The Trans Mongolian: the train from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing
Aug 07 2015
Every summer, many tourists travel between Beijing /Ulan Bator and vice versa. Those who do not wish to fly, and many they are, would consider instead a train ride on board of the legendary Trans Mongolian. The train will take you in northern China, and allow you to cross the Inner Mongolia and the Gobi desert. Mongolians, who are well known for their good mood, may invite you to share a bottle of vodka, or even play cards or just talk. In short, it is an amazing experience that we highly recommend. Here are some tips to make the best of it... When to go? If your goal is to experience the Trans-Siberian thoroughly, and only slightly concentrating to each country, so without hesitation I would recommend this trip off-season from October to April. You will see very few other westerners in the train and therefore will ensure you a brief immersion in the local culture amongst the Mongolians merchants bringing back numerous objects from China to resell in Mongolia… If you want to spend some time in Mongolia, then you will rather appreciate sunny days. The month of June then remains definitely one of the best months. This is not yet the "rush" of July and August, but it is perhaps the hottest month of the year, without forgetting that this is the blooming period. How long is the ride? The total journey takes about 28 hours 30 min. Timetable for 2015:
- From Mongolia, the train leaves Ulaanbaatar at 8:15am to arrive the next morning at 11:40 in Beijing.
- From Beijing, the departure is at 11:22am for an arrival at 3:25pm in the Mongolian capital. Expect at least 4 hours at the border crossing.
- The weekly train Ulan Bator / Beijing runs all year long on Thursdays from Ulaanbaatar, and Tuesdays from Beijing.
- The Russian train. It is possible to embark for the section Ulan Bator / Beijing, on the Russian rail Moscow / Beijing. It stops in Ulan Bator on Sunday, and leaves Beijing on Wednesday.
- The additional train. In July and August is by far the easiest to book and that up to 30 days before departure normally.