Lake Baikal

 
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Lake Baikal is an ancient, massive lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. Considered the deepest lake in the world, it’s circled by a ...
  1. #1
    Junior Member Termite's Avatar
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    Lake Baikal

    Lake Baikal is an ancient, massive lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. Considered the deepest lake in the world, it’s circled by a network of hiking paths called the Great Baikal Trail.

    The village of Listvyanka, on its western shoreline, is a popular starting point for summertime wildlife-spotting tours, plus wintertime ice-skating and dog sledding.

    I am thinking I might do a trip there. Has anyone been to this part of Siberia before? I'm guessing the entry point would be
    Vladivostok or from China (Harbin) and trains would be the means of transport... Interested in peoples opinions and hopefully experiences


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    Junior Member neil37's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    I have been to the area twice and it is indeed beautiful in good weather! You can indeed go via Harbin (bullet train from Beijing), and the first time we went by bus from there to Vladivostok and across by train to Baikal. The second time we went via Mongolia from Beijing entirely by train to Irkutsk. I don't think that Listvyanka is the most interesting area of Baikal (although there is a good walk to the village of Bolshie Koty, fi you like that sort of thing); the highlight for me was Olkhon Island (travel by minibus from Irkutsk). In particular I recommend Nikita's; here's the link: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel..._District.html. It's the sort of place where you eat in the accommodation establishment, and the food is good and hearty (but not haute cuisine!). They organise good and reasonably priced day tours from there also.

    Feel free to get back if you need more info on any of this!

    I have also visited the North Baikal area around Severobaikalsk, but would recommend the South for a first-time visitor

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    Established Member wandering_fred's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    Any thoughts on current process / issues with Russian visas for this region?

    Happy wandering

    Fred

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    Junior Member neil37's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    Yeah well, where to start?!!! Soviet bureaucracy is still alive an well in this area. You need to allow plenty of time for the paperwork. There are two places in Australia which issue Russian visas: the embassy in Canberra and the consulate in Sydney. The latter is recommended, as they tend to be less pernickety with details (believe me, this is important). If you reside in Australia, you must apply in one of those two places. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days, and you have a choice between single and double-entry visas. A double-entry visa is recommended just in case, for example, you want to visit one or more .of the Baltic states, and want to re-enter Russia to fly out of Moscow. If staying more than 30 days, you need a business visa, which requires an "invitation" (which you have to pay for but is otherwise straightforward to organise). On the other hand, a tourist visa may or may not require evidence of some hotel bookings, whereas a business visa never requires that.

    Is that the sort of information you are after?

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    Established Member wandering_fred's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    Perhaps not encouraging for someone living about as far from Sydney/Canberra as you can.......... I don't enjoy phone or postal tag.....

    Valid for thirty days from issue or from entry?

    Happy wandering

    Fred

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    Junior Member neil37's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    Visa valid for 30 days from date of entry. To apply you go to their website and fill out the form, then print it out, put on the photo, and mail it in with your passport (registered, of course).

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    Senior Member RooFlyer's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    Top thread!!

    neil37, wandering_fred mentioned "visas for this region", but I don't think there is any 'special' visa type is there? I've applied for a Russian visa for Tas several times without a problem. Sure, the paperwork is long, but not impossible.

    Lake Baikal is on my 'visit soon' list, along with Kamchatka.

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  12. #8
    Junior Member neil37's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    You'd have to ask wandering_fred whether "for this region" meant Australia or Russia, so I answered both!

    Lake Baikal is indeed worth a visit. I have heard only good things about Kamchatka but haven't been there myself.

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    Established Member wandering_fred's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

    Siberia (and Lake Baikal) versus European Russia....

    Just wandering

    Fred

  14. #10
    Junior Member neil37's Avatar
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    Re: Lake Baikal

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    For me, Siberia. But not necessarily in the height of summer, when the mozzies are voracious!

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