Trans-Siberian

T-Minus 15 hours until I head off on my next adventure and I can’t wait! Ok still have to do my packing and stuff but least all the paperwork is out of the way!

The plan is to go from home here in Shrewsbury, UK to Beijing, China via trains over the next 60 days and then spend a couple months living as cheaply as possible in China…

Part one: (click for bigger picture)

01/07/2010 – Shrewsbury to London
02/07/2010 – London to Paris, Paris to Munich, Munich to Budapest (night)
03/07/2010 – Got a night in Budapest – not sure where I’m staying at the moment.
04/07/2010 – Budapest to Novi Sad (night).
05/07/2010 – Exit Festival (http://eng.exitfest.org) for 10 days music, drinking and camping with a friend Sho who I met on a banana picking farm up in North East Australia.  I also have 12ish days free after the festival to spend some time in Belgrade and Budapest!

Part 2: (click for bigger picture)

25/07/10 – Budapest to Moscow via Kiev.

The reason for going this route instead of the more direct path via Minsk is that for some really stupid reason Belarus charge £120 for a TRANSPORT visa… meaning even if you don’t get off the train you have to pay £120 just to go through the country in a few hours… screw that! The train via Kiev is nearly the same price but just takes 8 hours longer (36 total) which I can deal with in the grand scheme of things!

I’m kicking about in Moscow for 7-8 days and not quite sure what I’m going to do. If I like the place and meet some people I’ll stay for the whole time however if not I’ll most probably jump on a night train to St Petersburg for a few days. I’ll make the decision at the time.

Part 3: (click for bigger image)

Now the main part of the journey… The Trans-Siberian/Mongolian!

03/08/10 – Moscow to Irkutsk. 4 days on the train going through Russia and I can’t wait! Once I get to Irkutsk I have a 5 day stop which I’m guessing I’ll be spending at Lake Baikal (most voluminous fresh water lake in the world holding about 20% of the worlds fresh water) as its middle of summer and the weather should be silly hot!

11/08/10 – Irkutsk to Ulan Bator. Only a couple days on the train and then get into Mongolia. I’m not too sure what to expect from Ulan Bator and the surrounding areas but hey I got 6 days to check it out!

19/08/10 – Ulan Bator to Beijing. Less than 24 hours on the train will get me into Beijing where I plan to stay for awhile – It all depends on the cash I have left when I get there!

Anyway there is the summary of the journey! I will be doing random updates on the way (and another a bit later when I’ve sorted my packing).

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Costs:

Trains
Shrewsbury to London : £10
London to Paris: £34
Paris to Munich: £32
Munich to Budapest: £26
Budapest to Novi Sad: £15
Belgrade to Budapest: £20
Budapest to Moscow: £135
Moscow to Beijing: £510 (can’t remember the individual costs of the 3 trains).

Visas
Russian: £117
Mongolian: £60 (I paid £85 for express service)
Chinese: £90

Accomadation – Estimates using previous knowledge and hostel websites – Prices are per night in hostels.
Budapest: £10
Belgrade: £6-8
Moscow: £12-17
Irkutsk: £5-10
Ulan Bator: £5-10
Beijing: £3-5

Out of the 60 days I’m doing this journey 10 are camping and 18 are night trains so that leaves 32 nights to pay for… not bad.