Gustaf Mannerheim had originally planned to return to St. Petersburg via Japan and the United States, or perhaps via India and the Suez Canal, but he was terribly short of money. The only option remaining, he grumbled in a letter to his brother, would be “the unpleasant railway trip across Siberia.” He took a steamer to Japan and then Vladivostok where he boarded the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow and then onto St. Petersburg, where he personally debriefed Tsar Nicholas II on his epic, two-year journey to China.
I had wanted to follow in Mannerheim’s wake to Japan, but a shortage of money prevented me from visiting the island-nation. Instead, I boarded the Trans-Manchurian Express. It took me north from Beijing for 2,300 kilometres and then connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway. The trip to Moscow took six days. I rested one night in the capital, and then caught a night-train to St. Petersburg and, finally, the Sibelius Express to Helsinki, where I ended my long and arduous voyage at the final resting spot of Marshal Mannerheim.
Click on features to view details of the return journey from Beijing to St. Petersburg via the Trans-Manchurian and Trans-Siberian Railway.
View Return Journey: Beijing to St. Petersburg in a larger map
Click on the icons to view photos of my journey on the Trans-Manchurian and Trans-Siberian Railway.
For more information about the Trans-Manchurian and Trans-Siberian Railway, check out these links:
Trans-Siberian Railway Tours
Another Trans-Siberian Railway Tour Company
Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin)
Museum of Cultures in Helsinki
Headquarters Museum in Mikkeli, Finland
Mannerheim Museum in Helsinki