Caught and Released without License in China!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by kurisu, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. For fellow riders who wish to ride in China.

    I've been stopped by the police 4 times while riding in Yunnan province China. I am an American tourist on an "L" visa and I bought a bike in Shangrila. I do not have a proper Chinese license (only IDL) nor do I have proper ownership of the bike. I only have the blue card booklet registered to former owner and a letter in Chinese explaining the bike is mine.

    * First 3 times I was stopped was for a routine license / reg. check. Sometimes in cities you will see 2 cops standing in street pulling over random bikes. If they stop you, just start speaking English really fast and asking tons of questions - this usually stresses them out and they let you go. If they keep persisting, show them the registration for the bike. Mine was expired and they only told me to get a new one and waved me on.

    * 4th time I was stopped was at a really sensitive area next to the Myanmar border in Xishuanbanna region, southern Yunnan. Avoid these sensitive areas - the cops are very persistant. They were very kind to me however.

    THEY SAW I DIDN"T HAVE A LICENSE! I only had the IDL. They just didn't seem to care about this very much. What really concerned them was why I was in the region. They interrogated me for 2 hours (and gave me tea and cigarettes etc.) and then they gave me back the keys to the bike and wished me luck.

    This doesn't mean it's guaranteed that you will get off the hook - but I think after 4 times it's safe to say that foreigners might get some special treatment, especially in Yunnan AND maybe the dreaded fear of losing the bike isn't for real.

    Hope this is helpful to others who want to ride in China. I definitely recommend Yunnan province, for scenery, lax cops and good roads. Also, some highways (interstates) allow motorcycles in this province.

    Chris Maupin

    Will write more when I try to cross into Laos soon.

    See my blog for pics: Link removed

    Current bike: Zhongshen 150cc Off-road style (love it!)
  2. Chris
    Thanks for the brief report & good on you for riding China.
    I just arrived in Luang Prabang today for 4-5 days, so if you get here in a few days look out for the red 'n white Africa Twin with Thai plates on.
  3. Caught up to Chris in Luang Prabang a few days ago


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