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Trans-Mongolian Railway Adventure

Trans-Mongolian Railway Adventure

From $ 4,465 AUD

Description

Want an epic rail journey that takes you to some of the world’s most remote regions? This 11-day adventure is for you. Experience riding a section of the Trans-Mongolian Railway as you make your way from China to Mongolia. Start with the bright lights of Beijing, then take a bullet train to Inner Mongolia. Then, it’s on to the vast steppes of Khustai National Park, the dunes of the Gobi Desert, the spiritual wonders of Sainshand and more. Spend time staying in a traditional ger campsite, join a family of camel herders for lunch and return home with truly unique travel stories to tell!

Trip Name
Trans-Mongolian Railway Adventure
Last Updated
2024-06-17
Days
11
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Travel along a section of the epic Trans-Mongolian Railway through Mongolia, following the ancient path of tea caravans.
  • Explore China’s Inner Mongolia region and its iconic vast rolling grasslands, sandy deserts and dunes, and an otherworldly stone forest.
  • Get a (literal) taste of local life as you stop for barbeque lunch at the Ulihan Desert Campsite, sampling the freshest local lamb.
  • Whisper your wishes at Sainshand’s Mountain of Wishes, then learn about the nomadic way of life as you join a camel herding family for lunch.
  • Spend a full day seeing Khustai National Park, staying in traditional gers and spotting free roaming wild horses, Golden Eagles and more.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Beijing
Huanying! Welcome to China. Touch down in China’s capital, Beijing, ready for a railway adventure. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you’ll meet your trip leader and travel companions. After this important meeting, why not get together with your group for an optional dinner, perhaps finding one of the best Beijing duck restaurants in the city. Your group leader will definitely know of some wonderful places where you can eat this delicious speciality.
Day 2 - Inner Mongolia / Reshui
This morning, bid farewell to Beijing and hop on a bullet train to the Inner Mongolian city of Chifeng. Stop for lunch with your group, and then learn about the area’s mix of steppe and Mongolian culture with a visit to the Chifeng Museum. Afterwards, take a private transfer to the town of Reshui, which will be your gateway to the vast grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Settle into your accommodation, and rest up for a full day of exploring tomorrow!
Day 3 - Inner Mongolia / Reshui
Rise in Reshui, then head out to the Huanggangliang National Forest Park. Located in the remnants of the Greater Xing’an Mountains, it’s home to Huanggang Peak which stands at an altitude of 2029 m. There are glacial and U-shaped valleys to explore, and the journey itself will be made special by the abundant flowers and endless grasslands. After lunch, you’ll visit Asihatu Stone Forest. Over 2 million years of wind and rain have contributed to make the rare stone formations! To finish the day, you’ll get the chance to see the Gongge'er Grasslands. It’s quite the sight, with rivers lazily weaving through and wild deer roaming. If you’re into your photography, this is the place to be!
Day 4 - Inner Mongolia / Xilinhot
This morning, drive to Hunshandake Sandy Land, located at the southern end of the Xilingol Grassland in central Inner Mongolia. It’s a famous water desert in China, where Spring water emerges from the sandy land and gathers into small rivers and lakes. In the heart of the Hunshandake you’ll visit Ulihan Desert Campsite. The lakes and grasslands will provide a scenic backdrop for a BBQ lunch. After, you’ll visit Dali Lake, one of the four famous lakes in Inner Mongolia, and then head to Xilinhot for the night.
Day 5 - Erlian / Sainshand
Get set for a day of travel. After breakfast, drive from Xilinhot to Erlian, arriving around midday. Stop for lunch and meet your new leader for the Mongolian portion of your journey, then head to the train station and hop on board the Trans-Mongolian Railway line headed to Sainshand. Stop in Zamiin-Uud along the way for a border crossing and for a change of train bogies. Watch on as the train’s lifted into the air one carriage at a time, and the wheels replaced with a different gauge. Arrive in Sainshand at around 1:05 am. There’ll be a transfer waiting to whisk you from the train station to your accommodation, and your rooms will be ready for you. Check in then rest up for the night!
Day 6 - Sainshand
Start with breakfast at your hotel, then take in the sights and sounds of Sainshand on a walking tour. Visit a museum dedicated to the Noyon Khutagt, the Lama of the Gobi. A writer, composer, painter, Buddhist scholar and physician, the museum displays Buddhist artifacts that survived the period of the Mongolian People's Republic. Afterwards, a short drive will take you to Khamriin Monastery, which was founded by Noyon Khutagt on this site due to the spiritual energy radiating from the Gobi Desert. To the north of the monastery lie a series of caves where monks practiced high levels of meditation for 108 continuous days. Enjoy a short hike around the area to visit these caves, as well as the energy centre known as Mongolian Shambala. Return to Sainshand, and then spend the evening as you like!
Day 7 - Sainshand / Overnight Train
After a hotel breakfast, take a drive to the Mountain of Wishes – named thanks to the belief that if you climb to the top and whisper a wish, it’ll come true. You’ll get the chance to do exactly that, using the stairs to enjoy the view over the valley and making a wish or two. Then, get an insight into local ways of life as you visit a family of camel herders. Hear stories about the nomadic way of life over a traditional, home-cooked lunch with the family. Later, return to Sainshand then board an overnight train headed to Ulaanbaatar.
Day 8 - Ulaanbaatar / Khustai National Park
Arrive into Mongolia’s capital city around 7 am this morning, and get set for the day with an optional breakfast at a local cafe. Ulaanbaatar’s a fascinating town, where elderly Mongolians in traditional dress mingle with the nation's young business elite. Drive to the imposing Chinggis Khaan Statue, a 40 m high stainless-steel statue honouring the founder of the Mongolian Empire. You can take the steps to the horse’s mane for views over the valley, then visit a small museum located in the statue’s base. For lunch, drive to Nalaikh town for a meal at a monastery cafe, then continue on to Khustai National Park. Settle into your ger camp accommodation for a very special slice of traditional life!
Day 9 - Khustai National Park
Start with a breakfast at camp, then embark on a hike to see the wildlife of the national park. Wild horses running free will be quite a sight to behold, and keep an eye on the sky for Golden Eagles, falcons and vultures. Once you’ve finished your trail, drive on to the Ungut Monument. The collection of 30 human-shaped stone monuments traces back to the 7th century. Thought to be an offering site, it makes for a thought-provoking stop! Then, drive back to your camp at Khustai National Park and enjoy a free evening of leisure.
Day 10 - Ulaanbaatar
After a final breakfast at your ger camp, drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Your leader will take you on a final orientation walk through the city’s central square, then stop in for an optional lunch at a cafe. In the afternoon there might be the chance to shop for some local handicrafts such as cashmere and felt products, or to check out some more of the city's sights and museums. Tonight you can celebrate your journey to Mongolia by witnessing a special cultural performance featuring throat singing and traditional dancing (optional). There will be an optional final dinner at a local restaurant recommended by your leader.
Day 11 - Ulaanbaatar
Say 'bayartai' to your group as your adventure draws to a close. There are no activities planned for the day, and you're free to depart the hotel at any time before 12 noon. If you'd like to stay longer in UB, it's recommended that you book additional accommodation well in advance.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-06-202526-06-2025AUD $ 4,465-
30-06-202510-07-2025AUD $ 5,085-
14-07-202524-07-2025AUD $ 5,085-
28-07-202507-08-2025AUD $ 5,085-
11-08-202521-08-2025AUD $ 5,085-
25-08-202504-09-2025AUD $ 4,890-
08-09-202518-09-2025AUD $ 4,465-
15-09-202525-09-2025AUD $ 4,465-

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights),Overnight train (1 night),Tourist ger camp (2 nights)

Transport

Train,Overnight train,Private vehicle

Map