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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by baiqiongan on 31 March 2005 4:36am
 
I am currently living in China but am planning to travel back to the UK this summer. It started with wanting to travel on the Trans-Siberian railway from Vladivostok to Moscow. But now it has turned into a bit of a daft adventure: We are planning to travel from our small town in China to London only using trains; no planes, no boats, no buses, no taxis or private cars, trains only. This is possible (if stupid) but we are having a bit of trouble organising the first border crossing. It seems it is relitively easy to get a bus from the Chinese boarder but not so easy to take a train. We have found interesting stories about the train journey but can not find any information about where or how to buy tickets and also how often the trains leave China (Harbin or Suifenhe) for Russia (Vladivostok). If anyone as any advice that would be great.
Thanks
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by harvey123 on 31 March 2005 1:49pm
 
i cant help you but sounds fantastic what you are trying to do-have fun-make sure you let us Know how you got on-GOOD LUCK
~Nicola UK
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by julwis on 31 March 2005 9:09pm
 
I agree, sounds cool! Doesnt sound a silly idea at all, go for it! I had a look in a guide book about the Trans Siberian Railroad, but it doesnt provide any info about getting from Harbin to Vladivostok. It looks so remote actually that maybe the only way would be to find a truck driver heading along the route and hitch a ride, if thats possible. In fact the only direct route between the two went straight through North Korea, which would be interesting to travel through, but would probably create as many problems as your entire journey back to England.
What does seem obvious from the guide though is either to take the train along the Trans Manchurian line by following the railway up to Chita, where it joins the Trans Siberian railroad. If youre still keen on going to Vladivostok, then might it not be easier to take a boat from Qingdao, or another coastal port, across South Korea and into Vladivostok by sea? Failing that fly to Japan and cross from Naigata, although that is an expensive crossing from what I hear.
Id be very interested to hear how you get on. Good luck!
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by Ken Dunn on 1 April 2005 12:20am
 
Don't lose your passport and exchange your Chinese currency for Roubles and Kopecks before crossing. Russians speak using the cryllic alphabet. Can anyone give us the English spelling for:
Hello, Where's the toilet?, Do you like Vodka? and It was nice meeting you, in Russian? Robert Burns was acclaimed in Russia so if you are really stuck you could mention the 'wee sleekit cowerin' timorous beastie' from the Burns poem to a mouse.
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by julwis on 1 April 2005 1:13am
 
Hello, Where's the toilet?
Privyeet/zdrasdroitye, gdye zdes toilyeet pazhulsta
Do you like Vodka?
Vy lublyet vodka?
It was nice meeting you
Ochen pryatna

I guess Russian would be understood quite widely at that end of the line, though youd really be in Siberia for a good portion of the trip. Im only guessing but outside of the cities, would you not find more ethnic dialects dominating?
Also be careful on the train, Ive read that the rule on the train goes along the lines of tourists go east, but smugglers go west, which could make for an interesting trip.

Obviously living in China, you dont need any help with
Nimen hao, cesuo zai nar?/ Nimen xihuan he vodka ma?/ Renshi nimen wo zhen gaoxing
:)
Zhu ni yi lu ping an!
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by julwis on 1 April 2005 1:15am
 
Argh! Finally happened to me and posted a message twice!
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by baiqiongan on 4 April 2005 6:17am
 
Thanks for the advice, and for the Russian, I will practice those phrases daily. As for the boat, plane option; it can't be done - this must be a strictly train only adventure. There is a train from the chinese border to Vladivostok but apparently it takes a long time. But time is not the problem so I am not too worried about that. I am more worried about booking the train tickets. We will have our trans-siberian tickets pre-booked and, knowing Chinese ticket offices we are a tad worried about arriving in Harbin and having the nice young lady behind the counter saying 'no tickets left'. But then I guess thats all part of the adventure. Whats the deal with the North Korea train line? Can you go there? I thought you couldn't but that would be really cool; if only to look out the window at North Korea.
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by julwis on 4 April 2005 8:42pm
 
Ive an apology to make, Ive checked another map and the North Korean border is much further south than I thought. Sorry, the map I was looking at showed the Siberian and North Korean border, but didnt highlight the fact that the two actually met at the Sea of Japan near Kraskino. That should simplify things actually since multi entry visas would be annoying to get held of, and if North Korea wasnt interested in letting Michael in then theyd probably not let anyone else in either. If it were that easy to cross the border, it would probably be a very empty country by now!
Anyway I came across this website http://www.worldtravellers.net/transsiberia/trans.html which does show a direct service from Harbin to Vladivostok. Not sure how old the site is though. Other sites make reference to this route, and say theres a twice weekly service, though dont expand on it. A tour firm in Vladivostok called Lucky Tours, I think, mention it. Finally a haulage firm (FESCO?) mention that they regularly use this route for shipping cargo from Harbin to Seattle, via Vladivostok, though only seem to run trucks between the two cities.
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by baiqiongan on 5 April 2005 5:39am
 
That web-site is amazing, thank you. I am so impressed at how useful you all are. Thanks so much!
 
Re: Sino-Russian border crossing advice needed please! by julwis on 6 April 2005 12:25am
 
http://www.luckytour.com/
This is the tour company in Vladivostok that I mentioned.
The haulage firm has a site at http://www.fesco.com/
 



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