Trans Siberian Railway: Moscow – Irkutsk – Ulan Bator – Beijing, (20 days), 2 550 EUR

 

Travel 8000 km from Europe to Asia with the leisurely pace of the railway that was a revolution for the inaccessible Siberia, following the most preferred by the tourists route – from Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia. Experience the feeling of eternity and glory while passing through the endless birch forests and vast steppes at all times of the year. Travelling by train gives you the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of the places you are passing by. This is the classic route from Moscow through the boundless Siberia and the wild Mongolia to the exiting and densely populated megalopolis of Beijing.

Dates in 2014: 22nd May, 10th July, 14th August, 4th September


Besides staying in Russia’s and China’s pulsing capitals, we make trips to the countryside in Siberia and Mongolia. First stop on the train journey is the old caravan city Irkutsk, which has a reputation as Siberia’s most beautiful city. We drive to the 600 km long Baikal – the world’s deepest lake, housing several animals only found here such as the freshwater seal. We sail out on the lake and visit villages with authentic Russian village life and the unique Siberian nature. In Mongolia, we get off from the train in the capital, Ulan Bator, and from here we head off to the Mongolian steppes in the National Park Terelj, where the folklore comes into your skin when we feel the true nomadic style staying in the traditional round filt tents. The journey continues to the east towards the Chinese capital Beijing. Of course, climbing of the Chinese wall is a must. This 19-day tour gives you plenty of both big city culture and unique nature experiences in landscape of plains and steppes.

Price: 2550 EUR per person

Single supplement in the hotels (not in gers and private accommodation): 395 EUR

Group size: min 10 persons

Program:

Day 1. Moscow
Arrival in Moscow. Transportation to the hotel and accommodation. In the evening sightseeing in Moscow’s famous subway with beautiful marble columns, crystal chandeliers and ornate ceilings. (dinner)

Day 2. Moscow
City tour including the Red Square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin, where we see the Armoury with one of the world’s largest treasure chambers. (breakfast)

Day 3. Moscow
Free day. In the evening transportation to Yaroslavskaya train station, where we get on the train and are introduced to our compartments where we stay for the next four days. (breakfast)

Day 4-6. Travel by train
We pass through the Ural Mountains with million cities Perm and Ekaterinburg. Further east we come through the large Siberian cities such as Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk. The landscape in this part of the railway switches between coniferous and birch forests and small villages, where development is still far behind the big cities.

Day 7. Irkutsk
Arrival in Irkutsk in the evening. Pick up at the station and transfer to the hotel. (dinner)

Day 8. Irkutsk – Lake Baikal
In the morning city tour with visit to the Decembrists’ Museum. Transport to the village of Listvyanka on the shore of Baikal. On the way we stop and take lift to Tchersky view point to admire the beautiful panorama to Baikal. After lunch at a local restaurant we visit the wooden church, the market and Baikal museum. In the late afternoon, we sail north on Lake Baikal to the small village of Bolshie Koty which is beautifully situated on the lake’s western shore. Accommodation in wooden house. Possibility of genuine Russian Banya (sauna). (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 9.
 Lake Baikal
Whole day to admire the splendid nature on the shores of Baikal – possibility for hiking along the shores, sun-bathing, swimming, Russian banya, etc. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 10. Lake Baikal – Irkutsk
Departure in the morning by boat back to Listvjanka and from there drive back to Irkutsk. On the way we visit Taltsi Ethnographic Museum (open-air museum) with unique Russian wooden architecture. Arrival in Irkutsk, free time in the afternoon. (breakfast)

Day 11. Irkutsk – Ulan Bator
Early in the morning, departure by train to the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator (approx. 25 hours). We pass through the Buddhist provincial capital of Buryatia Ulan Ude. The train winds its way along the shores of Baikal giving oportunities for awesome photographs. (breakfast)

Day 12. Ulan Bator
Arrival in Ulan Bator in the morning. Pick-up at the train station and drive to local restaurant for breakfast. Then city tour with visit to Gandan Khiid Buddhist Monastery and the Museum of National History telling about the glorious time of Chenghiz Khan and the Mongolian empire. After lunch, time is at your own disposal. (breakfast, lunch)

Day 13.
 Ulan Bator – Terelj Park
After breakfast we drive from Ulan Bator up to Terelj National park (approx. 75 km) occupying wide territory amidst the vast Mongolian steppes. Here we visit the imposing Turtle Rock and the spiritual centre Aryabal. We will be guests in nomad family and have the oportunity to taste local food and drinks. Stay overnight in gers – the traditional round white felt tents. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 14.
 Terelj Park – Ulan Bator
Free time in Terelj. Possibility for hiking and horse-riding in the beautiful countriside. At noon, drive back to Ulan Bator with visit on the way of Chenghiz Khan Memorial Complex with a 40-meter high monument of Chenghiz Khan on a horse. Lunch in the restaurant and proceed back to Ulan Bator. Evening folklore show with Mongolian throat singing and traditional music. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 15.
 Ulan Bator – Beijing
In the morning morning departure by train to China’s capital Beijing (approx. 30 hours). In the evening we arrive at the border where train cars must have their wheels replaced because of the different track width in China. (breakfast)

Day 16. Beijing
Arrival in Beijing in the afternoon. Transportation to the hotel for accommodation. In the evening there is entertainment with world-renowned Chinese acrobatics. (dinner)

Day 17.
 Beijing
Today we make excursions to the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City situated at the end of Tiananmen Square. From here that the Ming and Qing dynasties have ruled. Here we are shown around and see a selection of 800 spectacular buildings, which is said to contain 9,999 rooms. The evening is free. (breakfast)

Day 18.
 Beijing
Program in Beijing continues with a trip to the summit of any trip to China: the Great Wall. It is an unforgettable experience to stand on this impressive building, which stretches more than 6000 km across the country. Afterwards we head to one of Beijing’s historical sites: Ming Tombs. Afternoon and evening at your own disposal in Beijing. (breakfast)

Day 19.
 Beijing
All day at leisure. Optional tours in Beijing are available upon request, advance booking is required. (breakfast)

Day 20.
 Beijing – departure
Transportation to the airport according to the return flight. (breakfast)

Included in the price: 10 nights double/twin accommodation at 3-star hotels with breakfast included; 1 night accommodation in ger camp up to 4 people per ger and 2 nights private accommodation in wooden houses up to 4 people per room; train ticket Moscow-Irkutsk-Ulan Bator-Beijing for 2-nd class (4 persons in compartment); all excursions and transport according to the program above; all entrance fees; English-speaking tour-leader from Penguin Travel from arrival in Moscow till departure from Beijing; local English-speaking guides on all trips.

 

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