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The best Trans-Siberian guide available
on 21 December 2011
Having enjoyed the most amazing adventure on the Trans-Mongolian route from Moscow to Beijing I can say that this is without doubt the best guide book for anyone planning their own Trans-Siberian railway journey. I read both the Lonely Planet guide, which many of my fellow travellers were using in various languages, and this one. There are other travelogues and examples of travel writing that cover the railway, but the Trailblazer and Lonely Planet books represent the only two comprehensive Trans-Siberian guides published in English that I'm aware of.
The Lonely Planet guide was riddled with inaccuracies, out of date information and inconsistent levels of detail, something that several other people commented on while I was travelling. The Trailblazer guide, by contrast, is a cohesive, well-researched and more up-to-date publication. The fact that it was written by Bryn Thomas and updated very recently by Anna Kaminski means that there is a great deal more consistency in the Trailblazer than the Lonely Planet guide, which consists of jumbled, poorly researched contributions from several people, seemingly over a broad time frame.
Finding information in the Trailblazer guide is exceptionally easy and the writing is concise without being prosaic. Cyrillic and Chinese translations of place names and key words are included where needed and there is some absolutely excellent information on the potentially confusing business of buying tickets. It is clear that this book is written by passionate and experienced travellers and their attention to detail, knowledge of the Russian language and understanding of how to navigate various procedures and practical challenges make this a very reassuring book to have in your luggage.