Have YOU taken the Trans Sib RR lately
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Aug 11, 2012 5:49 PM Last Post By: everbrite
Jul 23, 2012 9:47 AM
Have YOU taken the Trans Sib RR latelyHi!
I am a single lade "of a certain age" planning to take the Trans Siberian RR alone about Sept.1. There seems to be several options for accommodations on the train. If you have taken it recently, would yoou please tell me your experience re
2)food on the train
4)if you were in a 4 bed, 2, bed, or the huge 50 bed car and how were they?
5)can you recommend a Moscow hotel near the Center, reasonably priced and safe.
6)Anything else you'd like to add
Edited by: Andreas_at_LP
Jul 23, 2012 8:05 PM
11. There are two toilets for each wagon or train car. So in a 2 person compartment there are 18 people sharing the 2 toilets, in a 4 person compartment there are 36 people and in an open wagon (platskartney) there are 54 people sharing the same two toilets.
2. I always bring my own food. All wagons have a hot water samovar so you can make tea or instant coffee or noodles. I never count on the train to have food. I tend to be a picky eater (no meat) and train options are limited so I find it best to pack my own meals. I carry things like hard cheese, fruit, nuts, yogurts, crackers, hard boiled eggs, etc.
3. Safety is not an issue. If you are really concerned, you can book an all women compartment in some of the 4 person wagons. Be sensible though and don't flash large amounts of money, don't play drinking games with Russian travelers, no leave things laying about, etc. If you really have trouble with your fellow travelers, speak with the attendant and ask to be moved.
4. I have traveled on dozens of trains in Russia and prefer 4 person compartments though I have traveled in 2 person compartments and in open wagons. Open wagons are noisy with lots of smells and crowded conditions. Two person compartments are much more expensive and rather limited in who you are likely to meet.
5. These days I tend to avoid hotels and particularly in Moscow where hotels are almost never reasonably priced, I would be inclined to stay in a private room in a hostel. Prices tend to be more reasonable. They are safe. You don't need to worry about smoke as most are non-smoking. Hostels in Moscow tend to be well located near metro stops in the center city.
6. Do you plan to make any stops?
Jul 23, 2012 8:47 PM
2Thanks Ruth. Good info. I was thinking of stopping in Irkutz. What do ypu think and for how long. I will be going o
Not sure how to handle the ongoing booking. Also what hostel in moscow would ypu suggest? I want to be within a block or two from a metro and don't want a party hostel ; just meet some nice folks , some place clean and safe. Im Not a travel maven.
Took the tran sib 20 years ago. Except for the toilets it might have improved?
Jul 24, 2012 3:46 AM
3Where to stop and for how long depends some on your total travel time.
If you only make one stop, Irkutsk is a reasonable choice for a couple of days but it depends some on your interests.
I would look at the hostel listings and the reviews which will tell you something about partying or not. I would look specifically at those that have single rooms as not all of them do. Then I would look at the maps on the hostel websites to see how far they are from the metro. I haven't stayed in a hostel in Moscow because I always stay with friends.
Jul 24, 2012 7:41 AM
4Again , thanks Ruth. Your info is very helpful. I do have another question tho; I plan to stay in a 4 bed compartment on an upper berth. Can you describe how difficult it might be to get up there. . I'm pretty agile. But was thinking about what the ladder? Might be like
You must know Moscow well. What should I not miss there. I plan to be there late August early Sept.
How good or bad are the toilets after a few days??
Lots of questions. I appreciate your time. Speaking of which, time is not a factor in my traveling so if a place is interesting, like Irkutz, I would stay as long as it holds my interest. Do you have a place you like better? , also I am an artist And interested to know about art museums and galleries. Any suggestions for that?
Many thanks Rith, for your help and happy traveling to you
Jul 24, 2012 7:54 AM
Jul 24, 2012 8:14 AM
Jul 24, 2012 9:52 AM
7Time is an issue if you need a visa which if you are a US passport holder you will need.
Check the website of the Moscow Times, which is the English language newspaper in Moscow. Check the website of balletandopera.com for opera, ballet and other performances. Don't buy your tickets through them as they are expensive but you can see the schedules. There is a website called afisha.ru which has information in Russian about galleries, exihibitions, performances, etc. The "in" venues change all the time. Same with cafes. Try menu.ru and the above mentioned sites for cafe and restaurant reviews.
If you will be there before October 15, I definitely recommend trying to see a performance at Kuskovo and also at Ostankino.
Jul 24, 2012 11:11 AM
You obviously know the territory like the back of ypur hand
One more question; being as I will be paying with a credit card I want to make sure I'm dealing with some agency that is reliable. What do you know of Real Russia. Or other?
Thank you so much
Jul 24, 2012 12:33 PM
9What is it that you are planning to purchase? Train tickets? If so, for travel within Russia you can purchase them yourself directly from the rzd.ru website with a little help from google translate and some websites on the internet that explain the process. You can buy the tickets beginning 45 days prior to travel.
I am no longer recommending that people take the train from Irkutsk to Ulan Bator. Instead, i suggest taking the train to Ulan Ude, spending the night and then taking the bus from there to UB. First it is cheaper, second total travel time is generally less, third is affords the opportunity to see another part of Russia. The bus leaves daily at 0730 and takes about 12 hours. The train takes 24 hours to cover the same distance because of long stops at the borders.
Yes, Real Russia is reliable but all agencies have a 20-30% mark up.
Jul 24, 2012 1:27 PM
3:34 PM (28 minutes ago)
Sallie, You are watching the thread "Have YOU taken the Trans Sib RR lately",...
4:00 PM (2 minutes ago)
Yes, I am wanting train tickets and the visas for China and Russia. So far, from here in the U.S. I am finding it very confusing and also not wanting to mail my passport and credit card numbers all over the place to people I don't know. but good to know Real Russia is OK. There is another agency I'm looking at called Way to Russia/Trans Siberian Tourist Office with offices in Washington D.C. and San Francisco. Are you familiar with this agency?
Also buying a ticket 45 days out is longer than I want to wait to go. But this I have to work out.
I just looked at the rzd.ru site and the Cirillic got me dizzy. I'm not equipped to deal with it unfortunately.
As for routing, I wasn't thinking of going to UB, but going more or less straight on to Beijing from Moscow with a stop in Irkutz. But from what yoou say or don't say, it looks like Irkuzt may not be so interesting and probably too touristy given the lake is there. Am I right about that?
Jul 24, 2012 1:39 PM
Jul 24, 2012 2:39 PM
Jul 24, 2012 2:52 PM
Jul 24, 2012 10:06 PM
14I looked at this- http://www.valigiapronta.altervista.org/scheda.php?lang=eng&page=Book_in_RZD.html and decided to pay the commission to Real Russia!
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