Yaks, frozen rivers and a picnic lunch – enjoying a hike in the mountains above Tsetserleg in Mongolia

An energetic four hour hike from Fairfield Guesthouse in Tsetserleg, Arkhangai It’s no hardship being trapped for seven days in the beautiful surroundings of Tsetserleg in Arkhangai aimag in Mongolia. I’d managed to escape Ulaanbaatar just before a new seven day travel ban came into force, after the first confirmed coronovirus case in Mongolia was…… Continue reading Yaks, frozen rivers and a picnic lunch – enjoying a hike in the mountains above Tsetserleg in Mongolia

Ger homestays, dramatic sand dunes and ice canyons – a seven day Gobi desert tour in Mongolia

From Terelj National Park to the depths of the Gobi desert – what to expect from a Gobi desert van tour in the winter  I was so excited to be out in the Mongolian countryside at last. I’d just experienced five days in Ulaanbaatar, a city on virtual lockdown due to government coronovirus precautions. So…… Continue reading Ger homestays, dramatic sand dunes and ice canyons – a seven day Gobi desert tour in Mongolia

Life on the Trans-Mongolia Express Train across Russia – travel tips, behaviour etiquette and instant noodles

What is it really like to take the train across Russia, from St Petersburg into Mongolia to Ulaanbaatar? The Trans Mongolia Express in Winter I’ve just arrived in Mongolia after experiencing a two week trip across Russia by train. The Trans Mongolian or Trans Siberian train is on many people’s bucket list and for good…… Continue reading Life on the Trans-Mongolia Express Train across Russia – travel tips, behaviour etiquette and instant noodles

Five days on coronavirus lockdown down in Ulaanbaatar , Mongolia – how to pass the time!

Sights and activities in Ulaanbaatar when everything is closed due to Mongolian government Covid 19 restrictions Well, I was not expecting to have five days trying to amuse myself in a city on lockdown. Arriving in Ulaanbaatar on the Trans Mongolia train I was so excited to cross the border from Russia to Mongolia on…… Continue reading Five days on coronavirus lockdown down in Ulaanbaatar , Mongolia – how to pass the time!

Exploring colourful Buddhist temples and finding a giant Lenin Head in Ulan Ude – sixth stop on the Trans Mongolia trains through Russia

The Buryat region is predominantly Buddhist and Ivolginsky is the largest datsun or temple complex in Russia A half-day trip from Ulan Ude to spin the prayer wheels, attend a hural or prayer ceremony and receive a blessing from a Buddhist monk at Ivolginsky temple Ulan Ude is 5,600km from Moscow and it’s taken us…… Continue reading Exploring colourful Buddhist temples and finding a giant Lenin Head in Ulan Ude – sixth stop on the Trans Mongolia trains through Russia

A day at Lake Baikal – fifth stop on the Trans Mongolia train journey from Russia to Mongolia

Lake Baikal is the world’s largest lake and completely freezes over in winter, creating a playground for locals and tourists alike A day trip from Irkutsk is a highlight for travellers planning a Trans Mongolia trip We arrived into Irkutsk at 8.24am after fifty-six hours on the train from Yekaterinburg. That was three nights and…… Continue reading A day at Lake Baikal – fifth stop on the Trans Mongolia train journey from Russia to Mongolia

Yeltsin memorabilia, a business lunch and precious jewels in Ekaterinburg – fourth stop on the Trans Mongolia train across Russia

How to spend a day in Yekaterinburg, home to the site of the assassination of the last Royal family and the modern Boris Yeltsin Centre Ekaterinburg may be Russia’s fourth largest city, giving assumptions of a noisy, polluted metropolis but we were very impressed with this pretty city. Easy to navigate and with most sights…… Continue reading Yeltsin memorabilia, a business lunch and precious jewels in Ekaterinburg – fourth stop on the Trans Mongolia train across Russia

Travel tips for backpacking Russia – when you don’t speak a word of Russian

First-time in Russia? Travel survival tips for backpackers and travellers in Russia I have to admit to being a little apprehensive about travelling in Russia, despite having been to over seventy countries now. I did a lot more research than I would normally do, although admittedly most of that was about the weather and exactly…… Continue reading Travel tips for backpacking Russia – when you don’t speak a word of Russian

Tasting traditional Tartar snacks and admiring a beautiful blue and white Kremlin in Kazan – stop three on the Trans-Mongolia train

The hardest thing about travelling across Russia on the Trans-Mongolia train is deciding where to break the journey Top sights in Kazan, Russia I’ve always wanted to take the train across Russia to Mongolia. In fact the guidebook I’m using on this trip is from 2007 when I first started thinking about this epic journey.…… Continue reading Tasting traditional Tartar snacks and admiring a beautiful blue and white Kremlin in Kazan – stop three on the Trans-Mongolia train

A day in Moscow – sightseeing must-sees include Lenin’s embalmed body and enjoying an ice cream in historic GUM department store

One day in Moscow – first stop on the Trans-Mongolia train journey across Russia We left St Petersburg on the 13.10 train direct to Moscow. A speedy journey of four hours, covering 700 km, had us arriving with traditional Russian accuracy on time at 17.25. Snow covered the Moscow streets as we emerged from our…… Continue reading A day in Moscow – sightseeing must-sees include Lenin’s embalmed body and enjoying an ice cream in historic GUM department store