Trans-Siberia Railroad: Russia, Mongolia, China Tour, 23 days
Travel through Russia, Mongolia and China on the Trans-Siberia Express. After a stay in Moscow we travel across Russia. The first stop is Jekaterinburg. Passing through multiple time zones we travel to Irkutsk. Here is, of course, a trip to Lake Baikal. Further along in Mongolia we make a journey through the vast Gobi desert and over the Mongolian grass steppes staing in gers. In this sparsely populated area, you can see how the nomads still on traditional way of life. A last train ride takes you to the Chinese capital Beijing, the Forbidden Cty and the Great Wall.
Join our international groups with active travelers, of all ages. Most will come from Holland and Belgium, but you will find they have an excellent command of English. Your tour leader addresses the group in Dutch and English. Our skilled land crew have worked with Djoser for many years and make sure things run smoothly.
There is ample time for group exploration. Count on lots of walking. But sometimes, it is great to be able to break off and explore on your own. Your guide can make some great suggestions.
Join us for unforgettable cultural, nature and local experiences!
- Moscow, train to Jekaterinburg
- train - arrival Jekaterinburg
- Jekaterinburg - train to Irkoetsk
- arrival in Irkoetsk
- Irkoetsk, excursion to Lake Baikal
- Irkoetsk, train to Ulaanbaatar
- train arrival Ulaanbaatar
- Ulaanbaatar - Middle Gobi
- Gobi Desert
- Gobi Desert - Bayanzag
- Bayanzag - Onjin
- Onjin - Orkhon Valley
- Orkhon Valley
- Orkhon Valley - Khar Khorin - Mongol Els
- Mongol Els - Ulaanbaatar
- Ulaanbaatar, train to Beijing
- arrival Beijing
- Beijing - Great Wall & Summer Palace
Day by day
Russia, Mongolia and China
Join an international group with Dutch and Belgian travelers on this three-country Trans-Siberia Railroad journey. After your stay in Moscow you can travel with the Trans Siberian Express across Russia.The first stop is Yekaterinburg. Due to different time zones on the most famous of all the lines we travel to Irkutsk. This is of course a trip to Lake Baikal possible. Furthermore, in Mongolia we take a journey through the vast Gobi Desert and the Mongolian grass steppes. In this sparsely populated area shows how the nomads still live in the traditional way. A final train ride takes you to the Chinese capital Beijing, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
Day 1 Arrival - Moscow
Day 2 Moscow
We arrive in the capital of the former Soviet empire. The oldest part of Moscow is still rich with historic buildings. In the Kremlin there are many churches and palaces. We use the tube where you will see the splendor of the stations. In Soviet times Moscow had reputation of being greyand unsociable, but this changed strongly in recent years. In the city cente many churches have been rebuilt or restored, open spaces are filled in the buildings and the Manege Square is now walking. There are many restaurants, trollies and kiosks where you find something to eat or drink. The first walk takes you to the famous Red Square, Krasnaya Ploshchad, the most famous place of Moscow and the former Soviet Union. The pedestrianized square in front of the Kremlin has changed significantly in recent years: a medieval church and a 18th century port were restores and the facade of the GUM department has been sandblasted and has gone from a drab gray to beige. What remains is still the Lenin mausoleum with the preserved body of the former Soviet leader. The museums contain priceless art from many former private collections. The Pushkin Museum has mainly 19th-century impressionists. Tretyakov is famous for the old icons. The elegant Nowodewitsji monastery is worth a visit. At the cemetery you will find the graves of many Russian celebrities, generals, politicians, writers and actors. In Gorky Park, you can see how the Russians amuse themselves. The amusement park with its majestic fountains, water organ, carousel and Ferris wheel dates back to the Soviet era, but has also been modernized with two roller coasters. Opposite is a garden where there are images of fallen Soviet heroes. During your free time you can stroll on the Arbat pedestrian promenade with shops, restaurants and many souvenir stalls. In addition to T-shirts you can find many typical Russian businesses selling icons and wooden matryoshka dolls. Nowadays these modern versions are also for sale with all the rulers of Russia, from Czar Nikolai II (the smallest inside) to Putin (the outer doll). In Moscow you will certainly be struck by the difference between the modern attire of the youth and old babushkas in their faded coats and headscarves.
Day 3 Moscow, departure of the train
Day 4 Train - Yekaterinburg
Day 5 Ekaterinburg - Train
Day 6 Train
Day 7 Train
On day three we leave for the station. It seems that everyone is trying to get on the same train at the same time and must find his or her place. The tour leader has designated the tickets for the group and the places by the provodnik (wagon master). You sleep in four-person coupés in sofa beds; the bedding is distributed by the provodnik. At some stations there is a stop that lasts long enough just to stretch your legs. At each stop, the wheels are controlled by striking a rod against the wheels. At the stations and on the train it is Moscow time, but the train stations meals are prepared on local time, so your stomach must follow the daily schedule. The food on the train is varied in range and quality, but is generally reasonable. For about € 13 ($15) - you have a meal including soup, bread, and a main course. Often, the restoration also has a small shop where you buy chocolate, noodles or a drink. However, this is more expensive than what you can buy at stops to complement the meals. On the platform you will find kiosks with food for sale ranging from blini (stuffed pancakes) to dried fish. You can make these purchases for a few rubles, but making change can be a problem. Also make sure not to stray far from the train. The departure is not indicated by a whistle as we are used to at home, but the train just pulls out without any notice. And you never want to cross the track on because freight trains pass a few kilometers long, which will prevent you from getting to your train in time.
Halfway through the evening we arrive in Yekaterinburg , known as the place where the Romanov family spent the last days in July 1918. Here you have a full day to explore the city before traveling again. We pass Tyumen, the first city in Siberia, founded in 1586. During the day on the train we make a stop in the industrial city of Omsk. Meanwhile the time outside the train is three hours ahead of Moscow time. Thereafter, the train crosses the vast Barabinskaja-steppe, where up is to see the horizon just grass. Just before Nowosibirsk the train crosses the river Ob on a 2297 foot long bridge that dates back to the time of the construction of the railway. The train takes us through vast birch forests, brightened by the white obelisk at 2443 miles, indicating that you are exactly halfway on the road from Moscow to Beijing. The huts of the village Minino around kilometer marker 4070 are especially picturesque. Shortly after the stop in Krasnoyarsk, which was forbidden territory for the nuclear industry in the Soviet era for foreigners, the train crosses the wide Yenisei. Then we come to a hilly area with many bridges.
Day 8 arrival in Irkutsk
Day 9 Excursion to Baikal - departure from Irkutsk
Day 10 Train
After 3221 miles we arrive in Irkutsk originated in 1651 as a garrison settlement and trading post. Trade in tobacco and hides made the city prosperous and many of the old houses radiate the wealth of that time. The churches such as the 18th century Spaskaja, are the oldest stone buildings in Siberia. The White House was built just after 1800 in classical style for the fur trader Sibirjakow. Later it became the residence of the governor, and now houses the university library. Irkutsk has neighborhoods that consist entirely of wooden houses. You have plenty of time to see the city. An excursion to Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater reservoir in the world is included. We drive to Listvyanka, the village at the mouth of the lake. En route we stop at an open-air museum. After staying in Irkutsk we get back into the train, which runs along the southern shore of Lake Baikal. In Ulan-Ude the track bends to the south in the direction of Mongolia . In the course of the evening we cross the border of this country, which is sandwiched between Russia and China. The pink station of the Mongolian border town of Sukhbaatar is an incredible mix of architectural styles.
Day 11 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
Early in the morning we arrive in Ulaanbaatar , where our local representatives will be waiting to take you to the hotel. If the rooms are assigned, participants can take a shower and freshen up. This is followed by an exploration of the capital, which is home to a third of the Mongolian population. New Japanese cars share the road with horses. From the Zaisan memorial, on a hill south of the city, you have a wide view of Ulaanbaatar and its surroundings. In the Red Square of Mongolia, Sukhbaatar Square, you can see that most buildings were built under Soviet influence. An excursion to the Natural History Museum, is possible where you get a good overview of the flora and fauna of Mongolia. Moreover, there are two complete dinosaur skeletons found in the Gobi in the twenties of the last century. For the rest of the day in Ulaanbaatar there are several excursions. One is a visit to the Gandantegchinlen Chiid , the largest and most important monastery of Mongolia. It escaped destruction because the government wanted to keep it as a model of religious repression. In addition to various temples is a new, 25-meter high Buddha statue, which is a copy of one that was melted down in the thirties by the Russians. It is advisable to visit the monastery before 11:00, because the temples then open and you see praying monks. Another possibility is just outside the city center, the Winter Palace, where until 1924 the Buddhist leaders titled Bogd Khan dwelt. It is an extensive complex with many temples in a walled garden. The historical museum gives a good overview of the Mongolian history and traditions.
Gobi desert, Bayanzag, Khujirt Valley
Day 12 By bus through the Gobi Desert
Day 13 Gobi Desert
Day 14 Bayanzag
day 15 Khujirt Valley
Buses take us to the Gobi Desert , which consists of a mixture of sand plains and rocky mountains. Once we are out of town is the desolation of the landscape. The land is three times as large as France and most of the roads are unpaved. On this road, especially at the beginning of the trip, are long travel days, but the view makes up for it: green hills, cliffs, plains, cranes, marmots, herds of camels, horses or goats, and here and there a ger. The first part of the ride goes through the Dundgov region, the mid-Gobi.We stay near Mandalgovi in gers. After one night we drive to Ömnögov, the southern Gobi. It is the hottest and driest region of Mongolia and therefore also the most sparsely populated area. On this plain run many camels. The plain is interrupted by the Goervansaichan Mountains. Along the way you see rural life pass you and you will get a glimpse of how two-thirds of the Mongolian population live in their 'gers' that you see along the way. Gers are nomadic tents in which the Mongolians traditionally live and with which they cross the country. They consist of a wooden frame which is covered with felt and canvas. We stay close to Dalan-zadgad. The four person gers have beds. and the bathrooms, like a campsite, are in a separate building. In the national park you can see many native species inGoervansaichan. The landscape at Yolyn Am (= adelaarsbek) is very surprising: in the desert there is a spectacular canyon. A short walk takes you in May, June and sometimes even in July to a sometimes meter-thick layer of ice. In the afternoon we arrive in Bayanzag, where dinosaur fossils have been found in an area of rock and red sand. We drive northward leaving the Gobi and come through dry steppes again. We can make a lunch stop at the remains of the thirties Ongiin Cloister. At the end of the day we arrive in Khujirt Valley, where we overnight.
Orkhon Valley, Khar Kharin
Day 16 In Orkhon Valley
Day 17 Orkhon Valley
Day 18 In Khar Kharin and Khögnö Khan, Mongol Els
Then we leave for the Orkhon valley , where we stay the whole day. There is plenty to see in the valley, where volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have created an impressive landscape, which includes the Ulaan Tstgulan waterfall. The next day we go 13 miles away to the remnants of the city that Ödögei Khan built in 1235 as the capital. At that time there were imposing buildings like the Palace of World Peace. 25 years later Genghis ' grandson Kublai Khan, moved the capital to the city of Beijing, and Khar Kharin was was left to the harsh climate and marauding nomads. The remaining stones were used from 1586 for the construction of the Erdene Zoeoe Chiid. Also this monastery was destroyed by invading Manchus in later centuries. During the Stalinist period only three temples were left untouched of the past hundred. In the immense walls are 108 stupas, for Buddhists a sacred number. Around Mongol Els, halfway Khar Kharin and Ulan Bator, we stay for the last time in a ger.
Return to Ulaanbaatar
Day 19 From Mongol Els to Ulaanbaatar
Day 20: Departure from Ulaanbaatar
We make a drive of 93 miles on a good road, bringing us again back to the capital. In the afternoon you'll have time to go into the city to buy the last souvenirs at the State Department Store or the Sky shopping center and to shop for the last two train days. The Trans Mongolia express to Beijing departs next day at the beginning of the morning. At the border of China, passports and luggage arechecked in the train. At the same time the wheel carriers are changed to connect with a different gauge.
Day 21 Arrival Beijing
Day 22 Beijing tour Great Wall, Summer Palace
Day 23 Beijing -
The train arrives around 15:00 in Beijing, capital of China. The center of town is around the Tiananmen Square, where the famous Forbidden City is located, as well as the mausoleum of Mao and the Great Hall of the People. Of the countless temples that once adorned the city, there are some all well worth visiting. Beijing is a huge city, and it is here also the easiest to get around by taxi or taxi-van. To illustrate: to get from one attraction to the other a taxi will normally take about a half hour. In Beijing, the day after arrival, an excursion to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace are on the program. We take the time to walk a section of the wall and to see the immense palace. This tour, apart from the admission fees, are included in the fare. In the evening you can eat the famous Peking duck. A fitting finale was a visit to a performance of the Peking opera. The next morning you fly back home.
Dates and prices
Departure dates 2021
|Land Begins||Land Ends||Price||Availability|
|Jul-10-21||Aug-01-21||$4,000||20 seats||book now >|
|Jul-24-21||Aug-15-21||$4,260||16 seats||book now >|
|Aug-07-21||Aug-29-21||$4,065||14 seats||book now >|
|Sep-04-21||Sep-26-21||$4,065||16 seats||book now >|
|Sep-18-21||Oct-10-21||$4,000||17 seats||book now >|
Departure dates 2022
|Land Begins||Land Ends||Price||Availability|
|May-14-22||Jun-05-22||$3,935||20 seats||book now >|
|May-21-22||Jun-12-22||$3,935||18 seats||book now >|
|May-28-22||Jun-19-22||$4,065||15 seats||book now >|
|Jun-04-22||Jun-26-22||$4,065||20 seats||book now >|
|Jun-11-22||Jul-03-22||$4,065||15 seats||book now >|
|Jun-18-22||Jul-10-22||$3,935||16 seats||book now >|
|Jul-09-22||Jul-31-22||$3,935||18 seats||book now >|
|Aug-14-22||$4,195||10 seats||book now >|
|Aug-06-22||Aug-28-22||$3,805||20 seats||book now >|
|Sep-03-22||Sep-25-22||$3,935||20 seats||book now >|
|Sep-17-22||Oct-09-22||$3,935||18 seats||book now >|
Departure dates 2023
|Land Begins||Land Ends||Price||Availability|
|May-13-23||Jun-04-23||$3,935||20 seats||book now >|
|May-27-23||Jun-18-23||$4,065||20 seats||book now >|
|Jun-10-23||Jul-02-23||$4,065||20 seats||book now >|
|Jun-17-23||Jul-09-23||$4,065||20 seats||book now >|
Conditions "Guaranteed leave"
- Land Program
- Dutch tour leader (speaks Dutch and English
- Assistance of local guide
- Transportation by bus, train and field buses
- Hotel Accommodation with breakfast (except Beijing)
- During the tour of Mongolia nights in gers with breakfast, lunch and dinner included, worth $125,
- Excursion to Lake Baikal
- Transport to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace
- International flights
- Other meals
- Entrance fees and optional excursions
- Personal expenses.
Group trip dates denoted with the green "G" (Most Likely to GO)
The dates you see listed in our group tours that are marked with a green "G" are MOST LIKELY TO GO based on this trip's past booking history, for a similar date. Before booking your flights it is important that you check with us to see if the group has enough participants for the trip to GO. However, Djoser is not responsible for costs for flight changes or cancellations if a trip must be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment, which might include a booking cancellation after the trip has been deemed to have sufficient bookings for a "GO".
|Estimated out of pocket weekly||$260|
|Extension Hotel Night - BEIJING|
- 20% of total costs due as deposit upon booking
- Balance due 60 days prior to departure date
- Payment by check or charge card
Accommodations & Meals
In China we stay in a tourist class hotel where the rooms are equipped with private shower and toilet. The Russian hotels often date from the Soviet era and were built in the 70s and 80s. They are generally in large complexes in the typical Soviet architecture. When traveling on the train, you will stay overnight in 4 person compartments. It is possible to rent sheets. There are toilets and wash basins on the train.
In Mongolia we stay in gers, and in traditinoal Mongolian nomad tents. They have a wooden frame which is covered with hides and canvas. In the gers are beds. The toilet is in a separate building. Ulaan Baator exception, as here we spend the night in a hotel.
Moscow Izmailovo Complex Gamma-Delta
Ekaterinburg Park Hotel
Beijing Fenghuang Suyuan Hotel
Single travelers are matched with another traveler of the same sex. For an additional fee you may request single accommodations. However single rooms are not available on the train and during nights in in Mongolia.
Breakfasts are included in the hotels in Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Ulaanbaatar and meals during the trip in Mongolia are included during the Trans-Siberian journey. Otherwise you can then decide when and where you eat. The guide can always recommend places where you can find good foot.
On the train, the choice is limited to the dining car, where several dishes are available. To complement the menu, along the way you can buy food at station kiosks. During the tour in Mongolia breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. In Ulaanbaatar meals are not included.
Recommended: vaccinations against DTP and Hepatitis A.
It is possible to book an extension hotel night in Beijing. See the Cost Overview for hotel costs.
Flights & Transportation
You should schedule your own flights to correspond with the bulk of the travelers who will arriving as a group from Amsterdam. You should arrive before they arrive or at the same time so you do nto miss any portion of the program. Below you will find their typical flight:
Typical flights for the Dutch participants (Subject to change)
They arrive Moscow at 4 PM
They depart Beijing 10:05 AM
Moscow and Beijing offer subways and taxis as convenient means of transport. In addition, Moscow has an extensive tram network. Making the journey from Moscow to Beijing, we use four different trains, which we get in Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Ulaanbaatar. In Mongolia we travel by van. Given the often limited luggage that can be stored on the bus and train we ask you limit your luggage to 35 pounds per person. You need to bring a soft duffel because of the very limited storage facilities in trains and buses in Mongolia.
Russia -Russian ruble, payed in
Mongolia - Mongolian Togrog
China - Chi nese yuan (renminbi).
ATMS: There are ATMs in Moscow, Beijing and Mongolia.
Cash: euros and dollars accepted in small notes (no coins).
Credit cards are accepted in Russia and Beijing in many places, including restaurants.
See cost summary for estimated out of pocket expenses for meals, entry fees and incidentals.
It is customary to tip for services rendered. For your convenience a tip pot is organized at the beginning of the trip to tip drivers, local guides, hotel staff assisting with luggage. Each participant will be asked to contribute about $35 per person. This tip pot does not include a tip for your tour leader. Tipping is customary. The amount is up to you.
The trip includes
• Land package
• Dutch tour leader (speaks Dutch & English). Logistics coordinator.
• local guide (English-speaking)
• Transportation by bus, train and field buses
• Hotel Accommodation with breakfast (except Beijing)
• During the tour of Mongolia nights in gers with breakfast, lunch and dinner worth $120
• Excursion to Lake Baikal
• Transport to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace
With Djoser you can decide which sights you wish to visit. In Irkutsk, someone may stroll through the markets for barings while another may enjoy a museum or relaxing on a terrace, watching the daily life and surroundings. You can join the guide to explore or you can go off on your own or with other travelers. The guide can give you suggestions and if you choose to explore on your own, using local transport. Entrance fees are not included in the fare so you may pick and choose the outings you wish to join.
Some sights you should not miss, they are not easily accessible, or they are en route to our next overnight. Transport to these excursions are included in the program however entry fees are not included.
The following tours in the tour program included during this 23-day journey on the Trans Siberian Express:
• Excursion to Lake Baikal (Listvianka) with a visit to the market.
• City tour of Ulaan Baator.
Along the way our bus stops at a number of places. You will need to pay entrance fees.
• With enough participation in a boat trip on Lake Baikal.
• Visit the Bogd Khan Palace, the Gandan monastery. Traditional dance and music performance.
• The Great Wall and the Summer Palace.
On the spot additional excursions may be arranged, for example walking in Yekaterinburg and Irkutsk.
• Passport,valid six months after return.
• Visas to Russia, Mongolia and China
Tour Leaders & Support Staff
This trip is guided by an experienced Dutch tour guide who has worked with Djoser for many years. The guide speaks Dutch and English and functions as a logistics coodinator and not a lecturer. Our tour guides are responsible for the organizational and technical aspects of the trip. Their extensive travel experience and expertise adds value to the Djoser trips. They have undergone careful and comprehensive training.
A local guide can tell you about Mongolia: the country; local customs, religious influences and cultural backgrounds.
Climate & Geography
Russia has a continental climate with hot summers and very cold winters. In spring and autumn you should consider cool days and cold nights. The temperature fluctuate during the day than between 50° F and 68 ° F. In summer the temperature is higher, but there is occasional rain. The days are long in the summer. In Mongolia and China, the climate is not much different. Summers are hot with daytime temperatures average 86 ° F. Please be aware of rains in July and August and on cold nights in Mongolia in May and September.
Photos & video
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* Or mail Djoser, Inc., 154 Woodgate Lane, Paoli, PA 19301 - Attn: Luke Neal