Route details for Beijing, China to Moscow, Russia
Route entered by
6d 2h 10m
We broke up our journey with stops in Ulaan Baatar and Irkutsk, so the most time we spent on the train in one go was 72hrs. Too long for me as I started to get cabin fever but my wife was right at home with her card games and books.
We booked our train tickets at each of the stations we departed from just a day or two before departure. We must have saved ourselves thousands of pounds by not booking through an agent! Due to the language barrier at the stations we did pay (a small fee) for some help from local fixers, all of who we found via the hotels we were staying at.
We met some really nice local people on the train as they came and went from our cabin. It’s amazing how much you can communicate with them with just body language, drawing pictures and showing each other photos of family and home. We were in a second class cabin with 4 bunks, I'd definitely recommend this as it allows you to meet the locals and other tourists but there is plenty of space with a table and comfortable chairs during the day (which turn into bunks for the night).
Stops at stations usually last 15 minutes giving you enough time to get some local food and drink (the much important vodka). The food is very different to Western cultures (a lot of dried fish) so I'd recommend taking your own previsions on the train, although there was a food cart for most of the route which served ok food. There is boiling water in each carriage which is great for pasta and hot drinks.
As for scenery the best of it was from Beijing to Irkutsk with mountains, the Gobi Desert, Mongolian Steps and Lake Baikal making up the best of it. From Irkutsk to Moscow there are a lot of birch trees and not much else!
For more details on our different legs Beijing - Ulaan Baatar - Irkutsk – Moscow; search for these specific routes in the FlightlessTravel.com database.