Sunday, October 02, 2005

Warning - closed areas in Hunan province

Other cyclists may find it useful to know (see previous posts) that the "closed" counties which aliens (foreigners) are not supposed to travel in south-western Hunan are (according to the Huitong PSB):

JingZhou (Miao and Dong Autonomous Zhen)
TongDao (Dong Autonomous Zhen)

I was picked up while out on the road, far from any town. Someone must have reported me when I went through a village. The PSB in Huitong say they arrest several foreign cyclists every year.

I got away with a formal 'warning' - including 3 1/2 hours of questioning, form-filling, fingerprinting, baggage searching, institutionalised faffing, etc.

In theory they could fine you quite heavily, and they will probably want to sling you out of the province by taxi at your expense.

This "closed area" precludes riding the G209 between Huaihua in Hunan and Guangxi in the south.


  1. hi mate! wish you good luck!

    I can't understand why foreign cyclists are restricted in those "closed areas" even though I, myself, am Chinese. that's weird.

    anyway, enjoy your riding in China!

  2. Im currently living and working in Huaihua (at a University) soon to leave via train for Guilin. (I have been here for 12 months. The reason is simple in Huaihua there are various Military bases.(including a Nuclear Missile Base) I need to carry a Foriegn Pass or as it is called an "Alien Travel Permit" - Even when catching a local bus!

  3. As I mentioned in my last post Ive been living and working in Huaihua - Ive just travelled on the train (G209) From Huaihua to Guilin in Guangxi - I had no problems - no one asked me for either my passport (EU) or my 'Aliens Travel Permit' actually the only problem which I had was that there were no beds so I stayed in the "Dinning Car" - overnight!