What to see and do in Siberia

Siberia Railway ©ru_0serg/flickr

Siberia Railway ©ru_0serg/flickr

One of the attractions in Siberia is being on the journey on the world’s longest railway. Dated back to the 18th century, the Trans-Siberian Railway is the experience of a lifetime and the best way to discover Siberia’s natural beauty of history and culture through the scenic railroads.

Nature and Wildlife

Altai Mountains is a strictly protected area in the southern Siberia. These deep mountain valleys with numerous rivers and boreal forests shelter seventy species of mammals and different varieties of birds.

Ulan-Ude’s Datsan Complex

Datsan Temple

©yastabacagao/flickr

The Ivolginsk Datsan is a Buddhist Monastery with a very beautiful and spectacular view in the snow. Be sure to see the brightly colored temples nestled in the snow against an impressive backdrop of snow-capped mountains. In the temple is the amazing lama Itigilov, the 12th Kambo Lama who died in 1927. He was sitting in the lotus position and died that way and buried that way too. He was exhumed 30 years later and found miraculously preserved. Now he is a sacred object of Buddhism and he still sits in the same state in his new temple at the Datsan Complex. The other special thing is you have to walk clockwise around and spin, there are stupas containing relics and trees covered in little prayer flags tied to a branch. If you are lucky you can see some brides dressed up in finery and furs.

Lake and Zoo

Lake Baikal is the pearl of Siberia with an incredibly clear and freshwater lake. It is one mile in depth and contains more flora and fauna than any lake elsewhere. Fresh water seals are a must see. This unique body of water is entirely surrounded by high mountains, rich lushly green forests as well as wild flower meadows. It is truly a UNESCO world heritage. Novosibirsk Zoo features 4000 animals of altogether 399 species. This zoo is special in that it is very active in the preservation and reproduction of endangered species.

Circum-Baikal Railway

This is a historical railway of 89 kilometers in the Irkutsk region of Russia. It runs along the northern shore of the Southern extremity of the lake from the town of Slyudyanka to the Baikal settlement. It is also part of the main line of Trans-Siberian Railway, a unique achievement in engineering. Expect picturesque sights of the area around Lake Baikal. There are numerous nature sanctuaries including the rocky formations such as the “????? ??????”.

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