4 comments on “Map of the journey

  1. Hello Stephen and Chloe,

    Congratulations that you made it well! Many thanks for sharing essential information on the trip.

    I’ve been reading your blog recently to inspire a similar journey (I will go up to the Nordic country before Russia :D), maybe next year. Don’t you mind give me some advices on trip preparation?

    1. Could you please tell me how and within what timing you applied for a visa through Russia, Mongolia and China and in which sequence (I guess Mongolia – RUssia – China)? In my knowledge China only gives visa validation for a period of 30 days from the day we apply. This is really a nightmare to manange the timing for visa application.

    2. What was approximately your budget for the trip?

    3. Did you buy Transiberien trains ticket in advance or at the station?

    Thank you again for your time, hope you can get me out off all my wonder before the trip.

    MiT

    • Hello MiT,

      Thank you for reading the blog and we are delighted that you have found it helpful and inspiring – this is humbling for us to hear!

      In response to your questions:

      1. In terms of the visas we applied in chronological order when we thought we would arrive in each country. In other words, we applied for Russia, then Mongolia and then China on the basis that if we ran out of time we could at least pick up a visa in the country before the country ahead of us. Note that we had to buy the Belarus transit visa as well.
      The Russian visa was by far the most complicated – as you may have found out we had to get an invitation to get this visa – if you don’t know anyone in Russia then there are various agents who will help – RealRussia for example.
      It was possible to get a visa for China well in advance and was not limited to 30 days from the day of application – the visa itself lasted 30 days from the date of arrival into China. In our case, we applied in September and told the Chinese embassy we planned to arrive in China in November. To keep things flexible we actually got a two-entry visa, which allowed us to go in and out twice for a little more money rather than paying (and applying and waiting twice!)

      2. In TOTAL we spent 20GBP per day inclusive of everything. We found that getting to Thailand overland is not that much more expensive than flying direct from London, but your budget will have to be very very restricted based on the countries you go through – spending more time in Europe for example is far more expensive than spending time in SE Asia. The challenging part was getting from Singapore to Sydney. If we had more time we could have gone through Sumatra (Indonesia) and then waited to find a cheaper boat to Australia.

      3. We bought our tickets in advance because we wanted to go 2nd class. However it is possible to just turn up and be likely to get 3rd class tickets at the station, if the other classes are not available. It does depend on how far you plan to go on each leg of the journey. Again, RealRussia was a helpful place to buy tickets in advance.

      Hope that helps?

      Kind regards,

      Stephen and Chloe

  2. Hi Guys, great blog. We just found it looking for info to get from indo to Oz. We are on a similar journey, now in our 15th month and with the same budget basically. £140 per week for two of us. We’re pretty stuck now tho with only £750 to get from Thailand to Australia. You guys mentioned if you had more time you would have gone through Sumatra and wait for a cheaper boat. Do you have any info on boats that run this route. We have been applying as volunteer crew members and looking for cargo ships but running out of ideas now. Any info you have would be fantastic. well done once again for a great trip. i just hope we make it too… our blogs are here http://www.patchworkspermaculture.net and http://www.typotraveller.wordpress.com
    Take care
    Richie & Nina

    • Hi Richie and Nina,
      Thanks for writing! Wow that’s fantastic work, congratulations on getting this far, it’s a really great achievement. Yep that is definitely the greatest challenge, that last leg which looks so simple on the map. And it sounds like you’re doing exactly as we did, listing on the crew websites and looking for cargo ships. We found that the best cargo ships actually left from Taiwan, which would have meant ending the trip after China to start the journey to Sydney. Also, the cargo ships always seemed to cost more than the passenger ship we got anyway. I believe the ship we caught has since been taken off the route (it went bankrupt) so it may not be an option even if the money was there… Sorry for all this bad news. With the boats in Indonesia, we had to use a combination of Seat61 and word of mouth advice, and it wasn’t something which could be easily researched online. We had to cross reference with different people’s blogs to get the right information about where the boats left from, and it wasn’t something we could timetable. So if you have the time, you may have to make your way to Indonesia and do your research there. We met a girl on our travels who has been waiting to crew an Indonesia-Australia boat for a couple of months, you may want to get in contact with her – I’ll send an email to your hotmail address with her name/Facebook and perhaps you could ask. She did make it on to crew one boat but the journey was terminated due to dangerous conditions. I do think you may be risking your life to do it this way!! I do hope you can do it though, please let us know what happens!
      Good luck and happy travels:)
      Chloe and Stephen

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