Irkutsk Oblast Tourism & Travel Guide

we made!Next evening we reached Irkutsk... from London - we met at Irkutsk..., Irkutsk is distinctively European... in the City of Irkutsk than we saw...

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exhibition at Irkutsk!Those who grew... for us to move from Irkutsk...

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Top Places To Visit 1 Spots

Lake Baikal

Kay and I enjoyed Irkutsk and its pleasant atmosphere of a university city. But after a couple of days, we were off to Bolshoe Goludnoe, a Siberian village on the shores of Lake Baikal, not far from Irkutsk. Lake Baikal is the oldest and the deepest lake in the world which contains 1/5 of all the fresh water in the entire world. Even though the weather had been hot during our Siberian adventure, the depth of that lake and the amount of water ensured that the water was constantly freezing cold. My first impression of our new Homestay was that village homes seemed more spacious than city apartments. These were actual houses rather than apartments. There was plenty of empty space outside, though, and we took advantage of being in the countryside to do some long walks – through the village, through the nearby forests, and along the shore of Lake Baikal. It felt so liberating to be out in the countryside for a while with its fresh air and wide open spaces.
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About Irkutsk

Irkutsk seemed to be frozen in the USSR era. Every street was named either after Lenin or Marx or Stalin. There was a large statue of Lenin in the central square. It also boasts of great wooden architecture. Streets are filled with Soviet era rickety trams. We took one of those to get to the bus station. We saw more Japanese and Korean cars than European ones. Funnily, most cars were right hand driven here, as they are imported as second hand cars from Japan and not intended for Russian roads. No one seemed to care. The market surrounding the bus station seemed very Asian in nature. Flowers and spices were being sold along with Chinese jackets and hats.However, Irkutsk is distinctively European in looks. Even being 5300 km from Moscow, the place was European in almost every aspect. Although the western aspects were fewer than Moscow. We saw more Ladas than Volkswagen for example. We saw more Soviet trams and Trolley buses in the City of Irkutsk than we saw in Moscow.The history of the city goes back to the seventeenth century. Back in those days, it was a centre for fur trading. By the mid-eighteenth century, it was a bustling city. A major stop between the Russian and Chinese empires, it was strategically located to be a trading hub. Gold, diamonds, fur and timber came from Russia. Silk and tea came from China. A vibrant economy existed here. And it still does.

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