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Western Siberia

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.