I would like to thank you for the organization of my trip from Vladivostok to Yekaterinburg. Every thing was ok and I really appreciated the experienced guides that I had in each and every city.
What I loved most was:
In Vladivostok, I had the best welcome as, in the way to the hotel, the driver announced me that we will have a mini trip to Russky Island, crossing the two modern bridges of the city.
In Ulan-Ude, both the guide and the driver were particular very kind with me, I would dare to say quite paternal, especially the driver who at the departure time helped me with the luggage until the train cabin, just like a father will do. I would very much appreciate if you could tell me his name as it has slipped my mind…
In Listvyanka, even thou the guest house was a little bit far from the lake, I did appreciated the kindness of my host, Irina, who helped in organizing a wonderful boat trip on the lake and also the tasty home made meals.
In Novosibirsk, thank you so much for including in the program the Open-Air Train Museum, I enjoyed it a lot and I might say it was the fun part of my entire trip. The guide Natalia seemed to me a real encyclopedia!
Finally, in Yekaterinburg, despite a small misunderstanding at arrival, when the guide waited for me with a sign board with a different name than mine, I really liked Tanya very much. She is a very educated and lovely woman, a very open person. Therefore, during the tour, I had the impression that I am accompanied by a friend rather than a guide. Might be the empathy J
Once more thank you so much for helping me to make my dream come true!
You got top marks for organisation, everything you’d arranged for us worked like clockwork. The guides were all superb, amazingly well informed, spoke excellent English and/or French and were both punctual, efficient and friendly.
The drivers were always there to meet us on the platform, the cars spacious and comfortable.
I learnt so much about “Mother Russia”.
The journey by train was a great experience, it’s very soporific but not in the least boring even though the scenery doesn’t change a great deal for very long periods of time. We’d get off the train whenever possible to stretch our legs, buy our lunch which was often a bit of an adventure and chat with other travelers . Our provodnista made sure we didn’t venture too far afield . I thought I’d read loads of books but no, once I’d written my journal, snacked, drunk, eaten supper in the dining car and chatted with our travelling companions, the day was over! The first class accommodation is very comfortable, but I don’t think I’d have liked being on the train for more than three nights without a proper shower! Meals in the dining car were very hit and miss and quite expensive. Service was often very slow, not that it mattered, we were in no hurry, and the helpings pretty small. Having tried the beef and pork once we then gave them a wide berth and settled for chicken instead. It didn’t worry us at all though, it was all part of the adventure, we were there to enjoy ourselves!
Moscow : modern functional hotel, staff at reception rather cold but the restaurant and bar staff were very friendly. Perfect location. As well as the main tourist attractions, Nina, our guide, took us to a wonderful restaurant/canteen for lunch, off the tourist track.
Ekaterinburg : interesting hotel with a bit of character, comfortable, excellent location. Personally I particularly liked Ekaterinburg – so much history and a beautiful, open city. Our guide, Svetlana was again excellent and Sergei, the driver very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed lunch in a particularly nice old fashioned restaurant.
Lake Baikal : Chalet Hotel : friendly staff, wonderful view of the lake from the terrace, delicious home-made food, the stairs to the chalet could be rather a challenge for the elderly or those with knee problems especially in the winter. Eugene, our guide was very amusing and peppered his comments with anecdotes. I don’t think he was impressed that we were not exactly fit or particularly interested in sport!!
Irkutsk with Natascha, our guide and Viktor, our driver. The architect museum was impressive and the Decembrists’ story captivating.
Khabarovsk : modern hotel, staff rather aloof. Excellent location. Set off with Mikael, our driver and Igor, our guide to spend a fascinating day with the Nanais on the banks of the river. Sacha and Lina were wonderful hosts : we ate all sorts of different fish and drank an incredible amount of vodka!
An unexpected bonus to our stay in Khabarovsk were the festivities the next day to mark the town’s anniversary. Glorious weather added to the happy atmosphere. A march past along the main avenue included every single institution, company, school, orchestra etc etc you name it, many of the participants dressed up or in uniform – loud music added to the festive atmosphere, the avenue was lined with families intent on enjoying their day, and stalls selling all sorts of things had sprung up over night. We were very impressed that the avenue was cleaned up immediately after the procession with all sorts of sweepers, hoses etc. Our eventful day ended with a visit to the theatre to watch a ballet.
We were very sad when we got off the train in Vladivostok… I do not advise anyone to arrive in a town on a Sunday evening. This was not a good start. Our hotel was an enormous disappointment as we’d been used to modern hotels. The only nice thing about it was the lobby and the cat! Very deceptive. To get to our room we had to go outside in the courtyard and climb endless steps, no lifts. Our room was shabby and bore the stamp of unprofessional DIY. Not what we’d been accustomed to. Breakfast was served in the café next door, not very practical. Please strike this hotel off your list. We wandered along the street to find somewhere for supper, everything was closed and the hotel location wasn’t brilliant. Finally a very friendly Russian with no English stopped and using sign language finally got our gist and actually took us to a lovely restaurant which we’d never have found! We were so very grateful.
Personally I was a bit disappointed with our excursion the following day. Our guide, Nina and driver took us for a little drive round town and our first port of call was a souvenir shop!! I thought we were going on a boat trip but went to view the University buildings instead, I’d have preferred a fine arts museum. We then visited the fortress museum and drove round town some more before settling in a lovely restaurant for a late lunch. Nina again was a very knowledgeable guide and told us all about the history of Vladivostok which had been a closed city for so long.
I was surprised that as we ventured further East people didn’t look more Asian and was a little disappointed as they looked just like us!
It was a truly memorable trip, thanks to your organizational skills, Kim. All very much appreciated.
Leslie and JF Pion, France, May 2016
I just wanted to send a note regarding our recent trip on the Trans Siberian Train. Everything went well and it was a great journey. If I know of anyone who is thinking of making the trip I will send them to your company. All your arrangements worked out and we were satisfied with the level of service provided. Thanks again for your efforts on our behalf.
Ms and Mr Towson, Canada
Now that we are back in the UK I would like to thank you for organsing a truly memorable holiday, all of the guides were exemplary and very informative, it was an excellent adventure and will give us much to remember.
Robert and Deborah Pierson, London, June 2016
Thank you so much for your excellent service in arranging our Trans-Siberian Railway tour. Our trip had gone smoothly and we had a great and memorable time. In Novosibirsk, some of us went to watch the ballet ‘Gisele’ at the beautiful Opera House, while another group went to watch a comedy at a theatre in the park. I enjoyed the ballet performance very much and the price was really affordable. We had very good guides in most of the places we visited and they spoke good English and had great knowledge of the history and information of the places we visited. The only guide with some problems with her English was the young guide in Yekaterinburg. Nevertheless, she was very friendly and tried her best to find the correct words to express.
Our guide at Irkutsk (Sergei) even introduced us to kbac, a fermented beverage made from black bread which we found very refreshing. During our boat trip on Baikal Lake, he even brought with him some homemade tea (that he brewed with herbs that he collected) and pancakes to enjoy during the boat ride. We greatly enjoyed his commentary and his knowledge and very good English made him an excellent guide.
We would also like to thank our guide at Ulan Bator (Olgy) for his great service and for changing our included meals to chicken or fish under such short notice. Despite his constant reminder to be careful of our belongings and valuables, one of our group member lost her handphone at the very busy Gandan Monastery. With his assistance, my friend was able to make a report at a local police station and obtained a written report so that she can make a claim for insurance back home in Singapore. It was an unfortunate incident but my friend was able to make a call home to have her line terminated immediately.
Thank you once again for your prompt and excellent service. I will certainly recommend your travel agency to any of my friends or relatives if they are interested to go on a transsiberian trip.
Li Hong and co, Singapore
Feels like the transsib is already long time ago.
Moscow is an incredible city. Impressing buildings, I always felt Munich to be tiny compared to Berlin. But now Berlin feels tiny compared to Moscow :-) Besides the tourist spots I’ve walked around and enjoyed art district, Gorki Park by day and night and swan lake ballet.
And I had to learn that Russians really love Modern Talking, while Germans are ashamed of them :-)
The third class journey to baikal lake was good, but really nobody in my wagon spoke one word english. it was kind of meditation retreat… and I was the only tourist. And I would recommend to take another stop earlier than 86 hours, which was not my best idea. nearly 4 days on the train is quite challenging. around baikal lake could have been very nice but unfortunately there were so many forest fires that the air was sticky and yellow. Everything felt like we were surrounded of a big bbq. next stop was Mongolia and it was incredibly awesome. I was traveling around for 2 weeks with a small group. To the south and via central Mongolia back to UB. Sanddunes, valleys, mountains, horseback riding, camel riding from ger to ger. Its quite a reduced life – no fluent water, don’t tell you about the „bathrooms“ and stomach has to get used to food. You shouldn’t play cards and punish the looser with drinking shots of fermented horse milk – that ends up in collective stomach ache… also meat/ food is bit challenging as they have no possibility to keep them cool. But, after those weeks my stomach can handle nearly everything, haha. And I was so impressed of the Mongolian kindness, the happy kids integrating us immediately. Mongolia showed once more that happiness is autark of money.
Beijing was much more better than I expected and I was lucky that at this time there had been a sport championship and Chinese 70 years celebrity. So factories had to reduce their smog outcome and taadaa: we had a blue sky. I enjoyed Beijing, can fully recommend art zone 798 and those tiny hutongs. Further I spent some days in the middle of nowhere to walk along an unrestored sector of the great wall for a couple of days. But military driving through Beijing felt kind a weird…
It was a great trip and I can fully recommend it.
Just arrived in Kathmandu yesterday after spending 3 weeks on Bali traveling around. Bali is a jewel with its nature, jungle, volcanoes and hinduism culture and peoples – should put it on your list if you hadn’t been there. Tomorrow we fly to Bhutan for the Snowman Trek along the Himalaya.
Yves, thank you again for your support, also with the confirmed flight for my visa and the good organization!
I just want to thank you for all your good work. We are safely back in Norway, and everything worked according to plan on our trans-siberian individual travel. I would like to especially mention the guide Tomas in Ulan Bator, who was exellent in how he did his job: Fluent in english, knowledgeable and a very nice person and he did all he could to make the most out of our stay. The nomad family we visited was actually his grandmother! The guide in Irkutsk and lake baikal was also very nice and good and we enjoyd the stay in Bolshie Koti very much. We even had Siberian sauna and a swim in Lake Baikal. Again thank you very much, and it will be a pleasure to recommend you to others.
Eivind Berg, Norway
I just wanted to send a quick note thanking you and TranSib with your assistance booking our trip. We had a really fantastic trip, and greatly appreciated your efficient and prompt assistance with the trains tickets and visa letter!
All the best, and I will certainly recommend you to others who are interested in doing a similar trip!
Charlotte, R., London
We 3 ladies are back from an amazing trip and it is especially so for Jen and I as we were on our Trans Siberian trip!
Your arrangements were spot on. The guides were always waiting by the carriage upon arrival at the various stations. We never felt anxious upon arrival in a strange town. Thanks to your impeccable itinerary.
I would like to especially mention our guide in Moscow, Svetlana. She was the funniest Russian we came across in our entire journey. She had an acute sense of humour while relating the history of a place. She had us splitting in laughter at the Kremlin while the other tourists looked upon us in amazement! She was a most wonderful lady.
Maria at the Lake Baikhal chalet was most accommodating and generous at meal times. It was a pleasure to stay in such beautiful surroundings and enjoy the food and place.
Our guide at Lake Baikal, Daimanyu, was also brilliant. In that short time we spent with him, we learnt so much of the history and culture of the Siberian inhabitants. He was an excellent conversationalist, which made the afternoon that more interesting. As we were then travelling on the Mongolian train, he was on the platform to ensure that we were safely on board and even spoke to the person in charge on the train, to confirm that we had the 4 seater cabin to ourselves.
The Russian trains were good. Unfortunately we could not take a shower as they charged 300 Roubles. Luckily we brought enough wet wipes and that solved the problem. There is not much to say about the Mongolian train except that the Mongolians were indeed very friendly. As for the Chinese train, luckily it came with a shared basin and shower. Unfortunately the train itself was not too hygienic.
I have to thank you for the arrangements. It made a trip that I had been wanting to do for so long, a most memorable one. It was amazing!!
Thank you Z&P!
Cres, Jen and Maria, Singapour