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Entering China overland from South East Asia

June 26, 20233 minute read
four new destinations,Kunming, Yunnan,Entering China overland

A friend recently caught the new Chinese built train service from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, a journey of two and a half hours.  Contrast that with the road journey of two full days and it’s definitely the way to go. You can also continue your journey to Kunming in Yunnan Province in South West China, a total travel time of eleven and a half hours. For travellers entering China overland via the Laos/China border at Boten/Mohan, the connection is now available since the China-Laos Railway officially launched its cross-border passenger train service on 13th April 2023.

Procedures for entering China overland

The Chinese government has tightened entry procedures by land sea and air, post covid. These stricter procedures also apply to travellers entering China via railway from Southeast Asia.

The new procedures were noted in a media report carried by Bernama, following a media trip on the “China-Laos Railway Journey”, at the invitation by the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, to visit Kunming, Pu’er and Xishuangbanna. The journey included a look at the immigration and customs procedures at the transit station in Mohan, located at the China-Laos border.

The immigration processes for people entering China via land routes from Southeast Asia are still strict, equivalent to those at airports following the World Health Organisation (WHO) announcement of the end of the Covid-19 global health emergency. There is also a concern about possibility entry of other diseases like dengue fever which is prevalent in Southeast Asia.

Wang Junfeng, deputy stationmaster of Mohan Station gave participants from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar an overview of Mohan Station’s international passenger transportation situation and customs clearance procedures.

With 12 admission routes into China and four departure channels, the station claims an impressively quick clearance rate of three persons per minute for each channel.

Foreign nationals entering China, by land, sea, or air, are required to:

  • Complete the customs health declaration using the mobile application

In addition, travellers arriving by land transport must

  • Register their health using the “Intelligent Health Self-declaration Machine of Kunming Customs”
    • This may be done at Mohan Station if the traveller does not have access to a mobile network or a mobile phone.
  • Additional declarations may be made using the same computer around 10 seconds after the initial declaration, which takes just 2 to 3 minutes to complete.
  • Although the report is not clear about the materials, Mohan Station is equipped with a radiation detection gateway to ensure that inbound individuals do not carry excessive levels of radioactive materials.
  • In addition to the standard quarantine clearance procedures, individuals undergoing cancer treatment are required to declare their condition.
  • Apply for visas well before departure date as approval may take some time.

Mohan Railway station is located in Mengla County, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. It connects with the Moding Port in Laos and serves as an important national-level land port for China’s access to Southeast Asian countries.

Since the Station opened, Mohan Station has received over 25,000 business and leisure travellers from approximately 39 countries and regions, including China. Foreign visitors account for 33 per cent of the total. Currently, over half the traffic is from other countries, primarily Laos or Thailand, about 10 percent of the total number of foreign nationals entering China.

There is only one train travelling daily between Mohan Station and Kunming. The train departs both stations at 8.08 am and arrives at 12.27 pm, with a total travel time of 4 hours and 19 minutes, including stops at Xishuangbanna, Pu’er, and Kunming South.

Luang Prabang,one-stop travel shop,Entering China overland

swim or zipline at Tad Sae waterfall, Laos

# China, entry requirements, train travel
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