The Trans-Siberian railway is one of the iconic railways around the world, and many people dream of having adventures on this railway network that covers thousands of kilometres. When you go on a journey such as this, to get the most out of the experience, you will need to plan and prepare, which will help to ensure that you make many amazing memories on your trip of a lifetime. If you have booked or are looking to book a holiday on the Trans-Siberian railway, here are some tips to enable smooth passage and ensure that you have an excellent experience no matter where you travel on this massive railway network.
Will A Visa Be Essential?
Whether you are from the UK or any other country, you will most likely require a visa when travelling on the Trans-Siberian railway. The railway travels through three countries covering a total of 9,258km and consists of multiple rail networks which are:
- Russia – The Trans-Siberian: Travel from Moscow to Vladivostok in the East.
- Mongolia – The Trans-Mongolian: Travel from Moscow to Ulan Ude, then head south to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.
- China – The Trans-Manchurian: The same route as the Trans-Mongolian which heads further south into China and its capital city, Beijing.
The visa requirements are going to depend on what your nationality is, but if you are British (like me) you can see the requirements set out on the UK government website for the Russian, Mongolian and Chinese visas. The visa processing times do vary and it may be best to use the services of a visa agent who can ensure that you have the necessary visas and paperwork to enjoy your trip unhindered.
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What Currency Should I Use?
To enjoy Trans-Siberian railroad tours to their fullest, you are going to have to make sure that you have local currency when travelling, no matter which railway you are journeying along or your destination. In Russia, you will be using the Rouble, in Mongolia the Tugrik, and in China, the Yuan. In the major cities along the route, you will find plenty of places to exchange money, and you can often get reasonable rates for US Dollars and Euros, as well as plenty of ATM’s. However, when travelling through the more rural areas, you may find it hard to exchange money or find an ATM, so ensure that you have enough cash on you for your journey until you reach the next city.
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The Local Language
As you will be travelling vast distances, there are also going to be variances in the languages and local dialects which can make communication difficult. There are plenty of Apps that you can get for your Smartphone that can translate for you both orally and in written form, making communication much easier. If you need an internet connection for this, it is a good idea to get a local SIM card and data plan. This will help you out for the duration of your trip. Making it a lot easier for you in every country you visit.
You will see a variety of sights and smells along your journey, and for those fussy eaters out there you may wish to bring some food along with you on your trip. You can get food at the stations along your journey, and there are plenty of vendors as well as a restaurant car where you can eat. If you put some effort into planning your trip, you can help to ensure that you have an excellent time and make memories that are going to last for a lifetime.
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