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Forums > Travel Yunnan > malipao/vietnam border crossing open but..........

That doesn't exactly answer the question of whether or not the Malipo border crossing can be used by foreigners. You seem to imply yes, by stating that Jiangwu isn't Chinese, but we need more information here. Without accurate information people would be wasting their time traveling to this border by assuming it's international when it may not actually be. It's the same with the Jiangcheng/Ban Lanteuy crossing between Yunnan and Laos' Phongsali crossing, which is NOT an international crossing, despite claiming to be.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Chinese driver's licence renewal

Aha, yes that document. No worries , I can easily get that document, which every foreigner on any visa type is supposed to get, which requres you to register your accommodation with the PSB. Normally I use documents supplied by my close Chinese friend stating I live with her family. Anyway, this is a minor issue because I can meet this requirement no matter what. The visa issue and other requirements is what I'm concerned about because that determines whether I'm eligible to renew or not.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Chinese driver's licence renewal

Hi,

My Chinese driver's licence (the 6 year version) is getting close to expiry, it will expire towards the end of this year. I believe I can extend it for 10 years after this. Does anyone know the procedure to do this?

Is it possible to extend the licence on a business visa or another type of visa that is not a residence permit? When I first got my licence I was still on a tourist visa and hadn't yet converted it to a student visa. This process was only completed after I got my licence and then later on I got an employment visa. However, this time I would be in China on a business visa.

Also, are any tests required or is renewal automatic? How far in advance can I renew the licence and how long after it's expiration do I have, without having to start the process again? Do I have to go to the licencing center in Kunming again or could I perhaps renew somewhere like Jinghong? Are Chinese licences now issued in plastic credit card sized format or are they still laminated like the one I was issued nearly 6 years ago?

Thanks for all your help.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > malipao/vietnam border crossing open but..........

There is a lot of back and forth irrelevant stuff on this thread. What I'd like to know is whether the Malipao crossing is an international crossing where foreigners who are NOT Chinese and NOT Vietnamese can cross here. Whether they need a visa or not depends on their nationality (most ASEAN nationals get a 30-day exemption while some select European and a handful of other nations such as Russia, South Korea, Japan and the USA get 15 days) and is such a minor issue that it's not worth discussing here because the same rules would apply here as at any other international border crossing of which there have so far only been 3 between China and Vietnam. I have not seen any official documents that prove that this crossing is international so perhaps the OP is Chinese?

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Self driving to Luang Prabang

@bucko, well, you may find that it's not a good idea to drive to Lao in a Chinese car for the time being anyway because Chinese interests are being targeted by shadowy Hmong/Lao insurgents in Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Saisomboon provinces. Earlier this year, a Chinese SUV was shot at and two Chinese tourists inside killed. Just now a Chinese registered bus travelling from Kunming to Vientiane was shot at, injuring 6 and killing 1.

Chinese plates could make you a target anywhere south of Luang Prabang and north of Vang Vieng even if you're not Chinese yourself, but those blue plates with the one Chinese character stand out.

However, even if they are able to stop the shootings and bombings (yes there was also at least one bombing in Saisomboon) questions are being raised about all the Chinese cars entering Laos, particularly during peak periods like CNY.

Neighboring Thailand is putting a stop to them starting in the next few weeks by requiring advance permission through a Thai based travel agency or tour operator 10 business days before arrival, submission of travel itineraries, 3rd party insurance, a special plate that must be inside the vehicle at all times, traffic orientation for one hour and possibly a Thai temporary driver's licences for citizens of countries who don't possess a licence usable in Thailand(especially for Chinese who don't possess international drivers permits since China is not a signatory to the UN convention on international motor traffic). Apart from this, travel will be permitted only in the border province entered (for example Chiang Rai) with further travel permitted only with a Thai guide.

Convoys will require a guide and police escort, though it is unclear how many vehicles constitutes a convoy.

Motorhomes and motorcycles will be banned from Thai roads altogether, only cars and pickup trucks with no more than 9 seats and a GVM of max. 3500kg will be permitted to enter.

Although these rules will not apply in Laos, if Chinese vehicles keep entering Laos in ever increasing numbers the Lao may also impose some restrictions of their own, particularly since it's rather unfair that the Chinese don't allow Lao vehicles beyond Jinghong (except buses, which are permitted to travel up to Kunming), while the Chinese are allowed free reign to roam around Laos.

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@bluppfisk, as clearly indicated in the article and the replies, you must be in transit to a third country not on a simple return ticket. For example, Hong Kong via Kunming to Kathmandu, Seoul via Kunming to Kolkata or Bangkok via Kunming to Mandalay. In the latter case, a stopover in Kunming would only make sense if you really had business to do in Kunming, but this new visa-free transit stay will allow you to enter China via Kunming for a short period without needing to apply for a visa. As more destinations are added to Kunming's airport, it will become more attractive as a stopover destination. Rumours suggest that next year, Sydney will be served by a direct flight from Kunming, which would mark the first non-stop, direct flight from Kunming to an intercontinental destination. If this happens, then flying via Kunming to say, Kolkata, Mandalay, Yangon or Kathmandu, all destinations not served from Australia and generally few other non-regional cities will open up another option to stopover in Kunming for some travellers.

The problem with this policy is it is too limited. China is trying to woo international travelers to it's shores this way by promoting a 3-day stopover, but the problem is that compared to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and even Hong Kong SAR, all of which offer lengthy visa-free stays of at least 30 days and up to 90 days for some nationalities, China's policy is so limited in scope and the requirements are so specific that many would be travelers under this policy are likely to give China a miss. Indeed for any trip from Australia to Europe for example, I would always fly either via Thailand or Singapore and would never consider China as a stopover, even with attractive airfares.

While Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou can get some traffic under these rules since they are hubs for airlines such as Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, respectively, with the exception of Hainan Airlines which also has a second hub in Beijing, very few other airlines and no foreign airlines use any mainland Chinese cities as transit hubs for their flights from say, Australia or SE Asia to Europe - indeed, there is no need and previous stringent visa requirements made such plans unlikely to ever be implemented. Even under the current terms, Virgin Atlantic is much better off using Hong Kong as a transit stop on it's Sydney to London flight, for example. This is in addition to Cathay Pacific and previously Qantas, which now uses Dubai as it's transit hub.

The policy would be much better implemented if the requirements were: must only be in possession of a round-trip ticket say Kuala Lumpur-Guangzhou-Kuala Lumpur, Sydney-Shanghai-Sydney or Los Angeles-Beijing-Los Angeles or even Sydney-Shanghai-Melbourne, rather than an onward ticket to another destination and a 1 or 2 week visa free period were implemented instead, even if it only allows limited travel in the same province or 1-2 adjacent provinces.

In the case of Kunming, it is highly unlikely that there would be a reasonable number of travelers using the policy for onward travel, since few airlines use Kunming as a hub - a traveler flying from say Bangkok to Seoul could use Kunming as a transit stop under this policy flying China Eastern but this would be rather inconvenient as direct, non-stop flights would be far cheaper (besides, there are like half a dozen operators flying the route anyway) - I don't think there would be any good deals available for flying via Kunming either, maybe via Shanghai but definitely not Kunming, which would likely require the purchase of 2 separate tickets. For all other possible combinations, separate tickets would need to be purchased thus driving up ticket costs and making Kunming an unattractive hub, unless the government and airlines can work together to implement a more attractive policy.

Still, I think if the implementation of this policy is a step towards some kind of future visa-free travel policy for foreign travelers, then bring it on. However, China would be wise to learn from the examples of the SE Asian countries (including Hong Kong SAR) I have mentioned, as they have earned billions of dollars in valuable foreign exchange from their open visa policies.

Thanks Dazzer, but irrespective of who you are, if you commit a crime you need to be held accountable. This guy could have said he is the most powerful person in China, that doesn't make it so, it's all hearsay. Most people wouldn't recognize him for anything other than his behavior. Of course, in this instance he was arrested, but I think it was disturbing that it took longer than the length of this video for that to happen - bystanders just watched him destroy thousands of dollars worth of property. Half the damage could have been avoided if he was pinned down more quickly. The thing is, people like this guy represent security threats. Of course, it's better this happened on the ground than in the air, because I can assure you that nobody would have let this guy have a tantrum up in the air - he would have been pinned down quite quickly.

What I don't understand is why this guy wasn't immediately pinned down by officers at the first moment he smashed a computer. Instead, everyone including the police just watched, behind the safety of a line. I can guarantee you in virtually every other country on Earth, the second someone destroys even the smallest airport property, half a dozen police or security officers will come and make an arrest. I didn't see any evidence of an arrest even at the end of the video, more than 2 minutes after Yan smashed the first computer.

I used to be told that if you do even the smallest bad thing in China such as stealing a loaf of bread, you'll be immediately arrested and locked up almost indefinitely. It seems that those people who told me those things were quite wrong - it seems like you can do almost anything before you actually get arrested.

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