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Monday, November 29, 2021

Amazing destinations you probably didn’t realise you could reach without flying

Continue on train number 2, the Rossiya, which leaves Moscow for Vladivostok on six-night journeys to the Pacific. A bed in a four-berth sleeper starts at around £260. From Vladivostok, a ferry sails to Donghae in South Korea or Sakaiminato in Japan, two-night crossing (en.go-to-japan.jp).

Alternatively, two trains a week link Moscow with China (though they are currently suspended). The Trans-Mongolian Express (train 4), cutting across the Gobi desert and taking six nights for the schlep to Beijing, and the Trans-Manchurian (train 20), taking seven nights. The cost is around £600 including a bed in a four-berth sleeper (go through an agency, for example realrussia.co.uk or svezhyveter.ru).

From Beijing, high-speed trains run to Xian, Shanghai and Hong Kong in a matter of hours. A twice-weekly train links Beijing with Hanoi in Vietnam (chinahighlights.com), from where daily trains run to Saigon, for buses to Cambodia and Bangkok, for onward trains to Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. How adventurous do you feel?

The whole world (from Southampton) – 24,860 miles

Far less logistically stressful than an overland journey to the Far East is an overwater journey around the whole planet. P&O’s 2023 World Cruise leaves Southampton on January 3, 2023, and returns 101 days later. Stops include the Bahamas, Jamaica, Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand (surely it will have opened its borders by then…), Manila, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Oman and Malta. You’ll transit both the Panama and Suez canals, cross three oceans, and visit 19 countries – without stepping on a plane.

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