The Zabaykalsky Territory was founded in 2008 as a result of uniting of the Chitinskaya Region and Agin-Buryat Autonomous Area, the Territory area is 431 500 sq.km, the population is 1 117 000 people, among them 63% live in cities. The Territory is located in UTC +9 time zone and the time difference between the Moscow time and the time zone is +6 hours.
The Territory administrative centre — is the city of Chita, located in the distance of 5 thousand km. from Moscow.
The main rivers are — Shilka and Argun. The Territory incorporated a large lakes network — Ivano-Arkhaleyskaya.
The Territory climate is moderate, strongly continental, with long winter period (average temperature of January is —28), and quite warm summers (average temperature of July is +18).
The main wildlife refuge of the Zabaykalsky Territory — is Sokhondinskiy State Natural Park which was founded in 1926. It is located on a watershed of Asian river system; river springs originate not far from this place debouching into the Amur River and the Burecha River debouching into the Baikal Lake. Savage scenery of the Transbaikal south, a mixture of taiga and prairies remain in the Natural Park. «The center» of the refuge that gave name to it is extinguished Sokhondo volcano. An ecological path leads to the volcano peak and it takes one week to walk through it. The path takes its rise in birch forests where one may admire rich wildlife flora. Then the path leads up to the volcano flank and the vegetation belt changes. Sokhondo peak incorporates plain flat surface featuring magnificent view. The Kyra village is located within the natural park with ancient depositions of the Scythians-Sarmatians.
Another conservation area — is Daurskiy State Nature Biosphere Reserve. It was founded in 1987 mainly for bird population protection. The reserve territory is located in a steppe zone with severe temperature fluctuation between daily and annual temperatures. The key object of the reserve — are Torey lakes which stand as a remainder of a large lake. There are over 300 bird pieces in the reserve, and 28 among them entered into the Red Book. The refuge is a regular place for pupil ecological camping to conduct seminars, the days of the refuge. Ecological paths are laid down here.
Unusual natural object — is the Charskiye sands, it is a real desert amidst taiga. Barchans of clean fine sand are located in the Charskaya valley, between the Bolshoy and Sredniy Sakukan Rivers. It’s quite hard-to-reach place, however each year tourists get to the Charskiye sands to have a swim, sunburn and enjoy the contrast of natural zones.
A lot of sights are located in the capital of the Territory. One of the most ancient museums of Siberia and the Far East is the Chitinskiy regional museum; its collection includes over 180 thousand monuments of natural region history, material and spiritual culture exhibits, archeology and ethnography collections. One of the most interesting collection exhibits are Decembrists manuscripts. Also the Chitinskiy art museum is worth visiting. It keeps rare Siberian icons, samples of Russian art of the 18-th century, Siberian and the Far East painters masterpieces.
Those who are interested in Decembrists history must be sure to visit the town of Petrovsk-Zabaykalsky. A total of 71 Decembrists were here in exile from 1830 to 1839. The Decembrists’ 10 wives also lived here. The Decembrists museum was opened in Princess E.I. Trubetskaya’s mansion. The museum collection includes: Decembrists documents, wash drawings and pictures copies (the originals are stored at achieves: the Central State Archive of the October revolution, Russian state military historical archive, Manuscript Department of the State Library of USSR by V. I. Lenin, the Central State Achieve of Leningrad, the State Achieve of the Ivanovo District, the State Achieve of the Chelyabinsk District, Russian Museum, Russian literature institute museum, Hermitage, Chitinsky regional museum, personal collection of I.S. Zilbershtein), furniture dated as of beginning of the 19-th century, books used by the Decembrists, relics sent by Decembrists offspring, private collection of Y.P. Pavlov, Siberian poets and writers autographs.
For more detailed information on the Territory, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.