Introducing Western Siberia
Heading east from the Urals, the influence and reach of Moscow noticeably begins to wane as one enters Western Siberia (Западная Сибирь). Unforgiving winters and a history of gulags give the region a bad rap. The reality is much different. Western Siberia is surprisingly friendly, with plenty to offer the passing traveller. Expect contrasts and extremes, from mountain-ringed lakes to underground cafes, from urban chaos to remote areas where an encounter with a fellow traveller is a real event. It's not the easiest place in which to travel. Visitors need a willingness to rough it, and it helps to be able to speak at least rudimentary Russian. But those who make the effort will be rewarded with an insight into the Siberian way of life and – perhaps more importantly – receive a dose of the locals’ legendary hospitality.
Top 10 things to do around Lake Baikal
Mention Siberia and there are immediate thoughts of unrelenting cold and an unforgiving landscape. Yet Lake Baikal, located in Siberia, is rich in beautiful contradiction to the stereotype...
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Travel literature review: Travels in Siberia
Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier Most people equate 'Siberia' with a freezing expanse of Gulags, or a joyless place to escape from — or maybe just the worst table in your favourite restaurant back home...