Last updated: 2013-01-24
Facts about Trans-Siberian
||Our journey goes through Russia, Mongolia and China. Actually the name of the tour is
|Capitals||Moscow, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing|
|Official languages||Russian, Mongolian and Chinese
|Currency||Russia - Ruble RUB, Mongolia - Tugrik MNT, China - Yuan
|Time zone||+2h (Moskva) CET, Ulaanbaatar + 6 h, Beijing + 7 h|
|Bric-a-Brac||The journey passes seven time zones!.
The tour leader is the most important person on the tour. The tour leaders main tasks are listed below together with what he/she is NOT supposed to do. You will soon see that this doesn't always correspond with the expectations from a regular tourist guide.
The tour leader's main task
- To be the sole tour leader and sole decision taker about possible chances of the set up of the tour.
- To be responsible for all practical arrangements.
- To assist and encourage group members to carry out activities on their own.
- To treat all group members equal and with respect.
- To give information about places you visit and general information about the country.
- To have regular meetings with the group.
- To make the group members interested, active and positive towards the local inhabitants.
- To assist group members in case of illness or accident.
- To contact the office in Stockholm in case of a serious situation.
NOT the tour leaders tasks
- To accept bad behavior from the group members.
- To take care of lost luggage after leaving the arrival destination.
On most of our tour the international flights are not included from and to the destination, with a few exceptions during high season. When you book your flight you get a better possibility to influence flight times and departure airports.
Conditions for booking of flights
On our home page you can see when the least amount of participants on a tour is filled. It is then time for you to book a flight. The information is updated daily. Choose the tour you have announced your self on and click on "book". There you will find three options:
- Yes, you can book now.
- No, wait before booking flight.
- Flight is included in the tour price.
- If we against all odds have to cancel a tour even if the minimum amount of participants is filled, naturally we compensate your cancellations fees for the international flights (this does not apply in case we have to cancel a tour due to so called Force Majeure, se our special conditions). Feel free to call in case of doubts or questions.
Tips for booking of flights
When the flight is included, the tour leader meets the group on the airport. When the flight is not included, we provide with you the information on how you get to the gathering hotel easiest.
The gathering is on Day 1 at the hotel of the tours first destination. The day the tour is finished, is the day you can start your journey home.
You can book your ticket where you prefer. You often find the lowest prices on Internet. Keep in mind that the ticket is normally not rebookable.
If you need a ticket for more than two stretches or when you travel from another place than where you arrived (open-jaw), you can use:
Of course you can turn to a travel agency.
NB! Remember to check whether your ticket need to be re-confirmed for your journey home. The tour leader will be able to inform you on how to re-confirm your ticket. If re-confirmations is needed it normally has to be done 72 hours previous to your flight home.
In case of problem finding a suitable ticket, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you.
If you have booked a ticket with an arrival time that makes it difficult to make it to the gathering Day 1 (like if you land late at night), we want you to inform us at Study and Travel, so that we can forward the knowledge to the tour leader.
The accommodations are relatively basic during our tours, specially during treks and village stays. Normally we use, for the respective country, typical middle class hotels. A part in a double room is included in the tour. During special circumstances, and only then, more than two persons can share a room. Our group members always share a room with a person of the same sex (when travelling alone) and the tour leader uses the principal of rotation, that enables everybody who travels alone to change roommate. It is important that you show consideration to you roommate. If you know that you snore, a good idea is to prepare yourself with nose clips, spray medicines or similar products that are available without a prescription in pharmacies. If you have special habits that may disturb others' sleep, we urge you to consider a single room. A group member that disturbs a roommate can during on going tour be referred to a single room against single room addition.
When travelling with a spouse, a partner or a friend , you share rooms with him/her. If you live on the same address we plan for a joint room during the travel. If you do not live on the same address, please inform us so that we can plan for a joint room.
It is possible to book a single room on every tour against a fee. On tour that include staying overnight in tents, you will get a private tent. Please inform us as soon as possible a single room is desired.
A nice way to get contact with the family is to offer to help out with the daily chores. Do count on being dismissed, when offering. Donâ€™t let this stop you, insist that you want to take part. You might be able to help prepare the meal, in the kitchen garden, watch the children or to put the cattle out for pasture. You could ask a family member if you can accompany them into the market, school or the fields.
What is included in the tour?
- Qualified tour leading during the whole tour.
- All in the itinerary mentioned transports including local transports.
- Hotel or other accommodation according to the itinerary unless otherwise stated below (What is not included in the tour?)
- Domestic airport taxes and other compulsory fees.
- Visa when applied in or from Sweden.
- All interpreters mentioned in
- All formal permits.
- Tips during activities included in the itinerary when paid for by the tour leader.
- Literature and map relating
to the country of destination. See special
Entry fee to Terelj National Park (however you pay for activities in the park yourself)
What is not included in the tour?
- International flight, unless specifically mentioned.
- Food, unless otherwise stated
above (What is included in the tour?)
- Entry fees to national parks, museums etc are in general not included.
- Excursions made on your own initiative outside the itinerary.
- Tips during activities that are NOT paid for by the tour leader.
- Visa acquired at arrival to the destination.
- Airport taxes at return flight back home, if any.
Finances during the tour
On most of our tour destinations you can withdraw cash directly from an ATM/cash dispenser. You often get the local currency to a good exchange rate. Below you find some links that help you locate ATMs/cash dispenser in different countries.
It is more safe to use ATM on the tour compared to purchase all the foreign currency at home. Also many local currencies are not available at home or only at high costs.
The risk is always that you may lose your card or the magnetic strip is destroyed. To be more safe you may get a second card. Our experience is that it has always been possible to borrow money from somebody in the group when oneÂ´s own card is not working.
Your own expenses need not be very high. Of course this depends on the price levels in the country. The link below takes you to a site where you get an indication on current price levels in several countries:
Current currency rates are found at:
This is a general suggestion on what can be useful to bring on the journey. Below you find specific tips for this particular tour.
- Passport, visa, money, flight ticket, copy of your passport and proof of insurance
- medicines (if you have prescription medicines, note that some countries might ask for a certificate)
- small backpack or similar for daily use and as hand luggage during flight.
- sneakers or/and sandals
- tidy good-looking (clean) clothes for when invited out
- hat/cap for protection from the sun
- sun glasses
- flash light/head lamp
- alarm clock
- travel sheet
- money belt/security belt
- pocket knife/multi tool for daily use ( not to be packed in hand luggage)
- camera, extra memory card + extra battery
- gifts (something simple and not expensive
- photos from your country- a good link to contact!
- backpack pharmacy (see Health and vaccinations)
Nb! When it comes to packing the most common mistake is to bring too much, not too little.
Keep in mind that there is always a small risk that checked-in luggage can be delayed and in a worst case scenario, be lost. Always bring the absolute necessary in your hand luggage.
Customs and manners
Also remember to respect the local people while taking pictures Read more about this under Photographing
One of the charms on journeys is that it is not like at home. It is important to keep this in mind and meet new phenomena and differences with an open mind. Pack a portion of patience and curiosity in your backpack.
Many of our tours go to countries where toilet paper is rare and where our types of toilets sometimes can't be found outside larger towns. Toilet paper can however always be bought in towns. In the rural areas, the forests or in the desert toilets might not exist at all.
Health and vaccinations
On most of our tours you do not need to take any vaccinations. This based on the presumption that you have the normal basic protection.
- Hepatitis. Twinrix gives good protection against hepatitis A and B.
- Tetanus and diphteria. Most Scandinavians get this at early age.
Suggestion to a backpack pharmacy:
- Pain killers (e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen)
- Dimor, Imodium, Lopex, Pepto (temporarily against diarrhea)
- Mosquito repellent
When it comes to food and beverage there are some general guide lines that help you prevent gastric disorders: Eat newly prepared food, peel all fruit and be cautious with fresh vegetables and ice cream. Use common sense when choosing places to eat, small local restaurants with a lot of commerce are to be preferred, rather than fancy restaurants with a western menue. Drink bottled or boiled beverages only. Avoid ice, since it can, and most likely is made of tap water. Remember to consume enough fluids when it is hot.
Our tours offer fantastic possibilities for good photography. Photographs are an excellent way to bring back memories and impressions from the journey. Many will ask you to talk about the trip, maybe even ask you to give a lecture.
As a photographer you have a responsibility. Remember that the people you meet are people, not objects, they have feelings, their own will and the right to decide over themselves and how and if they want to be exposed in photographs. This is why it is important to ask them, their children and sometimes their belongings for permission, when possible. How would you react if a foreign tourist came and started taking pictures of your children, your laundry and house, without you knowing what the pictures are for? I some cultures photographing can be a violation of a person's integrity. Be extra considerate in the rural areas and among the original inhabitants. But, donâ€™t let the language barrier stop you, a gesture, a smile and pointing to the camera are universal codes understood by everyone. Donâ€™t forget to thank afterwords! Feel free to ask the tour leader when in doubt.
To bring extra batteries and an extra memory card is a good idea. A good tip is to use a UV-filter to protect the lens and is useful in various situations. Even if you bring a lot of memory, it is a good idea is to go through your pictures in the evening and erase what you donâ€™t want to keep. Keep only what are satisfied with.
Did you get any good photographs during your trip? We need good and interesting photos for our catalog and homepage. For a photo in the catalog we pay 500 SEK and for a front page 1500 SEK. A photo on the homepages pays 100 SEK, but we need many. Choose some of your best photos and send them on a CD or mail them to us. Digital photos need to be at least 1,5 Mb. We donâ€™t accept slides nor color negatives.
The risk of being a victim to criminal activity or violence during the tour is small. You are safe in most places and always in the rural areas. In general you are safer on our destinations, than in Stockholm, with the exception of the big cities in Latin America and Africa where out ought to be careful. Even though the risks are very small, there are some precautions which are good to take, to further more prevent any unwanted happenings.
- Avoid unfrequented places after dark.
- Donâ€™t display jewellery, watches, cameras and other valuables.
- Keep money, passport and flight tickets in a security belt under your clothes.
- Be extra alert with your belongings on metros, buses and train stations, markets and other places where there are bigger gathering of people.
Ask the tour leader if unsure.
The risk for accident in traffic is much bigger in poor countries compared to Europe. You must be more careful during your journey than you normally are back home.
It is your own responsibility to make sure that you have sufficient insurance during the journey. The insurance must at least fully cover medical care, accidents, transport home and legal protection. That kind of insurance is a prerequisite to participate in the tour. Check the extent of coverage of travel in your comprehensive household insurance. Cancellation insurance is not included in the price of the tour.
Nb! Bring a copy of your insurance certificate/card on the journey.
In case of an accident you can call:
SOS International a/s
Nitivej 6, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Danmark
Telefon: +45 70 10 50 50
Fax: +45 70 20 50 56
Telefon: +46-8 454 34 34 dygnet om
Europe Assistance AB
(Nordic Assistance AB)
SE-100 73 Stockholm
Tel +46 08 587 717 17
Fax +46 08 660 23 90
bostad: +46 8 717 71 72
mobil: +46 70 797 84 89
Study and Travel takes no economical responsibility for additional costs that may emerge due to possible illness or accident. Cost for medical care, extra transport, medicines, possible extra guide for personal help and so on, is to be paid for by the traveler, who can claim compensation from his/hers insurance company after return. In case one traveler needs to remain in one place, the tour leader is to accompany the group and can hire someone to assist the traveler left behind. The cost is to be paid by the traveler.
If something was to happen that you are going to make a claim for from your insurance company at your return home, you MUST remember to demand certificates from the treating doctor and receipts. Those kinds of certificates and receipts are impossible to acquire afterword. The best thing is if the certificate/receipt is in English, but a certificate/receipt in the native language is better than nothing. Remember to keep all the receipts of expenses that you want the insurance company to cover. The same thing applies in case of loss of property or theft; report to the police and keep the police report.