Riding the Trans-Mongolian Railway: A Nomadic Odyssey through Mongolia
Riding the Trans-Mongolian Railway: A Nomadic Odyssey through Mongolia

Riding the Trans-Mongolian Railway: A Nomadic Odyssey through Mongolia

Explore the rugged beauty of Mongolia through the iconic Trans-Mongolian Railway, a journey of a lifetime for digital nomads.

Are you a digital nomad seeking a thrilling adventure that combines the allure of travel with the freedom to work remotely? Look no further than Mongolia, a land of vast landscapes, nomadic traditions, and the epic Trans-Mongolian Railway. This unique journey offers a fascinating blend of culture, history, and natural beauty that has captivated the hearts of travelers worldwide. Join us as we embark on a virtual expedition through Mongolia, uncovering why the Trans-Mongolian Railway has become the ultimate nomadic experience.

1. The Trans-Mongolian Railway: A Brief Description and Its Soaring Popularity

The Trans-Mongolian Railway, an integral part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, stretches for over 1,000 miles across the vast expanse of Mongolia. This legendary railway route connects Moscow in Russia to Beijing in China, passing through the heart of Mongolia. The journey is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, making it a dream come true for adventurers, photographers, and digital nomads.

Why Has it Become So Popular?

Over the years, the Trans-Mongolian Railway has gained immense popularity among digital nomads and travelers for several reasons:

  • Untouched Wilderness: Mongolia’s landscapes are largely untouched and offer a stark contrast to the bustling cities most digital nomads are accustomed to. The railway offers a unique opportunity to traverse this wilderness.
  • Cultural Immersion: Mongolia’s nomadic culture is a central theme along this route. Nomadic herders’ gers (yurts), vast steppes, and the occasional sighting of horse-riding nomads offer an authentic experience of a traditional way of life.
  • Adventure and Freedom: The freedom to work while on the move is the essence of being a digital nomad. The Trans-Mongolian Railway allows you to enjoy both work and adventure simultaneously, as you witness ever-changing landscapes from your train window.
  • Photographic Paradise: For photographers, this journey is a dream come true. The dramatic landscapes, including the Gobi Desert, vast grasslands, and mountains, provide endless opportunities for stunning shots.

2. Full Itinerary: A Journey of Discovery

Moscow, Russia: The Starting Point

Your Trans-Mongolian Railway adventure begins in Moscow, Russia. Spend a few days exploring the iconic Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the Kremlin before boarding the train. Don’t forget to try the local delicacies, like borscht and blini, to prepare your taste buds for the culinary adventure that lies ahead.

Ulan-Ude, Russia: The Buddhist Hub

The first major stop along the journey is Ulan-Ude, known for its large Buddhist community. Visit the impressive Ivolginsky Datsan, the center of Buddhism in Russia, and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Capital of the Nomads

Arriving in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, you’ll encounter a blend of modernity and tradition. Explore the Choijin Lama Temple, National Museum, and the lively Gandan Monastery. Sample Mongolian barbecue and dairy products for a taste of local cuisine.

Terelj National Park: Nomadic Wilderness

A short trip from Ulaanbaatar takes you to Terelj National Park. Embrace the nomadic lifestyle by staying in a ger camp, horseback riding through the beautiful landscapes, and hiking to the famous Turtle Rock.

The Gobi Desert: A Desert Oasis

As the train ventures south, the Gobi Desert comes into view. Explore the famous Flaming Cliffs, where dinosaur fossils were discovered, and ride camels through the dunes. Witness stunning desert sunsets and marvel at the starry night sky.

Erdenet: Copper Capital

Next stop, Erdenet, is known for its massive copper mine. Take a tour to understand the significance of mining in Mongolia’s economy and culture.

Darkhan: Siberian Style

Darkhan offers a glimpse of Siberian influence in Mongolia. Visit the Soviet-style buildings and enjoy some hearty Siberian cuisine before continuing your journey.

Sükhbaatar: Border Crossing

As you approach the Mongolian-Chinese border, Sükhbaatar is the last stop in Mongolia before crossing over. Reflect on your incredible journey through the vast Mongolian landscapes.

Beijing, China: The Grand Finale

Finally, you reach the bustling metropolis of Beijing. Explore the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. Treat yourself to Peking duck and other Chinese delicacies as you conclude your epic adventure.

3. How to Get There and How to Get Around

Getting to Moscow

To start your Trans-Mongolian Railway journey, you’ll need to get to Moscow. Most international travelers arrive via flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO), Domodedovo International Airport (DME), or Vnukovo International Airport (VKO). Ensure you have a valid visa for Russia, and consider spending a few days in Moscow to acclimate and explore.

Navigating the Trans-Mongolian Railway

The Trans-Mongolian Railway is well-connected, with regular trains running along the route. The journey takes approximately a week, but you can customize your itinerary to suit your preferences. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the train station. Be sure to book a first-class or second-class cabin for comfort, as these offer sleeping berths and dining car access.

Getting Around Mongolia

Once in Mongolia, local transportation options include buses, shared taxis, and even domestic flights to reach remote areas. In Ulaanbaatar, you can use taxis or ride-sharing apps. For a more adventurous experience, consider renting a vehicle and exploring Mongolia’s remote regions at your own pace.

4. Where to Stay: Nomadic Accommodations


In Ulaanbaatar, you’ll find a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to upscale hotels. Consider staying at the Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace for a luxurious experience or the Zaya Hostel for a more budget-friendly choice with a cozy atmosphere.

Terelj National Park

To immerse yourself in the nomadic lifestyle, opt for a ger camp in Terelj National Park. Munkh Tenger Ger Camp and Terelj Hotel offer comfortable ger accommodations with stunning views.

Gobi Desert

Experience the magic of the Gobi Desert with a stay at the Three Camel Lodge, offering unique ger-style lodges that combine luxury and authenticity. Alternatively, Gobi Discovery Camp provides a more budget-friendly option while still delivering a memorable desert experience.

5. Where and What to Eat: Savoring Mongolian Cuisine

Mongolian Barbecue

A trip to Mongolia isn’t complete without trying Mongolian barbecue. Head to BD’s Mongolian Grill in Ulaanbaatar for a customizable dining experience where you choose your ingredients and watch them cook it on a massive grill.

Dairy Delights

Mongolian cuisine heavily features dairy products. Don’t miss trying airag (fermented mare’s milk), aaruul (dried curd), and tsuivan (noodle stir-fry). You can find these delicacies at local markets and restaurants throughout Mongolia.

Gobi Desert Gastronomy

In the Gobi Desert, enjoy the simplicity and authenticity of nomadic cuisine. Try buuz (steamed dumplings) and khorkhog (a meat stew cooked with hot stones) prepared by your hosts at the ger camps.

6. Coworking Opportunities Near the Trans-Mongolian Railway

While the Trans-Mongolian Railway itself doesn’t offer coworking spaces, you can find suitable workspaces in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Here are a few options:

  • Impact Hub Ulaanbaatar: This coworking space offers a vibrant community of entrepreneurs and digital nomads. It provides a comfortable and collaborative environment to work and network.
  • The Nomad Office: Located in the heart of Ulaanbaatar, this coworking space caters specifically to digital nomads. It offers flexible plans, high-speed internet, and a supportive community.
  • The Blue Sky Hotel and Tower: This upscale hotel in Ulaanbaatar provides a business center with meeting rooms and high-speed internet, making it an excellent choice for digital nomads looking for a professional environment.

Trans-Mongolian Railway: An Unforgettable Nomadic Journey

The Trans-Mongolian Railway offers digital nomads a unique blend of adventure, culture, and remote work opportunities. From the bustling streets of Moscow to the serene landscapes of Mongolia, this journey is a feast for the senses. Immerse yourself in nomadic traditions, savor Mongolian cuisine, and explore the breathtaking beauty of Mongolia. It’s a journey that will leave you with memories to cherish and stories to share for a lifetime.

Don’t miss the chance to embark on this nomadic odyssey through Mongolia via the Trans-Mongolian Railway. Pack your bags, hop on board, and let the railway guide you through the enchanting landscapes of this rugged and captivating land.