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  1. #1 Few weeks in South West China 
    C-Moto Guru Brice's Avatar
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    This November, I took the opportunity to do a solo ride in some areas that I enjoyed during past trips with my 4WD. The journey is the destination, I visited very few touristic places, just wanted to ride and experience South West China, its landscapes and its people in an another way and different season than in a cage.

    The trip lasted one month, 6500km and crossed 5 provinces anti clockwise in South West and South China (GuangDong, GuangXi, GuiZhou, Sichuan and Yunnan). I have no precise itinerary to follow, the idea is to reach Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province then to head west on the Tibet-QingHai plateau then to go back by Yunnan. I'll try to avoid most of the big cities.

    To see the interactive Google map:

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...04b481987f42cd



    The bike is a QingQi QM 200 GY, a Chinese production that uses a copycat Suzuki DR200 engine. This is one of the best and most reliable dirt bike made locally. 200cc could seem small for western riders but considering the roads here it was good enough most of the time for me and my 30kg bag.

    Check this thread to know more about the QingQi range.

    This specific bike was owned first by CrazyCarl then ChinaV, two fellow members of this forum. When I bought it, it was better than a new one, ChinaV has reviewed and upgraded whatever might failed based on his experience during a previous trip in Yunnan and Sichuan with Carl. Being a local production, this bike shares many parts with the armada of 125/150cc basic Chinese bikes available everywhere plus Suzuki (HaoJue in China) has a huge network of resellers/mechanics so finding common parts should not be a big issue.

    Here the bike when I bought it from ChinaV.



    The objective of the first day was to leave as quick as possible GuangDong Province or at least the Pearl River Delta which is a crowded and industrial area.
    First stop, 80 km from the departure, I took a small ferry to cross one of the numerous rivers of the delta. Highways being forbidden to motorbikes I couldn't use the huge bridge behind the two folks.



    For the locals to see this kind of bike and a foreigner is always an event, they are curious about the price, where I'm going and where I come from.
    My Chinese being very limited, the conversation turns short often after few sentences. Ting Bu Dong (he doesn't understand), is always the last thing I hear...


    Cost of passage is less than $US1.


    Lot of traffic on the Delta. Rivers are used to carry goods and raw materials between factories and cargo ships.
    Like on the road, size matters here, the bigger has always priority.




    Another bridge just before Wuzhou my first stop at the end of the day. The water is clear which is a big change from the Delta, one of the most polluted regions of China. Wuzhou is less than 300km from my hometown, on good tarmac/cement roads my average speed is around 60/70 km/h. It seems slow compare to Western countries but roads here are full of hazards so being cautious is the best way to stay safe (more to come on this subject later).


    For this trip, I have a big bag which weight less than 30kg plus a small tank bag for papers, maps and electronic devices (GPS, camera, phone). The 200cc engine will carry me (100kg) and the bags for the coming month unabated, only the clutch then suspensions will suffer later on dirt roads. On the opposite side of the exhaust, you can see a black cylinder, this is the toolbox made of a sewer tube. No plate on the bike, it is legally registered and insured but the plate was lost during a previous trip, Police never mind of this.
    The side stand is a little bit short specially when the bike is loaded with the bag. I have to check that the road is flat.


    More to come, stay tune...
    Last edited by Brice; 03-05-2013 at 11:16 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Life Is Good! ChinaV's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... this looks interesting

    Wonder where that QingQi is going to end up next?

    Cheers!
    ChinaV
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  3. #3  
    C-Moto Guru Brice's Avatar
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    For now QingQi is suffering with the daughter which has decided it was hers!

    I'll like to see some pics of her in Xinjiang or abroad but unfortunately it won't be with me.
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  4. #4  
    C-Moto Senior kingmarty45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brice View Post
    for me and my 30kg bag.
    What have you got in there? A dead body?



    Looking forward to the rest of your report. For those of us that have never been to China it is nice to live vicariously through other forum members.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Kinlon 2008 200GY-SM
    Honda 2003 CB250
    Life is too short for traffic
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  5. #5  
    C-Moto Guru Brice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmarty45 View Post
    What have you got in there? A dead body?
    Just few pink panties as usual.

    Tent and camping gear (never used but in case I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere...), warm sleeping bag (was very useful), laptop (old heavy one), spare parts, warm clothing.
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  6. #6 When you get to Kunmimg, give me a call. 
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob
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    Hey Brice, great pics. Can't wait to see more. When you get to Kunming, you should give me a call. I can show you where the good coffee is. Maybe if you take your time getting here, i'll have my license and we go go cruise the country side.

    Cheers,
    Adam

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  7. #7  
    C-Moto Guru Brice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuJiangAmelliott View Post
    Hey Brice, great pics. Can't wait to see more. When you get to Kunming, you should give me a call. I can show you where the good coffee is. Maybe if you take your time getting here, i'll have my license and we go go cruise the country side.

    Cheers,
    Adam

    15969450513
    Thanks Adam but I'm already back to Zhuhai since few days. I avoided Kunming because of its bike restrictions and stayed in a small town south of the lake.
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  8. #8 missed kunming: mei wenti 
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    Bike restrictions must be for the non-local registered bikes. There are lots in the city here. ChinaV asked me about that and i didn't have a good response. I'll need to look into it. I won't be able to buy a bike until april probably, but saving up!

    keep on riding and posting, vicariously is my only motorcycle riding right now.
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  9. #9  
    C-Moto Guru Brice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuJiangAmelliott View Post
    Bike restrictions must be for the non-local registered bikes. There are lots in the city here. ChinaV asked me about that and i didn't have a good response. I'll need to look into it. I won't be able to buy a bike until april probably, but saving up!

    keep on riding and posting, vicariously is my only motorcycle riding right now.
    Many big cities forbid motorbikes in their inner perimeter but still allow electric bikes and scooters.

    As for Kunming, I read that from another rider who was caught by the local police and have to push his bike for few hundred meters because they didn't allow him to start it.

    You have a nice playfield around Kunming, lot of mountains and twisty roads.
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  10. #10  
    C-Moto Guru Brice's Avatar
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    Wuzhou in a foggy morning. For those who have seen Charley Boorman's By Any Means, this is the place he should have landed when he took a river boat from GuangZhou.


    But the boat was too slow for the TV show...


    In all cities, you have 2 kind of taxi. The classical sedan car like the green one and some local variant like tricycle, rickshaw with or without engine, motorbike... Here this a hack added to a 125cc.



    Motorbike ads are everywhere. For the vast majority of the Chinese people in rural areas, a bike which costs around $300 is the only vehicle they can afford. Average monthly salary is around $120.



    Back to the trip and after the morning fog, it was heavy rain the whole day on dirty roads, so not pics this day to save my camera from dying. I arrived in Liuzhou wet to the bones and cover with mud.

    The hotel's staff looked at me strangely and I was not sure they were ready to give me a warm welcome. I was trailing a brown line of mud like a giant snail. They certainly give up the idea of declining a room after realizing that I didn't understand what they said and I will wait in their lobby indefinitely for a room.

    My gears proved to be pathetically inefficient against the rain. In fact, most of my equipment is a shame, I'm a cheap rider and when the elements are against me I have to payback.


    After a hot shower, I feel better and start to shot again. First, the city from my hotel room. Liuzhou, is a mid size city in north Guangxi province, it was my first stop there and I found the place nice and clean.


    My hotel occupies half of a church building!


    It was late when I go for dinner so I have this nice restaurant for me alone. They serve a mix of Chinese/Japanese/Western food. I went for a Chinese dish less than $5.


    It was my last pic with this camera. The day after, the memory card failed. This is an old digital camera (Olympus Camedia) so is the memory so I was unable to find this specific model. After few research on the web, I went to a local chain store (Best Buy alike) and pick up the new Canon Powershot SX110, my initial choice, the Panasonic Lumix TZ15 (TZ5) being not available.

    In this kind of shop, you have to pay first at a cashier counter, they give you a ticket then they go to their back shop to pick up your box. I wanted to see the sealed box first before paying. This is an elementary precaution here if you want to avoid to end up with the demo camera. Again, my pitiful Chinese was an issue. By chance, a couple, waiting their turn, start talking to me in English. They helped me the whole process and I got my brand new camera. We start chatting and they told me they were both English teachers in a local high school. To thank them, I invited them for a dinner, they declined and instead proposed me to join them for a birthday party! Well why not this will be my first Chinese birthday party.

    First pic with the new camera, still in the shop.


    It was the birthday of the man, Lance, and a young girl, daughter of one of their colleagues. I asked to stop by a toy shop to buy a gift for the girl and some drinks for the party.

    I don't know what I eat but it was very good home made food.


    After the meal, the cake and since everybody speaks English, Happy Birthday...


    Lance was decided to bring me back to my hotel on his e-bike, until he discovered that some guy tried to steal it and broke the lock.


    So we loaded the bike on a van to bring it back to his home.



    Next day, back to the road. It was still raining a little bit, I stopped on this bridge to shot around.


    Their last trip...


    Fishermen


    New industrial China


    Next stop was Guilin, one of the most famous touristic places in China, known for its amazing karts mountains.




    Short trip on a taxi bike in the evening.




    To be continued...
    Last edited by Brice; 12-12-2008 at 04:00 AM. Reason: typo
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