TRANS SIBERIAN

2007/2008

Russia Experience

TRANS SIBERIAN
2007/2008

Contents
your complete guide
Dare to Journey Epic Trans-Sib Mammoth Trans-Sib Ultimate Trans-Sib Outer & Inner Mongolia Dr. Zhivago Gobi & Gulag Big Trans-Sib On Board the Train Three Capitals Stops on Route Destination Info Stops on Route Original Trans-Siberian Trans-Manchurian Classic Super Trans-Sib Snow Train Westbound Departures Starting Your Trans-Sib Trip in St Petes China St Petersburg Hotels Moscow Hotels Spicing It Up City Excursions Countdown To Your Trip Frequently Asked Questions Booking Conditions Booking Form 4/5 6/7 8/9 10/11 12/13 14/15 16/17 18/19 20/21 22/23 24 25/28 29 30 31 32/33 34/35 36/37 38/39 40/43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

Above Centre: Xi’an, Great Goose Pagoda (photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience) 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

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

The world’s largest country, starting in Europe and reaching to the Pacific, and stretching from the Arctic icebergs to the deserts of Central Asia. Come for the legendary sights of the Kremlin or the Hermitage - stay for the unexpected experiences of nomadic peoples, siberian saunas, wild nightclubs and yummy restaurants. Forget the cold-war cliches and meet the country that’s out-pumping Saudi Arabia on the oil markets, and whose favourite soccer team is “Chelski”.

Russia

Britain would fit into Mongolia six times but Mongolia’s population (2.7m) wouldn’t even equal a London borough. In the middle of the emptiness of the Gobi Desert the Steppe nomads tend flocks in a way Genghis Khan would find largely unchanged - but alongside that, Ulaanbaatar has a wild, wacky and new-agey lifestyle where buddhism meets broadband.

Mongolia

The sleeping giant is waking-up - now’s the time to catch China’s unique cultural heritage, before the economic boom sweeping the country paves and mirror-glazes the entire nation? The astounding contrasts between the pagodas of ancient Xi’an and the skyscrapers of Shanghai will leave your head spinning - so lie down and have a traditional Chinese massage before supper... satay-sticks from the Night Market, or Peking Duck at a slick eaterie?

China

Dare to journey beyond conventional boundaries.
“At 9001 KM... it’s the longest lunch you will ever have”
NEIL MCGOWAN

NOVOSIB

ST PETERSBURG

PERM

EKATERINB

MOSCOW

04 Dare to Journey

VLADIVOSTOK HARBIN ULAN-UDAY IRKUTSK ULAANBAATAR HUHEHOT BEIJING SHANGHAI

IRSK XI’AN GUILIN

HONG KONG

BURG

GUANGZHOU HANOI

Dare to Journey 05

EPIC TRANS-SIB
lake baikal plus mongolian gobi

from

Mongolia: Erdenezuu Monastery

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

£1,275
17 nights/18 days 18 nights/19 days operational season May-Sept

full on itinerary
DAY 01 We whisk you by car directly to your hotel your first night in Moscow. 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 lunchtime! 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 photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

Above - Ger Camp photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

Above - Mongolian friends at Elstei photo: Aimie Conning/Russia Experience

06 Epic Trans-Sib

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation Moscow sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station On board the Trans-Sib, through the Urals Mountains On board into Siberia, crossing the River Ob at Novosibirsk On board - across central Siberia and crossing the Yenisei

Included in the trip:

Moscow

7-9 Arrive Irkutsk, CHOOSE EITHER: Siberian Village, with mini-trek, scuba, walking options OR Adventure Trek 10 Return to Irkutsk, free time to explore, then eve depart by train 11 On board, around Lake Baikal then southwards to Mongolia 12 Ulaanbaatar city walk, depart to Bayan Gobi, nomad stay 13 Onwards to Karakorum site, overnight stay with nomads 14 Sightseeing in Bayan Gobi, arrive to Elstei Ger Camp 15 Free day at Elstei for walking, optional riding, or just relaxing 16 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, and overnight 17 Depart to Beijing by train, midnight border crossing 18 Pass the Great Wall of China, and arrive in Beijing

Irkutsk Ulaanbaatar Beijing

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. LAKE BAIKAL: Rural options out of the City gives you the option to chose from two all-inclusive programmes. MONGOLIA: Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. All transportation. Two nights camping with Nomads, full board. Two nights tourist Ger Camp, full board. One night 3* Hotel in Ulaanbaatar breakfast included. Sleeping bags are provided. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON £1,575 £1,375 £1,275 SPICING IT UP
1 person Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to Hotel Irkutsk City Upgrading to 2-berth Rail 2 people 3-9 people

£60 £40 £399

£50 £30 £399

£50 £30 £399

baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Adventure Trek
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 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. (May-Oct). (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA in Lake Baikal (they say you gain a year of life if you dive in!) with qualified CMASinstructors (requires PADI-1), 2 dives included. (May-Sep). (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. DAY 09 Breakfast. Free time, supper and overnight with host family. DAY 10 DAY 11 DAY 12

OR (2) ADVENTURE TREK
Only available to two or more passengers travelling together between 15 June and 1 September.

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
18-DAY ITINERARY 2007 May 01, 15, 29, June 05, 19, July 03, 17, 31, August 07, 21, September 11 2008 May 13, 27, June 03, 17 19-DAY ITINERARY* 2007 May 07, 21, June 11, 25, July 09, 23, August 13, 27, September 03 2008 May 05, 19, June 09, 23 Extra night for Siberian village in Irkutsk City. Extra night for Adventure Trek in Listvyanka.

DAY 07 Arrival in Irkutsk transfer to host family. Shower and breakfast, prepare for trekking (you can leave heavy baggage in Irkutsk). At 18.00 hrs you will depart by public bus to Goloustnoe Village (2hrs). Short trek (3km). Set up camp on shore of Lake Baikal. DAY 08 Breakfast. Trek along the Baikal shore (25 km). Picnic lunch along the way. Set up camp at Sennaya Bay, supper and overnight. DAY 09 Breakfast. Trek onwards to Bol’shie Koty Village (9km). Ride the city hydrofoil service to Irkutsk. Free time to visit the city. Overnight with host family.

ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS

*Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, £30 for two or more.

www.trans-siberian.co.uk

DAY 13 DAY 14 DAY 15 DAY 16 DAY 17 DAY 18

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. On board to Mongolia. (Midnight border crossing). 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). Onwards to ancient Karakorum (modern Harhorin) 8 hrs off-road driving. Picnic lunch en-route. Supper and overnight with local herdsmen in ger tents. 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. Free day at Elstei Ger Camp for walking, horse-riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. Back to Ulaanbaatar. Internet cafés, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are waiting for you to let your hair down Mongolian style. Overnight 3* hotel. Transfer to your departing Beijing-bound train this morning. Midnight border crossing and onwards into China! 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

MAMMOTH TRANS-SIB
the legendary stops combined on one itinerary

from

Mongolia: Gandan Lamasery

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

£1,800
21 night/22 day trip 22 night/23 day trip operational season May-Sept

full on itinerary

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

Above - Alice Crane in national costume of Burayatia photo: Aimie Conning

08 Mammoth Trans-Sib

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. 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 lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. 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! DAY 04 Full day on train through the Ural Mountains, arrival late evening in Ekaterinburg, transfer to Hotel. 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 cave visit. Good fitness required. Duration; 9-10 hours. Lunch provided. 15 Jun-15 Sep weather permitting

Listvyanka: village house photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation Moscow sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station By train through Ural Mts, eve arrive Ekaterinburg & accom Walking tour of Ekaterinburg & free time to explore Your choice of Ekaterinburg/Urals activities (see full itinerary) Onwards by Trans-Siberian via Novosibirsk, cross River Ob Onwards by Trans-Sib via Krasnoyarsk, cross River Yenisei OR Adventure Trek (camping) 11 Car return to Irkutsk, free time to explore, dep to station 12 Arrival Ulan-Uday, fam stay, Buddhist Monastery & Buryat Village 13 Visit Ivolginsky Buddhist Datsan & Eastern Medicine Centre 14 Depart by train towards Mongolian Border (midnight crossing) 15 Ulaanbaatar city walk, depart and overnight with nomads 16 Trip into Bayan-Gobi, picnic en-route, stay with nomads 17 Onwards to Karakorum site, ger-tent stay with local nomads 18 Scenic desert drive back, arrive at Elstei Ger Camp 19 Free day at Elstei-relax, walk, activities, optional horse-riding 20 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, overnight 21 Depart by train to Beijing, across the Southern Gobi desert 22 Pass the Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing

Included in the trip:

Moscow Ekaterinburg

9 /10 EITHER Siberian Village Stay (options for scuba, mini-trek, walking)

Irkutsk Ulan-Uday Ulaanbaatar Beijing

baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Adventure Trek
EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE
DAY 09 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 10 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 lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA in Lake Baikal (they say you gain a year of life if you dive in!) with qualified CMAS-instructors (requires PADI-1), (May-Oct.) 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. DAY 11 Transfer to Irkutsk Free time to explore on foot (we watch your bags) until evening departure to station and on by overnight train to Ulan-Uday. DAY 12 Arrival early morning to Ulan-Uday, transfer to Family Stay. Guided trip to Atsagatsky Buddhist Lamasery. After the monastery, try cuisine of Buryatia for lunch with a village family. Return to Ulan-Uday. Supper and overnight. (Option to upgrade to 3* hotel). DAY 13 Visit to the Ivolginsky Datsan (a much larger monastery). Lunch. Visit to Centre of Eastern Medicine (optional consultation). Supper and overnight. DAY 14 Early transfer to the station and depart for Mongolia-midnight border crossing (with halt for formalities). DAY 15 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Transfer and freshen up. Guided walk of the old city centre. Depart from city to stay in Gers with herdsmen (nb: this is not a tourist camp you are the guests of the nomads). Traditional supper, and overnight. DAY 16 Sightseeing in the Bayan Gobi (all meals included). Supper and overnight with herdsmen in Gers. DAY 17 Onwards to ancient Karakorum (modern Harhorin). 8 hours off-road driving, picnic lunch en route. Supper and overnight in gers with local herdsmen. DAY 18 Sightseeing in the Gobi. Picnic lunch. Return towards Ulaanbaatar, drive to Elstei Ger Camp. Supper and overnight. (This is tourist-style accommodation-unlike with nomads). DAY 19 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp-for walking, horse riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. Supper and overnight. DAY 20 Return to Ulaanbaatar. Day free to explore the city. Overnight at centrally located 3* hotel. DAY 21 Transfer to your departing Beijing bound train this morning. Midnight border crossing and onwards to China! DAY 22 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.

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. EKATERINBURG: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 2* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour walking tour, day trip. LAKE BAIKAL: Rural options out of the City gives you the option to chose from two all-inclusive programmes. ULAN-UDAY: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay with a local family, full board. Including excursions as per itinerary. MONGOLIA: Optional walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. All transportation. Three nights camping with Nomads (full board). Two nights tourist Ger Camp (full board). One night 3* Hotel Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Visas required for: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON £2,200 £1,900 £1,800 SPICING IT UP
1 person Extra Night Moscow Upgrade to Hotel in Ulan-Uday 2 night stay Upgrading to Hotel Irkutsk City Upgrading to 2-berth Rail 2 people 3-9 people

£60 £110

£50 £65

£50 £65

£40 £449

£30 £449

£30 £449

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
22-DAY ITINERARY 2007 May 11, 25, June 15, 29, July 13, 27, August 03, 17, 31, September 07 2008 May 09, 23, June 13, 27 23-DAY ITINERARY* 2007 May 03, 17, June 07, 21, July 05, 19, August 09, 23 2008 May 01, 15, June 05, 19 Extra night for Siberian Village in Listvyanka. Extra night for Adverture Trek Irkutsk City option to upgrade to a hotel.
*Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, £30 for two or more

OR (2) ADVENTURE TREK
Only available to two or more passengers travelling together. between 15 June and 1 September.

DAY 09 Arrival in Irkutsk, transfer to host family. Shower, and breakfast, prepare for trekking. (you can leave heavy baggage in Irkutsk). At 12:30 hrs you will depart by hydrofoil to Goloustnoe Village (2hrs). Short trek (3km). Set up camp on shore of Lake Baikal. DAY 10 Trekking along the Baikal shore (25 km). 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. Return to your host family and collect your bags, before transfer to the station for your Ulan-Uday bound train.

ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS

www.trans-siberian.co.uk
Mongolian herdsman photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

ALL DATES GUARANTEED

Mammoth Trans-Sib 09

ULTIMATE TRANS-SIB

mountains, mongols, monasteries - the ultimate t-sib trip

Katun River, Altai photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

from

full on itinerary

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

£2,690
25 night/26 day trip operational season June-August

10 Ultimate Trans-Sib

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. 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 lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. DAY 03 A full free day for you to pack in the rest! Mid-evening transfer to the station for your Siberia bound train! DAY 04 Full day on train through the Ural Mountains, arrival late evening in Ekaterinburg, transfer to Hotel. 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 your bike trip on a professional bike for 2-3 hrs. Lunch. Duration; 5 hrs. 15 May-30 Sep. Weather permitting. DAY 06 Onwards towards Barnaul. Overnight onboard. DAY 07 You will be met by your guide on arrival into Barnaul then travel by public bus service (6 hrs) to Chemal Village in the heart of the Altai Mountains. Late lunch. This afternoon you will go on a guided walk during which you will learn about the local Altaic people. Sauna and supper then overnight in local Guesthouse. DAY 08 After breakfast, excursion to site of ancient cave and cliff-paintings. Picnic lunch will be provided. There will be an opportunity (small local cash payment) to ride Altai Mountain Horses. Then learn more about the ancient Chuisky Tract the route of Genghis Khan’s messengers. Supper. Overnight in local Guesthouse.

Wild horses on the Mongolian steppe photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

DAY 09 Transfer to rafting launch point. After receiving a safety briefing set off (with instructor & guide), some white-water rafting. Picnic lunch stop along the way. This afternoon continue rafting the Katun River. Then set up camp, followed by supper around the fire. DAY 10 Today you will continue rafting along the Katun River. Picnic lunch at the riverside. Return by road to Chemal. Free time, sauna, supper overnight in local Guesthouse. DAY 11 After an early breakfast depart to Novosibirsk by road (7-8 hrs). Own Lunch & Supper. Overnight in 3* Hotel. DAY 12 Guided sightseeing walk of Novosibirsk, then free time (own lunch and supper arrangements). Late evening transfer to station for your Siberia bound train. 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

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation Moscow sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station By train through Ural Mountains, evening arrive Ekaterinburg & accommodation Your choice of Ekaterinburg/Urals activities (see full itinerary) Onwards by train through Southern Siberia By road from Barnaul into the High Altai Mts (picnic en route) Visit ancient cave-painting site, optional horse-riding Cast off on Altai river-rafting trip, overnight camping Second half of rafting, return to Altai Village B&B, sauna By road to Novosibirsk, picnic lunch, evening free in Novosibirsk Sightseeing in Novosibirsk, free time and evening train depart On board Trans-Sib eastwards, cross the Yenisei River Bridge EITHER Siberian Village Stay (options for scuba, mini-trek, walking) OR Adventure Trek (camping) Your choice: trek, scuba or walking options at Lake Baikal Free time in Irkutsk for exploring, evening train departure Arrive Ulan-Uday, Buddhist monastery & Buryat Village trip Trip to the Ivolginsky Buddhist Datsan + Eastern Medicine Central Early depart by train, en-route for Mongolian border Ulaanbaatar city walk, departure to Bayan-Gobi, nomad stay To Karakorum site, stay in gers with local nomads Scenic desert route back to UB, stay at Elstei Ger Camp Free day at Elstei for walking, activities, optional horseriding Return to Ulaanbaatar, central hotel, free time for exploring Depart by train to Beijing, across the Southern Gobi desert Pass the Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing

Included in the trip:

Moscow Ekaterinburg Altai Irkutsk Ulan-Uday Ulaanbaatar Beijing

baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Adventure Trek
EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE
DAY 14 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 15 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 two 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. DAY 16 Transfer to Irkutsk. Free time to explore on foot. (we watch your bags). Evening transfer to the station, for your Ulan-Uday bound train. DAY 17 Arrival early morning in Ulan-Uday, transfer to Family Stay. Guided trip to Atsagatsky Buddhist Lamasery. After the monastery, try cuisine of Buryatia for lunch with a village family. Return to Ulan-Uday. Supper and overnight. (Option to upgrade to 3* Hotel). DAY 18 Visit to the Ivolginsky Datsan (a much larger monastery). Lunch. Visit to Centre of Eastern Medicine (optional consultation). Supper and overnight. DAY19 Early transfer to the station and depart for Mongolia- midnight border crossing with the usual halt for formalities. DAY 20 Early morning arrival into Ulaanbaatar. Chance for a freshen up, a guided walking tour of the city. Depart to Bayan Gobi. Accommodation with local nomads in ger tents. Supper. (This is not a tourist camp - you are the guests of the nomads). DAY 21 Onwards to ancient Karakorum (modern Harhorin) 8 hrs off-road driving. Picnic lunch en-route. Supper and overnight with local herdsmen DAY 22 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. DAY 23 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp-for walking, horse-riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. DAY 24 Back to Ulaanbaatar. Internet cafés, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are waiting for you to let your hair down Mongolian style. Overnight 3* hotel. DAY 25 Transfer to your departing Beijing-bound train this morning. Midnight border crossing and onwards into China! DAY 26 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.

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. EKATERINBURG: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights in a 2* Hotel breakfast included. 3 hour walking tour, and excursion included. ALTAI: Accom: in Chemal, family-run guesthouse with HB and picnic lunches; during rafting, camping in tents with FB camp meals; in Novosibirsk, tourist-class hotel with breakfast only. Transport: Barnaul Chemal by intercity bus, all other transfers by private car. (Bring suitable clothes and footwear for rafting. All other gear & sleeping bags provided. Vegetarians must advise in advance!). LAKE BAIKAL: Staying out of the City, up at the Lake gives you the opportunity to choose one of our all-inclusive programmes. (Sleeping bags are provided where necessary) ULAN-UDAY: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights family stay, all meals included. Excursions as per itinerary. MONGOLIA: Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. All transportation. Two nights camping with Nomads. (full board) Two nights tourist Ger Camp (full board). One night 3* Hotel Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Sleeping bags are provided. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA.

trip price:
2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON £2,790 £2,690 SPICING IT UP
2 people Extra Night Moscow Upgrade to Hotel in Ulan-Uday B&B 2 night stay Upgrading to 2-berth Rail 3-9 people

£50 £65

£50 £65

£449

£449

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
26-DAY ITINERARY 2007 June 04, 18, July 02, 16, August 06 2008 June 02, 16, 30

OR (2) ADVENTURE TREK
Only available between 15 June and 1 September.

DAY 14 Arrival in Irkutsk, transfer to host family. Shower, and breakfast, prepare for trekking. (you can leave heavy baggage in Irkutsk). At 12:30 hrs you will depart by hydrofoil to Goloustnoe Village (2hrs). Short trek (3km). Set up camp on shore of Lake Baikal. DAY 15 Trekking along the Baikal shore (25 km). Picnic lunch along the way. Set up camp at Sennaya Bay, 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

OUTER & INNER MONGOLIA
the secret history of the mongols

from

Mongolia: Local Naadam Festival

Photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

£1,249
17 nights/18 days 22 nights/23 days operational season May-Sept

12 Outer & Inner Mongolia

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

The rugged beauty of Outer Mongolia combined with almost-unknown Inner Mongolia (now within China’s borders) - more richly endowed than its Outer counterpart by the Chinese Emperors.

full on itinerary
DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. 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 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

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation Moscow sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station On board the Trans-Sib, through the Urals Mountains On board into Siberia, crossing the River Ob at Novosibirsk On board across Eastern Siberia and across the river Yenisei Arrive Irkutsk, by road to Lake Baikal & Listyvanka Village Stay YOUR CHOICE: options at Listvyanka incl walking, scuba, mini-trek Free day at Lake Baikal to explore independently

Included in the trip:

Moscow Irkutsk Ulaanbaatar Huhehot Beijing

10 Return to Irkutsk, free time to explore the city, evening train depart 11 On board-around Lake Baikal then southwards to Mongolia 12 Ulaanbaatar city walk, free time, overnight in Ulaanbaatar 13 Bayan Gobi trip, sightseeing in Gobi, overnight with nomads 14 Onwards to Karakorum site, overnight with Gobi nomads 15 Sightseeing in Gobi, arrival to Elstei Ger Camp 16 Free day at Elstei camp for walking, relaxing, optional riding 17 Additional free day at Elstei, relax after Gobi trip 18 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, overnight stay 19 Free time to explore UB, car transfer, train dep to Huhehot 20 Arrival evening in Huhehot, transfer to hotel 21 Guided sightseeing in Huhehot (incl Wuta-Si Pagoda) 22 Free time to explore Huhehot independently, eve dep by train 23 Past Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival/departure. Two nights 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. LAKE BAIKAL: (Applies to trip via Irkutsk only). All transfers are provided. Three nights family stay accommodation. Meals as stated with your host family. Free excursion on day eight. MONGOLIA: Optional walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. One night 3* centrally located hotel, includes breakfast. All transportation. Two nights camping with Nomads, full board. Three nights tourist Ger Camp, full board. Sleeping bags are provided. One night 3* centrally located hotel, includes breakfast. HUHEHOT: Two nights 3* hotel, includes breakfast. Guided City tour. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA.

trip price:
OUTER & INNER MONGOLIA VIA IRKUTSK SPICING IT UP
1 person Upgrading to 2-berth Rail Upgrading to 2 berth Rail via Irkutsk 2 people 3-9 people 1 person 2 people 3-9 people

Mongolian Herdsmen Photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

DAY 16 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp for walking, horse-riding (arrange/pay locally) or relaxing. Breakfast, lunch and supper are included during your stay at the Ger Camp. DAY 17 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp. Breakfast, lunch and supper will be provided. DAY 18 Back to Ulaanbaatar. Internet cafés, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are waiting for you to let your hair down Mongolian style. Overnight 3* hotel. DAY 19 Free time to explore Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to the station, for evening departure to Huhehot. Overnight on board. DAY 20 Late evening arrival into Huhehot, transfer to your Hotel. DAY 21 Guided city tour of Huhehot, Capital of Inner Mongolia. Free time, overnight. DAY 22 Day at leisure before making your own way to the station for the evening departure to Beijing. (NB: 2-berth cabins are not available on the Huhehot to Beijing service.) DAY 23 Early morning arrival into Beijing. For services in China and beyond please see pages pages 40-43.

£1,649 £1,349 £1,249 £1,749 £1,449 £1,349

£349 £399

£349 £399

£349 £399

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
19-DAY ITINERARY (NO STOP IN IRKUTSK) 2007 May 07, 14, 21, 28, June 04, 11, 18, 25, July 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, August 06, 13, 20, 27, September 03, 10 2008 May 05, 12, 19, 26, June 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 23-DAY ITINERARY (VIA IRKUTSK) 2007 May 03, 17, 31, June 07, 21, July 05, 19, August 09, 23, September 13 2008 May 01, 15, 29, June 05, 19

DAY 09 Free day at Lakeside village -Listvyanka. Breakfast & Supper included. Overnight with your 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

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
50th Anniversary
“One day Larissa Feodorovna went out and did not come back. She must have been arrested in the street nearby. She vanished without trace and probably died somewhere forgotten as a nameless number on a list that afterwards got mislaid, in one of the innumerable mixed or women’s camps in the North”
Doctor Zhivago - Epilogue
14 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 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.
Zhivago is the story of the Russian Revolution, told through the (fictional) life of one man, Dr Yuri Zhivago. Many of the names in the story have resonances which can’t be translated. Yuri’s name is Zhivago, in which the word “zhiv” (alive, living) is clear. His rival for Lara’s love is Komarovsky – from the Russian word for a mosquito. Yet Lara’s own husband has forgotten her, and changed his name to become the deadly agent of Soviet power, Strelnikov (“the shooter”). The idea for Dr Zhivago began in Perm’, the town to which Pasternak had been evacuated in WW2 – the town appears in the book under the fictional name of “Yuriatin”, and it’s the setting for Yuri’s meetings with Lara. Obviously, Yuri Zhivago was a fictional character, and didn’t have an “address” we can show you today. But the story is based on real places (which could never have been included in the famous film, shot at the height of the Cold War), and we show them to you on this special itinerary, along with other “hidden” sights from the same era which establish the historical background to the book.

Day 01 Arrive Moscow and transfer to hotel. Day 02 Breakfast, walking tour of Moscow (including places connected with the story in “Dr Zhivago” and its author and times). Free afternoon and evening. Day 03 Daytime free to explore more of Moscow, earlyevening departure by train to Perm’. Day 04 By train across the Urals to Perm’ early evening arrival, transfer to hotel, overnight.

DAY 05 SPECIAL WALKING TOUR OF YURI ZHIVAGO’S “YURYATIN” (Perm). We start at the Pushkin Library, which was the Public Reading Room where Yuri and Lara first meet in the book. In the novel we hear that it was behind the “Giant” cinema; it’s actually behind the “Triumph” cinema. Across the street is the city’s leafy Central Square, where you can easily imagine Yuri and Lara must have gone after they first met, and sat on a park bench opposite the Opera House. Nearby the nightmare realities of Zhivago’s time interrupt our dreams – the small former hotel where Tsar Nicholas II’s brother was staying on his way to Ekaterinburg, where the Royal Family were imprisoned in 1918. In fact Grand Prince Mikhail was the last Tsar of all but he never knew. Our tour reveals the bizarre secret, and its British connection. Nearby is a small wooden two-storey house which is “Lara’s house”. In fact it is just another private house (ie you can’t visit) in the city, but carefully reading of the book identifies the exact location, opposite the imposing C19th palace across the road. A few blocks from the mansion is the hospital where Lara works in the novel. There’s a chance to see some imposing houses built by wealthy C19th merchants you can imagine Komarovsky must have had friends to stay with here? There’s also a monument to Boris Pasternak. Not far away is the River Pier district before the Trans-Siberian Railway was built, travellers to Siberia would come by boat from 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,

for fear of frightening local people with their terrible fate and force marched to Siberia on foot. The Old Razvilje Railway Station was then built here it was from here that the Trans-Siberian Railway originally departed (it was only later linked back as far as Moscow), and this is where Komarovsky’s private “Government train” waited for him. The Siberian convicts had to march for months to their destination – you, however, only have another ten minutes walk to get to the new “Dr Zhivago” Restaurant… for lunch. Afternoon free to explore Perm’s shops and extensive museums and galleries (Perm is a major location for fossil-hunters, the Permian period takes its name from the city, and there’s lots in the museums). Evening free – there might even be a performance of the opera “Dr Zhivago” (yes, there really is one..) at the Opera Theatre? Remainder of day free to explore more of Perm’. Day 06 Full-day Excursion to the Gulag Museum, housed in the only surviving* soviet-era Gulag now visitable in Russia. En-route we pass small villages which must have been the inspiration for the one where Yuri & Larissa hid out from the Secret Police. Evening return to Perm. Day 07 Free day in Perm to explore the rest of this pleasant Urals city – then evening transfer to the station for departure eastwards
* there is one other, but it’s on the Russian Arctic Pacific coast, 900 miles from any rail stop, and only accessible by chartered helicopter. Days 08-12 On board the Trans-Sib eastwards via the Chinese Manchurian frontier with Russia. (This is the route by which Komarovsky kidnaps Lara in the book, in a private train) Day 13 Arrival in Beijing very early morning. End of itinerary.

TRIP OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES
If you would like to travel from Perm via Mongolia to China, we can re-plan your routing… it needs different departure dates from Moscow for the connections to work, and the trip is longer due to the Mongolia stopover. (Yuri’s daughter is born in Mongolia in the book Lara was pregnant when kidnapped by Komarovsky) A full itinerary version including Mongolia is on our website. It’s also possible to take only the Moscow & Perm sections and then return to Moscow by train (without going to Mongolia or China) this is possible too – itinerary version on our website.

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON £1095 SPICING IT UP
1 person Upgrading to 2-berth Rail Extra Night Moscow

£999
2 people

£899
3-9 people

£60 £349

£50 £349

£50 £349

Start dates for Dr Zhivago
2007 Jan 07, 14, 21, 28, Feb 04, 11, 18, 25, Mar 04, 11, 18, 25, April 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, May 06, 13, 20, 27 June 03, 10, 17, 24, July 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 Aug 05, 12, 19, 26 Sep 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 Oct 07, 14, 21, 28 Nov 04, 11, 18, 25 Dec 02, 09, 16, 23, 30

“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

GOBI & GULAG
Siberia’s hidden secrets

from

Cathedral dedicated to Tsar Nicholas II

photo: Neil McGowan

£1,150
15 nights/16 days operational season May-Sept

You don’t need previous experience or special gear for either the Kungur Ice Caves, or a softies rafting trip through the Urals Mts. At the heart of the 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. No other travel company offers this route.

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

Watch Tower photo: Neil McGowan/Russia Experience

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

full on itinerary
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 raftassembly/loading. Begin rafting trip, and overnight camp at the Rocky Cliffs - campfire supper. (Overnight in tents - guides assist to assemble etc).

Rafting the Usva

photo: Neil McGowan/Russia Experience

16 Gobi & Gulag

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation Moscow sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station By train eastwards, mid-evening arrival in Perm & accom Kungur Ice Caves, commence rafting trip Full-day leisurely raft on the Usva River, camp overnight Gulag Museum visit, return by Perm by road Free day in Perm, evening transfer to station, depart eastbound On board Trans-Sib eastwards via Novosibirsk

Included in the trip:

Moscow

Perm

10 On board Trans-Sib eastwards via Krasnoyarsk 11 On board Trans-Sib via Irkutsk & Lake Baikal, border crossing 12 Arrival Ulaanbaatar, city tour, transfer to Elstei Ger Camp 13 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp to ride, walk or relax 14 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free day to explore & overnight 15 Departure to China, by train across the Southern Gobi 16 Arrival in China, past Great Wall of China, arrival to Beijing

Ulaanbaatar

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival/departure. Two nights 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. PERM: All transfers are provided. Two nights 3* hotel, breakfast included. 4 hour personalised walking tour. Visit to Gulag Museum. Rafting (no skill required). Two nights camping. evening meal provided. ULAANBAATAR: All Transfers included. Two Nights Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation, full board. One night 3* hotel in Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA

Beijing

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON £1,350 £1,250 £1,150 SPICING IT UP
1 person Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to 2-berth Rail 2 people 3-9 people

£60 £325

£50 £325

£50 £325

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. DAY 07 Breakfast, continue by raft to Mys, unpack and disassemble raft, load into vehicle. Onwards to the Perm-22 Gulag Camp (now operated as a Memorial Museum by Pamyat - the Russian organisation for former political prisoners and their families). The Gulag is spread over two locations 2 km apart - we visit both (“Regular Category”, and “High-Security”). Picnic lunch. Return to Perm’ by road (2 hrs), check-in to hotel. DAY 08 Free day in Perm to follow-up on ideas and activities from yesterday’s sightseeing. Car Transfer (evening) to station and departure towards Mongolia… DAY 09 on board the Trans-Siberian via Novosibirsk DAY 10 on board the Trans-Siberian via Krasnoyarsk DAY 11 on board the Trans-Siberian via Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, midnight border crossing DAY 12 Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. Shower, and breakfast. Depart for two hour familiarisation of Ulaanbaatar, to include the Gandan Monastery ceremony. Tour ends city centre. Lunch at own expense. Transfer to Ger Camp. Supper included.

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
15 NIGHTS/16 DAYS ITINERARY 2007 May 24, 31, June 07, 14, 21, 28, July 05, 12, 19, 26 Aug 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, Sep 06, 13, 20, 27 2008 May 22, 29, June 05, 12, 19, 26

Mongolian Herdsmen photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

DAY 13 Free time at Elstei Ger Camp. Throughout the day you will have the opportunity to partake in activities that include; a visit to a Nomad family, Mongolian 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

BIG TRANS-SIB
the two classic stops

from

Impromptu party on board

photo: Aimie Conning

£885

full on itinerary
Day 01 Day 02 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow.

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

14 nights/15 days 15 nights/16 days operational season year round

Above - Moscow: Strolling near the Kremlin photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

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 lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. A full free day for you to pack in the rest! Mid-evening we take you to your waiting train-to Siberia! The Trans-Sib line leads you past Kazan and Ekaterinburg… Then onwards into Siberia itself, via Novosibirsk… Across the River Yenisei, at Krasnoyarsk…

Day 03 Day 04 Day 05 Day 06

baikal programmes
Choose either Siberian Village or Fishermans 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 lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA in Lake Baikal (they say you gain a year of life if you dive in!) with qualified CMASinstructors (requires PADI-1), 2 dives included. (May-Sep) (C) SNOWMOBILE TRIP (2 hrs) with a local guide through the forest, or even out over the deep-frozen lake! (Dec-Apr). (D) 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. DAY 09 Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) and stay in a city apartment with a local family, in soviet city style. Day free to explore, overnight with host family. Or upgrade to tourist-class hotel if you rate comfort over authenticity.

OR (2) FISHERMAN’S CAPE OF LAKE BAIKAL

Lunch at Lake Baikal

photo: Roy Thornton

DAY 07 Transfer directly from Station to the remoter village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km on rural roads). Your local guide shows you the village, the Old Church, and lake shoreline. Get the 20th Century out of your system in a real Russian banya (sauna) which will sharpen your appetite for home-cooked food for supper. Sleep soundly the modern world is far, far away. DAY 08 Leisurely lakeside walk (8km) to Ushkani Cape, and visit our friends the fishermen for lunch at their cabin. Leisurely walk back to Bolshoe Goloustnoe Village. Supper, then relish the hushed silence away from the tourist throng. DAY 09 By car to Irkutsk (110km) and stay in a city apartment with a local family, in soviet city style. Day free to explore the city, overnight with host family. Or upgrade to tourist-class hotel if you rate comfort over authenticity.

18 Big Trans-Sib

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation Moscow sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station On board the Trans-Sib, through the Urals Mountains On board-into Siberia, crossing the River Ob at Novosibirsk On board-across Eastern Siberia and across the river Yenisei

Included in the trip:

Moscow

7&8 EITHER: arrival Irkutsk & transfer for Siberian Village OR: arrival Irkutsk & 2-day trip to Bolshoe Goloustnoe Village 9 Return to Irkutsk, day to explore, family stay (or hotel upgrade)

Irkutsk Ulaanbaatar Beijing

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. LAKE BAIKAL: Rural options out of the City gives you the choice from two all inclusive programmes. ULAANBAATAR: All transfers, two nights Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation, full board. Overnight stay in 3* hotel, located in the centre of Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar.

No frills trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival. Two nights stay in a 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. IRKUTSK: Transfers on arrival and departure. Three nights family stay accommodation. Breakfast included. ULAANBAATAR: Transfers on arrival and departure. Three nights stay in a 1* hotel, located in Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA

10 Depart by train to Mongolia-midnight border crossing 11 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, walking tour, transfer to Ger Camp 12 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp walk, optional riding, just relax? 13 Return to Ulaanbaatar, walking tour, overnight stay 14 Depart to Beijing by train across the Southern Gobi 15 Pass Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing

DAY 13 After Breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into the Bayangol Hotel 3* day at leisure in the capital. DAY 14 Early transfer to the station for your Beijing bound train. Midnight border crossing, onwards into China. DAY 15 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 pages 40-43.

trip price:
FULL ON NO FRILLS SPICING IT UP
1 person FULL-ON Extra Night Moscow NO FRILLS Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to Hotel Irkutsk City Upgrading to 2-berth Rail 2 people 3-9 people 1 person

£1,235 £1,135 £1,035 £1,085 £985 £885

2 people

3-9 people

£60 £45 £40 £399

£50 £35 £30 £399

£50 £35 £30 £399

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, April 11, 25, May 09, 23, June 13, 27 16-DAY ITINERARY* 2007 January 11, 25, February 01, 15, March 01, 15, 29, April 05, 19, May 03, 17, 31, June 07, 21, July 05, 19, August 09, 23, September 13, 27, October 11, 25, November 15, 29, December 13, 27 2008 January 03, 17, 31, February 07, 21, March 13, 27, April 03, 17, May 01, 15, 29, June 05, 19
EXTRA NIGHT FOR SIBERIAN VILLAGE IN LISTVYANKA is spent at Lake Baikal with host family. Drinking kumys with Mongolian herdsmen photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience EXTRA NIGHT FISHERMANS CAPE IN BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE with host family. *Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, £30 for two or more

Ulaanbaatar: Gandan Monastery photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

DAY 10 Early car to the station you’re heading out of Russia tonight! Late night border crossing (2+ hours halt for formalities). DAY 11 Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. Shower, and breakfast. Depart for two hour familiarisation of Ulaanbaatar, to include the Gandan Monastery 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 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.

ALL DATES GUARANTEED

Big Trans-Sib 19

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 TransSiberian 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

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

THREE CAPITALS

if your time is tight, this one has the highlights

Trans-Mongolian train

photo: Aimie Conning/Russia Experience

from

full on itinerary
DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel – your first night in Moscow. 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 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 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.

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

£699

11 nights/12 days operational season year round
Gandan Temple Ulaanbaatar photo: John Pannell

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

22 Three Capitals

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Arrival in Moscow, transfer to accommodation Local expert assisted walking tour in Moscow, free time Free day to explore Moscow, evening train departure On board the Trans-Sib via the Ural Mountains On board the Trans-Sib via Central Siberia On board the Trans-Sib, crossing the Yenisei River Past and around Lake Baikal and on to Mongolia Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, walking tour, transfer to Ger Camp Free day at Elstei; walk, relax, optional riding, stay in gers

Moscow

Included in the trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. ULAANBAATAR: All transfers, walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. Two nights Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation, full board. Overnight stay in 3* hotel, located in the centre of Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included.

Ulaanbaatar

No frills trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival. Two nights stay in a 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. ULAANBAATAR: Transfers on arrival and departure. Three nights stay in a 1* hotel, located in Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast included. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA, MONGOLIA & CHINA.

10 Return to Ulaanbaatar. Free time. 11 Depart to Beijing by train across the Southern Gobi 12 Passing the Great Wall of China, arrival in Beijing

Beijing

DAY 08 Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. Shower, and breakfast. Depart for two hour familiarisation of Ulaanbaatar, to include the Gandan Monastery ceremony. Tour ends city centre. Lunch at own expense. Transfer to Ger Camp. Supper included. DAY 09 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 10 After Breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into the Bayangol Hotel 3* day at leisure in the capital. DAY 11 Early transfer to the station for your Beijing bound train. Midnight border crossing, onwards into China. DAY 12 Transfer to your departing Beijing bound train this morning. Midnight border crossing and onwards to China! For services in China and beyond please see pages 40 - 43.

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON NO FRILLS SPICING IT UP

£999 £899
1 person

£899 £799
2 people

£799 £699
3-9 people

FULL-ON Extra Night Moscow NO FRILLS Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to 2-berth Rail

£60 £45 £349

£50 £35 £349

£50 £35 £349

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
2007 January 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, February 05, 12, 19, 26, March 05, 12, 19, 26, April 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, May 07, 14, 21, 28, June 04, 11, 18, 25, July 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, August 06, 13, 20, 27, September 03, 10, 17, 24, October 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, November 05, 12, 19, 26, December 03, 10, 17, 24, 31 2008 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

Train Staff

photo: John Pannell

Stop along the way

photo: John Pannell

St Basil’s Cathedral

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

Beijing Night Market photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

ALL DATES GUARANTEED

Three Capitals 23

Uncover a world of discovery and adventure...

On board the Baikal Express

photo: John Pannell

24

... one trip, 18 destinations
29

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
Built to order for Tsar Peter the Great, the “wedding-cake” style of the Imperial City is a complete contrast with Moscow’s medieval oniondomes. St.Petersburg know as Leningrad for the duration of Soviet rule, the city was always a hang-out for the USSR’s “not quite complying” people-rock musicians, movie actors etc, and is still the “rock music capital” of Russia. If ballet or opera are your thing you could not be better served.

grafted onto the medieval citadel, the Kremlin, the museums, galleries, concert-halls and the Bolshoi.

EKATERINBURG
Straddling the Europe/Asia divide, Ekaterinburg got rich on an C18th gold-rush here. The mixture of high-tech industry and high-flying educational institutes makes for a young population and it has a mojo all its own. Most infamously, the Tsar and all his family were murdered here in 1918- the new Cathedral marks the spot. In the heart of the Ural Mts, there’s countryside and villages all around.

any rail or airport helps protect its wilderness status. A growing New- Age Lifestyle movement is spreading here-inspired by ancient cave paintings, and legends of the Lost Mountain Kingdom of Belovodia. We take our own vacations here.

IRKUTSK
One of Siberia’s oldest cities, a furtrading centre since the C17th. The city’s regarded as the “home of the Trans-Siberian” since the track-building from East and West met here, and the first Trans-Sib train went through.

MOSCOW
Europe’s fastest-growing and third largest city wears three hats-capital of medieval Muscovy, as capital of the ex-USSR, and as capital of today’s new Russia. Moscow is Pleasure Central; alongside the nightclubs and bars is every possible kind of food and music too. And all this is

LISTVYANKA VILLAGE
Just an hour from Irkutsk, Listvyanka’s the most accessible point on Lake Baikal-both in distance and facilities. Amidst the timber-house village there are now some cafes and bars-but the wilds of Baikal open-up at the end of the village

ALTAI
Siberia’s best-kept secret-a massive National Park area of mountains and rivers, offering amazing rafting, riding, and hiking… the 7/8-hr drive from

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 lake-the London-Edinburgh road won’t reach from its top to toe, and with 1.5 miles to the bottom, it’s the world’s deepest too.

BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE
So near to Listvyanka, but so different in characteralmost unchanged from the C19th, due to poor road access. Bolshoe Goloustnoe village appeals to seekers of a lifestyle not yet quite past, and has a timeless serenity-fishing is still the main livelihood here, and except for a tiny village store, there’s little intrusion of C20th values.

tradition survived even Stalin’s policies. The soviet-era city contrasts with life in remote villages and Buddhist monasteries-so we include all three aspects in our trips. Who ever imagined Buddhism in Siberia? Yet it’s been the native religion here for centuries.

a charming compact feel to the place. Next is the weather-hot coastal sunbathing in summer, deep-frozen in winter. For those able to cope with poor onward connections, it’s the end-point of the original Trans-Sib route.

PERM
It’s surprising what you knew about PERM without knowing it-it’s the real-life city that was “Yuriatin” (where Dr Zhivago met Lara in the book, and the film), it was the start of the Great Siberian PostRoad, and Permian-era dinosaurs are named after geological discoveries near Perm. A charming little city in the Urals, with a famous ballet troupe.

MONGOLIA
Mongolia is an ancient Buddhist Kingdombut the capital is a flourishing mixture of bars, nightclubs, patisseries and internet cafes. Ulaanbaatar is fun to visit, but it isn’t especially Mongolian. The sparse pasture of the steppes kept Mongolians on the move-the idea of “cities” is fundamentally alien to Mongolian tradition. A great way to experience life in the Mongolian ger is to stay at Elstei Ger- Camp. The accommodation is entirely in traditional gers. Showers and toilets are available from AprilOctober meeting modern standards. There is a

ULAN-UDAY
Perhaps the most surprising halt on the T-Sib? Nomadic native Asian peoples of Siberia were not an image the USSR cared for-the Buryats were “collectivised” by Stalin. Yet native song and

VLADIVOSTOK
Vladivostok is a double surprise. First is that it’s so small-less than 500,000 inhabitants, giving

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

café serving both traditional Mongolian meals and a choice of other food (including vegetarian). The location, although only one hour from Ulaanbaatar, is as remote as anywhere on the steppes, and there are great opportunities for walking-or riding, with local nomads as your instructors. You have to be ready for off-road jeep travel for long journeys-Mongolia has tracks rather than actual roads. Most Mongolians still live in gers-the traditional wood framed felt tent of the steppes, whose design has not changed in thousands of years. Mongolia has only been open for tourism since the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s not to be missed.

HUHEHOT
Imperial China divided Mongolia into two when it came as conqueror-Inner Mongolia, ruled as part of China, and Outer Mongolia… so distant and barren that only martial law was possible. Huhehot, capital of Inner Mongolia, was historically richer, but still today lies inside the borders of modern China. Must sees are: The Grand Imperial Lamasery, the old Islamic Quarter & Mosque, and unique Wuta-Si Pagoda of a Thousand Buddhas.

most famous for the Ice Festival (Jan-Feb)-a huge outdoor event, which attracts visitors from all over the world.

BEIJING
...is well-known as China’s capital-but did you know that it began as a Mongolian stronghold, and its original name was neither Beijing nor Peking, but Khan-Baliq?. You’ll need 3-4 days to see everything in Beijing, even briefly-the great temples like the Lama Temple or the Temple of Heaven, the royal legacies at the Summer Palace. The good news is that Beijing doesn’t have bars-it has whole streets of bars, where every doorway’s a different drinking-hole. With your days jam-packed, its just as well there are night-markets for snack-food, great-value silk clothes, and much much more…

HARBIN
Harbin’s an unfairly neglected Trans-Siberian stop. In the far north of China, it’s quite unlike the rest of the country-partly because it was builtup in the 1920’s by Russian nobles who’d fled Communism. The main (pedestrian) street is more like Petersburg than Peking. Harbin is

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
...was, for centuries, the Imperial Capital of China… a massive medieval walled city, with four gates facing out to the four compass-points of the Empire it controlled. One of the most fascinating areas is the Old Muslim Quarter. Its thronging alleys are packed with cheap souvenirs, fake antiques, some great street-food for small-change prices. The Exhibition of Terracotta Warriors, an hours drive from town. This dramatic find of the 1970s is considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the century. Highly recommended.

SHANGHAI
Nearly three times larger than Beijing, and an economic powerhouse that is rapidly outstripping Hong Kong. Although there’s a small “old town”area, the real attractions here are eating, drinking and shopping-Shanghai’s a world-class city in all three activities! There are good onward sea connections to Japan.

GUANGHZHOU
...(once known as Canton) is a busy modern city. Famous for its Cantonese cuisine you can spend your brief stop in Guanghzhou checking out the numerous restaurants, featuring some very exotic meats! If you have time between sittings check out the Huaisheng Mosque built during the Tang Dynasty, one of the oldest mosques in China.

GUILIN
...is mostly famous for its natural beauty, with stunning scenery. Most visitors to Guilin take a boat 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.

ORIGINAL TRANS-SIBERIAN
Moscow-Vladivostok, for trainspotters and traditionalists

from

Vladivostok: Travel Writer and Presenter Simon Calder (& bicycle)

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

£609

(A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest-with a Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA a freshwater dive in the world’s Greatest Lake, with CMASqualified instructors. (requires PADI-1). 2 dives included. (May-Sep) (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. (Year round option weather permitting!) DAY 09 Entirely free day at Lake Baikal Village. Overnight with host family. Breakfast and supper included. DAY 10 Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) and stay in a city apartment with a local family, in soviet city style. Day free to explore the city, overnight with host family. Or upgrade to tourist class Hotel if you rate comfort over authenticity. DAY 11 Transfer to station for early morning departure for Vladivostok. DAY 12/13 On board DAY 14 Morning arrival into Vladivostok, your Trans-Siberian journey comes to an end. For Hotel options see price box. DIRECT TO VLADIVOSTOK DAY 01/03 As Irkutsk itinerary. DAY 04/09 On board. The train makes several unscheduled stops allowing you time to make a quick purchases from the locals. DAY 10 Arrival into Vladivostok. Your trans-siberian journey comes to an end. For hotel options see prices box.

Included in the trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised guided walking tour of the city. SIBERIA: (Applies to trip via Irkutsk only). All transfers are provided. Four nights family stay accommodation. Meals as stated with your host family. Free excursion on day eight. VISA REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA

13 nights/14 days trip 9 nights/10 days trip operational season year round

full on itinerary
(Via Irkutsk)
DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. 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 lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. DAY 03 A full free day, take your pick of the best of Moscow! 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 on shore of Lake Baikal. Stay in an authentic Siberian log-cabin (izba). Lunch, walking tour 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 DAY 08 Choose one activity from the list, it’s all included in the trip price!

TRIP PRICE
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

ORIGINAL VIA IRKUTSK SPICING IT UP

£699 £999
1 person

£639 £899
2 people

£609 £799
3-9 people

FULL-ON Extra Night Moscow NO FRILLS Extra Night Moscow Hotel Vladivostok (Transfer on arrival inc.) Upgrading to 2-berth Rail Upgrading to 2-berth Rail via Irkutsk

£60 £45 £125 £299 £399

£50 £35 £65 £299 £399

£50 £35 £65 £299 £399

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
2007/2008 Start Dates Departures on odd dates. Few rare exceptions-please confirm with us.

ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS

www.trans-siberian.co.uk

Hanging out in Vladivostok photo: Simon Calder

30 Original Trans-Siberian

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

TRANS-MANCHURIAN CLASSIC
Europe to Asia non-stop!

Watching the world go by

photo: John Pannell

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

from

£509
9 nights/10 days

full on itinerary
DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. 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… 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 47 for details) Mid-evening we take you to your waiting train-to Siberia! DAY 04 On board the Trans-Manchurian Express. DAY 06 The train makes several unscheduled stops, allowing you only time to grab stocks for your larder and drinks cabinet. DAY 07 On board the Trans-Manchurian Express circumnavigating the shores of Lake Baikal. DAY 08 On board the Trans-Manchurian Express via far Eastern Siberia to the Chinese border. DAY 09 On board through Manchuria. Sightings of the great wall, onwards to Beijing. DAY 10 Thunder on across China, early morning arrival into Beijing Central Station. Your trans-siberian journey comes to an end. For services in China and beyond please pages 40-43.
ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS

Included in the trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival and departure. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert.

operational season year round

No frills trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival. Two nights stay in a 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA & CHINA

TRIP PRICE
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON NO FRILLS SPICING IT UP

£649 £569
1 person

£619 £539
2 people

£589 £509
3-9 people

FULL-ON Extra Night Moscow NO FRILLS Extra Night Moscow Upgrading to 2-berth Rail

£60 £45 £299

£50 £35 £299

£50 £35 £299

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
10-DAY ITINERARY 2007 January 03, 10, 17, 24, 31, February 07, 14, 21, 28, March 07, 14, 21, 28, April 04, 11, 18, 25, May 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, June 06, 13, 20, 27, July 04, 11, 18, 25, August 01, 08, 15, 22, 29, September 05, 12, 19, 26, October 03, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 07, 14, 21, 28, December 05, 12, 19, 26 2008 January 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, February 06, 13, 20, 27, March 05, 12, 19, 26, April 02, 09, 16, 23, 30, May 07, 14, 21, 28, June 04, 11, 18, 25

www.trans-siberian.co.uk Trans-Mongolian route is also available
Left - Rickshaws in Beijing photo: John Pannell

ALL DATES GUARANTEED

Trans-Manchurian Classic 31

SUPER TRANS-SIB
open with care-overstuffed with action!

from

Mongolia in October

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

£1,140

full on itinerary

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

17 nights/18 day trip 18 nights/19 day trip operational season year round

Winter: Husky dog-sledding near Ekaterinburg photo: Konstantin Brylykov

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. 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 lunchtime! Afternoon and evening free to explore. 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. DAY 05 Three hour 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 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. 15 June - 15 September (Weather permitting). (E) SKIING At Ezhovaya Slopes Ski Resort. Skis/Poles/Lift-Pass package purchasable locally approx $25 payable in roubles No instruction is included - this program is for those who can already ski. Duration; 6 - 7 hours. Lunch provided. 01 December - 28 February. (Weather permitting). (F) 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).
ALL TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN REVERSE, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE OR CONTACT US FOR DETAILS

Buddhist shrine

photo: John Pannell

(G) SIBERIAN HUSKY DOGSLEDDING 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). 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 Onwards via Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk.

www.trans-siberian.co.uk

32 Super Trans-Sib

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Arrive Moscow, Transfer to accommodation Moscow sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station By train through Ural Mountains, eve arrive Ekaterinburg & accom Walking tour of Ekaterinburg & free time to explore Your choice of Ekaterinburg/Urals activities (see full itinerary) On board Trans-Sib eastwards, via Novosibirsk On board Trans-Sib eastwards, via Krasnoyarsk

Moscow Ekaterinburg Irkutsk Ulaanbaatar Beijing

Included in the trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Car transfer arrival/departure. two nts 3* Hotel B&B, 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. EKATERINBURG: Car transfer arrival/ departure. Two nts 2* Hotel B&B, 3 hour walking tour, day trip. LAKE BAIKAL : Rural options out of the City gives you the option to chose from two all inclusive programmes. ULAANBAATAR: All transfers, two night Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation full board. 1 night 3* hotel Ulaanbaatar, breakfast. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar.

9/10 EITHER: Siberian Village Stay with walk, mini-trek or scuba options, or in the winter, Snow Mobile OR: Fisherman’s Cape of Lake Baikal trip with mini-trek 11 Free time Listvyanka Village 12 Free time to explore Irkutsk city evening departure to Ulaanbaatar 13 On board, around Lake Baikal then southwards to Mongolia 14 Arrive Ulaanbaatar depart to Elstei Ger Camp 15 Free day at Elstei Ger Camp, optional riding or just relax? 16 Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore, overnight stay 17 Depart by train to Beijing, across Southern Gobi desert 18 Pass the Great Wall Of China, arrival in Beijing

No frills trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer arrival. Two nights 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. EKATERINBURG: Transfer arrival/departure. Two nights 1* Hotel room-only (shared bathroom). IRKUTSK: Transfer arrival/departure. Family stay accommodation, Irkutsk City. Breakfast. ULAANBAATAR: Arrival/departure transfers. Three nights 1* hotel, Ulaanbaatar. Breakfast.

baikal programmes
Choose either Siberian Village or Fisherman’s Cape of Lake Baikal
EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE
DAY 09 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 10 Choose one activity from below its all included in the trip price! (A) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest-and a Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and lore of the Taiga. (May-Oct). (B) SIBERIAN SCUBA (they say you gain a year of life if you dive in!) with qualified CMAS-instructors (requires PADI-1), 2 dives included (May-Sep). (C) SNOWMOBILE TRIP (2 hrs) with a local guidethrough the forest, or even out over the deep-frozen lake! (Dec-Apr). (D) TAKE YOURSELF FOR A WALK out of the village with a packed lunch and a book, and contemplate the vastness of the world’s hugest lake. (year-round weather permitting). Supper with your host family this evening. Then sleep like a log in a log cabin! DAY 11 Free day at Lakeside village – Listvyanka. Overnight with your host family.
photo: John Pannell

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

OR (2) FISHERMAN’S CAPE OF LAKE BAIKAL
DAY 09 Car from Irkutsk Station to the remoter village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km on rural roads). A local guide shows you the village, the Old Church, and the lake shoreline. Get the 20th Century out of your system have a real Siberian Sauna (banya), which will give you an appetite for a home-cooked supper. Overnight with host family. DAY 10 Leisurely lakeside walk (9km) to Ushkani Cape, and visit our friends the fishermen for lunch at their cabin. Leisurely walk back to Bolshoe Goloustnoe Village. Supper, then relish the hushed silence away from the tourist throng. Day 11 Transfer back to Irkutsk city (110km) and stay in a city apartment with a local family, in soviet city style. Day free to explore the city, overnight with host family. Or upgrade to tourist class hotel if you rate comfort over authenticity.

FULL ON £1,650 £1,550 £1,450 NO FRILLS £1,340 £1,240 £1,140 SPICING IT UP
1 person FULL-ON Extra Nights Moscow NO FRILLS Extra Nights Moscow Hotel upgrade Irkutsk City Upgrading to 2-berth Rail 2 people 3-9 people

£60 £45 £40 £449

£50 £35 £30 £449

£50 £35 £30 £449

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
18-DAY ITINERARY 2007 January 09, 23, February 13, 27, March 13, April 03, 17, May 01, 15, June 05, 19, July 03, 17, August 07, 21, September 11, 25, October 09, 23, November 13, 27, December 11, 25 2008 January 01, 15, February 05, 19, March 11, 25, April 01, 15, 29, May 13, June 03, 17 19-DAY ITINERARY* 2007 January 01, 15, February 05, 19, March 05, 19, April 09, 23, May 07, 21, June 11, 25, July 09, 23, August 13, September 03, 17, October 01, 15, November 05, 19, December 03, 17 2008 January 07, 21, February 11, March 03, 17, April 07, 21, May 05, 19, June 09, 23 Extra night for Siberian Village & Fisherman’s Cape of Baikal: in Irkutsk with host family or optional hotel upgrade.
*Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, £30 for two or more

DAY 12 DAY 13 DAY 14

DAY 15

DAY 16 DAY 17 DAY 18

Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) free time to explore the city. (we watch your bags). Transfer to the station for your Ulaanbaatar bound train. On board to Mongolia. Midnight border crossing. Early morning arrival in Outer Mongolia. Transfer from station, directly to 3* Hotel. Shower, and breakfast. Depart for two hour familiarisation of Ulaanbaatar, to include the Gandan Monastery ceremony. Tour ends city centre. Lunch at own expense. Transfer to Ger Camp. Supper included. 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. After Breakfast transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Check into the Hotel 3* day at leisure in the capital. Early transfer to the station for your Beijing bound train. Midnight border crossing, onwards into China. 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

ice festival special - better hurry, the ice melts soon!

SNOW TRAIN

from

Harbin Ice-Festival

photo: Johan de La Roy

£850

full on itinerary

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

11 nights/12 days 13 nights/14 days operational season December/January

D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

DAY 01 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in Moscow. 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… 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) 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 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.

(A) SKIING At Ezhovaya Slopes Ski Resort. Skis/Poles/Lift-Pass package purchasable locally approx $25 payable in roubles No instruction is included - this program is for those who can already ski. Duration; 6 - 7 hours. Lunch provided. 01 December - 28 February. (Weather permitting). (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).

Option to either remain at your hotel until 02:00 (we hold your room on for late checkout) 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…

Left - Ekaterinburg: Husky Sled-Dog photo: Neil McGowan/Russia Experience

Trans-Sib loco

photo: Johan de La Roy

34 Snow Train

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Arrive Moscow, transfer to accommodation Moscow winter sightseeing with local expert Day for sightseeing in Moscow, evening transfer to station On board the Trans-Sib via the Urals Mountains and arrive Ekaterinburg Three hour walking tour of Ekaterinburg WINTER MIXTURE: choose ice-fishing, snow-walk or husky-dog sledding! On board the Trans-Sib via Central Siberia On board the Trans-Sib, crossing the Yenisei River On board the Trans-Sib, circumnavigating Lake Baikal

Included in the trip:

Moscow

Ekaterinburg

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer arrival/departure. Two nights 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert. EKATERINBURG: Transfer arrival/departure. Two nights 2* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour walking tour. Free Winter Activity. HARBIN: Two nights 4* Hotel room-only.

Harbin

No frills trip:
TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival only. Two nights 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. EKATERINBURG: Transfer arrival/departure. Two nights 1* Hotel room-only (shared bathroom). HARBIN: 2 nights. Hotel room-only. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: RUSSIA & CHINA

10 On board the Trans-Sib, eastwards across Buryatia 11 Arrival in China to Harbin, hotel accomm opposite station 12 Opportunity to visit the Harbin Ice & Lanterns Festival 13 Free day to explore Harbin, overnight train to Beijing 14 Arrival in Beijing and end of itinerary

Beijing

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

FULL ON NO FRILLS SPICING IT UP

£1,200 £1,100 £1,000 £1,050 £950 £850

1 person 2 people 3-9 people FULL-ON Extra Night Moscow £60 £50 £50 NO FRILLS Extra Night Moscow £45 £35 £35 Upgrading to 2-berth Rail £325 £325 £325 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 to DAY 10 DAY 11

On board the Trans-Manchurian Express. The train makes several short stops en-route, allowing you only time to make a quick purchase from the locals of home cooked produce or replenish your drinks cabinet. 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. 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. 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.) 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.

DAY 12

DAY 13

DAY 14

Ice sculpture photo: Johan de La Roy

ALL DATES GUARANTEED

Snow Train 35

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) going West-East. Check our website @ www.trans-siberian.co.uk or call for details

WA CUSTNT TO YOUR OMISE SEE P TRIP? AGE 4 9

BIG TRANS-SIB FROM BEIJING
from
full on itinerary
DAY 01 Arrival in Beijing. Make your own way to hotel. Free time to explore one of the worlds fastest growing capital cities. Your train tickets will be delivered to your hotel after check in, with instructions to the station in English and Chinese. DAY 02 Own transport to Beijing Central Station for early morning departure to Ulaanbaatar. Thunder on across China past the Great Wall. Overnight on board. 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. 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.
D P U - E O S E R E T G UR AN T T R O R A N PA GU E D ES AT D

£820

15 nights/16 days 16 nights/17 days

Beijing by night photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

“Tickets please!” photo: Simon Calder

36 Big Trans-Sib from Beijing

NOT GROUP DEPARTURES

the trip
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Arrival to Beijing hotel (independently), free time in Beijing Own travel to Beijing Central Station, early departure to Ulaanbaatar Across Gobi steppes, arrival Ulaanbaatar, transfer to Ger Camp. Free day at Elstei Ger Camp walk, optional horse-riding, or just relax Return to Ulaanbaatar, free time to explore the city Morning walking tour of the capital, evening departure to Russia On board the Trans-Siberian en-route for Irkutsk

Included in the trip:

Beijing

Ulaanbaatar

8&9 EITHER: 2-day Siberian Village stay (scuba or mini-trek choices) OR: 2-day Fisherman’s Cape of Lake Baikal (more remote) 10 Return to Irkutsk, free time, family stay (or upgrade to hotel) 11 Transfer to station, board Trans-Siberian bound for Moscow 12 Across Eastern Siberia, cross the River Yenisei at Krasnoyarsk 13 Cross the River Ob at Novosibirsk and on via the Urals mountains 14 Mid-afternoon arrival in Moscow, transfer to hotel 15 Local expert assisted walking tour of Moscow, free time to explore 16 End of itinerary-why not continue now to St Petersburg?

Irkutsk

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. BEIJING: One night, room-only. 3* Hotel ULAANBAATAR: All Transfers included. Two Nights Mongolian Ger Camp accommodation, full board. One night 3* hotel in Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. Walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. LAKE BAIKAL: Rural options out of the City gives you the choice from two all-inclusive programmes. MOSCOW: Transfers on arrival. Two nights stay in a 3* Hotel, breakfast included. 3 hour personalised walking tour with local expert.

No frills trip:

Moscow

baikal programmes Choose either Siberian Village or Fisherman’s Cape
EITHER (1) SIBERIAN VILLAGE
DAY 08 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 09 Choose one activity from the list, it’s all included in the trip price! (A) SNOWMOBILE TRIP (2 hrs) with a local guidethrough the forest, or even out over the deep frozen lake! (Dec-Apr) weather permitting. (B) SOFTIES TREK through the Taiga Forest with Forester Guide to explain the wildlife, ecosystem and lore of the Taiga (May-Oct). (C) SIBERIAN SCUBA a freshwater dive in the world’s Greatest Lake, with CMAS-qualified instructors and pro-level gear (requires PADI-1). 2 dives included. (May-Sep). (D) 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. DAY 10 Transfer to Irkutsk (1hr) and overnight in city apartment with host family. Day free to explore the city. Or upgrade to tourist class Hotel if you rate comfort over authenticity.

OR (2) FISHERMAN’S CAPE OF LAKE BAIKAL

TRAIN: 2-Class 4-berth rail for complete journey. BEIJING: One night, room-only. 1* Hotel ULAANBAATAR: All transfers, Three nights 1* hotel Ulaanbaatar, breakfast included. IRKUTSK: Transfer arrival and departure. Three nights family stay accommodation. Breakfast. MOSCOW: Transfer on arrival only. Two nights stay in a 1* Hotel. Breakfast included. VISAS REQUIRED FOR: CHINA, MONGOLIA & RUSSIA

trip price:
1 person 2 people 3-9 people

Lake Baikal

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

FULL ON NO FRILLS SPICING IT UP

£1190 £980
1 person

£999 £840
2 people

£960 £820
3-9 people

Sightseeing in Moscow

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

DAY 08 Transfer directly from Station to the remoter village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km on rural roads). Your local guide shows you the village, the Old Church, and lake shoreline. Get the 20th Century out of your system in a real Russian banya (sauna) which will sharpen your appetite for home-cooked food for supper. Sleep soundly-the modern world is far, far away. DAY 09 Leisurely lakeside walk (8km) to Ushkani Cape, and visit our friends the fishermen for lunch at their cabin. Leisurely walk back to Bolshoe Goloustnoe Village. Supper, then relish the hushed silence away from the tourist throng. DAY 10 Transfer to Irkutsk (110km) and overnight in city apartment with host family. Day free to explore the city. Or upgrade to tourist class Hotel if you rate comfort over authenticity. DAY 11 Early transfer to the station to continue your journey on the Trans-Siberian Express. DAY 12 On board The Trans-Siberian train taking you across the River Yenisei, at Krasnoyarsk. DAY 13 The train makes several unscheduled stops, allowing you only time to make a quick purchase from the locals of their home cooked produce or replenish your drinks cabinet. DAY 14 Arrival in Moscow! We transfer you directly to 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 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 16 Breakfast. Your Trans-Siberian adventure comes to an end. For services onwards to St. Petersburg please see page 38.

FULL-ON Extra Night Moscow Extra night Beijing NO FRILLS Extra Night Moscow Extra night Beijing Irkutsk Hotel Upgrade Upgrading to 2-berth Rail

£60 £60 £45 £35 £40 £399

£50 £40 £40 £25 £30 £399

£50 £35 £40 £20 £30 £399

these are the dates when this itinerary works:
16-DAY ITINERARY 2007 January 12, February 02, 16, March 02, 16, 23, April 06, 20, May 04, June 04, 18, July 02, 16, August 06, 20, September 10, 24, October 08, November 12, 26, December 10, 31 17-DAY ITINERARY 2007* January 05, 19, 26, February 09, 23, March 09, 30, April 13, 27, May 11, 28, June 11, 25, July 09, 30, August 13, September 03, 17, October 01, 15, 22, November 05, 19, December 03, 17
EXTRA NIGHT FOR SIBERIAN VILLAGE IN LISTVYANKA is spent at Lake Baikal with host family. EXTRA NIGHT FISHERMAN’S CAPE IN BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE with host family. *Supplement per person for the extra night is £45 for one, £30 for two or more

ALL DATES GUARANTEED

Big Trans-Sib from Beijing 37

STARTING YOUR TRANS-SIB TRIP IN ST PETERSBURG...

St. Petersburg by night

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

from

£150
3 nights/4 days

The original trans-sib began from St Petersburg and so should you to see the contrast between the imperial splendour and the soviet simplicity that existed both then and now.

the itinerary
DAY 01 Arrival in St, Petersburg! We transfer you directly to your hotel - your first night in St. Petersburg. Day 02 After breakfast your guide will meet you at the hotel, to take you round the highlights. 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 Breakfast. Check out of your room by 12 noon. You can leave your luggage at the hotel. Perhaps you have pre-booked one of our city based excursions for today? (see page 47 for details).

If not these are a few of the things you may not have already seen. • The Hermitage Collection - Winter Palace. • The canals and waterways of the “Northern Venice”. • The Russian Museum of Fine Art. • The Peter & Paul Fortress-and the Tombs of the Tsars inside the Fortress Cathedral. • The Church on the Spilt Blood, nearby the Souvenir Bazaar. Own taxi to the station for your late evening Moscow bound train. Day 04 Arrival into the capital early morning. To gain access to your room in Moscow before 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 Basis Person Night (per person) 2 or more People (per person) Additional Night (per person)

HOTEL VESTA 3* HOTEL ASTERIA 3* HOTEL ENGECON 2*+ HOTEL ENGECON 1*

BB BB BB BB

£315 £315 £250 £200

£85 £85 £75 £35

£215 £215 £200 £150

£60 £60 £65 £30

(without en-suite facilities)

Peterhof Gardens photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

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 FOR OUR RANGE OF CITY EXCURSIONS OPTIONS PLEASE SEE PAGE 47.

38 Starting Your Trans-Sib Trip in St Petersburg

St. Petersburg by day photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

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 DAY 02 DAY 03 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. Morning check out of Hotel. A chance to spend some time in Beijing at the end of your Trans- Siberian Itinerary before returning home or continuing on through China.
Beijing: Great Wall of China photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

FULL ON

Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only 3* Hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist sights. *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. START DATES any day.

BEIJING TO HONG KONG
Two Chinas, one rail system 3 nights/4 days 2007/2008
BEIJING - HONG KONG

the Itinerary
DAY 01 DAY 02 DAY 03 DAY 04 FULL ON Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. Check-out of Hotel. Own taxi to station for lunch time departure to Hong Kong. Overnight on board. Early afternoon arrival into Hong Kong.

TRIP PRICE
Simply Beijing FULL ON Additional night NO FRILLS Additional night Transfer from hotel to Beijing airport VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA 1 person £150 £60 £85 £35 £45 2 people £85 £40 £50 £35 £25 3-9 people £80 £35 £45 £20 £25

Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only 3* Hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Transfer on departure not provided. Soft class 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 FULL ON Additional night NO FRILLS Additional night Upgrade to 2-berth rail VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA 1 person £310 £60 £245 £35 £50 2 people £250 £40 £205 £35 £50 3-9 people £240 £35 £200 £20 £50

Beijing: Drum Tower (detail) photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

40 China

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 DAY 02 DAY 03 DAY 04 DAY 05 DAY 06 DAY 07 DAY 08 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for early evening departure to Xi’an. Morning arrival. Check into your Hotel. Free time to explore this historic city. Full day excursion to Terracotta Army (transport, lunch, tickets and guide included). Early morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer to station for departure to Guangzhou. Morning arrival. Own transfer. Check into your Hotel. Morning check out of the Hotel. Own transfer. For afternoon departure from Nanhhaigang Harbour to Hong Kong. Arrive Canton Road Harbour Tsimshatsui, Kowloon 19.00 hrs.

Beijing: Forbidden City photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

SCENIC CHINESE ROUTE
Pagodas, princes, and a petrified forest 10 nights/11 days 2007/2008 Start dates: any day
BEIJING - XI’AN - GUILIN - GUANGZHOU 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. Soft class sleeper throughout. XI’AN: Two nights 3* hotel. Room-only. Full day CITS group excursion to Terracotta Army. 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. Good location within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Clean but basic run by non-English speaking staff. XI’AN: Two nights 1* hotel. Room-only. GUANGZHOU: One night 1* hotel. Room-only. Hydrofoil ticket to Hong Kong.

the Itinerary
DAY 01 DAY 02 DAY 03 DAY 04 DAY 05 DAY 06 Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for early evening departure to Xi’an. Morning arrival. Check into your Hotel. Free time to explore this historic city. Full day excursion to Terracotta Army (transport, lunch, tickets and guide included). Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for evening departure to Guilin. Late evening arrival. Own transfer. Check into your Hotel. Overnight. Free time to explore, and maybe take a boat trip up the River Li? Morning check out of Hotel. Own transfer for evening departure to Guangzhou. Early morning arrival. Own transfer. Check into your Hotel. Morning check out of the Hotel. Afternoon departure by Hydrofoil to Hong Kong.

TRIP PRICE
Great Chinese 1 person 2 people 3-9 people FULL ON £540 £440 £430 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 DAY 07 DAY 08 DAY 09 DAY 10 DAY 11 FULL ON

BEIJING: Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room only 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all 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

Xi’an: Terracotta Army

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

Xi’an: Great Goose Pagoda

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

TERRACOTTA TRAIL
Take in the Terracotta Army en-route to Shanghai 6 nights/7 days 2007/2008 Start dates: any day
BEIJING - XI’AN - SHANGHAI

BEIJING TO SHANGHAI
Full-steam ahead from ancient Beijing to vibrant Shanghai 3 nights/4 days 2007/2008 Start dates: any day
BEIJING - SHANGHAI

the Itinerary
DAY 01 DAY 02 DAY 03 DAY 04 DAY 05 DAY 06 DAY 07 FULL ON Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your hotel. Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see 39. Morning check out of hotel. Own transfer for early evening departure to Xi’an. Morning arrival. Check into your hotel. Free time to explore this historic city. Full day excursion to Terracotta Army (transport, lunch, tickets and guide included). Morning check out of hotel. Own transfer for evening departure to Shanghai. Morning arrival to Shanghai. Hotel rates can be found below.

the Itinerary
DAY 01 DAY 02 DAY 03 DAY 04 FULL ON Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your Hotel. Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see page 39. Check out of Hotel. Free time. Own taxi to station for evening departure to Shanghai. Overnight on board. Early morning arrival into Shanghai. Hotel rates can be found below.

Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Transfer on departure not provided. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Shanghai. *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 are not provided. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing -Shanghai.

Transfer from Beijing Central Station. Two nights room-only 3* hotel. Centrally located within walking distance to all main tourist sights. Transfer on departure not included. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Shanghai. *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 not provided. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Shanghai.

TRIP PRICE
Beijing-Shanghai FULL ON Additional night-Beijing Additional night-Xi’an NO FRILLS Additional night-Beijing Additional night-Xi’an Peace Hotel 5* Shanghai Huadong Hotel 3* Shanghai VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA 1 person £270 £60 £60 £215 £35 £35 Single Room £135 £65 2 people £210 £40 £40 £175 £35 £25 Twin Room £75 £45 3-9 people £200 £35 £35 £165 £20 £23

TRIP PRICE
Terracotta Trail to Shanghai FULL ON Additional night-Beijing Additional night-Xi’an NO FRILLS Additional night-Beijing Additional night-Xi’an Peace Hotel 5* Shanghai Huadong Hotel 3* Shanghai VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA 1 person £390 £60 £60 £335 £35 £35 Single Room £135 £65 2 people £330 £40 £40 £275 £35 £25 Twin Room £75 £45 3-9 people £320 £35 £35 £265 £20 £23

Xi’an: Great Goose Pagoda

photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

The Oriental Pearl Tower

photo: Aimie Conning/Russia Experience

42 China

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
Night market in Beijing photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

BEIJING TO HANOI
Connecting down to South East Asia 4 nights/5 days 2007/2008 Start dates: Tuesday and Friday
BEIJING - HANOI

Great Wall
Includes: Ming Tombs The well-preserved sections of the Great Wall in Beijing are China’s most famous tourist site. These sections are mainly the remains 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 city centre. Here you will see a small section to include several passes and lookout towers. Lunch. This afternoon you will visit the Ming tombs. The general name given to the Mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1664). The Mausoleums have been perfectly preserved and the site has a high cultural and historic value. English speaking guide. Coach pick up from your hotel at 8am. Expect to return 5pm. £45 per person

the Itinerary
Arrive Beijing. Transfer* from Beijing Central Station to your hotel. DAY 02 Free day in Beijing. For day trip options please see across. DAY 03 Check out of Hotel. Free time. Own taxi to station for afternoon departure to Hanoi. Overnight on board. DAY 04 On board. DAY 05 Arrive into Hanoi early morning. After your stay in Beijing you will take a two night soft class sleeper train down to Hanoi, in Northern Vietnam. 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. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Hanoi. *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 are not provided. Soft class 4-berth Sleeper Beijing-Hanoi. DAY 01

The Forbidden City
Also includes: Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. A full-day look into the lives of the Emperors. The Forbidden City lies at the heart of Beijing - it was the Imperial enclave of the city, entrance was “forbidden” to common citizens. Within this enormous city-within-a-city are museums, temples, and even, ehem, Starbucks. After lunch (included) the tour continues to the Temple of Heaven, a Daoist temple where the Emperors prayed for good fortune for their people. Finally we visit the Summer Palace, laid-out in oriental gardens around a huge lake. The Gardens represent the high-point of their kind, and are recognised by UNESCO. English speaking guide. Coach pick up from your hotel at 8am. Expect to return 5pm. £55 per person

TRIP PRICE
Beijing-Hanoi FULL ON Additional night NO FRILLS Additional night VISA REQUIRED FOR: CHINA & 1 person £315 £60 £245 £35 VIETNAM 2 people £245 £40 £220 £35 3-9 people £240 £35 £215 £20

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

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 local city experts.

Tsarskoe Selo Palace photo:Jan Segal/Russia Experience

44 St Petersburg Hotels

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

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 Local Expert Services (6 hours) Moscow or St Petersburg Transfer on arrival-St Petersburg or Moscow SVO Airport Transfer on arrival-Moscow DME Airport Transfer on departure- St Petersburg or Moscow SVO Airport Transfer on departure-Moscow DME Airport Superior 1st-Cl (Firmenny-klass) 2 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa Superior 2nd-Cl (Firmenny-klass) 4 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa Standard 2nd-Cl/4 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa Standard 1st-Cl/2 berth rail tickets Moscow-St Petersburg or vice-versa £50 £90 £55 £65 £45 £55 £135 £85 £60 £100

Buying your on-board train picnic in style - at the historic Eliseevsky Delicatessen photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

46 Spicing it up

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 EXCURSIONS Your short-cut to the inside story
Moscow and St Petersburg are classic European cities on everyone’s want-to-see list-and they’re really accessible places these days. However, there are still activities where the language-barrier can lock you out-an excursion not only helps you get the most out of them, but ensures you actually find the place, and get there on a day it’s open too! When the information is even finding your way can be a problem (so we’ll usually arrange to meet you at a nearby metro station or rendezvous point). Also many activities (marked *) are only possible if pre-organised and don’t accept casual visitors. • Excursions do not include transportation except where specifically indicated. • Your own English-language local city expert accompanies you on all the excursions and activities (including those where the venue/organisation also provides their own compulsory guide).

Tea with Russian Family*
• Tea at a Russian Home, to include Russian tea with snacks and sweets. This is a tradition few visitors see-you not only try the tea, but hear about tea’s long tradition in Russian society too. A unique chance to see how Russians live today. • Excursion: 2 hours. Tea with family 1 hr 30 mins. travelling time on public transport to their home 30 mins.

£25 per person.
Please note that (despite what your guidebook may say) the KGB Museum is now permanently closed for the foreseeable future, with no indication when it may reopen (if ever).

ST PETERSBURG Museum of Russian Political History and History of Political Police*
Essential background for anyone wondering, “how the USSR ever came to happen? Rather more objective than the KGB Museum in Moscow. Closed Thurs. • Excursion 2 hrs.

MOSCOW Russian Language Intro Lesson
Four hours (including a break) learning Russian for complete beginners – or if you already know some, to hone your skills! Includes some real-life practice in the street.

£30 per person.
• Tea at a Russian Home, to include Russian tea with snacks and sweets. This is a tradition few visitors see-you not only try the tea, but hear about tea’s long tradition in Russian society too. A unique chance to see how Russians live today. • Excursion 2.5 hours.

£40 per person. Visit Stalin’s Secret Bunker
A unique chance to visit Stalin’s Secret Bunker, built in 1942 in the heat of WW2, from where he directed the Soviet war effort. Private admission only, please book early. Can only be offered for 2+ visitors. • Excursion: 2.5 hours which includes travelling time on public transport of 30 mins each direction.

£25 per person.
*admission restricted to pre-arranged visitors only.

Yusupov Palace
“As rich as a Tsar!” they used to say - but the Yusupov nobility were even richer than the Tsars. This excursion around their former Palace gives you an idea just how rich that was! (Although the best “pieces” were confiscated by the Revolutionaries). They even had a private opera theatre in their home! But for most visitors the main attraction is the room where young Prince Felix Yusupov and his university friends murdered the Siberian “wise man”, Rasputin. • Excursion 2.5 hours which includes travelling time on public transport of 30 mins.

£130 per person. Anti-KGB Museum*
(The Andrey Sakharov Museum) When the USSR’s leading Nuclear Scientist refused to make The Bomb, he became a public enemy. The museum tells Sakharov’s story, and of those many others who refused to obey. Closed Mons. • Excursion: 2 hours. Museum tour 1 hr 30 mins. travelling time on public transport to museum. 30 mins.

Inside the Hermitage photo: Jan Segal/Russia Experience

£65 per person.

£30 per person. City Excursions 47

COUNTDOWN TO YOUR TRIP
Before you leave
TRIP SELECTION
Our trips are not group trips, so the dates we list are not “group departures”- just the dates when all the travel sectors fall into alignment for snag-free connections through remote areas. DOING THE “RED” TAPE We know the booking form is dull stuff, but in destinations where they love red tape, it’s important that your travel documents match your personal details to the letter. Once you’ve sent this to us, we’ll send you the Visa Application forms you’ll need for your trip. Most visas can only be obtained in the ninety days prior to your arrival-we’ll let you know when. Do not apply for visas until you have booked your trip with us without the supporting documents we provide for you, your application will usually be rejected, resulting in wasted time and costs to you. We do all the visa submission stuff saving you the hassle of queuing for days at different Consulates. Because the Consulates only accept applications within 90 days prior to the start of your trip, we will lodge your passport in this time. Returning them to you 3-4 weeks from this point. (Depending on the number of visas you require.) Along with your passport and visas, we’ll be sending your travel documents too. Train tickets are only issued “in-destination”, so they’ll be awaiting your arrival. We’ll need to know the confirmed arrival details, flight number, train number and station, or bus details, no later than a week prior so we can meet you. VISA INFO FOR RUSSIA Handy to know: (A) Russian visas are dated around the dates of your travel plans, the visa permits you to be in the country to complete your itinerary, but not for unscheduled extra activities. They give you a day’s grace either side, but only for emergencies. (B) Arriving /leaving by surface? Russia’s so big its Western borders are more than a day’s ride from the main cities… so we’ll need to fix your entry dates accordingly. Please let us know if this applies to you! (C) When we submit your visa, we need to show what travel services have been booked any dates you list that aren’t evidenced with travel docs to match will be knocked back. It’ll also delay your application whilst they do it. (D) Your passport must be valid for travel (i.e. not expired, or within six months after the end of all services) If you have two passports please consider which one you will travel on when applying for your visas and use the same one throughout. VISA INFO FOR MONGOLIA & CHINA: Mongolian visas largely follow the same pattern as the Russian. We’ll help you with the administration to ensure you get your visa in good time. Chinese visas are quite simple but there are numerous old Travellers’ Tales about them! They are good for 30 days travel in China. You have 90 days to enter China from the day of issue, when the clock starts ticking. Because the Chinese Visa is so much simpler than the other two, we leave this one to you. Or if you want us to do it anyway, we’ll charge you a processing fee of £30.00.

VISA FEES CHARGED
Nationality GREAT BRITAIN AUSTRALIA/OTHER NEW ZEALAND Russia £45 £63 £45 Mongolia £40 £40 £40 China £30+Processing £30 £20+Processing £30 £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

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW SAFE IS IT TO BOOK WITH YOU? We are a fully bonded tour operator, registered in the UK, where EU law requires us to protect your travel funds. We are full members of the Travel Trust Association (TTA) www.traveltrust.co.uk your travel funds are held frozen in a Trust Account until your trip is complete, and only then released to us by the TTA’s approved Trustee. The Russia Experience Ltd is a member of AITO (www.aito.co.uk)-the Association of Independent Tour Operators, a government-regulated professional body of more than 150 tour operators. Between them AITO members take over 1,400,000 satisfied people on holidays throughout the world every year. We are mandated to uphold the high professional standards and stringent financial safeguards which is implicit in membership of the TTA and AITO. AREN’T VISAS A NIGHTMARE THAT TAKES WEEKS? Needn’t be! We do the whole thing for you. Russian visas need proof of booking from a Russian registered outfit-we do all of this behind the scenes. Get your booking form into us at least six weeks prior to departure, and you’ll avoid express visa costs. If you do book less than six weeks prior to departure you still will be able to go, if the trip is available but you will need to pay express fees, please check with us how much these will be as they are dependent on what passport you hold and how much time we have. We’ll also need the original of your passport to get your visas and this must be the same as the passport number you gave us when you completed the original booking form. DO I NEED INSURANCE? DO I NEED VACCINATIONS? We do require you to have Travel insurance to take any of our trips. For rates please contact our reservations department. Which policy you purchase is your own choice. The Russian Consulate also requires you to have Travel Insurance to obtain a visa. No vaccinations are mandatory but you would be well advised to get informed advice on this (not every GP may be as well informed on the latest health developments in these locations). Particular concerns are Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Tetanus and Diphtheria. Tickborne encephalitis is a small risk on some Siberian trekking routes there is a vaccine available. But the risk is VERY small and our leaders observe safety procedures. We also suggest you take a First Aid kit, to include a Sterile Surgical kit. WHY IS IT EXPENSIVE TO MAKE ENROUTE STOPS? A Trans-sib secret that no guidebooks seemed to have grasped goes like this… non-stop international tickets are still priced accordingly to old bilateral agreements dating back to the Soviet era which cannot be broken, even now! But if you introduce stops into the your trip these sectors are priced commercially by Russian Railways…so you only get the benefit of state subsidised fares for part of your journey. CAN I STAY EXTRA NIGHTS? In Moscow and St Petersburg, yes! But the train schedules on some of the less than frequent routes make altering the stays almost impossible. Adding or removing odd days will almost never work. We always include two nights in Moscow prior to your Trans- Siberian journey and two in St Petersburg is the standard if you buy a St Petersburg add on-but “there is stacks to see, and I wish I had stayed longer!” is always the feedback we get! HOW MUCH SPENDING MONEY WILL I NEED? This depends on what lifestyle you plan pursuing on your trip! The information pack we provide will give you an idea of current costs. Eating and drinking are very similar to most European cities, although Ulaanbaatar and Beijing have upscale versions if you have cash to flash! When itineraries take you far from the shops or cafes we often include meals. Russian souvenirs tend to be fun and low priced so you will be able to stash your pack full of Russian goodies! FAMILY STAYS: What should I expect? Some of our trips feature options staying with local families. Although sometimes this is for practical reasons (e.g. no other kind of accommodation is available-nomad stays in the Gobi for example) it also broadens the trip experience, two way interaction with the places and the people that live there. We’re not promising luxury we’re promising a slice of life! People who live in harsh climates and terrains are naturally gregarious, and you will learn and experience more with them than you could ever absorb in a month staying in a sterile Western style Hotel. SPECIAL DIETS: Meat features strongly in the national cuisine of most of our destinations. As a team the Russia Experience employs several vegetarians and we have never starved! But for when you are off the train you must advise us prior to departure if you have any special dietary requirements. If you have anything more complicated than a lactovegetarian diet consider that in some of the remote places you are to travel this could be a considerable problem-and stock up accordingly. TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN; There are no serious downsides, and the infrastructure of travel and accommodation works well if you’re taking children along. However, Communist-era thinking very much treated children as small adults, with little or no provisions or amenities. So priming your children is essential if they are not going to get bored. Take supplies of books and fresh comics secreted in your suitcase English reading material in unavailable for both children and adults alike. The journey is however the most fantastic introduction to a world they will have never known and they will meet many local children along the way, who will be very curious about their lives so take photos of home! Child prices are on application. HOW MUCH PRIVACY DO YOU GET ON BOARD THE TRAIN? All our standard trips are based on 2nd Class Rail in Russia which is 4-berth compartments. You’ll be sharing with any travelling companions who book with you, of course plus other train passengers. It’s possible to buy yourself more privacy than that with an upgrade to 1st Class (2-berth compartments) BUT this is in very short supply and some trains don’t have it at all. An alternative is a “buyout” of a four-berth compartment-which could be for one, two, or three travelling companions, prices on request. ARE THERE SHOWERS ON BOARD? Most of the main long distance (24 hrs+) on Russian Railways (but not on Mongolian or Chinese) now have a pay-to-use shower. You have to go to the “Special Services” wagon. One use is R50-90pp (prices are set by the varying train operators). No towel or soap is included in the price, we hope you have your own! WILL I MEET OTHER TRAVELLERS? Very likely-especially in the Summer months. There is only one train a week for instance between Mongolia and Beijing (incredible, but true) so a bit of bunching is inevitable for the last section. DOWNSIDES: There are no serious downsides or dangers in visiting our destinations, and there is no need for woman travellers to worry in fact the men get the worry as Russia has an old take on a new annoyance sexual harassment by aggressive ladies of the night. A firm nyet should get rid of them! Dressing-down is recommended for both sexes anyhow the lure of conspicuous wealth is the biggest draw for unwelcome attention. Also remember that it is law to have your documents on you at all times in Russia-spot-checks are routine. The cops know this and if you don’t have them on you, will march you down to the Station to waste half a day of your trip and cost you a lot of roubles. WANT TO CUSTOMISE YOUR TRIP? All the trips brochured have a pre arranged schedule however if you would like to customise your journey with longer stays, or special requests for instance, please check with us and we will see whats possible. Note that no alterations will be possible once your trip has commenced. Email info@trans-siberian.co.uk

We strongly advise all our clients to check the latest Travel Advice from their own national Foreign Ministry. This information is constantly updated and so printing it here would deny you access to the latest information. We will willingly provide you with a print-out of this information if you do not have access to the internet to check it in person.

Frequently Asked Questions 49

RUSSIA EXPERIENCE BOOKING FORM 2007/8
Passenger Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms
*First

Fax (020) 8566 8843
number Special dietary Requirements

name

*Surname

*Date

of birth

*Nationality

*Passport

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: Post code Work Tel: Mobile Tel: Home 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 nights Moscow 2 berth upgrade Arrival flight/ train number Arrival time Arrival airport Moscow
*Please delete as appropriate

Arriving from

YES/NO
Your day trip choice for Ekaterinburg (one only) Hotel upgrade Irkutsk City Hotel upgrade Ulan-Uday Pre booked city excursion name:

Domodedovo/ Sheremetyevo

YES/NO YES/NO

In Siberia, Siberian Village/Fishermans Cape/Adventure Trek - please choose If Siberian Village; Softies Trek/Siberian Scuba/Snowmobile/Do your own thing *delete as appropriate

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 Hotel Name Arrival/departure transfers required Start date Number of additional nights Rail tickets Route City Excursion Arrival flight number 2-berth/4-berth Local expert Services Arrival time Arriving from
*Please delete as appropriate

Domodedovo/Sheremetyevo

VISAS
RUSSIA Free Visa handling service (15 working days to Process) I will organise my own Russian Visa with my local consulate MONGOLIA Please organise my Mongolian Visa (5 working days to process) I will organise my own Mongolian Visa with my local consulate CHINA Please organise my Chinese Visa (5 working days to process) I will organise my own Chinese Visa with my local Consulate

INSURANCE
Do you wish to take out travel insurance with your agent? Y/N If not you MUST provide details of alternative cover: Company Policy number
SECURITY CODE

Y/N

Y/N

Y/N

Y/N

Y/N

Y/N

PAYMENT
I authorise the Russia Experience Ltd to charge my Visa/MasterCard/Switch/Maestro: £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 NUMBER EXPIRY DATE ISSUE NUMBER

Card holder signature
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.

Sales Referral from J Pannell - www.trans-siberia.com
Where did you hear of The Russia Experience?

D E C L A R A T I O N
I have read the Russia Experience brochure and would now like to book my trip, by signing the booking form or paying the deposit, I declare I have read the booking conditions and accept them on behalf of all members of my party listed above. I have also read and understood the following: That local conditions in my destination may differ from those in my country of 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 availability of entry visas, registration of aliens, local taxes etc-are subject to revision without prior notice. I understand I must submit by passport for the purposes of obtaining visas for an uninterrupted period of 25 days. (Or pay an express fee for quicker processing) Signed Date

Booking Form 51

BOOKING CONDITIONS
1. Your contract is with The Russia Experience Ltd. The Russia Experience Ltd are a fully bonded tour operator, registered in the UK, where EU law requires us to protect your travel funds. We are full members of the Travel Trust Association (TTA)www.traveltrust.co.ukyour travel funds are held frozen in a Trust Account until your trip is complete, and only then released to us by the TTA’s approved Trustee. The Russia Experience Ltd is a member of AITO (www.aito.co.uk)-the Association of Independent Tour Operators, a government-regulated professional body of more than 150 tour operators. We are mandated to uphold the high professional standards and stringent financial safeguards which is implicit in membership of the TTA and AITO. 2. All bookings are accepted on a request basis only. Acceptance of a Booking Form does not imply availability of a trip. 3. No booking will be accepted without a completed Booking Form and either a Deposit or, according to the payment schedule applicable, full payment. Deposits are non refundable in all cases. 4. The Trip Balance is due 60 days before commencement of your trip. Late payment may cause cancellation of all or part of your trip, with no refund payable. 5. No travel documents will be issued until full payment has been made. 6. We accept payment by cash, travellers’ cheque’s and bankers’ drafts and credit cards. We accept personal cheques subject to clearance, for which 10 days must be allowed. 7. The responsibility for obtaining and carrying correct visas, passports and other travel documents remains with the passenger. 8. If we have to cancel your trip for unexpected reasons, you will be offered a full refund of all funds paid over to us, or the offer of a trip of substantially equal or better quality if appropriate. 9. If you wish to cancel your trip, we require written notice and will make funds to you in accordance with the table below, calculated from the date which we receive written notice. IF YOU CANCEL YOUR HOLIDAY: NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE WHEN WE RECEIVE YOUR CANCELLATION. SHOWN AS A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR TOTAL HOLIDAY PRICE. Over 60 days before commencement Deposit only 59-40 days before commencement 50% 39-14 days before commencement 90% 14 days or no show 100%
* The trip price does not include visas, visa processing fees, travel insurance or guidebooks, which shall be 100% forfeit in all cases.

10. We are required by EU regulations to ensure you have travel insurance which covers repatriation if required. If you do not purchase insurance, you must confirm to our satisfaction that you have made alternative arrangements. 11. We have made it clear in all sales materials that it is common and accepted practice for transport methods employed on our trips to run with delays, or to run below operational standards that would be regarded as normal in Western Europe. We cannot accept any claim for indirect or consequential loss arising from the failure of transport suppliers to conform either to timetables supplied by us or to their own timetables. We cannot accept any claim for shock, loss, distress, whether mental or financial, arising from deviations from operational standards by transport suppliers whose services form part of our itineraries (whether original or amended). 12. We cannot be responsible for the safety of passengers or their belongings and for this reason we recommend strongly that you take out adequate travel insurance. 13. If circumstances or weather conditions force us to amend your itinerary or the services with it, we shall notify you in writing as soon as possible. If the change arises during your trip, our representatives will make every effort to contact you personally. We reserve the right to substitute alternative transport or accommodation in the interests of the safety of our passengers and/or the successful completion of the itinerary. 14. If you require us to change your booked itinerary, we will do everything possible to facilitate this, subject to your agreement to meet the costs which may be incurred. An estimate of these costs, in writing, will be provided before proceeding.

15. We believe the descriptions of the services and facilities in this brochure are fair and accurate. In the event of faults or omissions by ourselves or those acting for us, appropriate compensation may be payable. Such cases will not include cases caused by war or threat of war; changes in transport timetables; denial of border entry for any undocumented reasons; riots; civil unrest; disasters of natural or nuclear origin; terrorist activities; declarations of autonomy or independence by areas not recognised as such by the United Nations, or decisions relating to foreign nationals made by the elected or de facto leaders of such areas; and such other circumstances beyond our reasonable control. 16. In the event of illness, accident or cases described in Condition 15 above, we shall provide all reasonable help to passengers. Our assistance shall not replace the assistance to be expected from travel insurance up to the limits of cover of the policy recommended by us, nor shall it replace the assistance of the Consul responsible for you whilst abroad. 17. Claims for compensation will be accepted in writing only, within 30 days of final included service. We are unable to consider any claim where the assistance or advice of our local representatives has been unsought, rejected or ignored. 18. Passengers who fail to join the trip by the means or at the time and date they previously advised us within at least 14 days’ notice shall forfeit all subsequent services up to such time as they can be reasonably be rejoined. Any re scheduling so caused shall be at the passenger’s own expense. Departure without notification from the itinerary may result in forfeiture of subsequent services. “No-show” passengers shall forfeit all subsequent services if they fail to notify us of intention to rejoin their itinerary within 72 hours of their original arrival date. Expenses arising from unscheduled departure from the itinerary cannot be recovered from us. 19. Tariffs shown in our leaflets were accurate based on prices and exchange at the time of printing. Should the prices of the services rise, or be adversely affected by exchange rate movements, we reserve the right to make a surcharge. If you have already commenced your booking by paying a deposit or full payment and completing a Booking Form, and the price increase should amount to a differential of more 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 entitled to withdraw your booking and receive a full refund of all money paid over to us, with the exception of visa fees, which shall be forfeit in any event. 20. With the exception of diving none of our activities require special training or above-average levels of fitness or mobility. If you are in any doubt about whether you should undertake them, you should consult your medical adviser. We are unable to refund any money in respect of services from which you withdraw after arrival. With reasonable notice, alternative versions of most of our activities can be organised for those of you who have special needs, and a section on our booking form invites information to enable us to plan for your needs in this case. 21. At all times passengers are bound by local law and jurisdiction in their chosen destinations. Passengers, who depart from the selected itinerary, either geographically or chronologically, are advised that they may be breaking local immigration regulations, which at best will result in delay and inconvenience, and at worst may result in arrest and imprisonment, in neither of which cases are we able to assist in any material way. Passengers are advised that local duties and levies are frequently introduced, amended or increased without warning, and whilst we do our best to inform passengers of what local costs are likely to incur, we cannot guarantee that further costs may be imposed or increased subsequent to our recent information. Such costs remain the passenger’s responsibility. 22. We do not organise air travel to or from our destinations. Passengers are advised to ensure that agencies with whom they organise such services are properly bonded and certified to conduct such business. On request we can provide details with a recommended agent for many localities. 23. The Russia Experience will not accept responsibility for any additional or alternative travel arrangements (including the use of local guides and the purchase of services and excursions) that are made independently by its clients and that are separate, or in addition, to the booked and ticketed itinerary.

50 Booking Conditions

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

Russia Experience

Design and Artwork: DH design

www.dh-design.co.uk