Can you drive to China by car? The answer is yes! But when entering China by car / motorcycle, the help of a travel agency is needed, because you need a guide to accompany you.
Small cars, off-road vehicles, caravans, mobile homes, motor homes, trucks, fire engines, electric cars, vintage cars, motorcycles and racing cars. In our experience, almost all legal vehicles can enter China.
China is located in East Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. The land area is approximately 9.6 million square kilometers, making China 3rd or 4th place after Russia and Canada. (Depending on the static method used, the USA is in front of or behind China.) In addition, China is in second place in terms of land area after Russia.
China is the country who has the most neighboring countries(14) in the world. Here are the neighboring countries of China:
– China borders Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia on the northern border from west to east.
– Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are neighboring china in the west (from north to south).
– India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Vietnam can be found on the southern border of China.
– In the east, China borders on North-Korea and also Russia.
– You have more freedom: Compared to a package tour, driving a car / motorcycle through China is freer and more independent. During your self-determined journey by car through China, your Chinese travel companion will support you on your way with advice and action.
– With car or motorcycle you have greater flexibility: in an orderly plan you can choose many things, drive long distances or rest, visit sights or not, live in a hotel or camp, about the time of departure or the time you decide whether you cook yourself or eat in a Chinese restaurant.
– Experience a country up close: If you got to China with car / motorcycle, there are more ways to get further into the exotic culture. You can visit metropolises with international flair such as Beijing or Shanghai, or enjoy the drive to quiet, idyllic small towns such as those in Sichuan in southwest China. If you are interested, you can also make a detour to the Takalamakan Desert, or visit Kailash in Tibet. On the trip to the very diverse places, you can experience the exciting life in China.
– Gain a deeper understanding of China by car / motorcycle: you can experience the colorful diversity in China, as well as see impressive landscapes and nature. In addition, you gain insights into the millennia-old history and diverse Chinese culture and can try different local delicacies.
Here is the procedure and some relevant authorities if you go to China with car / motorcycle.
– Apply for and obtain a Chinese visa (from the Ministry of Culture or the Ministry of Tourism, the Chinese embassies or consulates abroad)
– Vehicle temporarily enters China (customs)
– Vehicle is temporarily registered in China, receives a preliminary license plate number and the driving license (from the traffic authority)
– A Chinese provisional driver’s license is issued (by traffic authority)
– Border control (entry and exit control point, immigration office)
– Control and registration on the way (Ministry of Entry and Exit)
– Sometimes affects military component.
If your destination is China, the popular routes are as follows
– Europe – Belarus – Russia – Mongolia – Erlianhaote – China
– Belarus in Europe / Ukraine – Russia – Kazakhstan – Kyrgyzstan – (Irkstein Port or Turkut Port) – China
– Europe – Balkan Peninsula – Turkey – Iran – Uzbekistan – Kyrgyzstan – Irkstein Port or Turkut Port – China
– Europe – Balkan Peninsula – Turkey – Georgia – Uzbekistan – Kyrgyzstan – Irkstein Port or Turkut Port – China
– You can enter from all neighboring countries of China outside of India and Bhutan.
If your destination is India or Nepal:
– Iran – Pakistan – India: This route is of course beautiful and lovely, but there may be dangers related to security (depending on the region and time), the visa is also a problem. For specific circumstances, pay attention to the travel tips and security warnings from the State Department.
– If you want to avoid the “Iran – Pakistan – India” route, driving through China is your only option. You can spend about 4-5 days and drive through China from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan, then you will travel from Pakistan to India. When driving from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan you can use the famous Karakoram Highway (KKH). Usually this trip takes about 4-5 days, the cost is between $ 900 and $ 2,000 per vehicle, depending on how many cars you travel with.
– There is another way to avoid the route, the direct connection to India / Nepal. You can enter China through Kyrgyzstan, take the G219 National Road, through Gang Rinpoche, drive through Everest Base Camp, even visit Lhasa while coming from Tibet to Geelong and reach India. The G219 is one of the highest roads in the world and is a good test for the vehicle body and the participants.
– To avoid the direct route from Iran-Pakistan-India to Iran / Nepal, you can also drive from Kyrgyzstan to China, cross the Silk Road to Golmud, then through Lhasa and Everest Base Camp to Geelong Port, then to Nepal and India drive.
If you want to travel to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries, there are several very popular routes
– Through China from Mongolia to Laos. This is a popular route from Europe to Asia. The port of entry is Erlianhot, the advantage of entering Erlianhot is customs. The border controls and vehicle management are very efficient: on the second day of entry, you can get the Chinese temporary driver’s license and license plate at noon so that you can continue driving on the road.
– From Kyrgyzstan to China, travel past the Silk Road, then drive south to Laos.
If you want to go from Asia to Europe
– Through China from Laos to Mongolia or to all neighboring countries ending with -stan, such as Kazakhstan etc.
– From India to Europe, many people choose the “India-Pakistan-China (4-5 days) – Kyrgyzstan” route.
This is a common question among overland travelers. You need a Chinese tourist visa to travel to China by car / motorcycle. A tourist visa for entry is usually valid for 3 months. You can stay in China for 30 days. If you apply for this visa, please make sure that it is still valid when you arrive in China by car. There is a possibility that the visa has already expired before arriving in China if you have been to many other countries. Then you can apply for a tourist visa in another third country. It is possible, but it is easiest if you apply for it in your own country.
It is possible to apply for a Chinese tourist visa in a third country, but sometimes you only get a visa for a stay of 30 days.
Warning: We recommend that you apply for a Chinese tourist visa in your country for the second entry, which can be valid for up to six months. Six months are enough to go to China.
Overland travelers by land to China do not need to show flight reservations or hotel reservations when applying for a visa. We offer you the invitation letter, route planning and hotel lists. With the documents we provide, you can apply for a Chinese visa through the relevant government agencies.
An entertaining and engaging part of the trip by car / motorcycle to China is making contact with many locals. It is certain that you will meet a variety of friendly locals from all walks of life. With small gifts, you can quickly establish contacts with the locals and delve deeper into local life. These very small gifts do not have to be expensive, small souvenirs from your country are best suited.
Our advice may be unexpected, but we recommend that you bring some domestic coins such as 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, 1 euro coins. When you give a coin to locals, they will proudly show the coins to family members and friends.
– Auto gasoline (III) and auto gasoline (IV) are classified according to the research octane number in No. 90, No. 93 and No. 97. Gasoline (V) is divided into three numbers according to the octane number research method: No. 89, No. 92 and No. 95. The corresponding European standard is regular gasoline, Super and Super Plus. The prices are usually between 0.9 euros per liter and 1.1 euros per liter. Please note that the higher-priced petrol or diesel does not have to be better. You should choose the gasoline that is best suited to the actual situation of your vehicle.
– China’s diesel fuel is numbered 0 and -10, and the price is usually between 0.8 euros per liter and 1 euro per liter. Diesel fuel -10 can be used if the temperature is between 4 degrees Celsius and minus 5 degrees Celsius. However, it is not easy to find Diesel No. 10 even in the cold mountainous regions.
– Please fill up at the petrol stations of China Petro and China Sinopec, which are state-owned because the quality of the gasoline or diesel is good. Please select private petrol stations carefully. Note that some private gas stations are similar to the gas stations of the state gas stations.
– Cash is usually used at petrol stations and only a few petrol stations accept bank card payments.
– Refueling in Xinjiang and Tibet can take longer, because when registering the name documents, usually the ID of the Chinese guide must be checked in order to drive to the petrol station. Please be patient and keep your good mood.
– A teapot can be used to refuel motorcycles. At some petrol stations you have to park your motorcycle in front of the petrol station and use the teapot provided by the petrol station to refuel. The gasoline cannot be transported in a reserve canister.
– In Xinjiang and Tibet, petrol cannot be transported outside the tank and therefore cannot be stored in other containers.
– The motorways in China are the longest in the world, of course you can also see beautiful off-road landscapes and have more opportunities to get in touch with Chinese people. But sometimes, to save time (China is too big), you just have to take the well-developed highway.
– The highways in China are not free. The fees depend on the different vehicle types. The vehicle classification standard is complex, we usually request the lowest fee. The minimum fee is usually between 5 and 7 euros per 100 kilometers. When you pass the toll booth and pay the fee, please keep the statement that records your vehicle type and charging standard. Sometimes these play a role at the next toll booth.
Motorcycling on a highway in China
– Not all provinces allow high speed for motorcycles.
– The provinces that enable high-speed motorbike rides and that meet the conditions (displacement and other requirements) are: Hubei, Beijing, Hainan, Xinjiang, Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Hunan, Guangdong, Yunnan, Jilin, Anhui, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hebei, Shaanxi, Gansu and Tibet.
– Motorcycles are charged the same fees on highways as for small cars.
– Drunk driving refers to the driver’s driving behavior and blood alcohol content of 20 mg / 100 ml or less and more than 80 mg / 100 ml.
– Penalties: If you drive a motor vehicle after drinking alcohol, with more than 20 mg per 100 ml of blood (corresponds to> 0.2) alcohol at the wheel: a fine of RMB 1000-2000, temporary retention of your license for 6 months; a fine of RMB 1000-2000, withdrawal of the vehicle license, the perpetrator is detained for less than 10 days).
– When driving drunk with 80 mg / 100 ml or more, that is, 100 ml blood alcohol level of the driver is over 80 mg. According to estimates, 80 mg / 100 ml corresponds to 2 bottles of beer. Punishment: If a drunk driver drives a motor vehicle with more than 80 mg per 100 ml of blood (equivalent to> 0.8), the driver’s license is withdrawn, criminal responsibility is investigated and the driver’s license cannot be obtained again within five years. China is currently considering increasing penalties for drunk driving.
– In China, you must use your real name (i.e. your passport) to purchase a SIM card and then get a cell phone number.
– There are three companies in China that offer mobile phones and mobile Internet: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. SIM cards and registration packages are usually sold by these three companies. Please note that different radio frequencies are supported by different cell phones. e.g. For example, iPhones 7 purchased in Hong Kong did not support the Chinese telecommunications network. In this case, you need to use a China Mobile or China Unicom mobile phone card.
– Not all stores know how to deal with foreigners: in a small town, only 1 or 2 stores can use passports to buy mobile phone cards and to carry out transactions.
– If you tell us your cell phone model in advance and tell us where you bought it, we can use our ID cards (or the travel guide’s ID card) to purchase a phone card in advance. Chinese ID cards can also be used to obtain very cheap tariffs, such as 20 euros for 20G traffic and 4G packages.