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Riding a Motorcycle in China
Posted by: goldteeth goldteeth's Posts
Post time: 22-Jul-2008  10:23

Hi all,

I have been traveling budget style in South East Asia for the past four months and have gotten the taste for riding a motorcyle everywhere in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

I was wondering if anyone knows the motorcycle laws for China.

Do I need a licence?
Is it easy to rent a motorbike? Cost?
Are road signs in English or just characters?

Thanks for your help.

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Post by: dannyrogue  Time: 22-Jul-2008  10:47
YOU TOTALLY NEED A LICENSE . . . and you won't qualify for one as a tourist.

Goldteeth,
Two months ago a very close friend of mine was jailed for a week, deported, and finally banned from China for a year for driving a motorcycle without proper documents. He was not a tourist, but had completely legitimate Chinese resident permit (which is a preliminary requirement to obtaining a license) and still got completely screwed.
Plenty of foreigners ignore the moto laws, but just know that you are potentially prone to the iron fist of the Chinese police.
Post by: goldteeth  Time: 22-Jul-2008  14:40
Hmmm, the iron first of the Chinese police doesn't sound pleasant. Thanks for the heads up. Guess I might have to buy myself a mountain bike, eh.
Post by: philwillia ...  Time: 31-Jul-2008  9:21
The only thing consistent here is inconsistency!!! Danny is correct many foreigners ignore the rules and drive without a license. As to the iron fist, I have found the police here to VERY liberal and forgiving but, I come for the US so, maybe that gives be bias towards police in general.... to answer your questions:
Yes license is required (international not accepted)
not easy to rent a motorbike
Road signs are both character and Pinyin..
If you did ride a motorbike, there are plenty of hungry policemen who have their money collect road stops here.....

good luck