RANS
IBERIAN


        2007/2008
    Russia Experience
TRANS
SIBERIAN                                      2007/2008
 Contents
          your complete guide

          Dare to J...
Russia Experience was started by travel fans who d ridden the Trans-Sib Rails themselves,
        and wanted to share this...
Dare to journey beyond
    conventional boundaries.

          “At 9001 KM... it’s the longest
            lunch you will ...
VLADIVOSTOK


                              HARBIN

       ULAN-UDAY
      IRKUTSK
                              HUHEHOT
 ...
EPIC TRANS-SIB
lake baikal plus mongolian gobi




                                                                       ...
the trip                                                                                                                  ...
MAMMOTH TRANS-SIB
the legendary stops combined on one itinerary




                                                      ...
the trip                                                                                                                  ...
ULTIMATE TRANS-SIB
mountains, mongols, monasteries - the ultimate t-sib trip




                                         ...
the trip                                                                                                                  ...
OUTER & INNER MONGOLIA
the secret history of the mongols




                                   Mongolia: Local Naadam Fes...
the trip                                                                                                                  ...
The rumble of another train came from behind, bursting into a
   deafening thunder and obliterating the sound of the water...
TRIP OPTIONS &
                                                          for fear of frightening local people with their
D...
Trans Siberian
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Trans Siberian

  1. 1. RANS IBERIAN 2007/2008 Russia Experience
  2. 2. TRANS SIBERIAN 2007/2008 Contents your complete guide Dare to Journey 4/5 Epic Trans-Sib 6/7 Mammoth Trans-Sib 8/9 Ultimate Trans-Sib 10/11 Outer & Inner Mongolia 12/13 Dr. Zhivago 14/15 Gobi & Gulag 16/17 Big Trans-Sib 18/19 On Board the Train 20/21 Three Capitals 22/23 Stops on Route 24 Destination Info 25/28 Stops on Route 29 Original Trans-Siberian 30 Trans-Manchurian Classic 31 Super Trans-Sib 32/33 Snow Train 34/35 Westbound Departures 36/37 Starting Your Trans-Sib Trip in St Petes 38/39 China 40/43 St Petersburg Hotels 44 Moscow Hotels 45 Spicing It Up 46 City Excursions 47 Countdown To Your Trip 48 Frequently Asked Questions 49 Above Centre: Xi’an, Great Goose Pagoda Booking Conditions 50 (photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience) Booking Form 51 Below Left: Moscow Kremlin, Assumption Cathedral (photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience) Below Centre: Mongolian horses (photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience) Below Right: Beijing, Forbidden City (photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience) 02 Contents
  3. 3. Russia Experience was started by travel fans who d ridden the Trans-Sib Rails themselves, and wanted to share this amazing experience with others. Sidestep the herd instinct and abandon passive gawping - our trips are about active immersion and involvement in destinations that are shrouded in myth and mystery, and best discovered for yourself Russia Mongolia China The world’s largest country, starting in Europe and Britain would fit into Mongolia six times - The sleeping giant is waking-up - now’s the time reaching to the Pacific, and stretching from the Arctic but Mongolia’s population (2.7m) wouldn’t even to catch China’s unique cultural heritage, before icebergs to the deserts of Central Asia. Come for the equal a London borough. In the middle of the the economic boom sweeping the country legendary sights of the Kremlin or the Hermitage - stay emptiness of the Gobi Desert the Steppe nomads paves and mirror-glazes the entire nation? The for the unexpected experiences of nomadic peoples, tend flocks in a way Genghis Khan would astounding contrasts between the pagodas of ancient siberian saunas, wild nightclubs and yummy find largely unchanged - but alongside that, Xi’an and the skyscrapers of Shanghai will leave your restaurants. Forget the cold-war cliches and meet the Ulaanbaatar has a wild, wacky and new-agey head spinning - so lie down and have a traditional country that’s out-pumping Saudi Arabia on the oil lifestyle where buddhism meets broadband. Chinese massage before supper... satay-sticks from the markets, and whose favourite soccer team is “Chelski”. Night Market, or Peking Duck at a slick eaterie?
  4. 4. Dare to journey beyond conventional boundaries. “At 9001 KM... it’s the longest lunch you will ever have” NEIL MCGOWAN NOVOSIB PERM ST PETERSBURG EKATERINB MOSCOW 04 Dare to Journey
  5. 5. VLADIVOSTOK HARBIN ULAN-UDAY IRKUTSK HUHEHOT ULAANBAATAR BEIJING SHANGHAI RSK XI’AN HONG KONG URG GUILIN GUANGZHOU HANOI Dare to Journey 05
  6. 6. EPIC TRANS-SIB lake baikal plus mongolian gobi WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Mongolia: Erdenezuu Monastery photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience from AGE 4 D N PA GU D ES AT 9 O RA E full on itinerary T TR G UR AN R ET £1,275 O SE U -E DAY 01 We whisk you by car directly to your hotel - P your first night in Moscow. DAY 02 After breakfast your local expert will meet D 17 nights/18 days you at the hotel, to whiz you round the 18 nights/19 days highlights. This is using public transport to familiarise you with the city centre and help operational season smooth your path… at least until lunchtime! May-Sept Afternoon and evening free to explore. DAY 03 A free full day - take your pick... DAY 04 The Trans-Sib line leads you past Kazan and Ekaterinburg… DAY 05 Then onwards into Siberia itself, via Novosibirsk… DAY 06 Across the River Yenisei, at Krasnoyarsk… DAY 07 Arrive in Irkutsk: Take your choice of program from the two options. Left - Baikal: lakeside trek Above - Ger Camp photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Above - Mongolian friends at Elstei photo: Aimie Conning/Russia Experience NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 06 Epic Trans-Sib
  7. 7. the trip Included in the trip: TRAIN: 1 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. Moscow MOSCOW: 2 Moscow sightseeing with local expert Transfers on arrival and departure. 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour 4 On board the Trans-Sib, through the Urals Mountains with local expert. 5 On board into Siberia, crossing the River Ob at Novosibirsk LAKE BAIKAL: Rural options out of the City gives you 6 On board - across central Siberia and crossing the Yenisei the option to chose from two all-inclusive programmes. 7-9 Arrive Irkutsk, CHOOSE EITHER: Siberian Village, with mini-trek, scuba, walking options OR Adventure Trek MONGOLIA: Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. 10 Return to Irkutsk, free time to explore, then eve depart by train All transportation. Two nights camping with Irkutsk Nomads, full board. Two nights tourist 11 On board, around Lake Baikal then southwards to Mongolia Ger Camp, full board. One night 3* Hotel 12 Ulaanbaatar city walk, depart to Bayan Gobi, nomad stay in Ulaanbaatar breakfast included. Sleeping bags are provided. 13 Onwards to Karakorum site, overnight stay with nomads Ulaanbaatar VISAS REQUIRED FOR: 14 Sightseeing in Bayan Gobi, arrive to Elstei Ger Camp RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA 15 Free day at Elstei for walking, optional riding, or just relaxing trip price: 16 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, and overnight 1 person 2 people 3-9 people Beijing FULL ON £1,575 £1,375 £1,275 17 Depart to Beijing by train, midnight border crossing SPICING IT UP 18 Pass the Great Wall of China, and arrive in Beijing 1 person 2 people 3-9 people £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to Hotel £40 £30 £30 Irkutsk City baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Adventure Trek Upgrading to £399 £399 £399 2-berth Rail EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE OR (2) ADVENTURE TREK these are the dates when this itinerary works: DAY 07 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to Only available to two or more passengers travelling together between 15 June and 1 September. Listvyanka Village on the shore of Lake Baikal. 18-DAY ITINERARY Stay in an authentic Siberian log-cabin (izba). Lunch. DAY 07 Arrival in Irkutsk transfer to host family. Shower 2007 See the village, the old Church, and the Lake Wildlife and breakfast, prepare for trekking (you can leave May 01, 15, 29, June 05, 19, July 03, 17, 31, Museum with your friendly local expert. Then get it all heavy baggage in Irkutsk). At 18.00 hrs you will depart August 07, 21, September 11 off your chest the Siberian way in the sauna! (banya) by public bus to Goloustnoe Village (2hrs). Short trek 2008 You’ll be ready for your home-cooked supper after all (3km). Set up camp on shore of Lake Baikal. May 13, 27, June 03, 17 that, then sleep like a log in a log cabin. DAY 08 Breakfast. Trek along the Baikal shore (25 km). 19-DAY ITINERARY* DAY 08 Choose one activity from the list, it’s all Picnic lunch along the way. Set up camp at Sennaya included in the trip price! 2007 Bay, supper and overnight. (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest, with a May 07, 21, June 11, 25, July 09, 23, DAY 09 Breakfast. Trek onwards to Bol’shie Koty Village Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and August 13, 27, September 03 (9km). Ride the city hydrofoil service to Irkutsk. Free lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). 2008 time to visit the city. Overnight with host family. (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA in Lake Baikal (they say you May 05, 19, June 09, 23 gain a year of life if you dive in!) with qualified CMAS- instructors (requires PADI-1), 2 dives included. Extra night for Siberian village in Irkutsk City. (May-Sep). Extra night for Adventure Trek in Listvyanka. (C) DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take off on a *Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN Cliffside walk, or mosey around the village, or take a £30 for two or more. REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE dip in Lake Baikal! Supper, then maybe try the local OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS bar? Overnight with host family. www.trans-siberian.co.uk DAY 09 Breakfast. Free time, supper and overnight with host family. DAY 10 Breakfast. Transfer to Irkutsk City. Return to family stay and be reunited with your baggage. Free time to visit the city. Transfer to station and depart by overnight train to Ulaanbaatar. DAY 11 On board to Mongolia. (Midnight border crossing). DAY 12 Early morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Chance for a quick shower, then a guided Walking Tour of the city. Depart to the Bayan Gobi, on arrival supper and accommodation with local nomads in ger tents. (NB: This is not a tourist camp, you are the guests of the nomads). DAY 13 Onwards to ancient Karakorum (modern Harhorin) 8 hrs off-road driving. Picnic lunch en-route. Supper and overnight with local herdsmen in ger tents. DAY 14 Sightseeing in the Bayan Gobi. Picnic lunch during 6-hr drive towards Ulaanbaatar, accommodation at Elstei Ger Camp (this is tourist-type accommodation - unlike with nomads). Supper and overnight. DAY 15 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp for walking, horse-riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. DAY 16 Back to Ulaanbaatar. Internet cafés, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are waiting for you to let your hair down Mongolian style. Overnight 3* hotel. DAY 17 Transfer to your departing Beijing-bound train this morning. Midnight border crossing and onwards into China! DAY 18 Thunder on across China past the Great Wall. Mid-afternoon arrival into Beijing Central Station. Your trans-siberian journey comes to an end. For services in China and beyond please see pages 40-43. Yum yum - dehydrated potato photo: Roy Thornton ALL DATES GUARANTEED Epic Trans-Sib 07
  8. 8. MAMMOTH TRANS-SIB the legendary stops combined on one itinerary WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Mongolia: Gandan Lamasery photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience AGE 4 D from N PA GU D ES AT 9 O RA E full on itinerary T TR G UR AN R ET £1,800 O SE U -E DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. P DAY 02 After breakfast your local expert will meet you at the hotel, to whiz you round the highlights. This is using public transport to familiarise you with the city centre and help smooth your path… D 21 night/22 day trip at least until lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. 22 night/23 day trip DAY 03 A full free day - take your pick of the best of Moscow! Maybe take a city excursion today see page 47. Mid-afternoon we take you to your waiting train to Siberia! operational season DAY 04 Full day on train through the Ural Mountains, arrival late evening in Ekaterinburg, transfer to Hotel. May-Sept DAY 05 Walking Tour of Ekaterinburg with local expert. Afternoon and evening free to explore further. DAY 06 Please choose one of the following fully inclusive day trips. (D) SIBERIAN COUNTRYSIDE & HISTORIC VILLAGE Visit to an old village now under a Preservation Order 160kms each way. Includes home-cooked lunch, exhibitions of local crafts, horse cart riding. Duration; 8-9 hours. No physical exertion involved. Year round. Option to either remain at your hotel until 02:00 or check-out early evening and chill-out at the Vodoley Leisure Centre (admission tickets and bar-bill are yours, but we take you there and back) and then directly (with luggage) to station. Depart 04:00 eastwards... DAY 07 & 08 Onboard, onwards via Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk. Mongolian herdswoman photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience (A) ROMANOV GRAVES (Europe & Asia Border 30 kms each way Monument en-route). Car excursion to site where the Romanov bodies were hidden. Duration; 5-6 hours. No physical exertion involved. Year round. (B) HIKING TRIP IN THE URALS Outdoor adventure in an area which is a designated nature park. Car transfer then 15km walk where you will see a variety of flora and fauna and learn about the indigenous species of wildlife. No special equipment needed. Duration; 8-9 hours. Lunch provided. 15 Jun-15 Sep weather permitting (C) SIBERIAN WILDERNESS ADVENTURE Combined soft raft (6km) and Forest Hike (12km)-optional Above - Alice Crane in national cave visit. Good fitness required. Duration; 9-10 hours. Listvyanka: village house costume of Burayatia Lunch provided. 15 Jun-15 Sep weather permitting photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience photo: Aimie Conning NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 08 Mammoth Trans-Sib
  9. 9. the trip Included in the trip: TRAIN: Moscow 1 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 2 Moscow sightseeing with local expert MOSCOW: 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station Transfers on arrival and departure. Ekaterinburg Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast 4 By train through Ural Mts, eve arrive Ekaterinburg & accom included. 3 hour personalised walking tour 5 Walking tour of Ekaterinburg & free time to explore with local expert. 6 Your choice of Ekaterinburg/Urals activities (see full itinerary) EKATERINBURG: 7 Onwards by Trans-Siberian via Novosibirsk, cross River Ob Transfers on arrival and departure. 8 Onwards by Trans-Sib via Krasnoyarsk, cross River Yenisei Two nights stay in a 2* Hotel, breakfast 9 /10 EITHER Siberian Village Stay (options for scuba, mini-trek, walking) included. 3 hour walking tour, day trip. OR Adventure Trek (camping) Irkutsk LAKE BAIKAL: 11 Car return to Irkutsk, free time to explore, dep to station Rural options out of the City gives you 12 Arrival Ulan-Uday, fam stay, Buddhist Monastery & Buryat Village the option to chose from two all-inclusive programmes. 13 Visit Ivolginsky Buddhist Datsan & Eastern Medicine Centre Ulan-Uday 14 Depart by train towards Mongolian Border (midnight crossing) ULAN-UDAY: Transfers on arrival and departure. 15 Ulaanbaatar city walk, depart and overnight with nomads Two nights stay with a local family, full 16 Trip into Bayan-Gobi, picnic en-route, stay with nomads board. Including excursions as per itinerary. Ulaanbaatar 17 Onwards to Karakorum site, ger-tent stay with local nomads MONGOLIA: 18 Scenic desert drive back, arrive at Elstei Ger Camp Optional walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. 19 Free day at Elstei-relax, walk, activities, optional horse-riding All transportation. Three nights camping 20 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, overnight with Nomads (full board). Beijing Two nights tourist Ger Camp (full board). 21 Depart by train to Beijing, across the Southern Gobi desert One night 3* Hotel Ulaanbaatar, 22 Pass the Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing breakfast included. Visas required for: baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Adventure Trek RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA trip price: DAY 12 Arrival early morning to Ulan-Uday, transfer to EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE Family Stay. Guided trip to Atsagatsky Buddhist 1 person 2 people 3-9 people DAY 09 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to Lamasery. After the monastery, try cuisine of Buryatia FULL ON £2,200 £1,900 £1,800 Listvyanka Village on the shore of Lake Baikal. for lunch with a village family. Return to Ulan-Uday. SPICING IT UP Supper and overnight. (Option to upgrade to 3* hotel). Stay in an authentic Siberian log-cabin (izba). Lunch. 1 person 2 people 3-9 people See the village, the old Church, and the Lake Wildlife DAY 13 Visit to the Ivolginsky Datsan (a much larger £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow Museum with your friendly local expert. Then get it all monastery). Lunch. Visit to Centre of Eastern Medicine Upgrade to Hotel off your chest the Siberian way in the sauna! (banya) (optional consultation). Supper and overnight. £110 £65 £65 in Ulan-Uday You’ll be ready for your home-cooked supper after all DAY 14 Early transfer to the station and depart for 2 night stay that-then sleep like a log in a log cabin. Mongolia-midnight border crossing (with halt Upgrading to Hotel DAY 10 Choose one activity from below its all included for formalities). £40 £30 £30 Irkutsk City in the trip price! DAY 15 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Transfer and freshen up. Upgrading to (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest, with a Guided walk of the old city centre. Depart from city to £449 £449 £449 2-berth Rail Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and stay in Gers with herdsmen (nb: this is not a tourist lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). camp you are the guests of the nomads). Traditional these are the dates when (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA in Lake Baikal (they say supper, and overnight. this itinerary works: you gain a year of life if you dive in!) with qualified DAY 16 Sightseeing in the Bayan Gobi (all meals CMAS-instructors (requires PADI-1), (May-Oct.) 2 dives. included). Supper and overnight with herdsmen in Gers. 22-DAY ITINERARY (C) DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take off on a DAY 17 Onwards to ancient Karakorum (modern 2007 Cliffside walk, or mosey around the village, or take a Harhorin). 8 hours off-road driving, picnic lunch en route. May 11, 25, June 15, 29, July 13, 27, dip in Lake Baikal! Supper, then maybe try the local Supper and overnight in gers with local herdsmen. August 03, 17, 31, September 07 bar? Overnight with host family. DAY 18 Sightseeing in the Gobi. Picnic lunch. 2008 DAY 11 Transfer to Irkutsk Free time to explore on foot Return towards Ulaanbaatar, drive to Elstei Ger Camp. May 09, 23, June 13, 27 (we watch your bags) until evening departure to station Supper and overnight. (This is tourist-style 23-DAY ITINERARY* and on by overnight train to Ulan-Uday. accommodation-unlike with nomads). 2007 DAY 19 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp-for walking, May 03, 17, June 07, 21, July 05, 19, horse riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. Supper OR (2) ADVENTURE TREK August 09, 23 and overnight. 2008 Only available to two or more passengers travelling together. DAY 20 Return to Ulaanbaatar. Day free to explore the May 01, 15, June 05, 19 between 15 June and 1 September. city. Overnight at centrally located 3* hotel. DAY 21 Transfer to your departing Beijing bound train DAY 09 Arrival in Irkutsk, transfer to host family. this morning. Midnight border crossing and onwards Shower, and breakfast, prepare for trekking. (you can Extra night for Siberian Village in Listvyanka. to China! leave heavy baggage in Irkutsk). At 12:30 hrs you will Extra night for Adverture Trek Irkutsk City - DAY 22 Thunder on across China past the Great Wall. depart by hydrofoil to Goloustnoe Village (2hrs). Short option to upgrade to a hotel. Mid-afternoon arrival into Beijing Central Station. Your trek (3km). Set up camp on shore of Lake Baikal. *Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, trans-siberian journey comes to an end. For services DAY 10 Trekking along the Baikal shore (25 km). £30 for two or more in China and beyond please see pages 40-43. Picnic lunch along the way. Set up camp at Sennaya Bay, supper and overnight. DAY 11 Trek onwards to Bol’shie Koty Village (9km). Depart by public bus to Irkutsk. Free time to visit the city. ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN Return to your host family and collect your bags, before REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE transfer to the station for your Ulan-Uday bound train. OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS www.trans-siberian.co.uk Mongolian herdsman photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience ALL DATES GUARANTEED Mammoth Trans-Sib 09
  10. 10. ULTIMATE TRANS-SIB mountains, mongols, monasteries - the ultimate t-sib trip WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Katun River, Altai photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience AGE 4 D N PA GU D ES AT 9 O RA from E full on itinerary T TR G UR AN R ET O SE U -E DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. £2,690 P DAY 02 After breakfast your local expert will meet you at the hotel, to whiz you round the highlights. This is using public transport to familiarise you with the city centre and help smooth your path… D at least until lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. 25 night/26 day trip DAY 03 A full free day for you to pack in the rest! Mid-evening transfer to the station for your Siberia bound train! operational season DAY 04 Full day on train through the Ural Mountains, arrival late evening in Ekaterinburg, transfer to Hotel. June-August DAY 05 Your choice of the following programs (one choice is included in your trip, no surcharges!). (A) ROMANOV GRAVES (Europe/Asia Border Monument en-route). Car excursion to site where the Romanov bodies were hidden. Duration; 5-6 hours. No physical exertion involved. (B) HIKING TRIP IN THE URALS Outdoor adventure in an area which is a designated nature park. Car transfer then 15km walk where you will see a variety of flora and fauna and learn about the indigenous species of wildlife. No special equipment needed. Duration; 8-9 hours. Lunch provided. 15 Jun-15 Sep weather permitting (C) SIBERIAN WILDERNESS ADVENTURE Combined soft raft (6km) and Forest Hike (12km)-optional cave visit. Duration; 9-10 hours. Lunch provided. 15 Jun-15 Sep weather permitting (D) URALS MOUNTAIN BIKE ADVENTURE Trip to start West of the city. After a short drive you start Wild horses on the Mongolian steppe your bike trip on a professional bike for 2-3 hrs. Lunch. photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Duration; 5 hrs. 15 May-30 Sep. Weather permitting. DAY 09 Transfer to rafting launch point. After receiving DAY 06 Onwards towards Barnaul. a safety briefing set off (with instructor & guide), some Overnight onboard. white-water rafting. Picnic lunch stop along the way. DAY 07 You will be met by your guide on arrival into This afternoon continue rafting the Katun River. Barnaul then travel by public bus service (6 hrs) to Then set up camp, followed by supper around the fire. Chemal Village in the heart of the Altai Mountains. DAY 10 Today you will continue rafting along the Late lunch. This afternoon you will go on a guided Katun River. Picnic lunch at the riverside. Return by walk during which you will learn about the local road to Chemal. Free time, sauna, supper overnight Altaic people. Sauna and supper then overnight in local Guesthouse. in local Guesthouse. DAY 11 After an early breakfast depart to Novosibirsk DAY 08 After breakfast, excursion to site of ancient by road (7-8 hrs). Own Lunch & Supper. cave and cliff-paintings. Picnic lunch will be provided. Overnight in 3* Hotel. There will be an opportunity (small local cash payment) DAY 12 Guided sightseeing walk of Novosibirsk, then to ride Altai Mountain Horses. Then learn more about free time (own lunch and supper arrangements). Late the ancient Chuisky Tract the route of Genghis Khan’s evening transfer to station for your Siberia bound train. messengers. Supper. Overnight in local Guesthouse. DAY 13 Continue eastwards on the Trans-Siberian towards Irkutsk. Left - Buryat musician playing the Muurin-Khur Horse-Head Fiddle photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 10 Ultimate Trans-Sib
  11. 11. the trip Included in the trip: TRAIN: Moscow 1 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 2 Moscow sightseeing with local expert MOSCOW: 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station Transfers on arrival and departure. 4 By train through Ural Mountains, evening arrive Ekaterinburg & accommodation Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast Ekaterinburg 5 Your choice of Ekaterinburg/Urals activities (see full itinerary) included. 3 hour personalised walking 6 Onwards by train through Southern Siberia tour with local expert. 7 By road from Barnaul into the High Altai Mts (picnic en route) EKATERINBURG: 8 Visit ancient cave-painting site, optional horse-riding Altai Transfers on arrival and departure. 9 Cast off on Altai river-rafting trip, overnight camping Two nights in a 2* Hotel breakfast included. 10 Second half of rafting, return to Altai Village B&B, sauna 3 hour walking tour, and excursion included. 11 By road to Novosibirsk, picnic lunch, evening free in Novosibirsk ALTAI: Irkutsk 12 Sightseeing in Novosibirsk, free time and evening train depart Accom: in Chemal, family-run guesthouse 13 On board Trans-Sib eastwards, cross the Yenisei River Bridge with HB and picnic lunches; during rafting, 14 EITHER Siberian Village Stay (options for scuba, mini-trek, walking) camping in tents with FB camp meals; in OR Adventure Trek (camping) Novosibirsk, tourist-class hotel with breakfast Ulan-Uday 15 Your choice: trek, scuba or walking options at Lake Baikal only. Transport: Barnaul Chemal by intercity bus, 16 Free time in Irkutsk for exploring, evening train departure all other transfers by private car. 17 Arrive Ulan-Uday, Buddhist monastery & Buryat Village trip (Bring suitable clothes and footwear for rafting. 18 Trip to the Ivolginsky Buddhist Datsan + Eastern Medicine Central Ulaanbaatar All other gear & sleeping bags provided. 19 Early depart by train, en-route for Mongolian border Vegetarians must advise in advance!). 20 Ulaanbaatar city walk, departure to Bayan-Gobi, nomad stay LAKE BAIKAL: 21 To Karakorum site, stay in gers with local nomads Staying out of the City, up at the Lake gives 22 Beijing Scenic desert route back to UB, stay at Elstei Ger Camp you the opportunity to choose one of our 23 Free day at Elstei for walking, activities, optional horseriding all-inclusive programmes. (Sleeping bags 24 Return to Ulaanbaatar, central hotel, free time for exploring are provided where necessary) 25 Depart by train to Beijing, across the Southern Gobi desert ULAN-UDAY: 26 Pass the Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights family stay, all meals included. Excursions as per itinerary. baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Adventure Trek MONGOLIA: Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. All transportation. Two nights camping with DAY 17 Arrival early morning in Ulan-Uday, transfer EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE Nomads. (full board) Two nights tourist to Family Stay. Guided trip to Atsagatsky Buddhist Ger Camp (full board). One night 3* Hotel DAY 14 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to Lamasery. After the monastery, try cuisine of Buryatia for Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Listvyanka Village on the shore of Lake Baikal. lunch with a village family. Return to Ulan-Uday. Supper Sleeping bags are provided. Stay in an authentic Siberian log-cabin (izba). Lunch. and overnight. (Option to upgrade to 3* Hotel). VISAS REQUIRED FOR: See the village, the old Church, and the Lake Wildlife DAY 18 Visit to the Ivolginsky Datsan (a much larger RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA. Museum with your friendly local expert. Then get it all monastery). Lunch. Visit to Centre of Eastern Medicine off your chest the Siberian way in the sauna! (banya) (optional consultation). Supper and overnight. trip price: You’ll be ready for your home-cooked supper after all DAY19 Early transfer to the station and depart for that-then sleep like a log in a log cabin. Mongolia- midnight border crossing with the usual halt 2 people 3-9 people DAY 15 Choose one activity from the list, it’s all for formalities. FULL ON £2,790 £2,690 included in the trip price! DAY 20 Early morning arrival into Ulaanbaatar. Chance SPICING IT UP (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest with a for a freshen up, a guided walking tour of the city. 2 people 3-9 people Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and Depart to Bayan Gobi. Accommodation with local £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow lore of the Taiga. nomads in ger tents. Supper. (This is not a tourist camp Upgrade to Hotel (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA a freshwater dive in the world’s - you are the guests of the nomads). £65 £65 in Ulan-Uday B&B Greatest Lake, with CMAS-qualified instructors and DAY 21 Onwards to ancient Karakorum (modern 2 night stay pro-level gear (requires PADI-1). Includes two dives. Harhorin) 8 hrs off-road driving. Picnic lunch en-route. Upgrading to (C) DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take off on a Supper and overnight with local herdsmen £449 £449 2-berth Rail Cliffside walk, or mosey around the village, or take a DAY 22 Sightseeing in the Bayan Gobi. dip in Lake Baikal! Supper, then maybe try the local bar? Picnic lunch during 6-hr drive towards Ulaanbaatar. these are the dates when Overnight with host family. Accommodation at Elstei Ger Camp (this is tourist-style this itinerary works: DAY 16 Transfer to Irkutsk. Free time to explore on foot. accommodation unlike with nomads). (we watch your bags). Evening transfer to the station, Supper and overnight. 26-DAY ITINERARY for your Ulan-Uday bound train. DAY 23 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp-for walking, 2007 horse-riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. June 04, 18, July 02, 16, August 06 OR (2) ADVENTURE TREK DAY 24 Back to Ulaanbaatar. Internet cafés, bars, 2008 restaurants and nightclubs are waiting for you to let Only available between 15 June and 1 September. June 02, 16, 30 your hair down Mongolian style. Overnight 3* hotel. DAY 14 Arrival in Irkutsk, transfer to host family. DAY 25 Transfer to your departing Beijing-bound train Shower, and breakfast, prepare for trekking. (you can this morning. Midnight border crossing and onwards leave heavy baggage in Irkutsk). At 12:30 hrs you will into China! depart by hydrofoil to Goloustnoe Village (2hrs). Short DAY 26 Thunder on across China past the Great Wall. trek (3km). Set up camp on shore of Lake Baikal. Mid-afternoon arrival into Beijing Central Station. DAY 15 Trekking along the Baikal shore (25 km). Picnic Your trans-siberian journey comes to an end. For lunch along the way. Set up camp at Sennaya Bay, services in China and beyond please see pages 40-43. supper and overnight. DAY 16 Trek onwards to Bol’shie Koty Village (9km). Depart by public bus to Irkutsk. Free time to visit the city. Return to your host family and collect your bags, before transfer to the station for your Ulan-Uday bound train. Altai Mountain Musician photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience ALL DATES GUARANTEED Ultimate Trans-Sib 11
  12. 12. OUTER & INNER MONGOLIA the secret history of the mongols Mongolia: Local Naadam Festival Photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience from D N PA GU D ES AT O RA E T TR The rugged beauty of Outer Mongolia combined with almost-unknown Inner Mongolia G UR AN R ET O SE £1,249 (now within China’s borders) - more richly endowed than its Outer counterpart by the U -E P Chinese Emperors. full on itinerary D 17 nights/18 days 22 nights/23 days DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. operational season DAY 02 After breakfast your local expert will meet you at the hotel, to whiz you round the highlights. May-Sept This is using public transport to familiarise you with the city centre and help smooth your path… at least until lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. DAY 03 A full free day for you to pack in the rest! Have you been to Pushkin Square? “The” place to meet friends or Izmailovsky Flea market for souvenirs? Perhaps you have pre-booked one of our city based excursions for today? (see page 43 for details) Mid-evening we take you to your Siberia bound train. DAY 04 The Trans-Sib line leads you past Kazan and Ekaterinburg… DAY 05 Then onwards into Siberia itself, via Novosibirsk… DAY 06 Across the River Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk DAY 07 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to Listvyanka Village, a typical Siberian Village. Stay in an authentic Siberian log-cabin (izba). Lunch. See the village, the old Church, and the Lake Wildlife Museum with your friendly local expert. Then get it all off your chest the Siberian way in the sauna! (banya) You’ll be ready for your home-cooked supper after all that, then sleep like a log in a log cabin. DAY 08 Choose one activity from the list, it’s all included in the trip price! (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest with a Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and lore of the Taiga. (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA a freshwater dive in the world’s Greatest Lake, with CMAS-qualified instructors and pro-level gear (requires PADI-1). Includes 2 dives. (C) DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take off on a Cliffside walk, or mosey around the village, or take a dip in Lake Baikal! Supper, then maybe try the local bar? Overnight with host family. Left - Railway track to Irkutsk Photo: John Pannell Inside a Mongolian ger tent photo: Roy Thornton NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 12 Outer & Inner Mongolia
  13. 13. the trip Included in the trip: TRAIN: 1 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 2 Moscow sightseeing with local expert Moscow MOSCOW: 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station Transfer on arrival/departure. Two nights 4 On board the Trans-Sib, through the Urals Mountains 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. 5 On board into Siberia, crossing the River Ob at Novosibirsk LAKE BAIKAL: 6 On board across Eastern Siberia and across the river Yenisei Irkutsk (Applies to trip via Irkutsk only). 7 Arrive Irkutsk, by road to Lake Baikal & Listyvanka Village Stay All transfers are provided. 8 YOUR CHOICE: options at Listvyanka incl walking, scuba, mini-trek Three nights family stay accommodation. 9 Free day at Lake Baikal to explore independently Meals as stated with your host family. Free excursion on day eight. Ulaanbaatar 10 Return to Irkutsk, free time to explore the city, evening train depart MONGOLIA: 11 On board-around Lake Baikal then southwards to Mongolia Optional walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. 12 Ulaanbaatar city walk, free time, overnight in Ulaanbaatar One night 3* centrally located hotel, 13 Bayan Gobi trip, sightseeing in Gobi, overnight with nomads includes breakfast. All transportation. Huhehot 14 Onwards to Karakorum site, overnight with Gobi nomads Two nights camping with Nomads, full board. Three nights tourist Ger Camp, full board. 15 Sightseeing in Gobi, arrival to Elstei Ger Camp Sleeping bags are provided. One night 16 Free day at Elstei camp for walking, relaxing, optional riding 3* centrally located hotel, includes breakfast. 17 Additional free day at Elstei, relax after Gobi trip HUHEHOT: Beijing 18 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, overnight stay Two nights 3* hotel, includes breakfast. 19 Free time to explore UB, car transfer, train dep to Huhehot Guided City tour. 20 Arrival evening in Huhehot, transfer to hotel VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA. 21 Guided sightseeing in Huhehot (incl Wuta-Si Pagoda) 22 Free time to explore Huhehot independently, eve dep by train trip price: 23 Past Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing 1 person 2 people 3-9 people OUTER & INNER MONGOLIA £1,649 £1,349 £1,249 DAY 16 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp for walking, VIA IRKUTSK £1,749 £1,449 £1,349 horse-riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. Breakfast, lunch and supper are included during your stay at the SPICING IT UP Ger Camp. 1 person 2 people 3-9 people DAY 17 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp. Breakfast, lunch Upgrading to and supper will be provided. £349 £349 £349 2-berth Rail DAY 18 Back to Ulaanbaatar. Internet cafés, bars, Upgrading to restaurants and nightclubs are waiting for you to let £399 £399 £399 2 berth Rail via Irkutsk your hair down Mongolian style. Overnight 3* hotel. these are the dates when DAY 19 Free time to explore Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to the station, for evening departure to Huhehot. this itinerary works: Overnight on board. DAY 20 Late evening arrival into Huhehot, transfer to 19-DAY ITINERARY (NO STOP IN IRKUTSK) your Hotel. 2007 DAY 21 Guided city tour of Huhehot, Capital of Inner May 07, 14, 21, 28, June 04, 11, 18, 25, Mongolia. Free time, overnight. July 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, August 06, 13, 20, 27, DAY 22 Day at leisure before making your own way September 03, 10 to the station for the evening departure to Beijing. 2008 (NB: 2-berth cabins are not available on the Huhehot May 05, 12, 19, 26, June 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 to Beijing service.) DAY 23 Early morning arrival into Beijing. For services 23-DAY ITINERARY (VIA IRKUTSK) Mongolian Herdsmen in China and beyond please see pages pages 40-43. 2007 Photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience May 03, 17, 31, June 07, 21, July 05, 19, August 09, 23, September 13 DAY 09 Free day at Lakeside village -Listvyanka. 2008 Breakfast & Supper included. Overnight with your May 01, 15, 29, June 05, 19 host family. DAY 10 Transfer to Irkutsk to stay with host family. Day free to explore the city. Overnight with host family. DAY 11 Early morning transfer to the station to board the train to Ulaanbaatar. DAY 12 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Transfer and freshen up. Guided walk of the old city centre. Evening free to explore Ulaanbaatar’s nightlife. Overnight 3* Hotel. DAY 13 After breakfast depart into Bayan Gobi. Lunch. Stay in authentic Gers with herdsmen. (This is not a tourist camp you are the guests of the nomads). Traditional supper, and overnight. DAY 14 Onwards to ancient Karakorum (modern Harhorin) 8 hours off road driving, picnic lunch en-route. Supper and overnight in gers with local herdsman. DAY 15 Sightseeing in the Bayan Gobi. Picnic lunch during 6-hr drive towards Ulaanbaatar. Accommodation at Elstei Ger Camp (this is tourist-style accommodation unlike with nomads). Supper and overnight. Inner Mongolia-Wuta Si Pagoda Photo: Neil McGowan/Russia Experience Sunny day in Irkutsk photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience ALL DATES GUARANTEED Outer & Inner Mongolia 13
  14. 14. The rumble of another train came from behind, bursting into a deafening thunder and obliterating the sound of the waterfall as it approached, and an old-fashioned express rushed past at full speed on the parallel track, roared, hooted, winked its tail lights and vanished into the distance ahead. The conversation was resumed. “Well, we’re in for it now.” “Yes, it won’t be soon.” “It’s an armoured express – must be Strelnikov.” Boris Pasternak, “Dr Zhivago”, Chapter 22 Doctor Zhivago 2007 is the 50th Anniversary of the legendary novel Dr Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak. Banned from any publication in the USSR, the book was smuggled to Italy for publication in 1957, and was 50th Anniversary soon translated and published all over the world. Although awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the USSR refused to allow Pasternak to attend the Award Ceremony, and he died soon after. “One day Larissa Zhivago is the story of the Russian Revolution, told through the (fictional) life of Feodorovna went out and one man, Dr Yuri Zhivago. Many of the names in the story have resonances which can’t be did not come back. She translated. Yuri’s name is Zhivago, in which must have been arrested the word “zhiv” (alive, living) is clear. His rival for Lara’s love is Komarovsky – from in the street nearby. She the Russian word for a mosquito. Yet Lara’s own husband has forgotten her, and changed vanished without trace and his name to become the deadly agent of Soviet power, Strelnikov (“the shooter”). The idea probably died somewhere for Dr Zhivago began in Perm’, the town to forgotten as a nameless which Pasternak had been evacuated in WW2 – the town appears in the book under the number on a list that fictional name of “Yuriatin”, and it’s the setting for Yuri’s meetings with Lara. afterwards got mislaid, Obviously, Yuri Zhivago was a fictional character, and didn’t have an “address” we can in one of the innumerable show you today. But the story is based on real places (which could never have been included mixed or women’s camps in the famous film, shot at the height of the in the North” Cold War), and we show them to you on this special itinerary, along with other “hidden” sights from the same era which establish the Doctor Zhivago - Epilogue historical background to the book. 14 Doctor Zhivago
  15. 15. TRIP OPTIONS & for fear of frightening local people with their Day 01 Arrive Moscow and transfer to hotel. terrible fate and force marched to Siberia Day 02 Breakfast, walking tour of Moscow (including ALTERNATIVES on foot. The Old Razvilje Railway Station places connected with the story in “Dr Zhivago” and its author and times). Free afternoon and evening. was then built here it was from here If you would like to travel from Perm via that the Trans-Siberian Railway originally Day 03 Daytime free to explore more of Moscow, early- Mongolia to China, we can re-plan your evening departure by train to Perm’. departed (it was only later linked back routing… it needs different departure dates from as far as Moscow), and this is where Day 04 By train across the Urals to Perm’ early evening Moscow for the connections to work, and the trip arrival, transfer to hotel, overnight. Komarovsky’s private “Government train” is longer due to the Mongolia stopover. (Yuri’s waited for him. The Siberian convicts had to DAY 05 SPECIAL WALKING TOUR OF daughter is born in Mongolia in the book Lara march for months to their destination – you, YURI ZHIVAGO’S “YURYATIN” (Perm). was pregnant when kidnapped by Komarovsky) however, only have another ten minutes We start at the Pushkin Library, which was A full itinerary version including Mongolia is on walk to get to the new “Dr Zhivago” the Public Reading Room where Yuri and our website. Restaurant… for lunch. Afternoon free Lara first meet in the book. In the novel we to explore Perm’s shops and extensive hear that it was behind the “Giant” cinema; It’s also possible to take only the Moscow & museums and galleries (Perm is a major it’s actually behind the “Triumph” cinema. Perm sections and then return to Moscow by location for fossil-hunters, the Permian Across the street is the city’s leafy Central train (without going to Mongolia or China) this is period takes its name from the city, and Square, where you can easily imagine possible too – itinerary version on our website. there’s lots in the museums). Evening free Yuri and Lara must have gone after they trip price: – there might even be a performance of first met, and sat on a park bench opposite the opera “Dr Zhivago” (yes, there really the Opera House. Nearby the nightmare 1 person 2 people 3-9 people is one..) at the Opera Theatre? realities of Zhivago’s time interrupt our FULL ON £1095 £999 £899 dreams – the small former hotel where Tsar Remainder of day free to explore more SPICING IT UP Nicholas II’s brother was staying on his way of Perm’. 1 person 2 people 3-9 people to Ekaterinburg, where the Royal Family Upgrading to Day 06 Full-day Excursion to the Gulag were imprisoned in 1918. In fact Grand £60 £50 £50 2-berth Rail Museum, housed in the only surviving* Prince Mikhail was the last Tsar of all £349 £349 £349 Extra Night Moscow soviet-era Gulag now visitable in Russia. but he never knew. Our tour reveals the En-route we pass small villages which must bizarre secret, and its British connection. have been the inspiration for the one where Nearby is a small wooden two-storey house Start dates for Dr Zhivago Yuri & Larissa hid out from the Secret which is “Lara’s house”. In fact it is just 2007 Police. Evening return to Perm. another private house (ie you can’t visit) in Jan 07, 14, 21, 28, Day 07 Free day in Perm to explore the city, but carefully reading of the book Feb 04, 11, 18, 25, the rest of this pleasant Urals city – identifies the exact location, opposite the Mar 04, 11, 18, 25, then evening transfer to the station imposing C19th palace across the road. April 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, for departure eastwards A few blocks from the mansion is the May 06, 13, 20, 27 hospital where Lara works in the novel. June 03, 10, 17, 24, * there is one other, but it’s on the Russian Arctic Pacific There’s a chance to see some imposing July 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 coast, 900 miles from any rail stop, and only accessible Aug 05, 12, 19, 26 houses built by wealthy C19th merchants by chartered helicopter. Sep 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 you can imagine Komarovsky must have Days 08-12 On board the Trans-Sib eastwards via the Oct 07, 14, 21, 28 had friends to stay with here? There’s also Chinese Manchurian frontier with Russia. (This is the Nov 04, 11, 18, 25 a monument to Boris Pasternak. Not far route by which Komarovsky kidnaps Lara in the book, Dec 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 away is the River Pier district before the in a private train) Trans-Siberian Railway was built, travellers Day 13 Arrival in Beijing very early morning. to Siberia would come by boat from End of itinerary. Moscow this far and disembark, and the Great Siberian Tract (the old Post Road) began from this point. Chain-ganged convicts would be brought here at night, “What crime do you say I’ve committed? All I did was to make the world weep At the beauty of my homeland” Boris Pasternak “The Nobel Prize” (poem written when the author was told to refuse his Nobel Prize) Doctor Zhivago 15
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