01 Arrival in Moscow! With Global Village we transfer you directly to your hotel from the airport or railway (want to Start in St Petersburg – look at our before and after section) for your first night in Moscow (Also ask about our great flight deal into Russia and back from Asia!).
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 free full day - take your pick...
The first leg of the trans-sib is the longest - 3 days from Mongolia to Irkutz, crossing 5 time zones. This might seem like a long time to spend on a train, but it passes pretty quickly. The train usually stops a couple of times a day so you can get off and stretch your legs, moreover the Tran-Sib is a lot more modern than you'd expect. Its usually air-conditioned in the summer or hot in the winter - the train attendants (usually old Russian Grannies called Provodniks in Russian) like the heat! Also on many of the station platforms there will be old ladies selling home made food. There is some fantastic stuff here, such as some great home-made dumplings and pastries. Buy them! They’re usually pretty good.
Then onwards into Siberia itself, via Novosibirsk…
Across the River Yenisei, at Krasnoyarsk…
Days 7 - 9
Arrive in Irkutsk. Take your choice of program from the two options at Lake Baikal Choose either the 3 day Siberian Village programme or the 3 day Baikal Adventure Trek
The Siberian Village programme
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.
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 CMAS-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. Breakfast. Free time, supper and overnight with host family.
The Baikal Adventure Trek
Only available to two or more passengers travelling together between 15 June and 1 September.
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. Breakfast. Trek along the Baikal shore (25 km). Picnic lunch along the way. Set up camp at Sennaya Bay, supper and overnight. 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.
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!
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Thunder on across China past the Great Wall. Mid-afternoon arrival into Beijing Central Station.