ON THE ROAD | The Eurasian Summer Bump 2019

Friday, August 16, 2019

Eurasian Summer Bump

We’re two hours early at the train station, waiting for an eleven-hour hard seat ride from Pingyao to Beijing. My travel partner and I had just finished the first leg of this year’s summer trip and it’s only now that I’m getting the chance to write the prelude to our last summer trip as a couple. Yes, It’s gonna be a while before our next one, and that next one’s gonna be totally different. From a traveling couple, we’re going to be a trio. A baby’s coming in soon to join our backpacking trips!

Eurasian Summer Bump
READYING FOR THE COLD, OUR LAST MEAL BEFORE THE TRIP ~ PHOTO BY SHERWIN ARANIEGO

Since BG’s carrying a baby now, a few changes are in order for this year’s backpacking trip. We shortened our usual two-month tour by two weeks. Instead of hitting out of the way destinations, we thought of trying easier routes, lessening land travel to a minimum as much as we can. We also thought of staying longer on places than the usual three to four days stay. And lastly, we ditched our backpacks for something far easier on our backs, luggage trolleys (after five days, I can say that rolling around a trolley is indeed easier, albeit less convenient when riding trains and city buses).

Eurasian Summer Bump
OUR FIRST BACKPACKING TRIP IN NEPAL

The previous years saw us through a host of countries. We started off with an unnamed no-hashtag three-week Nepal-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam affair in 2014. The next year, we formalized our annual summer trip with the Asean Summer Loop. 2016 saw us jumping across the waters around Asia with Beach Hop Asia, running out of ideas by 2017 and rehashing our favorite places on the Same Same Summer Trip. 2018 was the year we broke out of Asia, including Morocco on our SEA2Africa trip.

Eurasian Summer Bump
LETTING GO OF OUR BACKPACKS ~ PHOTO BY NALYN ACASIO

And now, this year’s route will take us to only three countries—China, Mongolia, and Russia. We’ve foregone the usual South East Asian trail, well, as some sort of a big blow out just before we temporarily quit our summer backpacking trip. And yes, this is gonna be BG’s first foray into Europe! Eurasian Summer Bump, indeed.

Our visas came easily enough. China requires one, but we have previously secured a multiple entry visa from them. Mongolia requires no visa for Filipinos. And finally, Russia. They require a visa, but it’s quite easy to secure one, although slightly more expensive than the usual.

Eurasian Summer Bump
THE TEAM RH GANG ON OUR OF OUR SUMMER TRIPS

With all our papers in order and after a hectic week of planning before the trip, here’s how our six weeks is gonna look like:

[PHILIPPINES] Manila ► [CHINA] Beijing ► Pingyao ► Beijing ► [MONGOLIA] Ulaanbaatar ► [RUSSIA] Moscow ► St. Petersburg ► Novgorod ► Moscow > [CHINA] Xi’an ► Chongqing ► Changsha ► Guangzhou ► [PHILIPPINES] Manila

It’s gonna be a cold summer for us, arriving in China, Mongolia, and Russia on the eve of their spring season—those big-ass luggage are actually perfect for our winter jackets and warmers.

A few of the TeamRH gang’s also gonna crash parts of our trip—Lakwatserong Tsinelas, Tracking Treasure, Its Mark Rodel, Kirk Acebron, and Pinoy Boy Journals—flying in from Manila to Mongolia and departing from Russia. It’s always a riot whenever our friends join us on our summer tours!

Eurasian Summer Bump
BIG-ASS LUGGAGE IN EXCHANGE FOR OUR NIFTY BACKPACKS

Back in Pingyao. Still typing on one corner of the station. It’s five minutes before our train arrives and the hall’s starting to fill with locals. Exploring the ancient city more slowly than usual has been fun. We do travel slow in the past, but this is a different kind of slow. Now, we even have time to Netflix and chill—using a VPN here in China, of course (seems like you can’t do anything over the Internet in China without using a VPN). Our slash and burn, beer guzzling outings across South East Asia are now a thing of the past. Still, we’re happily adjusting to our new phase of traveling. The train’s coming in any minute now, so we’ll see you guys on the road!

Check out our almost real-time travel updates on Instagram Stories using the hashtag #EurasianSummerBump2019.

You Might Also Like

0 comments