Polny BM5 (UIE)

18 days / 3 stops – from €3,165 (per person twin share)

18 day itinerary with tours in Mongolia, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal, Ekaterinburg and Moscow

Tour Introduction
This 17 or 18 day trip (depending on Beijing departure day) expands on the standard two-stops in Mongolia and Lake Baikal, breaking up the long journey between Irkutsk and Moscow with a stopover in Ekaterinburg. A three-night tour program in central Mongolia takes guests further afield and adds significantly to the adventure. 

Beijing — Ulaanbaatar and the Mongolian Open Steppe — Irkutsk and Lake Baikal in Siberia — Ekaterinburg — Moscow  

Departure dates
Several departures each week. Take a look at the Trains and Schedules page for the specific details regarding Beijing departures and onward travel.

Tour includes
√  Monkey info pack, local support, visa invitation documents
√  Train tickets in standard second class (4-berth) cabins
√  Beijing: 1 night 4* hotel; departure transfer: hotel to train station
√  Ulaanbaatar: arrival and departure station transfers; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel
√  Mongolia: 3-night trip to Karakorum, Ugii Lake and Hustai National Park, transfers, guide, excursions, 3 nights ger camp with full board
4 nights with Tuesday Beijing departure (adding Tsetserleg hot springs)
√  Lake Baikal: all transfers; 2 nights guesthouse accommodation in Listvyanka Village
√  Listvyanka guided hiking excursion
√  Irkutsk: 1 night 3* Marussia hotel, guided city tour
√  Ekaterinburg: station transfers; 2 nights 3* hotel,
√  Ekaterinburg guided city walking tour; guided excursion in Ural Countryside
√  Moscow: arrival transfer; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel, guided city walking tour

Prices (per person for the 18 day trip)
€4,425  – based on solo travel
€3,165  – based on two people travelling together
€2,715  – based on three people travelling together
€2,505  – based on four people travelling together

»  3 night guided program in central Mongolia, including Elsen Tasarkhai dunes, Karakorum, Ugii Lake and Hustai National Park
4 nights with Tuesday Beijing departure (adding Tsetserleg hot springs)
»  Days by the shore of majestic Lake Baikal, guided tour of Listvyanka Village and Lake Baikal Museum + hiking excursion (or alternative)
»  Ekaterinburg: excursion to traditional village in Ural Countryside
»  Orientation city tour of Moscow

Flexibility – tour programs and accommodation
Upgrade to first class or private second class cabin.
Add extra nights in Beijing and a guided city tour or excursion to the Great Wall
Substitute tour programs on the Mongolian Open Steppe, at Lake Baikal,or in Ekaterinburg, adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget.
Add an extension from Moscow to St Petersburg with extra nights accommodation in Moscowovernight or express day train and accommodation in Saint-Petersburg, along with a number of additional Moscow tours and Saint-Petersburg tours.

Compare to: Polny BM6 (UIKE); Polny MB5 (EIU)

Day 1 
Beijing arrival
Staying one night at a centrally located 4* hotel. We can book additional accommodation and tours in Beijing, as well as domestic train tickets around China in advance of your Trans-Mongolian train journey.

Day 2
Beijing departure
Morning transfer to Beijing Main Railway Station for the start of your Trans-Mongolian adventure. Depart on train #23 around 7:30am. The train meanders through the Yanshan mountains north of Beijing and past the Great Wall, before arriving at the Chinese border town of Erlian. (B)
The Chinese – Mongolian border crossing takes around five hours for immigration and customs procedures and for changing the bogies to accommodate the different gauge railway lines between China and the rest of the Trans-Mongolian / Siberian network.

Day 3
Ulaanbaatar arrival
Wake up to the Gobi and cross central Mongolian steppe. Arrive to Ulaanbaatar (locally called UB) early afternoon around 14:30. Meet your driver on the station platform for a transfer to a centrally located 3* hotel. Free evening to explore Ulaanbaatar on your own. 

Day 4
Central Mongolia tour – Elsen Tasarkhai dunes and Karakorum
Meet your guide at hotel after breakfast (suggested start time: 8am). Travel west of UB (approx. 260km) to Elsen Tasarkhai, known as the ‘mini-Gobi’ sand dunes. Enjoy a picnic lunch or at a local ger camp. Opportunity to ride a camel or horse.
Travel on to Karakorum (85km). Staying overnight at local hotel, guesthouse, or tourist ger camp. (L|D)

The following extra day is possible with Saturday Beijing departure
Visit Erdene Zuu monastery, and the Karakorum history museum. Travel (130km) to the beautiful are of the Tsetserleg hot springs.
Hike or horse ride with your guide or at your leisure, and when the day is done, relax in the soothing hot springs. Staying overnight at tourist ger camp. (B|L|D)

Day 5
Ugii Lake
Morning in Karakorum, once the capital of the great Mongol Empire. Visit Erdene Zuu monastery, and the Karakorum history museum. Travel to Ugii Lake (65km). Enjoy lunch at ger camp before exploring the fabulous lake environs at your leisure (boating on the lake can be arranged). Staying overnight at tourist ger camp. (B|L|D)

Day 6
Hustai National Park
Travel (250km) to Hustai National Park. Introduction to the national park’s work in re-introducing the wild Takhi horses, a subspecies of the Przewalski. Lunch in the park. Spend the afternoon searching for the horse within the national park. Travel from the park (70km) to spend the evening and overnight at a local nomadic family ger. (B|L|D)

Day 7
Ulaanbaatar / Train to Irkutsk
Spend the early morning with the local family, learning about nomadic life. Finish the tour with your return to Ulaanbaatar (55km). Afternoon transfer to train station. Depart on train #305 mid-afternoon. (B)

Day 8
On train – Irkutsk arrival | Listvyanka Village, Lake Baikal
Cross the Mongolian – Russian border in the middle of the night, stopping in Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) and Naushki (Russia) for immigration and customs formalities. Travel through Siberian Russia, passing Ulan-Ude and the eastern shore of Lake Baikal in the early morning. Travel along the southern shore of Lake Baikal before arriving in Irkutsk a little after 3pm. Meet your local guide/driver on station platform.
Enjoy a guided city tour of Irkutsk before transfer to Listvyanka, the main village on the shore of Lake Baikal (70km from Irkutsk). Staying two nights at a comfortable guesthouse. Guided tour of Limnological Museum (time permitting).

Day 9
Listvyanka, Lake Baikal | Excursion
Enjoy a moderate hiking excursion (5 hrs) in Baikal National Park, navigating the taiga forests surrounding Listvyanka and skirting the high cliffs looking over Lake Baikal. Excursion includes a stop by the foreshore to enjoy a picnic lunch. Free evening in Listvyanka. (B|L)
Note: for alternative excursions, check out the Lake Baikal tour programs.

Day 10
Listvyanka | Irkutsk
Free morning before transfer to Irkutsk. Staying at a boutique 3* hotel in a district of Irkutsk showcasing the wooden architecture of the city.  Free afternoon to explore on your own. (B)

Day 11
Irkutsk | Train to Ekaterinburg
Free day in Irkutsk to explore the city’s fabulous wooden architecture. Irkutsk is an important staging post on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the city center is reasonably easy to navigate on foot. 
Hint: Pick up supplies for the four-night train journey.
Afternoon transfer to train station. Depart late afternoon a little after 4pm. (B)

Day 12
On train
On board the train all day. Stroll along to the dining car or buy fresh produce from local vendors as you stretch your legs on the platform. The train stops around ten times per day, at cities such as Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk. This is the ‘mid Siberian railway’, which was built between 1893 and 1898 crossing the great rivers Ob and Yenisei. It is the half way point on the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Mongolian line.

Day 13
On train | Ekaterinburg arrival
Arrive in Ekaterinburg late in the evening a little before 11pm; meet guide on station platform and transfer to the 3* Chekhov hotel, where you will stay for 2 nights.

Day 14
Ekaterinburg | Koptelovo
Excursion to Koptelovo village in the Ural Mountains (or alternative activity by request). (B|L)

Day 15
Ekaterinburg | Train to Moscow
Guided city tour before transfer to station. Depart on train early afternoon a little after 2pm. (B)

Day 16
Moscow arrival
Arrive Moscow (Yaroslavsky station) late afternoon a little after 2pm; meet driver on station platform. Transfer to centrally located 3* hotel, staying one night. 

Day 17
Moscow city tour
Meet your guide after breakfast and enjoy a great orientation tour of Moscow city center. All our guides have their own personal itineraries and will visit many of the main sites, including: Tverskaya street and it’s important buildings, Manezhnaya square, Marshal Zhukov monument, Lubyanka (former KGB building), Aleksandrovsky Gardens and of course the Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. (B)
You have a free afternoon to continue your exploration of this exciting and vibrant city and delve into the long and turbulent history of Russia, adding on extra nights and additional Moscow tours if you wish.