Monday, 19 August 2013

Day 13 - Train to Ulaanbataar

After travelling through Russia so far without really seeing any tourists in the trains, this train was a backpacking and tourist train, almost full of Germans. It started on the platform where the platform was full of Germans and then a big group of them came out of the train, only to be replaced by more in the train.
It was certainly a change and meant I got to talk a lot more with my fellow travellers and we could actually understand each other.

The train itself was a lot less luxurious than the previous trains, the Krasnya Strella still being the nicest one. This shows that it is quite important which train you take for your journey as to how much comfort you get. I would recommend you take train #2 from Moscow for the 3 days and then just any train with a lower number for the remaining day travel.
The strange thing is tat the restaurant (or PECTOPAH in Russian) car here is a lot nicer and cleaner than on the previous train where it was the other way around.

Taking the early morning train, might mean you are tempted to go to sleep but I would recommend you stay up until the sun comes out and the train passes by Lake Baikal, the views are more than worth it.

The landscape changes now faster than ever, especially after passing Ulan-Ude, gone are the forests and instead you have vast fields, moorland or lakes and hills wherever you look.  Paved roads make room for dirt tracks and the towns and villages become less and less. It is a fantastic journey and you have to make sure you look out the window to enjoy it.

After enjoying the great landscape for hours, the train got to the border where you will get to enjoy sitting around, getting bored and doing nothing for almost 4 hours where the Russian and Mongolian border checks are carried out. This is probably the worst part of the journey as there is nothing to do and you can't even leave the train and go out for a walk or get food or a drink somewhere.

Once all the checks were completed and after a gruelling wait we could go out for 20 minutes to stretch our legs and get some air before the train continued on it's journey to Ulaanbataar. We should arrive there early tomorrow morning.


  1. Keep them coming Cristian.

  2. Marvellous shots, Cristi. I especially like the night shots at the railway station. Very atmospheric. You really are going into uncharted territory as far as I am concerned and I am loving every "minute", well every photograph.

  3. Wondering where you are now?
    I need to take a look at that itinerary :-)

  4. Thanks for your comments!

    Calvn, the pictures at the station turned out great and I like them, too.

    Kesh, you know the answer by now but internet in Ulaanbataar was a bit flaky and time not enough for posting.