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Old April 27th, 2014, 05:25 PM   #1
ElenaD
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Driving by own car along China.

Hi everyone! we are going to China - Tibet this year by motorhome. Any one news how we can get permits and driving licence? Thanks
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Old April 27th, 2014, 07:17 PM   #2
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So you have already decided to drive to China this year without doing any research whatsoever on something that is completely impossible?
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Old April 27th, 2014, 10:42 PM   #3
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afaik it's possible if you obtain a Chinese driving license since China doesn't recognize the international driving license. However, I don't know any details about it.
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Old April 27th, 2014, 10:45 PM   #4
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Into China should work with a decent amount of paperwork. But then getting a permit for self-driving into Tibet sounds a bit steep.
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Old April 27th, 2014, 11:16 PM   #5
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Found this website:
http://motorhome-china.com/report_dl.html

It looks like you need to go to the 'Traffic Police'


in one of our airports with the right paperwork and get something like this:



Sorry,although I'm from China but I really never knew anything about this .. so hope it will help

Last edited by Tk.Alv-87; April 27th, 2014 at 11:22 PM.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 12:22 AM   #6
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There's this website with a bit uncouraging undertone: http://wikitravel.org/en/Driving_in_China

This page seems to be helpful: http://www.china-driver-license.com/
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Old April 28th, 2014, 12:37 AM   #7
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I've read a few reports about Europeans travelling to China with their own vehicle. So it's not impossible but there are surely beaurocratic problems. Some entered from Kazakhstan, other from Mongolia. An Italian team arrived in Vladivostok with an old Fiat 500 but for some reasons they were denied to cross into China, so they sent their car in a cargo ship and flew to China. On the way back they could cross overland into Russia.
Foreign vehicles in China need to have temporary Chinese license plates. I don't remember if they entered Tibet and I don't know if it has different rules than the rest of China.
If you are an EU citizen you need visas for Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China (it depends by the route you choose).
Good luck.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 04:11 AM   #8
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wish you a safe and happy journey in china
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Old April 28th, 2014, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
I don't remember if they entered Tibet and I don't know if it has different rules than the rest of China.
Anyone entering Tibet needs a permit in addition to his China visa. These permits are easily obtained by people travelling on government-approved organised tours, but much less so by independent travellers. I have read stories about people managing to make their way into Lhasa by car from Xinjiang, making their way into Tibet by paying a fine at the first check point. But this doesn't sound like the kind of approach that I would rely on.

Some info about entering Tibet overland can be found on http://wikitravel.org/en/Tibet#Get_in
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Old April 30th, 2014, 02:51 AM   #10
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It would be my dream to drive once from Europe to Tibet by car/motorbike .

I know that they are many possible routes, but the one via Russia/Kazakhstan seems to be the optimal one, as they are fewer borders crossings, and therefore, less embarrassments.

Anyway, how is the state of the road, particularly in Russia, Kazakhstan, and G318 in China?
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Old April 30th, 2014, 01:04 PM   #11
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From pictures that I have seen: from Moscow until the Chinese border it is almost completely single carriageway, generally in a decent state. These are important routes in the countries crossed. Don't expect perfectly flat tarmac (in other words: potholes), and the Russian part of the route has a reputation for dangerous overtaking. Once in Kazakhstan, the roads will be much emptier so less of an overtaking risk. The main route between Uralsk and Almaty is being upgraded slowly, so expect a combination of old potholed roads and newer stuff that may at times even be a dual carriageway. En route to China, however, you may however find yourself on a more easterly route via Astana whose status I don't know.

From the Chinese border to Urümqi, they are upgrading to motorway (knowing China, it won't take long before it is completed). And from there, it all depends on your route into and out of Tibet. The main routes via Golmud and the G318 seem to be fully tarmac, but I cannot find definitive word. In any event, they run through mountainous terrain, the roads are likely to suffer from one of the harshest climates on the earth and driving in China has its dangers as a result of ill discipline of the average Chinese driver.

It sounds like a terrific drive, but for me the drive is already a great challenge without the Tibetan leg :-)
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Old April 30th, 2014, 01:09 PM   #12
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Reportedly nearly all of the Kyzylorda - Almaty route in Kazakhstan is now dual carriageway.
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Old April 30th, 2014, 04:02 PM   #13
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That's difficult to reconcile with what I saw last September en route from Bishkek to Almaty (which is pretty much the last section of Kyzylorda - Almaty). That was mostly single carriageway: three-lanes or four lanes. Only some 60 kilometers before Almaty the road turns into double carriageway, even though most intersections were level crossings.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 11:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
That's difficult to reconcile with what I saw last September en route from Bishkek to Almaty (which is pretty much the last section of Kyzylorda - Almaty). That was mostly single carriageway: three-lanes or four lanes. Only some 60 kilometers before Almaty the road turns into double carriageway, even though most intersections were level crossings.
The road condition is the last thing you need to worry about for such a trip. I bet with any car (as long as road worthy) and common sense you will be OK. The real problem would be to enter China -- definitely a nightmare.

Last edited by changluo; April 10th, 2015 at 11:56 PM.
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