Close

Notice: Undefined property: WP_Error::$slug in /home/papajkac/matthew-woodward.com/wp-content/themes/layerswp/core/helpers/template.php on line 195

Singapore – Featured

The Cambodian Express

Well, I finally got my wish today – I am sat in a seat next to an open window with the breeze blowing freely in my face watching the sunset very slowly. No windows have been hurt in the making of this blog, and my secret key is not required on this train! I’m on the twice daily “Cambodian Express” that travels between Bangkok and Aranyapathet, which as you might have read in my recent post, is very close to the Cambodian border. It’s also a train first for me – as I’m travelling in third class – here is […]

Read More

The Reunification Express (Part 2)

Distance so far: 15 543 km. Weather 27 degrees C, sunny. This is the second rail leg of my Vietnam journey – this time on a train called the “SE3” – which like the SE1 also travels from Hanoi to Saigon, but setting off later in the day – so a lunchtime departure from Da Nang on day two. This hasn’t been a particularly fun trip, so apologies that there not many photos here, but you will soon understand why I was otherwise engaged. 11.20 Da Nang station waiting room is getting busier by the minute, as my train is delayed […]

Read More

Easy Rider

Time for a bit of motorcycling this afternoon. To be more precise, some “Wallace & Gromit” style biking into the countryside. And better still, on a 46 year old Russian “Ural” 500cc bike.. Invented by the Soviet Union in 1940 on Stalin’s orders to provide mobility to special forces.. This particular motorbike was originally provided to North Vietnam by the Russians where it served as a Police bike for much of its life. It had a crew of three and space for a detainee where I’m sitting.. It still retains a working siren, but we don’t use it much as […]

Read More

Dong Dang

21.30 (local) Good evening, and welcome to another episode of “border games”. It’s been a relaxing day, drinking tea, dozing, taking pictures of the fantastic landscape around Guilin whilst eating fiery stew from the restaurant carriage. Tonight I am starting with some “pre border, border games” at Nanning station. This is the last big city before the crossing, and most people finish their journey from Beijing here. Except me! My guard (seen here slightly annoyed with me taking pictures of everything!) got me out of my carriage (but my luggage is left in it) and handed me over to a member […]

Read More

Suhe-Bator

Distance covered so far: 7393 km, estimated temperature: -24 degrees C Greetings from Mongolia! I’ve just crossed the frontier from the Russian Federation and am now sat quietly in the darkness on the Mongolian border. It’s all very Cold War again – soldiers standing to attention on the platform and immigration officers carrying briefcases ready to board and examine everyone that they find on train 004. Guard dogs roam freely on the platform. I think my paperwork is in order, but judging by the degree of close inspection my visa was given before being taken away, I’m not 100% sure. […]

Read More

Ulan Ude

Its a perfect day on the Trans-Mong 004. Listening to my Pink Floyd back catalogue (turned up slightly too loud) in my compartment whilst I update the blog. We are about 30 minutes behind schedule – I don’t know why. We left Irkutsk on time at about 04.30 (local) and have been weaving around vast frozen lakes most of the morning. By chance I was just walking back from my ablutions at about 09.30 (local) and I nearly dropped my toilet roll when I looked out the window to see Lake Baikal – absolutely massive, stunning, like a sea, and […]

Read More

Ilanskaya

An afternoon stop in Ilanskaya for coal. My train timetable says we are 4379 km from Moscow, so if I have covered 1502 km getting to Moscow then that’s 5881 km total so far – that is further than I had guessed. As you can see its dry and sunny now, not sure how cold, maybe around -10 degrees C. Lots of platform food action here – beer, weird dried fish and chilled dumplings – we must be getting more Eastern if the food is anything to go by. The mode of transport for these mobile “shops” is by sledge […]

Read More

Krasnoyarsk

Morning! Sunrise in Siberia. I have made the switch from Moscow time to Beijing time. Its a 4 hour difference and an ongoing issue for the Trans-Sib adventurer. The train schedule is in Moscow time and does not change until the Mongolian border. However the daylight, and vitally the restaurant carriage, operate in a local time. There is no perfect answer but I have made a full jump to Beijing time leaving one watch on Moscow time just so I can read the timetable properly. The reason for doing this is that I slept through much of Mongolia last trip, and […]

Read More