I am planning to take the train from Moscow to Beijing in July this year, hoping to visit Lake Baikel and Ulan Bator on the way. Does anyone know of any relativly cheap tours (about 5 days) that are available in these places. I've tried looking on the internet but can only find expensive companies charging about $1000. Or, is it possible just to arrive and arrange something there or should I try and book something in advance?
Thanks for your help
I'm doing the Trans Mongolian from Beijing to Moscow starting on 9th March...it's just about 1 month away and I'm really excited.
I'll be stopping off in UB and Irkutsk, actually I've posted something on the Europe Forum titled "Travelling Solo on the Trans Mongolian" or something like that. There were a few replies which I think may be useful to you.
For cheaper and more "meaningful" tours in UB, I suggest you go and check out www.gertoger.org. It's a nomad community project which creates opportunities for the Mongolian nomads to earn a living through tourism. So it seems that instead of profitting the large travel agencies, you will be benefitting the local people.
I'll probably do a few posts as I go along on my journey in March, you could email me if you want additional info.
I did the trans mongolian about 18 months ago and stopped off in UB and Irkutsk as well. Make sure you go to St.Petersburg as it is a much nicer city than Moscow in my opinion.
With regards to tours in mogolia, i went with Karakorum expeditions, but as my dad works in the adventure travel industry back in the UK, this was his connection so they sorted it out for me. I met a lot fo other travellers who went on trips out to the Gobi desert in beaten up russian minivan kind of things......i think they are relatively easy to organise once there.
With regards to Irkutsk...the city itself doesnt have much to show, so i just caught a bus up to Listvyanka on Lake Baikal and did a few days trekking on my own with no guide. Probably not the safest option as i didnt tell anyone where i was going etc, but it was an experience....especially being chased hundreds of metres by a huge rabid alsation!!!!!