Guilin to Hong Kong for some.

On September the 16th 2002 Carl said good-bye to the other Anglophones as he planned to continue on to the Hong Kong (HK) Territories and ship Bigfoot back to North America from there.

Before any of the vehicles could exit China, the issue of incorrect documentation and our guide's mix-up of vehicle license plates needed to be rectified. For Carl, this meant remaining in Guilin to wait for the four French vans, one of which had Bigfoot's Chinese license plate. The French had been delayed due to an accident between the Bertrand's van and an errant Chinese truck a week earlier. Unfortunately, the Bertrand's van, even after local "repairs", was not in shape to complete the planned drive home to France via Tibet, India, Pakistan, and Iran. Therefore, Andre and Ginette decided to join Carl and exit China via HK from where they would ship their van back to Europe.

China Swan in Beijing agreed to arrange for permission from the Chinese Military for the two vehicles to travel to HK via Nanning and also to arrange for the government-required Chinese guide to accompany the vehicles to the HK border.

Arrangements were made with Barwil Agencies Ltd. in Hong Kong, for both vehicles to be shipped Oct 3rd via Wallenius Wilhelmsen Shipping line's RORO vessel "Tapilola". Barwil also agreed to process all the necessary permits for the two vehicles to enter HK from the border town of Shenzhen.

The drive to the HK border via Nanning and Cenxi took 3 days along good high-speed paved roads. In Nanning the vehicles parked in the pleasantly treed garden and parking area of the central Majestic Hotel 38 Xinmin Lu (Telephone: 2830808) Recommended. Jevons, our new guide, joined in Nanning and proved to be a helpful obliging individual; well informed, pro-active, personable, and responsible. Jevons is employed by the China Travel Service (CTS) in Nanning and can be contacted by e-mail. Recommended.

Barwil Agency staff met the two vehicles in the border town of Shenzhen where final border crossing arrangements were made. Because the vehicles did not have HK licenses, we were advised that Barwil staff would meet us at the border and drive the two vehicles the short distance to a suitable parking location. It appears that very few foreign vehicles cross the border from China into HK. Our arrival therefore caused some confusion on the HK side with a resulting 3-hour delay as the border police decided how to deal with two foreign vehicles. However, all difficulties were resolved once Barwil Agencies staff was allowed into the Customs area.

Barwil Agencies made arrangements for camping in their secure heavy equipment storage area in the Western Territories for 3 days until our vehicles were loaded onto the "Tapiola". Despite high onshore and dock-side costs, Barwil Agencies Ltd. were pleasant to deal with and provided excellent service. Their staff at the storage site was very helpful assisting with ongoing personal flight arrangements, changing money, and local transportation. Contact : C.N. Wong, Transportation Manager by e-mail Recommended.

The "Tapiola" sailed October 3rd for Long Beach, California, then onward through the Panama Canal to Hamburg Germany. Crossing into HK was no less complicated than many of the other borders the Anglophone had crossed over the past 7 months. In the near future I hope to collect additional information on private vehicle tourist travel in HK, to see if the process can be simplified, and if storage and dock-side costs can be reduced.

Carl Hunter.

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