Trip Search




Trans Siberian & Trans Mongolian Railways

For lovers of travel and lovers of railways alike the Trans Siberian Railway is an incredible passing panorama across a vast and dramatic landscape. Green and beautiful in summer and gloriously white in winter. This vast land tempted travellers even before the train. Hunters, trappers, explorers and adventurers – characters all – in search of fame and fortune.

For any genuine traveller, travelling across the breadth of China, Mongolia and Russia on board the Trans Siberian or Mongolian Railways is a must. For sheer distance, intrigue and, on completion, the tremendous sense of real personal satisfaction, no other train journey comes anywhere near it.

While the Trans Siberian Railway is surely the most famous in the world, most western travellers choose to travel along a combination of the Trans Siberian Railway to Irkutsk and Ulan Ude and then travel down the Trans Mongolian Railway to Ulaanbaatar and on to Beijing, giving them the chance to experience Mongolia and China. Other variations of the Trans Siberian route include the Trans Manchurian Railway, which runs down through Harbin and northern China from just after Chita and the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) which leaves the Trans Siberian Railway at Tayshet and traverses the northern shores of Lake Baikal, before heading back down to the Trans Siberian Railway near Kharbarosk.

You can search for your Trans Mongolian Railway or Trans Siberian Railway journey here, or by selecting Trans Siberian/Trans Mongolian Railway in the Trip Search.


Experience China
China is a country of epic proportions. Its treasures, cuisine and landscapes are as diverse as anywhere in the world have rightly attracted merchants, travellers and conquerors throughout its action packed history. It is a fitting start to many of our Trans Mongolian and Silk Road journeys and the monuments, history and experiences you will have in this intriguing land are sure to be a highlight of your travels.

Travel and Experience China
  • Keep watch for marauding Mongolian horsemen as you stand upon the Great Wall.
  • Contrast the traditional hutongs and quiet backstreets with the night markets and 21st century bustle of Beijing.
  • Dine on dumplings and delicious Peking Duck.
  • Witness Tiananmen square, the Forbidden city and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
  • Join a Chinese tradition with some morning Tai Chi and other exercise with the locals in Beijing
  • Discover China's modern metropolis of Shanghai.
  • Immerse yourself in the romance and the rich imperial past of Xian and be astonished at the wonder of the entombed Terracotta Warriors.

 

Experience Mongolia
With over 250 cloudless days and the lowest population density in the world you'll be hard pressed not to fall in love with the people and landscape of this charming landlocked country. Journey out into the steppe to the site of Genghis Khan's former capital at Kharkhorin and the monastery of Erdene Zuu or stay in a traditional ger in Terelj National Park to really experience the essence of Mongolia's nomadic heritage.

Travel and Experience Mongolia
  • Stay in a traditional ger and experience the life of the nomads.
  • Enjoy the pageantry and colour of the Naadam Festival.
  • Visit the site of Genghis Khan's former capital at Kharkhorin and the monastery of Erdene Zuu.
  • Adventure out into pristine wilderness of the South Gobi.
  • Discover the 'Blue Pearl' of Mongolia and explore the wilderness around Lake Khovsgol.
  • Hunt for fossils in the Gobi Desert.
  • Mingle with Buddhist monks and local nomads at Gandan Kiid, Mongolia's largest remaining monastery, situated in Ulaanbaatar.

 

Experience Russia
With the diversity of its landscape, culture and people as big as the country itself, there is truly something for everyone in this vast nation.

Travel and Experience Russia
  • Explore the rugged landscape around the magnificent Lake Baikal - the world's oldest, deepest and largest (volume) freshwater lake.
  • Lose yourself in the splendour of the monuments and architecture of St. Petersburg and Moscow.
  • Experience the beautiful harmony of steppe, forest, lakes and mountains in Tuva, where the mysticism of Shamans and ageless Buddhism guide the nomads that inhabit this lost and forgotten republic.
  • Admire the open air museums and unique monuments of the picturesque towns of the Golden Ring.
  • Discover Kazan, the impressive ancient capital of Tatarstan, with an intriguing mix of Russian Orthodox and Islamic culture.
  • Explore the intrigue and deception of the Communist regime at the site where Russia's last Tsar and his family were brutally murdered in Yekaterinburg.

Festivals and Special Departures
With the diversity of its landscape, culture and people as big as the country itself, there is truly something for everyone in this vast nation.To highlight the unique features and special experiences Asia has to offer, Sundowners Overland has put together a number of unique journeys and departures.

Christmas and Winter Departures

The winter wonderland offered by China, Mongolia and Russia is a truly enchanting experience. The frozen landscape is transformed under a thick blanket of snow providing a whole new world of activities and sights for you to enjoy.
Find out more ...


Naadam Festival - Mongolia (11-13 July)

Mongolia's national celebration is one of the most dramatic and exhilarating events of its kind in the world and is celebrated throughout the country. Enjoy watching competitors performing Mongolia's 'three manly sports'; wrestling, archery and horse riding.
Find out more ...


Stars of White Nights - St. Petersburg (June)

With the sun only setting for a few hours each night at this time of year, this festival involves general merrymaking and staying out late, as well as a dance festival in Russia’s cultural capital. Other festivities include spectacular fireworks and concerts. Our Trans Siberian Railway with China and Mongolia journey has dates that coincide with this festival.


Victory Day - All Russia (9 May)

The largest national holiday in Russia. Victory Day sees impressive military parades held in Moscow and St Petersburg to celebrate the end of the Great Patriotic War (WWII). Our Trans Siberian Railway with China and Mongolia journey has dates that coincide with this festival.


Maslenitsa 'Pancake Week' - All Russia (March)

Maslenitsa is celebrated throughout Russia in the lead up to Lent. Celebrations include troika (horse-drawn sleigh) rides and folklore performances and of course eating blinys (pancakes). Ask us about tailoring a journey to get you there.


Golden Eagle Festival - Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia (6 & 7 October)

This annual festival celebrates the Golden Eagle as well as the hunters' traditional Kazakh culture. Witness traditional Kazakh games and spectacular displays of hunting skills with the backdrop of one of Mongolia's most beautiful wilderness areas. Ask us about tailoring a journey to get you there.

Weather and Seasons
Every day of the year offers its reasons for you to travel the Trans Siberian Railway. Each season is spectacularly intense, not only changing the personality of the landscape, but of the cities too and even invading the train with their moods. The seasons and the months here are similar to those known in other temperate zones of the northern hemisphere.

For many people the very word 'Siberia' sends a frosty shudder down their spine and for good reason. But the winter wonderland of deep crisp snow extending through the woodland and across the plains is ever alluring and the experiences of winter in this region are unsurpassable. Central heating is worshipped in Russia's every building, ensuring sub-tropical temperature inside and often the train is the warmest place of them all, with its cosy compartments.

Spring arrives in April and the land begins to thaw, bringing back the birds and rousing the wildlife from its five month slumber. The annual miracle of summer occurs in July, with an 18 hour arc of the sun. Cherries and strawberries are sold off the platforms and barbecue smoke hangs in the air from day-long picnics.

Autumn is russet like a sea at sunset and the station ladies, wrapped now in October like the original 'Babushka dolls' are now selling wild berries, hazels nuts and the headscarves that they are wearing.

Download the Temperature and Climate Charts for the region.


Tailor-Made Journey Inspiration
While many of the journeys in this brochure focus on the Trans Mongolian and Trans Siberian Railways, we can work with you to create an itinerary for your journey anywhere in this region. Some Tailor-Made Journey suggestions include:

Trans Siberian Railway and Trans Mongolian Railway Tailor Made Travel Inspiration
  • Discover more of the rugged and dramatic landscape of Siberia on the railroad less travelled with a journey along the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM).
  • Travel northern China, Siberia and Mongolia with a loop combining the Trans Manchurian, Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian Railways.
  • Explore the remote regions around Bayan-Olgii in Western Mongolia and Tuva in Russia.
  • Take your time on the Trans Siberian/Mongolian Railways and stop to explore a few more cities along the way.
  • Extend your Trans Siberian Railway journey and experience the highlights of China with an extension to Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
  • Adventure out in search of tranquillity and perhaps a little Shamanism around Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal.

Search for your Trans Mongolian Railway or Trans Siberian Railway journey here, or by selecting Trans Siberian/Trans Mongolian Railway in the Trip Search.

Trans Siberian Railway, Trans Mongolian Railway Footer