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Travelling on the Trans Siberian Railway

History of the Trans Siberian Railway

The Transiberian train, the longest continuous railway and certainly one of the most impressive in the world. It has been around for over a century. When it comes to historical significance, this may not sound too impressive. But that’s only until you realize that the original plans for the world’s longest railway were set in 1889.

When other nations were still establishing local routes for their railway, Czar Alexander III was appointing engineers for what would turn out to be the single most expensive man-made construction in the world. It took engineers until 1913 to finalize the last segment of the train. Just in time for the Revolution, which will turn the Transiberian into one of the most hated railways in the history of mankind.  From February to October 1917, the train was primarily used to transport prisoners to exile and to connect Allied armies with the main forces stationed in Moscow.

What is the Trans Siberian Express Like?

Nowadays, the train, which was once a symbol of splendor, has taken a turn for the worse. Thousands of tourists still flock to Moscow to take the route across the country. The journey now is more a challenge than a vacation. The route between Moscow and Vladivostok is 5,772 miles and takes about seven days.

While there are stops in the way, most are just for a few minutes. (anything between 10 and 40) It’s barely enough to get off the train and stretch your legs. Or you can buy something from one of the babushkas (old Russian women) selling homemade food or trinkets right on the platform.

The train itself is not for the faint of heart. Whatever type of compartment you chose, you are still limited when it comes to toilets (there are only two per wagon, shared by everybody) and hygiene (no showers or running water except for the small sink in the bathroom).

The Wagons

Each wagon is attended by a provodnik (conductor), who is basically in charge of walking around the train and making sure things are in order. She (is usually a woman) also sells tea and warns passengers of upcoming stops. Unless you speak some Russian, however, you are probably limited here, as you’ll be hard-pressed to find a provodnik who speaks any English at all.

While there is a small restaurant on board the train, the food is both too bland and too expensive for most passengers. People usually bring snacks and drinks along or buy something to eat in one of the numerous stops along the way.

In fact, if you’re taking the train all the way from Moscow to Vladivostok, there are 87 towns in between the two cities. While the number and places for stops vary, you can expect almost as many station stops as there are cities.

Types of Tickets

There are three classes on the Transiberian: first class (two-berth compartments best known as “spalny”), second class (four-bed compartments also known as “kupe”) and third-class (platzcart), which is basically an open communal wagon with 20-30 beds.

Unless you’re ready for real adventure forget third class. There is no privacy at all. Most foreign travelers take a second-class compartment and pray that they get nice bunkmates. In certain routes, like the Chinese line (and then only on certain trains, like Numbers 3 and 4), first class compartments have a shower. This can be a lifesaver if you’re staying onboard (rather than doing stopovers) for the whole duration of the trip.

Tickets do not allow stopovers. This means you will need to book tickets in sections if you plan on staying in any specific city along the way. Do keep in mind through, that Russian law requires you to register with the local authorities if you’re planning on staying in any one place for more than three days.

Tickets do not allow stopovers. This means you will need to book tickets in sections if you plan on staying in any specific city along the way. Do keep in mind through, that Russian law requires you to register with the local authorities if you’re planning on staying in any one place for more than three days.


Tickets for the Transiberian railroad can only be bought in Russia. Certain companies and websites may be able to book a reservation in advance, but you will need to pick up the tickets yourself once you arrive in Russia.

Also, tickets cannot be booked more than 45 days in advance, so careful planning is required. Ticket prices vary widely depending on the type of accommodations you choose. The length of the trip and whether you book the long route or purchase several sections.

For example, second class tickets for the route Moscow-Vladivostok cost $318, while first class cost $627. There are no third class wagons for the full trip, although you may be able to book parts of the trip in third class if you’re planning on hoping on and off the train in different cities.

The Good Things

Traveling alone for seven days could be boring but rarely is on the Transiberian. Not only will you have lots of chances to cross through amazing scenery (including Lake Baikal, the sea of Japan and Siberia itself) but you will get a glimpse of the famed Russian hospitality.

Whoever shares the compartment with you will certainly become an ally and a friend along the way. Expect to share drinks. You’ll be invited to play card games and get lots of snacks and conversations from your bunkmates. Even if you don’t speak Russian and they don’t speak English, they’ll always find a way to communicate.

The Bad Things

If you’re looking for privacy and quiet, the Transiberian train is not for you. Rules here are, at best, lax, with everybody drinking, singing or playing the radio as they see fit.

Unless you are traveling with friends or have a compartment just to yourself, you will have to share the small quarters with strangers. This makes for some interesting (and sometimes uncomfortable) moments. There is no such thing as men/women compartments, so you may as well end up sleeping next to strangers of the opposite sex.

Despite the lack of privacy, the train itself is not dangerous. Unless you are thinking about the safety of your possessions. As a general rule, always keep your documents and money next to you. Preferably put them under your bed (which opens up to expose a luggage compartment) or on a belt around your waist. Traveling in summer can be a challenge, as there is no air conditioner and no showers onboard.

If you are going to Russia – Get your Tourist Invitation Letter or your Business Invitation Letter from

Sailing Holiday in Croatia

Sailing the Adriatic Sea is a great way to spend your vacation. The blue sea , a wonderful climate and historic ports to visit will make this the most wonderful trip of a lifetime.

Sailing holidays in Croatia can take you to some fantastic, historic towns on the Dalmatian Coast.

The Dalmatian coast offers a number of different towns and cities that were ruled by the Venetian Republic until the 19th Century. All these towns are great historic treasures.

Split is the largest town along the Dalmatian coast and the historic centre is UNESCO World Heritage listed and is best known for the 4th Century Roman Diocletian’s Palace.

Dubrovnik the most famous and also the most heavily touristed town is also along the Dalmatian coast and can be visited on your luxury yacht.

You can also island hop though the Adriatic and Hvar historically was the most important Venetian port in the region and today is a great place to vsit, it is one of the most important cultural towns in Croatia.

Mljet is another island worth visiting and is best know for the Monastery of Saint Mary and the Mljet National Park both great places to visit.

Swim every day in another bay, eat at great restaurants and bars and walk every evening in a historic port. Each day you will experience a different island or town on a holiday of a lifetime.

Villa in Goa

One of the most popular areas of India for a beach location is the ex Portuguese colony of Goa.

Goa is best known for its many beaches and its wonderful cuisine.

You can dine on many seafood dishes and great curries that are distinct to the region.

Fifteen kilometers from Panjim, the Goan capital, is Candolim Beach.

The beach in itself is great for families because its very calm and no surk or under currents.

The village is quite spread out so there is not any centre to it as such.

The area around the beach can be termed as resort free as there are not any resorts there.

However, the beach has quite a number of inns at reasonable prices with good facilities.

Another interesting feature about the Candolim beach is the ship River Princess, which has been stuck at the shores of the beach since 2000.

Nearby is the Portuguese 1612 built Aguada Fort which is a great trip to see some of the areas history.

Great accommodation is available through the who will be able to book a Candolim villa with pool in Goa so you can enjoy a great break in Goa.