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Our Trans-Siberian Travel Specialists

With You From Start to Finish

We understand that for many the Trans-Siberian really is a trip of a lifetime – the sort of trip that is often planned or considered for many years before the opportunity arises to make this extraordinary journey. A high number of our clients take the trip for a special birthday or anniversary.

We also know that despite Trans-Siberian travel planning being half the fun it can be quite daunting when dealing with so many variables in countries as diverse as Russia, Mongolia and China. We want you to get the most out of your tour with us and know your time available needs to be used wisely.

Chris Stanley - Founder

Chris caught the travel bug whilst training to be a chartered surveyor in the early 1990s. After several years out travelling through much of Africa and Asia he found himself in Hong Kong running out of money and in one of life’s quirks of fate found a job with a local travel company who promptly relocated him to Beijing where he would spend the next 11 years dealing with Russia, Mongolia and China.

Returning to the UK days after the Beijing Olympics of 2008, he decided to set up a travel company specialised in China and the Trans-Siberian just as the financial crisis got into full swing! Seemingly against the odds this venture quickly grew and continues to offer more and more travel options across Russia, Mongolia and throughout China through The Trans-Siberian Travel Company and the sister operation, The China Travel Company.

Chris’s passion for these regions continues and he believes the Trans-Siberian is hands down the most amazing overland journey out there. Chris has been to all the destinations we offer, often many times and continues to search out new experiences to keep our trips fresh and worthy of such an extraordinary railway.

Q & A With Chris

Why the Trans Siberian?

Train is such a civilised way of travel and there is no train ride that rivals the Trans-Siberian in scope and variety. Slowly crossing Russia, China and Mongolia allows the culture to sink in and all 3 nations have excellent guides who are so keen to show off their countries and so curious to learn. Best of all is that many people who take the Trans-Siberian are doing it as a “bucket list” or special anniversary trip and it is a privilege to be part of making a trip so special for them.

Where is the best place you have visited?

That’s a hard one but I think some of the best experiences have been the most unlikely. Some of the scenery north of Lake Baikal is very wild and spectacular and for someone who loves snow both Lake Baikal and the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival stand out in winter. Recently on a trip along the BAM at Tynda having local people spontaneously come up and thank you for visiting their remote city was special. Having lived in Beijing for 11 years that city is a second hometown and always a joy to visit.

Where next Chris?

It has long been an ambition to link a Trans-Siberian trip with Central Asia so getting that to work as a reliable trip for our clients is certainly on the to do list. I am also eagerly awaiting the branch line off the BAM to Yakutsk to open up (it’s nearly there!) so winter ron a noter level can be experienced.

Would you go back to the Trans Siberian?

Having done over a dozen trips along the various Trans-Siberian routes that is a certain! Each trip has been different as it so often comes down to the people you meet and time of year you go. A trip to Russia in summer is a very different experience in all senses to one in the depths of winter. I am sure there will be many more Trans-Siberian trips to come and, of course, there is the Trip Guidebook we give clients that always needs updating!

Gregg Hannam - Senior Travel Consultant

Originally from Leeds in the UK, Gregg’s first big adventure was at uni where he backpacked down the East Coast of Australia for a summer.

Having completely caught the travel bug, he finished his Law Degree before finding the most travel related job he could find – cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic. After flying several hundred thousand miles, seeing loads of cities and serving a lot of celebrities he hung up his wings where he started working in travel on the ground.

Gregg started a highly successful career working for 5 years at the UK’s largest independent travel agency winning multiple awards along the way. This enabled him to travel even more extensively around the world visiting all 5 continents and raking up a staggering 60 countries!

Wanting to become more specialised, Gregg made the move to the TSTC where he quickly embarked on an epic Trans Siberian journey from St Petersburg to Vladivostok seeing the incredible sights along the way.

If you’re looking to do dog sledding in Ekaterinburg, Hiking along Lake Baikal, travel in luxury on board the elegant Golden Eagle train or just want to speak to someone with first hand experience of the TransSiberian then Gregg has the extensive knowledge to make that happen.

Q & A With Gregg

Why the Trans Siberian?

Having done a total of 60 countries now, I know how hard it is to find somewhere TRULY authentic and off the beaten path. Doing a Trans Mongolian or Trans Siberian adventure is one of the few adventures I have been on that feels 100% authentic. As it is the longest continuous train journey in the world its very easy to experience these unforgettable experiences such as chatting to a local on the train via google translate, tucking into freshly made Borscht in an extremely remote Siberian guesthouse or hiking to a totally secluded viewing point in Lake Baikal!!

Where is the best place you have visited?

Aside from the obvious answer of The Trans Siberian railway I have to say the Far East! I absolutely love Asia and the Far East has such a strong and unapologetic sense of culture that is hard to not fall in love with. China, Japan and South Korea have truly been some of the most incredible holidays that I have been lucky enough to experience.

In Particular China is such a huge and diverse country it is very easy to visit 2 or 3 times whilst falling in love with a completely different part of the country every single time.

Where next Gregg?

I am just about to visit the Baltic region and travel from Belarus to Finland via Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. I am absolutely fascinated by the Soviet history (having been to several fascinating museums on my Trans Siberian adventure) and I am hoping to get under the skin of these lesser visited former Soviet outposts.

After that I am very much looking forward to heading back to China to visit the remote south west area aka Yunnan as well as Tibet before finishing the year on a sunny beach in Portugal!

Would you go back to the Trans Siberian?

Absolutely!!! As it is SO big, it is so easy to find different and fascinating stops and experiences along the way. Next time I plan to get off the beaten track in Mongolia and visit either the East or South Gobi as well as maybe even exploring the historically rich area of the Golden Ring.

gregg staff photo

Chris Plumb - Travel Consultant

Chris – or simply “Plumb” as we call him – has had several careers starting out as a currency dealer in London in the 1980s. Supposedly retiring at an unfeasibly young age he moved to Portugal running several ventures there before returning to the UK.

Refusing to slow down he opened a classic car storage business and between that and golf also manages to be a valuable member of the Trans-Siberian team offering up wisdom only advanced years can provide!

Chris beat us all to China going in 1987 when it was a very different world to the China of today. More recently he has taken the Tsars Gold private train which he ranks very highly and is delighted to advise clients about.

Q & A With Plumb

Why the Trans Siberian?

One of the most interesting and culturally rewarding trips, giving a fascinating insight into the people who live along the route.

Where is the best place you have visited?

The Mongolian Steppes on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar

Where next Plumb?

The South Caucasus, Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan

Would you go back to the Trans Siberian?

Definitely, maybe stopping at some of the more remote parts, and exploring the branch lines.

plumb photo

Fan Fan Zhang - Admin & Booking

Fan Fan is Beijing born and bred but has been living here in the UK for the last decade and is also the wife of Chris the founder.

She helps out on the admin side as well as looking after bookings and paperwork and is a font of knowledge on China and especially the national obsession of food!

Fan Fan recently took the Moscow to Vladivostok route via the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM) filling the time on the train with knitting and crafting and was particularly impressed with the wool and bead shops in some of the remote towns of this route!

Q & A With Fan Fan

Why the Trans Siberian?

Best way to get to China as I’m not keen on flying!

Where is the best place you have visited?

Going back to Beijing to see family is always nice (oh, and did I mention the food!!?) I love the lights and buildings in Moscow in particular.

Where next Fan Fan?

It has to be Mongolia but I am always so busy in the summer months when it is the best time to go there so it is hard to make it happen.

Would you go back to the Trans Siberian?

Yes, I’d like to go in the summer (and combine with Mongolia) but the autumn trips I have done are beautiful with the colours and when you get some snow the train cabins are so cosy.

FF photo

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