Traveling for one month
“We were really surprised by the large number of tourists we met throughout our journey, however, most of them were local tourists: Russians visiting Russia and Chinese visiting China.”
To Irkutsk, the family traveled on the Trans-Siberian railroad, then switched to the Trans-Mongolian route going southward. Breaking up the route into eight segments of between eleven to 30+ hours duration each, they usually travelled on sleeper cars throughout the night, followed by a few days stay in a local hotel, exploring the region.
“The trains throughout Russia were modern and clean and the food, while meat-heavy and vegetable-short (since most everything is imported), the cultural change in terms of food in Mongolia and China was more difficult to handle, especially for our children,” adds Simon. However, yoghurt and milk products such as the Danone brand were easily available everywhere.
In Siberia, the trains were clearly the number one transportation vehicle for local people, but no Russian was travelling south to China, whereas the increasing middle class Chinese family frequently vacations in Russia, especially around lake Baikal, a pristine, beautiful region.