After dozens of hours of taiga and the isolated Soviet towns of eastern Siberia, Khabarovsk can put a jolt in the most rail weary. A booming river town 25km from China, Khabarovsk gives off an air of a coastal, almost Mediterranean, resort with tree-lined streets, squares with fountains, 19th-century brick buildings, popular parks overlooking the wide Amur, and real Japan- ese sushi, imported here to serve the frequent Japanese business travellers.
Such business has brought in hope and money to locals - and prices show it. One Khabarovsk resident told us it's brought a 'baby boom' too: 'just look around, half the women are pregnant!'
If you stop for just a day, try to take in the Regional History Museum, the best in the Far East.