If you are looking for a travel route that goes through most of East and South East Asian countries, as long as you don’t mind sleeping on trains and buses for days, you are good to go; assuming you are not an Asian yourself and assuming that you are an adventurer. It won’t be short, but it certainly won’t be boring!
LANDING IN RUSSIA
Since this is based on experience, it’s best to talk about what I know and what I’ve been through. You should land in Moscow or Saint Petersburg in order to catch the Trans Siberian train.
While you are in Russia, make sure to see the Red Square, Kremlin, the parks, and historical museums. Russians have a rich and unique history very different from the West.
If you want to be sure and book tickets in advance you can book with online agencies, however it’s far cheaper to book it while you are in Russia at one of the train stations. You will need to be able to speak some Russian or be able to communicate, just keep that in mind!
You can go far east to Siberian parts of Russia and stay there for a few days and book a train ticket back to western part of Russia, but the best advice is to transit through Ulaanbaatar Mongolia.
TRANSIT IN MONGOLIA
If you have a few days to spare, Mongolia is a country best experienced in the countryside. Although the capital has some fun things to do and places to look around, the heart of the country lies in the countryside with its awe inspiring beauty. You can learn more at learnmongolia.info.
However, if you are staying just for a few hours before catching the train down south to China, around the city square, and Zaisan are the go to places for tourists.
TRAVERSING THROUGH CHINA
Traveling through China is a big endeavor, not only because it’s a big country, but the fact that China is home to many ethnic groups of people with different cultures. Hollywood has lied to you; there is more to China than just Kung Fu.
If you really want to go out of your comfort zone and see less stereotypical things about China, then it’s best to go west to Xinjiang and Tibetan areas, although they are more dangerous than eastern China due to political unrest. It’s up to you.
Once you’re done with China, you can catch a train from Beijing to Hanoi and take your time with Southeast Asian countries. There will a secondary follow up blog regarding this topic.