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The Siberian Shuttle

The Siberian Shuttle

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra kosten tijdens tour None
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
From 1795 EUR
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
Duur
13 dagen
Begint in
Moscow
Eindigt in
Beijing
Grootte van de groep
12 people maximum. Big enough to form a posse, small enough to give you space.
Looking for a quick sticks journey across three countries and seven time zones?
You’ll see all the key places, and not just from the train window. There’s time to party in Moscow, dip your toes in Lake Baikal, munch mutton in Mongolia and explore Beijing all within two weeks and 7,865 km.
Reisroute

The Siberian Shuttle

Day 1: Moscow

Arrive in Moscow and meet your fellow adventurers. Before meeting your Honcho at 17:00, get acquainted with Russia and take the opportunity to visit Moscow's iconic sights like the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, and Red Square. Perhaps you'd prefer to hop on the dazzling metro system to visit an embalmed Lenin or head to Zarayade Park for a sweet view over the city’s impressive skyline. Take a stroll through the city to marvel at the extraordinary architecture or ask your Honcho for help organising a Soviet tour. It’s one way to get into the Russian psyche before you board the Trans Siberian. With so much to see and do, plan your time wisely. Discover a buzzing nightlife, from live music to underground dance parties to casual ping-pong bars. Whatever your niche, you’ll find it in Moscow.

Days 2-5: Trans Siberian Railway

Welcome aboard. It’s time to enjoy your first taste of life on the rails. This is a good opportunity to make friends with your group and plan what you’d like to see and do at Lake Baikal and beyond. Grab your phrasebook and try out some new words on locals. With a little inventive sign language over shared provisions, you’ll make friends in no time. Watch out the window as you pass the Ural Mountains and over the vast expanse of Siberia and imagine what life is like for those that call it home. The train will pull in at rural stations along the way, check how long it's staying then hop off and sample homecooked delights from burly babushkas that line the station platform.

Day 6: To Lake Baikal

Welcome to the heartland of Siberia. Settle into your shore-side home at Lake Baikal, take a stroll around the water’s edge and soak up the scenery. As the largest freshwater lake in the world, it holds 20% of Earth’s freshwater and seems to stretch on to an infinite horizon. Take a dip if you’re feeling brave and taste the local cuisine. Many species of fish are endemic to the lake and served up in many ways; smoked, raw and barbequed. Bon appetit.

Day 7: Irkutsk

Return to Irkutsk. Originally, a winter fur trading post, it became home for revolutionaries and the intelligentsia who were exiled here after the Decembrist Revolt. Today, Irkutsk oozes history and is filled with universities, museums and a signature style of intricately carved wooden architecture.

Day 8: Trans Mongolian Railway

Back on board for your journey to Mongolia; a great chance to contemplate what you’ve already discovered ahead of the next culture switch. Brush up on some Mongolian words and plan your Terelj activities over a hearty meal from the dining car. Watch out the window as the silvery Siberian light gives way to the verdant steppe, look out for hairy yaks, Bactrian camels and nomadic herders whose settlements dot the landscape.

Day 9: Terelj National Park

Head out to a traditional ger camp in a protected nature reserve. These are the grasslands of the Mongolian nomads, their roving traditions haven’t changed for hundreds of years, except for the introduction of solar power to light their gers at night. Soak up the stunning surroundings and enjoy a hike in the wilderness. If you want to horse ride across the open steppe or try your hand at archery, your Honcho can help organise this. If a local offers you a drink, it’s culturally rude not to accept at least one; this could be homemade vodka, or it could be the local delicacy, fermented mare’s milk. Bottoms up!

Day 10: Ulaanbaatar

We return to the bustling city to spend our final night in Mongolia, pausing en route to see the giant statue of the mighty Genghis Khan. Here you have the opportunity to see the ruby-robed monks going about their daily lives at Gandan Khiid Monastery, take in the panoramic views from Zaisan Memorial or listen to some traditional Mongolian throat singing - a unique sound that has been practised across Mongolia for centuries.

Day 11: Across Mongolia

Say goodbye to marvellous Mongolia as you reboard the train, cutting across the legendary Gobi Desert and on to the Chinese frontier. Take a moment to relax and brace yourself for bustling Beijing. Plan your hit list of must-dos and get ready to taste the eight cuisines of China on one street.

Days 12-13: Beijing

Late afternoon the train rolls into Beijing. Check out the Forbidden City for a window into imperial times, sink your teeth into Chinese culture as you people watch in Tiananmen Square or explore the hutong neighbourhoods. Many of these ancient alleys have been around since the 13th century, a time when Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty. Test out your haggling skills and try local delicacies at colourful markets where you’ll find a mind-boggling array of options speared on sticks or squished in buns - from deep fried insects to candied fruits and everything in between!

What's Included

All train tickets
Visa support & destination information
Shared accommodation including 4 hostel nights, 1 night at a ger camp, 1 night at a Siberian guesthouse, 6 nights on the train (4-6-berth)
A dedicated tour leader (Honcho) for the entire journey, however, with no pre-arranged sightseeing, you have complete freedom to roam. Stay with your group or explore on your own.
All arrival transfers once you have joined the group *

* Arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included.
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
None

Accommodatie

On the Train
The sleeping compartments are 6-berth cabins between Moscow and Irkutsk, and 4-berth between Irkutsk and Beijing. Depending on the group size you could be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers or other travellers along the way. You’ll find clean bedding, reading lights, a big window, a small table and enough room for a rucksack or two, perfect for when you need a moment’s rest. All carriages have boiling water, attendants and washrooms, but no showers - that’s a luxury to look forward to once you disembark.

Off the Train
Other accommodation may include ger camps in Mongolia. These are traditional nomadic homes that are sure to become one of your journey highlights. They tend to be multi-share and mixed-sex so grab your new besties and enjoy the nomadic vibes together. Hostels, hotels and guesthouses we stay at are clean, close to transport and provide legendary hospitality. We’ll do our best to pair couples, but it can’t be guaranteed so sometimes you’ll be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers of the same sex. If you wish to have more privacy, ask your travel advisor for an upgrade to a private room at an extra cost.

Lokaal vervoer

The public scheduled trains and buses are basic but comfortable and offer a window into real life. Most locals won’t be going the same distance as you, so you’ll meet a marvellous mix along the way. Don't be afraid to say hello!

Maaltijden

In keeping with the budget-friendly policy and adding flexibility to your trip, there are no meals included in your Vodkatrain journey. Your options while on the rails include a restaurant car *, buying food from the "Babushkas" (grandmothers) on the platforms (just make sure you check the hygiene situation before handing over the cash) and self-catering. In general just follow the simple travellers' food rule - peel it, cook it or wash it, and you should be good.

* The train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (and vice versa) does not have a restaurant car. There are also few opportunities to buy food on the platforms so you will need to buy enough food for the journey before you board the train.

Houd er rekening mee

With you for the whole journey, your Honcho is a local legend who will help you hit the highlights and discover some hidden gems. They’ll also take care of the train tickets and make sure you’re where you need to be, when you have somewhere to be. If you prefer to do things your own way, that’s fine, too.

Honchos can show you the iconic sights and then take you behind the scenes for a real taste of local life. They’re under 35, speak excellent English and love their job because they get to meet people from all over the world. You might be comfortable dropping an "una cerveza por favour" in Spain, but do you know how to ask for directions in Russian or find the right bus in Mongolia? Your Honcho will not only help you with the logistics of travelling in a distant land but let you feel the pulse of a city through local gems not yet listed in the guidebooks.

- Honchos are with you for the entire journey (even on the train).
- They’ll help you get your bearings. Need to find an ATM, no worries. Want to try a local beer. Easy.
- They’ll take you where you want to go and places you haven’t even heard of.
- They will not take you to endless souvenir shops or their cousin’s restaurant - unless you want that.
- There’s no pressure to hang out with a Honcho if you’d rather do your own thing.
- They’re available 24/7 and can often be coerced to stay out late for a drink or two.
- When it comes time to leave, and you’re nursing a post-vodka hangover, they’ll make sure you get on the right train at the right time for stress-free travel.

The Siberian Shuttle

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