Epic Trans SiberianTrans-Siberian Railway
Epic Trans Siberian
Our two most popular stops but with much more detail
Beijing to Moscow – Trip Price starts from $4225 per person – 17 days
Operational Season: May – September
Visas required: China, Mongolia, Russia
|DEPARTURE DATES 2019 – 17 Days|
|June||03, 10, 17, 24|
|July||01, 08, 15, 22, 29|
|August||05, 12, 19, 26|
Day 1 - Arrive Beijing
On arrival in Beijing you make your own way to the hotel – any taxi driver will quickly find the address. The convenient location of the hotel positions you to get the most of this legendary Imperial city, where the rich traditions of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism meet with the opulence of the Chinese Emperors and the vibrant realism of contemporary China. Chinese hotels cope badly with the idea of foreigners who haven’t yet arrived so we’ll have your onward rail tickets delivered once you have checked in, with user hint and, directions to the station.
The hotel is in the heart of the golden area of the capital, surrounded by major business centres, tourist attractions and only minutes away from the Wangfujing Street, Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City.
Day 2 - Depart Beijing
Make your own way to the station giving yourself at least one hour on arrival to complete security (metal-detectors are now in force and there can be queues to use them) and find your train and platform. And then you’re heading off, along the most famous railway in the world!
Day 3 - Arrive Ulaanbaatar
Afternoon arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Our driver will meet you at the end of the platform and will be holding a meeting- board with your name on. Transfer from the station, to a hotel with a chance to freshen up and have light snack, before departing for your city tour.
Then transfer to Elstei Ger Lodge (70km). A relaxed evening in the bar after supper there are occasional impromptu performances of live Mongolian music, where you might hear the Morin Khuur (horse-head lyre), the cimbalom, or native Mongolian throat-singing.
Light snack, supper.
Day 4 - Elstei Ger Lodge
With no specific activities planned you can choose to chill out, read, go walking, or (for a small payment made directly to them locally) you can go horse riding with local nomad horsemen.
Breakfast, lunch, supper.
Day 5 - Nomads
Breakfast, Lunch, Supper
Day 6 - Nomads-touring
This afternoon we arrive at modern Harhorin – the settlement Genghis Khan would have known as Karakorum. It was here at the legendary gathering of clans that they declared Genghis the “Great Khan” (“Chinghiskhan”), and his military campaigns of conquest began.
Nothing is left of the ancient settlement, but on its site is the (rather later) monastery of Erdene Zuu, one of the most important Buddhist centres in Mongolia… and on the grounds of the monastery is the single turtle statue that remains of Genghis’s great Royal Court. Come back to our nomadic host family and will have a traditional communal supper with them.
Breakfast, Lunch, Supper
Day 7 - Ulaanbaatar
The balance of today is free to explore more of the city. You can choose to visit the heady atmosphere surrounding the Gandan Monastery or visit the Choijin Monastery Museum, or the Bazaar… log on and pick up your email in one of the numerous internet cafes on Peace Avenue, have a latte and French pastries in the new generation of new-age coffee stores, go souvenir shopping in the peculiar grandeur of the Central Department Store, or pick up some snack food for the train in the Store’s food department… in the evening a wide range of traditional and new style Mongolian eateries are vying with European style places, Irish pubs and German beer halls to enjoy, usually with live music later on.
Day 8 - Depart Mongolia
If you are interested in Mongolian Buddhism you may be interested in making a return visit to the Gandan Monastery this morning, to see the morning prayer-ceremonies in progress. We also suggest you take an opportunity today to purchase picnic provisions for the next leg of your journey, as often this train as no dining car.
This evening we will transfer you to the station where you will board the Irkutsk bound train.
Day 9 - On board the Trans-Mongolian Express
Day 10 - 12 - You Choose
The Adventure Trek is a camping expedition and requires a good level of fitness OR Soft Trek, which is available for solo passengers. Adventure Trek and Soft Trek you are required to help the guide carry the equipment provided.
OPTION ONE - Siberian Village
Day 10 - Arrival Irkutsk
Early morning arrival in Irkutsk. Our driver will meet you at the end of the platform, holding a meeting-board marked with your name. Transfer to “U Ozera Hotel” (the name translates as “At the Lake Hotel”, although it is not directly at the lake shore) situated in Listvyanka Village (70km) travelling by road through the forest. The facilities available at this hotel include; cafe-bar, Russian “banya” (sauna), safe at the reception.
The nearest ATM-machine in the Baikal Hotel (Listvyanka remains a village, and doesn’t have the range of banking services you could expect in a city). The official check-in time is 12 noon, the hotel reception will advise you they will need your passport for visa registration formalities. However if your room is available this will – of course – be allocated to you on arrival. (If your room is not available you will be able to leave your luggage with the hotel reception). You will have a chance to have breakfast before setting off on your walking tour around Listvyanka Village.
This will include a visit to the Limnological Museum (this is an exhibition about the Lake, its formation, wildlife etc – it includes multimedia presentations, information about creatures which live in the darkest depths, and also an aquarium with living aquatic species, including the unique freshwater Baikal seals) and also a small wooden village Russian Orthodox Church dating back to the C18th. You return to your hotel at the end of the walk, with time to relax and enjoy your lakeside surroundings, maybe experience real Siberian “banya” (sauna -small payment locally at the hotel).
Day 11 - Baikal Free Choice Programme
Choose one activity from the list, it’s all included in the trip price! You’ll need to inform us of your choice before commencing your journey, so that we can have the right staff on hand for when you arrive (please note the Siberian weather puts seasonal limits on some activities – details below). Want to extend your life? Local legend claims that you can get anything from five extra years of life (paddling up to your knees) up to twenty years if you manage to go swimming!
A. SIBERIAN TREK through the Taiga Forest with a local guide who will explain the wildlife, eco- system and lore of the Taiga (May-Oct).
B. CIRCUM BAIKAL PICNIC Take the Ferry from Listvyanka to Port Baikal which takes around 15 minutes. Walk around Port Baikal, where you will see the train station of the old Circumbaikal rail line. Then you will walk along the rail line to the nearest tunnel (2-3 km). Stopping for a picnic lunch on the shore of Lake Baikal. Return to Port Baikal, ferry back to Listvyanka (Jun-Sep).
C. TALTSY WOODEN MUSEUM A three hour trip which includes a driver, and English speaking guide to the Taltsy open air wooden museum on the shore of Lake Baikal. This picturesque area shows how life was and has been sympathetically restored as a tourist attraction where you can ride Troikas and also buy authentic souvenirs. There is a tea house here also to refresh you after a busy morning sightseeing. (Year round)
D. DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take off on a cliff side walk, or mosey around the village, or take a dip in Lake Baikal! (Weather permitting!)
Balance of day free time to explore the village at your own pace. Maybe try a local bar?
Day 12 - Depart Irkutsk
OPTION TWO - Adventure Trek
Day 10 - Arrive Irkutsk
Day 11 - Day Trek
Breakfast, Lunch & Supper.
Day 12 - Depart Irkutsk
Day 13 - 15 - On board the Trans-Siberian Express
It is a great place to meet fellow travellers and locals alike, sharing your experiences of your journey so far with a few drinks, which no doubt will include some Vodka – and maybe smoked salmon and caviar too!
Day 16 - Arrive Moscow
“S Priezdom! Welcome to Moscow!” early morning arrival. Our driver will be there to meet you at the end of the platform, and will be hold a meeting-board with your name on. You’ll then be transferred to the Irbis 3H Hotel. The facilities available at this hotel include a Restaurant, Lobby Bar, Lobby Wi-Fi access, Luggage Room, Safety deposit boxes and an ATM machine. At check-in, (after 2pm) the hotel reception will advise you they will need your passport for visa registration. This process takes 1–2 hours.
Your complimentary InfoPack is full of ideas for getting the most out of your free time. One of our local expert staff will meet you at the hotel to take you on a three hour walking tour round the highlights – you’ll use public transport around the centre to avoid the traffic jams and get the hang of the system for when you come to use it independently. Our staffers are full of ideas for this walk but are flexible about other ideas if you have your own.
Your walk ends in the city centre around lunchtime.
Day 17 - Around Moscow
If you haven’t prebooked any of our range of city excursions the day is your own to explore further. Some of our top suggestions (please check opening times/days before setting off) would include visiting the Moscow Kremlin, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, or a boat trip along the Mosvka River… perhaps locate some tickets for ballet, opera, circus or a concert this evening?
As well as famous classical music traditions Moscow features on the touring schedules of world names in jazz, rock, pop and world music.
Day 18 - Depart Moscow
Included in the trip
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey.
BEIJING: one night, room-only. 3* Hotel.
MONGOLIA: All transportation. Two nights camping with Nomads (full board). Two nights tourist ger camp (full board), one night 3* Hotel, central Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. If camping Sleeping bags are provided.
LAKE BAIKALChoice of programmes either Siberian Village or Adventure Trek.
Siberian Village – all transportation. 3 nights 3H hotel, Listvyanka Village, breakfast
free choice excursion.
Adventure Trek – all transportation, 2 night camping, equipment provided, all meals.
MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival only. Two nights 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hours personalised city walking tour.
We have a range of airline tickets which fit in well with our trips. Run your flight requirements past us before confirming your flight arrangements.
|1 person||2 people||3-9 people|
|Standard Extra night Moscow||$190||$90||$90|
|Standard Extra night Beijing||$180||$90||$90|
|Superior Extra night Moscow||$tba||$tba||$tba|
|Superior Extra night Beijing||$tba||$tba||$tba|
|Upgrade to 2 berth||$1170||$1170||$1170|
Due to the nature of these destinations all prices are subject to change. Contact us to confirm exact price.
Deposits hold bookings but fares can still vary with exchange rates and only final payment guarantees price.