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Trans-Siberian Handbook: Includes Rail Route Guide and 25 City Guides (Trailblazer Guides) Paperback – February 1, 2004


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Trans-Siberian Handbook: Includes Rail Route Guide and 25 City Guides (Trailblazer Guides) + Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railway (Travel Guide) + Trans-Siberian Handbook, 8th: Eighth edition of the guide to the world's longest railway journey (Includes Siberian BAM railway and guides to 25 cities) (Trailblazer Guides)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Trailblazer Publications; 6th edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873756704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873756706
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Definitive guide."
--Conde Nast Traveler

"Tells you everything you need to know."
--Cosmopolitan

"An invaluable guidebook."
--The Financial Times

"The Trans-Siberian Handbook ...is a must."
--The Sunday Times

"Well researched...A wealth of information... Is is a fascinating read and contains so much more than the usual handbook."
--The Herald

"An invaluable travelling companion."
--Traveller

First edition shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel and Guide Book Awards

From the Back Cover

A trip across Siberia on the longest continuous railway track in the world is undoubtedly the journey of a lifetime. It's also a convenient way to reach China, Mongolia or Japan. Tickets are not expensive or difficult to arrange. You can now travel almost anywhere you want in Siberia: we tell you how to organize a trip, where to get tickets and where to go.
Inside you will find: Kilometer-by-kilometer route guide - covering the entire routes of the Trans-Siberian, Trans-Manchurian and Trans-Mongolian railways with 38 strip maps in English, Russian and Chinese: see where you are as you travel; Siberia and the railway - the detailed history of Siberia, the construction of the railway and the running of the Trans-Siberian today will be of great interest not only to visitors but also to armchair travelers; City guides with maps - the best sights, places to stay and restaurants for all budgets plus Russian and Chinese phrases, rail fares and timetables.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is very accurate and detailed.
J. Jacobs
I used this book while traveling along the Trans-Siberian railroad and in planning my trip beforehand.
Romy
If I take another trip like this I will bring the book again.
Kristian Sørensen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For passengers on traveling on all or most of the Trans-Siberian Railway and visiting the cities along it, there are only two English-language travel guides. The Lonely Planet guide appeared in 2003 with a second edition in 2006, while Bryn Thomas updates his guide almost yearly and in 2007 it reached its seventh edition. I'm a two-time veteran of the Trans-Siberian, using the 1st edition of the Lonely Planet on the eastbound Trans-Manchurian route, and the 2nd edition on the eastbound Trans-Mongolian. When I recently discovered Bryn Thomas' guide in the local library, however, it struck me as the guide that I wish I had had on the trip.

The Lonely Planet guide and Thomas' have much in common. Both include a history of Russia in the Trans-Siberian era and general information about culture. They both give sightseeing guidance and lodging listings for the cities along the way. The LP sticks to the three traditional routes between Moscow and Beijing or Vladivostok, but Thomas has now added Yakutsk, soon to be accessible by rail) and other possible rail terminus cities like Prague and Hong Kong.

What makes Thomas' guide real special is his enthusiasm for the train journey itself. Unlike the LP guide, he gives timetables for the route, truly equipping the reader to prepare for the trip without having to look for too much information outside the book. Thomas discusses in detail the layout of carriages, specifics of what the carriage attendant can do for those under her charge, and things to look out for at kilometre markers along the way. The LP guide has little about the journey itself, and what little interesting information it did have in the first edition disappeared in the second.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Romy on March 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I used this book while traveling along the Trans-Siberian railroad and in planning my trip beforehand. It provides a great amount of quality information for planning purposes, but it is not complete. For example, when it lists the time table of trains, please note that it is only a sample of the most popular "tourist" trains. We found hundreds of trains going along the route, leaving at all times of day and night (of course we figured this out once we got there).

The translations were useful if you do not know the Russian alphabet. The pronunciation guide is good.

The best part of the guide was the section which gave you fun facts along the kilometer markings of the railroad. These made up a great portion of our entertainment while riding the train (4 days of sitting and looking out the window, chatting with other travellers, etc.). The little tidbits were very interesting!

The city guides within the book were an okay start to get familiar with the cities, but as with any guidebook which tries to cram it all in, it was not nearly complete.

My only con of the book was the large size of it. It is very thick, but I guess it must be (it has sooooo much info inside!)

I would recommend buying it if you are traveling along the railroad, or just as a great reference!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
without this book, most of the sights will pass by. The times, station breaks, kilometre breakdown are essential for getting the most out of the journey. there is nothing else out there that combines the knowledge and tables as well as this publication. It does lack sufficient maps though so bring your own
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Graham on September 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Have just finished the trip - this guide is fantastic the trip would have been a lot less without it. Every one around us borrowed it
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be of great help in planning my Trans-Siberian trip. It is organized and contains information that will definitely be indispensible along the way: basic translations of common terms, general info on departure cities other than Russia and things I would never think of adding to a travel guidebook.
I would recommend this guide to anyone aspiring to travel by train in Russia.
J
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Vessela Petrova on June 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My friend and I did part of the trip last summer, and the guide was simply invaluable. We were in the major cities decribed in the book, and we took the train Irkutsk--Ulaan Baator. The book was very helpful both when we were planning the trip (has train schedules) and on the spot, directing us to places of interest. Overall, gives you a good idea what to expect. Start reading the guide at least half a year before the planned trip. You'll need good 4 to 5 months to arrange everything.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By neil@neilburling.freeserve.co.uk on September 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I used this excellent guide during my journey, and I have to say it helped 100% with planning both before I left home, and during the journey. A BIG thank you to the author, Bryn Thomas!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Jacobs VINE VOICE on May 6, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used this book multiple times while traveling the Trans-Siberian. During my first trip, it helped me to get my bearings and to plan the practicalities. On subsequent trips, I was able to enjoy the detailed maps and information about stops along the way. It is very accurate and detailed. I still found a previous version useful several years after publication. It does focus primarily on stops directly on the route. For those who with to travel further afield, I wrote the book ROAMING RUSSIA: An Adventurer's Guide to Off The Beaten Track Russia and Siberia. The Trans-Siberian Handbook is an essential book for Siberian rail travelers. I highly recommend it.
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