I'm just thinking about things like stops, accomodations on and off train, itinerary, ticket purchasing, info I need for border crossings... pretty much anything at this point is helpful. Just looking for some direction. Thanks all!
Take a look at this link. You may find it useful:
I havent been on that journey myself but here is a blog I recently read by a TravelBlog member who has.
Was planning a similar trip myself a year or so ago, although it had to be postponed. That seat61 site that is posted above is awesome, has tonnes of info. Another site I found quite useful was realrussia.co.uk. I think it's basically just a tour company but you can put in an accurate itinerary, with how many stops you want in each place etc and get a quote for the trip straight away.
Alright!! Thanks so much! I can't wait to get the trip planning underway... an exciting part of the whole journey, isn't it?
Definitely! I've been having a lot of fun, over the last year, planning my RTW trip!
This thread has me seriously considering the trip in the future - it would be awesome! And yes, planning is a very exciting part of any journey! It appears that the Trans-Mongolian trip via Mongolia into Beijing has the best scenery.
A big hassle seems to be the Visa reqiurements in Russia - but if you plan early enough, that obstacle should be overcome.
visa for Russia's really easy if you just get an agency to do it for you. There are plenty on the web, just search. Visa for Mongolia's pretty easy too, just need a print out of a hotel booking for a night or two and take it to the embassy.
I find seat61 great for info on routes and schedules but he always recommends the most expensive options, like hiring your own 4-bed cabin on the trans siberian! surely half the fun of that trip would be being in the platzkart (common carriage) and meeting all the other people on the journey?!
There are plenty on the web, just search.
Are they generally trustworthy?
yes, completely trustworthy. I've used several of them several times and everyone I know who's used them speaks very highly of them. In fact, pretty much everyone I know who's been to Russia as a tourist has used one of those agencies - with all the hassle of obtaining a letter of invitation otherwise, they've become the standard way of doing it. Just choose one of the first ones that appears when you google "Russian visa".
The Trans-Siberian is an amazing experience, and a very long journey.
Hey there, you can also see our blog if you like: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Charmita-and-Olarse/page-4.html
Hello Jon. I'm planning for the TSR in November this year and will be going with Gap Adventures on their 21 day trip. Its a little pricey but I figure since it starts in China, I'll be able to enjoy the great wall etc first. I don't mind paying more because I will be travelling alone, and I believe having a tour guide will allow me to get the most out of the trip. I don't speak a spec of russian except Da and Nyt, so I'd better start brushing up!
A monster Kudos everyone- Gamsa Hamnida (as they say in Korea)! This thread has been a wealth of info. I've found that seat61 is incredible and answers a lot of questions, gives me great direction. I got some prices back hovering under 800$ USD, with stops in UlanBator, Mongolia and Lk. Bakal (the city name escapes me right now-sorry). How does that compare?
Oh- and thanks cabochick, I learned my first two Russian words today!