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Photo Tours &
Railfan Tours

Mongolia Tanago Railfan tours

Mongolia:
The Transmongolian Railway in summer

25. May - 2. June 2019

Mongolia: The Transmongolian Railway in summer

Take photos or videos along the Transmongolian Railway: we will visit running sheds and repairshops, spend days along the best spots along the line, and will enjoy the raw power of the former Soviet diesel engines (ok, a few Americans work there as well).

The Mongolian railway "Mongolyn Tömör Dsam (MTZ)" offers a pure diesel-operated network with dominantly Soviet-style locomotives. Nearly all trains are at least doubleheaded. Heavy freight trains and up to 20 coaches on passenger trains represent a still "classic" railway operation. Lots of mountain passes and steep gradients!

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No. of participants Max. 12
Duration 9 days
Meals halfboard
Price from 1.580 €
Open for bookings Sold out.
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Your itinerary:

May 25, 2019, Saturday:
The Mongolian capital Ulaan Bataar does not offer too many possibilities of a direct journey, we have chosen a connection with Aeroflot via Moscow as a base for our tour. Aeroflot flies with modern western equipment and a good service from many German and European airports via Moscow to Ulaan Bataar.
Alternatively, Turkish Airlines via Istanbul or Air China via Beijing can also be considered. An additional overnight stay in Ulaan Bataar may be necessary with these airlines in order to meet the group.

Departure from Germany on 24 May in the afternoon, arrival in Ulaan Bataar in the early morning of 25 May 2019.

Alternatively, you can book the classic journey by train from Germany via Moscow and the Trans-Siberian Railway to Ulaan Bataar. For the train journey to Moscow and the transit there, plus the journey on the Transsib via Irkutsk you must plan at least 9 days. We have used two days of transit in Moscow, but you can also get off at any other place on the Transsib, for which almost every hotel and sightseeing program along the route can be booked. For a journey with the Transsib we will gladly work out the best variant for you!
After arrival in Ulaan Bataar we drive directly to the first photo points south of the capital near the Omega-Loop, which we also want to use for night shots!
Overnight stay in Ulaan Bataar.
Meals: Dinner.

26 May 2019, Sunday - 01 June 2019, Saturday:
The main line of the Mongolian railway, built in Russian broad gauge of 1,520 mm, is mainly used for transit between Russia and China, only a few branch lines open up the mostly deserted country. On the main line, practically everything a classical railway has to offer runs from local transfer trains, mixed trains, up to heavy container trains. In addition, there are international and local passenger trains with passenger cars in the classic Soviet style.
The locomotives of the 2M62 series and its relatives, which were built in Luhansk, Ukraine, as well as Russian series are used as traction units. A single DASH-7 locomotive imported from the USA is still operational. We also expect to see the following series in operation: the converted 2ZAGAL locomotives from the M62 and TE10 series, various variants of the 2TE116, and the very latest 2TE25KM from Russian production. Also from Russia comes the only rail bus of the state railway, a vehicle of the RA-2 series, which runs one round north of Ulan Bataar.
We move north and south of the capital with modern, all-terrain vehicles. Every morning we receive the current train movements of the day from the central dispatcher and can thus be at the right place at exactly the right time. We are also connected by telephone to the stations along the line and listen to the train radio. Before most trains we will see at least 2 heavy diesel locomotives, heavy freight trains are often pushed in.
We take pictures at the famous Omega Loop, an almost circular horseshoe bend, at the Khoolt and Bayan passes, near Schatan and along the Thunk Mountains. All courses offer outstanding photo opportunities at any time of day, especially in spring the hills are immersed in the first green! Wherever possible, we will also take night shots!
Based on our 2018 summer tour experience, we have extended our stay in the Schatan Mountains by 1 day to 3 days: this is certainly one of the most scenic areas of Mongolia, arrival and departure are not easy, and therefore a longer stay is definitely worthwhile! 1 night we will stay in a typical Mongolian yurt near the gorge through the Shatan Mountains. Since the nomadic cattle shepherds will also be out and about in summer, we hope to be able to unite shepherds, cattle and railways in one photo! We spend another night in a simple accommodation near Thunk.
Overnight stay in Ulaan Bataar (1 night in a yurt, 1 night in a simple accommodation near Thunk - in these times no single rooms are available!
On the last day we also visit the local repair and railway depot of the state railway.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner.


June 2, 2019, Sunday:
After breakfast the tour ends with transfer to the airport.

Travel prices:
(only land program, per person):

1.580 Euro in half a double room for bookings until September 30, 2018
1,680 Euro in half a double room for bookings from October 1, 2018
220 Euro single room supplement

Our services:
o 7 full days of track shots;
o depot- sightseeings;
o All-terrain vehicles (4x4);
o Night shots wherever possible;
o All necessary transfers;
o Visiting and photo permits, transfers, entrance and visit fees;
o 6 nights in a tourist class hotel in Ulaan Bataar (room with shower/WC);
o 1 night in a Mongolian yurt (no single room possible);
o 1 night in a wooden house (no single room possible);
o Meals as per program;
o Tanago information material;
o Expert and experienced Tanago tour guide (German + English speaking) plus local guide.


Tips, personal expenses and flights are not included in the price.

This trip will be charged in foreign currencies. Since the exchange rate of foreign currencies to the Euro (our accounting currency) has become very unpredictable and we do not wish to charge fictitious currency reserves to the travel price, the published price represents the exchange rate as of August 1, 2018. We therefore expressly reserve the right to deviate prices due to international currency fluctuations and any unforeseen deviations in performance on the part of our partners.
If you are travelling alone, you can also book a "half" double room. We will do our best to allocate you another "half-double room booking". However, if, contrary to expectations, this is not possible, we will charge you the single room supplement.

This trip is organized and conducted by Tanago. The maximum number of participants is 12, so we ride in a small, manageable group. Please book by 28 February 2019 at the latest! If we do not reach the minimum number of participants, we will conduct the tour without a German-speaking tour guide only with a local, English-speaking specialist tour guide in a small group. A small group surcharge may be charged.

Notes:
Mongolia tried to establish an independent economic and social order after the end of the Soviet Union. This has not always been successful, many things are still reminiscent of Soviet times. The country is still poor, and due to its very sparse population only the capital is actually a little more western and modern.

Above all, the country's originality, which has been preserved over centuries, is unique. On a trip across the country, you will always meet nomads who live in their round tents as they did a long time ago. The white yurts of the nomads, who roam with their flocks of sheep and goats, but also with camels and yaks in the barren grasslands and highlands, can be seen from afar.
Endless, lonely expanses with gentle hills and the deep blue sky give the best background for our railway photography.
Unfortunately, prices in the country have adapted to Western levels: a hotel room in Ulaan Bataar is more expensive than in Beijing, and flights to the country are not really cheap due to a lack of competition.

Please note that the country's infrastructure cannot be compared to Central Europe. Buses and road conditions are not up to standard in Western Europe. Our vehicles during your stay in Mongolia are SUVs of South Korean/Japanese production. With these vehicles we really get almost everywhere (and through). Steep hills, raging fords, or mud and slopes do not matter at all.
The Yurten-Camp and the wooden house, in which we will spend 2 nights in the Schatan Mountains, is off the beaten track and can only be reached via a very exciting cross-country entrance over hills and through valleys.
There's water and even electricity. A separate house with Asian toilets and a separate restaurant house serve the most important needs. There are no showers with running water.

From the solitude of the valleys to the hectic pace of the capital Ulan Bataar, there is a huge difference. Perhaps the most annoying element of modern times in Ulan Bataar is the daily traffic jam on the city's main roads. On all main roads! Also we have to go through there especially in the evening after our photo excursions, it sometimes takes 1-2 hours from the city limits to our hotel... In the morning we will usually leave so early that the drivers of the city are still in their pens.

Temperatures & Technology:
Mongolia is a rather windy country, even in summer. The weather can change completely on a daily basis: from warm in summer to really cold. Expect temperatures between 20 and 30°C. Due to the precipitation in the previous months, the landscape is green. The sky is mostly blue and sunny, it hardly rains. But the sun shines much more intensely than here.
For Mongolia you need a world circular plug (adapter). Read the health information about the country on the homepage of the Tropical Institute.

Entry requirements:
Germans have the possibility to enter Germany without a visa for 30 days for purely tourist purposes. A passport valid for at least 6 months with at least 1 free page is required in any case! All data apply to German citizens. Members of other nationalities should contact the embassy responsible for them.