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The good news is that even if you travel the Trans-Siberian direct that you’ll still get to taste the food of whichever country you’re passing through. The train remains the same throughout your journey but the dining car is replaced at every border with one from that country. The above photo shows a Chinese Trans-Mongolian train going from Moscow-Beijing but it has a Mongolian dining cart as the train has passed from Russia into Mongolia.
The direct train still stops up to ten times a day and one of these will be a longer stay at the station – around 30 minutes –where you can venture a little further than the platform to stock up at a kiosk, just don’t forget your passport. You’ll find vendors at the shorter stops, too. These are often local grandmas with delicious homecooked treats or folks selling semi-recognizable snacks. Vendors are more abundant in the warmer months, especially in Siberia.
Travelling direct means you really to get the feel the rhythym of a long train journey but you definitely won’t miss out on the tastes of the countries you pass through.
Photos by Oleg Rezabek (September, 2007)