A drive from Portugal to China is a monumental undertaking, with your journey potentially spanning more than 8,000 miles and taking around 150 hours of driving time. The costs involved, including fuel and stops along the way, can make it a significant financial commitment, but it is also an incredible adventure and a personal challenge. On top of these obstacles, however, you are likely to encounter significant hurdles when it comes to China’s laws, which have been established to limit the number of foreign drivers on its roads and severely restrict foreign-registered vehicles from coming into the country. Nevertheless, it is possible to get around these issues too. In this article, we explore some of the steps you will need to go through in order to prepare for your trip, explain why it is important to work with a local tour operator, and offer up some of the most popular routes.
The preparation for a road trip to China goes beyond the basics of securing a tourist visa, finding insurance and having a valid passport. One of the biggest steps you will need to take is applying for a Chinese driving licence, because the Chinese government does not allow visitors on its roads with a foreign licence or international driving permit.
Most visitors will be able to apply for a temporary Chinese licence, but the process can be tricky, which is one of the reasons it is important to get in touch with a tour operator with local knowledge and contacts. If you are intending to stay in China for the long-term, you will need a full licence, which requires you to pass a theory test too. On top of this, you will also need to register your vehicle. This can also be quite a daunting prospect for those without experience. You will need an up-to-date MOT, documentation, insurance and photographs of your vehicle from all sides. You will also need to fit temporary Chinese number plates to your car or bike upon arrival. Moreover, you will need to check specific requirements for each individual province you intend to enter.
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Is it possible to travel from Portugal to China or South East Asia by Motor vehicles? Yes, this is possible. Every year there are people who have done it. They drive normal cars, motor homes, old timer, trucks, buses, vintage cars, pure electric vehicles, and even ride motorcycles to China, India or Southeast Asia.
Because China is not a party to the United Nations International Treaty on Land Transport, international driving licenses are not recognized in China. Using ATA Carnet or Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) to temporary import the used vehicles of tourists into China is not currently feasible. Tourists’ vehicles need to be registered after entering China and they must obtain temporary Chinese number plates to drive on the road.
Therefore, foreign tourists who want to drive own car/motorbike into China and drive on Chinese roads usually need to complete the following procedures:
Chinese travel agencies usually ask for following Materials and documents
You can apply for a Chinese tourist visa(L Visa) in your home country, or you can apply for Chinese tourist visa in a third country on the road. If conditions permit, we always recommend that you apply in your home country. To apply for a Chinese visa in your home country, you need to ensure that your visa is still valid when you reach the Chinese border. Following are places for applying china visa in Portugal.
Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in Lisbon
Address: Avenida de Antonio Augusto de Aguiar No.130,Quinto Andar, Lisboa,1050-020
Business Hours: Monday-Friday，Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
Submission of applications: 9:00 to 15:00.
Payment and collection: 9:00 to 16:00.
E-mail: [email protected]
The precise route for your drive from Portugal to China may depend on your starting point, where in China you want to go, and whether there are specific countries you wish to visit along the way. However, the most efficient route will take you through Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Belarus and Russia, before you travel through Kazakhstan.
From Kazakhstan, it is possible to pass into China, crossing into the Xinjiang province. However, many travellers opt instead to cross the border via either the At-Bashi District in Kyrgyzstan, or Zamiin-Uud in Mongolia. The former also offers access to Xinjiang, while the latter offers access to the Inner Mongolia region of China.
It is perfectly possible to deviate from this route if there are specific places you wish to see along the way. However, deviating too far will potentially complicate the trip. You also need to check visa requirements for every country you pass through and make sure you stay mindful of any relevant political tensions that could cause issues.
The following are the most commonly used routes for Portugal-China:
Route 1(Entering China from Kyrgyzstan): Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Hungary-Ukraine-Russia-Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan)-Kyrgyzstan-Turkut Port or Irkstan Port-China
Route 2(Entering China from Mogolia): Portugal-Spain-France-Belgium-Germany-Poland-Belarus-Russia-Mongolia-Bulgan Gol or Zamiin Uud – China
Route 3(Entering China from Kyrgyzstan): Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia-Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China
Route 4(Entering China from Pakistan): Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia-Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-(Many governments will advise their citizens to stay away from the Iran-Pakistan border, please refer to the latest Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel security tips)-Pakistan-China
Route 1: Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Hungary-Ukraine-Russia-Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan)-Kyrgyzstan-China (Xinjiang)-Pakistan-India
Route 2: Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Hungary-Ukraine-Russia-Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan)-Kyrgyzstan-China (Xinjiang, Tibet)-Nepal-India
Route 3: Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia-Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-(Many governments will advise their citizens to stay away from the Iran-Pakistan border, please refer to the latest Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel security tips)-Pakistan-India
Route 1: Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Hungary-Ukraine-Russia-Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan)-Kyrgyzstan-Turkut Port or Irkstan Port-China-Laos-Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
Route 2: Portugal-Spain-France-Belgium-Germany-Poland-Belarus-Russia-Mongolia-Bulgan Gol or Zamiin Uud – China – Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
Route 3: Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia-Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China – Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
Route 4: Portugal-Spain-France-Monaco-Italy-Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia-Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-(Many governments will advise their citizens to stay away from the Iran-Pakistan border, please check the latest travel security tips from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)-Pakistan-India-Myanmar-Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
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