Welcome to the shrine of the Monkey!
We specialise in Trans-Siberian tours through Russia and Mongolia. Start your trip in Beijing, Moscow or Vladivostok - travel the entire Trans-Siberian or Trans-Mongolian route, or depart from Beijing on a round-trip circuit through Mongolia and Siberia. Whatever your travel style, time frame or budget, we can help plan your next adventure.
1st February 2017
Quick Links to our most popular trips.
PO BM4UI - Our most popular trip, including stops in Mongolia and Lake Baikal.
OS BM6 UIKE - Visiting the most exciting destinations along the way, Beijing - Ulaanbaatar - Lake Baikal - Krasnoyarsk - Ekaterinburg - Moscow.
Just looking around?
We hope you find the answers and inspiration to plan your next adventure!
Explore the depths of the Monkeyshrine to find valuable information on many aspects of the Trans-Siberian route, most of it not available in guide books, which is the blood and sweat of almost 30 years of our expertise.
We welcome you to join us in our 29th year on the Trans-Siberian train this summer.
Latest from the Shrine of the Monkey
NEW WEBSITE filed 1st February 2017
✔ We are glad to announce a new website is currently being built, the content is being added frantically now. We are sure our train trips and destination tours will be easier to navigate, while the background info should still be available. Watch this space in the coming weeks.
FEMALE FIRE CHICKEN YEAR filed 28th January 2017
✔Chinese New Year, the 4714th year!
This day is the first new moon day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system. The exact new moon time is at 08:07 a.m. on January 28, 2017 in China standard time zone, GMT+8.
Chinese calendar uses a cycle of 60 Stem-Branch counting system. Since (60 * 78) + 34 = 4714, 2017 is the 34th Stem-Branch in the cycle. Female Fire Chicken is the nickname of 34th Stem-Branch. Because Red is connected to Fire, 2017 is also called Red Chicken Year. Some web sites say 2017 is the year of the Rooster. But the Stem-Branch calendar says it’s a female.
Chinese Astrology doesn’t simply use the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Chinese Astrology is a theory of Yin and Yang. Yin is the Earth and Yang is the Sun, so Chinese Astrology also uses the solar calendar.
The first day of the astrological year is on February 3, 2017. Chicken is the 10th animal in the zodiac signs (branches). Chicken is the Female Metal, which is the 8th element in the list of Yin-Yang stems. Number 8 is a very lucky number to Chinese in Feng Shui. That is why 2008 Beijing Olympics started on 08/08/2008 at 08:08:08 p.m. In short, number 8 is connected to big wealth and prosperity. Therefore, Chicken of 2017 might lay golden eggs for you.
ROBERT STOREY – December 2016, filed 5th January 2017
Robert Storey, one of the early Lonely Planet authors, passed away in Taiwan late December 2016. He always visited our office when he was in Hong Kong and we kept each other up to date and had many meals together. He taught me how to use some basic DOS commands to send the first primitive emails, and later helped us setting up the first CompuServe account.
We travelled together Mongolian Adventure Tour (MAT) to explore the country; Robert disappearing in each little Som we stopped to find the post office and other important buildings to make frantic notes for the very first Lonely Planet guide on Mongolia. BTW – most of the pix used in that edition are mine! Pioneering days indeed! Robert was a great guy, and I’m grateful he was my friend and for all the time and travel adventures we shared.
By Chris Taylor
SOCIAL MEDIA filed 1st November 2016
RUSSIAN EMBASSY BEIJING filed 1st May 2016
✔ We have heard that the Russian Embassy in Beijing is currently only admitting tourists for visa applications by appointment (it is very busy with Chinese students applying for study visas at the moment). You may find it easier to use a visa agent, we can help if you book with us.
CHANGES TO VISA RULES FOR MONGOLIA filed 1st January 2016
✔ In 2014 the Mongolian government relaxed the visa regime and most European and South American's could travel to Mongolia visa free. However this rule was only valid until December 31st 2015 and this special exemption has now expired. This means that only a select few (Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, US, etc) can travel visa free and most nationals will now need to arrange a Mongolian visa in advance. See more on our visa page.
Andre and staff
page last updated: 1st February 2017