Days 1-2: Beijing
Arrive in Beijing and meet your fellow adventurers. Step back into Imperial times with a visit to the Forbidden City, then soak up modern life in Tiananmen Square and explore the many colourful markets especially those steaming and sizzling with local culinary delights. Jump on a rickshaw for a tour of the Hutong neighbourhoods; these ancient alleyways have been here since Mongol conqueror Kublai Khan established his capital here. And of course, no trip to China would be complete without a stroll along the great wall. Head out to the Huanghaucheng section; a lesser visited part that's rich in vegetation with lush mountains sinking into the emerald waters of Haoming Lake.
Day 3: Beijing to Ulaanbaatar
Climb aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway, listen for the whistle that marks that start of your Genghis Khan journey! Settle into the rhythm of life aboard the train, and people watch as you decipher your phrasebook. It's time to practise a few words on fellow passengers. You'll meet ballerinas, babushkas, monks and more as they come and go at stops along the way. Ask how long the train is staying and hop off to try local food sold along the platforms. Look out the window as the Gobi Desert becomes the grasslands of the nomads, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and the gers of roving herders.
Day 4: Ulaanbaatar
Check out Mongolia's quirky capital, a surprising city embracing modernity while holding on to ancient traditions. The National History Museum will walk you through the history of the region, from ancient times to the present a great starting point to get into the national psyche. Discover a skyline with Soviet blocks, Buddhist temples and tent suburbs. Get into the spirit of things with a feast of local cuisine and a tasty brew, like Crazy Shaman IPA at Hop & Rocks Brewery Mongolia's first ever producer of craft beer. No matter what you're into, night owls will find plenty to keep them up; from live music venues, beer gardens and chill bars to pulsing clubs and luxury lounges.
Days 5-6: Terelj National Park
Leaving the city behind us, we travel onto the infinite grasslands of the nomads. Settle into your ger, a felt, tarp and wood dwelling traditional to the roving herders that call the Mongolian wilderness home. Trek in the nature reserve and relax under an explosion of stars in the night sky. Imagine yourself as a Khan with a horse ride across the open steppe, or perhaps learn how to be a precise archer under the watchful eyes of a pro. Your Honcho can help organise authentic activities to help you connect to your new surrounds.
Day 7: Ulaanbaatar
We head back to the city lights for a final day of enjoying Mongolian culture before switching it up again. We'll stop off at an enormous Genghis Khan Statue, an impressive work of art and museum housing archaeological discoveries. Back in town, head to the Zaisan Memorial for a great view over the sprawling city. See the robed monks at Gandantegchinlen Monastery a name which translates to 'the great place of complete joy'. And get a taste for the life of a Khan with a visit to the Winter Palace of Bogd Khan one of the only historical attractions in Mongolia that the Soviets or Mongol communists didn't destroy.
Day 8: To Irkutsk
Reboard the train for a moment's relaxation before rolling on to the Russian frontier. Take time to collect your thoughts on what you've discovered so far. Use your time to plan the activities you wish to experience at Lake Baikal, and practise a few words of Russian on local travellers. You'll soon see the landscape transform from green grasslands to the endless Siberian Taiga shimmering in a silvery light.
Day 9: Lake Baikal
Welcome to Russia! Upon arrival to Irkutsk, we transfer to the shores of Lake Baikal. Settle into your lakeside home and take a stroll around the water's edge as you drink in the scenery. The lake is freezing all year but by all means, swim if you're feeling brave. Warm up in a traditional Russian Banya (a sauna with an optional birch branch bashing), and sample the local delicacy, Omul. It's a white fish endemic to the lake, and you can eat it raw, smoked or roasted on a BBQ.
Days 10-13: Trans Siberian Railway
We'll head back to Irkutsk to board the train. This time, you're gliding on the famous Trans Siberian line. As you travel across Siberia, you'll begin to understand just how important the railroad was and is to many Russian people and commerce. Many of these places were unreachable until Tsar Alexander III conceived the project. Sit back, relax and enjoy watching the landscapes change outside our window. Do your own thing, chill with your group or make some Russian friends. A few words and inventive sign language will have you all laughing in no time.
Days 14-15: Moscow
A standing ovation for you! You've just completed a 7,865km journey and tasted life in three countries. That's something to celebrate. First, you're going to want to visit Red Square and take in the iconic St. Basils Cathedral and the Kremlin. Wander the streets and discover a cosy caf culture and art galleries. Hop on the beautiful metro (yes, apparently public transport can be a work of art) to the many sights within this vibrant city of 10 million.
Take in the patchwork of Soviet, Imperial and modern architecture. You can even visit an embalmed Lenin; the reviled and revered Soviet leader's body is frozen in time, preserved since 1924. No trip to Moscow would be complete without experiencing the nightlife. Start your evening with Russian fare, followed by Vodka and pickles. Then hit the scene of your choosing; live jazz, underground dance or enjoy a few beers in a casual ping pong bar.
Extend your experience: Stay on the tracks to St. Petersburg, explore the European hub of Russia before delving further into Eastern Europe.