Category: trains

Unplugging on the Rocky Mountaineer

In a world where speed is everything, travelling has become a bit of a miracle. We hop on a plane, cross time zones and jet-lagged and tired, arrive in a new city. Our flights...

Meeting Paul Theroux

    Sometime in 2001, I discovered my mother’s copy of The Great Railway Bazaar. It was an old Penguin edition, hiding on her bookshelf outside my parents’ room. Many of the pages had...

A nice kind of dizzy

It happened again yesterday. The first time I felt or thought I felt the ground swaying was on Olkhon Island in Russia two years ago. About a year later, I felt the floor move...

Mandalay, Burma’s last royal capital

Unlike many old cities, Mandalay was not born at the crossroads of converging trade routes, or because it was the site of an ancient settlement. Instead, it grew out of a prophecy. When King...

En route to pizza

  We met Paolo- wavy-haired, scruffy and broke- at Paris Austerlitz train station. Aida and I were checking train schedules when he walked up to us with sad, pleading eyes. “I have no money...

By train to Bagan

  I’m not sure what time it was, but I woke up with a start. The cold night wind, blowing at whatever-miles-per-hour, had slapped me hard in the face. But it wasn’t the wind...

Vietnam by train

Travelling by train is an excellent way to explore Vietnam- local trains are affordable, fairly comfortable and safe. Vietnam’s main railway track – the North-South Railway- runs along the length of the country, connecting...

Not in China anymore

Coming out of Nanning train station was like seeing children rush out of their classrooms on the last day of school. All I saw was a sea of black heads, streaming down the steps...

Shanghai

When I began planning for my St Petersburg-Kuala Lumpur overland trip, my original route through China was supposed to be Beijing-Nanning and from there, Hanoi. I still had that same route in mind after reaching...

Mongolia-China border crossing

Our train to Jining Nan Compared to the Russia-Mongolia train crossing, the Ulaanbaatar-Beijing leg can be described as slightly dodgy. The options for passage from Russia to Mongolia are more or less straightforward but...