I am planning my trip from London to Shanghai on the motorbike, tips?

Hi to everyone,

Does anyone know about any law/political obstacles and difficulties in crossing the China mainland on the motorbike?

Is it possible, having a Chinese driving licence (hopefully arranged in London ?... )to ride a 900 cc bike on the Chinese roads coming from Urumqi -  Xinjiang (Kazakhstan direction?...)

I am applying at present for the international student exchange programme between England and China, this I believe might cut some of the red type...

I would appreciate any tips and peace of advice from everyone.

Thank you for your help,


Welcome on Expat.com Ernest,

Woww, long road trip ;)

Your message has been redirected to the China forum for effective networking. Hope you will get some reactions soon. Do not forget to come and share your bike trip experience on Expat.com ;)

Have a nice & careful ride ;)

Thank you, and yes, I will share my experience for sure as soon as I have a chance to experience it :)


Two advices.

I don't know whether you can get a Chinese driver license in your country. But in some Chinese cities, you can take driving test in English. It takes some time. A regular period for a Chinese to get a DL could be a couple of months.

A lot of Chinese cities don't allow motorcycles, e.g. Shanghai. You need to consider this when planning the route. If necessary, you can search for this city list when you decide.

Good luck.

Either way, the thought of riding a motorcycle that distance is interesting and i bet a great workout. JW

Thank you, I think two months is a pretty long period of time I wont be able to afford myself at the beginning, do you know by chance of the approx cost of the course?...

I found the website offering DL services for foreigners, the initial cost is 200 pounds and than some extra money... the  advantage is that I do not have to be in China, if the offer is real...

once again thanks for the hints


if anyone interested, this is the website regarding the potential possibility in obtaining the Chinese DL for foreigners...


A Chinese usually spends GBP300 or RMB3000 or more to get a driving license in a regular city. The most Chinese apply for DL by driving school not individually.

Are you sure you don't need go to China for written or driving tests? I suggest you contact them first. Then you'll know whether you can go further.

I certainly will contact them prior to making any arrangement, I presume it will be around RMB 4000.

If I can ask, do you know more about Shanghai itself?...

Yes. What do you want to know about Shanghai?

For sure, motorcycles are not allowed in Shanghai. If your destination is Shanghai, you should ask vehicle management department there whether they can issue a pass.


At least I know that there is a chance...

Is the motorbike traffic forbidden for all the engine capacities in Shanghai?

Friend of mine adviced me that transporting the bike by train might sort some me out in some parts of the mainland...

One of the biggest troubles is my return, as the road from Tibet to Nepal is apparently banned for all the vehicles apart from the public transport and Jeeps, which can be hired with the driver?

Would you have any advice on this?

As for Shanghai, would you perhaps have an idea of living cost?... food?...transport?... flat rates...

I found few ads, 500 pounds sterling for a 2 bedroom flat in Shanghai... is it a nice offer?... of course depend on the standard, but as for the average ?...

Thanks for all the posts again,