My friend Chai Chin has been talking about this adventure 2 years ago and only recently that we decided to make it a reality. We opted for the Trans-Siberian/Trans-Mongolian routes starting from Moscow and ends in Beijing.
Trans Siberian Railway Facts
Trans-Siberian railway or Transsib is the longest railway in the world (about 8000 km) and takes about 6 days to cross from Moscow to Vladivostok. A branch of this railway that goes from Chita to Beijing through Ulan-Bataar (in Mongolia) is called Trans-Mongolian and the other branch that goes around Mongolia straight to China is called Trans Manchurian railway. The whole journey from Moscow to Beijing also takes about 6 days.
The railway line, spanning eight time zones and travelling across two continents continues to beguile as a vital artery linking together the largest nation on earth.
But beyond the classic sites of Lake Baikal, the Kremlin and Vladivostok, there’s a wealth of lesser-known corners and detours on this epic journey.
The best way to travel along Transsib is to take trains between the major cities staying a few days in each, so you don’t have have to spend several days in the same train compartment. The more interesting places to stop along the way are Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk (2 days by train from Moscow – from there you can go to Altay mountains for trekking and rafting), Krasnoyarsk (3 days from Moscow – the climbing mecca and a great city), Irkutsk (4 days from Moscow – Baikal lake), Ulan-Ude (4.5 days – the first “Asian” city in Russia along the way), Vladivostok (6 days). Of course, Ulan-Bataar (5 days from Moscow) in Mongolia and Beijing in China also if you’re traveling in that direction.
The logistics are hard to organise on your own. It takes a lot of planning for this trip as sometimes it’s quite tricky buying the train tickets online but Chai Chin did a good job with it on his own. “Syabas”
In order to get a Russian visa, the first thing we need is an invitation (also known as visa support letter) which can be obtain online with a minimal fee. Only after getting the invitation we can start applying directly for the Russian visa online and when completed we need to bring all the documents to the Russian Embassy with our passports and also making a payment of RM200.00 via a local bank near the embassy. It takes about 20 days for them to process the visa. And as for the China visa it’s very straight forward. Go directly to their processing centre in KL personally with all relevant documents and it takes 4 days. The cost is RM88.30
August 7 to September 5, 2016
Our journey was a combination of Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian Railway routes. The most popular by far.
Our first destination St. Basil Cathedral in Moscow.
for the complete journey experiences from day 1 in Moscow till day 30 in Beijing with more pictures and description click on the racket below to explore…