Vladivostok and around over Christmas?
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Nov 16, 2012 11:04 PM Last Post By: Raki_Man
Nov 15, 2012 7:08 PM
Vladivostok and around over Christmas?Hi,
Looking for some advice about spending Christmas and New Year in Vladivostok.
I live in Hong Kong and there are 5h direct flights at a reasonable price.
Is it worth spending almost 2 weeks in the Vladivostok region in December/January?
I know it will probably be pretty cold and (hopefully) snowy at this time, which is a bonus as I miss winter here in HK.
But is there anything to do around this area, any other towns/villages/cities worth visiting?
To tell you the truth, I'm not looking for a super active vacation. I like hanging out in bars and cafés, experiencing everyday life.
But it would be nice to do at least something typical to the area. Are there cruises and this type of thing? Watching whales or something like this?
Basically, any comments or advice would be very appreciated!
I can also mention that this will be my first visit to Russia. I've lived in Kiev for a few years and speak reasonably ok Russian.
So this time it's Russia for sure, and Vladivostok is pretty close from here, so thought I'd seize the opportunity.
IF this is a horrible idea, now is your chance to talk me out of it. :)
Nov 16, 2012 10:47 PM
This made me chuckle. I used to live in Vladivostok. During the winter there the ocean freezes, though the port itself is kept open by ice breakers. (If memory serves, the ocean freezing usually happens by New Year's, but it may be later some years.) And it is brutally cold. The air temperature seldom drops below -8 C or so, but the constant wind makes the apparent temperature seem much, much colder. Also, because of the wind, most years there's very little snow in the city itself, though inland areas of Primorskii Krai (Vladivostok's region) get a good deal.
Also, Western Christmas (i.e. December 25th) isn't celebrated in Russia but New Year's is the biggest holiday of the year. Everything will be closed Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, as well as on January 7 for Orthodox Christmas. Be aware, however, that in Russia New Year's is usually celebrated with an elaborate meal at home with your nearest and dearest--people don't "go out" to celebrate they way they do in many Western countries.
In my opinion, two weeks would be an awfully long time to devote to just Vladivostok at any time of the year, but especially in mid-winter. There simply isn't that much to do. Last year, a poster wrote about tracking tigers through the snow in winter the wilds of Primorskii Krai, but, aside from the logistical difficulties of arranging such a trip, it doesn't sound like what you're interested in at all. If you do choose a winter vacation in the Russian Far East, I would make it a tour of several cities rather than spending all your time in just one place: perhaps a few days in Vladivostok, and then a few days in Khabarovsk, and then five days to a week exploring Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. Doing this would require some long train rides and a flight from Irkutsk to Vladivostok, but would be far more interesting than spending a week in Vladivostok largely twiddling your thumbs.
Nov 16, 2012 11:04 PM
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