I posted this on "Visas and border crossings", but with no reply.
Maybe someone with Thailand experience might know.
I'm planning a trip from Chiang Mai in Thailand to Yunnan in China.
I understand there is a passenger boat from Chiang Sean in Thailand to Jinghong in China.
Has anyone any details on this trip:
* ie times, prices, etc.,
* the border crossing requirements (eg. visa on arrival to China for an Australian, or is it necessary to pre-purchase), and
* what 'problems' might need to be addressed along the way.
Cheers (in advance)
Kind of did this a year and a half ago, only I flew CM to JingHong. In terms of visa's you absolutely have to get one in advance, and I'd strongly recommend getting it as far in advance as possible, the chinese visa system locks up solid around important politically sensitive dates. My recollection from when I was doing research on it was that the boat itself is a fast one and I've a vague recollection that it takes 8 hours but certainly don't quote me on that I'm dredging it from memory.
As for the border, Chinese border crossings as a general rule are extremely efficient I've never had any hassle at one and I've been through 3-4 different ones. On the otherhand weirdly Americans do, been through twice with Americans (I'm British) and each time they were stopped and had their bags inspected. No problems, wasn't an excuse to steal stuff, like I say the Chinese border crossings are pretty honest affairs in my experience.
#2 dageshi has been a member since 1/3/2008. Posts: 56
I know what you mean about China borders - done a few myself.
But, my most inefficient border crossing experience was Chinese - at Shenzen-Hong Kong. The 'officials' don't see the need to cater for the hordes that want to commute that one. The wait is generally over one hour!!!
I've done the shenzhen hong kong one as well, twice in one day infact but it was busy but o.k when I did it. I also exited out of Guanxi province into vietnam, no probs with that one, entered Shanghai from Osaka, that one fine too.
Shenzen->Hong Kong was by far the busiest though.
Jinghong was quite nice, nothing much going on there, grab a bike and go for a ride out in the countryside would be my advice. Other than that I loved Dali, getting up on the mountain there is a little hostel/guesthouse up there you can stay at, get up early and take long walks around the mountain.
Also tiger leaping gorge is f***ing amazing, would highly recommend.
#4 dageshi has been a member since 1/3/2008. Posts: 56
Great to hear that bikes are available in Jinghong. Given that as far south as I've travelled in China is Yangshao, I'm somewhat concerned about Chinese drivers and me on a bike. I do like the slow pace elsewhere in SE Asia. So a couple of Q's..
What is the speed adopted by Chinese drivers on country roads? That is, are they like SE Asia in this area in that bike riders are given a semblance of 'respect'?
What other places in Yunnan did you hire a motorbike?
And, overall what sort of price / day?
Unfortunately it was a bicycle not a motorbike, only place I remember motorbikes being available for rent was yangshuo so it might very well depend on the local police dept. However jinghong is not a major tourist route so it's entirely possible that if you ask around a bit at the guesthouses they'll be able to sort you with out with one, can't help on prices.
Generally the drivers in china especially on the rural roads were pretty reasonable and *very* slow, they use the horn alot as in to say "hey I'm a car, I'm coming, don't step out infront of me" well on minor roads anyway major roads are a bit of a free for all but I wouldn't say particularly worse than say cambodian roads. Although there is alot more traffic on the major roads. So maybe not a good comparison.
#6 dageshi has been a member since 1/3/2008. Posts: 56