Shaman Rock, Olkhon Island
Steaming by Lake Baikal
Bactrian camels, Gobi Desert
Train #1 - The Rossiya, Vladivostok to Moscow
Red Square, Moscow
The Kremlin, Moscow
Open Steppe, Central Mongolia
A Buryat welcome
Welcome to Monkeyshrine
Your guide to a Trans-Siberian adventure of a lifetime
As the specialists in Trans-Siberian / Trans-Mongolian railway adventures, backed by 30 years of experience, and friendly, reliable local partners throughout China, Mongolia and Russia, we can arrange your journey of a lifetime, no matter your travel style, time frame or budget.
Begin your adventure in Beijing, Moscow or Vladivostok; travel on the popular Trans-Siberian or Trans-Mongolian routes, the less travelled Trans-Manchurian, or the remote BAM route.
Limited by time and budget? No problem: fly into Ulaanbaatar or destinations in Russia, or try a round-trip circuit out of Beijing to Mongolia and Siberia.
Five easy steps to planning an adventure of a lifetime
1- Choose the journey you wish to make
Go to our Journeys page to choose your start city and the direction of travel. Choose from the following four main journeys, or contact us for alternative routes.
2- Pick the destinations you wish to visit
Go to Destinations to research the many stopover destinations on offer. Find the journey itinerary package to match the destinations you wish to include, or add on to the existing packages.
3- Play around with the tour programs in each destination
Choose one of our standard Polny (Package) or Osnova (Budget) packages, or customise your itinerary to suit your time frame, budget and travel style.
Feel free to substitute or extend tour programs in any of the stopover destinations.
Upgrade or downgrade Accommodation to suit your budget.
4- Check the Trains and Scheduling information to coordinate travel dates
Check the Trains and Scheduling page for information in regards to possible trip start dates, as well as the onward travel from stopover destinations. Review train standards, carriages classes, and cabin layout details.
5- Ready to book a trip, or do you have questions?
If you need more information, or have a question at any time during your research, you can contact us via the Inquiries button at top of every page.
‘I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful our experience was in Siberia. The entire trip fit together seamlessly and without a hitch of any kind. What can I say … everything was perfect.’Bonnie Hofkin, May 2016
Remember that the Trans-Siberian is a network of routes, including but not limited to
- the Trans-Siberian, linking Moscow to Vladivostok;
- the Trans-Mongolian, branching off the Trans-Siberian and traversing Mongolia through to Beijing;
- and the Trans-Manchurian, which also links Siberia to Beijing, though bypassing Mongolia.
The majority of our guests travel the Trans-Mongolian route, between Beijing and Moscow via Mongolia, with most beginning their journey in Beijing and travelling west. The Trans-Mongolian route is arguably the more scenic and diverse. From Beijing, the mountains to the north, offering glimpses of The Great Wall, give way to the south eastern reaches of the Gobi Desert, before turning to the wide open expanses of the Mongolian open steppe.
A far lesser travelled route, the Trans-Manchurian, connects Beijing through north east China to Russia, effectively by-passing Mongolia. This is the choice route for guests wishing to catch the famous ice festival in Harbin, or for guests on a round-trip journey out of Beijing through Mongolia and Siberia before heading back into China rather than continuing to Moscow.
The original route between Moscow and Vladivostok, spanning two continents and nine time zones. For guests wishing to begin the trip in Vladivostok, the best option is to fly into Vladivostok, with connections through Beijing, Harbin, Seoul, Tokyo and elsewhere. Alternatively, travel from Korea or Japan by ferry. Travelling from Moscow to Vladivostok, the same options apply onward from Vladivostok.
Whichever direction, route or stopover destinations you choose to include, it promises to be an adventure of a lifetime!
Beijing to Moscow
Travelling east to west is by far the most popular direction for our guests. The natural beauty of Mongolia and Lake Baikal give way to the vibrancy and rich culture of Moscow and Europe beyond.
Moscow to Beijing
Travelling west to east, and beginning with the European, yet distinct, atmosphere of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, the adventure has a slightly different flavour. The hectic whirlwind in Moscow gives way to a more relaxing time at Lake Baikal and on the open steppe in Mongolia – even Beijing has a more laid-back feel compared to Moscow.
Vladivostok to Moscow
The Vladivostok to Moscow route definitely sees less traffic, though it is popular for travellers wishing to tick off what may be thought of as the official Trans-Siberian, spanning two continents and nine time zones. Train enthusiasts particularly wish to undertake at least part of the journey on the ‘Rossiya’ train #1.
Moscow to Vladivostok
Travelling from Moscow to Vladivostok allows travellers to continue on by ferry to Korea or Japan, or plane to China. Make it a bigger adventure by adding a side trip into Mongolia.
A trip along the Trans-Siberian route brings you to at least three very distinctive, important and culturally very different destinations! Each have a unique and rich history. This will truly be a journey of experiences that reshape any wrong pre-conceptions you might have about Russia, Mongolia and China!
Emerge yourself into historical Russian splendour, get back to the feel of the 13th Century on the Steppes of Mongolia with the nomads who once ruled the largest empire in history, and be amazed at the contrast between the emerging Chinese superpower of today and the sophistication left by 8,000 years of inventions and civilisation.
Russia, the world’s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches.
Saint Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, showcases the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum’s extensive art collection.
Mongolia, a nation bordered by China and Russia, is known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, centers around Sukhbaatar Square. In July 1921, the ‘hero of the revolution’, Damdin Sukhbaatar, declared Mongolia’s final independence from the Chinese. The Square now bears his name and features a statue of him astride his horse.
Ulaanbaatar also houses the National Museum of Mongolia, displaying historic and ethnographic artifacts, and the restored 1830 Gandan Khiid Monastery.
China is a populous nation in East Asia whose vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000km of coastline.
Beijing mixes modern architecture with historic cultural sites, such as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square. On the outskirts of Beijing, visitors can scrabble the wondrous Great Wall of China.
‘Thanks for the excellent organization of this trip – there has not been a single breakdown. All trains, transfers, hotels, the guides, have worked perfectly and were on time and in any manner in order. The trip was in my – in our view – a complete success.’ Reinhold Friedrich, June 2016
Experience and Flexibility
A journey along the Trans-Siberian route is on many travellers’ bucket-list, as a “once in a life time” trip! This dream to explore China, Mongolia and Russia while using the longest train journey in the world is close to become reality – because you have found this site, and the team with the most and longest specialist experience!
Without a lot of preparation, the wealth of information concerning this trip can be overwhelming. Pieces of this huge puzzle are made up of all the optional stopovers, the various possible and seasonal activities along the way, and a myriad of different trains, classes and timetables.
Don’t even try to make sense out of this, that’s why we are here: to assist you according your individual needs! It is your hard earned money, so we make sure you’ll have a memorable and hassle free trip!
Each year we prepare several “ready made” packages, combining great options that suit most of our guests. They make for good overviews of possibilities, and are perfect to inspire you! You are not limited to these packages! A lot can be added, changed and customized (within realistic goals) just for you!