Stretching across 9,259 km, or 5,752 miles, from Vladivostok, in the east part of Russia, all the way to Moscow and St. Petersburg, the trail passes through China and Mongolia. Additionally, you can decide to extend your trip by continuing to connecting railways, that can get you to Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore on the east, and various European capitals in the west. You can also get to a few destinations in Japan and South Korea by taking a ferry from a few points along the way.
Operating all year round, the cost of such a trip can range between 125 Euros (for a nonstop night train between Moscow and St. Petersburg, second class) to about 1,250 Euros (for a 3 stops-trip, from Moscow to Beijing in the first class). Another cost that one should take into consideration is the costs of visas to countries along your selected route, as well as expenses for hotels and other miscellaneous.
You can expect the ride to be comfortable and scenic, yet long. A non-stop trip from Moscow to Beijing takes about a week, but depending on the route you choose and stops you make, it can obviously take as long as you wish – even up to a few months long.
You shouldn’t worry about food, as all trains are equipped with dining and restaurant cars – with some international dishes and local ones too. The overnight trains are furnished with bunk beds for the passengers’ convenience, toilets and washrooms, and on some wagons, you can also encounter showers. However, don’t expect to have a WiFi connection on the train – making such a vacation the perfect opportunity for travelers who want to disconnect from the outside world.
Money-wise, although in some countries you’ll be able to use dollars or euros, it’s not a bad idea to get a hold of the local currencies. Don’t be alarmed, no one expects you to know Russian or Chinese while taking this trip, and managing with English alone is more than enough.
So what can you do on such a long trip, away from any internet connection? You should definitely use this time to relax, read books, talk to your fellow travelers, and use this opportunity to pick up a little bit of Russian. Of course, you can take your time and work on a skill you wanted to improve for a long time, or write the book you always wanted to – Just take it all in and enjoy the ride.