's usually the most expensive place in town. I don't think I ever made a single hotel reservation the entire 17 years I lived in China. You never know how far you're going to get in a day due to road issues and the price is the same. I always used moto drivers to find a decent hotel, most of the time it was really easy.
  19. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can

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    2017-04-08 Some days you get all the brakes. Sometimes you have no brakes. Sanmenxia- 180 miles

    It was a drizzly day. Then rain in the afternoon. A few roads changed course recently and had me backtracking some. I even got to do a little dirt and mud off roading.
    [​IMG]2017-04-08 Sanmenxia1 by

    Staying off the toll roads is a challenge. I did my best begging at one toll booth I accidentally arrived at. 5 people came out and told me no. If I went on the toll roads, I wouldn't have seen this funeral procession.
    [​IMG]2017-04-08 Sanmenxia4 by

    And when my rear brakes went out I probably wouldn't have found this car repair shop. When I got to this shop and indicated my rear brake reservoir was empty 4 guys came over. They added fluid and pumped the brake. My rubber hose was leaking.

    [​IMG]2017-04-08 Sanmenxia9 by


    [​IMG]2017-04-08 Sanmenxia10 by

    On the phone for a while, the owner said he could get me one that would work in 2 hours. Then he drove off. His son said he would show me where I could eat. His English was limited. But it was good enough. I told him what I wanted and he ordered for both of us. $3.30 total.
    He looks 15. But he is 25 years old.

    [​IMG]2017-04-08 Sanmenxia8 by

    I asked if many white people came through here. He said I was the first. I am special. Soon after returning to the shop, the new line was installed and I was on my way.

    [​IMG]2017-04-08 Sanmenxia6 by

    It was raining and a little muddy and I decided to stop early. A lot of towns didn't seem to have hotels. Here in Sanmenxia I thought I was in the Twilight Zone again. Like other cities I've gone through, there are many, many huge apartment buildings that are empty. I'm in the Du Ting Yi Hotel @ $42. It's very nice. But 50 feet out my window is another apartment building under construction. And a foundation for another. Kind of spooky.

    [​IMG]2017-04-08 Sanmenxia14 by

    Photobucket or my Internet is toooo slow to show pictures now. I'll try to add them later.
  20. prince666

    prince666 Adventurer

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    As I mention before not all toll roads are easy to get on.
    If the other roads get bad then just find a out of town toll entrey ramp.

    AND DON'T STOP.

    Good to hear you now know what was the problem with the back brake.
    First white man seen in that town lol
    At times you fill like you just landed on Mars .
    Ride safe
    Steve
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