Day 1 to Qingdao: The liberal Chinese interpretation of the words “one-way street” and how to share your lane

So I’m officially the farthest I’ve ever been on a motorcycle from Beijing, shattering my previous record of 200km by over 120! However, I don’t think anything has made me more appreciative of the drivers in Beijing (you know, that city with the worst traffic in the world) then actually leaving the city and experiencing some real authentic Chinese driving. For one, it’s bad enough that most cars seem to completely ignore my existence on the road and act as if I wasn’t there altogether, often pushing up inches to my left as I’m driving in the center of the lane attempting to pass the car in front of me even though there’s oncoming traffic, but when cars start doing the same to trucks and vice versa, that’s when you really gotta start wondering at what they test for in China when you get your license (actually I’ve heard some
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Beijing to Qingdao: A Real Chinese Motorcycle Road Trip

View Larger Map In 2009 when I was studying Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing, I attempted a motorcycle trip with a friend from Beijing to Qingdao. It is roughly 700km each way, however we only made it about 150-200km outside of Beijing before we started experiencing major technical difficulties that eventually ended up in our having to hitch a ride with a Mongolian and calling off the trip (you can read about the whole experience here). Well, it’s now time for attempt number 2! I’ve got the motorcycle, my Jincheng 250cc named “Mafan”, I’ve got the plan (Beijing, to Yantai, to Qingdao (The Beer Capital of China), hopefully to the end of the Great Wall, and then back to Beijing), and I’ve got the holiday (National Holiday or 国庆节). So invite anyone who would like to follow along for the ride as I post from the road. You can
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Stuck in 4 lanes of traffic packed with trucks… on a 2 lane highway. A photo diary of the joys of motorcycle travel in China!

Take a look at a photo diary of my trip to Songshan, 100km outside of Beijing, and the massive traffic jams of trucks we had to make our way through. Possibly more trucks than I’ve seen my whole life, cumulatively.
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