Trans-Mongolian vs Trans-Siberian: how to decide
Here’s a quick guide to getting your head around this phenomenal travel system…
The epic Trans-Siberian Railway transverses Siberia, linking Moscow in the west with Vladivostok in the east. It is just a section of the Russian railway network – but a very large and important section – ultimately connecting Europe with China.
The Trans-Mongolian Railway is a branch of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Where the Trans-Siberian carries on east beyond Ulan-Ude through Russia, the Trans-Mongolian railway heads south at this point through Mongolia (of course!) to Beijing. It passes through the impressive Gobi Desert, whose undulating rocky dunes, bare-floor basins and dry expanses stretch out as far as the eye can see.
Whether you ride the Trans-Siberian east or the Trans-Mongolian south, press your nose against the window and stare out in awe at the passing landscape. If you’re journeying on the Trans-Mongolian, cross your fingers and hope you catch a glimpse of the rare Gobi bear as you pass through the Gobi Desert. Keep your eyes peeled for wolves, wild ass and gazelles too.