Take the Transsiberian, is leaving for a trip of more than 9,000 km to the West of Asia. It is through different climates, landscapes, cultures, countries and continents. There are four lines crossing the continent to the other. The oldest and best-known is of course the Transsiberian, crossing all the Russia from East to West, but the most used by tourists is the Mandalselva through the Mongolia to finish in Beijing, China. Two other lines also exist, the Transmandchourien and the BAM (Baikal-Amour). All have a common trunk between Moscow and the region of Lake Baikal.
History of the Transsiberian
When you go for a TransSiberian trip, it is important to note that this is not the train we take but the railroad. Indeed, at the end of the 19th century, the Russian imperial Government had intended to develop the economy of Siberia, to support the Russian Pacific fleet and to increase the commercial influence political and military of Russia in China. It is with this objective that Tsar Alexander III.
Construction of this masterwork was completed in 1916 with the opening of the bridge on love in Khabarovsk. It now entirely through Russian territory and allowed to connect the East and West of the Russia. Different connections between China and the Mongolia have, for their part, were developed and have changed owners in the son in periods (world wars, revolutions, etc…). The point of departure to Moscow is located at the Kazan station and Yaroslavl station.
How to travel on the Transsiberian?
As mentioned previously, the Transsiberian is before all a railroad. It is then possible to stop at different stations along the route. This helps build his adventure of tickets on train tickets. If you want an example, it is as if you were Paris-Lyon from Strasbourg. You buy several tickets and you build your trip. Here the train going from Moscow to Krasanovi, it is also possible to start the travel in Petersbourg.
In Russia, the Siberian through more than 7 zones, making it difficult to define what time take a train. It is for this that all trains are scheduled in Moscow. So if you are + 1 schedule, compared to Moscow, if you take the train at 14:00 (Moscow time), he will be at home 3 pm. What I advise you to keep in mind the time of Moscow, is to leave your watch at the time of Moscow and put another device (phone for example) at the time of the place where you stand. It’ll be easier to know when and how to take your train. Other information to consider, if you take a ticket, take into account the time difference for the departure and arrival. It will avoid to leave or arrive at 3: 00 in the morning.
The train ticket
To get your ticket in several ways; through an agency; buy them on the internet; buy them directly at the counter or at the kiosk. I won’t talk about the agencies, as I went through them, I leave that to other sites that will explain in more detail how this happens.
There are two sites for internet:
The site of networks of trains of Russia
And a site that I used which was awesome! Easy access, send an SMS prior to departure for specify you the time (it’s not bad with shifts) and a message to tell you when you can get (it is not bad too).
With these two sites you will easily be able to take your train tickets and plan your trip.
Now, if you want to go and have the opportunity to take your time, you can take them directly to the station. And it’s very simple, in the stations, you English terminals which will provide you with a ticket very quickly. In some stations, you have an agent who will help you buy your ticket at the Terminal. Otherwise you can always go to the desk 🙂
When you buy a ticket you have several choices of classes. You can take the first class with two bunks per compartment. The second will be to super-poses 4 beds per compartment. And the third class, it will be more than 20 beds in a wagon. I must admit that I have traveled with this one and it’s been great! One of my best experiences in life. You will have two super-posees on the corridor side berths and four berth-side window.
Beds being numbered, in function of the bed you will you will have a more or less favourable position to sleep. Indeed, the highest numbers are near the door to the bathroom. (54, 53 and 33 to 38). So you can imagine that there will be traffic. But it should be noted that these places are cheaper than those at the center of the car. After depending on sleep, you decide.
Finally, you have the choice of the bed higher or lower. Honestly it depends on you. I’ve been reading that the lower bed is better because you can fold or you sit down when you want to. Indeed, the upper bed lets you sit down, you have to get off and you sit on the bed underneath, so you rely on your neighbor. And when you’re underneath, you then have to leave room for your neighbour to the top. In short it depends on you. Especially me I slept in an upper bed because the lower beds were already taken ^^. I would recommend the beds of 16 to 20, they are in the middle and super comfortable. After I have a slight preference for the bed on top for two reasons. The first is that you put your bag above, so is not psychic and you are quiet. The second is that the majority of those in third class are Russians. And the majority of the lower places are occupied by elderly, being young enough to put me on top, I preferred to leave room for those with the most need.
Regarding the third class there are old and new cars. You can imagine, the new cars are more comfortable than the old ones. I noticed, but it’s still a theory, that the number of the car is low, more the car will be new and more comfortable. Basically when you choose your bed between the wagon 15 and 9, I advise you to take the 9 car that will surely be newer and more comfortable. For information, it’s the same price 😉
Life on the train
You’ll spend long periods in the train, X nights, X days, you’re going to eat some tracks. With more than 7000km of tracks expect to have sacred relationships in your car! Above all, we read on several sites, book and so on that the Transsiberian is the party that everyone drinks and there is music in the car. I confess that I have not experienced that. Maybe there are during the summer periods, but that was not my case. This should not keep you from still testify of sympathy for neighbors of dorms. So forget the bottle of vodka, I saw a lot of Russian drink as easily (if if I promise). But just what is confectionery, chocolates will make you friends. The majority of Russians share their food, so try to have a small bag of candy or chocolate bars to share, it will ask a good atmosphere and make you welcome. In addition, you discover the Russian cuisine;). For information, the majority of Russians do not speak English, so expect to use a translator or just your hands.
You will also have access to hot water on the train. So don’t forget your tea, your noodle, dehydrated, etc… This is the neuralgic point of the train, it is located next to the head of the car compartment. Be always kind to this person and respect here, it is she’s going to the car, the toilet cleaner and will provide you with what you need. He is the Chief of the car.
Otherwise, you also have the wagon restaurant offering meals and drinks. If you want a time move you, I advise you to go there, the service is friendly.
In addition, people in the car very much respect your sleep, so do the same. You may make you wake up once or twice, but it will be just someone who wish to tell you again 🙂
The train stops
When the train arrives at the station, you must go to your car with your ticket and your Passport. You can then enter the train and sit on your bunk. You will have access to your mattress and your cushion. We give you the rest later when the train starts.
About your destination, if the train is to get there at night, you will wake up before without any problem. About me, who took a train at 1: 00 in the morning and before the leave on the same day at 7: 00, the Russians had made me my bed so I can sleep directly.
During your trip you’ll stop at many stations, it’s time to stretch your legs. It is the best time to talk with people from his wagon and others. You can buy food, of water, of magazines, etc… Note that the toilet. will be closed at that time, think about going there before.
The crossed Mongolia-China
I’d only a paragraph on the train in Mongolia and China because I took the train to go to Ulaanbaatar. The train is long, but very long type, around 24 hours, with expectations of several hours at stations without really of reasons ^ ^ And it’s expensive, you must go through an agency, because the Russian sites do not have these tickets… Better to take the bus which is 3 times cheaper and takes 6-7 hours. It’s much easier 🙂
For China, I not did. But I know that the train must change the wheels, because the tracks are not the same width. It also takes time, then if you have the time, a while 🙂
I’ve heard a lot of the Russia before my trip. Evil more than good as you can imagine and that through the media and other information sources. If you stay in the East of the Russia, I’m not sure you’ll discover the real Russia. But if you sink in the West, in Siberia, you will discover a beautiful people. It is a wonderful country, which is always happy to see foreigners and to talk with them. You don’t have to tourist areas, go farther! Take the couchsurfing, meet Russians, you’ll discover people who will want to learn about you and thus you learn about them. Do not stop to imagine people, don’t stay in your bubble, as I could see some people stay in first and second class to not mix. Dare to move forward, to the grand never you trouble with them. They are fabulous and will be ready to help you.
For the Mongolia, it’s the same thing, I discovered a people that was unknown to me. I found a history, a culture that I didn’t know. The landscapes are beautiful and the people are helpful and friendly. Their shamanic traditions, the visitor, make Mongolia, a country to visit and discover.
This month in Trans-Siberian has allowed me to discover different peoples, countries, cultures and so on that I never imagined exist. It is a pleasure to stop at a station by asking what the population, the history of the city that I’ll find out. This train is filled with a story so beautiful that the better to understand and just to take it.