|Route||Distance||Duration||Price||Price in £|
|Hong Kong – Beijing||2475 km||23hrs 36mins||HK $574||£45|
|Beijing – Hohhot||659 km||10hrs 37mins||¥136||£12.99|
|Hohhot – Erlian (Erenhot)||491 km||8hrs 22mins||¥67||£6.40|
|Erlian – Ulaanbaatar||719 km||17hrs 25mins||MNT 17000||£8.53|
|Ulaanbaatar – Moscow||6266 km||91hrs 38mins||USD $250||£ 153.58|
|Moscow – Berlin||1794 km||21hrs 22mins||€141.80||£126.56|
|Berlin – Paris||1100 km||11hrs 35mins||€69||£62.93|
|Paris – London||492 km||2hrs 15mins||€50||£45.60|
|London – Manchester||303 km||2hrs 9mins||£11.50|
|Total||14299 km||188hrs 59mins||£473.09|
|8885 miles||7 days, 20 hours, 59 mins|
And so it’s almost time. After a couple of months planning and a couple of years dreaming, I’m finally ready to hit the rails and travel from Hong Kong to UK by train on a journey home that Odysseus would be proud of. By train or bus or boat or car or my own two legs – anything that isn’t airborne – I’ll be leaving on Monday to embark on my seventeen day, 8885 mile, nine train trip through China, Mongolia, along the Trans-Siberian Railway and finally through Europe towards home.
My schedule and Trans-Siberian budget can be seen in the table above. All of this is currently scheduled to be done by train via the Trans-Siberian Railway and, barring any mid-journey mishaps, I’m hoping it will stay like that. I’m having to stick to a pretty tight schedule as I need to be back in Hong Kong by the end of September, so all train tickets except Beijing to Hohhot and Erlian to Ulaanbaatar are already booked and ready to go.
The journey could maybe be done a little cheaper. The cheapest Eurostar tickets can be had for £39 one way. Whilst if you had a schedule that allowed time to buy tickets at the stations for slower trains between Ulaanbaatar and Moscow, then maybe another £50-£100 or so could be shaved off the final total. But as you can see, the European leg of the journey really hikes up the price, even though most of these tickets were purchased at cheaper advanced fares. A cheap flight from Moscow is an option if you really want to keep cost down. But cheap flights from Moscow are not exactly an easy thing to come by.
When all’s done and calculated – when visa fees, accommodation, daily spending money etc are taken into account – contrary to my initial predictions, the journey will work out quite a bit more expensive than if I’d booked an already expensive flight from HK to UK. But alas, this was never really the point of it. You can check out my final post-journey totals in my Hong Kong to UK by train debriefed post.