It is possible to 'stop off' along the way.

¶  It certainly would be jolly to hop off and spend a few hours or days in, say, Irkutsk or Novosibirsk. Unfortunately, the train stops for no more than a half hour in any station. Except for our organized stopovers, our tickets are for direct trains from Beijing to Moscow. It is inadvisable to make an unplanned stop as you travel on a group ticket; you have no reservation for hotels or for onward tickets; and you need a tourist visa specifying the places you intend to visit.

Organized stopovers are expensive.

¶  The price of a direct train ticket is much lower than the several tickets needed to cover the same route. There are also multiple costs for reservation, booking, handling and transfers. The stopovers themselves are excellent value and we strongly advise them if you can afford the time and/or money involved.

¶  All our stopover programs are well balanced and tested, with enough free time to explore on your own. No hassles in dealing with visas, transfers, family stays, meals, language, or tickets. The Monkeys do it all for you for peanuts!

I'll need to buy loads of books to while away the endless hours on the train.

¶  Although it may harm our book sales, the truth of the matter is that you'll be so busy talking to people from every conceivable nation that you'll probably be hard-pressed to finish one of the pre-read classics you buy from us.

¶  If you're really interested in the history of the Tranzip and want to know more about the journey, then we recommend 'Trans-Siberian Handbook'-6th edition by Bryn Thomas, which we stock in both offices. (€ 10)