Trans Siberian Railway | Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar (6,464km)

Moscow (0km) -> Kazan (820km) -> Yekaterinburg (1,814km) -> Tomsk (3,664km) -> Irkutsk (5,185km) -> Ulaanbaatar (6,464km) -> Beijing (8,015km) -> Hong Kong (10,265km) 

*The km count is based on how far I am from since I started in Moscow, not the actual km marks on the Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian Railway. 
  • Moscow: Kremlin, Red Square, State History Museum, Izmailovo Market
  • Kazan: Kul Sharif Mosque, Kazan Kremlin, National Museum of the Republic State of Tatarstan, Bauman Street, Epiphany Bell Tower, Nizhny Kaban Lake
  • Yekaterinburg: the Europe and Asia border
  • Tomsk: Tomsk State University
  • Irkutsk: Listvyanka Dog Sledding, Lake Baikal via the Great Baikal Trail and the Circum Baikal Railway
  • Ulaanbaatar: Genghis Kahn Square, Winter Palace, National Museum of Mongolia, Gandan Monastery, Terelj National Park - Genghis Kahn Statue, Vultures, Camels, Traditonal Mongolia clothing, Turtle Rock, Lunch in a Yurt, horse riding, Ariyabal Meditation Temple
  • Beijing: Lama Temple, Forbidden Palace, Tiananmen Square, Great Wall of China, Old Summer Palace, China High Speed Train

March 28 (Mon) Irkutsk 5,185km -> Ulaanbaatar 6,464km

I had my breakfast delivered to my room at 6:40am, quickly chowed down the French toast, omelet, and cereal and hurried downstairs to my taxi. It costs only 220 rub to the train station! My train had arrived and was waiting at the platform for 40 minutes. This time I’m riding in 1st class! I also got a compartment to myself again. The train departed and we travelled south towards Kaltuk where I hiked near Lake Baikal yesterday. The view of the lake was amazing. It’s so massive you could barely see the other side of the lake. 

I napped for a while, but lunch never came, so I made noodles. I found out later that a meal wasn’t included in this leg of the trip, thank god I brought cup noodles! After going South around the lake we head East towards Ulan Ude and stopped for almost an hour there. 

The customs check was a pain. We were stopped at Naushki, Russia boarder check from 8pm – 10pm. You weren’t allowed to leave the trains and all the officials came onto the train. There were Immigrations, who checked my passport and checked me to stand up and tuck my hair behind my ears. They stamped my passport and took the exit card. Then there was customs and asked if I had anything to declare, then checked my luggage compartment below my bed. Then there was security who checked the entire interior of the compartment including the top bunks. They were also taking count of passengers and patrolling the train. There was also a police dog check, so I was asked to step outside of my room while the dog took a quick sniff. 

Between 11:30pm – 1:30am we were stuck at the Ulaanbaatar passport check station Sukhbaatar. The immigrations took away my passport for about half an hour. The Provodnista gave me 2 forms, an entry form and customs form. The customs lady sat down, asked a few questions and signed my form. She then said my hair was done really well (the blonde color). A few guys checked the compartments and were patrolling. 

Total duration of both border crossing: 5hr 30min. 

After immigrations and customs left, a Mongolian man came onboard with a stack of Mongolian Tugrik for currency exchange. He thought I didn’t know my numbers and tried to cheat me with a really bad exchange rate. But I had a currency calculator which updated every 24hrs, so I knew that rubles to tugrik was 1:30. I believe in the beginning he was giving me 1:20, and at the end I managed to get 1:27, which isn’t bad from the original rate. The money he gave me was really old and rough though and reeked of this disgusting smell.

Read the Trans Siberian series here (vlogs included), please click on the links below:

Trans Siberian Railway - Moscow (0km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Kazan (820km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Yekaterinburg (1,814km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Tomsk (3,644km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Irkutsk (5,185km) Dog Sledding
Trans Siberian Railway - Irkutsk (5,185km) Lake Baikal
Trans Siberian Railway - Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar (6,464km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Ulaanbaatar (6,464km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Ulaanbaatar (6,464km) Terelj National Park
Trans Siberian Railway - Ulaanbaatar to Beijing (8,015km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Beijing (8,015km)
Trans Siberian Railway - Great Wall of China & Back to Hong Kong (10,265km)

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