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Train from Moscow to lake Baikal

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Jun 24th, 2014, 06:52 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Train from Moscow to lake Baikal

I have some friends that are planning a trip from Moscow to Lake Baikal -- and they want to take the train. I was wondering if anyone has had that experience and what did they encounter on their trip. Length of trip - accommodations - sites - problems - etc. etc.?

Then after spending some time at Lake Baikal they want to go to Mongolia and China - and fly back to the US from China?

Just interested in any comments or suggestions. Thank you.
ronko is offline  
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Jun 27th, 2014, 06:56 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Only just seen this. I did the Trans-Mongolian train trip back in 2004. See: http://wilhelmswords.com/rtw2004/

For up-to-date info on the trains see: http://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian.htm

Both Trailblazers (Bryn Thomas) and Lonely Planet (Marc Bennetts) have guidebooks for the Trans-Siberian which include the Trans-Mongolian. I recommend both.

I found kupe class to be fine, but if there are two of them they may want to spring for first class and more privacy. Definitely stop off on the way rather than trying to go all the way through at once, but Irkutsk may be the best stop.
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Jun 27th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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I did this trip but so long ago that everything must have changed by now. And in the pre-guidebook, pre-internet era! But yes, it is LONG. And fairly uninteresting just looking out of the window. And SLOW...my train went at walking pace sometimes. And I remember hopping off at stations and being alarmed when the train silently started moving off again without any announcement. Maybe it isn't like that any more!!
I stopped at Novosibirsk and Irkutsk. It was in the Soviet era so we were met off the train and supervised the whole time. But Irkutsk has (or had) plenty to see. Don't miss Lake Baikal. You needed Russian in those days...don't know if that's still true. And we too travelled second class, 4 of us in a compartment. It was OK but these days I would go first class for the privacy. In fact, the more I think about it, the less helpful my comments are after nearly 40 years!
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Jun 27th, 2014, 10:31 AM
  #4
 
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Just make sure they get their visa info sorted out and applied for far in advance for a trip with several countries requiring them.
nytraveler is online now  
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Jun 27th, 2014, 11:08 AM
  #5
 
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I recommend you read Eric Newby's Big Red Train Ride; his trip was also a long time ago, but it's a classic travel tale by my favorite travel writer.
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