Thinking of travelling via the Trans Siberian? Well hold on to your hats because it will be long journey and you will need to be well prepared if you want to enjoy your trip.
What you will need to pack
If you travelling by train via the Trans Siberian, you need to bring a few things with you to keep yourself from not getting bored and hungry.
Bring something to eat, because if you are taking a short route train that goes from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk, there won’t be any restaurants and the only foods the train will sell will be ramen noodles and a few other snacks, so it’s recommended to bring your own food.
There will be a few short stops in nearby towns and villages, so you could buy some snacks from there.
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If you don’t want to go through the hassle of taking your shoes off and putting them back on again whenever you enter your compartment, a pair of slippers will make it so much more convenient to take bathroom breaks or when you just want to walk around the train.
Things that are provided on the Train:
Don’t worry about blankets and sheets, because they will provide you with blankets and sheets for you to use. They are very clean. However, I do recommend getting one Coolmax’s travel blanket for extra comfort and future use.
Coffee & Tea
You will be given coffee and tea during your trip, but it’s a small packet, so if you are an avid coffee or tea drinker, it’s better to bring your own tea, because they will only give you one or two each day.
How Big Can My Luggage Be?
You will have space to put your luggage under the bed and overhead. It’s best not to exceed 65 cm in length and 40 cm in width, because it’s not like you have a special room for keeping your luggage.
At the border, your luggage will be inspected by officials so keep it small if you prefer not to exhaust yourself with moving around big luggage.
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What is The Border Control Process Like?
At the Mongolian border in Selenge, you will be inspected by Mongolian officials. You need to provide your passport and state your purpose of visit. If all is good you they will give a stamp on your passport.
Depending on how fast the process goes, it usually takes about 30-40 minutes.
At the Russian border, you will be inspected by officials as well. You will need to show your passport, state your purpose of visit and stand up so that they can make sure that your face matches your passport photo.
After that, your luggage and room will be inspected for any illegal items, so you need to have them ready to show the officials. As long as you are not carrying animal products, illegal substances, and firearms you should be fine.
Once inspection is done, the train will move briefly and stop for a few minutes to stretch.
The whole process should take somewhere around an hour or two depending on the people and the officials. Remember, stay in your rooms when officials are present.
How Much Are Tickets?
Ticket prices vary based on season and how much demand there is and also it depends on what route you are taking and what time.
Though I found that it’s much cheaper on the Mongolian website for some reason.
Are The Toilets Clean?
The tiolets are fairly clean, but it’s rudemantary and basic. However, how clean the toilets are can vary what kind of train you are on. If you are on international trains, then it’s maintained better, whereas local railway trains are dirtier.
Are There Chargers And Adapters?
Make sure to buy a universal adapter, because the train only supports 220V. There are a few outlets in the hallway, so you will have to go out of your room to charge your phone or computer.
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Can You Drink Alcohol?
Though it is not recommended, you could sneak your alcohol drinking in, but it will smell and the conducters won’t be too happy about it.
There are signs that say no smoking nor drinking, but how much it’s enforced depends on the conductor and the train.
What Kinds of People Travel Via Trans Siberian Train?
You will find all sorts of people taking the Trans Siberian, however unlike Greyhound and other bus services that I’ve taken in the U.S, at least from my experience there weren’t any sketchy people.
Usually they’re always fellow travellers, family on holiday, backpackers, and normal individuals who just need to get somewhere.
Are the Beds Comfortable?
The beds are okay. Nothing fancy about them, but if you are used to soft plush beds, you might feel a bit uncomfortable, but most people don’t seem to mind and are able to sleep alright.
They are however very short and comparitively small. So for people that are 180cm+ and a bit heavier, having enough space might be an issue. Most likely Dutch people will have the hardest time with this 😛
Is There Hot Water?
The toilets don’t have hot water, but there is a boiler in the hallway “kitchen”, so you can get hot water from there.
How Is The Window View Like?
Though it’s not as pretty and picuresque as some Amtrak Trains, you will still be able to see some cool things while taking the train from your window.
Should I Get Top Bed or Lower Berth?
This depends on your preference. If you would like to have your luggage and bags close, and if you don’t like climbing up and down, the lower birth is the better choice. However do know that you will most likely have to sit upright on certain occasians and offer your berth to fellow passengers to play cards, eat, etc.
If you have the upper berth, it’s a bit of hassle to get up there and taking things in and out from your suitcase, but you can lay down and do as you please without having other people disturb you.
How Safe Is It?
It’s very safe. There are conducters and officials on the train keeping an eye out for suspicious activity, but the screening process to get on the train is not that great nor do they check passenger luggage before they board the train.
Last update on 2018-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API