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Introducing Arshan

This popular hot-springs village is nestled right at the foot of soaring forested mountains. Relaxing short walks take you to a series of rapids and waterfalls but there are plenty of longer, more challenging treks and climbs with detailed information (in Russian) on http://tunki.baikal.ru/.

From the big, six-storey Sayan Sanatorium, Arshan's patchily attractive main street (ul Traktovaya) fires itself 2km straight towards the mountains. Beyond the post office, Internet Zal(ul Traktovaya 32, per hr R50; 11am-1pm & 2-6pm Mon-Fri, 12.30-6pm Sat & Sun) and bus-ticket kiosk (ul Traktovaya 3), it swerves west past the Altan Mundarga Information Booth (97502; ul Traktovaya 6) and the sprawling Kurort Arshan resort. Keep walking 20 minutes through the forest to find the dinky little Badkhirkharma Datsan (Buddhist temple), set in an idyllic mountain-backed glade, or walk up the stream to access the mountain footpaths.