A Travellerspoint blog

Mongolia

Towns N Kilometers N Small Bits of Info

The following entry is not filled with personal details. It is a very full run down on towns, kilometers to Moscow, the different sections of the journey and a little information as well. I guess it wasn't until I looked at the amount of towns that the train goes through that the journeys length really hit me.

Total Distance: 9289 km - Vladivostok to Moscow 9651 km - Beijing to St Petersburg

Accommodation: around 7 nights onboard Time Zones: 7 time zones Total Amount of stations: 295

<u>PASSPORTS & VISAS: </u>Make sure you have a passport with at least six months validity from the date of departure, and any visas necessary to enter or transit any countries involved in the journey. Also MAKE SURE you go to a police station WITHIN three days of entering Russia. If your VISA is stapled into your passport I can guarantee that on the side you can't see there will be a note telling you to do this. I met several people whom had the same experience as me and were fined for not doing so.

<u>INSURANCE & MEDICAL</u> Vaccinations: When I went there are no compulsory vaccinations requirements for entry purposes. If you worry about your health then the following are recommended: flu, typhoid, meningitis (Mongolia), hepatitis and diphtheria.

<u>PERSONAL SPENDING MONEY:</u> Unless you travel first class you need to beg, borrow or steal all your meals. When the train stops at a large station it is usually for awhile. Get off and buy something that is green and good for you. I know that my journey wasn't 'the normal' journey so I'm unsure if the restaurant carriage ALWAYS runs out of food. On my journey it was barely open and when it was it ran out of food faster that the train was going. Stock up on dried noodles, the ones you add water to. Take fresh fruit with you. You will also need to hire linen. I had my sleeping bag but was made to use the linen. Probably because it was already on the bed when I boarded. Costs bugger all so it didn't really bother me.

<u>LUGGAGE</u> Only Take What You Can Carry! Take a backpack, it's the only way to travel. Give up the suit case mate!

<u>ACCOMMODATION</u> You will be sharing with three others in your cabin that is unless you have requested and paid for a twin share, nice move! In your little shared home you will find a table, reading lamp a comfortable bunk each.

<u>TOILETS & HOT WATER</u> On the Chinese trains: washing and toilet facilities are at the end of each carriage. You WILL have a squat style toilet! There will also be a little wash basin next to it. For hot water you will have 2 large thermos flasks in your compartment.

On Russian Trails washing and toilet facilities are at both ends of each carriage. For hot water there is an urn at the end of each carriage.

On ALL trains there are no showers! ___________________________________

If you join the Trans Siberian from the Trans Mongolian like I did, here is a run down of towns etc

ULAN-UDE, SAUDINSKIY: (5654kms to Moscow): This is where the junction of the Trans Mongolian Railway branches off. (In operation since 1965). It crosses the boarder at Naushki ,

ULAN-UDE: (5647kms to Moscow): The Buryat Autonomous Republic: established in 1958 and was known as the Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Republic. The Buryats were nomadic pastoralists until the 17th Century when the Russians arrived. The Buryats are related to the Mongols.

DIVIZIONNAYA: TATAUROVO: TALOVKA: SELENGA: TIMLYUY: POSOLSKAYA: MYSOVAYA:(5482kms to Moscow) on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal PEREYEMNAYA: KEDROVAYA: VIDRINO: MURINO: BAIKALSK: UTULIK: SLYUDYANKA: on the southern tip of Lake Baikal KULTUK: BAIKAL: KULTUK: PODKAMENNAYA: BOLSHOI LUG GONCHAROVO: KAYA:

LAKE BAIKAL - 'The Glorious Sea'

Spanning 640km (400 miles) in length, 80kms (50 miles) in width and a depth of 1620 meters (1 mile), Lake Baikal is not only the worlds deepest lake, but holds the largest volume of fresh water on the planet. There are 22 islands in the lake, the largest being Olkhon (little forest).

IRKUTSK TO ZIMA : IRKUTSK: (5184kms to Moscow - the half way point between Moscow and Vladivostok): The regional centre of Eastern Siberia. Origins traced back to 1652 when the Cossacks made a winter camp. In 1661 the camp received its present name after fortification. Known as 'the Paris of Siberia'. IRKUTSK-SORT: MEGET: ANGARSK: KITOY: TELMA: USOLYE-SIBIRSKOYE: BELAYA: POLOVINA: CHEREMKHOVO: ZABITUY: KUTULIK: GOLOVINSKAYA: ZALARI: TIRET: ZIMA: (4941kms to Moscow) Name meaning 'Winter' in Russian.

KIMELTEY TO NIZHNEUDINSK

KIMELTEY: KHARIK: KUYTUN: TULYUSHKA: SHUBA: TULUN: UTAY: SHEBERTA: KHUDOYELANSKAYA: KHINGUY: NIZHENEUDINSK:

UK TO SOLYANKA

UK: KAMISHET: ALZAMAY: RAZGON: TAYSHET: (4521kms to Moscow): (BAM Baikal Amur Mainline). Beginning in Tayshet and ending in Imperatorskaya Gavan (Sovetskaya Gavan) on the Pacific, the BAM is the northern part of the Trans Siberian Railway. Thought of in the 1920's, construction took place in the early 1940's and after many years of rail damage and bombing, construction began anew in 1976 and was completed in 1990 (the fifty year plan).

BIRYUSINSK: YURTI: KLYUCHI: RESHOTI: TINSKAYA: INGASHSKAYA: ILANSKI: KANSK: BOSHNYAKOVO: SOLYANKA:

KAMALA TO KOZULKA

KAMALA: ZAOZERNAYA: UYAR: BALAY: KAMARCHAGA: SOROKINO: ZIKOVO: ZLOBINO: KRASNOYARSK: (3920kms to Moscow): Founded as a Russian Trading Post in 1628. Closed to foreigners until 1991 due to its Military Industrial Plants. MININO: KACHA: ZELEDEYEVO: KOZULKA:

THE END OF EASTERN SIBERIA & THE BEGINNINGS OF WESTERN SIBERIA

CHERNORYECHENSKAYA TO SUSLOVO

CHERNORYECHENSKAYA: ACHINSK: (3920kms to Moscow) KRITOVO: BOGOTOL: ITAT: TYAZHIN: SUSLOVO:

MARINSK TO TALMENKA

MARINSK: ANTIBESSKIY: BERIKULSKAYA: IZHMORSKAYA: ANZHERSKAYA: PIKHTACH: TAIGA: (3571kms to Moscow): KHOPKINO: YASHKINO: TALMENKA:

YURGA TO CHULIMSKAYA

YURGA: BOLOTNAYA: CHEBULA: OYASH: MOSHKOVO: SOKUR: MOCHISHCHE: NOVOSIBIRSK: (3343kms to Moscow). Founded in 1893 in honor of Tsar Nicolas II. Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia and the fifth largest in Russia. Known as the Chicago of Siberia. The Turkistan-Siberian railway joins the Trans Siberian Railway here. OB: CHIK: LESNAYA POLYANA: DUPLENSKAYA: CHULIMSKAYA:

KOKOSHINO TO KALACHINSKAYA

KOKOSHINO: KARGAT: UBINSKAYA: KOZHURLA: BARABINSK: TEBISSKAYA: KOSHKUL: OZERO KARACHINSKOYE: CHANY: KABAKLY: TATARSKAYA: KARATKANSK: IVANOVKA: KALACHINSKAYA:

KORMILOVKA TO MASLYANSKAYA

KORMILOVKA: OMSK: (2716kms to Moscow): Founded in 1717 on the banks of the river Irtysh. LYUBINSKAYA: DRAGUNSKAYA: NAZIVAYEVSKAYA: MANGUT: NOVO-ANDREYEVSKIY: MASLYANSKAYA:

ISHIM TO KARMAK

ISHIM: KARASULSKAYA: GOLISHMANOVO: LAMYENSKAYA: OMUTINSKAYA: VUGAY: NOVAYAZAIMKA: ZAVODOUKOVSKAYA: YALUTOROVSK: BOGANDINSKAYA: VINZILI: OZERO ANDREYEVSKOYE: VOYNOVKA: TYUMEN: (2144kms to Moscow) Founded in 1586, Tyumen is the oldest settlement in Siberia. KARMAK:

THE END OF WESTERN SIBERIA (The last section of the journey)

TUGULYM TO EKATERINBURG (SVERDLOVSK)

TUGULYM: BAKHMETSKOYE: YUSHALA: TALITSA: PROSELOK: OSHCHEPKOVO: AKSARIKA: ELANSK: PISHMINSKAYA: BOGDANOVICH: GRYAZNOVSKAYA: BAZHENOVO: GAGARSKIY: KOSULINO: PUTEVKA: SHARTASH:

EKATERINBURG: (1818kms to Moscow): Founded in 1721 during the reign of Catherine the Great. Known as Sverdlovsk between 1924 and 1992).

THE WHITE OBELISK - Column of Tears The division of Asia & Europe

(Vot granitsa): The Boundary where hundreds of thousands of men, women and children (Princes, nobles & peasants) said good bye to all friends, family and their homes forever. Made of plastered brick, 4 meters or 13ft high, this square pillar bears the Coat of Arms of the European province of Perm on one side and that of the Asiatic province of Tobolsk

PERVOURALSK TO VERESHCHAGINO

PERVOURALSK: (1,777kms to Moscow - 4 &frac12; Hours to Perm): KUZINO: SABIK: SARGA: SHALYA: SHAMARY: KORDON: TULUMBASI: SHUMKOVO: KISHERT: KUNGUR: (1537kms to Moscow): YERGACH: YUG: MULYANKA: FERMA:

PERM: (1437kms to Russia): Known as Molotov (1940 to 1957). Before the Trans Siberian was constructed, Perm was the start of the Trakt or Great Siberian Post Road. This muddy or dusty narrow track ran to Irkutsk and the Nerchinsk Silver Mines. Perm is also an extensive Ship Yard. KURYA: OVERYATA: SHABUNICHI: CHAYKOVSKAYA: GRIGORYEVSKAYA: MENDELEYEVO: ZYUKAY VERESHCHAGINO:

SUBBOTNIKI TO STRIZHI

SUBBOTNIKI: BORODULINO: KUZMA: KABALUD: KEZ: CHEPTSA: PIBANSHUR: BALEZINO: GLAZOV: KOZHIL: YAR: FALENKI: KOSA: ZUYEVKA: REKHINO: ARDASHI: PROSNITSA: BUMKOMBINAT: POLOY: POZDINO: KRASNOSYELSKIY: VYATKA (KIROV): (957kms to Moscow): CHUKHLOMINSKIY: LYANGASOVO: STRIZHI:

ORICHI TO MANTUROVO

ORICHI: BISTRYAGI: KOTELNICH: DAROVITSA: ATSVEZH: KAPIDANTSI: YUMA: SVECHA: SHABALINO: GOSTOVSHAYA: METIL: SUPROTIVNIY: BURUNDUCHIKHA: YAKSHANGA: ZEBLYAKI: VARAKINSKIY: SHEKSHEMA: VOCHEROVA: MANTUROVO:

KOSTRIKHA TO DANILOV

KOSTRIKHA: PETRUSHINO: BRANTOVKA: NEYA: NELSHA: YELENSKIY: NOMZHA: NIKOL-POLOMA NIKOLO-UGOL: ANTROLOVO: MONAKOVO: LOPARUEVO: KRASILNIKOVO: GALICH: KHRAMKI: ROSSOLOVO: BUY: KOREGA: BRODNI: SEKSHA: LYUBIM: SOT: DANILOV

YAROSLAVL (THE URALS) TO MOSCOW (Mockba)

YAROSLAVL: (282kms to Moscow): Founded almost 1000 years ago by Prince Yaroslav the wise. The Trans Siberian crosses the Volga River which is the longest river in Europe.

KOZMODEMYANSK: SEMIBRATOVO: ROSTOV-YAROSLAVL: (224kms to Moscow): built on the banks of Lake Nero. One of Russia's oldest settlements.

PETROVSK: SILNITSI: RYAZANTSEVO: BERENDEYEVO: BALAKIRYEVO: ALEKSANDROV: (112kms to Moscow) SERGIEV POSAD: (70kms to Moscow): Founded 1340 by St Sergius of Radonezh (Builder of Russia).

And Finally MOSCOW!

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Mongolia Comments (0)

The Trans Mongolian Mate!

I made it, I finally made it.

I was in Mongolia and I was soon to embark upon a journey of a life time. My Trans Mongolian and Siberian dreams were finally about to come true. When I arrived in Ulaan Baatar I was collected and taken to my hotel. From memory, to get a home stay in Mongolia you have to be collected by some sort of official and have a hotel booking. Same as in Russia. I can't remember why, I guess to look you over and see if you look strong enough to drink fermented milk with the men. The hotel I stayed at was great and the staff was so helpful and friendly.

After dropping off my pack I headed out side. I walked for a few hours around a very broken and poor city. I felt like I was back in rural China again. From the sidewalks to the buses, everything seemed to be broken. As I walked people stopped and stared. Some even walked over to get a closer look. Traveling the places I had the past months meant I had been stared at quite often but this was very uncomfortable at first. In China people stared but smiled when you smiled and said hello. Here they stopped and just stared, some said hello but many didn't. It actually made me want to go back to my room where I would feel comfortable.

It's strange walking around a city like Ulaan Baatar, as I have said, everything seems to be broken. The thing I can't understand is that everywhere there were computers. Online Game shops were not hard to find. For the first hour or more I didn't really notice but then after seeing so many of them I actually entered one to have a look at the actual computers. I was surprised to find that all of them were better than my computer at home. It seems in life man will always spare no expense on beer and now computers.

As the sun and our part of the world said they slow good byes I made my way home. I sat with the hotel staff for dinner and guess what I had for dinner?

Guess!

Guess!

Guess!

Take a little time and think about it.

Not many can say they've actually done this.

I HAD MONGOLIAN HOT POT IN MONGOLIA!!!!!

It has always been a big favorite of mine and now I could actually say that I have had Mongolian hot pot in Mongolia. We sat for several Tiger Beers before I headed to my room. There I sat on my balcony that over looked the city streets and drank beer and watched Mongolians go about their nightly business.

I had this huge grin on my face. I'm sure it went from ear to ear. I couldn't believe I was of all places in the world, in Mongolia. No one I know had ever been there. I have eaten Mongolian hot pot in Australia, China, Korea and now actually in Mongolia. Sometimes it is these little things in life that make you sit in amazement at what you have accomplished. To me, strangely the hot pot thing was and still is one of those things in my life that I'm most proud of myself for experiencing.

The plane ride was a visually unbelievable. The Gobi Dessert is such a huge barren land of nothing! Growing up I had seen many pictures of the moon and to me it was like looking at the moon close up. Just sand and sand hills and tiny little patches of water in the sand. It was such a trip. I was soon kind of happy that China didn't allow me back in to board the Trans Mongolian in Beijing. I missed the changing of axels at the boarder. This WAS something I did want to see but hey, I got to see the Gobi Dessert from a plane window instead. Mongolian Air was fantastic to fly. The staff were so friendly and the girls oh so pretty. You were offered a wine upon boarding, a beer soon after and more wine when with dinner and then coffee, all in three hours!

I spent a relaxing couple of nights in Ulaan Baatar sitting on my sun drenched balcony mostly reading and watching the Mongolians going about their life. I filled my days walking the streets, sitting in little 'wok em up' shops and discovering new and exciting places. I walked amongst the Gerts in the Gert District and wondered which one I nearly stayed in (bloody Chinese!).

These districts were very poor. I had been warned about the males and alcohol but it didn't really prepare me for the amount of them doing their best to walk and not fall into the filthy river along side them. Sadly I did see one man stumble and actually roll down the bank at 10:30am. He was walking with his friend and for no reason, just fell. Like everywhere I had been I was offered to fill empty seats but I felt uncomfortable drinking so much before Beer O'clock (noon).

This is how one of the hotel staff explained it to me in their best English. They have a huge problem in Mongolia with males and alcohol. The male drinks whilst the female works. Many males also have two families to support their drinking habit and it's totally acceptable.

I did stop and share water with families as they sunned themselves outside their doors. I played with the little children who were brave enough to come near me. The people were very warm and offered food and cool drinks along with huge toothy smiles. I believed I missed out on an extremely beautiful experience arriving in Ulaan Baatar so late and not 'living' my booked Home stay. Apart from the alcohol I really liked the city and its brokenness.

Finally it was time to board.

I said my sad good byes to the hotel staff and the man whom collected me from the airport took me to the station. As we approached the train came into view. I remember feeling butterflies in my stomach. I was all giddy and excited. It's not often I wish to share travel experiences with others but I really wanted to share this excitement with another. I was well stocked with fruit, dried foods and of course noodles. I boarded and was shown my cabin and there I sat watching people out the window say their farewells to friends and family.

I spent two evenings chatting and drinking beer with my cabin friends and others whom dropped in to sit with me and have photo opportunities. I shared my cabin with a lovely long legged Polish girl named Agniexzka and two elderly Mongolian men whom I'm sure were as happy as I to be placed in such beautiful company!

The journey was very comfortable. There was plenty of water for my noodles, a food cart rolled by at very odd times and the passengers and staff was very happy people. The luggage on board was questionable. I had been told there would be chickens and other small animals onboard and to my surprise there actually was. Try getting a dog on board a train in Australia!

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (1)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (1)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (10)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (10)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (11)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (11)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (12)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (12)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (13)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (13)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (2)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (2)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (3)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (3)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (4)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (4)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (5)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (5)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (6)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (6)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (7)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (7)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (8)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (8)


The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (9)

The Trans Mongolian &#38;amp; Ulaan Baatar (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in Mongolia Comments (0)

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