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Testimonials – TSTC
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Trans-Siberian Feedback & Testimonials

Below you will find some recent feedback from our Trans-Siberian clients. On request we can put you in touch with past clients to discuss their experience of our services.

Click here to view the pdf of an article in Etihad inflight magazine about a Trans-Siberian tour we put together for the author, Raf Jah.

 

Our Trans-Siberian Clients Feedback & Testimonials

Gary Hewitt & Sarah Hughes : Trans-Mongolian & China 2017

You provided excellent service – trip discussed at length before any deposit asked for. All queries dealt with promptly and information provided prior to departure (including how to apply for visas etc.)very useful.

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and all worked perfectly. Having guides to meet you from the train and ensure you leave on the right train made the trip far less stressful than it would have been otherwise. Good combination of guided tours of cities and free time to explore on our own. We have found you and your company a pleasure to deal with, and would certainly use you again and recommend you to friends.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Hughes

 

Brice Buot de l’Epine : Trans-Mongolian 2017

We loved the trip. we did not spent much time in china; certainly not enough in mongolia but our two weeks in russia were great; the people we met were friendly, the shop keepers always honest, the city centres clean. The provodniks and provodnistas were very friendly, took good care of us and the carriages well kept.
All guides were professional and very knowledgeable. i would like though to single out 3:

In Mongolia, our guide was Enke (NK!). A quiet unassuming fellow who knew more english than first thought. This fellow helped us out with all kinds of additional request. nothing was too much. What i would call in business ‘a pearl’. I cannot give enough praise for him. And a wicked sense of humour to boot.

In Ekaterinburg, we went to Koptelovo with Dimitri and spent the day with him. A well learned young man with whom i had many interesting discussions. He also taught us thousands of russian words in 1 minute.

In St Petersbourg, we were guided for two days by Ekaterina. A delightful young woman who easily accommodated the changes we requested (less walking was one of these).
(In Bolchoe Goloutsone, we met Anna; she was not our guide but we spent enough time with her to recommend her very highly.)
We also cannot give enough praise to all the drivers who were punctual and took it easy.

And a final word of praise also to the “chef” at the Ger lodge and Gallina at Bolshoe G. (Baikal), not only for her lovely meals but also for her volcanic banya!
we had too much luggage; we catered for warm and cold weather and had just one cold day; such is life.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Brice

 

Alan Bowker : Trans-Siberian from Vladivostok 2017

Hello Chris, Louise and I have returned from our trip that included the wonderful Trans-Siberian Adventure.
While planning the trip we searched YouTube for Trans-Siberian video on the trip.  One of the clips was a series made by Russia Television, (RT) about the crew going from Moscow to Vladivostok in January.You can see the series at:  Trans Siberian Odessey:  https://rtd.rt.com/films/trans-siberian-odyssey/#part-1So it turns out in the series the Train Manager Sergey is the Manager on our train.  We had the Vladivostok guide introduce us and tell him we are from San Francisco and saw him on the video.  He didn’t speak any English but nodded his head in agreement.  I got one picture of him on the platform in Ulan Ude.  Great happenstance to see the video and meet Sergey.

We had a lovely providnista on the segment from Vladivostok to Irkutsk.  She spoke a little English and was extremely helpful.  We took pictures with here and others on her team.  The providinstas on the other segments didn’t speak English but we worked around that.  I think both Louise and I feel that the attendants are your friend and not to do anything deliberate to them doing their job.  When they don’t speak your language they have no way to respond to a situation outside of their job description with anything other than what their supervisors tell them to do.  And then they get frustrated.  They are well intentioned but don’t get in their face. Word of Caution!  As you can see from the images I tend to get my camera into people’s faces.  So in a station with a long layover I went into the station and started snapping.  I came across a person in a little sales kiosk and snapped.  She went ballistic and called the station police who came over and apprehended me.  He spoke no English and took me to his chief who figured I was a tourist and let me go with a shrug.  I was thoroughly chastened by the experience and subdued my shooting.  So just a cautionary tale about advising your clients about running rampant around the locals with you camera.  99% of the people didn’t care or posed.  1% turned away or put their hand up which we respected.  But I did have a bit of a sinking feeling being frog-marched to local police chief on a train in a city whose language I didn’t speak with 10 minutes to go.

Also there were local police on all the platforms where we disembarked.  All were very cordial and it was good to see them. I took about 5,500 images in five weeks and am focusing on the Trans-Siberian images first.  We the segments I put up so far are the, “best of” from Vladivostok to Irkutsk.  I will add segments for Listvyanka, Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, Moscow and St. Petersburg.  With the travel we have planned I expect to finish by August.

We had tremendous luck with weather as it only rained the day we went to the Kremlin and to Petrovorets.  The rest of the time was clear skies all the way.  Beautiful all days on Lake Baikal which it was cloudy the previous day when we came around the lake from Ulan Ude.  That Lake is a Tremendous site.  I might recommend if you have avid train travelers that you offer the Circum-Baikal option.  It worked well for us.

When asked I have mentioned your firm as an excellent resource for Russian train travel.

Do you do any specialized rail travel in China aside from the transcontinental runs?  We may do a trip from Shanghai to Chengdu, (to see the pandas) and then to Lhasa by rail.  Maybe a two years in the future.  Many thanks for the help with the trip.  It was great value and we will be happy to recommend your services to other travelers. Alan Bowker

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Bowker

 

Jill Firth – Trans-Siberian Winter 2017

Hi Phil
Just thought I’d let you know I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Was very happy with all the guides, tours and accommodation. Will recommend your company to anyone wanting to travel to Russia/China.
Thanks for making it a wonderful holiday for me!
Kind regards, Jill

 

Jonathan Holubeki-France – Trans-Siberian Winter Tailor Made 2017

We’re back! But how do I begin to explain just what a fantastic – overwhelming – time we have had, and indeed how to go about thanking you for all the work put in beforehand, your advice, your help with having booked a tight itinerary into our available time, for your guide book which so very well prepared us – China was the 52nd country logged into my life’s passport. , I am lucky to have travelled, but I can truly say that I have never felt the emotion on completing a trip as I have done this time, quite extraordinary! It was like everything was exaggerated, but was true! Tiananmen and Red Squares. The Great Wall, the Ice Festival, Baikal, Moscow, never mind the 9288kms of the train!!!
So, thank you. Seems a small word, but we mean it very much.

We would like to mention the following – if you would mind/be prepared to send it to the agencies you work with in China and Russia, we would be grateful indeed of you so doing:- “To our guides, who, for short periods of times, were our guardians, as well as guides, and, if we may say, were also our friends too – to Xue Ja Wen in Beijing, who so kindly cared for us on our long first day, having arrived at 5am, and spending the whole day touring and seeing fantastic things; to big friendly Sam in Harbin, who was so kind to my mum who was coming down with a cold, pacing our walk very much to accommodate her, and for giving us plenty of time at the Ice Festival which was fab, and for sorting dumplings out for us on our evening there; to Dennis who met us cheerily at Vladivostok after a long and occasionally testing day of travel, and helping us with bags and tickets to install us onto the train; to Yelena who greeted us on the platform at Irkutsk, instantly helping out with photos of us with our Provodnitsa, and helping us with snow mobiles as well as walks and restaurants; and to Ilya in Moscow, who took us on a lovely 3 hour walk, dropping us off at a Ukranian restaurant which was just fab – his interest in us was lovely, and his information on what we saw being comprehensive and interesting, his engagement with Oliver was lovely; to all of our drivers too – you were all so kind and smiling and helpful with all of our bags! So, to you all kind people – you all looked after us, made us comfortable, never rushed us, made us feel involved, informed, and cared for, thank you. We wish you all well for your futures.” And so we say thank you again, Chris. If you ever want a break in the Yorkshire Dales, we have a cottage in our garden, you (and partner) would be most welcome to come and stay.

So we wish you well, may be will ask for your services again one day, and say thank you a final time. Don’t forget the offer mentioned though!
All the best,Jonathan, Marysia, Oliver and Ann

 

France Trans-Siberian feedback

 

Jose Luiz Lima : Trans-Siberian Winter 2017

Hi Chris, we are now back home. The trip organization was flawless, thanks a lot, we were able to have a great time with no nuisance at all.
The guides were all very good, although I would like to point out that the Russian guides were really outstanding in comparison with the Chinese guide. The location of all hotels was excellent.

Do you also organize trips to other parts of the world or just Siberia and surroundings?

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Lima

 

Sue Tilson : Tailored Winter Trip 2017

It was great to be able to pick and choose, discuss with you and make decisions.
The guides were brilliant, informative, and a pleasure to be with. Xue in Beijing stood out, he went above and beyond his brief, arranging for us to go to an acrobatic show in the evening. He got the tickets, arranged a taxi, escorted us there, waited for us, then took us home in the taxi.

All the tours were excellent, the guides certainly no their stuff. I personally found the tour in Listvyanka quite gruelling, more like a route march up the hill to the ski lift. This was my least favourite place. Konstantin in Ekateringburg gave us an amazing day dog sledging.
We met some people who hadn’t booked with you, (we also met some Americans who had). They were very envious of our book, and kept asking to borrow it. It was so useful, we referred to it constantly during the entire trip. It became our ‘bible’

 

Ellyn : Trans-Siberian Rail 2017

Our guides Max (St Petersburg), Lena (Moscow), and Lee (Beijing) were PHENOMENAL! If at all possible, it was nice to hear from different generations, the history of Russia from their point of views…we got that from Max, a 20-something who didn’t experience the 20th century who was well-versed in history and opinionated, and Lena who remembers Moscow as a kid in the 10th century.

I have already posted about your company on public travel groups on Facebook that I’m a part of, and I can’t stop encouraging people!

 

Jo Shackleton : Tailored Winter Trans-Siberian 2017

Hi Chris, I thought I had sent this but I’ve just found it in my drafts folder, so apologies for that. I will try and cover the questions on the feedback form but can’t guarantee I will remember them all. We really enjoyed the trip and found the trip guide book very useful – it certainly came back very dog-earred.  Also all the pre-trip customer service etc was excellent.  All my queries were answered promptly by very knowledgeable staff, and you notified of us of the unavoidable changes. The information about the trains was pretty accurate. The trains did vary in standard but were perfectly adequate and the staff were very good and helpful (I don’t think we got told off once!!).  The guidebook warned us about the temperature in some of the trains and it was no exaggeration – they were all way too hot but in one of the trains, we actually had a window that opened so that was a blessed relief. The hotels were also excellent.  They were a very good standard and the staff were friendly and helpful. Also, the homestay at Listvyanka was very cosy and the lady that ran it was very friendly and welcoming. In general, the guides were excellent.  All of them were extremely knowledgeable and friendly and with the exception of Kazan, managed to pitch the tours just right (ie enough information without overwhelming us).  I’m afraid most of the guides’ names have been lost in the mists of time but special mention should go to Bill (Harbin), Konstantin (Ekaterinburg) and Olga (Krasnoyarsk).  It’s difficult to explain why these 3 deserve special mention but I think it was because they really engaged with us and were happy to get involved with discussions about all sorts of things, which we found particularly refreshing, especially as it was not always possible to chat to local people because of the language barrier (although we managed it in Harbin and Moscow – but those stories are for another day).  When you spend a day or two with guides, it can become quite a strain trying to make conversation and look interested, especially when you are really tired.   Also, in general, the day tours were excellent and the pace was mostly just right.  Ekaterinburg was particularly good because of the way Konstantin unravelled the story of the Romanovs, using the different sites. Also, although our itinerary said the city tour was a walking tour, because it was so cold, he decided to do it by car.  This worked out really well because it gave us a bit more time to spend at various points of interest and also meant that we could go out exploring in the evening because we hadn’t been worn out during the day (you will see the significance of this when you see the comments about Kazan). In conclusion (at last!!!), we thoroughly enjoyed the trip and thought the balance between train and stopovers was just right.  We are also really glad that I opted for the ‘purist’ route that included Vladivostok, because it is a lovely city and well worth a visit, especially as the feel of it is so different to Moscow.  We were also very impressed with Harbin (again, it felt different to all the places we have visited in China in the past), it made a refreshing change after Beijing and the ice festival (which was absolute madness) and snow festival were worth the trip alone.

We definitely got the impression that we were part of an exclusive club – a couple of guides told us we were heroes for coming in winter, which we thought was a bit strong but we took the compliment anyway, and every guide without fail, asked why we had decided to come in winter. I’m still sorting out the thousands of photos we took but I’ll send you some highlights when I have whittled them down a bit.  Personally, I think the snow added to the beauty and sense of wilderness and the statue of Genghis Khan in Mongolia looked absolutely stunning against the snow. Regards, Jo PS.  If you ever get any clients that own Harley Davidson motorbikes, I highly recommend contacting the Red Square Chapter in Moscow (especially Sasha) via their Facebook page.  They really know how to give visitors a good time, although the Chacha is very strong (they have it imported specially from Georgia).

 

Emma & Richard Showan : Trans-Siberian honeymoon 2017

The trip was fantastic and we loved it. The places we saw, the guides and the trains were all brilliant. Everything was well organised and very easy, we would recommend the trip.

 

Walker Price & Christy : Trans-Siberian 2017

Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, I’m just catching up with emails and paper work that piled up while i was away. I always have a little worry when traveling that everything is going to go as planned. I have good news it did. I appreciate you always responding quickly to emails. All of the drivers for transfer were exactly where they were supposed on time. The guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. I was very happy with the hotels you booked.

I asked Christy the morning we were next to lake Baikal. We were in the alone in the dining car eating eggs and ham, HAHA. She said yes.

I will defiantly be in touch with you about travel to China. I saw a page in the back of one of the books you sent us that had travel to South America. Is this also with you?
Thanks for a great vacation!

 

Susan Mak : Tailored Trans-Siberian 2017

Just want to drop a quick thank you note for a wonderfully planned trans-Siberia trip.  I absolutely had a great time.  Mongolia was just as beautiful as I thought and I love the Geri camps at the steppes and at the Gobi.  What marvellous sights.I wish you and your brother the best of future clients.  Thanks.

 

Robert Hoyle : Trans-Siberian 2017

The booking process was very straight forward and Chris was extremely easy to work with and was patient through the process. Each step of the transfers worked seamlessly. At each stop and/or transfer the driver and guide would meet me on time and was visible with signage so I was able to find them easily.
The drivers were always on time and waiting at the departure times. I was always delivered to the railway stations in adequate time to settle into the train prior to departure. They always accompanied me to the platform and made the departure process stress free. Each of the guides were always ready and waiting in the hotel lobby for the walking tours. Each guide spoke perfect English and easily understood.

I found each of the guides to be very knowledgeable about the history, culture and customs of the countries. Each of the guides was very personal and were equally interested in the culture of the United States where I am from. My guide in Mongolia was exceptionally friendly and helpful. After spending two days with her in the Ger camp I feel as if I had experienced a family reunion with long lost relative.

My guide in Beijing, “James” went above and beyond all requirements of a guide to insure a memorable experience.
I have traveled in well over 100 countries around the world and have experienced many individual guided trips. This was by and far the best organized and with exceptional attention to detail for each segment.

I never had any concern over tickets, transfers or accommodations. Each segment worked seamlessly without any apprehension on my part despite having never traveled in Russia, Mongolia and China.

 

Shakuntala Kanagarajah & Friends – Trans-Mongolian 2017

Hello Chris & Phil,
We are back and throughly enjoyed all the arrangements you made on our behalf .It was a perfect dream come true trip. All the guides & drivers were punctual on time keeping.I expected the train compartments the way they were so I had no problems with space or discomforts.
Ah, the food in Ulaanbaatar was out of the world. There was service , care and love from the lady who prepared our food. Breakfast , lunch and dinner was all excellent . Freshly made pastry, cakes and the lot. It is one of the best home cooked food I have tasted.
By the way , I gave an Aussie lady your letter head with full address so that she can get in touch with you for her future travels.  She looked in her late 60’s and has travelled a bit…
Thanks for making our dreams come true…
Be in touch

Shakuntala Kanagarajah

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Saratha

 

Helen Edwards : Trans-Mongolian 2017

We chose you after looking at a number of websites. You had by far the most useful information and we welcomed the opportunity to customise the trip for ourselves. We had a superb trip. I would describe it as “transformational” and of a different order to the usual “nice place, good food, interesting sights” kind of holiday. Riding through the Taiga, Steppes and Gobi Desert is a mesmerising experience.

 

Louis Evangelista : Trans-Mongolian 2017

Chris was a brilliant trip planner and anticipated and/or answered all our concerns online and by telephone.
Our transfers went smoothly and on time. It was especially reassuring to see someone holding a sign with our names when arriving in foreign places, especially at midnight and in throngs of people.

Guides were knowledgeable, attentive and flexible. We appreciated Olga in St. Petersburg for her resourcefulness in moving us through large tourist groups and extended her time to ensure that we saw all the tour sites. Leona in Moscow was extensively knowledgeable of the history and finer details of the sites that we visited. Anna in Lake Baikal was personable and attended two my stomach ailments in a caring way. Lena in Irkutsk was sophisticated, knowledgeable and went beyond her scheduled time to ensure that we saw all the sites and then escorted us to souvenir shops and a wonderful local restaurant. Lala in Ulaan Bataar/Gher camp had a caring personality and gave us a wonderful tour while responding to our every need and request. Xeu ye wan in Beijing was exceptionally knowledgeable and concerned with our welfare. Since the two days we were in Beijing was exceptionally hot and humid, he shadowed us on the Great Wall walk to ensure that we did not get over heated or exhausted. I really felt that he was truly concerned with our welfare and would respond immediately if we needed extra assistance.

The sign of a great tour is that one never wants to continue to see and know more. The tours exposed us to new and wondrous things that have whetted our appetites to experience more. We felt truly coddled by the first class train berths and the individual drivers and guides at all our stops. This is the first time we had such personalized service and we wonder how we did without it.

Our  tour was great beyond our expectations. The local stays along with meeting different people, guides and drivers were the highlights. While the trans-siberian train and ride were underwhelming, ulan bataar and china blew us away. We saw so much in such a short time in st. Petersburg and moscow that our minds are still spinning. Thanks to your organizational skills every detail went as clockwork. We also shared part of trip with fellow tourists from our area in Maryland! Would gladly recommend your company.

 

Jade Liu : Trans-Mongolian 2017

Thank you for answering all of our questions in booking the trip. The prompt customer service and clarity of answers was a huge reason we chose to book with your company, in addition to the itineraries that were offered. The guidebook was great to read and have with us on the trip! It was so helpful for tips, conversion rates, and train timetables. In fact, many of the friends we made on the train would come to us to look for information in the guidebook and were very impressed with the quality of your tour company. Overall we felt that the trip was excellent and we want to do it again sometime in the winter!

 

David Solkovsky : Trans-Mongolian 2017

Phil:  Thank you so much for planning and guiding us thru this wonderful adventure.   It all went off without a hitch.  Wonderful guides, on time drivers, schedules worked to the ‘T’, great experiences, beautiful vistas,  etc. We had an outstanding time.  – – What an adventure it was.    An 4 week adventure thru European Russia, Asian Russia -Siberia, Mongolia, and into China.      More than 1000 photos.    Stayed on a Russian Farm – good food, primitive dwelling; and stayed in a Mongolian Ger adjacent to a nomadic herder with 100 horses among his vast holdings of livestock (Cathy and I rode one of his horses and the 4 of us visited his home/family).  Also, it was a pleasant surprise  to meet up with Lou and Elisa Evangelista whom Chris had handled.  We had fun together and ‘last night out’ dinner together.  By the way they live very near me and we are in contact with each other for who knows what!!From the four of us, thank you for arranging an adventure of a life time.
Warm regards,David

 

Damon Hood : Trans-Siberian, China & Tibet 2017

Phil provided excellent attention and feedback before and during the trip. We had quite a full itinerary over 6 weeks. Our only regret is that we would have liked to have done it in a more leisurely manner if time and money was available.
Job well done. Thank you.

 

Cushla & Johh Hughes : Trans-Siberian 2017

Loved the train travel and we had many great interactions with our guides and with other people who assisted the guides. Got to see the real people of the places we visited. Amazing!!

The guidebook is superb and showing it to other travelers we realized how superior it is to other companies offerings.Its also the best selling tool you have at least five couples will contact you for future travel plans because of the quality of the guidebook.

 

Judy & Ken Boyle  : Trans-Siberian 2017

Hi Phil Thank you for organising such a wonderful trip for us. We had a great time. I have attached some feedback for you. Thanks again, Judy & Ken

 

Di Fenwick & friends and family : Trans-Mongolian 2017

We were very impressed with the knowledge/history that the guides had- we had a full range of personality types which added real character to the outings and kept things interesting. Very happy to have had the tours pre-booked and already organised – a great way of jumping the long queues at some places too- well worth it for that alone but as the guided were so knowledgeable we also learnt a lot.

 

Kevin & Matea Flood : Trans-Mongolian 2017

Hello Phil,
The trip not only met, but surpassed our expectations.  We enjoyed it immensely & will forever be a family memory not forgotten.
My husband & son have returned.  I will do so on August 7.  I am savoring my remaining 4 days.  It will be hard to leave.
Thank you again, always!
Warm regards,Matea

 

Tomiko Sakazume : Tsars Gold 2017

It was wonderful that this big trip arrangement was done only through internet between England and USA, and it worked without any problem. I met a lady from your agency and received your regards, thank you. Water restrictions in the train was hard for me. There was no hot water access, I have to ask the conductor every time I needed. Maybe one more day to stay in Siberia such as Kazan would be nice to ease, relax the trip. I liked the guide in St. Petersburg, and the hotel Budapest in Moscow. Our group guide, Svetlana from Tsars Gold was excellent. Moscow’s impressions are very different from folks who visited recently and years back. It was a modern city for me, busy with road renovation. I enjoyed the tour every day, people in the group were very nice, showing my photos to all my friends. Do you have any tour going around Iran? Thank you for once in life tour with ever lasting memories. Tomiko

 

Helen Hine : Trans-Siberian 2017

Michaela and I thought you planned our trip really well. We particularly liked the way you plan the best trains in terms of seeing the best of the countryside in the day so we did not miss much at night.
I had been nervous about such an adventure but I was so impressed that we had no hitches at all!

 

Susan Stacey : Trans-Siberian 2017

Thank you so much for mentioning our anniversary to the hotel, we were welcomed to a beautiful room on 2nd floor (perfect since lift not working today for our checkout in an hour) a lovely note with champas, fruit and chocolates.

 

Wendy & Philip Atkinson : Trans-Mongolian & China 2017

We loved the whole trip. Think Pingyao gets the vote as favourite place. Thanks for organising it for us, Chris. Everything went smoothly. The guidebook was definitely our Bible. Once again, many thanks for a great experience.

 

Jennifer Trevor & Family : Trans-Mongolian & China 2017

Russia, Mongolia and China was part of a bigger 9 week train adventure (from Italy to Hong Kong and Japan) and, on first talking to Phil about this part, it just all fell into place. We instantly had a positive rapport going. He didn’t just ‘sell’ the journey but over time, talked us through the pros and cons of varying situations. In Russia and Mongolia it was just my husband and I but in China we invited our children and grandson to join us and a friend came for the ride as well so we were a motly group of 7 people aged between 13 and 73 years. One of the party is a wheelchair user and one has mobility difficulties so there was a lot to consider and Phil (I am sure working enormously hard in the background) made it happen with ease. Incredible. The tours were wonderful, interesting, exciting, well planned and executed, Couldn’t have wished for better.

 

Trevor Trans-Siberian feedback

 

Adrian Olsen : Trans-Mongolian 2017

We felt we had excellent service by the guides in general and they stayed with us throughout the trip. I would specially highlight the guide in Irkutsk where she really made us feel like our trip was not a touristy thing, but rather visiting some friend’s homes. She joined us for all trips and showed us around a lot, including her brother’s boat on the lake.

 

Crystal and Carl Mittelhauser : Tailor Made Russia

Chris, thank you so very much for all of your assistance and planning in our side adventure in Russia.  It was our favorite part of the entire trip.  Kazan was absolutely wonderful.  The guide you selected for us there could not have been better.  He listened to us and spent more time on things we were interested in knowing more about and was so knowledgeable.  The first train trip was perfect.  More than we had expected.  The getting onto the train at Moscow was not easy for us, but we finally found an English speaking person who assisted us.  The 2nd train trip was very good with the people from your company assisting us in getting to the train and into our cabin.
Again, thank you most kindly for all you did to make this trip so memorable.  We had several on the cruise with us who said they wanted to do the Siberian rail.  We told them we would let them know how it went.  We shall encourage all of the ones if they truly do follow through to contact you.

 

Sheryl Smith : Trans-Siberian Winter Trip 2016

Hello Chris,

Just to say I arrived in London safely.

I had a wonderful time. Everything went smoothly and your team is very efficient..loved every minute of the trip. Thank you for helping to make one of my dreams come through. Just checking, I am thinking of arranging another great railway journey next winter. Do you arrange tours for the Ghan railway in Australia?

Regards
Sheryl.

 

Emma Birney : Trans-Siberian Winter Trip 2016

The Trip guidebook is amazing still so impressed with it! Such a great memento as well. Great experience .. great time to go .. beautiful weather!! The guides where very knowledgeable, keen to pass on their love of their country/area. They where helpful and friendly.

The Trains were great fun, loved it … the 3 day section was awe fully hot (even the locals had derobed and where sweating), but the rest we had windows we could open so great. We had a shower from Mongolia to Beijing … but am guessing not much water .. as ran out of water to flush the toilet (no we didn’t have a shower) … but have a photo to prove it. Loved every minute.

 

Suzette Ross : Trans-Siberian 2016

Morning Chris. I can’t thank you enough for an amazing trip. So well organised and everything went so well. Accommodation, transfers etc..all great.
I’m not sure what happened this morning but I was picked up from my hotel at 10 am. I think their was confusion between your tour and the group I’m staying on with. I do hope it didn’t cause any concern.

Thanks again for an awesome trip.
Regards,
Suzette.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Ross

 

Joanna Lim : Trans-Siberian 2016

Enjoyed the stopover at Krasnoyarsk instead of taking the train for 3 days to Ekaterinburg from Irkutsk. We got to enjoy the sights of another city and hiking in Stolby Nature Reserve with the beautiful rock formation.

Would You Recommend Us?: YES we will

 

Ann-Christin Moen : Trans-Siberian Family Trip 2016

We had a really a very nice travel, and we have not digested it all yet,coming home with my long “to do list” – I have been working all the time since.

Before travelling I was in contact with an Australian agency, and also an Norwegian. We clearly preferred The Trans-Siberian Travel Company because of good service and willingness to plan the trip with me even if so many things was unsure because my sons competition, and my daughters travelling dates and agreements back in Norway. There was so many things to think about that I can’t really understand we actually did it.
We have pictures that can prove it though :-))

The Russian people, the countryside, the vast forests, much of it very similar to Norway, still in many ways very different.
And the trains…. I think we have tried every sort now, from good to less good. The train from Ekaterinburg to here ( Kazan) was hot as a oven, and the lights turned out when it stopped ,.ha.

Our best experience is to be met by nice people on every single station and driven to hotels , and to be dropped of at the stations after our stay. This made the trip so much more comfortable for us, especially with all our luggage – as we brought with us a couple of extra bags to Norway.

Now it is also easy for us to go take another travel to Russia. Things worked much better there than we ever dreamed of. I will be happy to send you some pictures. I think we have a couple of good ones somewhere.

Kind regards
Ann-Christin

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Moen

 

Tom Balabanov : Beijing to Moscow 2016

No trip is perfect, but the issues were minor. We really liked the other couples travelling with us, because of the customizations, we would meet couples from different stretches at different times, it was a bonus to keep us company.

Would You Recommend Us?: YES we will

 

Cath and Jon Kinsman : Trans-Siberian & China 2016

Hi Phil,

Just to let you know we had an amazing time away, all went very smoothly and all the local guides were really lovely. The guidebook was very useful. We were lucky weather wise as it was sunny pretty much the whole time! See pics!

Thanks for all your organising, it’s a trip we’ll remember forever – such a great experience 🙂

Cath and Jon Kinsman

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Kinsman

 

Janice McNelis : Trans-Siberian Moscow to Vladivostok 2016

I had an amazing time, Russia is a very beautiful country and my trip was divided well with some modern culture together with total authenticity. Everything was so well organised and that is down to you, it was so reassuring to know that there was a support network available to me every step of the way from the very first email to my arrival home at the weekend.

Appreciate all your help and would have no hesitation in recommending you to others for similar trips. Many thanks again.

Ray Shackleford : Trans-Siberian 2016

Hello Phil,

I hope that you are well.

I am emailing to say that we had a great time on our holiday – thank you very much for all your hard work.

Everything worked perfectly – the transfers went smoothly, the accommodation and tours were excellent and so were the guides.

Kind Regards
Ray.

 

Sheila Sansano : Trans-Siberian 2016

You know I am so impressed with your personalized tour I thought the concept was genius. I snapped thousands of photos and shared hundreds with friends and family. The very thing that defined my “this is the life moment” were two experiences at the ger camp. First night as we settle for bed, the horses decided to encircle our ger and just hang out there all throughout the night! How authentic is that experience? My son and I fell asleep with smiles on our faces. The other member was when I woke up pretty early at the ger camp and used the toilet. It was so serene at 6 am, it was cold and it felt I was alone. I decided not to bring my camera because it was just a morning bathroom run. But as I was going back to the ger, I looked back and saw the most amazing sunrise, ever in my life! I walked back to the ger and retrieved my camera. I stood in silence and in peace, filming the camp and sunrise and silently thanked God for the experience and opportunity.

Hundreds of friends and family and staff have heard of Trans Siberian Railway travel before — until I did it!

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for everything! It was a journey of a lifetime! The best thing about it was showing my son that roads are not all paved in the entire world, that western toilets are privileges and that not all children in the world are privileged like him. The nomadic family visit was my opportunity to demonstrate kindness to my son. He all embraced it and loved every aspect of our tour.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Sansano

 

Jill Forrer : Trans-Siberian 2016

Hi Phil,
Apologies for delayed reply – just catching up with life and my allotment!
Margaret and I had a brilliant time on our Trans-Siberian adventure! Right from the start everything was handled with efficiency and speed. Your first hand knowledge of the trip and places we would visit inspired confidence and my impressions were well founded!
It was great to get off a flight or a train and find a friendly guide holding our names up on a piece of paper! It made the whole experience stress free! They were so helpful and attentive but also discretely disappeared at times to give us space and time to digest our unfolding experiences in some amazing parts of the world! The ger camp was a highlight and watching the locals working with their animals was wonderful. We were very privileged to be invited to share tea with a lady who had just arrived to set up in her summer camp. She was willing to answer all our questions and had lots of her own for us! Lake Baikal, banyas, wild flowers, amazing views and witnessing village life was another highlight! Being sung to by a ladies choir in a Siberian village was all part of the unforgettable experience!! Our knowledgeable guide meant that we had a very interesting visit to the Urals. With our tailor made guidebooks we were set for a wonderful experience!

Thank you so very much.
Best regards
Jill.

 

Angela Holland : Trans-Siberian 2016

Hi Phil

Just a quickie to say thank you for a brilliant holiday, one which we all enjoyed. Everything went like clockwork and we enjoyed all our accommodation and the guides were excellent (we wanted to take some of them home with us!)

The choice of hotels was spot on, fairly described and with enough authenticity and optimum location to make them perfect. The book was a great help and will prove to be a wonderful souvenir. It’s such a big, in depth piece of work to produce, I’m sure you can’t be updating it all the time but I wondered whether you might welcome a couple of comments?

Regarding the train timetables, the first and longest train was spot on timewise. We left slightly earlier than stated but not much. You do mention that the time on the train is all based on Moscow but what we didn’t realise was that the actual services were current times, so our trips to the dining car were way out! It didn’t cause us many problems as the staff were very accommodating but, after a few days, the waitress had to sit us down and explain by semaphore that we were outstaying our welcome by expecting service at about 1am! (No wonder we were surprised by the very early sunrises!) Perhaps other travellers are a little more savvy about this situation? All was addressed by the last evening when we turned up in time for the dining room’s special. Incidentally, we considered the meals in the dining car were very reasonably priced and the variety was sufficient for the length of the journey. (We ditched our pot noodles!)

The times stated for the other journeys were far less accurate and the difference in boarding times was sometimes a worry although our guides/drivers knew what they were doing, particularly the driver who put us on the train at Irkutsk and who led us down labyrinthine corridors to what seemed to be a very remote platform. Not sure how we would have found it without him!

The opportunity for a shower in Ulaanbaatar was a little more extreme than we ladies were expecting! It was early morning, we were given a couple of flannels and ordered to strip in a communal area. As women in our 60s, it wasn’t quite the gentle experience we had expected and I managed to avoid it by hiding in a toilet cubicle! Brenda was less lucky and ended up rather flustered. I realise that some people would enjoy this and perhaps we would have if we had known what to expect – the chaps were a lot less phased by the experience, incidentally – but I think we would have been less traumatised had we been able to take in a bath towel or a robe or been more continental in our attitude towards public nudity!

Any uncertainty over the unknown quantities presented by the Siberian guesthouse and the Mongolian ger camp were soon shelved. The guesthouse was as basic as described and could possibly have done with a bit more TLC; flowerbeds and pots left completely overgrown by weeds and grass were a sad sight but indicative of the area’s lack of concern over a tendency to leave empty plastic and glass bottles, cans and plastic bags in heaps on spare ground for the free roaming cows and horses to rummage through. Lake Baikal is potentially a great beauty spot but where we stayed, it was marred by a lack of communal respect for the environment, as issue we broached with the guide who seemed to suggest that the people didn’t know any better. I doubt that is the case, even if some people had never left the village in their lives, as there was a huge television set in the dining room giving access to the outside world and its standards. It was Siberia, though, and suitably grim. Wouldn’t have missed it and perhaps I’m nit-picking? The banya went down very well, especially with the men. Perhaps Brenda and I are just unadventurous bathers?

The gers were absolutely lovely! We arrived like drowned rats after a sightseeing trip in a deluge of rain and the cosy, wood burning stoves were very welcome. The food was plentiful and imaginative and you could buy beer (we could have thought to bring other alcoholic beverages but it wasn’t missed) and our guide was desperate to interact with us – she showed us how to play a game with animal bones – and the showers and toilets were very clean. Absolutely no complaints here.

Beijing was incredible on many levels. Our lovely guide was very concerned about our welfare as we were beginning to flag by the time we arrived. She wanted us to see absolutely everything and it was very hot, but clear and smog-free, so we were blessed. We liked Vivien (Yen Yen) so much, we engaged her for the extra two days we were in the city and she was worth every penny; we would have adopted her if we could!

So, all in all, a brilliant trip! If I could give your company more than five stars, I would – and you can quote me!

Thank you again.

Angela Holland

 

Kevin Dyer : Trans-Siberian 2016

Sorry for not filling in the form, but please allow me to give some feedback herein. The arrangements wrt guides, drivers, accommodation etc were excellent. The guides were exceptionally good and contributed greatly to my enjoyment of the trip. The trip itself was, overall, extremely interesting and enjoyable, and I learnt a little of Russian history and literature which has whetted my appetite for more.

 

Pranav Manoharan : Trans-Siberian 2016

Dear Chris, The trip was incredible. So many amazing experiences and memories. And very well organised as well. Thanks a lot for all your help and recommendations. Would have been impossible without you. Best regards, Pranav.

 

 

Ashwin Jeyagopal : Trans-Siberian 2016

Overall the trip exceeded my expectations by far and will be remembered for a long time.

 

 

Rex Lowin : Trans-Siberian 2016

I did click on the survey when we returned but really cannot fill it in easily as it is impossible to give an sense in (for example) an overall score for the guides when we had 8 different ones, so I will give you some comments that I hope will be helpful to you.

We really enjoyed the trip (to the extent we would like to do a similar one to Vladivostok sometime) and appreciated your organisation. We had a fabulous time.

Please feel free to quote me. I am also happy to give a verbal reference if you you have potential clients who want reassurance from an existing one. Your willingness to do multiple itineraries until the trip is just right was much appreciated and means I am happy to reciprocate with a bit of effort.

 

Alan Hope : Trans-Siberian 2016

I just want to let you know that I really enjoyed my Trans-Siberian trip and appreciate your great organisation of it. I particularly appreciated the quiet stay on Lake Baikal, a very good choice. I will definitely recommend your services to others.

 

Moira Fernandez : Trans-Siberian 2016

I`m sorry Chris. I didn`t contact you after the end of the tour.
Well, yes ! My father is really happy. He enjoyed the trip very much.
This weekend I will write a comment on Tripadvisor recommending your company to those who wish to make the Trans-Siberian tour
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

 

KBW : Trans-Siberian 2016

The trip is truly memorable. I was pleasantly surprised by the vibrancy of the Siberian cities along the railroad, the good food, the friendliness of the people, the comfort of the hotels, and the ease of getting around. I was truly impressed by the guides. We couldn’t ask for more. Thanks for organizing such a wonderful itinerary for us.

 

Hilary Andaya : Trans-Siberian 2016

Chris was always very prompt to reply to our queries and offer clear and informative answers. All of the necessary paperwork RE: visas, and guidebook were also delivered promptly.

Our pick-up person (guide and/or driver) were always very clearly marked when we would arrive at a station. Likewise, they would explain the agenda, or the hotel would present us with paperwork explaining our meeting times and places with our guide to come. Furthermore, at the end of our trip the company was quite accommodating to send three different transfers for us, as we were all leaving St. Petersburg at different times via airport and train station.

All of our guides were very friendly and accommodating to add in or delete items from the daily agenda. Our Mongolian guide (“MK”) even helped us to secretly buy birthday cake, candles, and party hats for our friend’s upcoming birthday!

I had read previous customer reviews about a guide named “Konstantin” in Ekaterinburg. Indeed all the good press I read was correct! We were fortunate to have Konstantin as our guide and he was a wealth of historical and geo-political information! We loved our time in Ekaterinburg, but Konstantin’s expertise, generated an immediate love and interest in Russian history! He is a gem!

Everything from the Ger stay in Mongolia to Galina’s Siberian house, to the hotels in the big cities of Russia were quite comfortable, clean, and provided delicious meals.

Each train was a different age, and therefore had different versions of “nice”. I would say that the only “downer” was that our longest train trip from Irkutsk to Ekaterinburg was aboard the oldest of all our trains. Therefore we “roughed” it a bit more. But our devoted “Provodnik” and the hard-working dining car waitress made us feel welcomed and at home. Our shortest two train trips: from Ekaterinburg to Moscow and then from Moscow to St. Petersburg, we had very new trains with extra-nice conveniences.

It was the perfect mix of time with a guide and time on our own without the guide. The walking tours also really helped us get our bearings when we would enter a city/town.

The guidebook was AMAZING!!! The little bits of history (which I wanted more of), the local language phrases, the recommendations for eating and drinking were all wonderful! In fact, Gina and I studied our guidebook so intensely on lazy afternoon near Lake Baikal, that we actually taught ourselves to read Russian words and signs! **Although there were 2 letters missing from the guidebook’s Russian alphabet: one looks like a bell and is pronounced as English letter “D” and the other letter missing was a version of the letter that makes the English sound “L” (it looks like a table with the first leg being curved into a tail at the bottom). We encountered these two letters a lot out in the public signage.

I have proudly recommended your company’s services to coworkers and friend from home in California. All of the components: your website is easy to browse, your communication is prompt and clear, and the tickets, times, guides, tours, drivers, hotels/accommodations were all so smooth and user-friendly, that I want to reiterate a heartfelt “Thank You” from Megan, Gina, Lucy, and myself! We had a wonderful time and memorable time!

 

Jeff Ferguson : Trans-Siberian & China 2016

This is just a quick note at this stage to say thank you for organising a wonderful trip for us. I will give you longer feedback in due course. The connections all went smoothly. Brilliant.

 

Nicole and Gavin : Trans-Siberian 2016

Pre-trip service – all areas were excellent. The prompt initial response and answers to any questions we had was one of the reasons we chose to use this company. The information given during this phase was accurate and matched perfectly with what was provided on the trip.

We had a great time and it lived up to all our expectations. We were particularly glad we followed your advice (staff picks) and stopped in some locations that we hadn’t previously heard about (eg. Kazan, Ekaterinburg). These gave us a great insight into Russian life and broke up the journey nicely.
Recommendation – we will definitely recommend you to friends and family.

Thanks again for a great trip!

 

Doug & Yvonne Burton : Trans-Siberian 2016

We have returned safely to NZ after a tiring but very interesting and enjoyable trip.

All the arrangements you organised for us went smoothly with the standard of hotel accommodation exceeding expectations, that of the various trains travelled not disappointing and all the guides & drivers easy to establish contact with and, without exception, doing an excellent job.

Thanks Phil for all your efforts and assistance. We very much appreciated everything you did and will certainly recommend The Trans-Siberian Travel Company to anyone we come across who is planning to undertake such a journey.

 

Paul Chatt & Friends : Trans-Siberian 2016

I have just completed and submitted the feedback form as requested, being a composite of comments from all four of us in the party. I hope you will be pleased that we have rated all aspects as being ‘excellent’ which fully justified our decision to put our trip in your safe hands. Thank you once again for your enthusiasm and attention to detail on our behalf.

 

Paramita Dasgupta : Tailor Made Trans-Mongolian 2016

Hi Chris,

Overall, we had a fabulous trip – indeed a once in a lifetime,. The trains ran dot on time, they were clean and safe. All cities were safe. Transfers worked well, guides were knowledgeable. The itinerary worked well and we did not have extra days but would have been good to stop by Omsk, Novosibris and Krasnoyak too – hopefully next time. Maybe we do a train ride to Vladivostok and stop by the other places enroute:-) Thank you for all your help. I know I have bothered you with innumerable mails and requests and you always responded patiently. THANK YOU.

Quick comments –
Hotels: Penta, Cronwell Inn and Bayangol were great – in terms of space, cleanliness, breakfast, wi-fi, staff hospitality – in fact Cronwell Inn staff were brilliant. Panorama was well located but the hotel is not good and it looks quite dead. The homestay was a fab experience but perhaps she (Zoya) can allow her guests to use the full bathroom (which is outside) instead of using the older facilities which are not very accessible and hygiene is an issue. But Zoya was a fab host, very generous, helpful, perceptive of her guests needs and cooked us yum meals and was able to help with all our queries. The ger camp was a fab experience but given that we visited during the hottest day (our bad luck) of the year we cut short our trip by one night as it was too warm and there are way too many insects at night. Perhaps you may want to take a look at this especially since we just got off the train, we were looking forward to a good nights sleep.

Guides: The guides in most locations were exceptional – especially Constatine and Maria in Yekaterinberg were exceptional. Constatntine is someone we recommend very highly. Elena in Moscow and Ribin Igor in St.Petersberg were good too – experienced and very kowledgeable. However the guide in Irkutsk and Baikal was a young graduate from school who is still polishing her English and given that Alexander does not speak much English too, it was a bit odd but given that we were able to explore the natural beauty of Baikal on our own it was okay. However in terms of sights in Irkutsk or boating trip in Baikal or other places to explore, young Tanya had no clue at all. Wish we had a guide like Constatine everywhere – he just brightens up the trip and adds so much passion to everything he shows you in his city, very perceptive and very good. Finally in Beijing, we had Mathew as a guide and he was not as hard working as the other guides – he provided information if we asked (and we did ask a fair bit) but not proactive and engaging.

In the meantime I have posted some pics on Facebook from the trip and I have a bunch of friends who are interested and I have shared your co-ordinates with them – so they may get in touch with you.

Again, thanks for all your help

regards
Paramita.

 

Tim and Cherish Sandvoss : Trans-Siberian Honeymoon

Chris: I just wanted to send you a note of thank for making our honeymoon trip a trip-of-a-lifetime.
From the first rate hotels, to the drivers showing up on time, to the guides being super informative and very friendly and not to mention our tickets being delivered to us on time and correct, you made our honeymoon fantastic.

We also wanted to let you know that we got a beautiful bottle of champagne in St Petersburg, compliments of the hotel. We also received a honeymoon cake at the Ger Camp in Mongolia!

We particularly loved our guides in Mongolia and China. Thank you thank you!

We loved the restaurant suggestions and tried at least one in every city. Good call.

Put us on the list of very happy customers! You can be sure that we have mentioned your company to our friends and family in case they want to book the same adventure!

Thank you once again!

Tim and Cherish

 

Brenda Culverhouse : Tailor Made Trans-Mongolian 2016

Dear Phil. Having just returned from our trip of a lifetime – Pauline and I cannot praise your company enough for the itinerary you planned for us. It exceeded our hopes beyond everything. From the moment we landed in Beijing we felt we were un der the wing of the Trans-Siberian Travel Company. You left nothing to chance. From the wonder of walking on the Great Wall of China to the magic of Lake Baikal and beyond – to St.Petersburg and the Hermitage, our dream became reality. The hotels – which ranged from 5 star to plain comfortable could only add to the experience. Thank you so much, Brenda.

 

Pauline Payne : Tailor Made Trans-Mongolian 2016

Thank you so much for organising our trip of a lifetime. Brenda and I loved every moment.

The guides were friendly, professional and knowledgeable, the hotels excellent and the trains comfortable, providing us, with our lack of language skills, with quite a few laughs! Everything went like clockwork. We were amazed to find ourselves in the right place at the right time for three whole weeks (although I did nearly lose Brenda in a department store just before we left Ulanbator) .

It just proves that if you really want to do something age is no barrier. We are recommending your wonderful organisation to all our friends. Family may have to wait as we are busy spending the inheritance.
Very best wishes to you and Chris,
Pauline.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Payne

 

Pat & Jan : Tailor Made Trans-Mongolian 2016

Hi Phil,

We are back safe and sound and thought you might like some feedback from us.

We had the most amazing experience, certainly enhanced by the organization of the trip and the company of our wonderful guide and driver in Mongolia! We would definitely recommend those two very good people to anyone else who intends to do this journey. The hotel in UB was clean and comfortable and the food throughout the whole holiday was excellent.

The ger camps were interesting and fortunately for us, we were the only visitors (other than the family) in Goviin Bayanburd 1 on the both occasions we stayed. Goviin Bayanburd 2 camp was surrounded by breath-taking scenery and was such a pleasant stay.
Both Elstei and Karakorum camps we felt needed a bit of TLC!

The overnight journey on the Trans-Mongolian train was ‘interesting’ and gave a very different feel to the holiday when we crossed the Mongolian/Chinese border.

The Brickyard Retreat was a wonderful place to end our holiday – tranquil and rather luxurious after the travelling which was just as well as I was struggling, health-wise by the time we got there and it was a very good place to relax and the kindness of the staff certainly aided the recovery.

On the down-side: we would recommend you look at the quality of the guide used in Beijing! A very tired and languid man who, apparently is the tutor for the new and up and coming guides to be! We experienced one of his pupils on the car journey to the airport – very pleasant, but certainly with very little communication!

Overall, it was an amazing experience and we have some wonderful memories.

Best wishes
Pat & Jan

 

Christine Poingdestre : Tailor Made Trans-Mongolian 2016

Good morning Phil,

I have attached a testimonial for your website, and about time too he says. As usual I have waffled on (but truthfully) you can abbreviate it if you wish. Sorry no photographs I hate being photographed and I have SO many of the trip that I could not choose one to represent it.

Kind regards,
Christine Poingdestre

Click here to read Christine’s Testimonial.

 

Ian and Catherine Johnston : Trans-Mongolian 2016

Good afternoon Chris,

Well, where to start. Ian and I have had the most spectacular holiday, definitely the holiday of a life time.

Thank you so much for all the organising that goes into making such a memorable holiday.

Right from being picked up at Moscow airport to being dropped off at The Marriott in Shanghai it was perfect.

We loved the train experience, all trains different, depending on the staff working, people in other carriages and the countries you were going through at the time. So interesting to be part of other people’s normal living and working lives.

Hotel accommodations were just right in the cities we stayed. Would go back to Moscow, enjoyed the city very much.

Fantastic firework display at Ekaterinburg to celebrate the cities birthday. The lunch Vitale the forest guide at the Stolby Nature Reserve had prepared was so unexpected but so much enjoyed in his wooden lodge in the forest.

New experiences at the Siberian Guesthouse, we did enjoy the Banya. Also the early morning shower at Ulaanbaatar was a new experience. Thanks for that.

Loved the tranquil area of the Ger camp, even got used to the hard bed, did manage to visit local nomads, where we had tea and bread and jam, and tried successfully to milk the cows. Tours were excellent, though some of the walking tours could be a little tiring because of the heat. Forbidden City and the Great Wall being my favourite, could have spent so much longer in these areas.

Tour guides some were outstanding, Janna in Moscow, Demitree in Ekaterinburg was like a walking encyclopaedia, Iana in Krasnoyarsk and Vitale our forest guide what a lovey character he was, Tanya in Irkutsk and especially Liu in Beijing.

The guide book covered all aspects of the holiday, was always being referred to and one that we can still refer back to for information. Outstanding. Thank you

Ian and I have no hesitation in recommending your company for the most unforgettable holiday we have ever had.

Kind regards and Thank You once again
Ian and Catherine Johnston

p.s. Forgot to mention we made friends with Jeff and Sue Sillick from Montana and Irene from I think from Pittsburgh.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Johnston

 

Valencia Mills : Trans-Mongolian 2016

This was definitely one of those trips of a lifetime. It was amazingly rich and rewarding learning experience to travel all the way from Moscow across Siberia through Mongolia to Beijing and then Shanghai. And despite all the logistics of train travel, schedules, accommodations, tours and guides and our language limitations our trip was wonderful. We happily survived our adventure. Thank you TranSiberia Travel Company for all your help! Val Mills

 

Jeff Sillick : Trans-Mongolian Highlights 2016

We appreciate all your assistance throughout the booking process and trip planning. All transfers went very smoothly. We also very much appreciate arranging for our airport pickup after our initial flight into Moscow was cancelled and we had to catch a later flight.

All the guides were knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. We’d like to especially acknowledge our Irkutsk/Lake Baikal guides Kate and Tanya. They were excellent and so much fun. They made the visit to the lake especially memorable. The guest house at Baikal and the Ger in Mongolia were wonderful and so much fun.

Your guidebook was full of great information and the envy of fellow travelers from other tour groups. Chris and Phil did a great job with all aspects of our trip. This was a most memorable vacation and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending this trip and Chris’ company.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Sillick

 

Johan Geldenhuys : Trans-Siberian 2016

Hi Chris,

Thanks for arranging a memorable trip for us. Everything ran smoothly and the guides (and drivers) were top notch. Kate (Irkutsk) was a bit inexperienced but still did a wonderful job in keeping us entertained. The guides were all very knowledgeable, treated us like VIP’s and adapted their itinerary to suit us.

Thanks again.

Johan

 

Sandra Mcquoid and Phil Gately : Trans-Siberian 2016

Hi Chris

We got home on Tuesday following the most amazing holiday. The Trans Siberian adventure that you organised was outstanding in every way and I just wanted to take a few moments to say a massive thank you for all your help.

So as you know we had a little bump with a missed flight to Vladivostok following a late arrival in Moscow – however the situation was managed extremely well and we were looked after superbly. The overnight stay in the Novohotel was grand and the flight the next day was seamless.

At all our destinations we were met outside our coach door on the platform of the station so we did not have to go looking for anyone. All the drivers and guides were excellent and their English was centuries better that our Russian 🙂

I have to make special mention to Yekaterinburg – Constantine is very hands on and was so helpful to us. The guides there were very informative and friendly. In particular Julia – who took us to the Europe Asia border – she was lovely and took so much time to explain all the history of the area. By far the best guide that we had during the entire holiday. She was so down to earth and so warm in her personality. I did mention this to Constantine also but if you have the ability to request a guide for your customers – Julia would have my highest recommendation.

The Chekov Hotel had the friendliest staff and the best atmosphere of all of our destinations. (I think you will have guessed by now where we liked best)

Moscow was fantastic – although the only contact we had with your partners there was an A4 page At all the other destinations we met a manager or director in person which we liked – it gave a more personal feel to the holiday.

In Moscow we were dropped at the hotel and the driver disappeared before we could even give him a tip. The staff in the hotel were not unfriendly more “remote or cold” which was such a contrast to the Chekov where we were made feel so welcome. We really enjoyed our time there and on our trip to the airport our driver was excellent filling us in on local landmarks and telling us about surrounding areas of interest.

The trains were brilliant- I was so surprised at how much we enjoyed that part. My only comment would be on the 2nd class travel – the difference on this train was dramatic – First class is the way to go !!! The Provinistas were lovely, very helpful and they looked after us very well – we had no issue whatsoever there.

I have to say that the tour guide book that you sent us before we left was perhaps our most precious travelling companion- Yes we read through it before we left but it turned out to be so useful especially at all the train stops – We ended up calling it “The Bible” because we followed it religiously and it never let us down.

Needless to say we took loads of pictures and I will send some to you when Phil downloads them to his PC.

I would highly recommend this holiday and your company to anyone wishing to take part in a Trans Siberian holiday. Your professionalism and efficiency made it all so easy for us – 9288km of pain free travelling. Well done you !!!!

Thank you so much for everything !!!!

Kindest Regards from 2 very happy travellers,

Sandra and Phil.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Mcquoid

 

Phairot Apisuksirikul : Trans-Mongolian 2016

Hi Chris,

How are you, sorry for my late reply. I am so busy since came back from my trip. Your Trans Siberian trip is very wonderful and remarkable experience for me and all my friends. We never have such taught and enjoy long stay in train ( without bath). We have to thank you guide book so we prepared a lot of food and all private things while we were in train, we do not have any problem at all. Besides, your walking tours program are very good exercise activity.
I will surely recommend your tour to my friends who want to have great experience of Trans Siberian.

Best regards,
Phairot.

 

Oscar and Karin Prochelle : Trans-Mongolian 2016

Dear Chris,

Just to inform you that we are back home in Chile.

We had a very wonderful trip; everything worked out in a magnificent way and we are very pleased that we chose your company. The trains, hotels and accommodations suit us perfectly, and we have a very , very good opinion about the human resources we found in every spot we visited.

Now we are back at work in our country, but we are already looking forward to make in the future the parts we missed; from Ulan Ude to the East till Vladivostok and Manchuria into China. Perhaps in the coming years we will ask you how to connect Vladisvostok and Beijing, through East Siberia and Manchuria.

We have only ONE suggestion: Connecting Ekaterinburg and Krasnoyarsk, and after two nights in the train, it is advisable to visit the hotel first and then make the city tour, because you will feel much better after a shower!!!

In the meanwhile, while we were travelling with you, we received the Guide in our post office box. Now we have two of them, but we are afraid we will have to handle one to our friends, because they are very eager to get information concerning the unforgettable trip we made.

Thank you very much Chris!!!!!

All the best for you and your Company!!

Kind regards,
Oscar and Karin.

 

Trans-Siberian feedback Prochelle

 

Pauline Pink : Trans-Siberian from Vladivostok 2016

Hi Chris,

Sorry I took so long to reply. As you may remember Patricia came to stay with me for two weeks and since then I have not been very well. Nevertheless I was happy to let you know that it exceeded all our expectations. It really was a trip of a lifetime although I thought I had already had one of those! It would be difficult to choose a highlight, but the trains, wonderful!

Very best regards
Pauline.

 

Ian Hughes: Trans-Siberian & China 2016

Things worked out fine and we’re now back getting over the jet lag. As you would expect we have quite a few pieces of feedback having been away for 6 weeks and covered such a vast area, different modes of transport and guides. Overall we are very content with the service you provided. Our main aim was to reduce the hassle when travelling in countries where we could neither speak the language nor read it. This worked very well indeed and knowing and having your back up when things didn’t look right in China was great. We were very happy with the service provided.

 

Richard Harrison – Trans-Mongolian 2016

Thank you for a wonderful trip so well organised everything worked as planned. Special mention to the tour guides in Moscow and Lake Baikal both outstanding .Thanks Richard.

 

Nicole San Juan – Tailored Trans-Siberian 2016

Phil and staff were phenomenal in getting our trip together at the last minute! I can’t give enough praise to them for the quality of service. We will definitely recommend this company!

 

Andrew Dawson : Trans Mongolian 2016

Phil was extremely helpful during the whole booking process, providing us with loads of information before we even decided to book. We had lots of questions and he was very quick to respond with informative answers.

All drivers were on time and met us off the train, plane or at the hotel so there was no way we could get lost!
Good English speakers with loads of knowledge and seemed very enthusiastic. The guide in Beijing (James) was particularly impressive, going above and beyond for us and was so knowledgeable.

Hotel in Moscow was particularly good and a great location too, as were all the hotels. The ger was also amazing and so much more warm, spacious and comfortable than we imagined.

Train quality improved the closer we got to China but we loved all the trains and just enjoyed the general atmosphere of the train, mingling with locals and tourists in the restaurant car. Russian champagne was so cheap and plentiful!!

The Trip Guidebook was so battered by the end of the trip as we were constantly referring to it for station names, train timetables, info on the country and the language section. Came in handier than any other guidebooks we brought.

The whole trip was a massive success. We were a mixed group of older and younger, some who had never travelled like this before but we all had a great time. We were disappointed when the trip came to an end and now can’t wait until our next big train trip. Great value for money and couldn’t really fault a thing!

 

Jane & John BlATCHFORD photos and letter 2016

BLATCHFORD feedback letterTrans-Siberian feedback Blatchford

 

Kath Rowland : Trans Siberian 2015

A real adventure, just challenging enough we always felt safe and did a lot of independent exploring. We would have liked a little bit more free time to go off grid, but still wouldn’t have missed out any of the tours..so I guess we just needed a longer trip!

All the guides were lovely people, with excellent knowledge and English. Really friendly and flexible, willing to change tour to accommodate your own interests. Also very helpful when medical issue to attend to, couldn’t have been any better.

 

Natasha & Steve’s Trans-Siberian Adventure 2015

Very helpful service, extremely knowledgeable. All guides and pick ups met us at the station, very well organised. Fantastic guides all the way through, went out of their way to help and make sure that we had everything that we needed. All accommodation was very good, the ger was fantastic. We had an amazing time, and enjoyed every minute. The train travel was tough though!!

 

John Dunston & Family : Trans-Siberian Tailor Made 2015

We’ve had such a spectacularly unforgettable trip – expectations exceeded in spades!

I feel that after all you have contributed to enriching the life and experience of the family through our recent expedition. It was superb, and we recognise the contribution that you made to this through your advice and planning during the months leading up to it.

One feature of the TSR trip that made for its great success was the quality of the guides that you had arranged.

The trains were themselves a great experience. We were glad we had opted for first class on the two longer trips, but all four journeys worked well. Isn’t the punctuality amazing?! Strange how consistent that was over the 9000+km, when you consider what a cause for celebration it is here if a train arrives on time….

Your guidebook made such a difference. It’s superbly thought out, covers just about everything we could have needed for the trip, complemented well the more general books we had, and added greatly to our enjoyment of every stage. Thanks again for producing the large-print version so readily.

 

 

So, Chris, we really cannot thank you enough. Your patient advice during the planning and your creative and flexible suggestions (not least over the change to the Mongolian programme and indeed including Mongolia itself, despite going west – east to Vladivostok) were absolutely invaluable. We have of course been asked by many already what was the highlight, and it’s an impossible question. It was all a highlight, though the day in the Urals and the Mongolian experience were exceptionally enjoyable, quite apart from the awesome scale of the whole Siberian discovery and the unique experience of the railway itself. We have already recommended you to anyone who shows the slightest interest in a TSR trip, and will continue to do so. Matthew, at least, is determined to return one day – in winter!

Your notion of the guides being, rather, “a friend of a friend” became a reality, and it’s quite clear why. We may never have met, but, exceptionally, we all feel we have got to know you somehow as “a friend” too, even though this whole adventure was, for you at least in part, a business transaction. For us it was that and so much more, and we are really grateful to you. Let me know if you want a specific quote you can use for future marketing; otherwise, feel free to crib anything from this rather rambling email.

Spassiba, and every good wish,

John and of course Susie, Matthew and Naomi too!

 

Bill Mohme : Trans-Siberian Explored 2015

Just returned home and we had a great trip and enjoyed everything. All the local guides were very good, particularly Konstantin in Ekaterinburg. He was exceptional. We even had the guide in Moscow arrange another trip to the countryside during our free day. We were surprised when we received one meal a day on the two first class trains and two on the second class train. While definitely not gourmet dining, it actually added to the experience and was much fun.  The Russian countryside is beautiful and seems endless. The guidebook was invaluable, particularly the train stop schedule, and was used constantly to be able to hop off and take some interesting pictures of not only stations but some of the station vendors. Thanks again for all your help.  Have attached a picture of my wife and me at the “finish line” in Vladivostok. Bill.

 

 

Ute Wilson : Trans-Mongolian Explored 2015

Well, I am slowly surfacing from a touch of jet lag! I want to thank you for my terrific, well organized, seamlessly smooth running Trans-Siberian journey! At all times were the guides on hand, helpful, charming and well informed.

The trip from Moscow to Ekaterinburg in 1st class was certainly a nice start – the following 3 legs in 2nd class, well, you spoiled us, were a step down, but certainly manageable. The last leg from Ulan Bator to Beijing, again 1st class, was fun, as a bunch of international tourists were there to exchange stories with.

One of my highlights certainly was Mongolia – I very much enjoyed Ulan Bator – I saw the best Folklore performance (the Mongolian National Song and Dance Academy Ensemble) of the whole trip and that includes St. Petersburg and Moscow. An extraordinary company, professional, simply the best! As the weather was quite cool and deteriorating at the Ger Camp we only stayed one night, therefore the chance to see the city and the terrific evening performance. I was able to compare St. Petersburg and Moscow to my last visit in 1986 – what an enormous change. The visit to the village of Koptelovo outside of Ekaterinburg was a delight and Konstantin was a great guide!

All in all your organization was without doubt exceptional. I am working on my trip-diary, which already now brings back very special memories.
Thank you very much, Ute.

 

 

Carlos Dabezies : Trans-Siberian Tailor Made 2015

In September 2015 my wife and I did a slightly altered version of the “Epic Trans-Siberian” trip starting in St Petersburg.  Chris was a pleasure to deal with in making the arrangements, happy to discuss potential changes at some length and to offer his own personal experience in relation to hotels and guided tours.  All the advice he gave proved to be spot-on, and if there was any doubt he would check details with his Russian agents.  We had made a few contacts in Russia ourselves, and Chris was also happy, for example, to amend the timing of guided tours to fit in with our plans.

For this kind of semi-independent travel the London agent depends to some extent on his local agents, and, with the exception of one who seemed a bit over-stretched, all of those used were excellent. On two occasions the drivers doing the transfers went well beyond the call of duty to ensure that problems were resolved. All the guides were knowledgeable and spoke very good English.  The guides (and drivers) were interesting people, and we learned a huge amount from talking to them; we hadn’t appreciated in advance that this is probably the main benefit of personal guided tours.

Two significant problems arose in relation to our travel arrangements.  One of these was partially Chris’ responsibility, and he dealt with this excellently, apologising immediately and offering to compensate us for the extra expenditure we had incurred. The more serious problem arose on the final day because our flight from Vladivostok to Moscow was so delayed that we would have missed our connection to London. Chris and his Russian agent responded superbly, getting us 2 of the 3 available seats on the only other flight to Moscow, and arranging a transfer between Moscow airports so that we made our London flight with 30 minutes to spare.  We have no hesitation in recommending The Trans-Siberian Travel Company, and we would be happy to discuss details of our trip with prospective customers. Carlos Dabezies”

 

Maureen Elliott : China & the Trans-Mongolian Tailor Made 2015

Your customer service, response to queries and information provided was excellent at all stages in the booking process. Advice on various options was always good and obviously based on detailed local knowledge.

The hotels were as expected, some better than others but all good. The locations were excellent, being near the prime sites in most cities. The Ger camp and the village on Lake Baikal were basic but comfortable and added to the overall experience. We all enjoyed the banya.

Some trains were a better standard than others but all were clean and well managed by the Provodnitsas and always exactly on time. The timetable for each journey in the guidebook was very useful as it let us know when and for how long the train was stopping. The quality of food and standard of service varied widely despite being offered the same menu on several trains.

All of the day tours were excellent being a good mix of guided sightseeing and freedom to wander a little something took our fancy. The guides all had a wide and detailed knowledge of the area they covered and seemed able to answer questions on a wide range of topics from history to geology.

Your customised guidebook was brilliant and the envy of another group of 4 women who were doing basically the same trip as we were (excluding Shanghai and Xian). We also got the impression that our local guides were better than theirs.

Overall the trip was a wonderful experience. It will take some time for it all to sink in with the help of our photographs. The organisation was first class with no problems arising which is amazing considering the complexity of the arrangements. We would highly recommend you to anyone wanting a similar experience.

 

Article About One of Our Trips in the Daily Mail

Click here to read an article by Alix O’Neill in the Daily Mail about the Trans-Siberian trip she took with her mum arranged by us – a great read! “To Russia with mum: An epic adventure on the Trans-Siberian Railway (vodka and smoked fish included, showering optional)”

 

 

Carol Pirie : Trans-Siberian Tailor Made 2015

The trip was fantastic! It way exceeded our expectations. We were blown away by every single place we visited. We are currently in Budapest having travelled from Istanbul to Plovdiv to Sofia to Bucharest to Budapest all by train. We are not sick of trains yet!

 

Jane Wainwright : China & the Trans-Mongolian Tailor Made 2015

The trains are impossible to rate in bulk – from the bullet train to the slow and elderly UB – Irkutsk train. They were always at least as we had expected and sometimes better (e.g. the Ekaterinburg to Moscow train). The main purpose of the trip for me was the train experience and I was fully rewarded! Particularly impressed by immaculate time-keeping and the hard-working carriage managers, the provodnitsas.

The day tours were well-organised and provided us with excellent introductions to the places we visited. The walking tours in Shanghai and Moscow were outstanding, the local knowledge of Konstantin in Ekaterinburg and Sarah in Beijing was great.

The Trip Guidebook you gave us was outstanding. Fellow travellers using other companies were very envious! Particularly helpful: the advice – e.g. about tipping, what to bring, the train; the timetables for the trains we took; the detailed itinerary; the language guides. We could have managed without another guide book and it was constantly consulted.

The trip was very well organised, everything happened at the right time and went to plan. We were very pleased to have used this company. Will definitely recommend. Thank you.

 

Victoria Barrett : Trans-Mongolian Highlights 2015

I really enjoyed the trip, it was daunting, exhilarating, eye opening and life affirming all at the same time. All my guides were very good, stand out ones were in Moscow and Mongolia, Lena in Siberia and Tony in Beijing were very good too. All very knowledgeable about their area, relaxed and easy to get on with.

 

Eunice Ngiam : Trans-Mongolian Tailor Made 2015

You provided heaps of assurance and helped to ensure that everything was in place before our trip, despite the last minute booking. A shout out to our guide in Mongolia. She was very professional, yet caring and sincere. She and the driver made our Mongolia leg perfect and unforgettable.

 

Claire Marshall : Trans-Mongolian Highlights

Phil, your service was fantastic, so responsive, helpful and good humoured about answering all my questions.

The guides were excellent, particularly Yelena in Irkutsk (we really enjoyed Igor too) and Ivan in Moscow went above and beyond for us. So much better and more personal than the groups you see traipsing around – like being shown around a friend’s hometown.

One thing i wasn’t so sure of first of all was that I found it hard to locate any independent online reviews of the company, so the uk association you are part of was what i relied on, of course there was nothing to worry about, but you do hear about cowboys out there.

The books were brilliant, so good while we were on the train, and a real point of difference from other providers from what others on the train said.

The trip was EPIC! It was so much fun, such an eye opener for us into parts of the world we never hear much about in NZ, and the organisation of the trip was seamless! You really went above and beyond and were great to deal with , thank you so much! Restored our faith in travel agents!

 

John & Emma Patrick : Trans-Siberian, China, Tibet & Nepal 2014

From Emma and me please accept our heartfelt thanks for organising our trip. The whole thing was first class and I don’t think we would change a thing.  From the moment we were met in Moscow to the time we were dropped off in Kathmandu the trip could not have gone better.

The location of the hotel in Moscow was ideal and the guide, not unlike ones favourite aunt, gave us a great insight into a wonderful city. Too soon we were off on the Trans-Siberian railway enjoying the quirkiness of the train system and making new friends, not to mention enjoying a well deserved banya at Lake Baikal and a horse ride to Ghengis Khans statue on the Mongolian steppes. Sadly we said goodbye to our travelling home in Beijing and headed forth for our next adventure.

Once more perfectly located by the forbidden palace we were treated to the numerous attractions of the capital including an evening show of acrobatics that beggared belief. The Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and beautiful limestone mountains were to follow but feeding the Giant Pandas was a stand out moment.

 

 

Thus we left Shanghai with a hat full of memories to see what Tibet had to offer. Once more we were not disappointed as the combination of Tibetan culture, monasteries and breathtaking scenery made us feel privileged to have visited such a wonderful land.

Finally we could not have asked for a more fitting end than to have stood at Everest base camp as the clouds cleared only to then descend into the lush valleys of Nepal and the bedlam of Kathmandu.

The trip was made especially enjoyable by the choice of locations giving wide variety without seeming rushed and the excellent choice of accommodation throughout. Finally the personalised books were a godsend, incorporating our itineraries and relevant background information on all the places to be visited. They were much praised and envied by all. Thanks once more for a fantastic adventure.

 

Sarah Marshall : Trans-Siberian Highlights 2014

EPIC! It was so much fun, such an eye opener for us into parts of the world we never hear much about in NZ, and the organisation of the trip was seamless! The books were brilliant, so good while we were on the train, and a real point of difference from other providers from what others on the train said. Phil, you really went above and beyond and were great to deal with , thank you so much! Restored our faith in travel agents!

 

James & Christine Copeland : Tailored Trans-Siberian & China 2014

Our overall comment has to be that this was an amazing adventure, visiting places we had only read about before and, with hindsight, wishing we had more time, although almost seven weeks was long enough for one trip. We experienced excellence in the ease of booking, customer service, information provided and quality of the website. You accommodated our itinerary revisions and always responded promptly to any questions we had.

Talking with other travellers who had decided to book through another travel company, we showed them your guide book to identify some of the places we had visited and train timetables included and their comment was that if they had realised how much information was contained in this “tailored personalised” guidebook they would have used your company. From this you will recognise that we were very pleased with the guidebook.

This trip was an epic experience forming part of a much longer trip through China, also with you. My only criticism is of myself where I had planned the China trip in depth and then knowing I wanted to revisit St Petersburg, used this primarily as a way of getting to Beijing to start the China holiday. On the other hand I left each place feeling there was something else to see, so a return trip cannot be discounted, one day. Thanks for facilitating an amazing journey.

 

 

Helen Rowe : Trans-Mongolian Honeymoon 2014

I have just submitted our feedback. I would like to say a HUGE thank you to you for helping us book such an important trip (our honeymoon!) and for making the booking process so easy and hassle-free. We were so overwhelmed with the level of support and information that you and your company were able to provide (amazing customer service!) and by the added extras that you included for us. It made us feel so special! The trip itself was simply an incredible experience. Everything ran so smoothly and we had an amazing time in all three countries. We will treasure the memories forever 🙂

 

Rebecca Scrivener & Family : Trans-Mongolian Tailor Made 2014

The guides were all amazing and each in their own way, Moscow Ilaid – excellent English, very engaging presentation. Konstantin in Ekaterinburg was so well informed great sense of humour,and really intelligent, we had a great couple of days with him. Irkutsk we had Kay, she was sweat, with lots of folk tales, she was a really easy guide to spend time with, and focused on our welfare. In Mongolia our guide Enke had a good sense of humor, his English was not great, but sufficient,he was really helpful and taught us a Mongolian game..

For us this was a trip of a lifetime – thank you, thank you, thank you. And much praise and affection for each of the guides, who really made the trip for us.

 

Vasilis Vekios : Trans-Mongolian Tailor Made 2014

Here I am after returning from my wonderful trip, full of new experiences and impressive, unforgettable images. First of all I would like to THANK YOU very much for your assistance and to CONGRATULATE your company for the perfect organization.

 

Tony Gee : TS-M-03 Original Trans-Siberian 2014

Hi Chris, The trip lived beyond expectations and we really enjoyed this amazing adventure, thanks for everything and your detailed organisation and service provided. Will gladly complete the feedback for you. Regards, Tony and Paul.

ps the legendary showers still remain legendary.

 

Peter Stimpson : Trans-Siberian Honeymoon 2014

We had an absolutely fantastic time, it’s always a shame when the last thing you do is the worst bit but putting that aside, everything was superb and we were looked after really well. The itinerary was brilliantly managed and the whole trip was as stress-free as we’d hoped. I think the style of your trips is perfect, a nice balance between guided exploration & free to roam.

 

Graeme Cooper : TS-SP-07 Trans-Mongolian Discovery 2014

I’m now safely ensconced in Hanoi after a wonderful trip. It really did live up to the advanced billing and it was clear that you have put a lot of thought in to the choices of accommodation and the people you partner with along the way. And most of them knew you personally which was a big source of confidence for me. The guidebook was invaluable. For the next part of our trip we will be wrestling with a couple of dozen stapled sheets of A4 and I know it won’t be as easy as reaching for your book! I had a couple of small observations for improvement which I won’t bore you with now, but happy to discuss when I am home; suffice to say that I expected more hiccups than I got, so I am a very happy customer. And I have a sackful of memories to last a lifetime.

 

Chris Brion: TS-M-07 Trans-Mongolian Discovery 2014

All of your arrangements worked perfectly, all the guides were excellent and the hotel locations were really convenient. We had several fellow travellers who had booked with you and all were singing your praises too. The few gribbles with the trains (e.g. five hours no toilets!) were obviously not your fault and were experiences to be laughed about later. This was a brilliant holiday. My only wish list item was a small (50 or 125cc) trail bike for hire at the gher camp. (Faster and safer than horses!)

 

Vicki and Chris Howard : Trans-Siberian Honeymoon 214

We can’t rate the trip and HeadsEast highly enough. We had the trip of a lifetime full of adventure and amazing experiences, without the fear factor and anxiety due to the guide book, tour guides and good communication prior to leaving. You really do get the VIP treatment. I felt that HeadsEast took a real interest in us getting the most from our trip and that they went the extra mile to make sure it was the right trip for us and that we knew what to expect every step of the way. Thanks for all your hard work sorting it all out for us

At each stop on our trip we were met by friendly tour guides who whisked us through train stations and airports successfully – which was no mean feat at times! The guides were fantastic – very knowledgable and easy to be around. They were always where they said they would be on time and knew when to hang back a little and let my husband and I imagine we were on our own. The panda volunteering day was a particular highlight, as was the time on the steppe in Mongolia. The accommodation was amazing – just sorry we didn’t stay longer.

The 1st class train cabins were great and staff on board were relatively helpful. However the journey from Irkutsk to Ulan Batar in 2nd was quite difficult! Not least because the staff speak no English and on the whole seem quite stern! But we are still really pleased to have experienced it! Amazing views, it was wonderful watching the change as we traveled further east.

We took this trip for Trans-Siberian honeymoon – it was our once in a life time adventure. The guide book was worth it’s weight in gold – I read it before we left and it was really helpful throughout the trip as a reference with handy tips and phrases. It’s also a really great keepsake so we won’t forget a moment!

 

Tim and Wendy Jackson : China Hong Kong to Beijing 2014

I wanted to say what an amazing trip we had. Everything was so well organised and went to plan. We had a wonderful time. The guides and drivers were very good. We especially liked Lydia at Guilin and little Kitty Kang at Bejing. She looked after us so well. They were all good. Very reliable and informative. Thank you so much for such a good job. We would happily recommend you at any time. Trying to recover from jet lag at the moment. It was the trip of a life time for us. Thank you again.

 

Shirley Bouffier: Tailor Made Trans-Siberian 2014

Have only just arrived home but started to tell everyone all about it, really enjoyed every minute. I think you have a great thing going and I am so pleased we chose your company to travel with, some of the other people we met were a bit confused from time to time and we flashed our guide book around quite a bit, particularly on the train with the times and stop names, this helped everyone, not just us! When we said we were going to stay on the train for the changing of the bogie some of our fellow travellers were sceptic and said they couldn’t handle it, as it turned out we all did it and they were amazed and truly glad they had experienced that feat of engineering and precision timing by the workers. Thanks heaps.

 

Seanna Keeley: Tailor Made Trans-Siberian 2014

Saying excellent does not come close to expressing how amazing this trip was!! It is brilliant, the cities are unique and different at each stop and the scenery along the way is absolutely breathtaking!! I would love to do this trip again as it is the gift that kept on giving!!

The communication when organising and booking the trip was flawless. There is so much help just an email away and no question was too silly to ask as the answer was always very informative. The variety of options to tailor the trip is wonderful and there is an endless amount of additional excursions that can be selected which is wonderful!

It felt reassuring to have someone be there to meet us at each point, answer the questions we had and make sure we were settled in! At each transfer the people were efficient, eager to help and make sure they we were happy and comfortable. The transfer back to the railway station or airport was just as attentive, making sure we got on the train, understood what was happening and when to get off at the next point.

The guides at all points were very helpful, informative and friendly. In particular the guides in Ekaterinburg, Mongolia and Beijing went above and beyond to make sure that we had a fabulous time! We got to forage in forest in Ekaterinburg just for a little something special – magical!!

The accommodation at each stop was wonderful!! All the rooms were very comfortable, the service was great and the location at each point was FANTASTIC!!!!! We were so close to everything and it made it easy at each point to get around. There was great Internet at all the hotels apart from Beijing where it was a bit slow.

We had first class transport for all but one leg of the journey. The trains were so clean and easy to sleep on. The leg that we had second class the bed was very hard which made for less comfort however the ride was smooth and easy and the lumpy bed did not detract from the amazing experience!!

We got a lovely surprise on the Sapsan from St Petersburg to Moscow where we got food and drink included which was not on the itinerary. We also got a meal on the first train from Moscow to Ekaterinburg which was again a lovely surprise!! The trains ran on time, the stops were lovely and exciting and we got to meet some wonderful people on the train. The time on the train was great to relax and recharge after a lot of sightseeing!

My favourite tour was the Asia/Europe Border tour with the Banya at the end of the day and the trip to Nevyansk when we were staying in Ekarerinburg! The touch of getting a certificate and champagne at the border was brilliant! The Banya was a brilliant experience, was very relaxing and exciting at the same time!!!! Going out to a little village was such a wonderful experience, seeing how people live in rural Russia was brilliant!

I will cherish the guidebook forever! It is so unique to have a guidebook with your own name in it and know that it is just for us! So many people on our trip were in awe of the guidebook, they wanted one 🙂 It was so helpful, along the way we could read about what was coming up and we felt confident about the trip the whole way!! Knowing a bit of history before we arrived somewhere was great as well. The language and money guide were brilliant as well!

 

Graham Griggs: TS-M-04 Essential Trans-Mongolian 2014

The personalised care and prompt response to any questions were impressive.

Every one of the transfers went without any hitch. Guides and cars were there promptly when required. Identification was easy as the signs were prominent and extremely clear.

Each of our three guides was exceptional in their respective ways: highly informative and concerned that our needs were constantly being met. They were not only extremely informed but very interesting when questioned about social or political context.

As manic sight-see-ers we really appreciated the central location and quality of all three hotels.

We took full advantage of the full length of these tours and enjoyed sights within their context that we might have otherwise missed. Having our guide at the Ger camp in Mongolia for the three day duration was an unexpected bonus and much appreciated. Both the Mongolian and Chinese guides were great at arranging theatre experiences; and the former also helped fit in the Ghengis Khan monument tour for us. She even got us inside when the monument was technically closed because of lift failure!

It was an amazing, life-enhancing experience that fully lived up to expectation; and not only for the incredible sights: it was also a unique opportunity to compare how two different communist regimes emerged and adapted. It is not on every holiday that one sees two embalmed former leaders!

Thank you so much for the amazing experience we’ve just had.

 

Steve Hughes: TS-M-06 Trans-Mongolian Highlights 2014

We booked this holiday for my 50th birthday as it had always been my dream trip. We reviewed many travel companies and this one looked to provide the best value for money and the exact trip we wanted, and I am so glad we did use them, from the start the communication was fantastic and after service second to none, and apart from one incident, which was BAs fault, everything went like clockwork and all the trip locations & guides etc were well thought out to give us the best use of our time. Coincidently some friends of ours booked virtually the same trip in August with another company which cost them more and offered less, they have had no end of hassles and changes, after we showed them our trip they were very annoyed. Thanks to Chris and his team for the outstanding service. Thanks again for the organisation, all went very smoothly.

 

Sue & Chris Fleckney : Trans-Siberian 2014

The transfers were Excellent, we were met at door of carriage from train, and taken to correct carriage by guide each time – very helpful. Our guides Leana in Moscow and Constantin in Ekaterinburg were outstanding, both going beyond the requirements of guiding and giving us a real perspective on the changes in Russia from Soviet times. Our younger guides, Sasha and Ilya, were both knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

We have only once before used private guides and drivers (always travelling in small groups previously) and we found that we learned so much more travelling this way, as you can follow up questions that interest you and have much deeper discussions about politics, policies, history etc.

The hotels had excellent locations – Hotel Budapest, slightly faded glory but so close to Bolshoi Theatre and and Red Square, Chekhov Boutique convenient for restaurants and town centre (and they gave me a bowl of fruit on my birthday!) and Bolshoi Goloustnoe a good experience of village life – I even learned to love banyas (I hate saunas)

We enjoyed the trip very much, and would certainly consider this type of travelling again.

 

Swee P. Tan : Tailor Made Trans-Siberian 2014

I have enjoyed the trains ride,scenery, tours, meeting people socialising and spending nights with them. It is such a adventure as you have guessed and meeting the locals as we travelled. Will do it again if I win the lottery. Thank you also for your planning. I treasure the excellent trip guidebook for information. What a brilliant idea to composed in a book which I can show around anytime. It will be my keepsake forever with our names on it, I am so proud to had done the longest train journey in the world.

 

Suria J Hogarth : Tailor Made Trans-Siberian 2014

It was a memorable trip of a lifetime, very different, and much to reminisce in the future. I have great admiration for you and your partners to have put this together so well, considering the different trains, and their time tables. Would have been mind boggling for me! Not to mention the tour guides who were there to collect and deliver us on time to the trains,and giving us a great insight to the cities we visited. Many thanks.

 

Ian & Pauline Archer : TS-M-07 Trans-Mongolian Discovery 2014

All the guides were good or better but Konstantin (Ekaterinburg) Uzilma (Ulan Bator) and James Chang (Beijing) were superb. The Accommodation was exactly what we expected – actually possibly better in some cases. Always clean and hospitable. We did like the character and position of the hotels.

The Trip Guidebook is marvellous. It was an invaluable reference book on the trip, a wonderful memento and has impressed all our friends!

If we wished to do similar trips (we do) and you organised them we would have no hesitation in booking them through you and thank you again for your great organisation.

 

Maxine Lucas : Trans-Mongolian Highlights 2014

Sorry it’s taken me a while to reply.  I don’t seem to have stopped since I’ve been back! I have completed the feedback form, but I thought I would also email to say what a fantastic trip it was. The organisation of everything was so good, and the accommodation almost everywhere was wonderful. The hotels in both Moscow and Beijing were absolutely wonderful, and the Ger Camp was an amazing experience… The guides were also very good.

Thanks again for all your help, patience and question answering before we went, and I would certainly recommend you to anyone, and also come to you myself if I decide to go back to China one day!

 

Keun Ho Shin : TS-M-07 Trans-Mongolian Discovery 2014

The Trip Guidebook you gave us has been not only such a great help for our trip but also one of the best books period. Thank you so much.

 

Louisa & Graham Howard: Trans-Siberian Tailor Made 2014

“From the start this company made me feel that all my questions & worries were no problem for them to handle & answer. As I worked with them to design a trip that is as individual as I needed, they kept closely in contact with me at every stage. From my very first call to return home I felt reassured that if any problems and issues occurred, they would always be there to help. In short this company is one of the best I have ever dealt with for delivering on all they promise. Thanks Guys amazing trip.”

 

Mark Cederholm: Trans-Siberian Vladivostok to Moscow 2014

“You were very knowledgeable, and extremely helpful with special requests. One of the main reasons I chose this travel company. The trip was magnificent. Probably the greatest trip I’ll ever take.”

Click here to view Mark’s photojournal

 

Kevin O’leary: Tailored Trans-Mongolian 2013

“Hi, Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, all a bit crazy work wise since coming back. I filled out the form and submitted, but wanted to write and say thank you for the great service and assistance throughout.

I had a fantastic time and would totally recommend the trip and using your company without any hesitation – in fact already have. Particularly loved Siberia and would love to go back there.

Kind regards,
Kevin”

 

Phil Haigh: Trans-Mongolian Discovery 2013

“Thanks for a very well organized trip with excellent information. It gave us a very high level of confidence that the trip would go well.

We had a fantastic time, the only down side was we did not have enough time. Siberia in autumn is unbelievably beautiful and we will go back to Lake Baikal.”

 

Laura Parker – Tailored Trans-Siberian 2013

“We arrived in UB this morning. Love the hotel! We have had a wonderful trans-Siberian experience. All organisation was faultless. Konstantin in Ekaterinburg and Ilya in bolshoe Goloustnoe / Irkutsk were both excellent.

We met up with Anne who was travelling with you from Beijing to Moscow. Small world, she lives 15 minutes walk from us in Tooting!

We are on our own now but the rest of our trip has a lot to live up to. Many thanks again.”

 

Paul and Kim Lusard – Trans-Mongolian Highlights 2013

“Thanks Chris for being so attentive and helpful, despite my obvious questions and need of reassurance! The booking process was made so easy and even when we had to make a late change due to unforeseen circumstances of our making, you promptly came up with a solution and that left us feeling confident that we could just concentrate on enjoying our trip.

What a trip! It far exceeded our expectations and ran like clockwork with all our guides there to meet us on time as per the itinerary. All the guides were easy to chat with and a special mention must go to Lena who went above and beyond to make us feel welcome.

All in all a once in a lifetime experience that couldn’t have been made possible without the good work of TSTC – keep up the good work and we’ll be in touch about China!”

 

Priscilla Gray – Tailor Made trip 2013

“I just wanted to write a quick note on top of the feedback form I sent in to say a big thank you to your team for giving us an amazing holiday that will live with us all forever. What a totally unique experience for us and having it all pre-planned left us to enjoy it to the full and we certainly did that! It was all perfect. Many thanks once again!”

 

Lesley Laughton: Trans-Mongolian Discovery 2013

“Smashing job done by Chris and the team. Can’t wait to go through all the photos we took (had a quick look through on the train entering China but need a long weekend to get through them all properly) Mongolia was a real highlight and the amazing Ger camp, could really get used to living in one of them! The trip guidebook was totally different level to anything we’ve been give before by any other company and gave us something to read as we approached each stop, it was even given the seal of approval by a rather gregarious but friendly Russian who sat next to us one dinner time!

All the best for the future and a big thank you from us all!”

 

Richard Stidolph & family: Essential Trans-Mongolian 2013

“All the guides spoke excellent English and were very knowledgeable about their respective countries.

Hotel Peter 1 at the end of our trip was particularly good. Going from very basic facilities on the train to 5 star luxury at the end seemed a brilliant way to round off our adventure.

The train journeys were fantastic fun and a great way to taste a little of life in each of the countries we visited. Jumping off the train to buy food became the game of “lucky dip bread” as you were never quite sure what the packages would contain except that they inevitably came with a laugh or two.

What could be better than going somewhere you have never been before in good company. Your trip had the right balance between giving us freedom to do our own thing and enough support to take away any concerns. Thank you.”

 

Matt Burden – Trans-Mongolian Express 2012

“Let me say that you have been vastly more attentive and informative than the other Trans-Siberian agencies that I have contacted regarding this trip (feel free to use that that as a reference if you chose).”

 

David Benson: Tailor Made Trans-Siberian 2012

“We are back in home after a fantastic trip….literally a “once in a lifetime experience”. We were very thankful we had all the transfers. Getting to and from the train stations would be very challenging without the assistance of your local guides.

All our tickets, etc. were available at every stop. A great trip and we are very happy we did it.

You were excellent in planning the trip and provided us with great help and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you.”

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