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trans siberia train trip (from UB to Taiga and back) tips needed
Posted September 26th, 2012 - 3:06 pm by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)
hi, dear CSers!

I'm Henry, a Chinese, currently living in UB city because of some temperary work. I am planning for a train trip from UB to Kemerovo (nearest train stop is Taiga), and then back, at around late December or early January for about two weeks.

But now I have completely no idea of this train and stops things. Your help is greatly cherished for the following (but not limited to)questions:

1. how much is the price (roughly)? is there a Taiga stop which is nearest to Kemerovo?

2. at what time does the train leaves UB and arrives at Kemerovo? and back?

3. is the ticket price for the whole journey (UB to Taiga)? i hear that they will charge in among the whole trip for one or two times.

4. stopping at Irkutsk of course is good for a trip to Lake Baikal. in winter,, anything to see? isn't the lake frozen? how many days is necessary for the lake trip ?

5. if stopping at Irkutsk, should buy full ticket (UB to Taiga) or to Irkutsk only and then buy tickets for Taiga (the train is not for everyday, isn't it? so if so, there maybe several days of waiting)?

6. how much is a Russia visa? is it easy for a one-person tour to get a visa?

7. is Ulan-ude the only customs check point in and out of russia?

8. can i bring dollars or RMB (chinese money) with me, or should change into Rubles (Russian currency) first?

Your answer to any of the puzzles will be greatly appreciated.


Posted September 27th, 2012 - 2:46 pm by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)
no one gives any advice?

Posted October 4th, 2012 - 2:13 am by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)

Posted November 5th, 2012 - 11:31 am by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)
the weather is getting cold and cold, so is here.

Posted November 5th, 2012 - 10:06 pm by from Cologne, Germany (Permalink)
Can´t say much to your questions but i know that there is a bus from UB to Ulan-Ude which is much cheaper and around 3h faster than the train. From Ulan-Ude to UB it costs 25€ and it took 14h

Posted November 6th, 2012 - 3:32 am by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)
thanks buddy! that is great news to me!

Posted November 11th, 2012 - 11:50 pm by from Copenhagen, Denmark (Permalink)
For train traveling inside Russia, I can really recommend using http://rzd.ru to check times, prices and buy tickets online - it MUCH more convenient than doing it at the station. The website is in Russian, but it is fairly easy to use if you get someone who reads Russian to show you how (and help you create an account).

The train across the border between Mongolia and Russia does not have a 3rd class, only 2nd and 1st class. So if you want to travel cheap, then it is better to buy two separate tickets. 2nd class across the border, and 3rd class the rest of the way (switch in Ulan-ude or Irkutsk).

The train stops at the Russian/Mongolian border for several hours for customs control (you can go for a walk in the small border-town :) I think that is the main reason why the bus is faster.

I've been to Lake Baikal in September and the weather was fine then. I would guess winter is quite cold, and I guess it is not as pretty as it is in the summer. If you go to Baikal in the summer, I can recommend going to Olkhon (an island in the lake) - you can easily spend 3 days on Olkhon.

I know there is a piece of the old trans Siberian railway that goes right next to the lake, and you should have a good view of the scenery from this train - perhaps this is a good way to see the lake in winter - if this train goes in winter - I'm not sure. The new railway does not go so close to the lake, so taking the old railway is mostly for sightseeing and not so much for getting from A to B.

I don't know about Russian visas for Chinese, for me (I'm from Denmark) it was fairly easy but somewhat bureaucratic. It may be an idea to get the visa through a Russian travel agency - they will charge extra of course.

It should not be a problem to change dollars or RMB to rubles inside Russia.

Good luck,

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 3:15 pm by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)
Thank you so much, Rico! sincerely!

Posted January 5th, 2013 - 10:06 pm by from Magdeburg, Germany (Permalink)
hej henry - hej transib-pros!
does anybody know if it's possible to buy a ticket and gett on and off the train, as you want? or do you have to plan in advance? is it possible to buy the ticket spontanously on the train?
many thanks for answering my naive questions...!
cheers, ise.

Posted January 9th, 2013 - 8:55 pm from Cologne, Germany
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