The Republic of Buryatia is an autonomous republic, a subject of the Russian Federation, a part of the Siberian Federal District. The capital is the city of Ulan-Ude. The railway distance from Ulan-Ude to Moscow is 5519 km. The area of the Republic of Buryatia is 351.3 thousand sq. km. The Republic was founded on May 30, 1923.
From the north and west (on the water area of the Lake Baikal) the republic borders on the Irkutsk region, at the far west at a relatively short distance there is a border with the republic of Tuva, in the south there is the state border with Mongolia, in the east — border with the Zabaikalsky Territory (Krai).
Buryatia is situated in the central part of Asia. It is a wonderful and beautiful land of mountains and the steppe, deep rivers and numerous lakes, borderless taiga and green valleys. It is situated in the depth of the continent, far away from seas and oceans, has a contrast climate, combining cold winters and hot summers. The climate of Buryatia is useful due to the amount of sunlight, dryness of the air and little of clouds. So, if you want to have rest and recover, Buryatia was just made for you!
It is an ancient and wonderful land. Take a look at the map- the republic as if embraces and holds carefully in its palms the cup of the Lake Baikal with pure drinking water, one of the treasures of the modern world.
Through Buryatia pass international tourist routes, based on the historical and cultural heritage of Russia, Mongolia, China: «The Great Tea Route», «The Eastern Ring», «Trans-Siberian Express», «Baikal-Subkhugul».
There are professional tourist organizations operating in the region, the credo of which is to make an unforgettable tourists’ stay in Buryatia on the high level of Baikal hospitality.
You will remember hikes in taiga forests, full of aroma of scented grasses horse routes in the steppe, rafting, climbing the highest peak of the Western Siberia — the Munko-Sardyk, melodic multi-voice singing of Old Believers, joy of national holidays «Sagaalgan» — «The White Half Moon», «Altargana», «Bolder», «Surkhaban» and «Eryn Gurban Naadan» with traditional Buryat wrestling, archery and horse races, festivals of ethnical music «Stars of the White Half Moon», «Sing, Korogod», «Golden Voice of Baikal», pure Baikal water and the air, which you can drink!
Buryatia has a mountain relief, that is why this place is good for alpinism and active rest. The nature diversity of the region is really impressive: forests, mountain and stone tundra, alpine and sub-alpine meadows.
The republic is rich in flora and fauna, natural resources (one of the leading positions in Russia), fresh, mineral and thermal waters. On the springs there are resorts of the national significance, such as: Nilova Pustyn, Khakusy, Kutchiger, Hot Spring, which enjoy great popularity among travelers.
Since ancient times different peoples have lived on the territory of Buryatia. During the Bronze Age here appeared the culture of «plate graves», which left many drawings in caves and on the rocks. Many historic monuments connected to the state of Khunnu, which existed on this land, are kept. A lot of tribes lived here, but Buryat and Evenki ethnos stayed dominating.
Traveling in Buryatia, you can make an ethnical tour visiting the villages of the Russian Old Believers, Buryat and Evenki. Lunch or dinner in one of the families, picnic with cooking of a national mutton dish, meeting with a Shaman, concert of a folklore ensemble, swimming in thermal springs will make bright impressions. You can also make wonderful trips to pagodas, temples. Extreme lovers will visit the sacred Shaman place, which is situated 400 km from the Kyakhta tract. River tours fans will enjoy a comfortable boat trip down the Selenga river.
But the most unforgettable impression is, of course, made by the Baikal. The western part of this great Siberian sea’s water area with the island of Olkhon is a part of the Irkutsk region. And the eastern part with the northern end belongs to Buryatia. Not a single lake has such water, it is the deepest and cleanest fresh water reservoir on the Earth. The Baikal basin has one fifth of the fresh water in the world. It is about thirty million years old. In other words, you do not have to be a biologist, zoologist or ecologist in order to admit the uniqueness of a huge fresh water sea named Baikal. Eco-tourism and calm and comfortable rest lovers are longing here.
The Eastern, Buryat shore of the lake is low, gentle. The mountains of the Barguzin range are standing aside of the Baikal, giving way for meadows and sunny stows. Although, there are many mountain capes and comfortable bays here. Every place on the shore of the lake is like a Robinson Crusoe’s dream.
A special kind of seal is living here — the Baikal seal. It is a symbol of the Baikal, the only mammal that lives in the great waters of the fresh water sea. It is still a mystery for scientists, how a typical inhabitant of salt seas appeared in the centre of the Asian continent. The Baikal oilfish is also a big mystery for scientists. Having no scale, it is so transparent that one can see its insides. Like many tropical fish, it does not cast forth but midges. There are also pigfish, famous omul, sturgeon and other fish in Baikal.
In comparison with the Irkutsk side the Buryat side is not so much occupied, it is calmer here, there are unpopulated shores and untouched virgin nature. You can swim and sunbathe here, drink water from the Baikal and thermal springs, sail and do the down-hill skiing. You can also go on a horse route or a water taxi ride.
Baikal Priboi, Kultushnaya, Lemasovo are among the most popular places for rest on the lake. You can stop at a tourist camp, or rest on your own in one of the guest houses, which are in plenty here.
Buryatia is a Heaven for eco-tourists, alpinists, mountain tracking and active rest lovers. Impressive by its diversity, it leaves memories, incomparable to anything else. It is because of the Baikal, the one and only!
For more detailed information on the Republic, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.