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Trans Mongolian Explorer

Departing: Beijing, China - 26 days
Countries visited: China, Mongolia and Russia

Enjoy fascinating interludes in Mongolia, Siberia, and the Golden Ring on this exciting overland journey using iconic rail services between Beijing, Moscow and St. Petersburg.




Days 1-3. Beijing
Begin your journey in the ever-changing metropolis of Beijing. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of the ancient laneways of the hutongs or sample a rare delicacy at Donghuamen Night Market. The Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and Mao's Mausoleum all provide a fascinating insight into China's history. Beyond the city the Great Wall of China cannot be missed. 

Days 4-5. To Mongolia
All aboard the Ulaanbaatar Express for an overnight journey across the Gobi Desert to Ulaanbaatar, the capital Mongolia, where modern life seems to co-exist with traditional culture.

Day 6-8. Across the Mongolian Steppe
Experience the wild desolate countryside on your visit to Khustai National Park to see the last remaining breed of wild horse and Kharkhorin, the site of the ancient Mongol Empire capital. Enjoy aspects of Mongolian nomadic life when you stay in traditional gers. 

Returning to the capital, there is time to see more of the city prior to boarding the Trans Mongolian Railway for Siberia.

Days 9-10. Ulan Ude and to Irkutsk
Ulan Ude is located on the vast Siberian steppe and is reminiscent of Old Siberia. Siberian, European and Buddhist cultures are evident. The local open-air 
Ethnographic Museum tells and interesting story about the life and traditions of native Siberians, or you may prefer to see the Buddhist monks going about their daily lives at Ivolginsk Monastery, before joining the Trans Siberian Railway for your journey deeper into the Siberia and the city of Irkutsk. 

Days 11-13. Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
Irkutsk made its fame as a stopping place on the caravan route from China, and for many years was a place of exile. The homes of the Decembrists, the St. Petersburg radicals who were dispatched here in 1825 provide an interesting insight into life as it was during this time. 

Travel to Lake Baikal reputedly the world's deepest lake, where you will be amazed by its vastness - being over 600 kms long and almost 80 kms wide. A stay at the local holiday village of Listvyanka, is an ideal way to relax by the lakeshore and take in the local museums; before rebounding the Trans Siberian Railway. 

Days 14-17. The Trans Siberian Railway and Yekaterinburg
En route to Yekaterinburg, you'll find life on board is a great social occasion for your Russian hosts and you'll have an opportunity to share your experiences with them on the way to Yekaterinburg, the city founded by Peter the Great in 1723, which is situated outside Siberia, and some 40 kilometres on the Asian side of the Ural Mountains. It is infamous as the brutal murder site of the Romanov family, which brought Tsarist rule to and end, and ushered in the Communist era in 1918. 

The city offers much more than its tragic history, today it is rich in architectural monuments, museums and theatres. You have ample time to soak it all in before boarding the train to travel beyond the Ural Mountains to the city of Nizhny Novgorod. 

Days 18-20. Nizhny Novgorod and the Golden Ring
Situated at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers, and affectionately known as 'Nizhny', this picturesque former trading post has an impressive cliff-top Kremlin. Later you take a train trip to the Golden Ring cities of Vladimir and Suzdal - two of the oldest settlements in Russia. Expect to be overawed by the Cathedral of Assumption and the Cathedral of St. Demetrius, Suzdal's Kremlin and the Archbishop's Chambers.

Days 21-26. Moscow & St. Petersburg 
The penultimate stop is Moscow; here you will have ample time to explore the echoing vastness of Red Square, the splendid twirled cupolas of St. Basil's across the cobblestones, and the Kremlin itself before boarding your final overnight train bound for St. Petersburg - a luxurious city of opulent palaces, 
museums and gardens, and a fitting end to your great overland journey. 



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


Choose from ‘Traveller  or ‘Classic’.


Many breakfasts (18) are included.  


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. 

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


Hotels - 14 nights (twin share)
Siberian Guesthouse - 2 night (twin share)
Mongolian ger - 2 nights
Trains - 8 nights. Comfortable 4-berth sleepers