Once the centre of Buryat Buddhist scholarship with an important scriptorium, this datsan was completely destroyed in the 1930s, but has crawled back to life since the fall of communism. The tiny on-site Ayvan Darzhiev Museum commemorates the Atsagat monk who became a key counsellor to the 13th Dalai Lama. Photogenically gaudy, the little monastery sits on a lonely grassy knoll and is set back from km54 of the old Chita road – unfortunately there is no convenient public transport. A tour from Ulan-Ude will cost around R6000 for up to three people.
Lonely Planet's must-see attractions
In a forest clearing 6km from central Ulan-Ude, this outdoor collection of local architecture plus some reconstructed burial mounds and the odd stone…