My girlfriend and I are in the midst of planning a road trip, in an old Bedford rascal van we have bought, from the UK to Thailand, leaving in September 2015. The current route we are looking to take is through Europe, into Russia, Mongolia, China and then into Asia before hopefully repeating the same journey in reverse to bring the van back to the UK.
All the planning is going well however, we are having some problems with China. We are not looking at travelling through Tibet or Xinjiang and are only looking to travel through the country for a maximum of 10 days either way, partly due to cost and partly due to the weather. We have read that a change in Chinese law means that you can now drive into China unguided as long as you don't visit the two provinces of Tibet or Xinjiang. As our van only has 2 seats we would ideally be looking at doing the journey unguided and was wondering if anyone knew any more information about the possibility of this? Obviously all the Chinese paperwork including licences and plates would need to be completed however, without going through an expensive tour operator we're not too sure how to go about this. Does anyone have any insight as to what would be the best way to achieve this?
Other options we've been looking at is putting the van on a cargo train between Mongolia and Laos but we're unsure on customs documents for this and whether it is even possible in the first place! Does anyone have any experience or knowledge in this area at all?
Thank you very much for reading this, any help would be greatly appreciated!