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ITMCS - Trans Siberian Railway with Mongolia and China - Independent

Join us on Sundowners Overland's original and most comprehensive tour. Ride the rails of the Trans Mongolian railway from St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, to Hong Kong on the South China Sea. On the way visit grand imperial cities that shaped history as well as vast expanses of nature that have untouched by modernity.

Inclusions

Group size
Meals
Transfers
Accommodation
Sightseeing
Expertise
Tour Provider Sundowners Overland
Number of Days
30
Price From
AUD $11,980
Start Location
St Petersburg, Russia
End Location
Hong Kong, Russia
Age Range
Avg. 40+
Group Size
1 to 20
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Adventure, Self Guided
Physical Rating
Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
01 Jan 201801 Jan 2019Please see web site for departure detailsAUD $11,980
ItineraryExpand
Days 1-3: St. Petersburg
Begin your epic journey in St. Petersburg with its reminders of the halcyon days of the tsars. 'The united magnificence of all the cities of Europe are but its equal.' so said Voltaire. St. Petersburg is indeed a unique treasure house of 18th century architecture and the city that best displays the Russian genius for museums. Visit The Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the unequalled collections of the Hermitage. Beyond the city, you can marvel at the fabulous summer palaces of the Tsars at Catherine Place and Petrodvorets (Peterhof).
Days 4-5: St. Petersburg and onto Moscow
Your final morning in St. Petersburg is spent exploring at your leisure. Later in the day, you board your first train bound for Moscow arriving into the capital in the evening. During your stay in Moscow you will have ample time to explore the wonderfully diverse monuments and spectacles on offer, above and below the ground; from the echoing vastness of Red Square, to the twirled cupolas of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin itself the fabled palace - fort of gilded domes, where you can go beyond the dominating brick walls to inspect the Armoury Chamber and marvel the exquisite collection of royal treasures held within its walls, which includes a collection of over fifty Faberge eggs.
Day 6: Moscow and to Yekaterinburg
Beneath the city lies the palatial metro rail system draped in chandeliers, mosaics and baroque bas-reliefs. Explore the exciting streets of Tverskaya Ulitsa (street) or Arbat Street, famous for its cafes and souvenirs and revisit some of the cities iconic sites before you embark on your journey towards Asia aboard your overnight train. Sharing the journey with Russian travellers is half the fun! You'll appreciate this remarkable century-old feat of engineering as the train clatters over countless steel bridges straddling vast rivers, and crosses the Ural Mountains that divide Europe and Asia, and onto Yekaterinburg.
Days 7-9: Yekaterinburg - Welcome to Asia!
Yekaterinburg, a city founded by Peter the Great in 1723, is situated just 40 kilometers inside of Asia. Infamous as the site of the brutal murders of the Romanovs. Here you will embark on a city tour where we will take in the history and intrigue surrounding the murder of the Romanov family, a significant event that changed Russia forever and ushered in the Communist era in 1918. This city has a much brighter side to its tragic history. Today Yekaterinburg is rich in architectural monuments, museums and theatres and on our final day you are free to explore all that is on offer before we board our train that will carry us into Siberia.
Day 10 : Aboard the Trans Siberian Railway and Trans Siberian Railway
Watch the endless silvers and greens of Siberia's Taiga forest flicker past your window as you traverse the Great Eurasian Plateau, crossing the mighty Ob River at Novosibirsk and continuing towards the very heartland of Siberia, Irkutsk.
Days 11-12. Arrive Irkutsk and to Lake Baikal
Evening arrival into Irkutsk and transfer to the lakeside village of Listvyanka on the shores of Lake Baikal. You will marvel at the vastness of this inland 'sea'. Over 600 kilometres in length and up to 80 kilometres in width, Baikal contains one-fifth of the earth's fresh water and is home to many unique species. Here you have the opportunity to visit the Limnological Museum where you can gain an insight into the traditional lives of Siberian people and the lakes inhabitants, enjoy a picnic by the lake, walk along the shore and for the adventurous a swim!
Day 13. Return to Irkutsk
Old buildings and timeworn mansions that were once the home of the revolutionary Decembrists, lend a beauty to this remote but flourishing city of Irkutsk, sometimes called "The Paris of Siberia". Founded over 350 years ago it prospered as a market town on the 'Tea Route' between China and Europe. The city today is proud of its place in Russian history, and is always a highlight of any Trans Mongolian rail journey. Visit the central market, cathedrals and many of the old buildings embellished with intricate wooden lacework, and learn the history of the Decembrists and their exile to Irkutsk in the 1860's.
Day 14: Aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway
Leaving Siberia settle into life on board, enjoying the company of fellow passengers as you make your way south towards Ulaanbaatar.
Days 25-26: Xian
The city still captures the romance of its rich imperial past and the glories of the Silk Road. Beyond the city the highlight of our stay is the entombed Terracotta Warriors over 6,000 life-sized figures. Spend a day exploring the old city walls, the Bell and Drum towers and the Little Goose Pagoda before continuing your journey further south.
Day 24: Beijing to Xian
After a day of exploring Beijing, in the evening of day 24 you return to the railway station to begin your overnight journey to the remarkable Silk Road city of Xian.
Days 21-23: Beijing
Arrive into China's capital around midday, a thriving city which is the country's political, economic and cultural centre. Visit Beijing's many wonderful sights the magnificent Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Mao's Mausoleum. Set in beautiful parklands discover the fascinating history and significance of the serene Temple of Heaven and wander Beijing's traditional Hutong neighbourhoods that date back to the Yuan Dynasty. Be sure to make time to visit one of China's most popular destinations, the Great Wall of China. Built to defend the civilised world from the fierce and capable Mongol horsemen, the Wall stretches 10,000 Li across China's mountainous northern frontier.
Day 20: Across the Gobi to Beijing
Feeling refreshed we reboard the train and travel over the steppe-lands of Mongolia, south across the fringes of the Gobi Desert towards the Chinese frontier, at the border town of Erlian change train bogies and glide on into China!
Day 15: Welcome to Mongolia!
You awake to the stunning visual of the south Gobi, the horse and ger dotted steppe seems to stretch forever, the occasional nomad encampment appears mirage-like through the carriage window. Early this morning you will arrive into Ulaanbaatar, the modern capital of Mongolia allowing ample time to explore the city and take in the sights. Perhaps take in the wonderful panoramic views from the Zaisan Memorial, see the treasures in the Winter Palace of Bogd Khan or visit the National History Museum. Make some time to see a cultural performance where you will hear the unique Mongolian throat singing quite a spectacle to experience!
Days 17-18: To Terelj National Park
Today you continue your journey to the countryside retreat of Terelj National Park for a two night stay in a ger the traditional home of the Mongolian people set amid stunning mountainous scenery. Here you can explore nearby valleys taking in a local monastery and Turtle Rock or just relax and enjoy the area. Wake to a morning on the Mongolian steppe where the lives of the Mongolian people have changed little in 500 years. Among nomadic families and their grazing livestock, you have the opportunity to try horse riding within the rolling hills of the National Park.
Day 16: To Khustai National Park
The Mongolia of Genghis Khan lies beyond the city, the land of the nomad. We travel out across the endless green steppe to Khustai National Park home to the last breed of wild horses, the Przewalski horse or Takhi in Mongolian.
Days 27-28: To Guangzhou
It is time to continue your journey as you make your way through the ever-changing landscapes of southern China to the bright lights and big city of Guangzhou. Founded in 214BC China's third largest city boasts a long, colourful history spanning legends and Silk Road trade. A mesmerising concoction of glitz and flashing lights, between pockets of an old city that retains its character from yesteryear. Today, Guangzhou is renowned as one of China's top food destinations.
Day 19: Return to Ulaanbaatar
This morning we return to the world's most remote capital Ulaanbaatar where we will enjoy our final day in Mongolia soaking up this fascinating culture and dynamic city.
Day 29-30: Depart to Hong Kong
This morning we board our final train with over 12,000 kilometres behind us along one of the world's greatest rail journeys, we travel to Hong Kong where our epic Trans Siberian Railway journey concludes.