The Route from Thailand to China can normally be Thailand -> Laos or Myanmar -> China. Laos is the most common used country between Thailand and China for overlanders.
Driving from Thailand to China via Laos:
Route 1: Chiang Mai – Clear Hole – Will Sun – Luang Prabang – Mohan(Laos/China border) – Kunming
Route 2: Bangkok – Nong Khai – Vientiane – Luang Prabang – Mohan(Laos/China border) -Kunming
Kunming – Bangkok Road is 1880 kilometers long. It starts from Kunming toll station at the entrance of Kunming-Yuxi Expressway in the East and ends in Bangkok, Thailand. The whole line is composed of China section, Laos section and Thailand section. It was officially opened in December 2008. On December 11, 2013, the Houeisay Bridge connecting Laos Houeisay and Thailand ChiangKhong was officially connected. It starts from Kunming, Yunnan Province, and finally arrives in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, spanning three countries, with a total length of more than 1,800 kilometers, the whole Kunming – Bangkok Road officially connects seamlessly.
Self-driving overlanders can enter Laos from Thailand through the Friendship Bridge of Chiang Khong. It’s about 1200 kilometers from Qinglai to Kunming, China.
The first stop from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong is 113 kilometres. It crosses the Mekong River into Laos, and goes through Bo Keo District, Wieng Phu Kah and Luang Namtha to the border town of Boten. The total distance is 250 kilometers. You can set out at Boten, Laos, and you will enter Yunnan, China, from Mohan Port. This journey includes Mengla, Mengxing, Jinghong, Puwen, Mojiang and Yuanjiang, and then to Kunming.
Mohan Port is the largest land crossing in southern China, and it is also a common port for self-driving people. We recommend that the self-driving people leave Laos early on the day when they enter China, because they may have to queue up for exit formalities. Our tour guide will be waiting for you at the gate of China. Before entering the entry hall, your vehicle needs to be inspected by the armed police.
The vehicles are then checked out by the Armed Police. All people follows the guide into the entry hall, filling in the entry cards for personnel and vehicles, and process the relevant entry procedures, such as the visa stamp. The tour guide and passengers waited at the gate of the cargo yard through the national gate. The driver returned to the armed police who checks the vechicles and drive the car into China through the cargo yard.
The customs formalities for entry here are over. After lunch, drive 40 minutes to Mengla County. In the afternoon, the driver’s temporary driver’s license and vehicle’s temporary license plate will be processed.
When you arrive at the Mengla County Government, you will have a simple physical examination of the driver to ensure that your physical condition is able to drive in China. Then you will arrive at the Mengla County Vehicle Administration Department for vehicle inspection. After the vehicle inspection, you will get the temporary driver’s license and temporary license plate, and you can drive legally in China.
In the past few years, Myanmar has opened the Ruili and Daluo ports bordering China. However, as the ongoing conflict in Myanmar spreads to the border, entering China from Myanmar is not a common route for self-driving people.
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