Category Archives: Trans-Mongolian Express

Exploring China, Mongolia and Russia by train in October 2017.

How to survive on the Trans-Mongolian Express

Here are a few tips I’ve collected for happy traveling aboard the Trans-Mongolian Express.

  • Board in an orderly fashion, let the ones with compartments furthest from the door go first.
  • Compartments are small, stand in the hallway while your traveling companions sort out and store their luggage.

Continue reading How to survive on the Trans-Mongolian Express

Beautiful Mongolia

When I looked out the window of the train on our first day in Mongolia, we were in the Gobi desert, the Mongolian steppes. The landscape was flat, the low scrubby grass fall-brown, the light diffuse, and all of it completely spectacular. Herds of animals appeared, horses, cattle, sheep, Angora goats, Bactrian camels, gazelles or yaks. Here and there, a few Gers (yurts), a testament to the traditional nomadic lifestyle. Continue reading Beautiful Mongolia

National Day in China

More people in one place than I’ve ever seen before. That was my thought as I stood in Tiananmen Square for the raising of the flag at dawn on the country’s national day, October 1. I’m not good at estimating crowds, but there have been up to 500,000 people on the square for this event. It’s the only gathering that celebrates the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China by Mao Zedong on October 1, 1949. Continue reading National Day in China