Author Topic: RUSSIA  (Read 11943 times)

vhanya

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2011, 11:39:33 am »
piglet24, sabi ng friend ko who went there, always travel with your group. wag mag ikot ikot kung saan saan na walang go signal ng tour guide =)

piglet24

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2011, 12:34:22 pm »
^ay ganun? tsk tsk. plano pa namn namin ni husbandry mag on our own sa gabi. hehe. goodluck namn di ba.
nakalungkot namn kung hindi ka talga free maglibot.  thanks sis ha.
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vhanya

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2011, 05:49:34 pm »
sa mga top tourist spots/locations pwede naman kayo lang. pero wag yung sa gilid gilid. you know what i mean =)

piglet24

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2011, 06:53:19 pm »
ah okies. okies. sa mga metro lang sana and kung ano pa yung di covered ng tour namn. wala pa
kasi yung final iti namn. kinda excited na kinakabahan. any food na must try? thanks!
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little_princess

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2011, 10:39:44 pm »
what's your tour group ba? most group tours, medyo late na bumabalik sa hotel so you might not be able to go out na or if maaga naman, the hotel is kinda far from the city center.

the metro is generally safe except for the bombing that happened last year. the day we left manila was the day of the bombing and the next day, we even rode the metro since it was part of the tour. the metro is really pretty, the stations are decorated with artworks and stuff.

we were advised to stay within our groups but i never really felt threatened unlike when we were in turkey. people stare in russia but it was fine for me.

must try - russian vodka, it was really strong! and caviar is also popular there. i have lots of pics, i can email you a link so you can see :)

piglet24

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2011, 09:11:14 pm »
^ah ganun ba sis. well, na excite na ako. i jsut received the quote from the travel agent, the sad
part is di kasali sa kanila ang tour sa city. so hotel, airport transfer and the airfare lang covered nila.
i checked the hotels they recommended and turned out na may mga promo sila that includes city
tour. so looking forward ako sa reply nila. i called the hotel, by tom daw matatanggap ko reply nila.
the hotel is maisson all-suites spa. hopefully maganda ang packge.

sige sis, pacheck ng link mo. baka may makuha kaming points ni husbandry. weeeh!
by the way, my email is maruya24@yahoo.com.
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little_princess

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2011, 11:10:57 am »
are you based in manila? the travel agent kasi that we had, all inclusive na yung tour namin from airline, hotel, meals, and all tours. so all we had to do was pack our bags and enjoy the sites. usually tour groups would book you in a hotel na ok naman but not really in the city center - it's just a place to sleep and rest.

ill post it here na lang so everyone can have an idea on what to expect in Moscow and St. Petersburg :)
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.430950036250.226689.576636250&l=34b1fa1bb8&type=1
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.432371901250.227734.576636250&l=e5113239d3&type=1
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.432376826250.227740.576636250&l=01010d4bbe&type=1
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.432381751250.227748.576636250&l=78de9edebc&type=1
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150262595921251.374735.576636250&l=c911d24a55&type=1

caterpillar-girl

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Russia
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2011, 12:38:29 pm »
Has anyone been to Russia? Might go to Beijing next year and I'm thinking of doing a side trip to Russia, via the Trans Siberian Railway. If not, maybe I'll just go to Russia separately. Tips? How to get there, where to go, when to go, etc. Thanks!
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melodymedley

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2012, 11:14:51 pm »
Just found an updated website!

http://www.seat61.com/Trans-Siberian.htm

Wow! Talk about a looong train ride. But this should be fun. Another one in the bucket list!

 :)

Got interested in Russia from another thread so I checked if there is one here in GT. :) Anyone who did Russia recently? TheTrans-Siberia train ride looks fun and interesting. Did a brief research and it seems that the visa is granted if you book your tour with an accredited travel agency of Russia.

I explored the real russia website and the visa fees are soooo expensive for Pinoys and you have to book and pay for the tour na. Parang di-uubra DIY. Anyone care to share?

Russian embassy in the Philippines:
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papemelroti

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2012, 09:21:57 pm »
@melodymedley- im also planning on going to russia. how is your trip planning? do u have an itinerary already?

i am planning a trip next year to russia na DIY. going to italy was pretty easy since i can converse in basic italian but russian seems like a harder language to learn.

can someone give an estimate for airfare and accommodations?
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melodymedley

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2012, 10:36:07 pm »
@sis papemelroti: This is in my 2014 travel timeline.  ::) I am prioritizing other destinations this year and in 2013. Ipon mode muna. Mauuna ka. Hope you can update this thread after your trip.

For airfare, CX has a MNL-Moscow route that amounts to USD 1,100-1,200 (I did the mock booking last Jan or Feb pa). But for my super draft IT, I'll probably fly in and out of China.

My dream itinerary: China-Mongolia-Russia. All via the Trans-Siberia train. I really want to experience the train travel.

Also, I read in the Russian Embassy of the Philippines website (which I think is official) that a hotel reservation from a affiliated tour agency in required. Not sure on the exact words. My takeaway thought is you need to do the trip booking with a travel agency. 
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papemelroti

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2012, 11:28:34 pm »
i just realized that russia needs a visa. *groan* i thought my other passport would suffice but i still need to get one.

miss melody i did check out the russian embassy website and it does seem that i need to have a travel agency in order to "legitimize" my tourist visa. i still want a diy trip but if that is not possible the next plan is to do russia with other eastern countries as part of a tour group.
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vhanya

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2012, 12:54:44 am »
hay naku! yan din kinaiinisan ko eh. plan namin mag russia after the europe trip next year pero dadaan ang agency e lagi kaming DIY. grrr

mama squeak!

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2012, 05:09:09 pm »
According to my friend who was assigned in Russia for 10 years pwede ang DIY. You don't have to go through a travel agency. Just have a confirmed hotel/B&B booking certificate or email. Or kung accommodating yung hotel/B&B you can ask them to send you an invitation letter.

papemelroti

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2012, 06:57:22 pm »
According to my friend who was assigned in Russia for 10 years pwede ang DIY. You don't have to go through a travel agency. Just have a confirmed hotel/B&B booking certificate or email. Or kung accommodating yung hotel/B&B you can ask them to send you an invitation letter.

thanks! will keep this in mind. if that is the case planning for russia 2013 will commence on december then.
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little_princess

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2012, 09:50:40 am »
it's pretty easy to get a russian visa, no need for appearance na :) well, this was done together with a group so not sure. but they are a bit strict sa immigration, mas madaming tanong unlike other EU countries pero not as bad as US.

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2013, 02:24:40 pm »
We're going in January, DIY. We booked Aeroflot via HK. Below is our (very) rough draft itinerary:

Day 1 Manila - HK
Day 2 HK - Moscow (SVO)
Day 3 Kremlin, Red Square, St. Basil's Basilica
Day 4 Moscow - St. Petersburg via SAPSAN, Peter and Paul Fortress, Nevsky Prospekt
Day 5 Hermitage Museum, Moika Palace
Day 6 Catherine Palace, watch a ballet at the Alexandrinsky Theatre
Day 7 St. Petersburg - Moscow via SAPSAN, Palazzo Ducale for dinner
Day 8 Pushkin Museum, Cafe Pushkin for dinner, watch an opera at the Bolshoi Theatre
Day 9 Moscow (SVO) - HK
Day 10 HK - Manila

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2014, 12:22:45 pm »
Today is a good day to panic. My life has been so full that I still don't have a budget sheet and itinerary. We're flying to Moscow in 2 weeks.

And we still need to shop for high-quality winter stuff. Because I don't want to, you know, die in the cold.

Frozen Toes

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2014, 09:39:02 am »
I'm in St. Petersburg. Spending today at the Hermitage. Yay! :) It's less than -15 outside. Almost the same as Moscow, but the wind chill here is worse.

Having a pretty good time. Russians aren't as bad as I thought. They just don't smile a lot. But they're helpful with directions and stuff.

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Re: RUSSIA
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2014, 06:23:12 pm »
Just got back from our trip! We went DIY and it was much easier than I expected. Let me just share some stuff that might be helpful to those traveling to Russia.

Visa
Regular visa processing takes about a month, so we availed of the rush service (PHP 7,000) and got our visas in a week. We submitted completed application forms, passport size photos, and an invitation letter from our hotel in Moscow. Appearance is not required. I think we paid about PHP 3,000 for the invitation letter.

Getting There
We booked Aeroflot four months in advance. For our route HKG-SVO-HKG, the airfare was around PHP 29,000 net. I love Aeroflot. Unbelievably smooth yung flight namin going to Moscow, and while the return flight was a bit bumpy due to weather conditions, okay yung paghandle ng pilots. Very good selection of movies, too. Onboard meals were adequate.

Flying time to Moscow was 10 hours and 30 minutes. Return was 9 hours and 30 minutes.

Airport
Aeroflot uses Sheremetyevo Airport. Other international airlines use Domodedovo Airport. Mas malapit yata SVO sa city center. Took 35 minutes on Aeroexpress to travel from point A to B. One-way fare costs RUB 350.

Accommodation
I highly, highly recommend Holiday Inn Lesnaya in Moscow. Fantastic location. Maraming makakainan nearby and there is a 24-hour convenience store a few blocks away. Walking distance lang yung Aeroexpress Station and Belorussky Station (300 meters). Belorussky is on the green and brown lines. Most of the tourist attractions are located near green line stops, so hindi na kami palipat lipat ng trains. For example, the Red Square is only 3 stops away (Teatralnaya Station) and Tretyakov Gallery is 4 stops away (Tretyakovskaya Station). The brown line naman was useful to us when we traveled to St. Petersburg. The Leningradsky Railway Station kasi is right outside Komsomolskaya Station, which is 3 stops away on the brown line. Sa Leningradsky yung sakayan ng overnight train from Moscow to St. Pete’s.

In St. Petersburg, we stayed at the Allegro Hotel. It’s a guesthouse on the third floor of an old building with no elevators, but our room was clean and spacious. Rate includes a simple homey breakfast and free coffee/tea all day & night. The hotel is near a metro station, restaurants, and convenience stores.

Food
Russia is an expensive country. A small cup of coffee costs anywhere between RUB 100 to RUB 300. Allot RUB 500 per person for midrange lunch. Of course, dinner is more expensive.

If on a tight budget, though, there are fast food joints like KFC, McDo, Sbarro, Burger King, etc. In Moscow, there are cafeteria-type restaurants. We tried one called My My (read as Moo-Moo). They offer decent Russian fare for cheap. Others like it are Yolki Palki and Grabli.

If you want a sophisticated meal, check out Café Pushkin (Tverskoy Bulvar, Moscow). The menu is on their website. It’s a lovely old world restaurant. Really fancy. Food and service that we received were both remarkable. Read more about Pushkin Café here and here.

But, our favorite restaurant in Moscow is Torro Grill. It’s near our hotel, so we had brunch there three times. A huge breakfast set costs RUB 390. Pag kumakain kami dito, very light na lang dinner namin kasi super nakakabusog.
 
Breakfast sets are generally cheaper. It should set you back some RUB 350 - RUB 450. Lunch sets are slightly more expensive. Maybe RUB 400 and up. Hence, consider making brunch your main meal of the day.

Also, you may be interested to dine at restaurants that serve traditional Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Ukrainian, and Kazakh cuisines. We had affordable Russian and Georgian food at Cafe Ket (Cat) in St. Petersburg. The Hachapuri Adzharian was yummy. Parang cheese pizza na may egg.

Getting Around
We used the metro lang in Moscow (RUB 40 per ride) and St. Petersburg (RUB 28 per ride). Print out the metro maps in Russian and English and study how to read Cyrillic alphabet. Madali lang naman matutunan. Most of the signs kasi sa metro and sa streets are in Cyrillic.

Overnight Train – Moscow to St. Petersburg
You can take the SAPSAN (bullet train) to cut down travel time to 4 hours, or you can go for the 8-hour overnight train ride. We picked the latter and it was so fun. First time kasi namin matulog on berths inside a moving train. We chose the Smena Train that leaves Moscow at 10:50 PM (Leningradsky Railway Station, Train No. 26A) and St. Petersburg at 11:00 PM (Moskovsky Railway Station, Train No. 25A).

Third class lang kinuha namin and comfortable naman. Walang doors 'to, only compartments. One compartment has two double-deck beds. They provide pillows, blankets, and comforters. Make sure you get bottom beds in the compartments para mabantayan nyo gamit nyo, AND avoid side beds (both top and bottom) kasi mas smaller beds 'tong mga 'to. Bed Nos. 1 - 32 yung nasa compartments. Any number above that, side bed na. Google how to read Russian train tickets para makita nyo bed and cart numbers assigned sa inyo. If you want more privacy, go first class na lang.

For Moscow to St. Pete’s, we bought tickets online via RealRussia before we left Manila. I think RUB 2,500 per person yung fare. We were worried kasi na baka maubusan kami kung sa Russia pa kami bibili. However, maluwag pa yung train. Walang nag occupy nung top beds sa compartment namin. Konti yung tourists because winter, I guess. When we arrived in St. Pete’s, we bought agad tickets for our return to Moscow. RUB 1,400 lang pala per person. Ang laki nga ng service charge ng RealRussia.

We bought meat pies and water before boarding para just in case magutom. Pero there was a trolley lady naman on board. We slept throughout the trip.

Things to do
I don’t like doing touristy stuff too much. I prefer just taking it slow, walking around, people watching. Basically, just experiencing local life. I visited only the attractions that I really wanted to see - the Red Square, the Kremlin, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Hermitage, The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and the remains of the Romanovs at the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Then, we spent time looking around shops on Tverskaya Road, Arbat Street, and Nevsky Prospekt. There’s a small posh grocery store on Tverskaya called the Eliseevsky Gastronom. Check it out.

And because it was cold (-24 degrees), we stopped for coffee often. I didn’t want to drink vodka kasi. We frequented the coffee shops on the top level of GUM.

We bought pasalubong from Galeria Mall in St. Petersburg, Metropolis in Moscow, and that lane of Russian souvenirs outside the Red Square.

And on our last night, we saw an opera at the Bolshoi Theater. Buy tickets way in advance kasi mabilis maubos.

Final Note
I will go back to Russia for the Hermitage, the Romanovs, and Torro Grill. Haha.

I posted some photos on my Tumblr and will maybe post some more soon.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 11:29:25 am by Frozen Toes »

 


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