4 independent reviews for Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

Reviews for Trans-Mongolian Express, Eastbound

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review 29 Dec 2012

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!

review 26 Sep 2011

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.

review 12 Jun 2011

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.

review 8 Jul 2010

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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