Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia?Hohhot, China (overnight train) | 14 July, 2006 | $39.76 (train ticket)
The train from Ulaan Batar, Mongolia to Beijing, China was booked weeks in advance but I had no trouble getting a ticket to Hohhot, China. I enjoyed Beijing during Phase I of my trip but it made more sense to head directly to Hohhot, where I could continue on along the Silk Road and, eventually, to Kyrgyzstan. Its funny, looking back at old planning posts to remember why I went where I did. Although I spent three weeks traveling through Western China to get to Kyrgyzstan, you’ll remember that I considered it “transiting through” on my way to Central Asia. There were no Western border crossing from Mongolia open to foreigners and I figured I could stop at a few historic towns along the way. Being China, it took longer than expected.
The train left at 8pm and was much nicer than I expected. Here’s a smaller picture of the beds made up for sleeping. We arrived at the Chinese border in the morning where the train was lifted (with most passengers still onboard) and reattached to a different gauge of wheels. We didn’t get in to Hohhot until the 10:30pm the following night and were greeted with fireworks. If you didn’t catch it the first time around you can read the whole story here.
The train fare included my sleeping berth and an odd packet of food.