33

Easy, since I've done this trip. In Yekaterinburg, go to the markets and get some base food. Whatever drinks you want, but vodka will be good to share if you're the sharing type (especially in platzkart class). Water too, especially in summer. You'll want snacks, try and not take anything smelly (Strong cheese, fish that might smell in heat). I highly ...


26

The legal technicalities are as follows: What is registered is an alien's stay (not visa). While an alien is en route, no legal obligation of being registered exists. It is hosts' duty to register their alien guests. The latest edition of the law on registration even explicitly states that under no circumstances aliens may be held responsible for violations ...


15

I did (Kyoto)-Beijing-Moscow-(Stockholm) last december. In Russia we travelled mostly on domestic trains of various kinds (the Trans-Mongolian have some russian cars attached in Russia which allow domestic travel), using mostly "Kupe" 4-bed compartments. We made most planning and booking as we travelled. We used the RZD web booking at http://pass.rzd.ru/...


14

Random thoughts: When packing some food for the trip I really recommend going to a big store and getting things you know well. I recommend to avoid kvass if you didn't drink it a lot before. Same thing for kefir and its relatives. They can be a digestion problem for those who are not accustomed to them. Any fermented food is not a good option ...


14

It certainly can be done -- is it reasonable, well that depends on your definition ... You're going to have two major issues here. Visas You likely need visas for the places you're visiting (Russia, Mongolia, China), and they will need proof of onwards travel. You'll likely have to get a specialist to help anyway and the overall visa validity is going ...


13

Firstly, that's not where the Trans-Siberian railway goes. You'll need to disconnect and take the train from Nososibirsk down to Almaty (35 hours). From there you're out of luck, train-wise. You get a shared taxi or bus across the border from Almaty to Bishkek (it's very easy, the bus drops you off at the border, you cross, and it meets you on the other ...


11

Eating utensils A mug is a must. Also, a spoon, a fork and a knife might be really useful. A bowl is also good to have if you have enough space. Of course, make sure these are from plastic so that they will not break if fall down to floor, and make sure they are suitable for hot water. Paper napkins is also good to have. Where to shop Avoid shopping ...


10

In addition, consider to take some Doshirak lunchboxes (it's usual for Russians), fast oatmeals, buns or cakes and at least 2 bottles of still water (not lemonade!). It's also OK to take apples or other fruits, except of oranges (oranges are not the best choice for travelers), cucumbers. Drink tea for saving your own water. Be sure you have plenty of ...


10

No, this is not possible. When using the 72-hour transit without visa at Beijing airport you are not allowed to leave Beijing and need to leave the city on a flight. Quoting the Chinese embassy in Canada: A foreign national obtaining the 72-hour transit visa exemption at the airports of Beijing, Shanghai or Chengdu may not leave the administrative ...


9

Right, so after thinking about how I'd answer this... Why packing is an individual thing Each to their own. Some friends backpacked South America and New Zealand with day packs. Others take extra luggage and suitcases. It all depends on what you think you'll need. Odds are you'll overestimate - you never need everything. It's easier to pack less, and ...


9

There is actually a direct train from Moscow to Dushanbe, at least in June 2014 when I was in Dushanbe. According to information on Caravanistan the train leaves Moscow at 12.08 and arrives in Dushanbe at 16.14 5 days later. They also write that you need several visa, in Addition to Russian and Tajik, a Kazakh transit visa, and a double-entry Uzbek visa. ...


8

@SpaceDog gives a decent answer, but I would like to argue that it's both possible and reasonable. If you're going to do the journey in installments, which it seems to me you're thinking of, your only option is not to travel on the trans-siberian (or trans-mongolian) only. There are plenty of train connections that travel parts of the long journey and it's ...


8

I traveled from Hong Kong via China and Mongolia to Moscow in August 2012 (supposedly peak season) with numerous stops on the way and without pre-booking any ticket more than a few days in advance. You must be prepared to use a few tricks though: Sometimes you won't get a direct route - be creative. For example, Beijing - Erlian (on border with Mongolia) ...


7

I live in Moscow and used to have a labrador myself. I regret to say that while keeping a dog in the city will likely be fine (depending on your exact location), traveling and visiting tourist spots with it should be fairly difficult, especially without a car. Such travel will likely be stressful for your dog, and you. In public places, on buses and even in ...


6

There is hot water in each carriage, so do for drinking instant coffee or tea is a good choice. If you want to "eat cheap", instant noodles / instant food is the right choice for you. Otherwise, the food in the dining car is also very good, you will get typical Russian food, and also it is not that expensive (usually US$5 - 8 in Rouble).


5

You do not need the tickets to obtain your visa, you only need a confirmation that you'll be hosted as a tourist. This usually is a hotel booking voucher or some similar document, you should contact your consulate for more detailed information. All in all, hotel booking can be easily canceled, usually without any cost, if you do it in advance.


5

I don't think that there will be some special actions in November for Russian Railways. May be some additional trains for the Unity Day, but this isn't the case for you. But I have a good news for you - there always some discounts depending on the train, and some special pricing for international trains. Bad news is that the main interesting actions are in ...


5

For the record, it is not necessary to go through an agency to obtain your visas, I've just completed the full troika of Russia, Mongolia & China and every application I made was accepted the first time around. You do need to get started several months in advance though! Some personal notes, although the details will vary based on your citizenship and ...


5

When I did the trip a few years back, I stopped in Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk (side trip to Baikal is definitely worthwhile), and Ulan Bator. Yekaterinburg is not a particular exciting city, but it provides a very nice (practically necessary) stop over. My general advice is to stop frequently enough that you don't spend more than 48 hours at a time on the ...


4

I did the Trans-Siberian a couple of years ago, I can definitely recommend Irkutsk and Ulan Bator (for the Beijing section), they are great cities and areas to stop and also very unique. Novosibirsk I found less interesting, there wasn't much to see or do, I would not stop there again. I heard good things about Tomsk, but you need to plan extra time, it's ...


4

Rather than bringing single purpose winter gear consider equipping yourself with multi-purpose gear: Rather than snow boots bring a good set of hiking boots instead. For me those work well enough in both winter and warmer conditions. (But then I don't like carrying my backpack and hiking on flipflops.) Layer up: rather than a thick winter coat get a (...


3

Since you're looking to do it "on the cheap", here are some money-saving tips: The best tip I know of is to use the cheaper local trains only (ones that don't cross international borders) to get right up to the border, then cross the border on land, and continue by train on the other side. (Wikitravel has plenty of info on both Russia/Mongolia and Mongolia/...


3

I think the choice of luggage very much depends on the type of trip you are planning to do. If you are doing standard backpacking trip, when you need to carry your stuff mainly for short distances from a hotel to a bus or train, then it makes sense to have a bigger backpack with more clothes/stuff to make your journey more comfortable, and have some spare ...


3

Yes, Russian Railways uses prices, that depend on season. You can see it (but only in Russian) for 2015, previous years were the same. Usually from mid-September to a week before New Year's Holidays tickets are 10% cheaper. Also, Russian Railways has a good tradition to set 50% discount for everyone on Victory Day. But in other holidays tickets has higher ...


3

I figured I'd answer my own question in case anyone else has this issue. As I mentioned in a comment, the agency that issued my invitation said to leave off the Trans-Sib from the hotels section. I did include it as a "city" to visit, however. I just got my passport back today with the visa in it, so I can confirm that is the correct way to do it.


3

In platzkart there are two places where you can put your luggage — below the lower bunk and on the "third" (luggage) bunk above the second bunk. There is no rule that luggage of both passengers should fit below the lower bunk; on contrary, there is a rule that the passenger travelling on the lower bunk has the priority to use the space below their bunk, and ...


3

Usually the luggage in platzkart should be that size it could be hidden under the sleeping place, @EugeneO is right. But there are some details you can use in your way. Let's take a look on the classic railcar from inside: As you can see, there is additional place above the second level of the bunk beds. There is non-documented agreement, that a person from ...


2

There are cars in Russian trains which are suited for travelling with pets. Note that they expect you to buy the whole compartment if you are travelling with big dog. I'm not sure that your dog will be comfortable staying on the train all day. On the street big dogs are expected to wear a muzzle. I'm pretty sure that absolute majority of museums are not dog-...


2

The closest I can find to an official party line is this VFS Global website that states: If you are travelling to Russia with NON-BUSINESS purposes such as Tourist or Employment, you have to apply for an appropriate visa even if you have your APEC Card approved for RUS. The interesting thing is that letters of invitation do not appear to be required ...


2

The official rules just say a maximum of 180cm as a sum of all dimensions, and 36kg (e.g see here in Russian, unfortunately can't find an official rzd.ru reference with a quick search, but all unofficial pages I'm finding are showing the same numbers). Obviously, the baggage must fit in the provided space. This thread quotes 120х40х50 dimensions for the ...


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