Matthew Woodward

I have discovered that travel by train is an amazing way to experience the real people, landscapes and cultures of any country. I have now completed three Trans-Siberian journeys and hope to cross Central Asia by rail next year.

You can follow my adventures on my blog, Toad's Travel Adventures, or Twitter, @TravellingToad



Articles by this author

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Why you should never wash your hands on the Trans-Siberian Express

When temperatures drop well below freezing, Matthew Woodward learns to adapt to life on board the Trans-Siberian. At least the blinis are as good as he remembers...

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Keeping track of time on the Trans Siberian Express

Missing a train can really mess up your travels. But with multiple time zones and inflexible train timetables, travelling on the Trans Siberian can get very, very confusing

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How to eat well on Chinese trains

Matthew Woodward explains why fast isn’t always best when it comes to enjoying a great meal on a Chinese express train

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What's the best luggage for rail travel?

Long distance rail adventurer Matthew Woodward puts various types of luggage to the test to decide which is the best for train travel

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10 must-have items for long distance train travellers

Matthew Woodward has travelled the world by rail. Here he lists the gadgets he can't do without

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Cheap caviar for breakfast on the Trans-Siberian Express

Matthew Woodward reveals how to enjoy the finer things on a budget when you're travelling on the Trans Siberian Express

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The perils of high altitude train travel

Matthew Woodward's next rail journey will take him through the world's highest railway station in Tibet. How should he prepare?

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How to make great coffee on your travels

Help is at hand for serious caffeine addicts - Matthew Woodward explains ways to enjoy quite reasonable coffee on the move

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How to ride one of the fastest trains in the world

What's it like to travel on the Tokaido Shinkansen? Matthew Woodward reveals all

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Keeping track of time on the Trans Siberian Express

Missing a train can really mess up your travels. But with multiple time zones and inflexible train timetables, travelling on the Trans Siberian can get very, very confusing

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What's so special about the Trans-Siberian Express?

As Matthew Woodward prepares to set off on his next massive train adventure, he explains what is so appealing about the world's longest rail journey

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Last minute preparations for a grand rail adventure

As the departure date for his great railway adventure fast approaches, Matthew Woodward scrambles to get everything done

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How to plan a rail trip from Edinburgh to Hong Kong

After months of planning and rejigging routes, Matthew Woodward is finally ready to depart for Hong Kong. Here's how his plans came together

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Leaving Edinburgh for Hong Kong by train

Matthew Woodward sets off for Hong Kong from Edinburgh's Waverley Station in the company of shoppers and businessmen. But it isn't long before the adventure begins...

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The unexpected joys of Europe's Inter-City trains

As Matthew Woodward heads further east on his grand rail journey to Hong Kong, he is reminded of what he loves about rail travel in Europe

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Breakfast on the Berlin to Warsaw Express

When the restaurant carriage goes missing on his train to Warsaw, Matthew Woodward risks his entire trip to China to find scrambled eggs and ham

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Highs and lows on the night train to Moscow

Matthew Woodward revels in Cold War borders and hot onboard showers on the brand new night train from Warsaw to Moscow

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Leaving Moscow on the Midnight Express

Matthew Woodward leaves Moscow for Hong Kong in the middle of the night and wonders what lies ahead. He's in for a pleasant surprise ...

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How to find secret compartments on the Trans-Siberian Express

With a nod and a wink, Matthew Woodward reveals hidden corners of Russian carriages and how to use them to your advantage

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Why you should never wash your hands on the Trans-Siberian Express

When temperatures drop well below freezing, Matthew Woodward learns to adapt to life on board the Trans-Siberian. At least the blinis are as good as he remembers...

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How to avoid having breakfast for lunch on the Trans-Siberian Express

Matthew Woodward struggles to get to grips with time on the Trans-Siberian Express. But worse, his secret cubbyhole has been rumbled.

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How cold is too cold on the Trans-Siberian Express?

As he heads towards Siberia and temperatures plummet, Matthew Woodward discovers what it means to feel really cold

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The restaurant at the end of the Trans-Manchurian Express

Matthew Woodward goes in search of a decent red to toast his last meal in Russia. Next stop: China.

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Frozen beards and fond farewells In the heart of Manchuria

As Matthew Woodward's journey takes him further into Manchuria he has to say goodbye to the people who have kept him fed and happy since Moscow

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Welcome to the world's most complicated border crossing

Matthew Woodward arrives on the Russian/Chinese border to find a Kafka-esque world where he has to question everything and trust no-one

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How to find Beijing in the smog

After travelling from one side of Europe to the other side of Asia, Matthew Woodward finally arrives in Beijing. Next stop Tibet!

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How to prepare for a train trip to Tibet

Matthew Woodward looks for provisions in Beijing as he waits for his train tickets to Tibet to be issued. Are deep-fried scorpions an appropriate train snack?

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From Beijing to Lhasa on the Z21

Matthew Woodward is finally heading to Lhasa by train. But first he must confront his old nemesis – the notorious Beijing West railway station

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Heaven and hell on the Z21 to Lhasa

As conditions on his train deteriorate, unexpected kindness reminds Matthew Woodward that the best experiences often come from the bad.

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How to survive the world's highest rail journey

Matthew Woodward discovers there is more to surviving the train trip to Lhasa than taking a few altitude sickness tablets

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Shangri La at the end of the line

Matthew Woodward has travelled more than halfway across the globe by train to get to Lhasa. Was it worth it?

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The slow train from Lhasa to Canton

Matthew Woodward decides to tackle the 4,390 kilometres from Lhasa to Canton in one go. Is he mad?

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How to tough out a nightmare train ride

Struck down by flu and surrounded by chain smokers, Matthew Woodward has to call upon all his reserves to get through a three-day horror trip to Guangzhou in China

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Counting the cost of an epic Edinburgh to Hong Kong rail journey

As Matthew Woodward’s grand rail journey draws to an end, he contemplates the effect such a long journey has had on his mental state - and his kit

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How to satisfactorily end an epic rail journey to Hong Kong

His extraordinary rail journey from Edinburgh to Hong Kong is over. But Matthew Woodward can’t resist one last rail journey to sample snake soup

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The 5 most useful resources for planning your Trans-Siberian adventure

It’s the rail journey that tops every bucket list. Long time rail rider Matthew Woodward reveals the resources you need to ensure your trip of a lifetime runs smoothly

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