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The Vodkatrain

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra kosten tijdens tour None
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
From {{totalPrice}} EUR
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
Duur
21 dagen
Begint in
St. Petersburg
Eindigt in
Beijing
Grootte van de groep
15 people maximum. Big enough to form a posse, small enough to give you space.
Go beyond babushkas and vodka on the ultimate Trans Mongolian journey.
Encounter more people, places and tasty flavours on this epic three-week adventure. Marvel at the palaces of St. Pete’s, plunge into the sapphire depths of dazzling Lake Baikal, sleep under a blazing blanket of stars in a Mongolian ger camp, then glide into China to eat oodles of noodles and gawk at ancient sights like the Great Wall.
Reisroute

The Vodkatrain

Days 1-2: St. Petersburg

Kick things off in St Petersburg. Originally constructed as Russia’s ‘eyes into Europe’, the city has been the backdrop to countless catastrophes, but today, the 21st-century city is a thriving cultural capital; discover clubs and live music, an experimental art scene, cosy wine bars, great tea houses, and a multicultural food offering. Experience the impressive architecture, visit the spectacular Hermitage Museum and discover the live music scene.

Day 3: To Moscow

A final day exploring and then take your first overnight train to Moscow, get to know your fellow adventurers and plan a list of sights you want to hit once you arrive in Russia’s capital.

Days 4-5: Moscow

Head to Red Square for an immediate WOW factor. You’ll find yourself slack-jawed on the cobbled square (surprisingly not red) staring in awe at the gingerbread masterpiece of St. Basils. Wander to Zaryadye Park for a great vantage over the striking skyline or chill in Gorky Park, a favourite among locals. Try the local fare, some of the best has Georgian and Asian influence.

Days 6-9: Trans Siberian Railway

Roll past changing landscapes and head to the dining car to meet fellow travellers and practise your Russian.

Days 10-11: Irkutsk & Lake Baikal

Go for a refreshing swim and try the lake’s famous fish. Hike along the picturesque shores, see if you can spot some of the seals endemic to the lake and soak up the scenery of Siberia before boarding the train again.

Day 12: To Ulan Ude

Enjoy a final day in the city before boarding the train to Ulan Ude and the Republic of Buryatia, the original home of the Buddhist-Shaman Buryats.

Days 13-14: Ulan Ude

Ask your Honcho about organising a trip to the Old Believers Village. See the wonderful colourful houses, traditional dress and enjoy a hearty meal with your hosts. The singing, dancing and infectious joy of the people will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Fancy something for free? Take in the giant Lenin head in the centre of town - it really is enormous!

Day 15: Trans Mongolian Railway

On the rails again and leaving the home of the home of the Buryats we travel to Mongolia and the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

Day 16: Terelj National Park

Settle into life as a nomad in a traditional ger camp. If you’re feeling adventurous, ride across the valley on horseback or try your hand at archery. Enjoy a peaceful sunset before getting cosy around the campfire with a few airags (fermented mare’s milk).

Day 17: Ulaanbaatar

Visit the magnificent statue of Genghis Khan on the way back to the city and enjoy exploring this fascinating city with its’ myriad of evening hotspots. Maybe a Mongolian BBQ to fill you up for the final train journey.

Day 18: Trans Mongolian Railway

Take the train through the magnificent Gobi Desert toward the Chinese frontier.

Days 19-21: Beijing

Wander down hutongs (alleyways) and people-watch at Tiananmen Square. Test your haggling skills at one of the many markets and devour Peking Duck in its hometown. Visit the Forbidden City before heading to the hills for a stroll along the most peaceful part of the Great Wall, Huanghaucheng.

Inclusions

All train tickets
Visa support & destination information
Shared accommodation (2 twin share hotel nights, 7 hostel nights, 2 nights at a Siberian guesthouse, 1 night at ger camp, 8 nights on the train (4-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.
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
None

Accommodatie

On the Train
Sleeping compartments are usually four-share with two upper and two lower bunks - depending on the group size you could be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers or other travellers along the way. You’ll find clean bedding, reading lights, a big window, a small table and enough room for a rucksack or two, perfect for when you need a moment’s rest. All carriages have boiling water, attendants and washrooms, but no showers - that’s a luxury to look forward to once you disembark.

Off the Train
Other accommodation may include ger camps in Mongolia and yurts along the Silk Road. These are traditional nomadic homes that are sure to become one of your journey highlights. They tend to be multi-share and mixed-sex so grab your new besties and enjoy the nomadic vibes together. Hostels, hotels and guesthouses we stay at are clean, close to transport and provide legendary hospitality. We’ll do our best to pair couples, but it can’t be guaranteed so sometimes you’ll be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers of the same sex. Please also note that we cannot guarantee private facilities.

Lokaal vervoer

The public scheduled trains and buses are basic but comfortable and offer a window into real life. Most locals won’t be going the same distance as you, so you’ll meet a marvellous mix along the way. Don't be afraid to say hello!

Maaltijden

In keeping with the budget-friendly policy and adding flexibility to your trip, there are no meals included in your Vodkatrain journey. Your options while on the rails include a restaurant car *, buying food from the "Babushkas" (grandmothers) on the platforms (just make sure you check the hygiene situation before handing over the cash) and self-catering. In general just follow the simple travellers' food rule - peel it, cook it or wash it, and you should be good.

* The train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (and vice versa) and many of the trains in Central Asia do not have restaurant cars. There are also few opportunities to buy food on the platforms and you will need to buy enough food for the journey before you board.

Houd er rekening mee

Honchos - Local Legends
Honchos know the city better than anyone because they live there. They can show you the iconic sights and then take you behind the scenes for a real taste of local life. They’re under 35, speak excellent English and love their job because they get to meet people from all over the world. You might be comfortable dropping an "una cerveza por favour" in Spain, but do you know how to ask for directions in Russian or find the right bus in Uzbekistan? Your Honcho will not only help you with the logistics of travelling in a distant land but let you feel the pulse of a city through local gems not yet listed in the guidebooks.

- Honchos are included at every stop on your journey.
- They’ll meet you at each stop and help you get your bearings. Need to find an ATM, no worries. Want to try a local beer. Easy.
- They’ll take you to where you want to go and places you haven’t even heard of.
- They will not take you to endless souvenir shops or their cousin’s restaurant - unless you want that.
- There’s no pressure to hang with a Honcho if you’d rather do your own thing.
- They’re available in each city from 09:00 to 21:00, but can often be coerced to stay out late for a drink or two.
- When it comes time to leave, and you’re nursing a post-vodka hangover, they’ll make sure you get on the right train at the right time for stress-free travel.

The Vodkatrain

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