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Travel buddy on Trans-Siberian train Moscow - Beijing

Travel Forums Travel Companions Travel buddy on Trans-Siberian train Moscow - Beijing

1. Posted by Mirte. (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y


I’m Mirte (18) currently on a gap year before University. Hoping to travel overland from home (UK) to China from March this year.

I’m looking for people to travel on the Trans-Siberian/Trans-Mongolian railway with from Moscow to Beijing in March 2015. It would be cool to join someone! or you know if you fancy an adventure playing cards with a russian magician whilst rolling through Siberia... * I’m hoping to go as early as possible from the 1st of March 2015 (sorry it’s last minute, my friend dropped out...)

The plan is not set in stone, dates/itinerary negotiable. So far it would be to spend a few days in Moscow, 5 days on the train to Mongolia (with a possible stop off at Lake Baikal in Siberia), stop in Mongolia for a week or so to explore then get back on the train to Beijing.

Would be awesome to have some companionship to share the experience with –safer but mostly a lot more fun!!

I’m pretty outgoing/adventurous, like meeting new people and cultures, seeing and experiencing as much as possible (on a budget). This would be the first time travelling on my own though so it’s a bit scary, so preferably female and/or UK based, so we can discuss etc ☺ Thanks for reading, message me or leave a reply if you’re interested! ☺

2. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 649 posts) 1y

If you can get 4 people together it gives you a sleeper compartment to yourselves, reducing your risk of theft.

A little time beforehand spent studying the Cyrillic alphabet makes Russia a lot easier, suddenly a lot of the gobbledygook becomes intelligible.

Most people go through without any stops to see the cities along the route, which seems such a shame to me.

3. Posted by Mirte. (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Hi Andyf,

Thanks so much for the tips!!

I was hoping if I found someone to maybe go 3rd class on the train in Russia, I feel like that might make it more safe because it is like an open dormitory? Otherwise yes a 4 berth compartment... And definitely want to stop at least once on the route in Mongolia, and maybe in Siberia as well that would be awesome :)

And I will get started on the Russian alphabet! ;)

4. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 649 posts) 1y

March is pretty early in the season for doing this - expect plenty of atmospheric snowy views. :-)

When in Moscow check out the milk bars for cheap eating local style - one chain is called Grabli but there are lots. Otherwise it can be an expensive city. At least the exchange rate is now hugely in your favour!

They try to keep red square clear of snow but expect icy pavements everywhere so take boots. For buying tickets eg tours of the Kremlin or metro tickets, the staff only speak Russian and are not too helpful, so arm yourself with some phrases - or a Russian speaker!

Oh and for visas I've used Real Russia who have made things very easy - recommended.

Have a great trip! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Feb-2015, at 05:28 by Andyf ]

5. Posted by Mirte. (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Hi Andy,

Thanks so much for the Moscow tips, I've noted them down! will definitely taking be boots then :) What are milk bars?

I see that you've also backpacked in the Balkans - I was thinking of stopping off in Vilnius and Riga on the way to Moscow for a day or so in each. Would you recommend this? Do you have any insider tips? Thanks so much!! :D

6. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 649 posts) 1y

Milk bars are budget restaurants where you go down the serving line picking what you want and pay at the till. A cheap way to try lots of local foods.

Riga and Vilnius are both worth a visit, also Tallinn which has more medieval architecture. No major things to suggest other than a wander round. Riga has a ufo style tv tower that you can go up, and the central market was originally built as zeppelin hangars. In Vilnius I loved the kgb museum, if loved is the right word for quite a dark experience.

Maybe you already know - Russia have made the visa process more complicated recently. You now need to attend in person at either London or Edinburgh as they take your fingerprints.