Transsiberian Railway - Stopovers in China

Transsiberian Railway - Stopovers in China

The actual border crossing between Mongolia and China takes some time because China uses the traditional European track width of the railways and not the wide Russian. That is why it takes a few hours in order the wagon’s lower part to be changed in the Chinese border town Erenhot (Erlian). And all of this happens while you hear the sounds of a Vienna waltz at the bright railway station. From here the train continues without stopping to Beijing and it passes by parts of the Great Wall of China, built to hold the foreigners away from the political center of the state.

We will arrange your train tickets, visas, individual overnight stays, guided sightseeing programs, and connections according to your stopovers and train schedule, so as any other services upon your request.

The symbol of China

The Great Wall is China’s symbol not only for the millions of tourists, but also for 1, 5 billion Chinese. This is the largest and the longest human-made structure on earth and it stretches out from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west. Having in mind how fond of expressing everything in figures the Chinese are, one should not be surprised that the name of the Wall in Chinese is Wan Li Chang Cheng – the long wall of 10,000 Li. Li is an old Chinese length measurement equal to 600 m. The Wall is more than 6 000 km long but when you stand here the figures do not matter. A couple of thousand kilometers plus or minus do not deprive you of the excitement to stand on the top of the Wall, built along mountain peaks and valleys.

The Wall used to protect the Silk Road (Silk Route), which was China’s trade route with the countries in the Middle East and with the Roman Empire. It served as a border as well – at that time China was within the Wall, and the barbarian tribes like Mongolians and other nomads were outside the Wall. The troops of Genghis Khan managed to break through the Wall in the 13th c. and they conquered parts of China just like they did with large parts of Asia and Russia. Genghis’ grandson Kublai Khan completed that conquest and established the Yuan Dynasty. Nevertheless the Mongolian domination lasted only for about 100 years in China. It was under the rule of the following Ming Dynasty that the Wall got its present look, built of rock blocks and burnt bricks, earth and innumerable bones left by all the workers who took part in the construction and found their death beside the wall.

Beijing (Peking – Northern Capital)
Following weeks of traveling across some of the most deserted Asian regions, finally the trip gets to the city full of life – Beijing. For the last twenty years the city has enjoyed an economic freedom that turned it to an international business meeting point. Here you can spend a week or two or maybe more. The food is tasty and cheap, and you can find a decent place to sleep at whatever price. Today there are more than 10 million people living here and the city’s development has been like a real explosion in the last five years. It became a capital 1000 years ago and in the year 1400 the Forbidden City was built as the residence of the Chinese emperors.

The central district is divided in northern, southern, western and eastern parts with the Forbidden City and the emperor’s palace in the middle. The city plan reflects the Chinese perception of the world where the palace area symbolizes China as “Middle Kingdom” (or Central Kingdom). Other places that should not be missed are the Tiananmen (Heavenly Peace) Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and of course one-day trips to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs. From Beijing one can fly back home or continue exploring China and the region.

The Forbidden City
24 emperors have ruled China from here for 500 years under the last two Chinese dynasties – Ming and Qing. A 10-meter high wall surrounds the red buildings, temples and gates with the beautiful yellow tiles. The emperor and his family lived in luxury and richness and completely isolated from the people. The Forbidden City covers an area of 720 000 m² with 800 buildings and 9999 rooms. The visitor enters from the south gate and moving from one place to another it can take about 4 hours to reach the northern gate. And all of this you do with a local guide in the shape of a walkman and the voice of Agent 007 Roger Moore himself telling you stories about the temples and the gates you are passing through.

Ming Tombs
50 km north of Beijing, in a valley where the mountains protect them against the evil northern spirits, are situated the Ming Tombs, where 13 of the 16 emperors of the Ming dynasty are buried. Originally a wall with a gate – The Great Red Gate – used to surround the graves. From here begins The Road of Immortality – an 800–meter long alley with 36 magnificent stone figures, which watch over the graves. Most tombs have decayed, but the oldest of them – Changling, a palace from the 15th c. – is newly restored.

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