This post is for overlanders who want to drive or ride to china from vietnam by car/motorcycle.
Ports between China and Vietnam
The land boundary line between China and Vietnam is 1347 kilometers long. There are many opposite opening ports and channels, including seven pairs of ports of national-level land border (four of which are in Guangxi: Dongxing, Pingxiang, Youyiguan, Shuikou, and three of which are in Yunnan: Hekou, Tianbao and Jinshui River).
Dongxing Port, the largest port on the Sino-Vietnamese border, corresponds to MongCai Port in Vietnam.
Dongxing Port is located at the junction of Beilun River and Kolong River in Vietnam. It is only 100 meters away from MongCai Port in Vietnam. It is the only national port in China connecting to Vietnam’s land and sea. There are nearly 1 million tons of import and export goods every year, and the number of people entering and leaving the country reaches more than 3 million per year. It ranks first among similar ports in Guangxi and third among land ports in China.
Hekou Port, corresponding to Vietnam’s LaoCai Port
LaoCai border gate is one of the most important frontier gates in tourism and economic activities between Vietnam and China. It is located in the center of LaoCai City in LaoCai Province, adjacent to Henan Province of China, and in Yao Autonomous County in the south of Yunnan Province. The Ho Kieu bridge connects the LaoCai border gate with the estuary border gate. Travelers often go through this border gate rather than the Muong Khuong border gate, because after passing though the gate, you will arrive at the beautiful Hekou town.
The nearest border crossings to Sapa and Kunming, Australians and some Europeans can pay $45 for a one-month Chinese visa inside LaoCai/Hekou border, Vietnam(which takes an hour to process). But the British, Americans and others have to get visas in Hanoi. Please check with the Chinese Embassy before arriving at the border.
You must get a Chinese visa before you travel! To obtain a Chinese visa, you must register at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Hanoi (Address: 46 Dien Banu Street, Bating District, Hanoi City) or at the Chinese Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City（Address: 175 Haibatrang Street, District 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City).
You must prepare these documents:
Sometimes, officials may ask you to add more documents according to your own conditions, just provide what they require. You need to pay a certain amount of visa fee (about $30 to $45).
China uses RMB or RMB is Chinese currency, so I suggest that you exchange currency in Hanoi before you travel. You can easily exchange at any jewelry store on Hang Bong Ward’s Ha Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi City. The exchange rate is about $1 = 6.3 RMB or 1 RMB = 3,570 Vietnamese dong.
It doesn’t matter if you forget to exchange money, because there are several ATMs in Hekou.However, not all ATMs accept foreign cards.Please look for the ATM of Bank of China to exchange. Actually there are English instructions on the ATM has English instructions, so it’s easy to draw money.
Opening Time of Vietnam and China Border
China is an hour ahead of Vietnam. Vietnamese Immigration Bureau opens at 7 a.m. (8 a.m. Chinese time). Then you need to cross a bridge to enter the China Immigration Bureau. The opening time for the China Immigration Bureau opens from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (China time), that is, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Vietnam time.
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