Planning for a long holiday this year? Make this trip of your memorable and different from the regular Bali or Taiwan trips!
The Trans-Siberian expressway would be one of the more interesting trips you can take. After all, it is the longest trip you can take on a single train (that is if you don’t intend on exploring every country you pass)!
By taking the longest route, which is from Moscow to Vladivostok, the trip would take 7 days. For those of you who don’t know where these places are, it’s in Russia. It’s not just a train trip around the country though!
There are three different routes you can take, the first route (Moscow to Vladivostok) as mentioned above never leaves Russia. But the 2 other routes will give you a chance to visit China!
Trans-Mongolian Line: This train travels to Vladivostok through Mongolia to Beijing and then back to Russia. This route is recommended for those of you who want to take the eastbound train (Moscow to Vladivostok)
Trans-Manchurian Line: This train travels to Vladivostok through Manchuria (a region within China) to Beijing and back to Russia. This route is recommended for those of you who want to take the westbound train ( Vladivostok to Moscow)
Things to do
If you want to extend your holiday and see the sights, here are some ideas:
Moscow: This city is either at the start of your journey or the end. Be sure to visit the popular Kremlin. A must-see sight when visiting the country!
Irkutsk: A popular stop right before you leave to take Trans-Mongolia or Trans-Manchurian. This city is known for its Siberian timber buildings housing businesses like cafes to museums!
Beijing: It’s a must to visit the Great Wall of China if you intend on stopping in this city! If you want to full tourist experience, check out the Forbidden City as well as the Ming Tombs.
Mongolia: Take a stop here to explore the Gobi desert. On top of that, see what Ulaanbaatar has to offer. There are tons of museums as well as the Winter Palace of Bogd Khan.
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There are many factors to consider in terms of cost and many sites out there talking about this trip would vary in expense. The factors that will affect prices are:
Demand: Summer is the best time to travel because the sun is out longer, giving you a scenic view for longer periods of time. Ticket agencies tend to hike up the prices when there is a high demand. So either you buy in advance or be prepared to do some intense research.
Quality of train and class: obviously, the lower the quality of the train, the lower the cost. If you really want to save loads of money, feel free to try such trains. However, if you want to travel in comfort, higher quality trains have 2 to 3 types of classes. The first class can cost up to 500 pounds (SGD $915) while the second class can cost 250 pounds (SGD $457) and the third class (which some trains do not have) will cost 114 pounds (SGD $208).
TIP: Higher quality trains have smaller train numbers (single digit) while lower quality trains have bigger numbers (triple digit). So be sure to check your train number!
I hope this article has provided you with basic information to help you start planning your trip or has given you inspiration for your next holiday!
Of course, it would be impossible to go into extensive detail of the whole Trans-Siberian Railway but Seat61 is a whole website dedicated to train travelling has multiple pages on travelling this incredible railway!
Considering that you will be travelling to three countries, a second-class train ticket costing $457 is reasonable. However, saving some money would not hurt:
- Book in advance: This way you have time to compare and negotiate prices and packages. Take note that you can’t book a ticket whenever you like as it is an all-reserved railway.
- Choose an overnight trip: Yes, there will be beautiful views but as noted by multiple travellers, most of it are forests or roads. If you intend to stop at several destinations, you can possibly save money on overnight accommodations!
- Bring food: Some tickets would come with meals included but it’s best to be over prepared and bring your own form of sustenance unless you intend on paying more for the snacks sold in the train.
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What’s there not to love about travelling? It’s even better if you get to save some money while you’re at it!