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Overview

From the eastern bank of the Amur River to the Bering Strait, this fascinating region is lapped by the Pacific with the port of Vladivostok – terminus (or start, depending on your approach) of the famed Trans-Siberian Railway – being the obvious gateway. Major construction projects for the 2012 Asian Pacific Economic Conference have given this Eurasian city a much-needed facelift, but the harbor’s great beauty (it’s called Golden Horn Bay after its namesake in Istanbul) is the big attraction. The region’s booming economy can also be appreciated in the historic city of Khabarovsk or mineral-rich Yakutsk deep into the permafrost area. The best ...

From the eastern bank of the Amur River to the Bering Strait, this fascinating region is lapped by the Pacific with the port of Vladivostok – terminus (or start, depending on your approach) of the famed Trans-Siberian Railway – being the obvious gateway. Major construction projects for the 2012 Asian Pacific Economic Conference have given this Eurasian city a much-needed facelift, but the harbor’s great beauty (it’s called Golden Horn Bay after its namesake in Istanbul) is the big attraction. The region’s booming economy can also be appreciated in the historic city of Khabarovsk or mineral-rich Yakutsk deep into the permafrost area. The best reason, however, for visiting is to explore volcano-punctuated Kamchatka, an awe-inspiring land of natural treasures including the chance to fish for wild salmon, go wildlife spotting, heli-skiing and back-country skiing. The adventurous will also want to ride trains along the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM) that heads to way-off-the-beaten-track places such as Komsomolsk-na-Amure.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Easternmost part of Russia, comprising its Pacific Ocean islands, coastline and part of eastern Siberia.
  • Language: Russian, Turkic languages
  • Currency: Russian Rouble
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    July and August for the warmest, driest weather. It can get as cold as -60 degrees celcius (-76 F) in Oymyakon in January but the coastal cities stay closer to freezing in winter.