Trans-Mongolian Railway - Travelling Solo

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1. Posted by Not Lost (Full Member 132 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

I am planning to travel solo on the Trans-Mongolian Railway from Beijing-UB-Irkutsk-Moscow. I am a female. Has anyone had experience travelling solo on this route and have experience and tips to share?

Thanks ;)

2. Posted by kerby1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

hi, i live on the way of "trans..." railway. Practically in the middle between Irkutsk and Moscow. If u need some help or something - write me :)

3. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I plan to do the same this summer (or maybe next) with my girlfriend, only in the opposite direction (europe-asia). Glad to have found other members who're planning on doing this, let's stay in touch.


4. Posted by carosterns (Respected Member 159 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'm heading from St Petersberg to Biejing in May and have two mates doing it next month. They are going to keep me in the loop on any issue thay have so I will keep you posted. So far, the only advice I have heard is to buy a ticket for the whole trip, not point to point. Apparently, the male tickets sellers can be quiet abrupt with women and just not sell you a ticket.
watch this space

5. Posted by kerby1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Well, actually i didn't get the point of what was caro_stern speaking. But there is no problem for buying tickets from point to point. Well, at least it was so, when i was doing trip on trans-siberian railway.

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I've travelled solo [I'm male] between Moscow and Novossibirsk a number of times, to Irkutsk 3 times and also done Moscow - Vladivostock and Beijing (via Manchuria) to Moscow.

I've always stopped off at least once, normally several times, and buy my tickets as I go and in Russia. They are MUCH cheaper that way, and providing you know what you are doing pretty well and can cope with timetables and Russian logic, you don't even need to speak much [or really, any] Russian.

Generally, buying tickets a day or two in advance is fine, although a few days/week is better. In peak periods, sometimes you can get caught out and not get tickets, especially for longer or more popular sections. But if you are vaguely clever and flexible enough, you can normally fiddle things by travelling to a mid point and then from there onwards on a different train.

If you've got any questions etc, just ask. What do you want to know?

Btw, it is cheaper to buy a direct ticket to travel the whole way through, but then you miss out on seeing anywhere along the way except from a train window.

7. Posted by kerby1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

agree with Gelli about cost of the tickets. Often, if your place you're buying a ticket from is not a start for a train then the earliest date you can buy a ticket is 3 days before it.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 9, 2007, at 11:15 AM by kerby1 ]

8. Posted by Not Lost (Full Member 132 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks everyone for all the useful tips!

Yes, I do intend to buy the tickets from point to point as I go along. I'll have 3 weeks to cover from Beijing to Moscow and I'm stopping by in UB and Irkutsk in between.

Should I consider bringing half my dollars in cash and half in travellers' cheques? I think the only place that I may need to change the cheques (if I were to bring any) would be in Irkutsk.

And also, I've read this scary blog about a couple who's travelled in March last year and it was so cold they claimed their tear ducts were frozen! I'm from a tropical country, it's gonna be my FIRST time seeing snow (yes, it's crazy to experience winter for the first time in and I chose Siberia!). So I'm also concerned about the cold too.

9. Posted by l1ncs (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I am also hoping to travel on the trans-mongolian route late this year. I always assumed you had to buy an end to end ticket in advance due to visa restrictions or what not. So i can just get a flight/train to say Moscow and turn up at the station and feasibily buy a ticket part way and stay there for a few days and then buy a ticket for the next leg? Would I have to apply for a Mongolian visa in advance as i would have to for a russian visa? Would I be best carrying Rubles or just USD/Euro? Roughly how much would the full route Moscow to Beijing cost if I bought tickets seperately as I turned up?
Sorry for all the questions.