Experience the BAM Route & the Naadam Festival on a Luxury Rail Journey by Private Train
When most people consider traversing the treacherous hinterlands of Siberia, the Trans-Siberian Railway — Russia’s legendary route from Moscow all the way to the Pacific — almost immediately springs to mind.
The seldom-traveled Baikal-Amur Magistral, or BAM, is a fascinating alternative to the classic Trans-Siberian route, and equally as epic a railway journey. Rolling through some of the most remote, roadless taiga in the country, the BAM blazes a path through miles of glorious, unspoiled scenery, dramatic mountains, and out-of-the-way towns and villages that seem to have remained remarkably untouched by Russia’s forward momentum towards modernity.
Now you can set off on an incredible journey on the historic BAM line, discovering rarely seen places built on pioneering spirit and Soviet ambition, all while traveling in the comfort of a luxury private train on a brand-new rail journey for 2018, the Trans-Siberian BAM Explorer with Naadam Festival.
But the BAM route, fraught with difficulties from the start, almost didn’t reach completion — the project was constantly set back by the challenges of inhospitable terrain and extreme weather conditions, not to mention the incredible financial and human toll it took. In 2004, nearly 60 years after construction of the line first started, the last link in the BAM was finally laid.
The line has since remained largely underused, but those who have made the journey on the BAM have been rewarded with unbelievable views of Siberia’s pristine wilderness, as well as the chance to step into the past and see firsthand an intriguing and little-known side of Soviet Russian history.
Explore the history behind Sovetskaya Gavan, the eastern terminus of the BAM route; wander through Komsomolsk-na-Amur, a secret military town built from the ground up by the Komsomol, the Soviet youth organization, along with hundreds, maybe thousands, of gulag prisoners; and tour the city of Tynda, which hosts the headquarters of the BAM construction company.
Re-joining the Trans-Siberian, take in several highlights along the classic line, including charming Irkutsk, breathtaking UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal, and a visit to a village of Old Believers, exiled to Siberia after their rebellion against 17th century Orthodox church reforms.
- Travel where Trans-Siberian passengers rarely go – through thick taiga forests, mountains and tundra in the sparsely populated region north of the classic route on the BAM (Baikal-Amur Magistral).
- Explore once-forbidden Vladivostok, with visits to the railway station decorated with beautiful examples of Socialist-Realist art; the Pacific Navy War Memorial; and the S-56 submarine, which once prowled the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in WWII on the hunt for enemy ships.
- Tour the neoclassical Stalinist buildings of Komsomolsk-na-Amur, the city built by Soviet students and prisoners in 1932 as a secret center for military industries.
- Walk through the fascinating displays at the BAM Museum in Tynda, which illustrates the epic history and construction of the BAM line.
- Make a village visit to enjoy a home cooked meal and hear the powerful centuries-old songs of Old Believers, learning about their unique history and traditions.
- Breathe in the astounding beauty of UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal, a lake so vast that locals call it “the sea.”
- Cheer on the school-age jockeys, traditional wrestlers and keen-eyed archers at the Naadam Festival.
Travel with MIR on a Luxury Rail Journey by Private Train
MIR is an award-winning company with over 30 years of travel experience in this area of the world, and has affiliate offices in Siberia, Western Russia and Uzbekistan, providing a superior edge in on-the-ground operations.
Rail journeys by private train are in a class of their own. Each train departure features comfortable accommodations, modern amenities, and superb service on board, and allows travelers to easily and efficiently cover thousands of miles across multiple time zones.
Give us a call at 1-800-424-7289 or email us to talk with one of our experts about your rail travel dreams. With so many rail journeys available and a variety of fabulous special savings offers to boot, one of them is sure to fit your style, schedule and budget.
(Top Photo: Colorful costumes are one of the highlights at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photo credit: Helge Pedersen.)
PUBLISHED: October 23, 2017