The Trans-Siberian is the longest railway in the world and source of Russian pride. Crossing two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities, the tracks traverse from capital Moscow to remote Vladivostok, located on the Pacific Coast. The fastest way to cover this huge distance is on a non-stop train for six days and two hours, however the journey is much better enjoyed with stops along to way to appreciate what Siberia has to offer intrepid travelers. This trip focuses on the eastern part of the Trans-Siberian, less well-known and therefore less crowded. Starting from the blue jewel of Lake Baikal, you'll stop over in cities such as Ulan-Ude and Khabarovsk before reaching the Pacific Ocean. Once you arrive in Vladivostok, take a short flight Korea, Japan, or China to further extend your adventures to the east.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Train Journeys: Snake through Siberia along the Trans-Siberian Railway, the planet's most superlative train route.
• Heritage: Encounters with Buddhist lamas, Old Believers and Buryats will make you appreciate the cultural diversity that comes with the sheer size of Siberia.
• Landscapes: Bring your camera, but be sure to take time to put it down and fully breathe in Siberia's magnificent environments; from the glassy surface of Lake Baikal to Pacific panoramas, to the everchanging views from your window aboard a Trans-Siberian train.
Start your journey in Listvyanka, a short distance from the famous glittering waters of Lake Baikal. Stand in front of the famous Shaman Rock, tuck into a local fish lunch, pay a visit to the Museum of Lake Baikal (known for its aquarium of lacustrine flora and fauna) and immerse yourself in a "video excursion" to the bottom to discover the mysteries of the world's oldest and deepest lake. Once you reach the shore there are some fantastic photography opportunities, as there are when you browse the colorful selection of wares at the fish market and enjoy a boat trip on the lake's serene waters. Take a chair-lift up to the Stone of Chersky observation point for the most breathtaking panorama of Baikal and the source of the Angara River. After an action-packed first day, unwind at your hotel in Irkutsk.
In the morning, you'll hop aboard another vessel for a boat trip around Baikal, then visit the Taltsy Museum to learn about traditional Siberian "izba" houses, which date back to 18th and 19th centuries and are noted for their charming wooden architecture. The museum was opened in the early 1980s to save the collection of houses from the encroaching waters of Bratsk Reservoir.
Returning to Irkutsk after an eventful morning, take a leisurely lunch and continue your explorations with a city tour of major historical sites, such as the Znamensky Orthodox Cathedral, old-style log houses with distinctive hand-carved trims, the Monument to the Pioneers of Siberia topped with the bronze statue of Russian Emperor Alexander III, and the Decembrists’ Museum, which is devoted to the unsuccessful revolt of December 14, 1825, its participants, and their subsequent life in Siberian exile.
After dinner, transfer to the railway station to board the night train to Ulan-Ude.
Arriving in the early hours into Ulan-Ude, your first stop is the Buddhist temple of Ivolginsky Datsan, where lamas (monks) reside and receive visitors. Established in 1945, this is the residence of Pandito Khambo Lama, the Head of Russian Buddhists, and the complex has an impressive collection of Buryat art, such as thangkas, sculptures and ritual objects.Next, you'll meander along the M55, considered to be one of the most picturesque highways in the country. Your next stop is the Old Believers’ village of Tarbagatai, where you will join a local family in their traditional log house for a quintessential lunch. The UNESCO-recognized Old Believers of Buryatia are a colorful branch of Orthodox Russians who were exiled in Siberia in the 16th century. They are known for their unique folk games, polyphonic singing and hearty food.
Returning to Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia, learn about the complex history of the city, which has roots extending back hundreds of years to the Hunnic Empire. A more modern and unmissable feature of the city is the giant monument of Vladimir Lenin's head - a bizarre example of Soviet Art. Optional: Accept an invitation to dine with an English-speaking Buryat family this evening, where you can learn how to make (rather boozy) Buryat meat dumplings.
After spending the morning at leisure, depart Ulan-Ude for Khabarovsk in the afternoon via the fast train - a journey that takes two days, two hours and 11 minutes.
Spend the day and night aboard the train, watching Siberian landscapes pass by your window.
Arriving into Khabarovsk in the afternoon or evening, depending on your train time, check into your hotel and relax.
Spend the morning exploring the city of Khabarovsk, stopping at notable sights such as Muraviev-Amursky Street (the main city street), Lenin Square, Komsomolskaya Square with its Orthodox Cathedral and Regional Park, the Amur Cliff observation point, and either the Khabarovsk Regional Museum or the Amur River via a cruise.
Later in the day, venture out into the countryside to visit a dacha (summer house) in a rustic location. Tuck into a BBQ lunch, or traditional dishes if you prefer, learning about local life from the family that spends the warmer months here.
Before you head to the railway station for your overnight train, refresh yourself at a banya (Russian sauna) to relieve weary muscles.
You'll reach your end destination of Vladivostok and cast your eyes out to the Pacific Ocean early in the morning. Take a tour of the city, stopping at local landmarks such as Central Square, The Arch of Triumph, the historical Arbat Street ending by the Sea of Japan, the famous S-56 Submarine, the Museum of the Vladivostok Fortress and Russky Island with its panoramic ocean views.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before transfering to the airport in plenty of time for your onward international flight back west to Moscow, or onward to Seoul, Tokyo, or Beijing.
Perfect for business guests and first-time visitors wanting to get acquainted with the city, the smart Mergen Bator Hotel provides a range of modern rooms and on-site facilities. Just a five-minute walk from the city center of Ulan Ude, the hotel also has a sizeable swimming pool, spa, fitness center, restaurant, and guests can enjoy free access to the WiFi throughout. The rooms here are also well-equipped with a mini-fridge, kettle, flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and sizeable en-suite bathrooms. Guests can easily reach some of the best attractions in the city from the doors of the hotel; both Sovetov Square and Ballet and Opera Theatre are a short walk away, while Baykal Airport is just a 20-minute drive.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, train tickets (1st or 2nd class) and all meals within cities (meals on the Trans-Siberian can be paid for on the spot). Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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