Solo travel Trans Mongolian Express

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1. Posted by femkem (Budding Member 2 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone,

I'm planning a world trip. My plan, broadly speaking, is to take the train from my home town Amsterdam to Ho Chi Min, travel around Asia, fly to the USA, take a cross country trip and fly back from NY to Amsterdam. I'll probably travel for about 4 to 6 months but maybe longer, depending on how much I enjoy myself and how much money I have left etc.

I'm a 25-year-old female and wondering how safe this would be. I have travelled a lot on my own in Europe since I was 16, so it's not a whole new experience, but I've never been to Asia. Of course Google is my friend and I've read a lot about solo female travel in Asia, but I'd like to hear from people with similar experiences.

I'm not worried about the train trip from Amsterdam to Moscow at all and have already traveled this part of Europe before. I'm thinking of booking the Trans Mongolian Express from Moscow to Bejing with stops included, so probably about 3 to 4 weeks if that's realistic. So, the question I have is if it's safe to travel this route by train as a young female alone? From Bejing I'll continue my trip with the train as well to Vietnam.

Thanks in advance!

Femke

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1538 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

You're not likely to encounter safety issues on the Trans-Mongolian, which is staffed by a Chinese crew going from Beijing to Moscow and returning to Beijing. Each carriage is staffed by a crew member that takes care of passengers. I took the Trans-Mongolian in 2015 from Beijing to Moscow and in my carriage was a young Japanese woman traveling solo. Also in the carriage was a U.K. citizen who regularly travels by train from Southeast Asia to the U.K. He doesn't like to fly.

The restaurant car changes as it enters each country --- Russia, Mongolia and China. If eating in the Russian restaurant car make sure you get rubles beforehand. Otherwise the exchange rate on the train will be unfavorable. There are bank ATMs at some rail stations in Russia. Unless you plan to travel around Mongolia, try not to convert too much money into tugriks. The Mongolian currency won't be accepted elsewhere.

Suggest you bring some food. Each carriage has a hot-water dispenser, which I used to make coffee (I brought instant and had my own cup). Some used the hot water to prepare instant noodles.

I booked a hard sleeper instead of a soft sleeper. No need to pay more, a conductor agreed. Simply put an extra blanket on the berth for extra cushioning.

See this link: https://www.seat61.com/

3. Posted by femkem (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

You're not likely to encounter safety issues on the Trans-Mongolian, which is staffed by a Chinese crew going from Beijing to Moscow and returning to Beijing. Each carriage is staffed by a crew member that takes care of passengers. I took the Trans-Mongolian in 2015 from Beijing to Moscow and in my carriage was a young Japanese woman traveling solo. Also in the carriage was a U.K. citizen who regularly travels by train from Southeast Asia to the U.K. He doesn't like to fly.

The restaurant car changes as it enters each country --- Russia, Mongolia and China. If eating in the Russian restaurant car make sure you get rubles beforehand. Otherwise the exchange rate on the train will be unfavorable. There are bank ATMs at some rail stations in Russia. Unless you plan to travel around Mongolia, try not to convert too much money into tugriks. The Mongolian currency won't be accepted elsewhere.

Suggest you bring some food. Each carriage has a hot-water dispenser, which I used to make coffee (I brought instant and had my own cup). Some used the hot water to prepare instant noodles.

I booked a hard sleeper instead of a soft sleeper. No need to pay more, a conductor agreed. Simply put an extra blanket on the berth for extra cushioning.

See this link: https://www.seat61.com/

Thanks a lot for your reply! :)