how to pass time on the trans-siberian train

trans siberian railway mongoliaIt’s an absolutely epic journey and one of the world’s greatest train trips, but during the times when the Trans-Siberian scenery becomes a bit monotonous or when it’s actually dark outside, Intrepid group leader Denis Sobnakov has some tips to pass the time…

“As you may know, the longest railway in the world is Trans-Siberian railway in Russia. It’s about 10,000 kilometers (6215 miles) and more than 7 days straight on a train. The famous train attracts travellers from around the globe and on our Intrepid trips we take part of the journey, which is 4 days of virtually being confined to our carriages. So the question arises – what to do when you get bored?

First, games – cards, Celebrity Heads and charades. Making friends with locals is always a favourite and they might even teach you how to play some Russian card games. Cards are almost an international language. One Russian game is called Durak which means “a fool”, and knowing this game you’ll either get a leg up or end up on one leg with locals. Celebrity Heads is more of a challenge with with locals, because you have to take into consideration your cultural differences and think of people you both know.

If you like to take pictures and do set up photos, it’s a great time to play with your camera. There are heaps of tricks you can use to make funny pics or videos. For example, ‘train speed running’. The camera operator stands inside the compartment and takes video focusing on a window in the corridor. Guys should pretend to run with the outside scenery as a background. It looks like they run with a train speed, silly but funny. Another one is ‘flying trainwalker’. Go to the corridor, someone should take a single picture of you jumping. So, you jump in the end of the aisle, step forward, another jump and go on until you come to the camera. Then look at your pics, if you browse it quickly forward you will see yourself flying towards camera.

Finally, just invite people to your cabin. The experience is always different depending on who joins your gathering, but it’s definitely always great to get to know others and hear their travel tales.

I’m sure there are lots of other ways you can entertain yourselves while on this great train. Of course the scenery out the window is magic but whenever it gets a bit slow or your legs become stiff, let your imagination run wild, improvise and have fun!”

Tour Russia with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Russia and Beyond – 18 days
Trans-Mongolian Express – 21 days

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* photo by Layton Shaffner – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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