Welcome to Russian Far East
Kamchatka, the vast mountainous peninsula at the end of Russia, is the star of the show with smoking volcanoes, hot springs and snow-capped peaks to rival any on earth. Elsewhere the region is not as scenically spectacular, but does boast two charming cities in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, the exceptional engineering feat of the BAM railway (the travel nerd's alternative to the Trans-Siberian), the vast wildernesses of Sakha, old Gulag camps, Cossack fort towns and entire cities raised on stilts over permafrost.
Many travellers skip the Far East entirely, cutting south from Lake Baikal to China – but that’s all the better for those who make it here. Elbow room is definitely not in short supply.