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  1. #1 Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    C-Moto Noob
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    Hi,

    This is Chee Yong , i am from Malaysia and currently working in Ireland , And I and My friends own a Kawasaki Er6n and Kawasaki Z250 Both are Malaysia Version. We wish to start our riding from malaysia to taiwan on this July. But we are having problem on riding in china , because we cant get the information and also dont know how to get the legal authority permit to ride in china , can you please help? We Need Help From Kawasaki Malaysia , Kawasaki Thailand , Kawasaki Vietnam , Kawasaki China , Kawasaki Taiwan 。 Thank for taking you time to read this

    My Contact Detail :

    Email :cheeyong12345@gmail.com
    Phone : +353831841545
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  2. #2 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
     

  3. #3 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    Crazy Jon Jonsims's Avatar
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    Guys.. I comiserate.. China is a bit tricky.. They don't like people without Chinese driving licenses in the country driving. If you do you need a guide.. A chinese person with a motorcycle to show you the way. I do believe you can get a tourist driving license but then I still think you need the "tour guide"... Apart from that the paperwork is pretty standard .. carnet and all that.. You should take your buts to the Chinese embassy.. It could be a step in the right direction.


    Quote Originally Posted by cytan1989 View Post
    Hi,

    This is Chee Yong , i am from Malaysia and currently working in Ireland , And I and My friends own a Kawasaki Er6n and Kawasaki Z250 Both are Malaysia Version. We wish to start our riding from malaysia to taiwan on this July. But we are having problem on riding in china , because we cant get the information and also dont know how to get the legal authority permit to ride in china , can you please help? We Need Help From Kawasaki Malaysia , Kawasaki Thailand , Kawasaki Vietnam , Kawasaki China , Kawasaki Taiwan 。 Thank for taking you time to read this

    My Contact Detail :

    Email :cheeyong12345@gmail.com
    Phone : +353831841545
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  4. #4 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Overlanding China: Self-Drive/Ride without a Guide is Possible.

    After our unforgettable and blissfully unguided self-drive traverse of China (and countless requests for more details from fellow travellers (via the writers post on HUBB and bl0g) it is now time to finally introduce you to the man who made it all possible. A man willing to go to much effort in order to help fellow adventurers.

    Meet Ricard Tomas Herrero. A Spanish businessman who has been living and working in and out of China for over 20 years.

    China Tierra de Aventura (F@cebook link) is his baby, sort to speak (sic), his pet project. It is not hugely known nor is it widely publicized, which is why it took me over a year to discover it even existed. It seemed that this tour company was very much an insider’s secret…one we were elated to uncover!

    While Ricard has been running phenomenal motorbike trips from Madrid to Beijing every year for over a decade, this is the first time he has organised a fully independent crossing of China for overland bikers. And he’s willing to do more!
    Ricard has a fantastic team of fixers spread out all over China, people ready to help and support you through the logistical issues you are bound to come across as you ride through the country. They are all just a phone call away but otherwise, you are free to ride as you wish, within certain boundaries of course. Tibet, for example, still requires a guide to be with you 24 hours a day.

    Want to be among the first to ride through China on your own? Here’s your chance!

    It’s important to note, however, that it still ain’t gonna be a walk in the park. It will take lots of preparation time, a substantial amount of money (still only a mere fraction of a guided tour) and much resourcefulness on the part of whoever tackles it. Support may be there, but never right next to you to translate, negotiate, argue and organize. You must still be able to tackle all that on your own. We were joined by Michael Stumman Nielsen (a motorbiking friend of ours from Denmark) and three proved to be an ideal number. As with all overlanding travel destinations, China can be quite intense, so it’s ideal to have two co-travellers to share the load and stress!

    Not for the novice overlander I’d say, but if you have a few experiences up your sleeve, and don’t mind a wee challenge, then a fully independent China crossing promises to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    What’s included?
    Ricard will organize all the documentation you will need. This will take a minimum of 3 months to organize. Your entry must still be guided by a local agent, who will escort you up to the first major city, where you will get a Chinese driver’s licence and vehicle number plate. You will be sent on your merry lonesome way, soon thereafter. You can have your hand held, figuratively speaking, as much or as little as you wish, depending on how confident you feel. As an example: we had ‘fixers’ escort us through the first two major cities and after that, once we realized that with a GPS and some pre-planning we could go it alone, and requested no more escorts. It worked a treat.

    We may have been the very first foreign overlanders to have crossed through China legally, and independently, with our own foreign-registered vehicle. We appreciate how special this experience is and how it has the potential of revolutionizing the well-trodden overlanding route from Europe to South East Asia. No more shipments from India or Russia and no more cargo flights from Kathmandu to Bangkok. Not only is this option now a reality, but it is within the reach or even the most budget-conscious traveller.

    As a token of our appreciation towards Ricard and his team, all we want to do now, is to pay it forward to fellow travellers.
    Should you have any questions, before contacting Ricard for a quote, do not hesitate to contact me either though this site’s contact page or my Globetrotter Guidebook’s FB page. If you prefer to write in German, please contact Chris on Hinter Dem Horizont Links (sic).
    We will be more than happy to guide you through the preparations, just as Ricard was happy to guide us through the entire process.

    Happy travels through China!

    Yours
    Laura & Chris x

    PS. Welcome newcomers! For all who are new to my site, here is a link to my first China-crossing blog, where I detail HOW we managed to convince Ricard that a self-drive, guide-less tour would be perfectly legal. Click here for more!

    PSS. Edited 10th November 2014. Please do note that I share Ricard’s email address on the last China blog. PLEASE READ the next post and the one after so you are well aware of ALL that concerns crossing China without a guide. Cheers!
    Last edited by bikerdoc; 02-15-2015 at 03:51 AM.
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  5. #5 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Overlanding China: What You Need to Know before You Go!

    I received a lovely email yesterday, from a fellow overlander who referred to his own recent guided tour of China as ‘the old fashioned way’. It made me smile Indeed, China is opening up to foreign overland tourism and although it will still be years before one can simply show up at the border, get an instant visa and just carry on; it is still lovely to think that at the very least, the REQUIREMENT to cross as part of a fully guided tour is now obsolete.

    Over the past few days, since news of our independent traverse hit the virtual overlanding world, we’ve been inundated with emails from palpably excited overlanders wanting to follow suit. This is great! For the sake of good time management, however, I thought it best to write separate and more detailed blog posts about all the things Michael, Chris and I have learnt throughout our preparation and journey.
    The following are details which you should know even BEFORE you contact Ricard for a quote. Please don’t hold me to them like your life depended on it! Things in China can change sporadically and swiftly, so understand that all of the below-mentioned was correct at time of print and was true for us

    Let’s get started!

    K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly!)

    Although I know that many of you are experienced overlanders, I also know that there will be many reading this post who are newbies to the game. The last thing I want to do…is scare them off. So, before you go on reading all the ins and outs, I’ll give you a brief rundown of the procedure so that everyone realizes just how simple this process can be. We may have had 18 months of preparation work, but 2/3 of the time was just spent trying to find an agreeable agent. That’s now done (you are very welcome )

    Here’s all YOU need to do:

    Step1: Grab a world map, decide where you want to enter and exit China and what you want to see along the way, bearing in mind that the country is HUGE. Next, decide WHEN you want to go, bearing in mind again that the best months are August, September and October.

    Step 2: 6 months before your intended crossing email Ricard and outline your route & dates. He will tell you if this is a feasible plan. If it’s not (due to closed roads because of flooding or snowfall) he will recommend an alternative.

    Step 3: At the same time, you should also decide where you will apply for your Chinese visa. Some places will only issue an extendable 30 day visa whilst others can issue a 3 month visa. For obvious reasons, the more time the merrier. More info on this later.

    Step 4: 3 months before entering China, Ricard will ask you to submit your documentation. A detailed list of what you need is outlined below. Await confirmation from him somewhere close to your intended entry point.

    Step 5: Enter China. Have a ball!

    This is basically all there is to it!

    Now….here’s a more detailed account of everything else you may want to know.

    China independently: why you still need to go through an agent
    It may now be easier than ever to traverse China without a guide…but you’ll still need to get permits to cross into the country, out of the country and for each province you wish to visit. As of now, there is no way for a foreigner to obtain these permits on their own. Perhaps one day that will change, but for the time being, only a registered Chinese travel agency can put in an application.

    Legalities of an un-guided tour: why it works
    As of Feb 2013 foreigners have been allowed to come into China, rent a car/motorbike/etc and drive through the country uninhibited. Moreover, although there are current restrictions in place which specifically state that foreign overlanders are to be escorted through Xinjiang and Tibet (for security reasons) there are no such official restrictions for ANY of the other provinces. Of all the 32 agencies we contacted prior to crossing, three confirmed this but only China Tierra de Aventura, (although a little reluctant initially to be the first to ‘test the waters’) decided to take on the challenge. CTA also discovered that when you DO need to be escorted by a guide, a local Chinese speaking person will suffice. He/she doesn’t have to be an ‘official’ guide or anyone working for a travel agency. Essentially, what Ricard organized for us was a team of local ‘friends’ in a few strategic places, who could meet up with us and help us find our way through a major city, a hotel, or anything else we may have needed. This worked superbly and we met some truly amazing people this way!

    We chose to have ‘friends’ for the first week or so and then felt confident enough to do the rest unaided.

    All other travel agencies in China don’t much care if you have an amazing time or not. They are making way too much money, charging groups $10,000 for a stressful and rather un-fun 30 day crossing of the country, so I gather it will take a while before they also join the party. Oh well…bad luck for them!

    Understanding the legalities: how it works
    Having said all the above, it would help if you understood a little of how China works. First of all, it’s important to realize that China is a conglomerate of 22 provinces, each boasting its own laws, restrictions and ‘strictness’, if you will. Moreover, all these laws can change at a moment’s notice if something happens and then, usually, only in the area affected.

    Eg. When the Muslim Imam of Kashgar was murdered a few months ago, the government decided that all overlanding foreigners must be guidedby a military escort through Xinjiang at all times. Never mind that backpackers were catching buses without a problem; it was a random restriction placed solely on overlanders. This restriction lasted for two weeks.

    Border clashes with neighbours also mean that border crossings (especially in Xinjiang) can close momentarily, re-open whenever and shut for good at very short notice. That’s just the way it is…so no matter what you have in mind, or what Ricard can organize for you, there will still be much out of his (and your) control. Go with the flow is the best tip I can give! Deal with delays, re-routes of whatevers as calmly as you can and know that ALL gets eventually resolved, in one way or another.

    Will it work the same for all overlanders?
    Now here’s a tricky one! When I was first asked this question, my gut instinct was to reply ‘sure, why not?’ yet I have since learnt that a fellow vagabond, on a ‘bad-ass’ camper truck had some issue recently because he was only issued a car driving licence in China and the police made a fuss because he should have had a truck licence instead. So my answer now is: ‘You’ll need to ask Ricard!’ From what I know, motorbikes and cars are same same, but I never thought to ask if there would be issues with larger overlanding vehicles. Best ask him.

    What will your permits include?
    Permits for your vehicle for each individual province you wish to cross as well as permits for the specific borders you wish to use. You will also get a Chinese driver’s licence and vehicle number plate at the first major city past the border. You’ll need to organize your own Visa just BEFORE Ricard puts in your application, as your permits must include your visa number.

    We copied all our permits (38 pages in total) and also had them translated by a lovely Chinese speaking traveller we met. We wanted to understand exactly what they said. They went so far as to specify cities along our route and how much time we were allowed in Xinjiang Province.

    Preparation Time & documents needed
    Have all of the following ready long before Ricard asks you to submit them. The application process takes about 12 weeks.
    -copy of your passport
    -copy of your Chinese Visa
    -copy of your driver’s licence
    -copy of your vehicle’s last inspection report
    -copy of your vehicle’s registration
    -vehicle details (make/model/colour/rego/chassis number/engine number/year of manufacture)
    -photo of your vehicle, against a white background, of each side
    -photo of you, against a white background-headshot (do not wear a white T-shirt or you’ll be rejected!)

    Cost
    I am very reluctant to mention the price the three of us paid to cross China, for one main reason: I’d hate for anyone to hold Ricard (and China Tierra de Aventura) to one specific price, when I know that it can fluctuate depending on how many people are crossing together and, more importantly, which borders they use and provinces they intend to transit. Yes…some borders are more expensive than others, just like some province permits are cheaper. If you are serious about a China crossing, and have done at least some research, you’d know that a 30-day guided tour costs about $10,000 if you go it alone, and less if you can find other vehicles to join your group and share the costs of the guide. Suffice it to say that, for obvious reasons, driving independently will cost much less PLUS it’s the same price whether you stay one month or two!

    Time Limit in China
    Vehicle permits expire after 2 months and can’t be renewed, so 8 weeks is the maximum amount of time you can stay in China with your own vehicle. I would strongly suggest, if you can, to get a 3-month visa in advance. We could only obtain a 30 day visa in Kyrgyzstan and had to rush to get it renewed in Shangrila (where we got a further 30 days). If you can save yourself that hassle it will be well worth your while.

    Restrictions
    Once you work out a feasible route with Ricard, he will apply for your permits and will specify the places you want to visit and roads you want to take. These details will be outlined on your permits.
    NB. You MUST stick to your permitted route and can’t be found wandering off too far. Sure…if there is a temple, lake or attraction 50kms off-course it’s fine, as long as it doesn’t entail crossing into a province for which you have no permit. That’s the biggest no-no!

    Although this takes away the freedom to simply change your course as the wind takes you, we found it to be totally fine. If there was a place we wanted to see, but was not on our permit, we simply parked up the bikes in a hotel/guesthouse for a couple of days and visited by bus instead. This was also a lovely way to break up the bike riding VS touristy days. Consider including as many places as you can on the itinerary you send to Ricard, so as to give you even more freedom of movement. Of course, the cost will increase with each new province you add to your list.

    Keep in mind that if you do travel with mates, you will be bound to travel with them the entire time, together. Permits will still treat you as a ‘group’ so you are not allowed to ride alone or cross in or out of the country at different times if the permits are issued to you all as a group. All for one and one for all it is!

    Trust the man!
    No matter what anyone says (including me!) the only person you should only ever listen to is Ricard. If he says that, for whatever reason, you MUST be escorted by a guide for a particular stretch, then don’t fight the man…but trust him. He’s the only one who knows what’s going on at the time of your crossing and, most importantly, you should know that he has your best interest at heart. All he wants to do is help out fellow overlanders. We all know that every now and then, when travelling, one comes across a pure gem, one of those rare, genuine human beings who just want to help others. Ricard is one of those people. Just trust.

    Should you still team up with others?
    As I mentioned previously, Chris and I were joined by our motorbiking friend Michael for this traverse. We reasoned that three would be a safe bet: an extra buddy at hand in case of an accident or any trouble can be advantageous, yet any more and we’d increase the possibility of attracting unwanted attention by the police. Although you are in every right to travel unguided through China, it’s safe to assume that it will take years before local authorities get used to seeing large numbers of independent foreign overlanders. For the time being, we suggest you keep a low profile, as we did, and keep numbers to a minimum. We were never stopped, questioned or harassed. Naturally, it is much easier for two or three heads to lay low, rather than 12.

    Moreover, one of the main contributing forces behind our insistence to go it alone was that we did not want to travel for two months with half a dozen other overlanders whom we did not know. Travelling 24/7 with the love of your life can be challenging enough! The last thing we wanted was to deal with 12 people, 36 personalities and 1001 different opinions. Personally, I’d say ‘look for a travel partner if you are alone but don’t worry about it if you’re a couple’. You’ll be alright.

    Exactly how difficult was it, in the end?
    Most of the stress associated with our crossing was due to our own personal uncertainties and insecurities. Due to the fact that we had not known anyone to do this before, we were never really sure of what to expect. For the first week we were riding somewhat on tender hooks. Would we be stopped after 5kms of alone travel? Will the police hassle us despite having all our docs in order? What if we get arrested??!!

    What if something goes wrong?
    In retrospect, the ‘business’ of crossing into and through China was no more difficult than many other countries we have visited. If you have ever gone through the rigmarole of traversing Lake Nasser from Sudan to Egypt (or vice versa) you may also find it all a walk in the park, by comparison.

    If you have experiences dealing with highly bureaucratic countries then let us assure you that you will have no problems. If you have never overlanded outside of developed, western countries then sure, China may not be the best place to start. However, as I’m one to dive into the deep end of things, I think China would be actually the ideal first major overlanding experience. Get this under your belt and you will certainly be ready to take on the world! Moreover, China isn’t exactly just around the corner for most of us: if you can make it to one of its outer borders it means you have travelled far and experienced lots! Be confident that you can handle it well and you will.
    I bid you farewell now from tropical Laos and see you soon with another post: ‘what you need to know once you are IN China’

    Sabaidii!
    Laura x

    PS. You can contact Ricard either through the CTA FB page or directly via email (rtomas@chinatierradeaventura.com). Please note that Ricard travels extensively and may be offline for extended periods of time. I know, from experience, that he will always reply to emails…it may just take a couple of weeks at times!
    Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist
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  6. #6 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Overlanding China: What You Need to Know when IN China

    Hi again everyone, hope this finds you well, happy and (half-way) informed about the ins and outs of overlanding in China independently. With this post I hope to answer all the remaining questions you may have about your own adventurous escapade through the fascinating Middle Kingdom

    Before I go into greater details about crossing China, I wanted to take a moment to answer three very, very important questions I am still receiving on a daily basis.

    1) Can you cross Tibet unguided? ***TIBET AND XINJIANG PROVINCE ARE STILL UNDER GUIDE RESTRICTIONS*** You will still absolutely and unequivocally need a guide with you for these two provinces. I thought I was clear in my previous post but obviously I was not

    Whilst Tibet is pretty constant and no-one envisages the restriction there to end any time soon, the situation in Xinjiang is a little murky. Guidelines here fluctuate sporadically depending on the latest ethnic clashes. Ricard will tell you what restrictions apply at the time of YOUR crossing.

    2) How much can you expect to see during your trip? China is absolutely HUGE so you should be realistic about just how much of the country you can visit. Two months is still the maximum time allowed by all your vehicle permits, so you must plan accordingly.

    I’ll be the first to admit that Chris and I travel at snail-speed compared to 99% of fellow overlanders. On average, we cover a distance of 1,000kms a month. Nevertheless, a traverse of China is a mammoth task even for the speediest of Gonzaleses! One of the major turn offs of a standard 30-day guided tour (in the past, many overlanders on a very tight budget booked an even SHORTER tour, i.e. 14 days for 7500km, in order to save on the guide’s daily fee), is the incessant need to travel 400, 500 or 600km every single day in order to follow a set itinerary. That’s just insane! On top of the kilometres, one must find time to sightsee, absorb the atmosphere, learn a little of the culture, chill out with locals and, of course, eat and sleep. What usually ends up happening is that all that one does is eat, sleep and drive. That’s it.

    If for whatever reason you only have a month to cross China when driving independently, then – sorry to say this – but your itinerary will STILL feel as rushed as on a guided tour. The benefit of an unguided self-drive however, is that you can extend your visa by an extra month for only $20, double your time and halve your speed! THIS is what makes it priceless.

    **Our story: we entered China from Kyrgyzstan at the Torugart Pass border, and exited at the Mohan border into Laos. We covered 7,500kms in 8 weeks BUT over 5,000km of that was in the first month alone. This was due to the fact that the first place on our route where we could easily get a visa extension was Shangrila in the south-west. The ride from Xinjiang to Yunnan Province in such a short time was tough and felt rushed, even though we had no guide to push us onwards…we had to push ourselves! Of course, having a whole month to explore Yunnan Province, considered by many to be the most beautiful, was just bliss in the end **

    If you have the chance to get a 3 month visa than DO so and avoid having to rush to the first city where you can get a visa extension. Note that you can’t extend in every major city! If you can only get a 30 day visa like us, then ask Ricard about extension options along your intended route and choose wisely!

    3) Why are we doing this (what’s in it for us)? When I first received this question I was a little put off. I thought it was obvious: doesn’t everyone have the same travel philosophy of ‘paying it forward’ as we do? Perhaps not…
    Chris and I have, between us, a combined travel history spanning 28 consecutive years (18 for him, 10 for me) If we have learnt anything in the last few decades it’s that as overlanders, we get NOWHERE without help, advice and counsel from those who have come before us. Yes of course you can be a pioneer in a certain country but how blissfully easy is it when someone has done it before and can give you some hints? I love unpredictability and adventure as much as the next globetrotter…but not when it comes to logistics and bureaucracy. Those are two things I wish to spend as little time and effort on, as I possibly can.

    We have both certainly benefitted from other’s help innumerable times, so we see our China crossing success as a chance to ‘pay it forward’. We just want to give something back.

    (PS. On this note…if anyone has any info about how we might be able to get our 650cc motorbikes into Vietnam WITHOUT a guided tour, please message me! )

    And there is one more reason why I am so keen to get all this info out there and shared. Ricard, as I have mentioned before, is an extremely successful businessman who runs about half a dozen companies simultaneously. He runs his China touring business almost as a hobby. He’s not in it for the money or the glory…he’s a die-hard adventure motorbiker who loves nothing more than to help out fellow travellers, that’s all. What I fear, however, is that if he is inundated with countless requests and questions (half of which are sent merely out of curiosity rather than serious intent) he may just shut up shop and consider it all too much hard work. This would be a tragedy for the overlanding world! We’ve just managed to find ONE agent happy to open up China to us…let’s not scare him off!

    So, lovely peeps, it looks like you’re stuck with me for the time being! Ah!

    IF, after reading ALL my posts about China, you are still unsure of HOW it all works, then please message me, OK? When you are ready to receive a quote and make your plans, then go ahead and email Ricard. Now let’s get show on the road…here are the most important things to consider once you are IN China.

    1) Get a local SIM card Your first order of business, once you have successfully crossed the border into China, will be to while away a whole day at the Traffic Authority Offices of the nearest city, getting your driver’s licence and vehicle number plates. You will be with a local agent for this part, so you won’t have to do much except get a little bored. Your second priority will be to get a local SIM card for your mobile phone. This is imperative to keep in touch with Ricard and anyone else you’ll meet (and need assistance from) along the way. There are several companies to choose from; we found UNICOM to be sufficiently good. We paid 100RMB (about $16) for a month’s unlimited use.

    2) Don’t think of China as one nation with uniform regulations Each province (there are 22 in total) is an entity onto itself with its own regulations. They care only about what happens within their invisible borders, so in effect it makes China, as a whole, a rather lawless country. What does it mean for you? That it doesn’t really matter what Beijing says or your paperwork states, if you find an asshole policemen who thinks you should pay a fine or fee for this or that, then HE is the only one you must convince to let you go. He is the law, or at least he is as long as you are standing in front of him. This is not especially unique: many, many countries operate like this around the world. If you’ve ever been on a road-trip through Africa, Russia or parts of Central America, you will know what I’m talking about.

    3) You can pretty much ignore the police. Everyone else does As a Westerner we are quite used to showing respect and reverence to police men and women. In China, that is an almost laughable concept. We’ve seen people speed over the limit, make illegal turns and do whatever on earth they wanted right in front of patrol cars, without suffering an iota of repercussion. No matter how ‘fearful’ you may be thanks to our own western media’s perception of China’s authoritarian rule, let us tell you that the reality is quite different. China is an enormous country with over 1.3 billion people. There is no government on earth that could ever reign over the whole lot with an iron fist. From a visitor’s point of view, this would have to be one of the most relaxed countries I have ever experienced. People seem to do whatever they please, wherever and whenever they want to do it. It’s totally bizarre and it was a lovely surprise!

    By law, motorbikes are not allowed on highways (I think Laura is referring to Epressways here), yet we found this to be an overlooked restriction in every province we crossed except for Yunnan. Bikes, scooters, donkey carts and herds of cows use the highway (again this should read Expressway) constantly, simply bypassing the toll gates on the curb-side. Even the cows do this, it’s so crazy!

    After the first few days, when we realized this was happening (we saw everyone entering and exiting) we simply followed suit. The only time we ever got yelled at was by the side of a toll booth in Yunnan, near the city of Kunming. We just waved hello, kept riding, and took the first exit off the highway. Perhaps they are stricter in certain areas, we don’t know for sure. Actually, for all we know the toll-booth lady could have just been calling us over for a photo…that’s always possible in China

    Of course, this does not mean that the penalties for causing an accident would not be severe.

    4) Chinese authorities are really not all that efficient Whilst you’re starting to get a clearer (I hope!) picture of how China works, it’s also wise to remember that the Chinese may be a bureaucratic lot, but they never came across as overly officious. Every single time a policeman or border guard was faced with three foreign motorbikers who spoke no Chinese and played dumb, they soon gave up trying to ask us questions and just let us carry on. Personally, I think that they just did not know what to do with us and wanted no hassles themselves. This translated to no hassles for us J

    5) Surprisingly, you may have an easier time WITHOUT a guide On this point, I wager a guess that travelling WITHOUT a local guide was to our benefit. The only true issue we had was when we tried to cross the border into Laos. The guard requested a $500 exit fee (WTF?) and argued for hours. Of course he could only argue because he had someone with whom to argue, namely a local agent who was sent to assist us, even though we had insisted on going it alone. Had we not been accompanied, I think we would have been let through much faster. There is also a chance we simply got unlucky on our last day and scored a dodgy border guard.

    6) Be prepared for last minute changes/restrictions/conditions etc The fact that China is essentially a conglomerate of different laws means that no two country crossings will ever be the same. YOUR situation, YOUR price and YOUR restrictions will very much depend on where you enter China, where you want to go and where you wish to exit. It will also depend on what is happening at the time in the provinces you wish to cross. I’ll give you our example: we wanted to cross into China from Kyrgyzstan and exit into Laos. We wished to take the southern route, along the Tibetan Plateau and well away from all major cities. Due to the ethnic tensions in Xinjiang just a few weeks prior to our entry, the local authorities were quite strict. We had to be at a specific border crossing on a specific date, meet a specific fixer there, and exit the province of Xinjiang again on a specific date at a specific provincial border post. It made no sense, really, but it mattered not: these were the conditions imposed upon us when we put in our application through Ricard, and that’s what we had to do. If you happen to get a different person processing your application, then you may get a different set of rules (and price!) to adhere to. That’s China. No hard and set rules for all; just whatever the guy who processes your application feels he needs to do.

    No matter what, understand that things can change at the last minute (for whatever reason) and you will just have to adapt.

    7) Steer clear of well known, touristy hot spots As I mentioned in my previous posts, the three of us did not visit any of the internationally renowned places of interest in China. We did not ride to Beijing or Shanghai, did not visit the pandas (still sobbing!), the terracotta army, the Great Wall blah blah blah. We did none of that and chose to spend most of our time traversing remote wilderness areas instead. Firstly, because that’s what we actually love most and, secondly, because we figured that as long as we kept away from big crowds and big cities, then we’d potentially have fewer problems.

    We spent 6 out of 8 weeks riding through the countryside which, by the way, changed dramatically in every province. Only during the last fortnight did we join the ‘tourist trail of Southern Yunnan. It is here that we met the first westerners on our trip, and here is where our experience changed. It was great to eat a hamburger and speak English with fellow nomads, but the “mystique” we had encountered for a month and a half had suddenly disappeared.

    China has many big attractions, granted, but major cities and places of interest might be best done on a back-packing trip, and not whilst driving a foreign registered vehicle. Due to our “nature-first” itinerary we also never, EVER, felt like we were in a country with a gazillion people. We bush camped for 42 out of 60 days, in insanely picturesque spots…by rivers, lakes, forests, plains and behind sand dunes. It was pure magic in that regard. If you want to read more about our nature-filled trip, then click here

    8) Never feel intimidated Experienced overlanders know that foreign police or army guys are very much like grizzly bears: they can smell fear a mile away. Chinese police are no different. From the moment we took hold of all our paperwork and tucked it away with our Chinese driver’s licence and number plates, we knew that we had every right, legally, to be riding unguided through the country. We acted like that too, never faltered and never faced any problems.

    (Extra hint: the Chinese are about the least aggressive or intimidating people I have EVER come across. We found them to be polite and quite submissive, especially when faced with tall, strapping Westerners. Of all the ‘authorities’ I have ever met, they would have to be the least scary. Trust me…I’m a short-ass!)

    Believe it or not…I think that’s it!

    Really? Could it be that I’ve told you everything? Well I think so, I really do… I’m quite sure you can fill in the rest on your own now.

    I wish you a fantastic time planning your trip and discovering this incessantly fascinating country. Proceed with just a little caution, and much common sense and we know you will have an equally priceless experience. And now off you go to conquer China!

    Travel safe and happy (and don’t forget to pack two spare petrol canisters )

    Ciao for now
    Laura x

    PS. You can contact Ricard either through the CTA FB page or directly via email (rtomas@chinatierradeaventura.com). Please note that Ricard travels extensively and may be offline for extended periods of time. I know, from experience, that he will always reply to emails…it may just take a couple of weeks at times!
    Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist
    - Pablo Picasso
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  7. #7 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    Crazy Jon Jonsims's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ningbo
    Posts
    167
    Cast my mind back 20 years when I bought a sidecar unit and started driving.. Didn't last long here.. Had no license and no insurance.. Lucky the unit is a heap of crap and is difficult to get going fast. Anyway.. The cops took if off me and I had to get a driving license..I just got a stern warning and a question from Jonny Law.. "Why do you not respect me or my country enough to get a license and insurance?".. I drove round with a map and fingers that pointed to places on the map.. Most of the locals had never seen a map.. Frankly it was a lot of effort and not being able to read or write then made it a fairly pointless exercise. But I was pretty much the first "IDIOT."
    Nowadays if you ride without a license and thus insurance you can go to prison for 6 months. The police like to make "examples"... and then you will be deported with never a chance of returning. If bad things happen and say, you take out a jaywalker it is your ass on the line.. You will be looking at minimum 6 years to a bullet in the brain and a crap load of money in compensation to the family.
    Then you think you're a good biker.. Yeah.. You have NO IDEA how the people here can be so creative in their endeavours in removing your ass from your saddle.. To say nothing of the roads. And then there is the weather.. Cooking or Ice cubes....
    20 years ago there were no cars and just as few roads.. It was actually safer then. Now any man and his dog can get a driving license. Once they have passed the test they simply forget anything they have learnt and just go for it as the Police will sort out guilt and the insurance will pay.. Responsibility for actions goes no further. Not much good if your brain is under their front tyre.
    So what is the attraction in driving here? I like getting to a remote spot, dismounting and having a chin wag with the locals.. They are nice and kind in their own special way... But you don't speak chinese.. You're just going to look at strangers who will remain strangers and the only thing you can do is smile..
    I don't know.. I think doing Nth America would be more buzzy.. Good scenery and they all speak english or spanish.. It's about riding .. It's about riding.. if not.. do the paperwork and have a confusing and dangerous experience..

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    Overlanding China: Self-Drive without a Guide Possible without a Guide.

    After our unforgettable and blissfully unguided self-drive traverse of China (and countless requests for more details from fellow travellers) it is now time to finally introduce you to the man who made it all possible. A man willing to go to much effort in order to help fellow adventurers.
    Meet Ricard Tomas Herrero. A Spanish businessman who has been living and working in and out of China for over 20 years.

    China Tierra de Aventura (F@cebook link) is his baby, sort to speak (sic), his pet project. It is not hugely known nor is it widely publicized, which is why it took me over a year to discover it even existed. It seemed that this tour company was very much an insider’s secret…one we were elated to uncover!

    While Ricard has been running phenomenal motorbike trips from Madrid to Beijing every year for over a decade, this is the first time he has organised a fully independent crossing of China for overland bikers. And he’s willing to do more!
    Ricard has a fantastic team of fixers spread out all over China, people ready to help and support you through the logistical issues you are bound to come across as you ride through the country. They are all just a phone call away but otherwise, you are free to ride as you wish, within certain boundaries of course. Tibet, for example, still requires a guide to be with you 24 hours a day.

    Want to be among the first to ride through China on your own? Here’s your chance!

    It’s important to note, however, that it still ain’t gonna be a walk in the park. It will take lots of preparation time, a substantial amount of money (still only a mere fraction of a guided tour) and much resourcefulness on the part of whoever tackles it. Support may be there, but never right next to you to translate, negotiate, argue and organize. You must still be able to tackle all that on your own. We were joined by Michael Stumman Nielsen (a motorbiking friend of ours from Denmark) and three proved to be an ideal number. As with all overlanding travel destinations, China can be quite intense, so it’s ideal to have two co-travellers to share the load and stress!

    Not for the novice overlander I’d say, but if you have a few experiences up your sleeve, and don’t mind a wee challenge, then a fully independent China crossing promises to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    What’s included?
    Ricard will organize all the documentation you will need. This will take a minimum of 3 months to organize. Your entry must still be guided by a local agent, who will escort you up to the first major city, where you will get a Chinese driver’s licence and vehicle number plate. You will be sent on your merry lonesome way, soon thereafter. You can have your hand held, figuratively speaking, as much or as little as you wish, depending on how confident you feel. As an example: we had ‘fixers’ escort us through the first two major cities and after that, once we realized that with a GPS and some pre-planning we could go it alone, and requested no more escorts. It worked a treat.

    We may have been the very first foreign overlanders to have crossed through China legally, and independently, with our own foreign-registered vehicle. We appreciate how special this experience is and how it has the potential of revolutionizing the well-trodden overlanding route from Europe to South East Asia. No more shipments from India or Russia and no more cargo flights from Kathmandu to Bangkok. Not only is this option now a reality, but it is within the reach or even the most budget-conscious traveller.

    As a token of our appreciation towards Ricard and his team, all we want to do now, is to pay it forward to fellow travellers.
    Should you have any questions, before contacting Ricard for a quote, do not hesitate to contact me either though this site’s contact page or my Globetrotter Guidebook’s FB page. If you prefer to write in German, please contact Chris on Hinter Dem Horizont Links (sic).
    We will be more than happy to guide you through the preparations, just as Ricard was happy to guide us through the entire process.

    Happy travels through China!

    Yours
    Laura & Chris x

    PS. Welcome newcomers! For all who are new to my site, here is a link to my first China-crossing blog, where I detail HOW we managed to convince Ricard that a self-drive, guide-less tour would be perfectly legal. Click here for more!

    PSS. Edited 10th November 2014. Please do note that I share Ricard’s email address on the last China blog. PLEASE READ the next post and the one after so you are well aware of ALL that concerns crossing China without a guide. Cheers!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    Crazy Jon Jonsims's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ningbo
    Posts
    167
    Cast my mind back 20 years when I bought a sidecar unit and started driving.. Didn't last long here.. Had no license and no insurance.. Lucky the unit is a heap of crap and is difficult to get going fast. Anyway.. The cops took if off me and I had to get a driving license..I just got a stern warning and a question from Jonny Law.. "Why do you not respect me or my country enough to get a license and insurance?".. I drove round with a map and fingers that pointed to places on the map.. Most of the locals had never seen a map.. Frankly it was a lot of effort and not being able to read or write then made it a fairly pointless exercise. But I was pretty much the first "IDIOT."
    Nowadays if you ride without a license and thus insurance you can go to prison for 6 months. The police like to make "examples"... and then you will be deported with never a chance of returning. If bad things happen and say, you take out a jaywalker it is your ass on the line.. You will be looking at minimum 6 years to a bullet in the brain and a crap load of money in compensation to the family.
    Then you think you're a good biker.. Yeah.. You have NO IDEA how the people here can be so creative in their endeavours in removing your ass from your saddle.. To say nothing of the roads. And then there is the weather.. Cooking or Ice cubes....
    20 years ago there were no cars and just as few roads.. It was actually safer then. Now any man and his dog can get a driving license. Once they have passed the test they simply forget anything they have learnt and just go for it as the Police will sort out guilt and the insurance will pay.. Responsibility for actions goes no further. Not much good if your brain is under their front tyre.
    So what is the attraction in driving here? I like getting to a remote spot, dismounting and having a chin wag with the locals.. They are nice and kind in their own special way... But you don't speak chinese.. You're just going to look at strangers who will remain strangers and the only thing you can do is smile..
    I don't know.. I think doing Nth America would be more buzzy.. Good scenery and they all speak english or spanish.. It's about riding .. It's about riding.. if not.. do the paperwork and have a confusing and dangerous experience..

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    Overlanding China: Self-Drive without a Guide Possible without a Guide.

    After our unforgettable and blissfully unguided self-drive traverse of China (and countless requests for more details from fellow travellers) it is now time to finally introduce you to the man who made it all possible. A man willing to go to much effort in order to help fellow adventurers.
    Meet Ricard Tomas Herrero. A Spanish businessman who has been living and working in and out of China for over 20 years.

    China Tierra de Aventura (F@cebook link) is his baby, sort to speak (sic), his pet project. It is not hugely known nor is it widely publicized, which is why it took me over a year to discover it even existed. It seemed that this tour company was very much an insider’s secret…one we were elated to uncover!

    While Ricard has been running phenomenal motorbike trips from Madrid to Beijing every year for over a decade, this is the first time he has organised a fully independent crossing of China for overland bikers. And he’s willing to do more!
    Ricard has a fantastic team of fixers spread out all over China, people ready to help and support you through the logistical issues you are bound to come across as you ride through the country. They are all just a phone call away but otherwise, you are free to ride as you wish, within certain boundaries of course. Tibet, for example, still requires a guide to be with you 24 hours a day.

    Want to be among the first to ride through China on your own? Here’s your chance!

    It’s important to note, however, that it still ain’t gonna be a walk in the park. It will take lots of preparation time, a substantial amount of money (still only a mere fraction of a guided tour) and much resourcefulness on the part of whoever tackles it. Support may be there, but never right next to you to translate, negotiate, argue and organize. You must still be able to tackle all that on your own. We were joined by Michael Stumman Nielsen (a motorbiking friend of ours from Denmark) and three proved to be an ideal number. As with all overlanding travel destinations, China can be quite intense, so it’s ideal to have two co-travellers to share the load and stress!

    Not for the novice overlander I’d say, but if you have a few experiences up your sleeve, and don’t mind a wee challenge, then a fully independent China crossing promises to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    What’s included?
    Ricard will organize all the documentation you will need. This will take a minimum of 3 months to organize. Your entry must still be guided by a local agent, who will escort you up to the first major city, where you will get a Chinese driver’s licence and vehicle number plate. You will be sent on your merry lonesome way, soon thereafter. You can have your hand held, figuratively speaking, as much or as little as you wish, depending on how confident you feel. As an example: we had ‘fixers’ escort us through the first two major cities and after that, once we realized that with a GPS and some pre-planning we could go it alone, and requested no more escorts. It worked a treat.

    We may have been the very first foreign overlanders to have crossed through China legally, and independently, with our own foreign-registered vehicle. We appreciate how special this experience is and how it has the potential of revolutionizing the well-trodden overlanding route from Europe to South East Asia. No more shipments from India or Russia and no more cargo flights from Kathmandu to Bangkok. Not only is this option now a reality, but it is within the reach or even the most budget-conscious traveller.

    As a token of our appreciation towards Ricard and his team, all we want to do now, is to pay it forward to fellow travellers.
    Should you have any questions, before contacting Ricard for a quote, do not hesitate to contact me either though this site’s contact page or my Globetrotter Guidebook’s FB page. If you prefer to write in German, please contact Chris on Hinter Dem Horizont Links (sic).
    We will be more than happy to guide you through the preparations, just as Ricard was happy to guide us through the entire process.

    Happy travels through China!

    Yours
    Laura & Chris x

    PS. Welcome newcomers! For all who are new to my site, here is a link to my first China-crossing blog, where I detail HOW we managed to convince Ricard that a self-drive, guide-less tour would be perfectly legal. Click here for more!

    PSS. Edited 10th November 2014. Please do note that I share Ricard’s email address on the last China blog. PLEASE READ the next post and the one after so you are well aware of ALL that concerns crossing China without a guide. Cheers!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9 Re: Riding From Malaysia To Taiwan 
    C-Moto Senior DavidC's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Australia, NZ, Malaysia
    Posts
    146
    Quote Originally Posted by cytan1989 View Post
    Hi,

    This is Chee Yong , i am from Malaysia and currently working in Ireland , And I and My friends own a Kawasaki Er6n and Kawasaki Z250 Both are Malaysia Version. We wish to start our riding from malaysia to taiwan on this July. But we are having problem on riding in china , because we cant get the information and also dont know how to get the legal authority permit to ride in china , can you please help? We Need Help From Kawasaki Malaysia , Kawasaki Thailand , Kawasaki Vietnam , Kawasaki China , Kawasaki Taiwan 。 Thank for taking you time to read this

    My Contact Detail :

    Email :cheeyong12345@gmail.com
    Phone : +353831841545
    How's the preparation Chee Yong? Any updates?
    Ride like the wind but stay safe.
    1976 Suzuki B120
    1984 Honda NH125 Lead
    1986 Honda CX Euro
    1988 Yamaha FZ750
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