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Thread: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

  1. #1

    Default travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    Looking for some traveling mates. 4 is a nice number to travel. We can at least play Big 2 if the train trip is too boring.( though it shouldn't be)

    planned around 10th Nov to 10th Dec..from 2.5 weeks to 3.5 weeks.
    Start point is Shanghai and end point is London.

    1. It's a budget trip. It's Air Asia X from KL to shanghai and train all the way to London and AAX back to KL.
    Current estimate is ~3KSGD.
    Planes tics will cost 1K. Train total fees cost about $500 SGD, depending on season. I am budgeting 800-1K for hotel and meals which might be totally wrong.

    2. Prefer guys ( or girls who can rough it out welcome too). This includes being ok not bathing for 3-4 days at certain sections of the train trip. You should also be ok with being lost sometimes and BUT knowing exactly what needs to be done to secure yourself. If u freak out easily, pls hit the back button now. Expect uncertainties; except for the air tickets, nothing will be booked online. We will go to the train station and buy tics on the spot for later or tml or the day after. Hotels will be walked in.
    Not necessarily hardcore backpacker experience needed, but if all you have ever been on is just packaged tours, this might not be for you. My other only experience is a backpack through Vietnam, but Vietnam was tourist friendly. I am not so sure about Russia....

    3. It's a train trip. You stay a lot on the train and watch the world go by. If u absolutely need the sun and sea or will puke from motion sickness...this might not be for you. ( FYI, i do have motion sickness as well, but medication is quite effective for me so far)
    There's certain famous stops we will get down. eg mongolia , Irkutsk etc. No details planned yet.

    Here's a google video http://www.google.ru/intl/ru/landing/transsib/en.html

    4. I'm 29, male. I suck at reading maps, have no sense of direction and i cannot read on a moving train or car.

    still reading?? still interested? pm me. Experienced backpacker extremely welcomed...

  2. #2
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    very interesting!

    but too bad i dun have any leave left for this year haha.

    please post your experience when you are back so I can try it out someday.

  3. #3

    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    Wooo..fantastic deal from Air Asia to be booked by 20th Sep.
    $250 sing from KL to London if we depart on 15th Nov
    $260 from shanghai if we come back around 8th Dec...

    come on...more pms...

  4. #4

    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    Quote Originally Posted by cosycatus View Post
    planned around 10th Nov to 10th Dec..from 2.5 weeks to 3.5 weeks.
    Start point is Shanghai and end point is London...
    Travelling to northern Europe during the early-mid winter period will be quite cold ...
    Not sure if you have check if some of these trains will still be running throughout that period? Also need to check if all the budget hotel/hostels have heater and hot water facilities ...

    Good Luck and Have a Safe Trip ...
    Touch the Moments ... Hold the colours of Joy

  5. #5
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    you will enjoy this trip

    but trans Siberia railway ride is very safe and established nowadays.......... almost impossible to get lost or not get hotel or find food

    from a couple of friends who did this in 2008..... 20-30% of passangers on the train are actually foreign travellers and fellow backpackers doing the China-London trip !!!! the rest are local people taking shorter trips ..........
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  6. #6

    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    the cold is part of the fun. Pple tend to be more warm during colder weather paradoxically...ed9119, can intro some of ur frens to share?

    anyway, still looking for travelling companions...

  7. #7

    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    Cosycatus, i wish to go, if the budget is right.
    However, i only can make it after Dec 5. As I have my Japanese JLPT exam on that day.
    Will it be still ok for you?
    Nikon D90, AF-S VR 18-200mm, AF 50mm f/1.8D

  8. #8

    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    Quote Originally Posted by shooi911 View Post
    Cosycatus, i wish to go, if the budget is right.
    However, i only can make it after Dec 5. As I have my Japanese JLPT exam on that day.
    Will it be still ok for you?
    no. not ok.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    great adventure you got. too bad its over my budget and I had to quit my job to go for this trip. Hope you find some companions.

  10. #10

    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    I'm pretty new here in CS. I hardly post anything here but when I saw your thread, I felt compelled to write.

    I love backpacking. I took the Trans Siberian Rail last year (2009) in May. So that was considered as late spring/ early summer. And I think it is the better times to travel on the Trans Siberian Rail. Reason being that the weather isn't going to be as harsh as what your companions and you are going to experience in Nov/ Dec. And cos it is late spring/ early summer...I get to see changing landscapes from deserts to grasslands to snow cap mountains...you literally see flowers blooming etc etc etc. If you are going to travel in Nov/ Dec...most of your journey will be snow and more snow and more snow. It might look inviting on the 1st 2 days (esp if you are s'porean since there isn't snow here) but after that...it can get quite depressing. Plus...I personally don't feel that the heating system on board the train is really gd. I'm not discouraging you. In fact, as crazy as it sounds, I wish to take this train ride again (and preferably during winter time to see the difference).

    Technically, when you are referring to the Trans Siberian Rail...the 'tradition' route is from Vladivostok to Moscow (you can take a look at the map on seat 61 website)....that is why it was termed as Trans Siberian Rail. The rest of the railway lines are considered 'connecting routes'.

    Seat 61 website (I'm sure you know of this website by now...but just for your ref): http://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian.htm

    However, I started my journey in Beijing and ended in Moscow. It took about 6-7 days to reach there. I bought a 1 way ticket (4 berth). There are many stops along the way (it can range from a couple of hours due to immigration to just a mere 10 or 20 mins). You would be allow to roam around the station but not exit it. However, if you want to stop at Ulaanbaatar or Irkutsk...you would have to purchase a few tickets to cover the whole journey (which I think is going to rake up your cost...and change your itinerary to suit the train schedules).

    It is recommended to book your tickets early. I'm not too sure if winter is a low season or anything.

    Speaking of cost. I think you got your figures wrongly. Go to that website above for the cost of train rides.

    Food. Do bring lots of food for the trip esp if you are going to spend 6-7 days on board the train straight. Instant noodles/ mash and the likes. The train will change dining car accordingly when you cross the borders. E.g. If the train is in China, you will have a Chinese dining car. If the train is in Mongolia, you will have a Mongolian dining car etc. The food prices is kind of steep in the Mongolian and Russian dining car (e.g. a meal in the Russian dining car can cost US$10). But again...it is relative cos I'm still a student so I backpack on the cheap.

    Bring games, books etc to keep you occupied.

    If you are s'porean...You do not need a visa for China and Mongolia (again...that depends on how many days you are going to spend in both countries). However, you need to get a visa for Russia. I suggest that you get the visa done EARLY and be meticulous about the visa application form.

    um...I wldn't consider "roughing it out" cos it is really comfortable on board the trans Siberian rail.

    It is a good idea to have 3 other ppl to accompany you to fill up the 4 berth (if you don't feel comfortable sharing with strangers). But it was with having strangers in my cabin that I met people and got to know the Mongolian culture.

    oh...you did mention about Russia being not-so-tourist-friendly. Um...it can be a little hard if you don't know Russian or to read Cyrillic as they don't really speak much English. Get a phasebook. On their expression on their faces...it may seem that they are unfriendly...but it is also the very same place that I met amazing people!

    Good to do more research. Lots of stuff online. It wld b gd to buy a lonely planet trans siberian rail bk and take it along with you. Cos you get to read what each stop is really like.

    Hope I've not written too much to bore anyone. If you need any additional info, drop me a pm including your email. I'll reply you via your email as I hardly check back over here.

    The trans siberian rail is really one of the best train journey. I love it a lot. Go for it!

  11. #11

    Default Re: travelling comapnions : trans siberia train trip...

    Hi there,

    I'm a Singaporean, writing in from Moscow, I am here now on holiday.

    If you are thinking of bring big lense and expensive camera to Russia, think twice, or three times.

    My 70-200 was stolen in St Petersburg a week back, you can read about it here:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=767482

    In fact, thefts and pickpocketings are frequent happenings here, the hotel staff always remind us to be careful when going out. Granted the architecture and history and scenary are breathtaking, my holiday was spoilt when I lost my lense on the 3rd day of my 2 weeks trip to Russia. As mentioned above, knowing some Cyrillic words will help immensely, but if you are the average backpacker without much knowledge of the culture or language, seriously only bring whatever you can afford to lose. If losing things is not bad enough, I have heard of a few (Singaporean) cases of people getting deported upon arrival in Russia due to visa problems.

    In any case, best of luck for your trans-siberian trip. Despite my unfortunate experience, I will still make this train journey somewhere in the future!

    Cheers,
    TR

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