Polny Tours - Westbound

Polny [полный] is a Russian word which means "complete, full, total, entire, overall, absolute". These tours build on our Osnova (framework) itineraries and include more time with your guide, in depth active or cultural tours at each stop. You also have the option to use the faster and better express trains where available.

This page has trips which last between 11 and 18 days and include three, four or five stops. For longer trips with more stops, have a look at the next page.

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Polny Complete Tour, Beijing to Moscow, and with tour programs in Irkutsk & Lake Baikal (2 nights Listvyanka + 1 Irkutsk). 11 days

1,455

ITINERARY: This tour has just one stop between Beijing and Moscow. After one (or more) nights in Beijing, travel through Mongolia and spend three days visiting Irkutsk and Lake Baikal at the half-way point of the Trans-Mongolian railway. Continue on to Moscow with an arrival transfer, accommodation in a 3* hotel and city tour. You have the option to add on extra nights before heading to St Petersburg and onward...

PRICE: Standard second class € 1,455

WE SAY: You really should stop at least once on the Trans-Mongolian train and magical Lake Baikal is at the half way point!

DATES: Depart Beijing every Wednesday throughout the year.

Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 1,455
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 1,960
GROUP PRICE: Three or more people booking in Second Class € 1,405
TRAIN UPGRADE: Upgrade to first class on all* journeys € 505
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 210

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Monkey info pack, local support, train tickets in second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: 1 night 3 or 4* hotel, departure transfer and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Lake Baikal: fully inclusive tour to Listvyanka village, 2 nights UD Guesthouse (breakfast incl.)
✓ Hiking excursion around Listvyanka (5 hrs incl. picnic lunch)
✓ Irkutsk: 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour, all transfers
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

EXTRAS: Not included in the price are visa costs, onward travel, food on train.

Route Map
Trans Siberian Route Map including stops in Beijing Ulaanbaatar Ulan Ude Irkutsk Ekaterinburg Kazan and Moscow
Detailed Itinerary
Day 01    Arrive Beijing ___ Staying at Emperor Hotel (Qianmen), 1 night.
Day 02    Transfer to train station. Depart Beijing on train #3 at 11:22 (Wednesday departures only)
Day 03    On train crossing from Mongolia to Russia
Day 04    Arrive Irkutsk 15:39. Transfer to Listvyanka; tour of village and lake museum. Staying at UD Guesthouse, 2 nights
Day 05    Hiking excursion in Baikal National Park (5 hrs incl. picnic lunch) (alternative activity by request) (B|L)
Day 06    Return to Irkutsk. Guided city tour and free time. Staying at the Marussia Hotel, 1 night (B)
Day 07    Free day in Irkutsk before transfer to station, depart on train #69 at 18:34 (B)
Day 08    On train, across Siberia
Day 09    On train, passing from Asia into Europe and the Ural Mountains
Day 10    All day on train. Arrive Moscow after midnight with accommodation booked
Day 11    Arrive Moscow at 04:11, transfer to Arbat House.  Walking city tour (10am). Options to extend your stay in Moscow, St Petersburg or travel onward (B)
Price Notes

Train ticket prices in Russia are seasonal and based on shoulder season (200 days) with some high season dates 20% higher and some off season dates 20% lower.

Standard price is based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.

¹ Train #23 Beijing - Ulaanbaatar is a joint service operated and shared bi-annually by Chinese and Mongolian Railways. Either departing Beijing on a Tuesday and run by Chinese Railways or on a Saturday when operated by Mongolian Railways. The schedule changes every year in May.

† Train #69 is a standard passenger service, operating an almost daily service, but arrives in Moscow during the night. It is possible to book a fast/firmenny(branded) passenger service on train #1 'Rossiya' which passes Irkutsk every other day. There is a supplement for this train, which is the flagship service of Russian Railways.


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Polny Complete Tour, Beijing to Moscow, and with tour program in Mongolia (2 days Gobi + 2 nights Open Steppe + 1 Ulaanbaatar). 14 days

1,710

ITINERARY: Really explore Mongolia on this 14 day tour, with 2 days in the Gobi Desert, 2 nights at a Ger Lodge on the Open Steppe and one night in the capital of Ulannbaatar. And at each end the amazing capital cities of Beijing and Moscow!

PRICE: Standard second class € 1,710.

DATES: Depart Beijing twice weekly in summer 2016, on a Tuesday or Saturday, see note¹. During winter 2016 on a Saturday only, with a limited service, to be confirmed by Mongolian Railways, see note².

Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 1,710
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 2,235
GROUP PRICE: Three or more people booking in Second Class € 1,565
TRAIN UPGRADE: Upgrade to first class on both journeys € 340
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 145

Photo of a Typical Mongolian Landscape and Ger

Typical Mongolian Landscape

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Monkey info pack, local support, train tickets in second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: 1 night 3 or 4* hotel, departure transfer and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Mongolia: 2 day Gobi program, transfers, guide, excursions, 1 night ger camp with full board
✓ 3 day Open Steppe program, transfers, English speaking guide, 2 nights Elstei, 1 night Terelj, full board ger camp accommodation
✓ Ulaanbaatar: 1 night 3-star hotel, guided city tour, all transfers
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

I especially enjoyed the ger camp in Mongolia - fantastic setting!

Keith Browne, Aug 2008

EXTRAS: Not included in the price are visa costs, onward travel, food on train.

OUR SAY: This is a great trip focusing on Mongolia combining desert and open steppe as well as three Capital cities. Best in the summer.

Route Map
Beijing to Moscow including Mongolia Trans-Mongolian Train Route Map
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01    Arrive Beijing ___ Staying at Emperor Hotel (Qianmen), 1 night.
Day 02    Transfer to train station. Depart Beijing on train #23 at 11:22 (Tuesday, Saturday (June-Oct.) or Wednesday [#3] departures only)
Day 03    Arrive Sainshand at 06:15, transfer to ger camp. Day tour to Monastery, overnight (B|L|D)
Day 04    Visit the sandy dunes, organic project and museum in Sainshand, Depart on train #285 at 21:00 (B|L)
Day 05    Arrive Ulaanbaatar at 08:05, city tour and transfer to Elstei Ger Lodge. 2 nights (L|D)
Day 06    Endless walks, visit local nomad family, Genghis Khan Monument or horse riding options, overnight (B|L|D)
Day 07    Travel to Terelj National Park. Visit Turtle Rock and a Monastery of Meditation with your guide, offering spectacular views over the valley. Dinner and overnight at ger camp (B|L|D)
Day 08    Time at Terelj before transfer back to Ulaanbaatar. Overnight at Bayangol Hotel (B|L)
Day 09    Free morning before transfer to station, depart on train #5 at 15:25 (Tuesday [Russian], Friday [Mongolian] departures only) (B)
Day 10    On the train crossing the Mongolian / Russian border
Day 11    On train travelling across Siberia
Day 12    On train travelling across the Ural Mountains and Europe / Asia border
Day 13    Arrive Moscow at 13:58 with transfer to Arbat House, 1 night
Day 14    Guided city walking tour (10am). Options to extend your stay in Moscow / St Petersburg / or travel onward
Price Notes

¹ Train #23 Beijing - Ulaanbaatar is a joint service operated and shared bi-annually by Chinese and Mongolian Railways. Either departing Beijing on a Tuesday and run by Chinese Railways or on a Saturday when operated by Mongolian Railways. The schedule changes every year in May.

² Train #5 Ulaanbaatar to Moscow is a joint service operated by Russian and Mongolian Railways. During summer there is a twice-weekly service, alternating on a Friday (run by Mongolian Railways) and a Tuesday (run by Russian Railways). During winter, the service operates every ten days.

Standard price is based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.


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Polny Complete Tour, Beijing to Moscow, with tour programs in Mongolia (2 days Gobi + 2 nights Open Steppe + 1 Ulaanbaatar) and Irkutsk & Lake Baikal (2 Bolshoe Goloustnoe + 1 Irkutsk). 17 days

2,220

ITINERARY: One of the most popular routes, this 17 day trip will take you to the main destinations along the Trans Siberian route. A tour of the Gobi (2 days), Mongolia's Open Steppe (2) then the shore of Lake Baikal staying at remote Bolshoe Goloustnoe (2). As well as nights in Beijing, Ulanbaatar (1), Irkutsk (1) and Moscow (1).

WHAT WE SAY: A great option during the summer to experience the magical Gobi Desert as well as the Mongolian Open Steppe and a remote local village on the shore of Lake Baikal.

DATES: Depart Beijing twice weekly in summer 2016, on a Tuesday or Saturday, see note¹. From October 2016 until May 2017 weekly departures on a Saturday.

Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 2,220
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 2,995
GROUP PRICE: Three or more people booking in Second Class € 2,080
TRAIN UPGRADE: Upgrade to first class on all* journeys € 525
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 185

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Monkey info pack, local support, train tickets in second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: 1 night 3 or 4* hotel, departure transfer and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Mongolia: 2 day Gobi program, transfers, guide, excursions, 2 nights ger camp with full board
✓ 2 day Open Steppe program, transfers, guide, 2 nights accommodation Elstei ger full board
✓ Ulaanbaatar: 1 night 3-star hotel, guided city tour, all transfers
✓ Lake Baikal: fully inclusive tour to Bolshoe Goloustnoe village, 2 nights Guesthouse, all meals, guide and transfers;
✓ Irkutsk: 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour, all transfers
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

EXTRAS: Not included in the price are visa costs, onward travel, food on train.

Route Map

Beijing to Moscow Trans-Mongolian Route Map with stops in Ulaanbaatar and Irkutsk Lake Baikal

Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01    Arrive Beijing ___ Staying at Emperor Hotel (Qianmen), 1 night.
Day 02    Transfer to train station. Depart Beijing on train #23 at 11:22 (Tuesday, Saturday (June-Oct.) or Wednesday [#3] departures only)
Day 03    Arrive Sainshand at 06:15, transfer to ger camp. Day tour to Monastery, overnight (B|L|D)
Day 04    Visit the sandy dunes, organic project and museum in Sainshand, Depart on train #285 at 21:00 (B|L)
Day 05    Arrive Ulaanbaatar at 08:05, city tour before transfer to Elstei Ger Lodge. 2 nights (L|D)
Day 06    Endless walks, visit local nomad family, Chinghis Khan Monument, horse riding options, overnight (B|L|D)
Day 07    Free time at the camp before transfer to Ulaanbaatar. Staying at Bayangol Hotel, 1 night (B|L)
Day 08    Free day in Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to station, depart on train #263 at 20:15 [no dining car] (B)
Day 09    On the train crossing the Mongolian / Russian border
Day 10    Arrive Irkutsk at 07:15. Transfer to Bolshoe Goloustnoe. Guesthouse accommodation, 2 nights (L|D)
Day 11    Your guide will be on hand to help you explore the area (B|L|D)
Day 12    Return to Irkutsk, guided city walking tour and free time. Overnight at Marussia Hotel, 1 night (B)
Day 13    Free day in Irkutsk before transfer to station, depart on train #69 at 18:34 (B)
Day 14    On train travelling across Siberia
Day 15    On train travelling across the Ural Mountains and Europe / Asia border 
Day 16    All day on train. Arrive Moscow after midnight with accommodation booked
Day 17    Arrive Moscow at 04:11, transfer to Arbat House. Guided city walking tour (10am). Options to extend your stay in Moscow, St Petersburg or travel onward (B)
Price Notes

Train ticket prices in Russia are seasonal and based on shoulder season (200 days) with some high season dates 20% higher and some off season dates 20% lower.

All prices based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.

† Train #69 is a standard passenger service, operating an almost daily service. On certain dates it is possible to book a fast/firmenny(branded) passenger service on train #1 'Rossiya'which is the flagship service of Russian Railways. There is a supplement for this train.

The tour operates year round, but please note the Gobi Desert and some other Ger Camps in Mongolia operate in 'winter mode' from October to May; Western facilities such as shower rooms and restaurants are closed (due to frozen pipes) and traditional local facilities replace them - so a basin with water instead of electric shower and a ger with stools instead of purpose built restaurant. In some respects your experience will be all the more authentic.


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Polny Complete Tour, Beijing to Moscow, with tour programs in Mongolia (3 nights central Mongolia + 1 Ulaanbaatar), Irkutsk & Lake Baikal (2 Bolshoe Goloustnoe + 1 Irkutsk) and Ekaterinburg (2). 18 days

2,430

ITINERARY: This trip covers all the most popular stopover options along the route and nicely breaks up the train journeys with tours at each stop. Depart from Beijing once a week or more often in summer. Stop in Ulanbaatar for a tour around central Mongolia (3 nights) and Ulanbaatar (1). Then on to remote Bolshoe Goloustnoe village on the shore of Lake Baikal (2) and Irkutsk city (1). Stop again in Ekaterinburg (2) for city tour and day activity in Ural Mountains. Transfer and one night accommodation in Moscow at the end of the trip.

PRICE: Standard Class € 2,430*

WE SUGGEST: Probably our most popular tour, stopping at the three most major attractions along the way to Moscow.

DATES: Depart Beijing twice weekly in summer 2016, on a Tuesday or Saturday, see note¹. From October 2016 until May 2017 weekly departures on a Saturday.

Details

STANDARD PRICE: Two people booking together in Second Class € 2,430
SINGLE PRICE: Only one person booking the trip € 3,575
GROUP PRICE: Three or more people booking in Second Class € 2,220
TRAIN UPGRADE: Upgrade to first class on all* journeys € 540
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Single room in hotels an extra € 330

PRICE INCLUDES:
✓ Monkey info pack, local support, train tickets in second class (4 berth) cabin
✓ Russian visa invitation sent to you by email
✓ Beijing: 1 night 3 or 4* hotel, departure transfer and assistance at train station on departure
✓ Mongolia: 3 night central Mongolia program: Sandy Dunes, Karakorum and Hustai. Includes: land transportation, English-speaking guide, national park fees, support staff including horse/camel men and camp assistants, 3 night’s accommodation in local ger camps, all meals.
✓ Ulaanbaatar: 1 night 3-star hotel, guided city tour, all transfers
✓ Lake Baikal: fully inclusive tour to Bolshoe Goloustnoe village, 2 nights Guesthouse, all meals, guide and transfers;
✓ Irkutsk: 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour, all transfers
✓ Ekaterinburg 2 nights 3-star hotel, all transfers, guided city walking tour
✓ Excursion to Koptelovo village in Ural countryside, folk performance and local lunch included
✓ Moscow: arrival transfer, 1 night 3* hotel, guided city walking tour
✓ Meals as listed in the itinerary (B - breakfast | L - lunch | D - dinner)

EXTRAS: Not included in the price are visa costs, onward travel, food on train.
Route Map
Trans Siberian Route Map including Beijing Ulaanbaatar Irkutsk Yekaterinburg Moscow
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01    Arrive Beijing ___ Staying at Emperor Hotel (Qianmen), 1 night.
Day 02    Transfer to train station. Depart Beijing on train #23 at 11:22 (Tuesday, Saturday (June-Oct.) or Wednesday [#3] departures only)
Day 03    Arrive Ulaanbaatar at 14:35. Meet guide on the platform and transfer to central 3* hotel, 1 night. Enjoy a guided city tour
Day 04    After breakfast, meet your guide at the hotel at 9am to begin the four day trip.
Drive to Central Mongolia and Elsen tasarkhai (‘Piece of Sand Dunes’) on northern edge of the Gobi (280km - 5-6 hrs).
Explore the area, with opportunity to ride a camel. Overnight in Elsen Tasarkhai (B|L|D)
Day 05    Continue on to Karakorum village (70km - 2 hrs), once the centre of the Great Mongolian empire.
Visit the monastery of Erdene Zuu, Kharakorum museums.
Overnight in Karakorum (B|L|D)
Day 06    Travel to Hustai National Park (270km - 5-6 hrs). Spend the late afternoon and evening exploring the mountainous scenery
and searching for the wild Takhi horses, a subspecies of the Przewalski. Horse riding opportunity. Overnight in the national park (B|L|D)
Day 07    Finish the tour with a drive back to Ulaanbaatar (100km - 1-2 hrs).
Free time before transfer to station, depart on train #263 at 20:25 [no dining car] (B)
Day 08    On the train crossing the Mongolian / Russian border
Day 09    Arrive Irkutsk at 07:15. Transfer to Bolshoe Goloustnoe. Guesthouse accommodation, 2 nights (L|D)
Day 10    Your guide will be on hand to help you explore the area (B|L|D)
Day 11    Return to Irkutsk, guided city walking tour and free time. Overnight at Marussia Hotel, 1 night (B)
Day 12    Free day in Irkutsk before transfer to station, depart on train #69 at 18:34 (B)
Day 13    On train travelling across Siberia 
Day 14    Arrive Ekaterinburg at 22:07, transfer to Chekhov Hotel, 2 nights 
Day 15    Excursion to Koptelovo village in the Ural Mountains (or alternative activity by request) (B|L)
Day 16    Guided city walking tour. Depart Ekaterinburg on train #67 at 13:10 (B)
Day 17    Arrive Moscow at 16:58, transfer to Arbat House, 1 night
Day 18    Guided city walking tour (10am). Options to extend your stay in Moscow / St Petersburg / or travel onward
Price Notes

Train ticket prices in Russia are seasonal and based on shoulder season (200 days) with some high season dates 20% higher and some off season dates 20% lower.

Standard price is based on two people sharing. The Single Price is charged if no one else is booked on the same trip, while Single Supplement applies if you travel as a group and request your own hotel rooms. Train travel is based on a standard four berth second class cabin. Upgrade to a two berth first class cabin is available on some routes subject to availablity.

¹ Train #23 Beijing - Ulaanbaatar is a joint service operated and shared bi-annually by Chinese and Mongolian Railways. Either departing Beijing on a Tuesday and run by Chinese Railways or on a Saturday when operated by Mongolian Railways. The schedule changes every year in May.


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The tours on this page are from Beijing to Moscow and last between 11 and 18 days, for more tour options including more stops, more excursions and longer duration, up to 25 days, please click through to the next page.

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Random Photo

Understanding the tour codes:

PO - stands for Polny (as opposed to OS Osnova).
BM - signifies the route (Beijing to Moscow).
4 - the number of stops (Beijing - Ulaanbaatar - Irkutsk - Moscow is 4).
G - some times we use a suffix to denote a small variant of a trip (G stands for Gobi for example).