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Russian Far East

Introducing Russian Far East

Russia’s distant end of the line, the wild wild east, feels likes its own entity. ‘Moscow is far’ runs the local mantra, and trade and transport connections with Asian neighbours are growing fast.

For those who’ve not been there, the Russian Far East (Дальний Восток) seems impossibly forbidding and it’s often mistaken for Siberia (it was considered part of Siberia in precommunist times). The truth is it’s bigger, more remote and, in winter, even colder. Areas of snow-capped mountains and taiga (northern pine), bigger than some European countries, separate former Cossack fort towns, old Gulag camps, decaying Soviet towns along railways heading nowhere special, towns raised on stilts over permafrost and once-closed Soviet ports roaring with new business.

Many travellers skip the Far East entirely, cutting south from Lake Baikal to China – but that’s all the better for those who make it. Elbow room is definitely not in short supply.