Transsiberian Railway
Moscow - Beijing
Travel diary
Moscow    Irkutsk    Lake Baikal    Ulaanbataar  Beijing

Facts and information about a journey with the transsib from Moscow to Beijing


I saw the most beautiful sights of Moscow as I made a sightseeing tour by metro with a student.

After two days staying in Moscow my voyage with the transsib to Irkutsk began on a Sunday-evening the 13. September 1998 punctually at 9.25 pm with the departure of train no: 10 "Baikal" to Irkutsk.  The journey to Irkutsk over 5200 km took about 4 days. The train consist of carriages with first and second class compartments. There is also a dining-car with a quite good selection of meals. There is a hot water boiler a so called Samowar in every carriage, where you can get some hot water for instant soups or tea. A carriage has 9 compartments with 4 beds in the second and two beds in the first class. There are also two conductors in each carriage. After the train has departured form Moscow, the conductors began to distribute the blankets and the duvet covers. You have to pay separately for this things. The first stop was in the middle of the night in Alexandrow at 1.22. After 15 minutes we are again on the way to Irkutsk. The longest stop on the way to Irkutsk took not longer than 20 minutes. Every 2 to 4 hours there is a stop. This stops are a good opportunity to leave the train and buy something to eat from the babuschkas as an alternative for the dining car. When you leave the train the conductor will lock the door to your compartment, so no one can go into. After breakfast in the dining-car (bread, marmalade, cheese, tea) I met some other travellers. On the evening of the first day, after 1800 km we passed the border between Europe and Asia. The landscape is always quite the same; some small villages in the middle of birch trees. On the third day we passed Omsk, 2716 km away from Moscow, then in the evening Novosibirsk. Now we were in the middle of Siberia and the temperatures were quite cold. After Novosibirsk there was a bit of snow falling. After 4 days in the train I was quite happy when the train arrived in Irkutsk at 10 am.


In Irkutsk I stayed with a family. The gave my a key to their flat, so I could leave and come back when ever I wanted. On the first day I made a half day sightseeing tour by foot trough Irkutsk with a student. We are visiting some nice old buildings and churches. Irkutsk is a typical russian city with some nice old buildings but quite bleak.

Lake Baikal

Some Kilometres or one and a half hours away from Irkutsk, there is a small village called Listwjanka near Lake Baikal. This fishing village has a nice old church and this typical wooden houses. On the way to Listwjanka there is a museum with some old renovated houses and another museum about Lake Baikal and all the animals living there (Quite interesting).

On the evening of the second day I took train no: 268 to Ulaanbataar. On this line there is no electrification and so we had a diesel train. There is no first class and no dining-car. So you have to take something to eat with you. The journey to Ulaanbataar took one day and two nights. At 2 pm we reached Nauschki, the russian border village. There we had a stop of two hours. At 4 pm we had to be back in our compartments for the passport control. After two hours the control was finished and our train was on the way to Suche Bataar, the mongolian border village. After 4 days there, the mongolian border control was finished and we are on the way to Ulaanbataar. On the next morning we arrived in Ulaanbataar at 6 am.


It was quite refreshing to be in Mongolia after the russian lethargy. After visiting the city I booked a trip to the countryside. I did some horse riding and was visiting the mongolian people in there yurts. After a night there I went back to Ulaanbataar and on the next morning I took train no: 24 to Beijing.

In the beginning the landscape was typical mongolian, but after some hours we reached the gobi dessert. There we saw some camels. On the evening we arrived in Zamen Ude on the mongolian-chinese border. There was a passport control and they have to change the under-carriages. On the next day we saw the great wall and then we arrived in Beijing.


My stay in Beijing was quite short, I made a sightseeing tour and after two days I had to fly back to Zurich.

For more information about the Transsib go to my german page
(English is not my mother tongue)

Back to mainpageNext theme

member of

Russia    Mongolia   China    Diary   Photos    Links   Search   Guestbook  Mainpage
Copyright © 1998 by Marcel Ochsner