Everything you need to know about China’s international border crossings.
China shares international borders with 14 different countries, as well as 2 borders with the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
I wasn’t able to find a comprehensive resource on the internet that covers all of China’s international borders, so I figured I’d write one up myself.
Let’s go over all of China’s different border crossings:
- 1 International China Border Crossings
- 2 Special Administrative Region Border Crossings
- 3 China Border Crossings Wrap-up
International China Border Crossings
China – Afghanistan
Extremely remote, this high-altitude border crossing over the Wakhjir Pass into Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor is currently closed to everybody.
China – Bhutan
There are no border crossings between China and Bhutan.
China – India
There are no border crossings between China and India that are open to foreigners. Relations between these two countries aren’t great, so don’t count on this changing anytime soon.
China – Kazakhstan
The most popular crossing between China and Kazakhstan is the border crossing at Khorgas. Note that this is a border crossing with China’s Xinjiang province, which means it’s likely that authorities will search your electronics for ‘sensitive’ media.
It’s possible to cross the Khorgas border by bus or train.
China – Kyrgyzstan
There are two main border crossings between China and Kyrgyzstan. The most popular one is the Irkeshtam border crossing, between connecting the cities of Kashgar and Osh.
There is also the Tourngat border crossing, but it requires pre-arranged transportation on the Chinese side of the border. In most cases, the Irkeshtam border crossing is an easier and cheaper option.
China – Laos
There’s a fairly straightforward border crossing between China and Laos, known as the Boten Border Crossing. This border is useful for those who want to travel between Xishuangbanna in Yunnan and Luang Prabang in Laos.
For more info on the border crossing, check out this article.
China – Mongolia
The most popular border crossing between China and Mongolia is the one from Zamin Uud to Erlian. It’s typically used by people travelling between Beijing and Ulaanbataar overland.
I’ve crossed this border myself, and have written up a guide to travelling between Beijing and Ulaanbataar using this crossing.
China – Myanmar
There is a crossing between China and Myanmar at Muse, but it’s not currently open to foreigners due to conflict on the Myanmar side of the border.
This will hopefully change in the future, but for now, your best bet to get from China to Myanmar is via Laos and Thailand.
China – Nepal
The Kyirong border crossing between Tibet and Nepal is now open! It was closed when I visited Tibet in 2017, which sucked as I had to fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa.
You still do need to have a Tibet tour arranged to cross this border, but now that it’s open it makes for a great way to travel between the Indian Subcontinent and China.
For more info on the latest status of this border crossing, check out this article.
China – North Korea
There are a few different border crossings between China and North Korea. You need to have arranged a tour to North Korea and have all the required permits before attempting any of these crossings.
The most popular crossing is via the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge from Dandong in China to Sinuiju in North Korea. This crossing also has a railway, and there are four weekly trains from Beijing to Pyongyang that foreigners are allowed to use.
Here is some more info on the China – North Korea border crossings.
China – Pakistan
The border crossing between China and Pakistan is the world’s highest international border crossing. It’s located at the top of Khunjerab Pass, 4,693 meters above sea level. The border is only open from April to October of each year.
Check out my guide to the Khunjerab Pass border crossing for more information.
China – Russia
There are 26 border crossings between China and Russia, and at least three of them are open to foreigners.
If travelling the Trans-Siberian Railway between Russia and China, the main crossing is the one at Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia province.
Harbin to Vladivostok can be done by either bus or train via the Sufienhe border crossing.
China – Tajikistan
There’s a single border crossing between China and Tajikistan over the Qolma Pass – from Tashkurgan in China to Murghab in Tajikistan.
At the moment, the only way to cross the pass is by hiring a vehicle, hitchhiking, or cycling. There is no public transportation.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have a GBAO permit along with your Tajikistan visa. You’ll be entering directly into Tajikistan’s GBAO region so this is a requirement. You can get the permit for an additional $20 when applying for your e-visa.
For more info on crossing the Qolma Pass, check out this guide from Caravanistan.
China – Vietnam
There are a number of border crossings between China and Vietnam, but the most popular one for foreign travellers is the Friendship Pass crossing between Nanning and Hanoi.
You can cross this border by bus or train, but the bus is a cheaper and faster option.
Special Administrative Region Border Crossings
China’s special administrative regions have full passport control for foreign citizens, and it basically feels like you’re crossing into another country (although your passport won’t be stamped).
China – Hong Kong
There are a couple of border crossings between Shenzen and Hong Kong. Luohu is the main crossing and is connected by the metro on either side. Futian, Shekou, Shenzhenwan, and Huanggang are the other border crossings. Take whichever is most convenient for you.
Here’s a useful guide with more info on travelling between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
China – Macau
Hong Kong to Macau is very straightforward with the recent construction of the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge. You can also take a high-speed ferry from Hong Kong to Macau if seasickness doesn’t bother you.
There is also a land border crossing between Zhuhai and Macau if you want to bypass Hong Kong.
China Border Crossings Wrap-up
I hope this post has helped you find the information you were looking for about China’s border crossings! Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.
In the meantime, why not check out my other posts about China:
- 65 Useful Tips for Travelling in China (Backpacker’s Guide)
- 7 Must Visit Places In China
- Camping on the Great Wall of China – A Backpacker’s Guide
- Yading Nature Reserve: The Ultimate Travel & Trekking Guide
- Overland from Chengdu to Shangri-La: Travel Guide & Itinerary
- Khunjerab Pass Guide: Border Crossing from Pakistan to China