Searching for the Tianjin Antique Market

Lonely Planet recommends going to Tianjin, especially to see the antique market there. It is said that a lot of the materials there were confiscated during the Cultural Revolution, and are now being sold to the dealers, who in turn sell it at the market. Theoretically, neat stuff, right? This brought Amy and I to […]

Crossing the Mongolia – China border by train

Attention Lonely Planet! You might want to update your information for the next run of your Trans Siberian Railway book, ‘cuz a few things have changed. According to Lonely Planet, the crossing from Mongolia to China takes about seven hours, during which time you can get off, change money, eat at the restaurant, and so […]

Adventures in Mongolia

We’re back in Ulaan Baatar after a few days out in the Mongolian wilderness. It’s a brief return — we hit the #24 train to Beijing at 8:00 tomorrow morning. (It’s about 21:30 right now, as I’m writing this.) Without question, Mongolia has been the highlight of this adventure. Unless something really spectacular comes up […]

More Russian train stuff

Okay, quick update…So Continuously Welded Rail (CWR) doesn’t exist coast-to-coast. After we left Ekaterinburg, we went to jointed rail. CWR exists in patches along the line, but the most of it is the ol’ clickety-clack variety. Lots more freight trains, too. Russian engines are huge, but have the wimpiest horns you ever heard! Sounds like […]