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How to Keep Calm and Travel China

How to Keep Calm and Travel China

Travelling (mainland) China can be challenging. It’s Asia on an advanced level, definitely. Our Lonelyplanet guide book had told us to treat the journey more like an adventure rather than a holiday. We thought, well, we always do that with our travels, so what could possibly be so different? Well, we found out, there are a few things. So here is what we learnt put together in a basic survival guide to make your journey through the Middle Kingdom as smooth and hassle-free as…

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Xi’An and the Terracotta Warriors

Xi’An and the Terracotta Warriors

  Roundabout thousandonehundred kilometers and only five and a half hours on the train after we had  left Beijing, we arrived in Xi’An. To cover this distance would have taken at least 24 hours on the Transsiberian Train. Luckily, we took China’s high speed bullet-train, called “G-Train”, which flew with 300 kilometres an hour past big and growing cities that no one has ever heard of who hasn’t been to China. Xi’An is just another eight and a half-million-people-metropolis. There…

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Moscow to Beijing by Train: Our Transmongolian Experience

Moscow to Beijing by Train: Our Transmongolian Experience

  So I thought our trip across the United States by bus was a pretty long journey. Then we did this. In a nutshell: 7826 Kilometers, 5 journeys between 22 and 32 hours each, roundabout 140 hours spent on the train in total, three different countries and cultures, six cities to explore.   The Trains Old at first sight, but mostly clean and nice. The Russian trains were always heated, and most of the time quite hot. So best to wear a…

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Gateway to Baikal: Irkutsk and Listvyanka

Gateway to Baikal: Irkutsk and Listvyanka

  After our adventure in die Siberian wilderness along the Baikal Lake we had a couple of relaxing days in Listvyanka, a small and – at least at this time of the year –  bit sleepy village on the shore of the lake. Great for fresh fish and strolling along the shore. It’s nice, but one day is absolutely enough to explore it. A few pics:   So we decided to go back to Irkutsk the next day. When we arrived in Irkutsk…

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The grey heart of Siberia: Novosibirsk

The grey heart of Siberia: Novosibirsk

  We had been warned before we got of the train. The Russian lady, a lawyer from Tomsk who was going back home from a court case in Tyumen, and accompanied us on the last half of the only 22 hours long ride from Yekaterinburg to Novosibirsk had told us so when we mentioned what our next stopp would be. “Novosibirsk is ugly” she said, and “it”s a typical old soviet city, no nice architecture, just big blocks of grey, ugly buildings”. She…

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European-Asian Bordertown Yekaterinburg

European-Asian Bordertown Yekaterinburg

  We came with no expectations to Yekaterinburg, well, except for a bloody history (murder of the last Tsar, mafia gang fights in the 90ties) and the rise of Boris Yeltsin we didn’t know anything about the city. We have to say, we were pleasantly surprised by it’s charm. Starting with the hotel, which was certainly the best we’ve stayed in for a long while. A four-star establishment, all brand new and plushy, plus they offered a great breakfast accompanied by French…

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