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TransNoGolian Express

snow 1 °C

No pretty photos on this one. Sad entry!
I was just about to post that, subject to acquiring facemasks (nobody is allowed on the Metro or in taxis in Beijing without one), I was going to set off for China as planned. Sadly though I have just received an email to let me know that Train 4 from Moscow to Beijing departing tomorrow is cancelled. As it is a Chinese train, it will be running but it won't allow anyone to board which is even more frustrating! The Mongolia China border remains open, as does the China Vietnam border.
So after years of planning, what was meant to be a round the world trip without flying will definitely involve some flying, there is simply no way round a massive country like China unless I can find another month or two (and probably a camel)!! So I will just have to make the best of it. I will try to stick as close to the route as possible and fly as few miles as possible.
So... a train (Russian Railways train 2) leaves Moscow for Vladivostok in... 5 hours(!) and I have a ticket for it! Sadly I can't stay on it all the way because my Russian visa will expire before it gets there. I'm going to get off at Irkutsk and after a 5 day 5,000+km journey hopefully make a 30 minute connection on to train 306 to Ulaanbaatar/Ulan Bator. All being well I should arrive there on Saturday morning around 3am UK time and I will need to get a flight before Monday as I only have a 3 day transit visa for Mongolia. So an update on Saturday hopefully!

P.S - Sadly this means saying goodbye to passepartout Emma a few hours earlier so I have to thank her for letting me go and leave her in Moscow for a few hours! Just as sadly, passepartout John has made the (understandable) decision to abandon the train altogether and fly directly to Tokyo to continue his trip there. There are very few people I would contemplate sharing a tiny train compartment with for what would have been a 7 day journey to Beijing and I will really miss his company to UB. Best of luck on your travels though John.
P.P.S - Have to thank Gaby in Chengdu who has been answering all my annoying messages and giving me idea of what it's actually like in China and how everything is operating. Also Real Russia and China DIY Travel have been absolutely outstanding during what must have been a really busy couple of weeks for them. I normally hate using travel agencies as I feel I'm paying someone to do what I could do myself, but I would definitely recommend either of these if you need to book train tickets in Russia or China.

Posted by around129 06:37 Archived in Russia

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Chin up .... you must be fed up (to put it mildly) of having to change your plans, but a new adventure awaits.

by RayEliz

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