Arrive in Moscow and meet your fellow travellers. Explore Russia’s fascinating capital and take in the patchwork of Soviet, Imperial and modern architecture. Visit Red Square and marvel at the iconic sights of St. Basils Cathedral and the Kremlin. Hop on the beautiful metro (yes, apparently public transport can be a work of art) to the many sights within this vibrant city of 10 million. Wander in art galleries and parklands, then party like a local with a synonymous serving of vodka and pickles. Try some local fare such as Borsch before hitting a lively venue for late night shenanigans. Whatever you’re into, live music, sweaty underground dance parties, luxury cocktails with a view, or something altogether more casual, you’ll find it in Russia’s capital.
Climb aboard the Trans Siberian Railway and listen for the whistle that marks the start of your journey into the lands of Genghis Khan. Settle into life on board as you watch the stunning scenery transform outside your window. Get to know your group and experiment with new language skills on unsuspecting locals; with a little inventive sign language, you’ll all be laughing in no time. The train will make minor stops along the way, ask how long it's staying before you hop off and devour homecooked delights from babushkas along the platform.
As we visit the ground where Genghis Khan was chosen as the next great leader, you could walk in his actual footsteps. One of the biggest drawcards to the region is the earliest surviving Buddhist Monastery in Mongolia. Erdene Zuu was constructed in 1585 after a meeting with the 3rd Dalai Lama, beginning a declaration of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion. Between Mongol wars and Soviet purges, it’s a shadow of its former self, yet still an impressive sight. Enjoy a night in a ger camp, and learn how to build one yourself. Mongols are a roving race and may move their homes up to four times a year, in search of greener pastures for their animals. With a collection of wood, felt and tarp, you’ll have it up in no time.
Next up Orkhon waterfall that is set in a beautiful location in the Khangai Mountains in the picturesque Orkhon Valley. Established as a place of solitude by Zanabazar, the first Buddhist leader of Mongolia and great sculptor, it soon grew into a significant monastery and place of pilgrimage after his death.
Already feeling like true nomads you will have another couple of nights in a ger as we travel out to the Gobi Desert. Settle into your ger camp and enjoy the twinkling canopy of stars. Surrounded by mountains, rivers and grasslands, keep your eyes peeled for foxes, deer, wolves and eagles as you hike part of the Mongol Els, an 80km stretch of colossal dunes. Ask your Honcho about hiring a few camels to go further afield.
Heading back to the city, you have a final night to explore Mongolia before rolling on to China. Back in town, get into the spirit of things with a feast of local cuisine and a tasty brew, like Crazy Shaman IPA at Hop & Rocks Brewery - Mongolia’s first ever producer of craft beer. Night owls will find plenty to keep them up from live music venues, beer gardens and chill bars, to pulsing clubs and luxury lounges.
Back on board, this time on the Trans Mongolian line. Glide across the green grasslands and pass the golden Gobi before launching into China. Use your time to learn a few words of Chinese and plan what you’d like to see and eat in Beijing. There are eight national cuisines to try, so that should keep you busy when you’re not exploring Imperial Palaces or strolling along the great wall.
Welcome to China and congratulations. You’ve just travelled 7,865 km and experienced three diverse countries. Let’s celebrate with a visit to one of the many snack markets. Fried scorpion on a stick, anyone? Jump on a bicycle or rickshaw and explore the sheer scale of the city. Get acquainted with the ancient philosophical culture and discover the patchwork of Imperial opulence and modern life with a visit to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Head for the hills and enjoy a stroll at the most peaceful part of the Great Wall at Huanghauchen.
Note: Upon arrival in Beijing, please meet your Honcho outside the first ticket-checking point, not on the platform.
All train tickets
Visa support & destination information
Shared accommodation (4 hostel nights, 3 nights at ger camp, 6 nights on the train (4-6-berth). Please note that private facilities are not guaranteed.)
Honchos throughout your journey, however, with no pre-arranged sightseeing, you have complete freedom to roam. Stay with your group or explore on your own.
All departure and arrival transfers en-route *
* Arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included.