The Ultimate Trans-Manchurian [Video]

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Although the Ultimate Train Challenge involved 30 days and almost 25,000kms of train travel, the Trans-Manchurian section represented the biggest “challenge” of the trip in being the longest stretch of uninterrupted train travel – one week and 9,000kms.

This post was originally published in 2011. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. 

Spending a week solid on a train from Moscow to Beijing, in small quarters with no showers and two people I’d only just met for a day a couple of weeks prior was no small task.

The good news is that we’re all still friends, and actually, I consider myself very lucky to have shared such an epic experience as the Ultimate Train Challenge with two other dedicated nomadic travelers and bloggers.

Please enjoy this video diary of my week on the Trans-Manchurian train through Russia and China. It’s a good thing “smell-o-vision” isn’t a big hit, and you’ll see me wearing the same outfit up to three days in a row. But rest assured the continuity is genuine; you’ll detect signs of wear-and-tear throughout the week, including increasingly flatter hair and growing bags under my eyes.

But don’t worry – you don’t have to look at my sorry face the whole time; I’ve crammed the video with clips and pictures of the amazing changing scenery along the way, as well as some of our food stops and “beer chats” with new friends, a few time-lapse clips, and some tense moments at the Russian/Chinese border.


Feel free to click here to watch the video on YouTube.

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8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Trans-Manchurian [Video]”

  1. @Nancy&Shawn – It all depends on what you define as “noisy”! It wasn’t exactly quiet, but the sounds is a regular lull that becomes easy to ignore, and almost comforting. But I’ve grown up taking long distance trains, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood!

  2. What an awesome video!!! I loved every minute of it!!! You have quite an amazing life!!! I know you are enjoying your down time now in Granada!

  3. @Lori – Thanks! It was a rocky start in Grenada (https:/, but things are looking up! 🙂

  4. I have been checking out the site for a while now and I love how you write. I have been tossing travel videos together for a while now and I find a big jump in quality when you ditch the iMovie themes. Also if you host them on Vimeo instead of youtube you will get higher resolution loading faster for your viewers (aka people won’t be tempted to toss it into 240).

  5. @Sean – Thanks for commenting! I’m having fun getting into the iMovie themes, but many of them are pretty “campy”. Less is usually more with video!
    I haven’t gotten into Vimeo yet….trying out TripFilms right now….but I hear good things about Vimeo in general.

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