Trans-Siberian and Mongolia tour, westbound

“An epic 6,000 km train journey, through China, Mongolia and Russia, from Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to Moscow’s iconic Red Square”

Highlights

Beijing | Ulaanbaatar | Terelj National Park Ger camp | Ulan Ude | Lake Baikal | Trans-Siberian Railway | Kungur | Moscow

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Date
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12 Sep 2017
US $ 3635
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19 Sep 2017
US $ 3565
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03 Oct 2017
US $ 3495
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03 Apr 2018
US $ 3730
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10 Apr 2018
US $ 3765
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24 Apr 2018
US $ 3730
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01 May 2018
US $ 3730
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08 May 2018
US $ 3730
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15 May 2018
US $ 3595
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22 May 2018
US $ 3595
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10 Jul 2018
US $ 3455
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17 Jul 2018
US $ 3455
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24 Jul 2018
US $ 3455
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31 Jul 2018
US $ 3455
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07 Aug 2018
US $ 3455
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14 Aug 2018
US $ 3595
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21 Aug 2018
US $ 3595
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28 Aug 2018
US $ 3595
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04 Sep 2018
US $ 3730
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11 Sep 2018
US $ 3730
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18 Sep 2018
US $ 3730
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25 Sep 2018
US $ 3595
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16 Oct 2018
US $ 3595
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Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your vacation not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are traveling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are traveling through. All solo travelers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travelers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Trans-Siberian and Mongolia tour, westbound

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 created 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. 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!
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; talk to our hosts in our Guesthouse near Lake Baikal to learn about their life the far reaches in Siberia, or learn ginger bread making from our wonderful host family in Kungur.
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 (you can donate unwanted clothes or toiletries), 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.

1 Reviews of Trans-Siberian and Mongolia tour, westbound

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 14 May 2017 by

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


The Mongolian ger camp was wonderful. ...the local guides Tuya and
Nimo were terrific and made the Mongolian stop off great. Lake Baikal was also amazing...great fun with the sauna and jumping in the freezing river..standing on the frozen lake...beautiful and memorable. The entire train journey was special and being escorted by a brilliant guide was just the best way to feel safe yet given every opportunity to meet and interact with travelers from everywhere, learn new languages and it made for a fascinating insight into these less travelled places.

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


Read some online information on traveling the trans siberian express. I got some good tips there on what to take, what to eat, what type of bags to take (wheelie suitcase actually ) plus small ruck sack as train corridors are tight and steps to platforms steep so need to be able to manage your own stuff. Be prepared for some hard beds but all linen and bedding was lovely. Be prepared for the toilets in China and along the way..it's not pretty but you'll manage and all part of a real adventure.

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


All inclusive parts of the trip were very local and superb. Local guides and even cafes opened just for us on request so we were able to use small local places much of the time. It was a 2 way experience for us and all we met along the way..we were not just tourists.

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


Excellent. ..loved it all!

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