In the initial phases of planning my trip next year, just wanted to share my thoughts and see if people has any advice or input before i actually book it.
I am planning to leave on the 21st Jan to arrive in Beijing on the 12th Feb when i will meet with my brother in law to spend a week travelling in Beijing before flying back to UK on 19th/20th of Feb.
So I plan to make my way from here in Lowestoft to the following:
Potential Warsaw or go around Belarus to avoid VISA cost not sure yet
Irkutsk (Lake Bakial)
Tomorrow I plan to book the Trans Mog bit but the trip I am booking doesn't guarantee to actually leave unless they have enough people (Vodka Train) so they have done a custom trip which obviously removes the tour element as a backup. Is this a good thing?
Also for some reason i am intent on going all the way on train just because i think it will be quite the achievement. Or i could leave here on the 21st and fly direct to Moscow and then spend longer on the trans siberian to ensure i am beijing on the 12th to meet my bro.
So all in just looking for peoples advice really. Cheers all.
P.S. Also if anyone is planning on doing similar during this time let me know on PM
Welcome to travellerspoint!
I just wrote a long reply to you and it dissapeared, very annoying!
Check out the following threads
I travelled the trans mongolian from Beijing to Moscow and onto St petersburg, it is easy enough to book yourself rather than go with a tour in fact I'd recommend that you travel independant. Most people that I encountered had booked their ticket at the station. You can book your ticket through realrussia.co.uk If you feel more comfortable. I used them and they were excellent to deal with, it cost me an extra £100 to book through them rather than at the station I reckon.
I also travelled from St Petersburg to Latvia via Estonia by bus. I booked this trip via http://www.ecolines.net/index.php?d=659 which was very easy.
You will need to sort out a visa for Russia, Mongolia and China. I got my Russian visa tourist invitation through http://www.visatorussia.com/russianvisa.nsf/visa_support.html, which also has lots of info on how to go about it. I got my Chinese visa in Thailand and my Mongolian visa in Beijing. You will need to do some research there on the best way to go about getting those for your trip.
Seat61.com is a very good website on the trans siberian and train travel elsewhere
Hope this helps, my other reply was more detailed, sorry but im tired now and need to hit the sack!
Thanks so much for the effort on the first thread LOL. But the second is just as informative. The Vodka Train has put me a bespoke itinerary together for a similar trip which is £1542 in total, includes night in Moscow, 2 nights lake baikel and transfers, 3 nights ger and transfers and guide in Mong.
This would be on my own so would have to meet people on the way, and thats the bit i am struggling with. Don't know if i'll get loanly getting off the train in Irkusts and think right what to do now if you get my meaning.
A few people had said travelling alone will be fine as there are so many people doing the trip i'll meet people on the tran in the same hostels/hotels etc.
Just looking for advice really. Getting excited now and will be ecstatic when i actually book the main part.
Hi mate, just replied to your PM.
I am doing a similar trip, Tallinn to Hong Kong in January, but I'm using RealRussia for trains and visa's (costs around 20% more, but hassle free and they are very helpful).
I am travelling with 2 friends, so I can imagine travelling alone in Siberia will be daunting, but I'm sure making friends will be fine.
I start my trip on Jan 1st, and arrive back on Jan 26th, otherwise you could join us!
[ Edit: Edited on 13-Oct-2011, at 05:06 by shefftommo ]
Sounds wicked yeah i am bound to being in Beijing on the 12th to meet with my bro for a week so can't go that early. Sounds like we are both gonna have a blast. Knowing that more and more people are doing it in singles or 2/3 groups makes me feel more comfortable as it will be more likely i'll meet people. Oh and the locals too.
Also if you have any good suggestions on things to do in the stops let me know.
We have 3 days in Moscow, and plan to see a fair few of the Stalin towers, red square/kremlin.
We might go up the ostankino tower also, plus we fancy a proper russian bath house too!
At baikal we are planning huskies, and snowmobiling.
Beijing, we are planning on walking for around 10km of the Great Wall in one of the older, less touristy parts. Also plan to see forbidden city etc.
Are you planning on staying in Berlin, or just getting the train via there?
I have been 3 times, absolutely love the city!
At the moment I plan to spend 1/2 nights in Berlin but being a solo i'll be a billy no mates LOL unless i find a really good hostel.
Other than that its a straight through train to Moscow. (keeping costs low)
Planning on doing the Kremlin and Red Square in moscow, the Lake Baikal i'll see if i can organise some Snow mobiling and huskies.
Mongolia because the tour is bespoke i'll be spending 4days and 3 nights in ger camp so probably some walking and horse riding. Visit a nomad family.
Then Beijing i'll hook up with little bro and see if we can make our way to Harbin or inner mongolia.
I reckon i'll meet people on the way and being a bespoke tour will be able to please myself, just need to plan ahead to ensure i have loads to do. Soul searching and feeling free i think are the main things.
How did you book your Baikal stuff?
You shouldn't have any trouble doing the Trans-Mongolian independently. I did the Trans-Manchurian (which goes directly from Russia to China, avoiding Mongolia), and I bought tickets as I went, with no previous reservations. No problem. Of course, the Trans-Mongolian is a more popular route, but since you're travelling in January, the low season, you shouldn't have any trouble.
Lake Baikal was the best part of the trip, when I went. Don't miss it!