Incredible doesn't begin to describe this railway journey from Russia to China. Beginning in Moscow, your trip on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway will take you across the steppe to experience secluded Mongolia's colourful culture. Disembark and spend a night in a ger before continuing on to the palaces of Beijing. An experienced CEO will lead the way and take care of the details so you’re free to enjoy one of the world's greatest train rides. Whether on board or off, this will be 16 days to remember for the rest of your life.
What's Included : Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Local Living Moment: Traditional Ger Stay, Gorkhi Terelj National Park. Trans-Siberian Railway. Trans-Mongolian Railway. Irkutsk city tour. Great Wall entrance (Beijing). Local meal suggestions and language and border-crossing support throughout. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Highlights : Journey by train across the steppe, dine on Lake Baikal's fish, admire the landmarks of the Red Square, spend the night in a traditional Mongolian ger, wander Beijing's hutongs.
Dossier Disclaimer : The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Itinerary Disclaimer : While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Important Notes : 1. LETTER OF INVITATION You will require a Letter of Invitation for Russia in order to get your Russian visa. You must complete the visa information form which will be automatically sent to you or your travel agent via email upon time of booking. 2. BOOK THEATRE TICKETS IN ADVANCE To avoid disappointment we recommend that you book any theatre performances that you wish to attend in Moscow in advance. Please consider carefully which performances you are going to want attend and make sure that the dates correspond to your trip. Here are some useful internet sites to check for what will be on (ballet, opera, exhibitions, etc) in Moscow when you are there. In particular we recommend you see what's playing at the Bolshoi, as it may be difficult to get tickets when you are there. The most useful sites to check in English are www.bolshoi.ru and www.ticketsofrussia.com. 3. PASSPORT Please confirm the tour with the same passport you will be travelling with on the Trans-Mongolian Adventure. If you happen to change passports before departure, please reach out to our Sales team with your new passport details so they can notify our teams on the ground. At approximately 60 days from date of departure our local teams purchase our train tickets with the passport provided. If your passport information changes within this time please notify our Sales team as soon as possible with your new information. You could be subject to rebooking fees. 4. MONEY Due to the restrictions on changing money in Russia, Mongolia and China, only notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition will be accepted for exchange. Usually 50 and 100 USD/EUR notes get better exchange rate. 5. TRAIN TRAVEL Due to Russian railroad schedule and ticket availability, departure from Moscow to Irkutsk on Day 4 will vary: either by afternoon train or by night train. 6. IMMIGRATION CARD On arrival in Russia you will receive a double immigration card, you must fill out both parts and one is taken away upon entry, the other must remain with your passport at all times and you must have it when you are leaving Russia to hand to the relevant authorities. 7. ST. PETERSBURG EXPRESS If you have booked the St. Petersburg Express Extension, you will have an included arrival transfer to the start hotel. Overnight Train details: The train ride will be approximately 7 hours. Trains are 2nd Class Kupe Soft sleepers, with 4 berth compartments that have lockable doors. Bed linen is provided on all trains. There is enough space for medium size luggage under bottom bunks, and in the overhead shelf up top. Each carriage has two toilets, and one hot water boiler. Each carriage is accompanied by two train attendants. Your train may also be a Double deck train, which will have similar arrangements.
Group Leader Description : All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes : Max 16, avg 12.
Meals Included : 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Meals : Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Transport : Train, private bus, taxi, metro, walking.
About our Transportation : All long distance trains are 2nd Class Kupe Soft sleepers: 4 berth compartments that have lockable doors. Bed linen is provided on all trains. There is enough space for medium size luggage under bottom bunks and in overhead shelf up top. Each carriage has two toilets and one hot water boiler. Each carriage is accompanied by two train attendants. All trains, apart from the train Irkutsk – UB, have dining cars.
Local Flights : All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Solo Travellers : We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Accommodation : Simple guesthouses/hotels (8 nts), sleeper trains (6 nts), Mongolian ger (1 nt).
My Own Room : Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
About Accommodation : A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations - rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers.
Joining Hotel : For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Joining Instructions : Hotel - Best Western Izmailovo Vega (ИЗМАЙЛОВО ВЕГА) - is situated near metro station Partizanskaya (Партизанская) on the dark blue line. Hotel is just five minutes walk from the metro station. It is in 5 metro stops from the Red Square and the Kremlin. Please, note that the station has changed its name in 2006 and can appear on some maps as Izmailovsky Park (Измайловский Парк). Izmailovo hotel was constructed to accommodate tourists during Moscow Olympics 1980, it consists of 4 big buildings. Make sure you going to the wing Best Western Vega. There are two international airports in Moscow: Sheremetievo terminals 1, 2 and C (Шереметьево) and Domodedovo (Домодедово). Airport Vnukovo (Внуково) services mostly domestic flights. If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi. PUBLIC TRANSPORT: From Sheremetievo airport there are public buses and express buses, going to several metro stations. To metro Rechnoi Vokzal (Речной вокзал) you can get by bus #851 and Sheremetievo Express Bus (Экспресс). To metro Planernaya (Планерная) you can take bus #817. Please, remember that Moscow's traffic is very busy, and buses can be overcrowded at times. In general it takes about 30 - 50 minutes from the airport to the metro. Another option is to use Minibus service (миниавтобусы) - shared taxis. They connect airport with both metro stations - Rechnoi Vokzal and Planernaya. You should look for the station name on the list of stops that each minibus has. All buses and minbuses have standard fee: 20 - 40 RUB (2-3 USD) depending on the route. From Domodoedovo Airport you can get to metro station Domodedovskaya (Домодедовская) by taking public bus #405 or Domodedovo Express Bus (fare is about 25 - 50 RUB). There are also minivans (миниавтобусы) going to Domodedovskaya (keep in mind that they usually don't have enough space for luggage). Domodedovo airport is also connected to Paveletskaya metro station (Павелецкая) on dark green line. Journey lasts for about 40 min and cost approximately 120 RUB (4 USD). You can buy ticket from the booth at the airport exit. TAXIS: Taxis in Russia don't use meter. Price is agreed by bargaining, and drivers usually don't speak English. We strongly recommend to avoid taxis both - in town (metro system is thousands times cheaper and stress-less) and on the way from the airport. Don't follow any strangers who tell you that their car is outside - you'll get the ride, but the price might come up to about 150 USD. Best option is to go to one of the official taxi desks located on the airport ground floor. Average cost of the taxi would be about 60 - 75 USD (1800 - 2100 RUB) Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned. A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time and your transfer times back to the airport the next day. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
Arrival Complications : We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Emergency Contact : Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. AIRPORT TRANSFER If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at: Svetlana: +7 921 936 98 58 EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS Mr Laziz Otayarov (Operations Manager - Central Asia) Mobile 1: +99890 963 4779 (24h) Mobile 2: +99897 921 7087 (24h) If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take : You will be on the move a good deal, so pack as lightly as possible (try to stay under 10kg / 22lb). It is in your own interest as you are expected to carry your own luggage. Please, note that we use public transport on this trip - the walking distance is never too far, but there will be up and down stairs in train stations, getting on and off metros, cobblestoned streets, etc and having a backpack makes travelling easier. We don't recommend bringing suitcases. It is important that your bag can be locked. You will also need an overnight pack for the Terelj ger stay (Ger camp in Mongolia). This should be big enough to carry a spare set of clothes and basic necessities (approx. 30 litre/8 gallons capacity). Ideally, this bag will be packed for the long train journeys as well so you won't need to get in and out of your big luggage during those trips. Do not bring any knives or swords into China (gifts or otherwise). If they do make it into the country, they will not be permitted on trains. If you purchase a knife or sword while travelling elsewhere before arriving in China your best option is to post/mail it home before entering the country as no post/mail companies in China will accept it as a parcel.
Packing List : Cold Weather: • Long-sleeved shirts or sweater • Scarf • Warm gloves • Warm hat • Warm layers Conservative Dress: • Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders) • Shawl or scarf (for temple visits) Documents: • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border) • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies) • Passport (required) (With photocopies) • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies) • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required) Essentials: • Binoculars (optional) • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries) • Cash, credit and debit cards • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights) • Ear plugs • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal) • Fleece top/sweater • Footwear • Hat • Locks for bags • Long pants/jeans • Moneybelt • Outlet adapter • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.) • Reusable water bottle • Shirts/t-shirts • Sleepwear • Small travel towel • Sunglasses • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable) • Watch and alarm clock • Waterproof backpack cover • Windproof rain jacket Health & Safety: • Face masks (required) • Hand sanitizer (required) • Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.) • Rubber gloves Light Hiking: • Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes • Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended) Sleep Sheet: • Sleep Sheet (Lightweight sleep sheet / liner) Train Travel (Optional): • Slip-on shoes • Small container with lid • Travel cutlery • Travel or camp cup Warm Weather: • Sandals/flip-flops • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended) • Sun hat/bandana • Swimwear Note: We recommend using a backpack or soft suitcase for your main luggage. As we will be travelling on trains with limited storage space (typically inside your sleeping compartment) we recommend that your luggage dimensions be approximately 76x50x40 cm.
Laundry : Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements : Russia: ***PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO RUSSIA*** Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Russia. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country. To apply for a Russian visa, all nationalities must present an official Russian Letter of Invitation (LOI). ***It is the responsibility of the traveller to check with their nearest Embassy and confirm the requirements for entry into Russia*** IMPORTANT: Once your trip is confirmed, at 90 days prior to your entry into Russia, you must submit an application for your Letter of Invitation. A link will be emailed to you in your confirmation email. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in Russia and as a Russian visa is only valid for 90 days once it is issued, you will be emailed your Russian Invitation Letter about 10 business days after submission. Russian LOI’s can be rushed in extreme circumstances. As Russian visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates. We also recommend that you add an extra day to the end of your trip so your visa length will cover any unexpected delays. Please also remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the visa application at the Russian Embassy. Input your name the same way it is in your passport. The information on the application form must match your passport (if you have 2 or more names - all of them have to be listed under "first name"). If you have an umlaut or other character not recognized in the english alphabet in your name (ie. ü), please enter it in the longer form (ie. ue). For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Russia are as follows: ARTM - Trans-Mongolian Adventure: Days 1-9 Please note: Our Supplier will provide the Russian LOI by email only. This Supplier is based in Russia, so please make sure to check your SPAM folder - emails from addresses ending with .ru often get redirected as SPAM. Some nationalities may require an original copy of the LOI - please contact the Russian Embassy or Consulate to confirm. If you do require an original copy, please send an email to email@example.com to request this. You will be required to provide a valid mailing address and cover the cost of postage to receive this document. The LOI will contain 2 sections. The section on the right in Russian is identical to the section on the left in English. Beside ‘Confirmation voucher SPC’ you will find the confirmation/application/approval number you will need when filling out your visa application. The Supplier information can be found at the bottom of the left page in English (Supplier name can be found in the quotations, address, email, website and phone number follow). At time of writing, the below documents will be needed to obtain your visa (however, we do advise you confirm this with your nearest Embassy): 1. A standard visa application form from the Embassy or Consulate where you will collect your visa 2. 2 colour, passport sized photos (taken within 14 days) 3. Payment for the visa (this will be dependent on nationality and will sometimes need to be made at a local nearby bank - check with your Embassy to confirm details) 4. Passport with empty pages and at least 6 months validity 5. Russia Letter of Invitation 6. We also recommend bringing your vouchers as well as proof of onward travel (flight tickets entering and leaving the country) and a copy of the itinerary, printable from our website. While this may not be needed, we recommend having a copy on hand if needed. ***Please carefully check all the information below prior to submitting*** Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the Russian Embassy. Please remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct. PASSPORT DETAILS Please confirm the tour with the same passport you will be travelling with on the Trans-Mongolian Adventure. If you happen to change passports before departure, please reach out to our Sales team with your new passport details so they can notify our teams on the ground. At approximately 60 days from date of departure our local teams purchase our train tickets with the passport provided. If your passport information changes within this time please notify our Sales team as soon as possible with your new information. You could be subject to rebooking fees. Information accurate as of January 21st, 2016 ---------------- Mongolia: ***PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO MONGOLIA*** Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Mongolia. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country. To apply for a Mongolian visa, many nationalities must present an official Mongolian Letter of Invitation (LOI). ***It is the responsibility of the traveller to check with their nearest Embassy and confirm the requirements for entry into Mongolia*** Noted Exemptions: Some countries do not require an LOI to apply for a tourist visa valid up to 30 days including Canada, Germany and the United States. Please be sure to check with the Embassy or Consulate to determine if your country may also be exempt. IMPORTANT: Once your trip is confirmed, at 90 days prior to your entry into Mongolia, you must submit an application for your Letter of Invitation. A link will be emailed to you in your confirmation email. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in Mongolia and you will be emailed your Mongolian Invitation Letter about 10 business days after submission. Mongolia LOI’s can be rushed in extreme circumstances. Mongolian visas can be used up to 3 months from the date the visa is issued, and once you have entered Mongolia, the visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days. Therefore, please time your application accordingly and do not apply for the visa more than 3 months in advance of your trip. Input your name the same way it is in your passport. The information on the application form must match your passport (if you have 2 or more names - all of them have to be listed under "first name"). If you have an umlaut or other character not recognized in the english alphabet in your name (ie. ü), please enter it in the longer form (ie. ue). For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Mongolia are as follows: ARTM - Trans-Mongolian Adventure: Days 9-13 If your country has an official Mongolian Consulate/Embassy, you must choose this as as your 'Visa pickup Embassy’. If you do not see a local Consulate/Embassy on this list or you are unable to go there due to prior travel arrangements, please contact your Travel Agent or G Adventures for further assistance. Once you have received your Mongolian LOI and are completing the visa application from the Mongolian Embassy or Consulate, please refer to the LOI for the Supplier details required. At time of writing, the below documents will be needed to obtain your visa (however, we do advise you confirm this with your nearest Embassy): 1. A standard visa application form from the Embassy or Consulate where you will collect your visa 2. 2 colour, passport sized photos (taken within 14 days) 3. Payment for the visa (this will be dependent on nationality and will sometimes need to be made at a local nearby bank - check with your Embassy to confirm details) 4. Passport with empty pages and at least 6 months validity 5. Mongolia Letter of Invitation 6. We also recommend bringing your vouchers as well as proof of onward travel (flight tickets entering and leaving the country) and a copy of the itinerary, printable from our website. While this may not be needed, we recommend having a copy on hand if needed. ***Please carefully check all the information below prior to submitting*** Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the Mongolian Embassy you listed in the online application. Please remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct. Information accurate as of January 21st, 2016 ---------------- CHINA All nationalities require a visa. When filling out the visa application form list the trip's finishing Point Hotel in Beijing as the "company or person to visit in China". We enter China on the Day 13 of the trip, travelling by rail. Exit date will vary depending on how long you are planning to spend in China after trip is finished. As Chinese visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates as per your flights entering and exiting China. Please remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the application at the Chinese embassy. You will need to provide additional documentation to the consulate (i.e. flights tickets, hotel reservations) if these dates fall outside the duration of the tour. HOW TO FILL IN CHINA LOI FORM ONLINE: As Chinese visas are dated specifically for entry and exit, please ensure you enter the correct dates as per your flights entering and exiting China. Please remember to put exactly the same dates when you fill out the application at the Chinese embassy. You will need to provide additional documentation to the consulate (i.e. flights tickets, hotel reservations) if these dates fall outside the duration of the tour. Please do not submit the below application until 3 months prior to your entry into China. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in China and you will be emailed your Chinese Invitation Letter (With day by day Itinerary) only once we are within 60 days of the trip start date. Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the nearest Chinese embassy.Please, remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct. As of April 3rd, 2018, all Chinese visa application forms must be typed. Handwritten forms will no longer be accepted.
Detailed Trip Notes : You will require a Letter of Invitation for Russia in order to get your Russian visa. You must complete the visa information form which will be automatically sent to you or your travel agent via email upon time of booking. Due to Internet restrictions, some popular websites and applications – including social media sites like Facebook and email services like Gmail – may not work in China. If you think these restrictions may affect you, we suggest you do research before your departure in order to be prepared. Bear in mind the availability of websites and apps can change without notice at any time.
Spending Money : Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Money Exchange : China : USD1 = approx 6.7 Yuan. Mongolia: USD1 = approx. 1400 Tugriks. Russia: USD1 = approx 30 Roubles. You will find that USD and EUR are the easiest to exchange in all three countries (AUD and CAD can be exchanged also, mostly in big cities). IMPORTANT: Due to bank restrictions, you will not be able to exchange banknotes printed earlier than 1996; and also notes with stamps or marks on them. The easiest and quickest way is to change USD or EUR cash but please, remember about the security risk of carrying large sums of money. In any case some money should be taken as cash in case of emergencies. There are lots of ATMs in every big city on the way: in all of them you can withdraw local currency. Major credit cards are accepted in the shops and restaurants almost everywhere in Mongolia and Russia. Some banks in Beijing, Irkutsk and Moscow (but not Ulaanbataar) will allow cash advances against a credit card but these are subject to steep service charges and interest rates and should only be used in an emergency.
Emergency Fund : Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Departure Tax : All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Tipping : Tipping is never a compulsory, but always a sign of appreciation. If you are happy with the guide or driver service, you can tip them (about 2-5 USD p/p, depending on how much guide/driver spent with the group). Before tipping in restaurants, check your bill and menu - many dining facilities in Russia include 10% service charge in the bill. There is no restaurant tipping culture in Mongolia and China. if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline, $20-25 USD per person per week can be used.
Optional Activities : Saint Petersburg - St. Petersburg Express Moscow - Saint Basil's Cathedral - Red Square Visit (Free) - Lenin's Mausoleum (Free) - Kremlin and Armoury Ticket (3300RUB per person) Listvyanka - Russian Banya (Bathhouse) (2000-3500RUB per person) - Hiking (Free) - Swimming Lake Baikal - Lake Baikal Boat Trip Ulaanbaatar - Gandan Monastery Guided Tour (10000MNT per person) - Mongolian Cultural Show (30000MNT per person) Beijing - Tiananmen Square - Hutong Cycling Tour (50-100CNY per person) - Forbidden City Visit (60CNY per person) - Summer Palace (30-60CNY per person) - Temple of Heaven (15-34CNY per person) - Factory 798 Art & Galleries Mutianyu - Toboggan at Great Wall (100-120CNY per person) - Cable Car at Great Wall (100-120CNY per person)
Health : Please note inoculations may be required for the countries visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
Safety and Security : Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit: www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/
Trip Specific Safety : We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
A Couple of Rules : Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance : Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Our Commitment to Responsible Travel in Antarctica : In April of 2006 G Adventures became one of four new full members in IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). IAATO was founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic and now includes 80 members that carry about 95% of all annual tourists to Antarctica. In 1996 IAATO developed an independent Onboard Observer program to ensure that companies applying to become members meet their detailed and extensive regulations for visiting Anatarctica. This past Antarctic season G Adventures carried one such observer onboard the Explorer and we met IAATO standards. Subsequent to this, G Adventures was voted in as full member to IAATO at their 17th annual meeting. IAATO developed a set of Guidelines for tourists to Antarctica, which were subsequently adopted by the Antarctic Treaty parties as part of their Environmental Protocol. It educates the passengers on how to approach, observe and relate to the Antarctic animals and their environment. It is both G Adventures's and IAATO's hope that our passengers will return home with a basic understanding of the continent and will be ambassadors for the Great White Continent. Due to its remote and isolated environment, Antarctica remains a pristine wilderness home to rare flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. As a responsible tour operator, G Adventures is committed to the conservation of Antarctica by minimizing the impact on the region’s wildlife and fragile environment. We follow all internationally agreed regulations of conduct onshore, and ensure that the ship and Zodiacs are operated in an environmentally responsible manner.
Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures : Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally. G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need. G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation. Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment. Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
Local Dress : When packing, be aware of local dress standards. Russia will definitely display the full spectrum from high fashion to extremely conservative. As a visitor, it's always best to dress conservatively, especially travelling into the more remote regions, as some areas are more religious/modest than others. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and practical. As a general guideline shoulders and knees should be covered when visiting religious sites - shorts, singlets and tank tops are not suitable. For the train journeys, comfortable "lounging" clothes is recommended with slip-on sandals and light layers to pile on and take off as temperature on the train fluctuates.
Feedback : After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
Newsletter : Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/ Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Minimum Age : You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
International Flights : Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Group Leader : CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.
Max Pax : 16
Arrive at any time. Want to experience St Petersburg? Book the St Petersburg Express, a four-day pre-tour package. Speak to your Global Connection Officer or travel agent to book.
Enjoy free time to explore Moscow's numerous museums and galleries, the Kremlin, or Lenin's Mausoleum.
Board the train and start one of the world's most famous rail routes. Journey 88 hours across the Ural Mountains and through the wilds of the Siberian taiga forests. Arrive in the evening on Day 6.
Continue on your journey and soak in the amazing landscapes. Share laughs and drinks with fellow passengers— Russians and foreigners alike.
Continue on your journey and soak in the amazing landscapes. Share laughs and drinks with fellow passengers— Russians and foreigners alike.
Continue on your journey and soak in the amazing landscapes. Share laughs and drinks with fellow passengers— Russians and foreigners alike.
Arrive into Irkutsk in the morning. Enjoy a walking tour of Irkutsk before driving to the village of Listvyanka. Overnight in a guesthouse on the shore of Lake Baikal. Enjoy incredible local meals prepared by your host.
Free day to explore the shores of Lake Baikal. Opt to try a banya (Russian sauna), go on a boat trip on the lake, or take an invigorating swim.
Board the train in the early morning and settle in for a full day of train travel. Cross the border into Mongolia and watch the scenery change from dense forests to grassland.
Arrive in Mongolia and spend some time getting to know the capital city.
Drive to nearby Terelj National Park to stay in a traditional ger (yurt). Options to hike, or try traditional archery.
Head back to Ulaanbaatar with a free day to explore the capital. Opt to watch a cultural show with Mongolian throat singing, or visit the Gandan Monastery for a taste of Tibetan Buddhism.
Board the train for the final 30 hr train ride. At the border, stretch your legs in the train station during the border crossing process before continuing on to Beijing.
Arrive in Beijing and start exploring this buzzing capital of China. Opt to visit Tiananmen Square.
Enjoy an included visit to the Great Wall and walk along the Mutianyu section.
Depart at any time.
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