China has a lot to offer travelers, from its rich history and fascinating cultural attractions, through to its natural beauty and modern towns and cities. Many people travel to China from the United Kingdom(England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) each year, for a variety of reasons, but those looking to drive to the country will face a number of obstacles along the way. The primary reason for this is because China has strict laws governing foreign travellers driving in the country and these laws become even tighter when visitors plan to bring their own vehicles in. Yet, despite this, there are ways to clear these hurdles and enjoy a road trip from the UK(England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) to China and this article provides key details.
For international visitors, driving in China requires you to obtain a temporary or full Chinese driving licence – depending on the length of time you will be in the country – and you are also going to need to register your vehicle and fit temporary Chinese number plates. For this reason, it is recommended to work with a local tour operator. China is not signed up to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and does not fully recognise the International Driving Permit. A temporary Chinese licence can usually be obtained without taking a practical test and you may be able to bypass a theory test too. However, obtaining a full licence will definitely require you to pass a theory test.
In addition, you will require a Chinese tourist visa, a full driving licence from your own country, valid insurance covering China and a clear itinerary for your trip. Authorities may question you on precisely where you intend to travel during your stay, and you will need to research individual laws within the various Chinese provinces.
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Is it possible to travel from UK(England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) 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, tourists driving in China and driving on Chinese roads usually need to complete the following procedures
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 United Kingdom.
Aside from the logistics involved with a road trip to China, such as obtaining a licence and registering a vehicle, the other big challenge is the sheer distance involved in the journey. In actual fact, even taking the most direct route, crossing as few borders as possible, you will be driving for well over 100 hours. Practically speaking, the best route for those who intend to drive from United Kingdom to China is to travel to France via the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, then travel east across Europe, passing through countries like Germany and Poland, before entering Russia. From Russia, you then travel south, through Kazakhstan and into China.
A key benefit of this route is the fact that UK citizens can travel through Europe and even Kazakhstan without acquiring a visa. Therefore, the only countries you will need a visa for are Russia and China itself. With that being said, some travellers do instead opt to pass through some additional countries, including Uzbekistan. Driving to China from the UK is a mammoth undertaking. In order to complete the journey comfortably and safely, with the appropriate amount of rest time, you are going to need to set aside several weeks, or even a full month. Again, it is best to work with a tour operator, in order to decide on a precise route and a detailed travel plan.
If you are driving from UK to China, basically Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan are ideal countries for entering China. These two countries are the choices of most people. You should consider the political situation and visa policy when choosing a route. Following are example routes of driving from UK to China.
The following are the most commonly used routes for UK-China:
Route 1(Entering China from Kyrgyzstan): United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany – Poland – Belarus – Russia – Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan) – Kyrgyzstan – Turkut Port or Irkstan Port – China
Route 2(Entering China from Mogolia): United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany – Poland – Belarus – Russia – Mongolia – Bulgan Gol or Zamiin – Uud – China
Route 3(Entering China from Kyrgyzstan): United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany – Czech Republic – Hungary – Serbia – Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China
Route 4(Entering China from Pakistan): United Kingdom – Belgium -Germany – Czech Republic – Hungary – 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: United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany-Poland-Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan)-Kyrgyzstan-China (Xinjiang)-Pakistan-India
Route 2: United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany-Poland-Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan)-Kyrgyzstan-China (Xinjiang, Tibet)-Nepal-India
Route 3: United Kingdom – Belgium – Germany-Czech Republic-Hungary-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: United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany-Poland-Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan (or Uzbekistan)-Kyrgyzstan-Turkut Port or Irkstan Port-China-Laos-Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
Route 2: United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany-Poland-Belarus-Russia-Mongolia-Bulgan Gol or Zamiin-Uud-China-Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
Route 3: United Kingdom – Belgium – Netherlands – Germany-Czech Republic-Hungary-Serbia-Bulgaria-Turkey-Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China-Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.
Route 4: United Kingdom – Belgium – Germany-Czech Republic-Hungary-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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