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Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
Trans Siberian
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Trans Siberian

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  • 1. RANS IBERIAN 2007/2008 Russia Experience
  • 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. 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. 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. VLADIVOSTOK HARBIN ULAN-UDAY IRKUTSK HUHEHOT ULAANBAATAR BEIJING SHANGHAI RSK XI’AN HONG KONG URG GUILIN GUANGZHOU HANOI Dare to Journey 05
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  • 16. GOBI & GULAG Siberia’s hidden secrets WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Cathedral dedicated to Tsar Nicholas II photo: Neil McGowan D AGE 4 N PA GU from D ES AT O RA 9 E T TR You don’t need previous experience or special gear for either the Kungur G UR AN R ET O SE Ice Caves, or a softies rafting trip through the Urals Mts. At the heart of the £1,150 U -E P trip a visit to Russia’s only remaining Gulag Camp (now a Museum of Soviet Repression)- like all the Gulags, hidden at a distance from civilisation. D No other travel company offers this route. 15 nights/16 days operational season full on itinerary May-Sept DAY 01 Arrive in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow DAY 02 After breakfast a local expert will meet you at your hotel to whisk you around the highlights. You’ll use 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 Your day is free in Moscow until mid-evening car transfer to Yaroslavsky Station and departure Eastwards... DAY 04 Full day along the Trans-Siberian Railway, arriving mid-evening in Perm. Car to your centrally located hotel. Overnight. DAY 05 Depart to the Kungur Ice Caves (2 hrs by road) including an underground visit (on lit paths, no scrambling). Lunch included nearby. Road transfer (3 hrs) to the Usva River and raft- assembly/loading. Begin rafting trip, and overnight camp at the Rocky Cliffs - campfire supper. (Overnight in tents - guides assist to assemble etc). Watch Tower Rafting the Usva photo: Neil McGowan/Russia Experience photo: Neil McGowan/Russia Experience NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 16 Gobi & Gulag
  • 17. 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 Transfer on arrival/departure. Two nights 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station personalised walking tour with local expert. 4 By train eastwards, mid-evening arrival in Perm & accom PERM: All transfers are provided. Two nights 5 Kungur Ice Caves, commence rafting trip Perm 3* hotel, breakfast included. 4 hour personalised walking tour. Visit to Gulag 6 Full-day leisurely raft on the Usva River, camp overnight Museum. Rafting (no skill required). 7 Gulag Museum visit, return by Perm by road Two nights camping. evening meal provided. ULAANBAATAR: 8 Free day in Perm, evening transfer to station, depart eastbound All Transfers included. Two Nights Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation, 9 On board Trans-Sib eastwards via Novosibirsk Ulaanbaatar full board. One night 3* hotel in 10 On board Trans-Sib eastwards via Krasnoyarsk Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. 11 On board Trans-Sib via Irkutsk & Lake Baikal, border crossing VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA 12 Arrival Ulaanbaatar, city tour, transfer to Elstei Ger Camp trip price: 13 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp to ride, walk or relax Beijing 1 person 2 people 3-9 people 14 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free day to explore & overnight FULL ON £1,350 £1,250 £1,150 15 Departure to China, by train across the Southern Gobi SPICING IT UP 1 person 2 people 3-9 people 16 Arrival in China, past Great Wall of China, arrival to Beijing £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to £325 £325 £325 2-berth Rail DAY 06 Rafting along the Usva, with some liberal stops en-route to visit scenic spots, for a picnic lunch and campfire supper. Overnight in tents. these are the dates when DAY 07 Breakfast, continue by raft to Mys, unpack and this itinerary works: disassemble raft, load into vehicle. Onwards to the Perm-22 Gulag Camp (now operated as a Memorial 15 NIGHTS/16 DAYS ITINERARY Museum by Pamyat - the Russian organisation for 2007 former political prisoners and their families). The Gulag May 24, 31, is spread over two locations 2 km apart - we visit both June 07, 14, 21, 28, (“Regular Category”, and “High-Security”). Picnic lunch. July 05, 12, 19, 26 Return to Perm’ by road (2 hrs), check-in to hotel. Aug 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, DAY 08 Free day in Perm to follow-up on ideas and Sep 06, 13, 20, 27 activities from yesterday’s sightseeing. Car Transfer 2008 (evening) to station and departure towards Mongolia… May 22, 29, DAY 09 on board the Trans-Siberian via Novosibirsk June 05, 12, 19, 26 DAY 10 on board the Trans-Siberian via Krasnoyarsk DAY 11 on board the Trans-Siberian via Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, midnight border crossing Mongolian Herdsmen DAY 12 Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. Shower, and breakfast. Depart for two hour familiarisation DAY 13 Free time at Elstei Ger Camp. Throughout the of Ulaanbaatar, to include the Gandan Monastery day you will have the opportunity to partake in activities ceremony. Tour ends city centre. Lunch at own that include; a visit to a Nomad family, Mongolian expense. Transfer to Ger Camp. Supper included. wrestling, horse riding (small local fee) to name but a few. All meals included. DAY 14 After Breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into the Bayangol Hotel 3* day at leisure in the capital. DAY 15 Early breakfast transfer to the station for your Beijing bound train. Midnight border crossing, onwards into China. DAY 16 Across the Steppes of Inner Mongolia, and past the Great Wall of China, finally arriving in Beijing mid-afternoon. The end of your Trans-Siberian itinerary. ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS www.trans-siberian.co.uk This trip has a recommended clothing/footwear requirement, which is given on your Trip Confirmation when you book. Mongolian family pop round for a visit photo: John Pannell Mongolia: Local Naadam Festival photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience ALL DATES GUARANTEED Gobi & Gulag 17
  • 18. BIG TRANS-SIB the two classic stops WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Impromptu party on board photo: Aimie Conning AGE 4 D from N PA GU D ES AT 9 O RA E full on itinerary T TR G UR AN R ET £885 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 D using public transport to familiarise you with the city centre and help smooth your path… at least until 14 nights/15 days lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. 15 nights/16 days Day 03 A full free day for you to pack in the rest! Mid-evening we take you to your waiting train-to Siberia! operational season Day 04 The Trans-Sib line leads you past Kazan and Ekaterinburg… year round Day 05 Then onwards into Siberia itself, via Novosibirsk… Day 06 Across the River Yenisei, at Krasnoyarsk… baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Fishermans Cape of Lake Baikal OR (2) FISHERMAN’S CAPE OF LAKE BAIKAL EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE DAY 07 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to Listvyanka Village on the shore of Lake Baikal. 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 below its all included in the trip price! (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest, with a Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and Lunch at Lake Baikal photo: Roy Thornton lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). DAY 07 Transfer directly from Station to the remoter (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA in Lake Baikal (they say you village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km on rural roads). gain a year of life if you dive in!) with qualified CMAS- Your local guide shows you the village, the Old Church, instructors (requires PADI-1), 2 dives included. and lake shoreline. Get the 20th Century out of your (May-Sep) system in a real Russian banya (sauna) which will (C) SNOWMOBILE TRIP (2 hrs) with a local guide sharpen your appetite for home-cooked food for through the forest, or even out over the deep-frozen supper. Sleep soundly the modern world is far, far away. lake! (Dec-Apr). DAY 08 Leisurely lakeside walk (8km) to Ushkani Cape, (D) DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take off on a and visit our friends the fishermen for lunch at their Cliffside walk, or mosey around the village, or take a cabin. Leisurely walk back to Bolshoe Goloustnoe dip in Lake Baikal! Supper, then maybe try the local Village. Supper, then relish the hushed silence away bar? Overnight with host family. from the tourist throng. DAY 09 Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) and stay in a city DAY 09 By car to Irkutsk (110km) and stay in a city apartment with a local family, in soviet city style. apartment with a local family, in soviet city style. Day free to explore, overnight with host family. Day free to explore the city, overnight with host family. Or upgrade to tourist-class hotel if you rate comfort Or upgrade to tourist-class hotel if you rate comfort Above - Moscow: Strolling near the Kremlin over authenticity. over authenticity. photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 18 Big Trans-Sib
  • 19. 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. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station personalised walking tour with local expert. LAKE BAIKAL: 4 On board the Trans-Sib, through the Urals Mountains Rural options out of the City gives you the 5 On board-into Siberia, crossing the River Ob at Novosibirsk choice from two all inclusive programmes. ULAANBAATAR: 6 On board-across Eastern Siberia and across the river Yenisei All transfers, two nights Mongolian Ger Camp Irkutsk accommodation, full board. Overnight stay in 7&8 EITHER: arrival Irkutsk & transfer for Siberian Village 3* hotel, located in the centre of Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included. Walking tour of OR: arrival Irkutsk & 2-day trip to Bolshoe Goloustnoe Village Ulaanbaatar. 9 Return to Irkutsk, day to explore, family stay (or hotel upgrade) No frills trip: Ulaanbaatar TRAIN: 10 Depart by train to Mongolia-midnight border crossing 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 11 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, walking tour, transfer to Ger Camp MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival. Two nights stay in a Beijing 12 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp walk, optional riding, just relax? 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. IRKUTSK: 13 Return to Ulaanbaatar, walking tour, overnight stay Transfers on arrival and departure. Three nights family stay accommodation. 14 Depart to Beijing by train across the Southern Gobi Breakfast included. 15 Pass Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing ULAANBAATAR: Transfers on arrival and departure. Three nights stay in a 1* hotel, located in Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included. DAY 13 After Breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: Check into the Bayangol Hotel 3* day at leisure in RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA the capital. trip price: DAY 14 Early transfer to the station for your Beijing bound train. Midnight border crossing, onwards 1 person 2 people 3-9 people into China. FULL ON £1,235 £1,135 £1,035 DAY 15 Thunder on across China past the Great Wall. NO FRILLS £1,085 £985 £885 Mid-afternoon arrival into Beijing Central Station. Your SPICING IT UP trans-siberian journey comes to an end. For services in 1 person 2 people 3-9 people China and beyond please see pages pages 40-43. FULL-ON £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow NO FRILLS £45 £35 £35 Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to £40 £30 £30 Hotel Irkutsk City Upgrading to £399 £399 £399 2-berth Rail these are the dates when this itinerary works: 15-DAY ITINERARY 2007 January 05,19, February 09, 23, March 09, 23, April 13, 27, May 11, 25, June 15, 29, July 13, 27, August 17, 31, September 07, 21, October 05, 19, November 09, 23, December 07, 21 2008 January 11, 25, February 15, 29, March 07, 21, Ulaanbaatar: Gandan Monastery April 11, 25, May 09, 23, June 13, 27 photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience 16-DAY ITINERARY* DAY 10 Early car to the station you’re heading out of 2007 Russia tonight! Late night border crossing (2+ hours January 11, 25, February 01, 15, March 01, 15, 29, halt for formalities). April 05, 19, May 03, 17, 31, June 07, 21, July 05, 19, August 09, 23, September 13, 27, DAY 11 Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. October 11, 25, November 15, 29, December 13, 27 Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. Shower, 2008 and breakfast. Depart for two hour familiarisation of January 03, 17, 31, February 07, 21, March 13, Ulaanbaatar, to include the Gandan Monastery 27, April 03, 17, May 01, 15, 29, June 05, 19 ceremony. Tour ends city centre. Lunch at own expense. Transfer to Ger Camp. Supper included. DAY 12 Free time at Elstei Ger Camp. Throughout the EXTRA NIGHT FOR SIBERIAN VILLAGE IN LISTVYANKA day you will have the opportunity to partake in activities is spent at Lake Baikal with host family. (weather permitting) that include; a visit to a Nomad EXTRA NIGHT FISHERMANS CAPE IN BOLSHOE family, Mongolian wrestling, horse riding (small local fee) Drinking kumys with Mongolian herdsmen GOLOUSTNOE with host family. to name but a few. All meals included. photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience *Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, £30 for two or more ALL DATES GUARANTEED Big Trans-Sib 19
  • 20. PARDON ME, BOY – IS THAT THE TRANS-SIBERIAN CHOO-CHOO? Ulaanbaatar Station, arrival of the Trans-Mongolian Express photo: Emilia Marty YOU LEAVE FROM MOSCOW CENTRAL AT A QUARTER-TO-FOUR; IT TAKES ALMOST A WEEK ‘TIL YOU’RE IN ULAN-BATOR. EMILIA MARTY TAKES A SHINE TO THE TRANS-MONGOLIAN EXPRESS Well, it turns out we’ve got tickets for a train that doesn’t exist – there’s no such train as the Trans- Siberian Express, although there’s a Trans-Siberian rail track... and we’ve been on it for six days now. One thing I’m kicking myself for is not following the advice to bring instant coffee... how can there not be any there, I thought? Welcome to the country where it has double creamer and triple sugar already in the sachet, whether you want it or not. But unlike at home where you get ripped a wedge for even a coffee on the train, here the railways provide non-stop boiling water for free. I dunno why, but one of the worries we had about the trip was about the washing facilities on the train – seven days on a train, with nowhere to wash your hair, or have a shower? We needn’t have worried. All the trains as far as the Russian border have a shower cubicle on board you can rent (for around £1.50 per session), with hot water and towels included – it’s in the wagon next door to the restaurant car, near the middle of the train (why don’t any of the guidebooks mention this?). Each train wagon has a toilet (with handbasin) that’s kept usably clean by the train staff during the train journey. There’s no shower on the Mongolian trains, but the distance from the border to Ulaanbaatar is only an overnight run. The bedlinen is super-fresh and given to you in a laundry-sealed plastic bag, although the hand-towel included is pretty small and you might want one of your own? Ulaanbaatar Station early-morning photo: Emilia Marty 20 On board the train
  • 21. But on a blazing hot summer’s day cross the Gobi Desert, it’s the cold beer that’s selling best in the Dining Car, which is also the unofficial grocery-store for our rolling hotel. When I say we’ve been on the train for six days, that’s not non-stop... you’d be crazy to miss the chance of a stop at Lake Baikal, and after four nights on board the clear air there is so delicious you practically drink it. And when you’ve walked your legs off around the Lake, the rail-line offers you a convenient 24-hour rest-up before hitting Mongolia’s weird-and-wonderful capital, Ulaanbaatar. Been there, done that, bought the Genghis Khan t-shirt, but now to where your mobile phone will draw an utter blank – the Eastern Gobi. Any preconceived ideas about it being a barren empty place quickly evaporate... with remote Buddhist monasteries, dinosaur remains, sand-dunes, nomads and camels, and even a holy mountain to climb, we were pleased to collapse into our beds at the ger-camp (a ger is a Mongolian nomadic felt tent) after supper! The food at the camp was delicious and they thought-up inventive vegetarian choices for me too. Of course the climate in the Gobi is much tougher than at the Elstei ger-camp, but the facilities can meet the challenge... except maybe the shower? It’s more like a tepid dribble than a shower, but then I guess I shouldn’t be a cranky foreigner… this is the Gobi Desert, after all! If you want to include East Gobi on your Trans-Sib trip, it means taking a local-quality train for the section between Ulaanbaatar and Sainshand, but it’s only half a day, and it’s not nearly so bad as The Russia Experience people prepared us for. Sheez, we’re not spoilt weaklings, guys! Above - East Gobi Hamar Monastery Buddha Statue photo: Emilia Marty The most chilling experience of East Gobi was the Meditation Caves – where the monks of the Buddhist Monastery undertook an amazing feat of self-will, and allowed themselves to be walled-in for two lunar months, in a tiny cranny not big enough to stand-up in. During the first month their followers were allowed to bring them food – during the second, not. Those who reached enlightenment became lamas – but those who failed were buried alive in their cave. It all makes the onward train to Beijing seem spacious and luxurious by comparison! The Chinese Border’s a real experience – they have to refit the entire train with new wheels that fit the Chinese rails! It takes around 3 hours, but if you hurry you can get a seat in the station café while you wait– and get your first Chinese meal of the journey. Nothing, but nothing, can prepare you for Beijing – we loved every moment of it, but it’s not for the fragile! Be ready to shed your shyness or get pushed aside in the frenetic pace and vast crowds. Forget the exotic elegance of Asia (for that you need to head to Xi’an) – Beijing makes New York look like a quiet village by comparison. And just when you think you have the measure of the place, it changes before your eyes – where there was a pedestrian street this afternoon, suddenly there’s a bustling night-market selling every kind of luscious fast-food treat imaginable... Beijing’s a waistline disaster-zone waiting to happen! Above - East Gobi Lamaist Meditation Cave photo: Emilia Marty OUR TRIP RATING: Best Cultural Experience: the museums in St Petersburg Best Artistic Event: seeing the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow Most fantastic scenery: Lake Baikal at Listvyanka, on a lakeside trek Most moving experience: the morning prayer ceremony at the Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar Best night out: nightclub in Ekaterinburg before getting the train at 4am Biggest mistake: not taking our own instant coffee on the train Mongolian horseman at Elstei photo: Emilia Marty On board the train 21
  • 22. THREE CAPITALS if your time is tight, this one has the highlights WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Trans-Mongolian train photo: Aimie Conning/Russia Experience AGE 4 D N PA GU D ES AT 9 from O RA E full on itinerary T TR G UR AN R ET O SE U -E £699 DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly P to your hotel – your first night in Moscow. DAY 02 After breakfast your local expert will meet D you at the hotel, to whiz you round the 11 nights/12 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! Afternoon and evening free to explore. year round 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 Gandan Temple Ulaanbaatar market for souvenirs? Perhaps you have photo: John Pannell pre-booked one of our city based excursions for today? (see page 47 for details) Mid-evening we take you to your waiting train to Siberia! DAY 04 - On board. Your train will make several DAY 07 unscheduled stops, allowing you time to grab stocks for your larder and drinks cabinet. ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS www.trans-siberian.co.uk Above - Mongolian Family photo: John Pannell Above - Regional Naadam Festival photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 22 Three Capitals
  • 23. the trip Included in the trip: Moscow TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 1 Arrival in Moscow, transfer to accommodation MOSCOW: 2 Local expert assisted walking tour in Moscow, free time Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour 3 Free day to explore Moscow, evening train departure personalised walking tour with local expert. ULAANBAATAR: 4 On board the Trans-Sib via the Ural Mountains All transfers, walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. 5 On board the Trans-Sib via Central Siberia Two nights Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation, full board. Overnight stay in 6 On board the Trans-Sib, crossing the Yenisei River 3* hotel, located in the centre of Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included. 7 Past and around Lake Baikal and on to Mongolia Ulaanbaatar No frills trip: 8 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, walking tour, transfer to Ger Camp TRAIN: 9 Free day at Elstei; walk, relax, optional riding, stay in gers 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 10 Return to Ulaanbaatar. Free time. MOSCOW: Beijing Transfer on arrival. Two nights stay in a 11 Depart to Beijing by train across the Southern Gobi 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. ULAANBAATAR: 12 Passing the Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing Transfers on arrival and departure. Three nights stay in a 1* hotel, located in Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA. trip price: DAY 08 Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. 1 person 2 people 3-9 people Shower, and breakfast. Depart for two hour FULL ON £999 £899 £799 familiarisation of Ulaanbaatar, to include the NO FRILLS £899 £799 £699 Gandan Monastery ceremony. Tour ends city centre. Lunch at own expense. Transfer to SPICING IT UP Ger Camp. Supper included. 1 person 2 people 3-9 people FULL-ON DAY 09 Free time at Elstei Ger Camp. Throughout the £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow day you will have the opportunity to partake in activities (weather permitting) that include; a NO FRILLS visit to a Nomad family, Mongolian wrestling, £45 £35 £35 Extra Night Moscow horse riding (small local fee) to name but a Upgrading to few. All meals included. £349 £349 £349 2-berth Rail DAY 10 After Breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into the Bayangol Hotel 3* day at these are the dates when leisure in the capital. this itinerary works: DAY 11 Early transfer to the station for your Beijing 2007 bound train. Midnight border crossing, onwards into China. January 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, February 05, 12, 19, 26, March 05, 12, 19, 26, April 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, DAY 12 Transfer to your departing Beijing bound train May 07, 14, 21, 28, June 04, 11, 18, 25, this morning. Midnight border crossing and July 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, August 06, 13, 20, 27, onwards to China! For services in China and September 03, 10, 17, 24, October 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, beyond please see pages 40 - 43. November 05, 12, 19, 26, December 03, 10, 17, 24, 31 2008 Train Staff photo: John Pannell January 07, 14, 21, 28, February 04, 11, 18, 25, March 03, 10, 17, 24, 31, April 07, 14, 21, 28, May 05, 12, 19, 26, June 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 St Basil’s Cathedral photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Stop along the way photo: John Pannell Beijing Night Market photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience ALL DATES GUARANTEED Three Capitals 23
  • 24. Uncover a world of discovery and adventure... On board the Baikal Express photo: John Pannell 24
  • 25. ... one trip, 18 destinations 29
  • 26. DESTINATION INFO The inside story THE TRANS-SIB IS THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME, AND GOES PAST PLACES YOU WILL NEVER PASS THROUGH AGAIN-SO DON’T LET THEM SLIP BY! Top left-St Petersburg: View on River Neva photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom left-St Petersburg: Cath on Spilt Blood photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top Middle-Moscow: Tsar Cannon photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom Middle-Moscow Kremlin: Assumption Cath photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top Right-Ekaterinburg: Cathedral photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom Right-Ekaterinburg: Forest Walk photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience ST.PETERSBURG grafted onto the medieval citadel, the Kremlin, the any rail or airport helps protect its wilderness museums, galleries, concert-halls and status. A growing New- Age Lifestyle movement is Built to order for Tsar Peter the Great, the the Bolshoi. spreading here-inspired by ancient cave paintings, “wedding-cake” style of the Imperial City is a and legends of the Lost Mountain Kingdom of complete contrast with Moscow’s medieval onion- EKATERINBURG Belovodia. We take our own vacations here. domes. St.Petersburg know as Leningrad for the Straddling the Europe/Asia divide, Ekaterinburg duration of Soviet rule, the city was always a IRKUTSK got rich on an C18th gold-rush here. The mixture hang-out for the USSR’s “not quite complying” of high-tech industry and high-flying educational One of Siberia’s oldest cities, a furtrading centre people-rock musicians, movie actors etc, and is institutes makes for a young population and it has since the C17th. The city’s regarded as the “home still the “rock music capital” a mojo all its own. Most infamously, the Tsar and of the Trans-Siberian” since the track-building from of Russia. If ballet or opera are your thing you all his family were murdered here in 1918- the new East and West met here, and the first Trans-Sib could not be better served. Cathedral marks the spot. In the heart train went through. MOSCOW of the Ural Mts, there’s countryside and villages LISTVYANKA VILLAGE all around. Europe’s fastest-growing and third largest city Just an hour from Irkutsk, Listvyanka’s the most wears three hats-capital of medieval Muscovy, as ALTAI accessible point on Lake Baikal-both in distance capital of the ex-USSR, and as capital of today’s Siberia’s best-kept secret-a massive National Park and facilities. Amidst the timber-house village new Russia. Moscow is Pleasure Central; area of mountains and rivers, offering amazing there are now some cafes and bars-but the wilds alongside the nightclubs and bars is every rafting, riding, and hiking… the 7/8-hr drive from of Baikal open-up at the end of the village possible kind of food and music too. And all this is
  • 27. Top left-Altai: rafting photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom left-Altai: mountain folksinger photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top middle-Irkutsk: cathedral photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom middle-Baikal: Listvyanka Village photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top Right-Baikal: Lakeshore at B.Goloustnoe photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom Right-Listvyanka Village: Host family photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience footpath if you want. Baikal is the world’s largest tradition survived even Stalin’s policies. a charming compact feel to the place. Next is lake-the London-Edinburgh road won’t reach from The soviet-era city contrasts with life in remote the weather-hot coastal sunbathing in summer, its top to toe, and with 1.5 miles to the bottom, it’s villages and Buddhist monasteries-so we include deep-frozen in winter. For those able to cope with the world’s deepest too. all three aspects in our trips. Who ever imagined poor onward connections, it’s the end-point of the Buddhism in Siberia? Yet it’s been the native original Trans-Sib route. BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE religion here for centuries. MONGOLIA So near to Listvyanka, but so different in character- PERM almost unchanged from the C19th, due to poor Mongolia is an ancient Buddhist Kingdom- road access. Bolshoe Goloustnoe village appeals to It’s surprising what you knew about PERM without but the capital is a flourishing mixture of bars, seekers of a lifestyle not yet quite past, and knowing it-it’s the real-life city that was “Yuriatin” nightclubs, patisseries and internet cafes. has a timeless serenity-fishing is still the main (where Dr Zhivago met Lara in the book, and the Ulaanbaatar is fun to visit, but it isn’t especially livelihood here, and except for a tiny village store, film), it was the start of the Great Siberian Post- Mongolian. The sparse pasture of the steppes kept there’s little intrusion of C20th values. Road, and Permian-era dinosaurs are named after Mongolians on the move-the idea of “cities” is geological discoveries near Perm. A charming little fundamentally alien to Mongolian tradition. ULAN-UDAY city in the Urals, with a famous ballet troupe. A great way to experience life in the Mongolian ger Perhaps the most surprising halt on the T-Sib? is to stay at Elstei Ger- Camp. VLADIVOSTOK Nomadic native Asian peoples of Siberia were not The accommodation is entirely in traditional gers. an image the USSR cared for-the Buryats were Showers and toilets are available from April- Vladivostok is a double surprise. First is that it’s “collectivised” by Stalin. Yet native song and October meeting modern standards. There is a so small-less than 500,000 inhabitants, giving
  • 28. Top left-Ulan-Uday: Lenin Bust, Town Sq photo: Simon Calder/Russia Experience Bottom left-Ulan-Uday: Buryat Village trip photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top middle-Ulaanbaatar: Gandan Lamasery photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom middle-Elstei: learning Mongolian archery photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top Right-Naadam Festival 2005 photo: John Pannell Bottom Right-Elstei: Regional Naadam Festival photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience HUHEHOT café serving both traditional Mongolian most famous for the Ice Festival (Jan-Feb)-a huge meals and a choice of other food (including outdoor event, which attracts visitors from all over Imperial China divided Mongolia into two when vegetarian). The location, although only one hour the world. it came as conqueror-Inner Mongolia, ruled as from Ulaanbaatar, is as remote as anywhere on part of China, and Outer Mongolia… so distant and BEIJING the steppes, and there are great opportunities for barren that only martial law was possible. Huhehot, walking-or riding, with local nomads as your ...is well-known as China’s capital-but did you capital of Inner Mongolia, was historically richer, but instructors. You have to be ready for off-road jeep know that it began as a Mongolian stronghold, still today lies inside the borders of modern China. travel for long journeys-Mongolia has tracks rather and its original name was neither Beijing nor Must sees are: The Grand Imperial Lamasery, the than actual roads. Most Mongolians still live in Peking, but Khan-Baliq?. You’ll need 3-4 days to old Islamic Quarter & Mosque, and unique Wuta-Si gers-the traditional wood framed see everything in Beijing, even briefly-the great Pagoda of a Thousand Buddhas. felt tent of the steppes, whose design has not temples like the Lama Temple or the Temple HARBIN changed in thousands of years. Mongolia has only of Heaven, the royal legacies at the Summer been open for tourism since the fall of the Soviet Palace. The good news is that Beijing doesn’t Harbin’s an unfairly neglected Trans-Siberian stop. Union. It’s not to be missed. have bars-it has whole streets of bars, where In the far north of China, it’s quite unlike every doorway’s a different drinking-hole. With the rest of the country-partly because it was built- your days jam-packed, its just as well there are up in the 1920’s by Russian nobles who’d fled night-markets for snack-food, great-value silk Communism. The main (pedestrian) street clothes, and much much more… is more like Petersburg than Peking. Harbin is
  • 29. Top left-Beijing: nightlife photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Bottom left-Beijing: Great Wall of China photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top middle-“Harbin” Harbin Ice Festival Bottom middle-Xi’an: Terracotta Army photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Top Right-Trans-Siberian Loco photo: Simon Calder/Russia Experience Bottom-The Oriental Pearl Tower XI’AN SHANGHAI GUANGHZHOU ...was, for centuries, the Imperial Capital of Nearly three times larger than Beijing, and ...(once known as Canton) is a busy modern city. China… a massive medieval walled city, with four an economic powerhouse that is rapidly Famous for its Cantonese cuisine you can spend gates facing out to the four compass-points of the outstripping Hong Kong. Although there’s a small your brief stop in Guanghzhou checking out the Empire it controlled. One of the most fascinating “old town”area, the real attractions here are numerous restaurants, featuring some very exotic areas is the Old Muslim Quarter. eating, drinking and shopping-Shanghai’s meats! If you have time between sittings check Its thronging alleys are packed with cheap a world-class city in all three activities! There are out the Huaisheng Mosque built during the Tang souvenirs, fake antiques, some great street-food good onward sea connections to Japan. Dynasty, one of the oldest mosques in China. for small-change prices. The Exhibition of GUILIN Terracotta Warriors, an hours drive from town. This dramatic find of the 1970s is considered one of ...is mostly famous for its natural beauty, with the greatest archaeological discoveries stunning scenery. Most visitors to Guilin take a boat of the century. Highly recommended. trip on the River Li, which meanders between Guilin and Yangshuo.Yangshuo is a great day trip out. Nestled amongst the hills it offers caves to explore, bike hire and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • 30. ORIGINAL TRANS-SIBERIAN Moscow-Vladivostok, for trainspotters and traditionalists Vladivostok: Travel Writer and Presenter Simon Calder (& bicycle) from D N PA GU Included in the trip: D ES AT O RA E (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga T TR G UR AN Forest-with a Forester Guide to explain the TRAIN: R ET £609 O SE 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. wildlife, ecosystem and lore of the Taiga. U -E P (May-Oct). MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA a freshwater dive D 13 nights/14 days trip stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour in the world’s Greatest Lake, with CMAS- personalised guided walking tour of the city. 9 nights/10 days trip qualified instructors. (requires PADI-1). SIBERIA: 2 dives included. (May-Sep) operational season (Applies to trip via Irkutsk only). All transfers (C) DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take are provided. Four nights family stay year round off on a Cliffside walk, or mosey around accommodation. Meals as stated with your the village, or take a dip in Lake Baikal! host family. Free excursion on day eight. Supper, then maybe try the local bar? full on itinerary VISA REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA Overnight with host family. (Year round option weather permitting!) (Via Irkutsk) TRIP PRICE DAY 09 Entirely free day at Lake Baikal Village. 1 person 2 people 3-9 people DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you Overnight with host family. Breakfast and ORIGINAL £699 £639 £609 directly to your hotel - your first night supper included. VIA IRKUTSK £999 £899 £799 in Moscow. DAY 10 Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) and stay in a city DAY 02 After breakfast your local expert will meet SPICING IT UP apartment with a local family, in soviet city you at the hotel, to whiz you round the 1 person 2 people 3-9 people style. Day free to explore the city, overnight FULL-ON highlights. This is using public transport with host family. Or upgrade to tourist £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow to familiarise you with the city centre and class Hotel if you rate comfort over NO FRILLS help smooth your path... at least until authenticity. £45 £35 £35 Extra Night Moscow lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free DAY 11 Transfer to station for early morning Hotel Vladivostok to explore. departure for Vladivostok. £125 £65 £65 (Transfer on arrival inc.) DAY 03 A full free day, take your pick of the best Upgrading to DAY 12/13 On board of Moscow! Mid-evening we take you to £299 £299 £299 2-berth Rail DAY 14 Morning arrival into Vladivostok, your your Siberia bound train! Upgrading to Trans-Siberian journey comes to an end. £399 £399 £399 DAY 04 The Trans-Sib line, leads you past 2-berth Rail via Irkutsk For Hotel options see price box. Kazan and Ekaterinburg... these are the dates when DIRECT TO VLADIVOSTOK DAY 05 Then onwards into Siberia itself, this itinerary works: DAY 01/03 As Irkutsk itinerary. via Novosibirsk... DAY 04/09 On board. The train makes several 2007/2008 Start Dates DAY 06 Across the River Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk... unscheduled stops allowing you time to Departures on odd dates. DAY 07 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to make a quick purchases from the locals. Few rare exceptions-please confirm with us. Listvyanka Village on shore of Lake DAY 10 Arrival into Vladivostok. Your trans-siberian Baikal. Stay in an authentic Siberian journey comes to an end. For hotel options log-cabin (izba). Lunch, walking tour see prices box. of the village including Lake Wildlife Museum. That evening have a real Siberian Sauna (banya), which will give you an appetite for a home-cooked supper. Overnight with host family ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN DAY 08 Choose one activity from the list, it’s all REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE included in the trip price! OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS www.trans-siberian.co.uk Hanging out in Vladivostok photo: Simon Calder NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 30 Original Trans-Siberian
  • 31. TRANS-MANCHURIAN CLASSIC Europe to Asia non-stop! Watching the world go by photo: John Pannell D Included in the trip: N PA GU from D ES AT O RA E full on itinerary T TR G UR AN TRAIN: R ET O SE £509 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. U -E P DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly MOSCOW: to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights D stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour DAY 02 After breakfast your local expert will meet you 9 nights/10 days personalised walking tour with local expert. at the hotel, to whisk you round the highlights. operational season This is using public transport to familiarise you No frills trip: with the city centre and help smooth your path… year round TRAIN: at least until lunchtime! Afternoon and evening 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. free to explore. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival. Two nights stay in a DAY 03 A full free day for you to pack in the rest! Have 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. you been to Pushkin Square? “The” place to VISAS REQUIRED FOR: meet friends or Izmailovsky Flea market for RUSSIA & CHINA souvenirs? Perhaps you have pre-booked one of our city based excursions for today? (see page TRIP PRICE 47 for details) Mid-evening we take you to your 1 person 2 people 3-9 people waiting train-to Siberia! FULL ON £649 £619 £589 DAY 04 On board the Trans-Manchurian Express. NO FRILLS £569 £539 £509 SPICING IT UP DAY 06 The train makes several unscheduled stops, 1 person 2 people 3-9 people allowing you only time to grab stocks for FULL-ON your larder and drinks cabinet. £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow NO FRILLS DAY 07 On board the Trans-Manchurian Express £45 £35 £35 Extra Night Moscow circumnavigating the shores of Lake Baikal. Upgrading to £299 £299 £299 2-berth Rail DAY 08 On board the Trans-Manchurian Express via far Eastern Siberia to the Chinese border. these are the dates when this itinerary works: DAY 09 On board through Manchuria. Sightings of the great wall, onwards to Beijing. 10-DAY ITINERARY 2007 DAY 10 Thunder on across China, early morning arrival January 03, 10, 17, 24, 31, February 07, 14, 21, 28, into Beijing Central Station. Your trans-siberian March 07, 14, 21, 28, April 04, 11, 18, 25, journey comes to an end. For services in China May 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, June 06, 13, 20, 27, July 04, 11, 18, 25, August 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, and beyond please pages 40-43. September 05, 12, 19, 26, October 03, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 07, 14, 21, 28, December 05, 12, 19, 26 ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN 2008 REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE January 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, February 06, 13, 20, 27, OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS March 05, 12, 19, 26, April 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, www.trans-siberian.co.uk May 07, 14, 21, 28, June 04, 11, 18, 25 Trans-Mongolian route is also available Left - Rickshaws in Beijing photo: John Pannell ALL DATES GUARANTEED Trans-Manchurian Classic 31
  • 32. SUPER TRANS-SIB open with care-overstuffed with action! WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Mongolia in October 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 £1,140 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… at least until D 17 nights/18 day trip lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. 18 nights/19 day trip DAY 03 A full free day - for you to pack in the rest! Mid-afternoon we take you to your waiting train to Siberia! DAY 04 Full day on train through the Ural Mountains, arrival late evening into Ekaterinburg, car to Hotel. operational season DAY 05 Three hour walking tour of Ekaterinburg with local expert. Afternoon and evening free to year round explore further. DAY 06 Please choose one of the following fully inclusive day trip options. (A) ROMANOV GRAVES (& Europe/Asia Border Monument en-route). Car excursion (60km round trip) to site where the Romanov bodies were hidden. Duration; 5-6 hours. No physical exertion involved. Light lunch provided. Year round. (B) SIBERIAN COUNTRYSIDE & HISTORIC VILLAGE Visit to an old village (160km each way) now under a Preservation Order. Includes home-cooked lunch, exhibitions of local crafts, horse cart riding. Duration; 8-9 hours. No physical exertion involved. Year round. (C) HIKING TRIP IN THE URALS Outdoor adventure in an area which is a designated nature park. Car transfer then 18km 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 hours. Lunch provided. 15 June - 15 September (Weather permitting). (D) SIBERIAN WILDERNESS ADVENTURE Combined soft raft (6km) and Forest Hike (12km) - optional cave visit. Good fitness required. Duration; 9-10 hours. Lunch provided. Buddhist shrine photo: John Pannell 15 June - 15 September (Weather permitting). (G) SIBERIAN HUSKY DOGSLEDDING Exactly what (E) SKIING At Ezhovaya Slopes Ski Resort. it says! 3-4 hours sledding following a made track Skis/Poles/Lift-Pass package purchasable locally through the forest. No special fitness required, but be approx $25 payable in roubles No instruction is ready to fall-off in the soft snow a few times - they’re included - this program is for those who can already pretty fast! At the end of your trip you will visit the ski. Duration; 6 - 7 hours. Lunch provided. famous Europe-Asia border. Duration; 7 - 8 hours. 01 December - 28 February. (Weather permitting). Lunch provided. 15 November - 28 December. (F) ICE-FISHING Yes, you saw the cartoons, now you 16 January - 28 February. (Weather permitting). can try it yourself. Tackle, Angler’s Hints & Fur Coat provided. We don’t guarantee you’ll catch anything! Option to either remain at your hotel until 02:00 or Duration; 8 hours. Lunch provided. 15 November - 15 check-out early evening and chill-out at the Vodoley December. 01 February - 15 March. (Weather permitting). Leisure Centre (admission tickets and bar-bill are yours, but we take you there and back) and then directly with ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN luggage to station. Depart 04:00 eastwards… REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE DAY 07 & 08 Onwards via Novosibirsk and OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS Winter: Husky dog-sledding near Ekaterinburg www.trans-siberian.co.uk photo: Konstantin Brylykov Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk. NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 32 Super Trans-Sib
  • 33. Included in the trip: the trip Moscow TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 1 Arrive Moscow, Transfer to accommodation MOSCOW: Car transfer arrival/departure. 2 Moscow sightseeing with local expert two nts 3* Hotel B&B, 3 hour personalised 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station walking tour with local expert. Ekaterinburg 4 By train through Ural Mountains, eve arrive Ekaterinburg & accom EKATERINBURG: Car transfer arrival/ departure. Two nts 5 Walking tour of Ekaterinburg & free time to explore 2* Hotel B&B, 3 hour walking tour, day trip. 6 Your choice of Ekaterinburg/Urals activities (see full itinerary) LAKE BAIKAL : Rural options out of the City Irkutsk 7 On board Trans-Sib eastwards, via Novosibirsk gives you the option to chose from two all inclusive programmes. 8 On board Trans-Sib eastwards, via Krasnoyarsk ULAANBAATAR: All transfers, two night 9/10 EITHER: Siberian Village Stay with walk, mini-trek or scuba options, or in the Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation full winter, Snow Mobile OR: Fisherman’s Cape of Lake Baikal trip with mini-trek board. 1 night 3* hotel Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar 11 Free time Listvyanka Village breakfast. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. 12 Free time to explore Irkutsk city evening departure to Ulaanbaatar No frills trip: 13 On board, around Lake Baikal then southwards to Mongolia TRAIN: 14 Arrive Ulaanbaatar depart to Elstei Ger Camp 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. Beijing 15 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp, optional riding or just relax? MOSCOW: Transfer arrival. Two nights 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. 16 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, overnight stay EKATERINBURG: Transfer arrival/departure. 17 Depart by train to Beijing, across Southern Gobi desert Two nights 1* Hotel room-only 18 Pass the Great Wall Of China, arrival in Beijing (shared bathroom). IRKUTSK: Transfer arrival/departure. Family stay accommodation, Irkutsk City. Breakfast. ULAANBAATAR: Arrival/departure transfers. baikal programmes Three nights 1* hotel, Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast. trip price: Choose either Siberian Village or Fisherman’s Cape of Lake Baikal 1 person 2 people 3-9 people OR (2) FISHERMAN’S CAPE OF LAKE BAIKAL EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE FULL ON £1,650 £1,550 £1,450 NO FRILLS £1,340 £1,240 £1,140 DAY 09 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to DAY 09 Car from Irkutsk Station to the remoter village SPICING IT UP Listvyanka Village on the shore of Lake Baikal. of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km on rural roads). 1 person 2 people 3-9 people Stay in an authentic Siberian log-cabin (izba). Lunch. A local guide shows you the village, the Old Church, FULL-ON £60 £50 £50 See the village, the old Church, and the Lake Wildlife and the lake shoreline. Get the 20th Century out of your Extra Nights Moscow Museum-with your friendly local expert. Then get it all system have a real Siberian Sauna (banya), which will NO FRILLS off your chest the Siberian way in the sauna! (banya) give you an appetite for a home-cooked supper. £45 £35 £35 Extra Nights Moscow You’ll be ready for your home-cooked supper after all Overnight with host family. Hotel upgrade £40 £30 £30 that-then sleep like a log in a log cabin. Irkutsk City DAY 10 Leisurely lakeside walk (9km) to Ushkani Cape, DAY 10 Choose one activity from below its all included and visit our friends the fishermen for lunch at their Upgrading to £449 £449 £449 in the trip price! cabin. Leisurely walk back to Bolshoe Goloustnoe 2-berth Rail Village. Supper, then relish the hushed silence away these are the dates when (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest-and a from the tourist throng. Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and this itinerary works: Day 11 Transfer back to Irkutsk city (110km) and stay lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). in a city apartment with a local family, in soviet city 18-DAY ITINERARY (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA (they say you gain a year of life style. Day free to explore the city, overnight with host 2007 if you dive in!) with qualified CMAS-instructors (requires family. Or upgrade to tourist class hotel if you rate January 09, 23, February 13, 27, March 13, PADI-1), 2 dives included (May-Sep). comfort over authenticity. April 03, 17, May 01, 15, June 05, 19, July 03, 17, (C) SNOWMOBILE TRIP (2 hrs) with a local guide- August 07, 21, September 11, 25, October 09, 23, through the forest, or even out over the deep-frozen November 13, 27, December 11, 25 lake! (Dec-Apr). 2008 January 01, 15, February 05, 19, March 11, 25, (D) TAKE YOURSELF FOR A WALK out of the village April 01, 15, 29, May 13, June 03, 17 with a packed lunch and a book, and contemplate the 19-DAY ITINERARY* vastness of the world’s hugest lake. (year-round weather 2007 permitting). Supper with your host family this evening. January 01, 15, February 05, 19, March 05, 19, Then sleep like a log in a log cabin! April 09, 23, May 07, 21, June 11, 25, July 09, 23, DAY 11 Free day at Lakeside village – Listvyanka. August 13, September 03, 17, October 01, 15, Overnight with your host family. November 05, 19, December 03, 17 2008 photo: John Pannell January 07, 21, February 11, March 03, 17, April 07, 21, May 05, 19, June 09, 23 DAY 12 Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) free time to explore the city. (we watch your bags). Transfer to the station for your Ulaanbaatar bound train. DAY 13 On board to Mongolia. Midnight border crossing. Extra night for Siberian Village & Fisherman’s Cape DAY 14 Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. Shower, and breakfast. of Baikal: in Irkutsk with host family or optional Depart for two hour familiarisation of Ulaanbaatar, to include the Gandan Monastery ceremony. Tour ends hotel upgrade. city centre. Lunch at own expense. Transfer to Ger Camp. Supper included. *Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, DAY 15 Free time at Elstei Ger Camp. Throughout the day you will have the opportunity to partake in activities £30 for two or more (weather permitting) that include; a visit to a Nomad family, Mongolian wrestling, horse riding (small local fee) to name but a few. All meals included. DAY 16 After Breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into the Hotel 3* day at leisure in the capital. DAY 17 Early transfer to the station for your Beijing bound train. Midnight border crossing, 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. ALL DATES GUARANTEED Super Trans-Sib 33
  • 34. SNOW TRAIN ice festival special - better hurry, the ice melts soon! WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? Harbin Ice-Festival photo: Johan de La Roy AGE 4 D N PA GU from D ES AT 9 O RA E full on itinerary T TR G UR AN R ET O SE £850 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 whisk you round the highlights. This is using public transport to familiarise you with the city centre and help smooth your path… D 11 nights/12 days at least until lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. 13 nights/14 days 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 operational season based excursions for today? (see page 43 for details) It’s your choice! either take the direct route to Harbin, or choose to spend a few days in Ekaterinburg where you can pursue the ultimate in outdoor December/January winter activities! DAY 04 Full day on train through the Ural Mountains, arrival late evening into Ekaterinburg, transfer to Hotel. DAY 05 Walking Tour of Ekaterinburg with local guide. Afternoon and evening free to explore further. DAY 06 Please choose one of the following fully inclusive day trip options. Option to either remain at your hotel until 02:00 (A) SKIING At Ezhovaya Slopes Ski Resort. Skis/Poles/Lift-Pass package purchasable locally (we hold your room on for late checkout) or check-out approx $25 payable in roubles No instruction is early-evening and chill-out at the Vodoley Leisure included - this program is for those who can already Centre (admission tickets and bar-bill are yours, but we ski. Duration; 6 - 7 hours. Lunch provided. take you there and back) and then directly with luggage 01 December - 28 February. (Weather permitting). to station. Depart 04:00 eastwards… (B) ICE-FISHING Yes, you saw the cartoons, now you can try it yourself. Tackle, Angler’s Hints & Fur Coat provided. We don’t guarantee you’ll catch anything! Duration; 8 hours. Lunch provided. 15 November – 15 December. 01 February – 15 March. (Weather permitting). (C) SIBERIAN HUSKY DOG SLEDDING Exactly what it says! 3-4 hours sledding following a made track through the forest. No special fitness required, but be ready to fall-off in the soft snow a few times - they're pretty fast! At the end of your trip you will visit the famous Europe-Asia border. Duration; 7 - 8 hours. Lunch provided. 15 November - 28 December. 16 January - 28 February. (Weather permitting). (D) WINTER WALK in the Taiga forest to the Druzhba Caves. Total trek 16km. Duration; 10 hours. Picnic lunch provided. 01 December - 28 February. (Weather permitting). Left - Ekaterinburg: Husky Sled-Dog Trans-Sib loco photo: Johan de La Roy photo: Neil McGowan/Russia Experience NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 34 Snow Train
  • 35. the trip Included in the trip: TRAIN: Moscow 1 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: 2 Moscow winter sightseeing with local expert Transfer arrival/departure. Two nights 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour 3 Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station personalised walking tour with local expert. 4 On board the Trans-Sib via the Urals Mountains and arrive Ekaterinburg EKATERINBURG: Ekaterinburg Transfer arrival/departure. Two nights 5 Three hour walking tour of Ekaterinburg 2* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour walking tour. Free Winter Activity. 6 WINTER MIXTURE: choose ice-fishing, snow-walk or husky-dog sledding! HARBIN: 7 On board the Trans-Sib via Central Siberia Two nights 4* Hotel room-only. 8 On board the Trans-Sib, crossing the Yenisei River Harbin No frills trip: 9 On board the Trans-Sib, circumnavigating Lake Baikal TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 10 On board the Trans-Sib, eastwards across Buryatia MOSCOW: 11 Arrival in China to Harbin, hotel accomm opposite station Transfer on arrival only. Two nights 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. Beijing 12 Opportunity to visit the Harbin Ice & Lanterns Festival EKATERINBURG: Transfer arrival/departure. Two nights 13 Free day to explore Harbin, overnight train to Beijing 1* Hotel room-only (shared bathroom). 14 Arrival in Beijing and end of itinerary HARBIN: 2 nights. Hotel room-only. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA & CHINA trip price: 1 person 2 people 3-9 people FULL ON £1,200 £1,100 £1,000 NO FRILLS £1,050 £950 £850 SPICING IT UP 1 person 2 people 3-9 people FULL-ON £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow NO FRILLS £45 £35 £35 Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to £325 £325 £325 2-berth Rail Please note 2-berth rail is not available on the Harbin to Beijing sector. these are the dates when this itinerary works: 2007 Start Dates January 01, 08, 15, 22, December 31 2008 Start Dates January 07, 14, 21 A shorter version of this trip is available with no stop in Ekaterinburg, please visit our website @ www.trans-siberian.co.uk or call us for details Ice-carving photo: Johan de La Roy DAY 07 On board the Trans-Manchurian Express. The train makes several short stops en-route, to allowing you only time to make a quick purchase from the locals of home cooked produce or DAY 10 replenish your drinks cabinet. DAY 11 After a night-time border crossing, you’ve entered China, and the area known as Manchuria once a separate Chinese kingdom, and home to the Manchu (after whom the Manchu Dynasty, the last in Imperial China, was named). Arrival in Harbin, the regional capital. No transfer, as your hotel is in the large Town Square directly in front of the Rail Station. Balance of day free. DAY 12 Free day to visit the Ice Festival. There’s no specific program we’ll give you directions for getting to the Festival-ground. The Festival is open from 10am-10pm daily and you must stay after dusk when the Chinese Lanterns are lit. Although sculptors come from all over the world, this is very much a local festival, and you have a chance to let your hair down with the locals. DAY 13 Free time to explore the Old Town of Harbin, with an attractive pedestrianised main street that features an incredible number of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Be sure to be ready for your evening departure to Beijing by sleeper train. (NB: 2-berth cabins are not available on this section.) DAY 14 Early morning arrival in Beijing, your Trans-Siberian Snow Train journey comes to an end. For services in China and beyond please see pages pages 40-43. Ice sculpture photo: Johan de La Roy ALL DATES GUARANTEED Snow Train 35
  • 36. WESTBOUND DEPARTURES starting your journey from Beijing or Vladivostok Most of our itinerary models originating in Moscow have a Westbound alternative. Below is one example. Please note that train timetables run with some differences (days+times) WA going West-East. Check our website CUSTNT TO @ www.trans-siberian.co.uk or call YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? for details AGE 4 9 BIG TRANS-SIB FROM BEIJING full on itinerary D N PA GU D ES AT O RA from E T TR G UR AN R ET DAY 01 Arrival in Beijing. Make your own way to hotel. Free time to explore one of the worlds fastest O SE U -E growing capital cities. Your train tickets will be delivered to your hotel after check in, with £820 P instructions to the station in English and Chinese. DAY 02 Own transport to Beijing Central Station for early morning departure to Ulaanbaatar. Thunder on D across China past the Great Wall. Overnight on board. 15 nights/16 days DAY 03 Mid afternoon arrival from Beijing. Transfer to 3* Hotel where you can have a shower and light snack before transferring to the Ger Camp. 16 nights/17 days DAY 04 Free time at Elstei Ger Camp. Throughout the day you will have the opportunity to partake in activities (weather permitting) that include; a visit to a Nomad family, Mongolian wrestling, horse riding (small local fee) to name but a few. All meals included. DAY 05 After breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into 3* hotel. Balance of day at leisure. Overnight. DAY 06 After breakfast City tour to include the Gandan Monastery ceremony. Tour ends city centre. Time to stock up on provisions for your overnight journey. (This is a local class train and often has no restaurant car). Transfer to the station for your Siberia bound train. DAY 07 On board…midnight border crossing into Russia. Beijing by night “Tickets please!” photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience photo: Simon Calder NOT GROUP DEPARTURES 36 Big Trans-Sib from Beijing
  • 37. the trip Included in the trip: TRAIN: 1 Arrival to Beijing hotel (independently), free time in Beijing 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. Beijing BEIJING: 2 Own travel to Beijing Central Station, early departure to Ulaanbaatar One night, room-only. 3* Hotel 3 Across Gobi steppes, arrival Ulaanbaatar, transfer to Ger Camp. ULAANBAATAR: All Transfers included. Two Nights 4 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp walk, optional horse-riding, or just relax Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation, full board. One night 3* hotel in 5 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore the city Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. 6 Morning walking tour of the capital, evening departure to Russia LAKE BAIKAL: 7 On board the Trans-Siberian en-route for Irkutsk Rural options out of the City gives you the choice from two all-inclusive programmes. 8&9 EITHER: 2-day Siberian Village stay (scuba or mini-trek choices) MOSCOW: OR: 2-day Fisherman’s Cape of Lake Baikal (more remote) Transfers on arrival. Irkutsk Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast 10 Return to Irkutsk, free time, family stay (or upgrade to hotel) included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. 11 Transfer to station, board Trans-Siberian bound for Moscow No frills trip: 12 Across Eastern Siberia, cross the River Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. 13 Cross the River Ob at Novosibirsk and on via the Urals mountains Moscow BEIJING: 14 Mid-afternoon arrival in Moscow, transfer to hotel One night, room-only. 1* Hotel ULAANBAATAR: 15 Local expert assisted walking tour of Moscow, free time to explore All transfers, Three nights 1* hotel 16 End of itinerary-why not continue now to St Petersburg? Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. IRKUTSK: Transfer arrival and departure. Three nights baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Fisherman’s Cape family stay accommodation. Breakfast. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival only. Two nights stay in a EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE OR (2) FISHERMAN’S CAPE OF LAKE BAIKAL 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: DAY 08 Arrival into Irkutsk and transfer (1hr) to CHINA, MONGOLIA & RUSSIA Listvyanka Village on the shore of Lake Baikal. Stay in an authentic Siberian log cabin (izba). Lunch. trip price: See the village, the old Church, and the Lake Wildlife Museum with your friendly local expert. Then get it all 1 person 2 people 3-9 people off your chest the Siberian way in the sauna! (banya) FULL ON £1190 £999 £960 You’ll be ready for your home-cooked supper after all NO FRILLS £980 £840 £820 that, then sleep like a log in a log cabin. Lake Baikal photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience DAY 09 Choose one activity from the list, it’s all SPICING IT UP DAY 08 Transfer directly from Station to the remoter included in the trip price! 1 person 2 people 3-9 people village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km on rural roads). (A) SNOWMOBILE TRIP (2 hrs) with a local guide- FULL-ON Your local guide shows you the village, the Old Church, through the forest, or even out over the deep frozen £60 £50 £50 Extra Night Moscow and lake shoreline. Get the 20th Century out of your lake! (Dec-Apr) weather permitting. £60 £40 £35 Extra night Beijing system in a real Russian banya (sauna) which will (B) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest with NO FRILLS sharpen your appetite for home-cooked food for supper. Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and £45 £40 £40 Extra Night Moscow Sleep soundly-the modern world is far, far away. lore of the Taiga (May-Oct). £35 £25 £20 Extra night Beijing DAY 09 Leisurely lakeside walk (8km) to Ushkani (C) SIBERIAN SCUBA a freshwater dive in the Cape, and visit our friends the fishermen for lunch at £40 £30 £30 Irkutsk Hotel Upgrade world’s Greatest Lake, with CMAS-qualified their cabin. Leisurely walk back to Bolshoe Upgrading to instructors and pro-level gear (requires PADI-1). Goloustnoe Village. Supper, then relish the hushed £399 £399 £399 2-berth Rail 2 dives included. (May-Sep). silence away from the tourist throng. (D) DO YOUR OWN THING maybe take off on a DAY 10 Transfer to Irkutsk (110km) and overnight in Cliffside walk, or mosey around the village, or take a these are the dates when city apartment with host family. Day free to explore dip in Lake Baikal! Supper, then maybe try the local the city. Or upgrade to tourist class Hotel if you rate this itinerary works: bar? Overnight with host family. comfort over authenticity. DAY 10 Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) and overnight in city 16-DAY ITINERARY 2007 DAY 11 Early transfer to the station to continue your apartment with host family. Day free to explore the January 12, February 02, 16, March 02, 16, 23, journey on the Trans-Siberian Express. city. Or upgrade to tourist class Hotel if you rate April 06, 20, May 04, June 04, 18, July 02, 16, DAY 12 On board The Trans-Siberian train taking you comfort over authenticity. August 06, 20, September 10, 24, October 08, across the River Yenisei, at Krasnoyarsk. November 12, 26, December 10, 31 DAY 13 The train makes several unscheduled stops, allowing you only time to make a quick purchase 17-DAY ITINERARY 2007* from the locals of their home cooked produce or January 05, 19, 26, February 09, 23, March 09, 30, replenish your drinks cabinet. April 13, 27, May 11, 28, June 11, 25, July 09, 30, August 13, September 03, 17, October 01, 15, 22, DAY 14 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to November 05, 19, December 03, 17 your hotel - your first night in Moscow. DAY 15 After breakfast your local expert will meet you at the hotel, to whiz you round the highlights. This is EXTRA NIGHT FOR SIBERIAN VILLAGE IN LISTVYANKA using public transport to familiarise you with the city is spent at Lake Baikal with host family. centre and help smooth your path… at least until EXTRA NIGHT FISHERMAN’S CAPE IN BOLSHOE lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. GOLOUSTNOE with host family. DAY 16 Breakfast. Your Trans-Siberian adventure *Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, comes to an end. For services onwards to St. Sightseeing in Moscow photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience £30 for two or more Petersburg please see page 38. ALL DATES GUARANTEED Big Trans-Sib from Beijing 37
  • 38. STARTING YOUR TRANS-SIB TRIP IN ST PETERSBURG... St. Petersburg by night photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience from The original trans-sib began from St Petersburg and so should you to see the contrast between the imperial splendour £150 and the soviet simplicity that existed both then and now. the itinerary If not these are a few of the things you may not have already seen. 3 nights/4 days • The Hermitage Collection - Winter Palace. DAY 01 Arrival in St, Petersburg! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in • The canals and waterways of the St. Petersburg. “Northern Venice”. Day 02 After breakfast your guide will meet you at the • The Russian Museum of Fine Art. hotel, to take you round the highlights. This is • The Peter & Paul Fortress-and the Tombs of the using public transport to familiarise you with Tsars inside the Fortress Cathedral. the city centre and help smooth your path… • The Church on the Spilt Blood, nearby the at least until lunchtime! Afternoon and evening Souvenir Bazaar. free to explore. Own taxi to the station for your late evening Moscow Day 03 Breakfast. Check out of your room by 12 noon. bound train. You can leave your luggage at the hotel. Perhaps you have pre-booked one of our city Day 04 Arrival into the capital early morning. based excursions for today? To gain access to your room in Moscow before (see page 47 for details). lunchtime you would need to purchase an additional night’s accommodation. INCLUDED IN THE TRIP: Transfer on arrival. Two nights accommodation at the hotel of your choice. Meal basis as stated. Three hour personalised walking tour of the city, with local expert. 2-Class 4-berth sleeper train to Moscow. (Option to upgrade to, 2-berth Sleeper, see spicing it up) NB: No restaurant car or breakfast on this short overnight journey. DUE TO THE EVER GROWING POPULARITY OF ST.PETERSBURG. WE REQUIRE YOU TO MAKE TWO HOTEL CHOICES. THESE PROGRAMMES ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO CLIENTS WHO ARE BOOKING TRANS-SIBERIAN JOURNEYS WITH US. TRIP PRICE Hotel Option: (For a full Hotel description please refer to page 44) Meal 1 Additional 2 or more Additional Basis Person Night People Night (per person) (per person) (per person) HOTEL VESTA 3* BB £315 £85 £215 £60 HOTEL ASTERIA 3* BB £315 £85 £215 £60 HOTEL ENGECON 2*+ BB £250 £75 £200 £65 HOTEL ENGECON 1* BB £200 £35 £150 £30 (without en-suite facilities) WHITE NIGHTS FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF JUNE. TO SECURE A ROOM AT THIS TIME ADVANCE BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. PLEASE NOTE A SEASONAL SUPPLEMENT OF £10 PER PERSON IS APPLICABLE 01 MAY-30 SEP. SPICING IT UP 2-berth St.Petersburg-Moscow £70 Additional services of guide 3 hours £50 Additional services of guide 6 hours £90 Peterhof Gardens photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience FOR OUR RANGE OF CITY EXCURSIONS OPTIONS PLEASE SEE PAGE 47. 38 Starting Your Trans-Sib Trip in St Petersburg
  • 39. St. Petersburg by day photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience
  • 40. CHINA after the trans-sib - some options in china Forbidden City photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience SIMPLY BEIJING For those who aren’t going further 2 nights/3 days 2007/2008 Start dates: any day BEIJING the Itinerary DAY 01 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. Beijing: Great Wall of China photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience DAY 03 Morning check out of Hotel. A chance to spend some time BEIJING TO in Beijing at the end of your Trans- Siberian Itinerary before returning home or continuing on through China. HONG KONG FULL ON Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only 3* Hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Two Chinas, one rail system *Please note for passengers arriving into Beijing International Airport a surcharge 3 nights/4 days 2007/2008 of £20.00 per person will apply. NO FRILLS Two nights room-only 1* hotel. Good location within walking BEIJING - HONG KONG distance to all main tourist sights. Clean but basic, run by non English speaking staff. the Itinerary START DATES any day. DAY 01 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to TRIP PRICE your Hotel. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. Simply Beijing 1 person 2 people 3-9 people DAY 03 Check-out of Hotel. Own taxi to station for lunch time departure FULL ON £150 £85 £80 to Hong Kong. Overnight on board. Additional night £60 £40 £35 DAY 04 Early afternoon arrival into Hong Kong. NO FRILLS £85 £50 £45 Additional night £35 £35 £20 FULL ON Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only Transfer from hotel to Beijing airport £45 £25 £25 3* Hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Transfer on departure not provided. Soft class VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Hong Kong. *Please note for passengers arriving into Beijing International Airport, a surcharge of £20.00 per person will apply. NO FRILLS Two nights room-only 1* Hotel. Good location within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Clean but basic run by non-English speaking staff. Transfers on arrival and departure not provided. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Hong Kong. TRIP PRICE Beijing- Hong Kong 1 person 2 people 3-9 people FULL ON £310 £250 £240 Additional night £60 £40 £35 NO FRILLS £245 £205 £200 Additional night £35 £35 £20 Upgrade to 2-berth rail £50 £50 £50 VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA Beijing: Drum Tower (detail) photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience 40 China
  • 41. GREAT CHINESE ROUTE In the footsteps of Chinese Emperors 7 nights/8 days 2007/2008 Start dates: any day BEIJING - XI’AN - GUANGZHOU - HONG KONG the Itinerary DAY 01 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. DAY 03 Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for early evening departure to Xi’an. DAY 04 Morning arrival. Check into your Hotel. Free time to explore this Beijing: Forbidden City photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience historic city. SCENIC CHINESE DAY 05 Full day excursion to Terracotta Army (transport, lunch, tickets and guide included). DAY 06 Early morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer to station for ROUTE departure to Guangzhou. DAY 07 Morning arrival. Own transfer. Check into your Hotel. Pagodas, princes, and a petrified forest DAY 08 Morning check out of the Hotel. Own transfer. For afternoon departure from Nanhhaigang Harbour to Hong Kong. Arrive 10 nights/11 days 2007/2008 Start dates: any day Canton Road Harbour Tsimshatsui, Kowloon 19.00 hrs. BEIJING - XI’AN - GUILIN - GUANGZHOU - FULL ON Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room only 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist HONG KONG sights. Soft class sleeper throughout. the Itinerary XI’AN: Two nights 3* hotel. Room-only. Full day CITS group excursion to Terracotta Army. DAY 01 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to GUANGZHOU: One night 3* hotel. Room-only. Hydrofoil ticket to Hong Kong. your Hotel. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. *Please note for passengers arriving into Beijing International Airport, a surcharge of £20.00 per person will apply. DAY 03 Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for early evening departure to Xi’an. NO FRILLS BEIJING: Two nights room only 1* hotel. Good location within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Clean but basic DAY 04 Morning arrival. Check into your Hotel. Free time to explore this run by non-English speaking staff. historic city. DAY 05 Full day excursion to Terracotta Army (transport, lunch, tickets XI’AN: Two nights 1* hotel. Room-only. and guide included). GUANGZHOU: One night 1* hotel. Room-only. Hydrofoil ticket to Hong Kong. DAY 06 Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for evening departure TRIP PRICE to Guilin. DAY 07 Late evening arrival. Own transfer. Check into your Hotel. Great Chinese 1 person 2 people 3-9 people Overnight. FULL ON £540 £440 £430 DAY 08 Free time to explore, and maybe take a boat trip up the River Li? Additional night-Beijing £60 £40 £35 DAY 09 Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for evening departure Additional night-Xi’an £60 £40 £35 to Guangzhou. NO FRILLS £445 £385 £375 DAY 10 Early morning arrival. Own transfer. Check into your Hotel. Additional night-Beijing £35 £35 £20 DAY 11 Morning check out of the Hotel. Afternoon departure by Additional night-Xi’an £35 £25 £23 Hydrofoil to Hong Kong. Canton Fair Supplement: 14-30 April and 14-30 October in Guangzhou FULL ON BEIJING: Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room surcharge: £50pp/pn only 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA main tourist sights. Soft class sleeper throughout. XI’AN: Two nights 3* hotel. Room-only. Full day CITS group excursion to Terracotta Army. GUILIN: Two nights 3* hotel. Room-only. GUANGZHOU: One night 3* hotel. Room-only. Hydrofoil ticket to Hong Kong. *Please note for passengers arriving into Beijing International Airport, a surcharge of £20.00 per person will apply. NO FRILLS BEIJING: Two nights room only 1* hotel. Clean but basic. Transfers are not provided. XI’AN: Two nights 1* hotel. Room-only. GUILIN: Two nights 1* hotel. Room-only. GUANGZHOU: One night 1* hotel. Room-only. Hydrofoil ticket to Hong Kong. TRIP PRICE SCENIC CHINESE ROUTE 1 person 2 people 3-9 people FULL ON £630 £530 £520 Additional night-Beijing £60 £40 £35 Additional night-Xi’an £60 £40 £35 NO FRILLS £445 £385 £375 Additional night-Beijing £35 £35 £20 Additional night-Xi’an £35 £25 £23 Canton Fair Supplement: 14-30 April and 14-30 October in Guangzhou surcharge: £50pp/pn VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA Temple in Xi’an photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience China 41
  • 42. Xi’an: Terracotta Army photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Xi’an: Great Goose Pagoda photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience BEIJING TO SHANGHAI TERRACOTTA TRAIL Full-steam ahead from ancient Beijing to vibrant Take in the Terracotta Army en-route to Shanghai Shanghai 3 nights/4 days 2007/2008 6 nights/7 days 2007/2008 Start dates: any day Start dates: any day BEIJING - XI’AN - SHANGHAI BEIJING - SHANGHAI the Itinerary the Itinerary DAY 01 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your hotel. DAY 01 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see 39. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. DAY 03 Morning check out of hotel. Own transfer for early evening departure to Xi’an. DAY 03 Check out of Hotel. Free time. Own taxi to station for evening departure to Shanghai. Overnight on board. DAY 04 Morning arrival. Check into your hotel. Free time to explore this historic city. DAY 04 Early morning arrival into Shanghai. Hotel rates can be found below. DAY 05 Full day excursion to Terracotta Army (transport, lunch, tickets and guide included). FULL ON Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only DAY 06 Morning check out of hotel. Own transfer for evening departure 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main to Shanghai. tourist sights. Transfer on departure not included. Soft class DAY 07 Morning arrival to Shanghai. Hotel rates can be found below. 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Shanghai. *Please note for passengers arriving into Beijing International Airport, a surcharge of £20.00 FULL ON Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only per person will apply. 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main NO FRILLS Two nights room-only 1* hotel. Good location within walking tourist sights. Transfer on departure not provided. Soft class distance to all main tourist sights. Clean but basic run by 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Shanghai. non-English speaking staff. Transfers not provided. *Please note for passengers arriving into Beijing International Airport, a surcharge of £20.00 Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Shanghai. per person will apply. NO FRILLS Two nights room-only 1* hotel. Good location within walking TRIP PRICE distance to all main tourist sights. Clean but basic run by Beijing-Shanghai 1 person 2 people 3-9 people non-English speaking staff. Transfers are not provided. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing -Shanghai. FULL ON £270 £210 £200 Additional night-Beijing £60 £40 £35 TRIP PRICE Additional night-Xi’an £60 £40 £35 Terracotta Trail to Shanghai 1 person 2 people 3-9 people NO FRILLS £215 £175 £165 FULL ON £390 £330 £320 Additional night-Beijing £35 £35 £20 Additional night-Beijing £60 £40 £35 Additional night-Xi’an £35 £25 £23 Additional night-Xi’an £60 £40 £35 Single Room Twin Room NO FRILLS £335 £275 £265 Peace Hotel 5* Shanghai £135 £75 Additional night-Beijing £35 £35 £20 Huadong Hotel 3* Shanghai £65 £45 Additional night-Xi’an £35 £25 £23 VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA Single Room Twin Room Peace Hotel 5* Shanghai £135 £75 Huadong Hotel 3* Shanghai £65 £45 VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA Xi’an: Great Goose Pagoda photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience The Oriental Pearl Tower photo: Aimie Conning/Russia Experience 42 China
  • 43. DAY TRIP OPTIONS FOR CHINA pre-booked for your convenience. All pre-booked day trips are operated by C.I.T.S (China International Travel Services) which is a state owned and operated company. These trips will operate as groups and you should expect to meet other western tourists. FROM BEIJING Great Wall Night market in Beijing photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience BEIJING TO HANOI Includes: Ming Tombs The well-preserved sections of the Great Wall in Beijing are China’s Connecting down to South East Asia most famous tourist site. These sections are mainly the remains 4 nights/5 days 2007/2008 from the Ming Dynasty, an era of tremendous construction. This area of the Wall is to the North of Beijing around 70 kms from the Start dates: Tuesday and Friday city centre. Here you will see a small section to include several BEIJING - HANOI passes and lookout towers. Lunch. This afternoon you will visit the Itinerary the Ming tombs. The general name given to the Mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1664). The Mausoleums DAY 01 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to have been perfectly preserved and the site has a high cultural and your hotel. historic value. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see across. English speaking guide. DAY 03 Check out of Hotel. Free time. Own taxi to station for afternoon departure to Hanoi. Overnight on board. Coach pick up from your hotel at 8am. DAY 04 On board. Expect to return 5pm. DAY 05 Arrive into Hanoi early morning. £45 per person After your stay in Beijing you will take a two night soft class sleeper train down to Hanoi, in Northern Vietnam. The Forbidden City FULL ON Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Transfer on departure is not provided. Also includes: Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Hanoi. A full-day look into the lives of the Emperors. The Forbidden City *Please note for passengers arriving into Beijing International Airport, a surcharge of £20.00 lies at the heart of Beijing - it was the Imperial enclave of the city, per person will apply. entrance was “forbidden” to common citizens. Within this enormous NO FRILLS Two nights room-only 1* hotel. Good location within walking city-within-a-city are museums, temples, and even, ehem, Starbucks. distance to all main tourist sights. Clean but basic run by After lunch (included) the tour continues to the Temple of Heaven, non-English speaking staff. Transfers are not provided. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Hanoi. a Daoist temple where the Emperors prayed for good fortune for their people. Finally we visit the Summer Palace, laid-out in oriental TRIP PRICE gardens around a huge lake. The Gardens represent the high-point Beijing-Hanoi 1 person 2 people 3-9 people of their kind, and are recognised by UNESCO. FULL ON £315 £245 £240 English speaking guide. Additional night £60 £40 £35 Coach pick up from your hotel at 8am. NO FRILLS £245 £220 £215 Expect to return 5pm. Additional night £35 £35 £20 £55 per person VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA & VIETNAM Guilin day trip The Li River is the connecting water way between Guilin and Yangshuo and is one of the main tourist attractions of the area. The River forms a green belt with the mountains on either side. You will cruise the 83 km stretch between the towns on a tourist pleasure boat. Water buffalo patrol the fields, school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis. A very relaxing day. Coach pick up from your hotel at 08.20am. Expect to return 5pm. £70 per person photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience China 43
  • 44. ST PETERSBURG HOTELS culture central Winter Palace photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience If you can’t find these hotels in your guidebook… it’s because Russia Experience are destination specialists with their own staff on site in Russia… and we sign-up the best new hotels as soon as they open, years before the guidebooks find them! They don’t call St Petersburg “the Northern Venice” for nothing – it’s built on a network of canals and re-routed rivers planned by Tsar Peter the Great in person. You don’t need to be an engineer to understand that you can’t put a metro tunnel through a canal! So some parts of the city don’t have nearby metro-stations… even Palace Square and the Hermitage are over 25 minutes walk from the nearest metro! HOTEL VESTA 3* 92 NEVSKY PROSPEKT; METRO PLOSCHAD’ VOSSTANIYA: Our old friends at Vesta have done it again! They’ve moved two blocks down the street, doubled the number of rooms and now they’ve all got air-con and private bathrooms. But still less than 20 rooms, charming family-run service from owner-managers who really care. Oh, and did we mention it has the best location in town? Book now, before the guidebooks find it. All located in a carefully converted C19th apartment-house in a quiet courtyard 50m off Nevsky Prospekt. TRIP PRICE Single Additional Twin Additional Nights Nights 01 Jan 2007-30 Apr 2007 £255 £85 £180 £60 01 May 2007-30 Sep 2007 £285 £95 £210 £70 01 Oct 2007-31 Dec 2007 £255 £85 £180 £60 PRICES ARE PER PERSON, AND INCLUDE BED & BREAKFAST FOR 3 NIGHTS. HOTEL ASTERIA 3* NABEREJNAYA REKI FONTANKA 71; METRO SENNAYA PLOSHAD: A splash of 3* comfort – and right on the Fontanka River! Located directly on the most famous of the “Northern Venice’s” historic waterways, Hotel Avsteria reopened in late Autumn 2006 after a total refit and with a new name. Sixty spacious and comfortable rooms with all conveniences, satellite tv and private facilities (wc/shower) await you. The cosy restaurant serves Russian and European cuisine until midnight daily, and the entire hotel is located in a historic building on the embankment. TRIP PRICE Single Additional Twin Additional Nights Nights 01 Jan 2007-30 Apr 2007 £255 £85 £180 £60 01 May 2007-30 Sep 2007 £285 £95 £210 £70 01 Oct 2007-31 Dec 2007 £255 £85 £180 £60 PRICES ARE PER PERSON, AND INCLUDE BED & BREAKFAST FOR 3 NIGHTS. HOTEL ENGECON 1-2* SOTOTSIALISTICHESKAYA 16; METRO VLADIMIRSKAYA: A super new (opened 2006) hotel with a “young” feel to it, located in the very heart of the “Dostoyevsky” part of the old centre – 6 mins walk from metro Vladimirskaya/ Dostoevskaya. With Universities and Colleges all around it’s a lively and trendy student and theatreland neighbourhood, with metro-chic but affordable bars and restaurants (like “Imbir”) on every corner. One metro stop takes you to Nevsky Prospekt – but frankly you can walk it in 10 minutes since you’re already in the heart of the city-centre anyhow. Hotel Engecon has rooms in two categories: 1* rooms with modern furniture and super modern wc/shower facilities on the corridor; or 2*+ rooms with the same modern furniture, tv & telephone plus en-suite spacious scandi-style bathrooms. Internet facilities on site. Breakfast served until 11am! (no lunch or evening meals served, though). If you want top-value, bright, modern rooms in the centre, then look no further! TRIP PRICE Single Additional Twin Additional Nights Nights 01 Jan 2007-31 Dec 2007 £225 £75 £195 £65 01 Jan 2007-31 Dec 2007 £105 £35 £90 £30 without en-suite PRICES ARE PER PERSON, AND INCLUDE BED & BREAKFAST FOR 3 NIGHTS. SPICING IT UP! Linking the two cites together could not be simpler, with frequent, high quality sleeper trains between the two. Please see page 46, which lists a full range of additional services: which includes train tickets, transfers, and Tsarskoe Selo Palace local city experts. photo:Jan Segal/Russia Experience 44 St Petersburg Hotels
  • 45. MOSCOW HOTELS pleasure central View of the Kremlin and the Moskva River photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Which Moscow do you want? The medieval onion-domed capital of Europe’s most east-lying country? Or modern Europe’s fastest-booming capital? Why choose? Take both! Budget/Medium hotels have been squeezed out of the very centre by the HQs of banks and oil-empires... our on-the-spot staff have pinpointed the best of the new hotels to spring-up on the centre-periphery! KEBUR PALACE (FORMERLY TIFLIS HOTEL) 4* OSTOZHENKA, 32; METRO PARK KULTURY: The “restaurant with rooms” concept comes to Moscow-but when the restaurant is the most exclusive Georgian gourmet eaterie in town, you know their hotel is going to be a little special? A boutique style property with 31 rooms decorated to a very high specification this property also boasts an indoor swimming pool, spa and sauna. Media and theatre celebrities prefer this hotel. On Ostozhenka-downtown Moscow’s most chic address. Your neighbours are the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Our prices are based on standard rooms, we are able to book rooms with Ostozhenka view and Fountain Yard view. Prices are available on request. TRIP PRICE 01 Jan 2007 - 31 Dec 2007 Single Additional Twin Additional Nights Nights £450 £150 £400 £133 PRICES ARE PER PERSON, AND INCLUDE BED & BREAKFAST FOR 3 NIGHTS. OSTANKINO HOTEL 2* BOTANICHESKAYA STREET 29; METRO VLADYKINO: A comfy budget choice, 7 stops on the metro (which is 15 mins walk away) from St Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square and GUM. This hotel has rooms at two categories; refurbished (which are pleasant and smart) or standard (tidy but soviet-style rooms) - take your pick! Moscow’s best-hidden secret - the lovely Botanical Gardens - are a short walk away. TRIP PRICE 01 Jan 2007 - 31 Dec 2007 Single Additional Twin Additional Nights Nights RENOVATED ROOMS £180 £60 £150 £50 UN-RENOVATED ROOMS £150 £50 £100 £33 PRICES ARE PER PERSON, AND INCLUDE BED & BREAKFAST FOR 3 NIGHTS. ZARYA HOTEL 3* GOSTIHICHNAYA 12; METRO PETROVKO-RAZUMOVSKAYA: Hotel Zarya is a 3* hotel, five minutes walk from Petrovko-Razumovskaya metro station - a 15-minute metro journey will take you to the Circus, Pushkin Square (the “real” heartbeat of town - Red Square is only the ceremonial centre), or the Kremlin. Renovated in 2002 and then heavily remodelled in 2006, the hotel offers spacious modern rooms with all modern facilities, internet, atm, bank, restaurant etc. TRIP PRICE 01 Jan 2007 - 31 Dec 2007 Single Additional Twin Additional Nights Nights RENOVATED ROOMS £180 £60 £150 £50 PRICES ARE PER PERSON, AND INCLUDE BED & BREAKFAST FOR 3 NIGHTS. SPICING IT UP! Linking the two cites together could not be simpler, with frequent, high quality sleeper trains between the two. Please see page 46, which lists a full range of additional services: which includes train tickets, transfers, and local experts. Left - St Basil’s Cathedral photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience Moscow Hotels 45
  • 46. SPICING IT UP bringing it all together Train waiting to depart photo Jan Segal/Russia Experience GET MORE OUT OF YOUR TRIP WITH A LOCAL EXPERT Get the inside track on your destinations our local experts who are available to walk around with you, come up with suggestions you may not have thought of, or help you on special projects of your own? We’ve helped people on ideas as diverse as: visiting Tchaikovsky’s Country House in Klin; visiting Jewish heritage sites in Moscow; on the trail of famous locations in the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg and several others. We can walk your feet off in 3 hours, but the really determined can also book a full day of assistance (6 hours) if they want. SLEEPER TRAIN SERVICES BETWEEN MOSCOW AND ST PETERSBURG We strongly recommend the overnight sleeper trains (early morning arrival next day) for your inter-city travel... because (i) it saves you a night’s hotel accommodation whilst on board (ii) they are friendly and atmospheric places which are the transport of choice for most Russians. We don’t especially recommend the day train, but can book it on request. There are several different night-trains between Moscow and St Petersburg, the trains we recommend depart between 2300 and 2400, and arrive the next morning between 0800 and 0830 and are known as “firmenny-klass”. If you would prefer a standard-category train, departures between 22.00 and 23.00 and arrive the next morning 05.00 and 06.00 we can offer this alternative. WHITE NIGHTS FESTIVAL The last week of June sees a large theatre festival in St. Petersburg, which brings colossal numbers of extra visitors and many hotels have surcharges. If you plan visiting then, we suggest booking as soon as possible! In point of fact since this is mostly Russian language theatre, there is not so much to attract foreigners to this festival. SERVICES Local Expert Services (3 hours) Moscow or St Petersburg £50 Local Expert Services (6 hours) Moscow or St Petersburg £90 Transfer on arrival-St Petersburg or Moscow SVO Airport £55 Transfer on arrival-Moscow DME Airport £65 Transfer on departure- St Petersburg or Moscow SVO Airport £45 Transfer on departure-Moscow DME Airport £55 Superior 1st-Cl (Firmenny-klass) 2 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa £135 Superior 2nd-Cl (Firmenny-klass) 4 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa £85 Standard 2nd-Cl/4 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa £60 Standard 1st-Cl/2 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa £100 Buying your on-board train picnic in style - at the historic Eliseevsky Delicatessen photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience 46 Spicing it up
  • 47. CITY EXCURSIONS great ideas to maximise your stay Sunny day in Central Moscow, on Manege Square, peeking into Red Square beyond photo Jan Segal/Russia Experience MOSCOW & ST PETERSBURG Tea with Russian Family* EXCURSIONS • Tea at a Russian Home, to include Russian tea Your short-cut to the inside story with snacks and sweets. This is a tradition few visitors see-you not only try the tea, but hear Moscow and St Petersburg are classic European about tea’s long tradition in Russian society too. cities on everyone’s want-to-see list-and they’re A unique chance to see how Russians live today. really accessible places these days. However, there are still activities where the language-barrier can • Excursion: 2 hours. Tea with family 1 hr 30 lock you out-an excursion not only helps you get mins. travelling time on public transport to the most out of them, but ensures you actually find their home 30 mins. the place, and get there on a day it’s open too! £25 per person. When the information is even Please note that (despite what your guidebook finding your way can be a problem (so we’ll usually may say) the KGB Museum is now permanently arrange to meet you at a nearby metro station or closed for the foreseeable future, with no indication rendezvous point). when it may reopen (if ever). Also many activities (marked *) are only possible if pre-organised and don’t accept casual visitors. ST PETERSBURG • Excursions do not include transportation Museum of Russian Political History and except where specifically indicated. History of Political Police* • Your own English-language local city expert Essential background for anyone wondering, accompanies you on all the excursions “how the USSR ever came to happen? Rather more and activities (including those where the objective than the KGB Museum in Moscow. venue/organisation also provides their own compulsory guide). Closed Thurs. • Excursion 2 hrs. MOSCOW £30 per person. Russian Language Intro Lesson • Tea at a Russian Home, to include Russian tea Four hours (including a break) learning Russian for with snacks and sweets. This is a tradition few complete beginners – or if you already know some, visitors see-you not only try the tea, but hear to hone your skills! Includes some real-life practice about tea’s long tradition in Russian society too. in the street. A unique chance to see how Russians live today. £40 per person. • Excursion 2.5 hours. £25 per person. Visit Stalin’s Secret Bunker A unique chance to visit Stalin’s Secret Bunker, built *admission restricted to pre-arranged visitors only. in 1942 in the heat of WW2, from where he directed Yusupov Palace the Soviet war effort. Private admission only, please book early. Can only be offered for 2+ visitors. “As rich as a Tsar!” they used to say - but the • Excursion: 2.5 hours which includes travelling Yusupov nobility were even richer than the Tsars. time on public transport of 30 mins each direction. This excursion around their former Palace gives you an idea just how rich that was! (Although the best £130 per person. “pieces” were confiscated by the Revolutionaries). Anti-KGB Museum* They even had a private opera theatre in their home! But for most visitors the main attraction is (The Andrey Sakharov Museum) When the USSR’s the room where young Prince Felix Yusupov and leading Nuclear Scientist refused to make The his university friends murdered the Siberian “wise Bomb, he became a public enemy. The museum man”, Rasputin. tells Sakharov’s story, and of those many others • Excursion 2.5 hours which includes travelling who refused to obey. Closed Mons. time on public transport of 30 mins. • Excursion: 2 hours. Museum tour 1 hr 30 £65 per person. mins. travelling time on public transport to Inside the Hermitage museum. 30 mins. photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience £30 per person. City Excursions 47
  • 48. COUNTDOWN TO YOUR TRIP Before you leave TRIP SELECTION Along with your passport and visas, we’ll be (D) Your passport must be valid for travel Our trips are not group trips, so the dates we sending your travel documents too. Train tickets (i.e. not expired, or within six months after the list are not “group departures”- just the dates are only issued “in-destination”, so they’ll be end of all services) If you have two passports when all the travel sectors fall into alignment for awaiting your arrival. We’ll need to know the please consider which one you will travel on snag-free connections through remote areas. confirmed arrival details, flight number, train when applying for your visas and use the same DOING THE “RED” TAPE number and station, or bus details, no later than one throughout. We know the booking form is dull stuff, but in a week prior so we can meet you. VISA INFO FOR MONGOLIA & CHINA: destinations where they love red tape, it’s VISA INFO FOR RUSSIA Mongolian visas largely follow the same pattern important that your travel documents match your Handy to know: as the Russian. We’ll help you with the personal details to the letter. Once you’ve sent administration to ensure you get your visa in this to us, we’ll send you the Visa Application (A) Russian visas are dated around the dates of good time. Chinese visas are quite simple but forms you’ll need for your trip. Most visas can your travel plans, the visa permits you to be in there are numerous old Travellers’ Tales about only be obtained in the ninety days prior to your the country to complete your itinerary, but not them! They are good for 30 days travel in China. arrival-we’ll let you know when. Do not apply for for unscheduled extra activities. They give you You have 90 days to enter China from the day visas until you have booked your trip with us a day’s grace either side, but only for of issue, when the clock starts ticking. without the supporting documents we provide emergencies. Because the Chinese Visa is so much simpler for you, your application will usually be rejected, (B) Arriving /leaving by surface? Russia’s so big than the other two, we leave this one to you. Or resulting in wasted time and costs to you. its Western borders are more than a day’s ride if you want us to do it anyway, we’ll charge you We do all the visa submission stuff saving you from the main cities… so we’ll need to fix your a processing fee of £30.00. the hassle of queuing for days at different entry dates accordingly. Please let us know if Consulates. Because the Consulates only this applies to you! accept applications within 90 days prior to the (C) When we submit your visa, we need to show start of your trip, we will lodge your passport what travel services have been booked any in this time. Returning them to you 3-4 weeks dates you list that aren’t evidenced with travel from this point. (Depending on the number of docs to match will be knocked back. It’ll also visas you require.) delay your application whilst they do it. VISA FEES CHARGED Nationality Russia Mongolia China GREAT BRITAIN £45 £40 £30+Processing £30 AUSTRALIA/OTHER £63 £40 £20+Processing £30 NEW ZEALAND £45 £40 £20+Processing £30 * The Russian Consulate surcharges certain countries for visas principally for countries that have raised their visa fees for Russians visiting in exchange. This list is constantly changing please contact us for latest costs. 48 Countdown to your trip
  • 49. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS HOW SAFE IS IT TO BOOK WITH YOU? nights in Moscow prior to your Trans- Siberian all. An alternative is a “buyout” of a We are a fully bonded tour operator, registered in journey and two in St Petersburg is the standard four-berth compartment-which could be the UK, where EU law requires us to protect your if you buy a St Petersburg add on-but “there is for one, two, or three travelling companions, travel funds. We are full members of the Travel stacks to see, and I wish I had stayed longer!” is prices on request. Trust Association (TTA) www.traveltrust.co.uk - always the feedback we get! ARE THERE SHOWERS ON BOARD? your travel funds are held frozen in a Trust HOW MUCH SPENDING MONEY WILL I NEED? Most of the main long distance (24 hrs+) on Account until your trip is complete, and only then This depends on what lifestyle you plan pursuing Russian Railways (but not on Mongolian or released to us by the TTA’s approved Trustee. on your trip! The information pack we provide will Chinese) now have a pay-to-use shower. You The Russia Experience Ltd is a member of AITO give you an idea of current costs. Eating and have to go to the “Special Services” wagon. (www.aito.co.uk)-the Association of Independent drinking are very similar to most European cities, One use is R50-90pp (prices are set by the varying Tour Operators, a government-regulated although Ulaanbaatar and Beijing have upscale train operators). No towel or soap is included in professional body of more than 150 tour versions if you have cash to flash! When the price, we hope you have your own! operators. Between them AITO members take itineraries take you far from the shops or cafes over 1,400,000 satisfied people on holidays WILL I MEET OTHER TRAVELLERS? we often include meals. Russian souvenirs tend throughout the world every year. We are mandated Very likely-especially in the Summer months. to be fun and low priced so you will be able to to uphold the high professional standards and There is only one train a week for instance stash your pack full of Russian goodies! stringent financial safeguards which is implicit in between Mongolia and Beijing (incredible, membership of the TTA and AITO. FAMILY STAYS: but true) so a bit of bunching is inevitable for What should I expect? Some of our trips feature the last section. AREN’T VISAS A NIGHTMARE THAT options staying with local families. Although TAKES WEEKS? DOWNSIDES: sometimes this is for practical reasons (e.g. no Needn’t be! We do the whole thing for you. There are no serious downsides or dangers in other kind of accommodation is available-nomad Russian visas need proof of booking from a visiting our destinations, and there is no need stays in the Gobi for example) it also broadens the Russian registered outfit-we do all of this behind for woman travellers to worry in fact the men get trip experience, two way interaction with the places the scenes. Get your booking form into us at the worry as Russia has an old take on a new and the people that live there. We’re not promising least six weeks prior to departure, and you’ll annoyance sexual harassment by aggressive luxury we’re promising a slice of life! People who avoid express visa costs. If you do book less ladies of the night. A firm nyet should get rid of live in harsh climates and terrains are naturally than six weeks prior to departure you still will them! Dressing-down is recommended for both gregarious, and you will learn and experience be able to go, if the trip is available but you will sexes anyhow the lure of conspicuous wealth is more with them than you could ever absorb in a need to pay express fees, please check with us the biggest draw for unwelcome attention. Also month staying in a sterile Western style Hotel. how much these will be as they are dependent remember that it is law to have your documents on what passport you hold and how much time SPECIAL DIETS: on you at all times in Russia-spot-checks are we have. We’ll also need the original of your Meat features strongly in the national cuisine of routine. The cops know this and if you don’t passport to get your visas and this must be the most of our destinations. As a team the Russia have them on you, will march you down to the same as the passport number you gave us Experience employs several vegetarians and we Station to waste half a day of your trip and cost when you completed the original booking form. have never starved! But for when you are off the you a lot of roubles. train you must advise us prior to departure if you DO I NEED INSURANCE? DO I NEED have any special dietary requirements. If you WANT TO CUSTOMISE YOUR TRIP? VACCINATIONS? have anything more complicated than a lacto- All the trips brochured have a pre We do require you to have Travel insurance to vegetarian diet consider that in some of the arranged schedule however if you take any of our trips. For rates please contact remote places you are to travel this could be a would like to customise your journey our reservations department. Which policy you considerable problem-and stock up accordingly. with longer stays, or special requests purchase is your own choice. The Russian for instance, please check with us and Consulate also requires you to have Travel TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN; we will see whats possible. Note that no Insurance to obtain a visa. No vaccinations are There are no serious downsides, and the alterations will be possible once your mandatory but you would be well advised to get infrastructure of travel and accommodation trip has commenced. informed advice on this (not every GP may be as works well if you’re taking children along. well informed on the latest health developments in However, Communist-era thinking very much Email info@trans-siberian.co.uk these locations). Particular concerns are Cholera, treated children as small adults, with little or Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Tetanus and Diphtheria. Tick- no provisions or amenities. So priming your borne encephalitis is a small risk on some Siberian children is essential if they are not going to get trekking routes there is a vaccine available. But the bored. Take supplies of books and fresh comics We strongly advise all our clients to check the risk is VERY small and our leaders observe safety secreted in your suitcase English reading latest Travel Advice from their own national procedures. We also suggest you take a First Aid material in unavailable for both children and Foreign Ministry. This information is constantly kit, to include a Sterile Surgical kit. adults alike. The journey is however the most updated and so printing it here would deny you fantastic introduction to a world they will have WHY IS IT EXPENSIVE TO MAKE EN- access to the latest information. We will willingly never known and they will meet many local ROUTE STOPS? provide you with a print-out of this information if children along the way, who will be very curious A Trans-sib secret that no guidebooks seemed you do not have access to the internet to check about their lives so take photos of home! to have grasped goes like this… non-stop it in person. Child prices are on application. international tickets are still priced accordingly to old bilateral agreements dating back to the HOW MUCH PRIVACY DO YOU GET ON Soviet era which cannot be broken, even now! BOARD THE TRAIN? But if you introduce stops into the your trip these All our standard trips are based on 2nd sectors are priced commercially by Russian Class Rail in Russia which is 4-berth Railways…so you only get the benefit of state compartments. You’ll be sharing with any subsidised fares for part of your journey. travelling companions who book with you, of course plus other CAN I STAY EXTRA NIGHTS? train passengers. It’s possible to buy In Moscow and St Petersburg, yes! But the train yourself more privacy than that with an schedules on some of the less than frequent upgrade to 1st Class (2-berth routes make altering the stays almost compartments) BUT this is in very short impossible. Adding or removing odd days will supply and some trains don’t have it at almost never work. We always include two Frequently Asked Questions 49
  • 50. RUSSIA EXPERIENCE BOOKING FORM 2007/8 Fax (020) 8566 8843 Passenger Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms *First name *Surname *Date of birth *Nationality *Passport number Special dietary Requirements 1 2 3 4 *This information must conform with the details on your passport. IN ALL CASES, WE ISSUE ONE SET OF DOCUMENTS TO THE LEAD PASSENGER. (PASSENGER 1) Home address: Work Tel: Home Tel: Post code Mobile Tel: e-mail address: ST. PETERSBURG 1st choice Hotel 2nd choice Hotel Start date No of additional nights 1st class upgrade City Excursion Arrival flight/train no Arrival time Arriving from YES/NO TRANS-SIBERIAN Trip Name Start date No of additional 2 berth Arrival flight/ Arrival time Arrival airport Moscow Arriving from nights Moscow upgrade train number *Please delete as appropriate Domodedovo/ YES/NO Sheremetyevo Your day trip choice for Ekaterinburg (one only) Pre booked city excursion name: Hotel upgrade Irkutsk City In Siberia, Siberian Village/Fishermans Cape/Adventure Trek - please choose YES/NO Hotel upgrade Ulan-Uday If Siberian Village; Softies Trek/Siberian Scuba/Snowmobile/Do your own thing *delete as appropriate YES/NO CHINA Start date Number of additional nights in Beijing Number of additional nights in Xi’an Day trip option Airport transfer RUSSIAN CITIES Hotel Name Start date Number of Rail tickets Route City Excursion Arrival flight Arrival time Arriving from additional nights number *Please delete as appropriate Hotel Name 2-berth/4-berth Domodedovo/Sheremetyevo Arrival/departure transfers required Local expert Services VISAS INSURANCE RUSSIA MONGOLIA CHINA Do you wish to take out travel insurance with your agent? Y/N Free Visa handling service Please organise my Mongolian Please organise my Chinese (15 working days to Process) Y/N Visa (5 working days to process) Y/N Visa (5 working days to process) Y/N If not you MUST provide details of alternative cover: I will organise my own Russian I will organise my own Mongolian I will organise my own Chinese Company Visa with my local consulate Y/N Visa with my local consulate Y/N Visa with my local Consulate Y/N Policy number PAYMENT I authorise the Russia Experience Ltd to charge my Visa/MasterCard/Switch/Maestro: SECURITY CODE £250.00 per person deposit. I understand the balance is payable 60 days prior to departure. If departure date is due within 60 days. The full trip price, including visa fees. Card holder signature CARD NUMBER Please automatically take full payment from my card 60 days prior to departure Payment by cheque: Please make cheques payable to The Russia Experience Ltd Trust Account. EXPIRY DATE ISSUE NUMBER Sales Referral from J Pannell - www.trans-siberia.com Where did you hear of The Russia Experience? DECLARATION I have read the Russia Experience brochure and would now like to book my trip, by signing the booking form or paying the availability of entry visas, registration of aliens, local taxes etc-are subject to revision without prior notice. I understand I must deposit, I declare I have read the booking conditions and accept them on behalf of all members of my party listed above. I submit by passport for the purposes of obtaining visas for an uninterrupted period of 25 days. (Or pay an express fee for have also read and understood the following: That local conditions in my destination may differ from those in my country of quicker processing) resident in terms of infrastructure, attitude to foreign visitors, stability of local economy and restrictions on foreign exchange. I understand my visit is governed by regulations imposed by the elected Government, and that these regulations-concerning Signed Date Booking Form 51
  • 51. BOOKING CONDITIONS 1. Your contract is with The Russia Experience Ltd. The Russia 15. We believe the descriptions of the services and facilities in this Experience Ltd are a fully bonded tour operator, registered in the UK, brochure are fair and accurate. In the event of faults or omissions by where EU law requires us to protect your travel funds. We are full ourselves or those acting for us, appropriate compensation may be members of the Travel Trust Association (TTA)www.traveltrust.co.uk- payable. Such cases will not include cases caused by war or threat your travel funds are held frozen in a Trust Account until your trip is of war; changes in transport timetables; denial of border entry for complete, and only then released to us by the TTA’s approved Trustee. any undocumented reasons; riots; civil unrest; disasters of natural The Russia Experience Ltd is a member of AITO (www.aito.co.uk)-the or nuclear origin; terrorist activities; declarations of autonomy or Association of Independent Tour Operators, a government-regulated independence by areas not recognised as such by the United Nations, professional body of more than 150 tour operators. We are mandated or decisions relating to foreign nationals made by the elected or de to uphold the high professional standards and stringent financial facto leaders of such areas; and such other circumstances beyond safeguards which is implicit in membership of the TTA and AITO. our reasonable control. 16. In the event of illness, accident or cases described in Condition 15 2. All bookings are accepted on a request basis only. Acceptance of a above, we shall provide all reasonable help to passengers. Our Booking Form does not imply availability of a trip. assistance shall not replace the assistance to be expected from travel 3. No booking will be accepted without a completed Booking Form and insurance up to the limits of cover of the policy recommended by us, either a Deposit or, according to the payment schedule applicable, full nor shall it replace the assistance of the Consul responsible for you payment. Deposits are non refundable in all cases. whilst abroad. 4. The Trip Balance is due 60 days before commencement of your trip. 17. Claims for compensation will be accepted in writing only, within 30 Late payment may cause cancellation of all or part of your trip, with no days of final included service. We are unable to consider any claim refund payable. where the assistance or advice of our local representatives has been 5. No travel documents will be issued until full payment has been made. unsought, rejected or ignored. 6. We accept payment by cash, travellers’ cheque’s and bankers’ drafts 18. Passengers who fail to join the trip by the means or at the time and and credit cards. We accept personal cheques subject to clearance, date they previously advised us within at least 14 days’ notice shall for which 10 days must be allowed. forfeit all subsequent services up to such time as they can be 7. The responsibility for obtaining and carrying correct visas, passports reasonably be rejoined. Any re scheduling so caused shall be at the and other travel documents remains with the passenger. passenger’s own expense. Departure without notification from the 8. If we have to cancel your trip for unexpected reasons, you will be itinerary may result in forfeiture of subsequent services. “No-show” offered a full refund of all funds paid over to us, or the offer of a trip of passengers shall forfeit all subsequent services if they fail to notify us substantially equal or better quality if appropriate. of intention to rejoin their itinerary within 72 hours of their original 9. If you wish to cancel your trip, we require written notice and will make arrival date. Expenses arising from unscheduled departure from the funds to you in accordance with the table below, calculated from the itinerary cannot be recovered date which we receive written notice. from us. 19. Tariffs shown in our leaflets were accurate based on prices and IF YOU CANCEL YOUR HOLIDAY: exchange at the time of printing. Should the prices of the services rise, NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE WHEN WE RECEIVE YOUR or be adversely affected by exchange rate movements, we reserve the CANCELLATION. SHOWN AS A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR TOTAL HOLIDAY right to make a surcharge. If you have already commenced your PRICE. booking by paying a deposit or full payment and completing a Booking Over 60 days before commencement Deposit only Form, and the price increase should amount to a differential of more 59-40 days before commencement 50% than 15% compared with that in the invoice issued to you (inclusive of visa handling, visa fees, travel insurance and airport taxes) you will be 39-14 days before commencement 90% entitled to withdraw your booking and receive a full refund of all money 14 days or no show 100% paid over to us, with the exception of visa fees, which shall be forfeit in * The trip price does not include visas, visa processing fees, travel insurance or guidebooks, any event. which shall be 100% forfeit in all cases. 20. With the exception of diving none of our activities require special 10. We are required by EU regulations to ensure you have travel insurance training or above-average levels of fitness or mobility. If you are in any which covers repatriation if required. If you do not purchase insurance, doubt about whether you should undertake them, you should consult you must confirm to our satisfaction that you have made alternative your medical adviser. We are unable to refund any money in respect of arrangements. services from which you withdraw after arrival. With reasonable notice, 11. We have made it clear in all sales materials that it is common and alternative versions of most of our activities can be organised for those accepted practice for transport methods employed on our trips to run of you who have special needs, and a section on our booking form with delays, or to run below operational standards that would be invites information to enable us to plan for your needs in this case. regarded as normal in Western Europe. We cannot accept any claim 21. At all times passengers are bound by local law and jurisdiction in their for indirect or consequential loss arising from the failure of transport chosen destinations. Passengers, who depart from the selected suppliers to conform either to timetables supplied by us or to their own itinerary, either geographically or chronologically, are advised that they timetables. We cannot accept any claim for shock, loss, distress, may be breaking local immigration regulations, which at best will result whether mental or financial, arising from deviations from operational in delay and inconvenience, and at worst may result in arrest and standards by transport suppliers whose services form part of our imprisonment, in neither of which cases are we able to assist in any itineraries (whether original or amended). material way. Passengers are advised that local duties and levies are 12. We cannot be responsible for the safety of passengers or their frequently introduced, amended or increased without warning, and belongings and for this reason we recommend strongly that you take whilst we do our best to inform passengers of what local costs are out adequate travel insurance. likely to incur, we cannot guarantee that further costs may be imposed 13. If circumstances or weather conditions force us to amend your itinerary or increased subsequent to our recent information. Such costs remain or the services with it, we shall notify you in writing as soon as the passenger’s responsibility. possible. 22. We do not organise air travel to or from our destinations. Passengers If the change arises during your trip, our representatives will make are advised to ensure that agencies with whom they organise such every effort to contact you personally. We reserve the right to substitute services are properly bonded and certified to conduct such business. alternative transport or accommodation in the interests of the safety On request we can provide details with a recommended agent for of our passengers and/or the successful completion of the itinerary. many localities. 14. If you require us to change your booked itinerary, we will do everything 23. The Russia Experience will not accept responsibility for any additional possible to facilitate this, subject to your agreement to meet the costs or alternative travel arrangements (including the use of local guides which may be incurred. An estimate of these costs, in writing, will be and the purchase of services and excursions) that are made provided before proceeding. independently by its clients and that are separate, or in addition, to the booked and ticketed itinerary. 50 Booking Conditions
  • 52. T Russia Experience Research House, Fraser Road, Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 7AQ, England Tel: (020) 8566 8846 Fax: (020) 8566 8843 Email: info@trans-siberian.co.uk www.trans-siberian.co.uk www.dh-design.co.uk Design and Artwork: DH design Russia Experience

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