Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

“Journey through the lush north of Thailand and beautiful Laos for a taste of the less-developed side of South East Asia.”

Highlights

Bangkok | Chiang Mai | Chiang Khong | Mekong River | Luang Prabang | Vang Vieng | Vientiane
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“An epic train journey along the most famous railway on the planet, this adventurous trip covers almost half of the world across three nations - Russia, Mongolia and China.”

Highlights

St Petersburg | Hermitage Museum | Suzdal | Moscow | Lenin's Mausoleum | Red Square | Kremlin | Trans-Siberian Railway | Lake Baikal | Irkutsk | Volkonsky House Museum | Trans-Siberian Railway | Ulaanbaatar | A night in a ger camp at Gorkhi-Terelj National Park | Beijing | The Great Wall of China

Please feel free to email the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
10 Apr 2017
US $ 3895
excluding flights
On Request
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08 May 2017
US $ 4130
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Full
 
15 May 2017
US $ 3970
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22 May 2017
US $ 4050
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05 Jun 2017
US $ 4170
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19 Jun 2017
US $ 4090
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03 Jul 2017
US $ 3888
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10 Jul 2017
US $ 3888
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24 Jul 2017
US $ 3852
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07 Aug 2017
US $ 3776
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21 Aug 2017
US $ 3717
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04 Sep 2017
US $ 3753
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11 Sep 2017
US $ 3645
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18 Sep 2017
US $ 3573
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25 Sep 2017
US $ 3542
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09 Apr 2018
US $ 4090
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07 May 2018
US $ 4090
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21 May 2018
US $ 4090
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04 Jun 2018
US $ 4250
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23 Jul 2018
US $ 4405
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06 Aug 2018
US $ 4405
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20 Aug 2018
US $ 4250
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03 Sep 2018
US $ 4250
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10 Sep 2018
US $ 4250
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17 Sep 2018
US $ 4090
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24 Sep 2018
US $ 4090
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Our top tip:
Some roads are rough and winding - don't forget your meds if your prone to travel sickness.
Trip type:
Small group, max 12 adults.
Activity level:
Moderate.
Accomm:
1 night ger camp, 2x homestay, 9x hotel, 8x sleeper train.
Solos:
Welcome. Single rooms available at hotels only for a surcharge.
Meals:
11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners.
Included:
Accommodation, tour leader, transfers, listed activities.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

This trip is an epic journey traversing 3 national and through areas that area rarely visited by tourists. In particular this trip exposes the outer reaches of rural Mongolia and the vast taiga of Siberia, as well as the grandness of the huge cities of Beijing, Moscow and St Petersburg.

Environment
We provide all travelers with reusable bags in order to avoid waste and encourage use of “tea flasks” for drinking water (or tea, like the locals do!) so as not to purchase multiple plastic bottles.
There are a lot of small things that we can do to make a difference for the region we travel through. While we are at Lake Baikal, the deepest fresh water lake in the world, we’ll go and pick up the garbage along the shore of the lake to help protect this amazingly beautiful nature. While on the train, the train attendant can provide glass cups (coming with beautiful Russian style cup holder, a great souvenir) for you to drink tea and coffee so we can avoid using paper or plastic cups. In Mongolia, we should only leave our footprint behind when we visit Terelj National Park and stay overnight in the Ger camp by taking out our garbage.
There are quite a few trains that we’ll take on this journey, and it’s encouraged to share the snacks/food we buy so that we don’t create as much wasted packaging. And taking the trains is the best way to reduce our carbon footprint as well. In fact, when it comes to carbon emissions, as a company we operate a carbon neutral policy, offsetting all passenger travel ‘on the ground’ while on tour.

Community
We include informal local language lessons to give our travelers a head start into understanding the culture and communicating with the people we meet along the way.
When taking trains we travel 2nd or 3rd class (kupe or platzkart) which is the way the majority of locals travel - this gives us maximum chance to meet and share stories, food, games and the journey with local travelers.
You are accompanied by a leader for the duration of the tour who will be able to help you understand more about the realities of living and traveling in Russia and help to facilitate your interaction with locals along the way. The local guides who take you on excursions and walking tours in each of the places we visit are passionate about their country and allow you to get a real insight into places significant to the history, culture and development of the nation.
During the journey there are numerous opportunities for local interaction and getting to know people. Wandering the back streets of Suzdal you'll no doubt encounter local residents tending their gardens, chickens and livestock or perhaps even come across monks, nuns and priests on their way to the many monasteries and churches in the town. Along the way you'll have the opportunity to support local industries by shopping for food at local farmers markets, buying direct from the babushka's who sell their home produce on the streets or visiting local handicraft stalls. Or talk to our hosts in our Guesthouse near Lake Baikal to learn about their life the far reaches in Siberia.
In Mongolia the itinerary takes in the beautiful Terelj National Park for 2 days in this grassland wilderness. The group stays in a traditional Ger camp, where they can experience the lives of nomadic families. The gers sleep up to 4 people with comfy beds and plenty of blankets. In the colder months you might want to stoke up the wood heater in the centre of the ger and you'll be toasty warm in no time!
Through staying in these local guesthouses/camps, we establish a true connection with the locals who welcome us into their life and it’s a very heart-warming experience to get to know these people and their community.
There are also some great projects that you have the option to support through our foundation – Nochlezhka, a local charity that helps the homeless people in St Petersburg, Lotus Children’s Home which provides housing and schooling for orphans from the city in Ulaanbaatar, or Huiling school in Beijing, a local NGO that supports the reintegration of mentally challenged people into society.

Reviews of Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 29 Dec 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The Lake Baikal Homestay and the Mongolian Ger Camp... both have incredible memories for me that will stay with me for life!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go with an open mind... chat to as many people as you can on the train! Take cards and make sure you buy some vodka before you get on as you won't have another chance. I think it is the people that make it, so chat to as many people as you can! Don't be scared of buying food on the platform... it is so worth it!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely!! It was obvious everywhere we went that we were supporting local people and environmentally aware - collecting rubbish etc!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


5 out of 5!

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I loved the train journey, chatting to the locals, making food, using the hot
water urns at the end of the carriage and having the wheels changed on the
Mongolia/China border was a fantastic experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take warm clothes if you are going in the autumn and a mug and spoon for the
train. Learn some Russian before you go and take maps of the train journey as
these are a great way to start conversations.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Brilliant. Could not fault this trip at all.

Reviewed on 12 Jun 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Putting aside getting ill and having a camera stolen, the most memorable was staying in a ger at Terelj National Park [Mongolia] and walking in the park. Peace, calm, wide open spaces, and a cosy little 'home'. Eating our evening meal at Lena's in Suzdal came a close second - a great way to learn about Russia and Russians. The most exciting was seeing the cosmonaut memorial in Moscow and balancing a Kazakh hunting eagle on my arm outside Terelj.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Try and learn the Cyrillic alphabet, it makes life a lot easier in Russia. Bring a Chinese phrase book with you. Don't bother with travelers cheques - they are time-consuming and difficult to change. US$ and plastic works everywhere. Beware pickpockets in temples - keep your hand on your camera, or keep it round your neck. Don't be surprised if the other participants are much older/younger than you.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


This was the reason that we came with this operator, and mostly it worked - train travel, boat travel, a visit to a circus project in Moscow. However I was disappointed by the opportunities in Mongolia. We had been asked to bring things for a project working with young women [Lotus], which I did. However our tour leader seemed to know nothing about Lotus, and instead asked me to give my gifts to a class of secondary school children. This was a bit disappointing.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was very good. We wanted to reach Beijing overland to have a vacation in China, but without traveling independently, and this worked well. Our tour leader, Anastasia Markova, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and good in a crisis. Being in such a small group [4 travelers, one leader and 2 trainee leaders] could have been a problem, but it wasn't, and we all got on well together.

Reviewed on 08 Jul 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Visiting the cities, the homestays and meeting local people.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Not to expect too much from the rail journey. For me it was just a means to an end and not a particularly memorable part of the overall trip.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


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