China, Mongolia, Russia · 19 Days · 29 Moments · July 2017

Brothers on the road: Transiberian Railway

13 August 2017

Today we walked around the surrounding of the red square, many buildings, point of attractions and street are closed due to work in progress...
Day 21: Moscow here we are!! To anyone who will evere go to moscow: I strongly suggest to go to the city center by subway, the underground stations are astonishing 😊

12 August 2017

Pro tip: rent bikes to move around the city! We did and we loved it, the riverside is perfect for biking!! PS. In the last picture I used my sunglasses as a filter for my phone camera 😂
Day 20: Today we focused on the Kremlin, amazing place! Overall we can say Kazan is our favorite city so far 😍 Ps: Tonight at 8pm we will jump on the train 001 "Tatarstan" directed to Moscow.

11 August 2017

Today we walked around the city centrer and we decided to visit keep the main attractions for tomorrow. Today we visited the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Recreation and the riverside!
Day 19: We finally arrived in Kazan! At first sight the city looks beautiful!

10 August 2017

Day 18: Today we just walked around the city center. Tonight at 10pm (as usual) we will take our train to Kazan! NOTE: One night instead of 2 would have been more than enough to visit this city if you arrive in the city in the afternoon. If you arrive in the early morning then you can visit all the major attractions during the day and depart with another train during the night!

9 August 2017

Day 17: Today we visited the obelisk erected at the border between Europe and Asia. The only way to reach and go back from the there is by using a taxi.. It took us 40min arrive there and another 40 to go back, and we stayed there for roughly 20min but we enjoyed it! We've also found what we call the great wall of Russia! We then decided to spend the other half of the day relaxing in the hostel.

8 August 2017

Day 16: Today we spent almost all the day on the train to Yekaterinburg.. We arrived in the late afternoon.

7 August 2017

Day 15: ZOOOOOO!!! Even if we are not big fans of zoos this one is really worth a visit! NOTE: Overall in Novosibirsk their isn't much to see.. Half day is more than enough to visit the major attractions, the other half is worth being spent at the zoo. If we knew it earlier we would have booked the train to Yekaterinburg for the same day of arrival in the city..

6 August 2017

Day 14: We arrived early in the morning in Novosibirsk and after dropping our bags in the hostel we had a wolk around the city!

5 August 2017

Day 13: Just a boring day on the train.. Here we are enjoying our "delicious" instant noodles

4 August 2017

Day 12: Today we spent the hole day at the Baikal lake! We had some smocked fish for lunch, very yummy! The lake is well connected to the city through a network of minibus that will take you from one place to the other for just 120RUB for each ride. Tonight, always at 10pm we will have another train that will take us to Novosibirsk!

2 August 2017

Day 11: we arrived in Irkutsk extremely early in the morning and after leaving our bags at the hostel and we had a tour of the city. There is green line on the sidewalk which guides you to all the main attractions of the city, quite handy!

1 August 2017

Day 10: Today we visited Ulan-ude, it's an extremely calm and beautiful city! Tonight at 10pm we'll jump on the train that will take us to Irkutsk.
Day 9: Today we entered Russia!! Wake up early and by 7am we were at the dragon bus station waiting bus to Ulan-Ude. The bus travel was endless thought.. It took 14 hours and the bus did just 3 stops including the one at the border 😱 Distance: 3050km Spent so far: 546'400MNT + 1'740RMB ( = ~425€ )

31 July 2017

Day 8: Today we moved to Golden Gobi hostel, relaxing day over all since we are getting ready for the endless bus trip that we will do tomorrow to enter Russia. In the evening we tried to watch a performance of traditional and folk dance and music but we got lost on the way to the theatre (some locals gave us wrong directions).. By the time we arrived to the right place the tickets where sold out :(

30 July 2017

This is the incredible food they made for us, the even tought and show us how to make yogurt 😍
Day 7: today we got hosted by a family in they gher, what an incredible experience, it's something we'll never forget!

29 July 2017

Ulaanbator is unexpectedly small, in just half day we visits almost all of the attraction of the city
Day 6: We woke up really early today due to the sun entering through the window but at least we managed to some nice pictures of the landscape! By 9 am we arrived in Ulaanbaator! Distance: 2480km

28 July 2017

Tonight we went to the cinema in Mongolia!
At 6pm we jumped aboard the train to Ulaanbator. Here we spent the night in a soft-sleeper compartment for just 35000MNT each: the train looked great and we even receaved a welcome drink (a cup of milk-tea)! IMPORTANT NOTE: differently from China in Mongolia the milk-tea is served hot and salty :S
Day 4: We woke up early today, by 8:30 we where nearby dinosaurs square contracting our ride across the border. For 60RMB each we managed to find a jeep who took us all the way across the border and to the railway station of Zaamin Udd, leaving China felt endless since our passports have very old picture of us and the authorities couldn't recognize us..

27 July 2017

Nearby the hotel we found a small restaurant where we had both lunch and dinner. Adding some supply for the upcoming travel today we spent 71RMB for all the food. Distance: 1780km Daily expenditure: 429RMB Spent so far: 1620RMB (~205€)
The National Geopark in Inner Mongolia (also called Erlian Cretaceous Dinosaur Geopark - 二连盆地白垩纪恐龙国家地质公园 ) is a place where dinosaur fans can spend several hours checking out skeletons and real fossils that are still in the ground. The only way to reach the park is by taxi because there’s no public transportation: we bargained 40RMB to get there and we got a back for free by asking for a ride to some locals that where going back to town. The entrance ticket is supposed to be 50RMB per person but by showing student ID (after some talking they also accepted foreign student ID which is not common in China) we both obtained the 50% off student discount. Once back in Erlian we spent the rest of the afternoon visiting Dinosaurs sqare.

26 July 2017

The sleeper bus left at 18:00 (on perfect time) but soon stopped for a couple of hours by a mall to pick up some goods to bring across the border and some more passengers. Apart from a couple of minor stops the bus drove almost uninterruptedly until 2am, at that time the driver stopped and slept until dawn. Day 3: At 5am the bus was back on the road and the journey lasted until 8am, when we reached Erlian. The travel usually takes between 10 to 12 hours but delays are common: for us it took roughly 14 hours to reach Erlian from Beijing. Once arrived we could either try to cross the border or stop here for the night. the city does not have much to offer apart from Even thought the dinosaur geopark, it grants an early start at the border crossing the following day. We choosed the latter option. Sadly we couldn't find the hotel suggested by the websites we used as references, so we had to settle for a double room at the Pacific international hotel ( 太平洋国际饭店 ) for 268RMB.
Day 2: we arrived in Beijing around 9am and we moved to have a try and buy a ticket for the bus which runs every day from the Muxiyuan Long-Distance Bus Station ( 木樨园客运站 ) towards Erlian ( 二连 ), that is also known as Erenhot ( 二连浩特 ), and is the closest city to the Mongolian border. We got lucky and the official bus was available at 18:00 but if the if the bus would have been full or not leaving there we had a second option since around the station there are touts who can put you on other ‘black market’ sleeper buses leaving from Beijing to Erlian for a slightly higher price. Since we had to wait many hours before departure we decided to explore the surrounding neighborhood, have lunch and gather some snacks for long travel waiting for us. We then crashed in the waiting area of the station until departure time. 8RMB for the subway to the bus station, 180RMB each for the bus tickets and 74RMB for the food. Distance: 1190km Daily expenditure: 462RMB Spent so far: 1191RMB (~150€)

25 July 2017

Day 1: Departure from Shanghai (上海). It's time for us to start our adventure! Tonight we will sleep on an overnight train which will take us to Beijing (北京) by tomorrow morning. The 'hard sleeper' tickets for the T110 train costs 629RMB for two people and takes 15 hours to arrive in Beijing. Before departing we bought some food for snacks, dinner, and tomorrow's breakfast. It costed us 96RMB. Distance: 0km Daily expenditure: 725RMB Spent so far: 725RMB (~90€)