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Trans Siberian or Trans Mongolian train

Travel Forums Asia Trans Siberian or Trans Mongolian train

1. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

So, I am on a project and going to end up in Paris on October 21st. I am planning on taking a couple of weeks off once the project ends and seeing as I will be in Paris anyway, have been tossing around ideas of what to do.

I started to get this idea in my head of trying to see how far I could get in the two weeks from Paris - so I started thinking about maybe doing the trans-siberian from Moscow to Beijing. It's just a stupid idea at this point - I just did my first research on it today. I'm hoping that some of those that have done this (or planned it - Gelli, Sam?) might be able to assist me.

I found this site that lists two different options: Intours Canada. Prices are in Canadian dollars, which right now is .80 US or 0.66 EUROs.

What do people think of the iternary? Is it easier to get a tour company to arrange (they'd take care of Visa), or better to do on my own? Is there more ability to get off and see the sites?

If I self plan instead of a tour, what are the visa arrangements that need to be made? What days do the trains always leave Moscow? Do they run every week? Will they be running the week of October 24th?

Is it possible to get from Paris to Moscow overland starting at Friday afternoon?

Still have to see if I can get work to swing for the air tickets. Not sure how much extra it might cost for Toronto - Paris, Beijing - Toronto instead of Toronto - Paris - Toronto.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

Greg

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Check out this page, lots of info.:

Trans-Siberian Railway

As far as visa go, you'd need a Russian Visa & a Mongolian Visa (not required for Americans but a Canadian would probably need a visa) and if you went into China (then you'd need a Chinese Visa, which is easy to get). You can get the Russian Visa through a visa service, since they can get the required "invitation" that you would need in order to obtain the visa.

3. Posted by kevstump (Full Member 123 posts) 11y

Sorry for hijacking your thread, but how easy is it to get a chinese visa? can you get them on the border crossing from mongolia or do you have to get them in advance?

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting kevstump

Sorry for hijacking your thread, but how easy is it to get a chinese visa? can you get them on the border crossing from mongolia or do you have to get them in advance?

I'm pretty sure that you need to get a Chinese visa in advance. It is an easy visa to obtain, no hassel.

5. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

Very biefly -

Paris - Bruxelles TGV *Thalys (run frequently) anbout 1hr 25.
Bruxelles - Moscow Night train, daily (think leaving about 1600 from memory). Jny is 2 nights, first to warsaw, second to moscow, but direct

Check out www.seat61.com (i think) and www.bahn.de (German railways, who have the most reliable timerables for all europe.)

Might well be possible to ctach a later train through to cologne, maybe even changing there and catching up with the slower night train. Other easy option is paris- berlin night train, berlin - warsaw connection, and onwards. Lots of possibilities.

You need a belarus transit visa, and also a russian tourist visa, both which must be got in advance, and both of which - especially russian - have a myriad of rules etc. Dont think you can do it just on the spur ofg the moment, as it will cost a shit load, if possible. Go to www.waytorussia.net (i think they are .net) for good visa advice, Yes, it is complicated, but its all there. As a tourist, its easier, but you can only get 30 days. even if you think you only need 15, get 30. Mongolian visa can be got on route (irkutsk is best), chinese needed, but easy and can be got before.

Tours are expe4nsive, but in a short timr and if money isnt a major ussie, they are normally worth it form wjhat ive hreard, and good fun, although no frst hand experience. Moscow - beihing is not everyday. think twice a week, but onc vis harbin i.e. not mongolia.

There is a good russian rail TT online (cant think of link, sorry - but might be to do with poezda.ru?) but which should be easily accessible through waytorussia and seat61.

hope that helps. If you need more, just ask, but using a cyrillic keyboard in an internet cafe just now and its doing my head!

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Thanks all. Will need to do some serious travel dreamin' over the next few weeks to figure out which of my 2 weeks starting in Paris travel ideas really grips me.

Greg

7. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting GregW

Thanks all. Will need to do some serious travel dreamin' over the next few weeks to figure out which of my 2 weeks starting in Paris travel ideas really grips me.
Greg

Greg,

Remember SEA LEVEL! Repeat after me, I Will Not Go Above Sea Level on my next trip.

8. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

Remember SEA LEVEL! Repeat after me, I Will Not Go Above Sea Level on my next trip

I like the idea, but do you have any idea how hard and restricting that really is??? Most bars are at least a metre above sea level :(