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The Trans Siberian Railway with Mongolia & China

Departing: St Petersburg, Russia - 29 days
Countries visited: Russia, Mongolia & China

Ride the rails of the Trans Mongolian railway from St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, to Hong Kong on the South China Sea. On the way visit grand imperial cities that shaped history as well as vast expanses of nature that have remained untouched by modernity.

  

 

Itinerary

Days 1-4. St. Petersburg
Begin your epic journey in St. Petersburg with its reminders of the halcyon days of the tsars. Take the opportunity to visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Summer Palace of the Petrodvorets, Palace Square and the unequalled collections of the Hermitage. Beyond the city, marvel at the summer palaces of the tsars at Catherine Palace and Petrodvorets (Peterhof). 

Your final morning in St. Petersburg is spent exploring at your leisure before climbing aboard your first train bound for Moscow!


Days 5-6. Moscow
Beneath the city lies the palatial metro rail system draped in chandeliers, mosaics and baroque bas- reliefs while the vast Cathedral of Christ the Saviour again dominates Moscow's skyline. The echoing vastness of Red Square, the splendid swirled cupolas of St. Basil's.  The Kremlin itself - the fabled palace-fort of gilded domes where you can go beyond the red brick walls of the Kremlin to inspect the Armoury Chamber and see its treasures including over fifty Faberge eggs. 

 

Day 7. Moscow and across the Urals Mountains for Yekaterinburg
This morning is for further exploration of this beautiful city. Perhaps head underground to marvel at the palatial metro stations and spend some time exploring the exciting streets of Tverskaya ulitsa (street) or Arbat Street, famous for cafes and souvenirs.  

This afternoon board your overnight train that will carry you along the Trans Siberian Railway to Yekaterinburg. Sharing the journey with Russian travellers is half the fun! You'll appreciate this remarkable century-old feat of engineering as the train clatters over countless steel bridges straddling vast rivers, and crosses the Ural Mountains dividing Europe and Asia. 


Days 8-10. Yekaterinburg - Welcome to Asia! 
Yekaterinburg, a city founded by Peter the Great in 1723 is situated just 40 kilometres inside Asia. Infamous as the site of the brutal murders of the Romanov's, today there is a brighter side with fine monuments, museums and theatres. 

On the final day you are free to explore all that is on offer before boarding the train that will carry you into Siberia. 


Day 11. Aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway
Gaze at the endless silvers and greens of Siberia's Taiga forests as the train rolls across the Great Eurasian Plateau, and crosses the mighty Ob River at Novosibirsk en route for Irkutsk in the heart of Siberia. 


Days 12-13. Irkutsk and to Lake Baikal
Irkutsk is interesting with its roots in the ancient tea trade, and its timeworn wooden mansions once the homes of the Decembrists - revolutionists exiled for trying to overthrow Tsar Nicholas I. Nearby, you will find Lake Baikal the world's largest freshwater lake where you can relax in the lakeshore holiday village of Listvyanka. 


Day 14. Return to Irkutsk and aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway
Returning from the lake transfer back to Irkutsk.  En route you have the opportunity to stop  at the Museum of Wooden Architecture to gain an insight into the traditional lives of Siberian people. The afternoon is yours to wander Irkutsk. Visit the central market, cathedrals and many of the old buildings with pretty wooden lacework and learn the history of the Decembrists and their exile to Irkutsk in the 1860's. This evening depart aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway.


Day 15. On board the Trans Mongolian
Settle into life on board, enjoying the company of your fellow passengers and a perhaps picnic in your cabin. The train arrives at Naushki, the Russian border town where formalities are completed, and then continues across no-man's land to Sukhbaatar where Mongolian officials board the train before  continuing on to Ulaanbaatar.


Day 16. Arrive Ulaanbaatar
Imagine waking to the stunning visual of the south Gobi, where horses and gers mark the camps of nomadic herdsmen, on the steppe which seems to stretch forever. Shortly after dawn, arrive in to the world's most remote capital - Ulaanbaatar. This morning you have ample time take in the sites of the city including the National History Museum which reveals the remarkable and unique history of Mongolia. 


Day 17-18. To Terelj National Park
The Mongolia of Genghis Khan lies beyond the city, in the land of the nomad and we travel out to the countryside retreat of Terelj National Park for a two night stay in a ger - the traditional home of the Mongolian people. Our ger camp is set amid stunning alpine scenery where we experience the true nomadic lifestyle. Wake to a morning on the Mongolian steppe, among nomadic families and their grazing livestock where daily life has changed little in 500 years. You can explore nearby valleys taking in a local monastery and Turtle Rock, ride a horse through the rolling hills or just relax and enjoy the area. 


Day 19. Ulaanbaatar
This morning return to Ulaanbaatar and enjoy your final day in Mongolia soaking up this fascinating culture and dynamic city.  


Days 20-21. Trans Mongolian Railway to Beijing
A morning departure aboard the Beijing Express. Travel over the steppe-lands of northern Mongolia and to the south, the Gobi desert,which until the middle of this century was the only rough track across this desolate country.  As you approach the outskirts of Beijing the train slows as it meanders through the surrounding mountains.  Mid afternoon the following day you arrive into China's capital, a thriving city which is the country's political, economic and cultural centre.


Days 22-24. Beijing
Spend your days here visiting Beijing's many wonderful sights - the magnificent Lama Temple, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Mao's Mausoleum. Set in beautiful parklands we discover the fascinating history and significance of the serene Temple of Heaven and explore one of Beijing's traditional Hutong neighbourhoods. 

Beyond the city lie the treasured sites of the Ming Tombs and the spectacular Great Wall of China. 

In the evening of Day 24 return to the railway station to begin your journey to Xian. 


Days 25-26. Xian
Xian, old Chang'an – the great capital of ancient Cathay.The city still captures the romance of its rich imperial past and the glories of the Silk Road. Beyond the city a highlight of any stay in Xian is the entombed Terracotta Warriors - over 6,000 life-sized figures. Spend a day exploring  the old city walls, the Bell and Drum towers, Little Goose Pagoda and the Shaanxi Provincial Museum.


Day 27. On Board Train
This morning board the train to Guangzhou, travelling south through the ever-changing landscape of southern China, towards the gateway to the great South China Sea.


Day 28. Guangzhou
Founded in 214BC China's third largest city boasts a long, colourful history spanning legends and Silk Road trade. Guangzhou is now renowned as one of China's top food destinations. Take a wander through the unique Qing Ping Market for an insight into daily local life.  


Day 29. Journey Finishes in Hong Kong
This morning you board your final train to Hong Kong. With nearly 12,000 kilometres behind us, and the memories of the world's greatest rail journey fresh in your mind, this destination marks the end of your Trans Siberian Journey.

 

Essentials

Transfers
All transfers are included once you have begun this journey. See the Journey Itinerary for further details.  

Hotels

Choose from ‘Classic’ or ‘Premium’.

Meals

Many breakfasts (20) are included.  

Sightseeing

The suggested sightseeing in these itineraries is not included in the prices shown. You are free to arrange this locally or we can arrange this for you in advance separately. 


Visas
Required for China, Mongolia & Russia. Sundowners Overland will provide all required visa invitation letters and full visa support including detailed visa guidelines.

Accommodation: 

Hotels - 16 nights (twin share)
Siberian Guesthouse/Homestay - 2 nights (twin share)
Mongolian ger - 2 nights
Trains - 8 nights. Comfortable 2-berth sleepers