Trans-Mongolia Train – China

Waking up really early has never been a problem during this trip but it still sucks when it’s still dark outside 😉 .

But today I leave for Mongolia so I grabbed my things at 6 o’clock and headed for the train station. Here a first class coupe was really for me (it was only 10 euros more expensive than second class coupe.). The unfriendly looking attendant escorted me to my cabin and off we went. This is traveling in style, haha.

My cabin was awesome but aside from the attendant there was no one in my entire train section. Guess that is what you get if you travel in style in the wrong direction 😎 (most people travel to Asia instead of the other way around).

Traveling first class was really cool and worth it because it was really relaxing. I slept an extra few hours that I missed in the morning and my 24 hour trip to Mongolia was underway. The scenery is quite beautiful and depressing at the same time. The Chinese exploit the land to the last grain of sand I think… Then again, they have enough land. I arrived at the border at 21:00 and got some cold fresh air. They took my passport and I thought they were switching locomotives because the whole cabin was shaking. Then I realized then where changing the wheels.

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The Russian railways use much wider tracks than the Chinese ones so how do you solve that? Easy, just drive the train into a huge construction hall, lift the train compartments up and change the wheels… This is all so we can continue sleeping 😎 .

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After all the wheels where changed a laidy came to pick up my passport. After an hour I got it back and we got going again. A little nap later and I was in Ulaan Bataar.

Brrrrr it was cold here but Igee from my hostel was waiting. We hopped in the car and arrived at the Department store. This store is pretty much the centre for tourists. Every sentence starts with “when you are in front of the department store…..”. Behind the store there are some old looking buildings and in building number 2 there is an hostel. It’s actually just an apartment with bunk beds but the atmosphere was good.

After looking around in the centre of UB (Ulaan Batar) a Belgium couple from my hostel asked me if I was looking for a tour. Since I hadn’t booked anything yet (via the internet it’s way too expensive) I decided to check it out.

See my next post for more.