The Amur Region lies in the basin of the Amur River and Zeya River and borders Yakutia in the north, the Khabarovsk Territory in the east, and China in the south. The Region occupies the territory of 363,700 sq km. As of 2009 its population makes up 864.5 thousand persons, 64% are urban residents.
The administrative center of the region is the city of Blagoveschensk, founded in 1856. Blagoveschensk is located 6,052 km from Moscow (straight-line distance); the Time Zone difference from Moscow is +6 hours. You can get to the city either using common types of transport, i.e. by plane, or by train, or using exotic means, namely by ferry from China or via hitchhiking.
The climate in the Region greatly depends upon monsoons. Winters are cold and dry with average temperature varying from —24°C in the south to —33°C in the north. In the south summers are hot and rainy with average temperature +21°C, and +18 in the north.
Though the Region was founded not long ago, namely in October 20, 1932, humans appeared in the territory of the Amur basin about 350 thousand years B.C. The Russian nation is the largest in the Region. Tatars, Chinese, Evenkis, Chuvashes also live here.
The major treasure of the Region is its unique nature. There are a lot of nature reserves in the Region where rare animals and birds are kept secure. For example, the Norsky Nature Reserve is located between the Selemdzha River and the Nora River. Such rare species as Far Eastern and black storks, white-tailed eagles, black and Japanese cranes have remained alive in the Norsky Reserve. Another famous nature reserve is called Khingansky. Its main objective is to keep natural landscapes unchanged.
The Burning Mountains in the Shimanovsky District will surely make a strong impression upon nature amateurs. These mountains represent a unique geomorphic land formation. Brown coal deposits lie below the surface; they self-ignited many years ago. Since smoke is still rising, the mountains look as if on fire.
The Amur Region will undoubtedly also attract amateurs of hunting and fishing: brown and black bears, wild hogs, hares, elks and many other animals inhabit local forests. Amur sturgeon, grass carp, dog-fish, silver carp can be found among local fishes.
Amateurs of history are invited to incredible places of interest such as, the so-called “dinosaur cemetery” near the village Kundur. More than thousand bones of dinosaurs, including unknown species, were found during construction of a road in 1990. Another place of interest is the “Amur Petroglyphs”, i.e. rock drawings created about 10,000 years ago. They are supposed to decorate cultic sites where ancient people carried out religious rituals for hunting, family and religious ceremonies.
Another way for leisure activities in the Amur Region is to cruise along the Amur River, one of the ten largest rivers in the world. The Amur is navigable for nearly six months.
Blagoveschensk possesses a lot of evidence for long-lasting history of the city and the Region, such as the monument in memory of the first pathfinders landing and the Aygun Agreement signing, restored in 1973, as well as an old church — the former Catholic Church of early XX. The larger part of Blagoveschensk is covered by wooden houses; many of them are very old. Neighbourship of China no doubt has influence on the city: many institutions bear Chinese names. Moreover, a small toy-town in Chinese style was built in Novotroitsky shosse.
As the Region borders China, you may plan your trip with a car transit to China, e.g. trips «Jalinda – Mohe», and «Blagoveschensk-Heihe». In summer tourists cross the river by a ferry, in winter – by ice-road. Heihe is the free Russian-Chinese trade zone which is open for visa-free entry of Russians.
Numerous festivals which will amaze amateurs of arts, history, and sports are held in the Region, e.g. the Festival of Far Eastern Graphics “Silver Wave” (January-February), the Festival of folk needlework «Golden Stitch» (January-February), the District Tourism Festival «Spring Rains — 2008» (end of April), the Regional championship in water tourism and rescue activities (May), the Tatar Holiday «Sabantuy» (June), excursion shows in the ethnic Nanaj village (from June to August), the Festival of Chinese Culture (September).
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.