Essential Tips when Traveling the Trans-Siberian Railway for the First Time
The Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the most popular railways that people from around the world are dying to experience. The entire trip can go on for days as it is the longest railway in the world. You have a lot to discover and experience along the way. It also crosses various countries, including China, Mongolia and Russia. We have gathered some of the most important tips for you if you are interested to take this trip.
Booking the ticket
The first thing you need to know is that booking can be a bit confusing. You might find a lot of different links telling you that they sell genuine tickets. Make sure that you stick with the official website of the Trans-Siberian Railway only. You should also make sure that you select the right ticket and take note of the time. The schedules depict local Moscow time. Therefore, you have to compare it with your local time before buying the ticket. VIP and first class tickets may also be pricey, but if you wish comfort, you have to choose those tickets.
Get ready to use a train toilet
Using the toilet inside a train can be very nasty. It is also a challenge considering that the train is moving almost all the time. Make sure that you bring baby wipes and a hand sanitizer. You should also get used to the whole idea of doing your thing on a moving train. You can also bring your own set of toiletries. The toilets are also really small so you really have to learn how to sacrifice.
Bring your own food (lots of them!)
You need to bring your own food especially if you have dietary restrictions. There are foods sold on the train, but they cost a lot. They also provide hot water so you can bring cup noodles. Make sure that you can estimate the amount of snacks that you will bring for the entire trip. Again, this can go on for days depending on your destination.
Don’t get off the train just because there is a train stop
You might be amazed with the sceneries at various train stops on your way to your destination. There are also a few minutes break given to all passengers. Don’t ever be tempted to go anywhere far from the train to take photos. Trains leave when they leave. They won’t check if all passengers are there before leaving. You can get off for some fresh air, but make sure that you immediately go back before the train leaves.
Stay on a normal sleep schedule
Train rides can be fun. Even at night, you can do a lot of activities. There are open bars in some coaches. You can also have fancy dinners in train restaurants. You may even interact with other passengers. All of them can be very tempting. Before you know it, you have already gone late on your sleep schedule. This is not advisable. Make sure that your body clock remains the same even if you cross borders and change time zones.
Process the necessary travel documents
As you are crossing different borders, you will have to get the necessary documents like visa. Take note that you are traveling countries with really strict visa policies. Once you are barred from entering the next country, you will be stuck in the border. It takes days before the next train comes back to pick you up.
The entire trip can be really fun. Document it and make the most out of the experience. Make sure that you stay safe throughout the trip. This is an experience of a lifetime so you better plan your trip now.
Featured and 1st image by Aladux (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by Reinhard Dietrich [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons