Adventures – Trans-siberian Railway Travel Tips



My tickets were booked on, or 1-3 days before departure either in person at the station or through my hostel. Tickets are generally cheaper during the off-peak season and for 3rd class (I generally travelled ‘kupe’ – 4-berth 2nd class). I had few problems travelling during the busy summer period, though a sleeper bus was necessary for the stretch from the Chinese border to Beijing, as the direct train was booked out for a week. Prices also vary depending on train number/speed. See for more info.

Approx total distance travelled on train [Estonia to Hong Kong]:

*Tallin [Estonia] to St Petersburg [Russia] – 14/07/07
Seat – 6 hours – Approx 217 miles

*St Petersburg to Moscow – 18/07/07
‘Kupe’ 2nd class – 1 night – Approx 375 miles

*Moscow to Irkutsk – 22/07/07
Kupe 2nd’ class – 4 nights – Approx 4,735 miles from Moscow to Beijing

*Irkutsk to Ulaanbattaar [Mongolia] – 30/07/07
‘Kupe’ 2nd class – 1 night

*Ulaanbattaar to Chinese border – 09/08/07
‘Kupe’ 2nd class – 1 night

*[Direct train fully booked, sleeper bus from border to Beijing] – 10/08/07
1 night

Hong Kong – HK to Vietnam Overland


It’s a great adventure and according my calculations, you’ll save 0.84 acres of forest by not flying! There are three main legs of the journey which should take around 30 hours
1) Hong Kong to Guangzhou
2) Guangzhou to Nanning
3) Nanning to Hanoi

You don’t need to book anything, but try to arrive at the Guangzhou and Nanning at least two hours before departure. Remember that travel during New Year or Golden Week is likely to be impossible considering.

Print some currency converters from

1) Hong Kong to Guangzhou

  • Take the special Guangzhou train from Hong Hom KCR station (next to Tsim Sha Tsui). The immigration process can take over an hour. Ensure you have your HK ID on hand.
  • There are cash points on the China side of the station.

2) Guangzhou to Nanning

Below are the schedules at the time of writing…

  • Leave Guangzhou 7:05, Arrive Nanning 18:54
  • Leave Guangzhou 14:30, Arrive Nanning 1:45
  • Leave Guangzhou 16:02 Arrive Nanning 5:50
  • The latter is the one to aim for – there will be a counter catering to ‘foreign tourists’.