Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

An epic train journey along the most famous railway on the planet, this adventurous trip covers almost half of the world across three nations - Russia, Mongolia and China.
St Petersburg Hermitage Museum Suzdal Moscow Lenin's Mausoleum Red Square Kremlin Trans-Siberian Railway Lake Baikal Irkutsk Volkonsky House Museum Trans-Mongolian Railway Ulaanbaatar night in a ger camp at Gorkhi-Terelj National Park Beijing
Price
£3275To£3535excluding flights
Duration
20 Days
Countries
China, Mongolia, Russia
Type
Small group
Reviews
More info
Single supplement £460.
Make enquiry

Description of Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

Climb aboard the Trans-Mongolian Express, eastbound, and discover Russia, Mongolia and China on an epic 20 day journey. From the might of Moscow all the way to stately, imperial Beijing, this railway adventure on the world’s most famous line whisks you through Siberia and the Mongolian Steppe, scooping up sights and experiences along the way.

Your adventure begins with two days in St Petersburg before travelling to Suzdal in Russia’s Golden Ring, a beautiful old town where you can share a meal with our local friends here and have a go at cooking pastries with the family. Next, explore Moscow before beginning your journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Admire the scenery as you head towards Irkutsk, jumping off point for the massive and magnificent Lake Baikal and your stay with a friendly, local Buryat family. Here, you can freshen up after your long journey with a traditional Russian banya – a refreshing steam, wash and birch branch ‘massage’.

From here, you’ll be travelling on the Trans-Mongolia Railway, heading into Mongolia. In the wilderness here, you’ll stay overnight in a tourist ger camp and learn more about the country’s culture and heritage, seeing its original Buddhist temple and the city built by Genghis Khan. This unforgettable journey ends in Beijing, where you can learn about China’s long history and contemporary life. If you have time, take the option to extend your stay here for a few extra days, so you can explore the Forbidden City, take a cycling tour or perhaps visit the Great Wall.

Map

Price information

£3275To£3535excluding flights
Single supplement £460.
Make enquiry

Check dates, prices & availability

Travel guides

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Holiday information

Our top tip:
Some roads are rough and winding - don't forget your meds if your prone to travel sickness.
Trip type:
Small group, max 12 adults.
Activity level:
Moderate.
Accomm:
1 night ger camp, 2x homestay, 9x hotel, 8x sleeper train.
Solos:
Welcome. Single rooms available at hotels only for a surcharge.
Meals:
11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners.
Included:
Accommodation, tour leader, transfers, listed activities.

Reviews

2 Reviews of Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 29 Dec 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Lake Baikal Homestay and the Mongolian Ger Camp... both have incredible memories for me that will stay with me for life!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with an open mind... chat to as many people as you can on the train! Take cards and make sure you buy some vodka before you get on as you won't have another chance. I think it is the people that make it, so chat to as many people as you can! Don't be scared of buying food on the platform... it is so worth it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely!! It was obvious everywhere we went that we were supporting local people and environmentally aware - collecting rubbish etc!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


5 out of 5!

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I loved the train journey, chatting to the locals, making food, using the hot
water urns at the end of the carriage and having the wheels changed on the
Mongolia/China border was a fantastic experience.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take warm clothes if you are going in the autumn and a mug and spoon for the
train. Learn some Russian before you go and take maps of the train journey as
these are a great way to start conversations.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Brilliant. Could not fault this trip at all.

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet

This trip is an epic journey traversing 3 national and through areas that area rarely visited by tourists. In particular this trip exposes the outer reaches of rural Mongolia and the vast taiga of Siberia, as well as the grandness of the huge cities of Beijing, Moscow and St Petersburg.

We provide all travellers with reusable bags in order to avoid waste and encourage use of “tea flasks” for drinking water (or tea, like the locals do!) so as not to purchase multiple plastic bottles.
There are a lot of small things that we can do to make a difference for the region we travel through. While we are at Lake Baikal, the deepest fresh water lake in the world, we’ll go and pick up the garbage along the shore of the lake to help protect this amazingly beautiful nature. While on the train, the train attendant can provide glass cups (coming with beautiful Russian style cup holder, a great souvenir) for you to drink tea and coffee so we can avoid using paper or plastic cups. In Mongolia, we should only leave our footprint behind when we visit Terelj National Park and stay overnight in the Ger camp by taking out our garbage.
There are quite a few trains that we’ll take on this journey, and it’s encouraged to share the snacks/food we buy so that we don’t create as much wasted packaging. And taking the trains is the best way to reduce our carbon footprint as well.

People

We include informal local language lessons to give our travellers a head start into understanding the culture and communicating with the people we meet along the way.
When taking trains we travel 2nd or 3rd class (kupe or platzkart) which is the way the majority of locals travel - this gives us maximum chance to meet and share stories, food, games and the journey with local travellers.

You are accompanied by a leader for the duration of the tour who will be able to help you understand more about the realities of living and travelling in Russia and help to facilitate your interaction with locals along the way. The local guides who take you on excursions and walking tours in each of the places we visit are passionate about their country and allow you to get a real insight into places significant to the history, culture and development of the nation.

During the journey there are numerous opportunities for local interaction and getting to know people. Wandering the back streets of Suzdal you'll no doubt encounter local residents tending their gardens, chickens and livestock or perhaps even come across monks, nuns and priests on their way to the many monasteries and churches in the town. Along the way you'll have the opportunity to support local industries by shopping for food at local farmers markets, buying direct from the babushka's who sell their home produce on the streets or visiting local handicraft stalls. Or talk to our hosts in our Guesthouse near Lake Baikal to learn about their life the far reaches in Siberia.

In Mongolia the itinerary takes in the beautiful Terelj National Park for 2 days in this grassland wilderness. The group stays in a traditional Ger camp, where they can experience the lives of nomadic families. The gers sleep up to 4 people with comfy beds and plenty of blankets. In the colder months you might want to stoke up the wood heater in the centre of the ger and you'll be toasty warm in no time!

Through staying in these local guesthouses/camps, we establish a true connection with the locals who welcome us into their life and it’s a very heart-warming experience to get to know these people and their community.

There are also some great projects that you have the option to support through our foundation – Nochlezhka, a local charity that helps the homeless people in St Petersburg, Lotus Children’s Home which provides housing and schooling for orphans from the city in Ulaanbaatar, or Huiling school in Beijing, a local NGO that supports the reintegration of mentally challenged people into society.

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