The first Europeans to reach Siberia were
Russian coast-dwellers from the
The territory is very rich and in many respects
not yet mastered by man. About three centuries ago the Russian scientist
Mikhail Lomonosov foretold that "Russian power with
In general, everything is huge in Siberia: the
rivers - Ob', Irtysh, Yenisey, Angara,
The Siberian frosts also are an object of note.
At times they reach negative 40-
And «just» negative 25-
It is possible to swim, though the water in
reservoirs frequently remains cool. Even in July it warms only to 17-
The main attraction of the Krasnoyarsk Region is
Poles, a unique reserve in the spurs of the East Sayan. The outcrops of
volcanic rocks here have formed about 80 groups of cliffs up to
Mountain Altai is particularly attractive. Its
main reference point is Lake Teletskoe. The local people call it Gold Lake.
This area is very popular with all sorts of tourists: ramblers, rafters,
skiers, climbers, fans of horse-riding. Some difficult water routes where you
can check out your endurance and courage follow the rivers Katun', Bashkaus,
Chuya, Chulyshman. Climbing the highest point of the Altai, the mountain
Amidst the vast spaces of the taiga, the
mysterious plateau Putorana is hidden, the highest part of the Central-Siberian
Upland Region. «Putorana» in the language of the local inhabitants, the Evenks
means «the country of lakes with abrupt coasts». The plateau is dissected by
deep valleys, up to
for hundreds of kilometers. Streams rush down the steep sides of valleys in chains of waterfalls. Of course, there are no roads here so tourists get to this place only by helicopters, flying over hundreds of kilometers.
Buryatia, located to the south and east of Lake Baikal, is the centre of Buddhism in Russia. There are about thirty temples or datsans. As any nomadic people of the steppes, the Buryats have always had a real cult of the horse. The owner of a herd always knows each horse "by sights". A steed-friend is the main character of Buryat tales and legends. Highly appreciated is the healing power of mare milk or kumis.
The reindeer has been and remains the greatest asset of the natives of the North. It is ridden and harnessed onto sledges. From its hide, clothes and footwear are sewn and yarangas (tent-houses) built, and the meat of the deer remains the basic food for the northern people as it was hundreds of years ago.
In Southern Siberia, on the banks of the river Yenisey and its confluents, the small ethnic groups live: the Khakases, Tuvinians, and Buryats. There are about 80,000 Khakases and less than 200,000 Tuvinians. Some representatives of these peoples are masters of the unique art of throat singing. The singers do not utter any words, but in the sounds they produce in their throats you can hear now a whole orchestra, now the clatter of horses' hooves, now the hoarse groans of an animal. This art is taught from childhood, and not everybody can master it. It is interesting that throat singing is performed only by men.
In Tuva, the geographical centre of Asia is designated with a specific mark. There are few roads here and they are rather rough. But the fantastic nature of the region attracts travelers.
Not so long ago, another kind of exotic tourism originated in Russia - travel to the North Pole. A group is taken from Moscow by plane to the Spitsbergen Archipelago, and then by helicopters to a camp on the ice at the North Pole. Here the tourists will spend some days, and they have no time to get bored: they ride dog-sledges or snow-scooters, ramble across the ice hummocks, rise above the boundless white fields on a balloon. There is even a polar sauna and some amusements in the camp. And as soon as suitable weather occurs, a short rush by helicopter is performed to the spot with geographical coordinates 90*00'. Happy travelers have the opportunity of calling their relatives and friends by satellite phone and the pleasure of getting photographed at the most northern point of the Earth.
Siberian frosts are also a kind of sight,
sometimes they reach
The largest part of this famous railway built in
late XIX - early XX century is on the territory of Siberia. The total length of
the main line is
Siberia is multifarious and diverse. It can be divided into regions only by convention: Western and Eastern Siberia, Altai, Tuva and Khakassia, the Sayans, Baikal region, Yakutia. Also by convention the Extreme North can be referred to Siberia. Siberia stretches 7 hundred km from West to East, 3,5 hundred km from North to South, its area is 10 thousand square km that is almost 20 Frances.
Siberia is rich and to a great extent not mastered by people. Yet three hundred years ago the famous Russian scientist Lomonosov foretold that the Russian power would grow at the account of Siberia. Great are the reserves of oil and gas, the cleanest fresh water here, the greatest hydroelectric power stations have been built at powerful rivers. All in all everything is large in Siberia: rivers - the Ob’, the Irtysh, the Yenisey, the Angara, the Lena; mountains - Altai and Sayany, lakes - Baikal and Teletskoe.
Krasnoyarsk columns is a unique reserve in the
spurs of Eastern Sayan, in the South of Siberia. Those are 80 groups of rocks
The Yenisey is the largest river in Siberia and
the most full-flowing in Russia. 22 thousands of big and small inflows run into
the Yenisey. Few people know that in its upper part the Yenisey has got two
independent river-beds - the Big and the Small Yenisey. Their common way
The unique Museum of Permafrost is situated in
the town of Igarka, at the Arctic Circle. The town itself stands on permafrost
and in one of the empirical caves, at the depth of
The Lena river crosses the Lena-Angara plateau,
a hilly forest place. At this part of the river the banks are sometimes raised
Plateau Putorana is lost in the boundless
expanses of the taiga. Translated from the language of local residents
«Putorana» means "the country of lakes with steep banks". Deep, up to
The Northern deer has always been a great value for the aboriginal peoples of the North. They ride it and harness it into the sledge, make clothes out of its skin and cover the roofs of their houses, and the deer meat has remained the main food for them, just like hundreds years ago.
Tours to the North Pole is one of the kinds of exotic tourism which appeared in Russia not so long ago. A group of travelers is brought from Moscow by planes to Spitsbergen archipelago and then delivered by helicopters to a tent camp on ice, at the very North Pole. Tourists spend several days here: they ride dog-sledges and snow-riders and rise on the balloon over quiet white fields. There are even a polar sauna and attractions in the camp. As soon as the weather becomes suitable, they make a short rush by helicopters to the geographical point of 90° 00' 00° 00'. Happy travelers can make a call to their people by satellite phone and take photos at the extreme Northern point of the planet.
Horse worship has always existed with the Buryat and Tuva peoples just like with all the nomad steppe peoples. The owner has always known his horse exactly. Horse-friend has always been the hero of legends and tales. Medical force of mare's milk - kumis - has been highly appreciated.
A historical and ethnographical bus tour «The Great Sayan Ring» has been worked out for tourists. This tour includes visiting the historical village of Shushenskoe famous because there had once been Vladimir Lenin in exile. The tour about the Museum-reserve is a merry adventure in a real Siberian village of XIX-XX centuries. The tourists not only watch but also take part in ancient ceremonies, games and folk dancing. In the tavern the tourists are treated to home-brew and lard and before saying goodbye they drink tea with a bird cherry pie in a Siberian house according to the tradition.
The Sayan mountains are a sacred place and a natural climate resort as well. The tour round the «Sayan Ring» is a unique one. Within 9 days you will get in touch with everyday life of Siberia of the past centuries and their modern life-style, come to know various religions. In Tuva tourists put up in real felt yurts specially built for tourists will all the conveniences. A unique art of throat singing will not leave them indifferent. There is the geographic center of Asia in Tuva, Buddhist monasteries and the only shaman clinic in the country.
Altai is a mountainous country in Central Asia. This word means "golden mountains". There are a lot of legends about Altai. One of them tells that here are the gates to a mysterious country Shambala which will become the center of world civilization after people annihilate themselves. The nature of Altai is unique. Nowhere in the world one can find so many kinds of landscapes at such a small territory. Walking, water, mountain and ski tours of any category of complexity are arranged here.
Mountain Altai is especially attractive. The
symbol of the region is the Teletskoe lake, local people call it «Golden». The
territory is popular with walking and water tourists, skiers, mountain climbers
and horse riders. Especially prestigious is climbing the highest point of Altai
- mountain Belukha (
Shamanism is a system of a primeval belief in good and evil spirits which the human life depends on. Shaman is the mediator between the spirits and the human. It is believed that he possesses a supernatural force, is capable to predict the future, can cure for an illness, find the loss. In Tuva one can see a magical ceremony of talk between the shaman and the spirits at the camp-fire. It is accompanied by drawling howl and playing the tambourine. In Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva, there is a shaman clinic. Everyone can learn one's future and go through the ceremony of ablution.
Small nations - the Khakassian, the Tuva, the Buryat, the Yakut inhabit the Southern Siberia, the banks of the Yenisey. The Khakassian are, for example, about 80 thousand, the Tuva - less than 200 thousand. Representatives of this nation know the unique art of throat singing. The singer does not pronounce any words, but in the sounds produced by his throat one can here now the music of the whole orchestra, now clatter, now hoarse moans of animals. This art is taught since childhood and not everyone succeeds. It is interesting that throat singers are only men.
Stone statues or stone idols are considered among the most interesting memorials of ancient Tuva. Those are sculptures of warriors with ritual vessels in their hands. There had once been about 200 of them, but most of them have been pulled off and are exhibited in the Museum of local lore in Kyzyl. But the most remarkable of them, «Genghis-khan» is still standing in the steppe. He has no relation to the Great Mogul. «Genghis-khan» made of light red granite is over 1200 years old. The people of Tuva worship the stone idols and believe in their force able to do good or harm.