Welcome to Southern Buryatiya & Zabaikalsky Territory
Scenically magnificent, southern Buryatiya crouches on the Mongolian border like a cartographic crab squeezing Lake Baikal with its right pincer. Buryatiya Republic's vibrant capital, Ulan-Ude, is surrounded by hilly steppe dotted with lakes and criss-crossed by many rivers and streams. This is the heartland of the Buryats – relatives of Mongolians who have been strongly Russified over centuries, but still retained much of their culture (especially food!) as well as Buddhist and animist traditions.
The vast, sparsely populated Zabaikalsky Territory (Забайкальский край) stretches as far east as the wild Chara Mountains on the BAM railway, but in its more accessible southern reaches it’s most interesting for the capital (Chita) and Buryat-populated areas to the south.