I am projecting about nine months ahead and planning our adventure on the Trans-Mongolian Railway. We are really looking forward to seeing the vastness of Mongolia and Siberia by rail and are expecting some interesting experiences sharing a cabin with some fellow travelers. We plan to be in Beijing, China, mid to late April 2009 to catch the train from there all the way to St. Petersburg, Russia. This should be a pretty good time to go; it is right before the peak season, and we should miss the rainy season. We plan to spend about a month traveling and exploring between Beijing and Moscow. This will comprise about 27 days traveling on the train, staying in towns and villages along the line. We will spend about ten days between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Since we will be spending some time in Beijing before we leave, one possibility is to buy the tickets there in China; another option is to buy the tickets in the US from a tour agent in Russia or China. Buying our tickets in advance will cost more but it guarantees our passage.

Our current day by day plan is as follows:
DAY 1 Depart Beijing Trans-Mongolian train #23
DAY 2 Arrive Ulaanbaatar
DAY 9 Depart Ulaanbaatar train #363
DAY 12 Arrive Irkutsk
DAY 17 Depart Irkutsk train #9
DAY 20 Arrive Moscow
DAY 23 Depart Moscow and Arrive St. Petersburg
DAY 27 Depart St. Petersburg and Arrive Moscow

Stops that we are planning on:

Day 2 – Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia, and there will be plenty of things for us to do and see in the two days that we are there.

Day 12 – Irkutsk
Irkutsk is the largest city in Siberia. It is also located next to the beautiful Lake Baikal where we will spend two days. Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world and the deepest lake in the world.

Day 20 – Moscow
In Moscow I am really looking forward to actually visiting the Kremlin, walking around Red Square, seeing the Saint Basil’s Cathedral (with its elegant onion domes) and walking past Lenin at the Lenin Mausoleum. I am a bit worried about the cost of Moscow, it has been named the worlds most expensive city in the world, so we will see how long we actually spend there.

Day 23 – St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is steeped in Russian history, and we are really looking forward to exploring it.

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One Response to “Trans-Mongolian Railway”

  1. Jodi W says:

    So cool that you’re going to Mongolia. My father-in-law went there last year and he loved it. He’s always trying to plan another trip, but he wants to go in the winter and nobody else is crazy enough to do that with him. :)