Blogs from Ulan-Ude, Siberia, Russia, Europe


Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude July 31st 2018

We arrived in Ulan Ude at 9-30am We were taken straight to a local hotel and allowed an hour there to have a shower and be ready for the day. Then it was off on a city tour. Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic of Russia. It is one of three mainly Buddhist Republics and was originally settled by nomadic Mongols. So this has an Asian flavour but overdressed with Russian influence. This was clearly seen in our first stop at the city square. This square is dominated by a huge head of Lenin, the largest in the world. Surrounding the square are various public buildings, all built in the soviet style. It is a large space and quite attractive. We walked from there to another smaller plaza which had a dancing fountain ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude November 3rd 2014

Hello All, We had a long day on the train, we had a few hours each side of the Russian-Mongolian boarder but there was really nothing there apart from a kiosk with out-of-date items. So our day was spent eating noodles, watching spooks and reading, plus loads of chatting!!! To be fair this time we all got healthier foods for the train like tomatoes, cheese, bread, fruit and other good stuff. Our passports and visas were checked thoroughly, about 6 times; nice to see they are thorough unlike England. Anyone planning to do this trip should really look at making sure they have books, kindle, laptop or something to keep themselves busy, also stock up on food as its expensive on the train and will be cheaper in a supermarket in Russia. As normal we ended ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude May 13th 2014

I hate to say it, but this city sounds like a posterior body part or a bad dream. Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic. It is a small city with a multiethnic background. So, let's see what we can find out about this place, and its people. It lies only 62 miles southeast of famous Lake Baikal. The city sits on the confluence of the Uda and Selenga Rivers. It is the third largest city in eastern Siberia with a little over 400,000 people. The city has undergone many name changes through the years. The current name was given in 1934, and means "red Uda" in Buryat. We are 3500 miles (5649 kilometers) east of Moscow. The first occupants were the Evenks, and later the Buryat Mongols. In 1666, the Russian Cossacks came ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude October 15th 2013

Before we start, all the pictures are of round Baikal, the last photos of Mongolia are on my iPad and it's too much of an effort to dig it out of my bag. Ulaanbaatar train station at 6:30am is a cold and dark place, especially when you have to wait an hour for the bus. I say bus, it was actually quite a nice coach. And, I shouldn't complain about being there so early, I was given a free ride by the man who fixed the light bulb in my hostel room. Mongolia; the land where every car is a taxi, which is fortunate, especially in the wild where transport is hard to come by. My friend at the Ger had to get a lift with a woman when it turned out there was no bus ... read more
On the Train
Still on the Train
Other side of the carriage for a change of scenery

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude October 9th 2013

Hier liefere ich Informationen zum mongolischen Visum, beantragt in Russland/Ulan Ude: Zuerst hat mich dieses Visum einige Nerven gekostet, schlussendlich lief aber alles reibungslos ab. Wichtig zu beachten ist folgendes: Oeffnungszeiten des mongolischen Konsulats (das mitten im Zentrum ist): MO - FR 10.00 - 12.00 und 17.00 - 18.00 Die Tueroeffnung erfolgt "in einem Schub", man muss spaetestens um 10.00 dort sein, sonst erst wieder am nachsten Tag. Visumsantrag einreichen NUR AM MORGEN, abholen am selben Tag am Nachmittag. Der Service war nicht harsch, aber unfreundlich und bestimmt nicht serviceorientiert: das erste mal kam ich um 17.00,wurde nach einigem Anstehen mit einem Handwink ohne Erklaerung abgewiesen und die Person hinter mir bedient. Stellte mich nochmals hinten an und nach nochmaligem Nachfragen mit Hand und Fuss hat er mir 10.00 - 12.00 auf ein Bl... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude October 9th 2013

Ich starte meine Reise in Moskau, Abfahrt 13.50 ab Bahnhof Jaroslawl. Nochmals zittere ich kurz, ob das zu Hause ausgedruckte e-ticket wirklich alles ist, was ich brauche, um zu boarden, ohne mich an irgendeinem Schalter blicken zu lassen. Doch die sehr nette Schaffnerin scannt den Barcode kurz ein & heisst mich an Board willkommen. Der Zug faehrt puenktlich ab und haltet den minutengenauen Takt 3.5 Tage lang durch! Ich bin die gefuehlte einzige Nicht-Russin. Alles funktioniert reibungslos, von angeblicher Unfreundlichkeit keine Spur. Die erste Etappe geht nach Ulan Ude (non-stop 5600km). Ich habe mich fuer Zug #2 entschieden, den "Rossja", der auch als der teuerste der Zuege mit Nummern unter 10 gilt. Da die 1. Klasse weit im Voraus ausgebucht war (zumindest online ueber die Russischen Staatsbahnen, bei Kontingenten der Reisebueros weiss ichs nicht), habe ich ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude August 21st 2013

Well I've done the Trans-Siberian (part of it at least) and now I'm in the city of Ulan Ude just by Lake Baikal. The Tran-Siberian is a very famous train ride but as most people reading this will know there's not actually one train called the Trans-Siberian, it is a whole fleet of trains servicing the country. The routes the tourists usually take are the Trans-Siberian route which remains entirely within Russia and goes between Mosow and Vladivostok (very few tourists go westwards in the opposite direction); the Trans-Mongolian which goes from Moscow to Irkutsk at Lake Baikal and then turns south to go down through the middle of Mongolia to Beijing; and the Trans-Manchurian which skips the Mongolian part, but likewise goes from Moscow to Beijing. The trip is basically a famous “must-do” trip simply ... read more
entrance to Traveller's House hostel
the biggest Lenin head in the world
...and the smallest. Chortle.

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude August 4th 2012

We arrive in Ulan Ude the capital of Buraytia republic in Russia. Its home to Buraytiy's, Evenk ethnic groups as well as Russians in general. The town was established in 1666 and flourished quickly due to its proximity to Mongolia and China.Due to its ethnic minorities and location in Asia it has a real Asian feel to it. I'm reminded of Mongolia and my love for the city flourishes further. Although we are in Siberia, its once again nice and warm and sunny. A real summers day. Ulan Ude is said to be one of the sunnier cities compared to surrounding cities close by. The city centre is nice to walk around in and also houses the worlds largest statue of Lenin's Head! The merchant mansions are nice wooden houses scattered throughout the city mainly along ... read more
Ange and the biggest head of Lenin Ive ever seen
Hello Friends
Another Buryat Yurt 3

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude July 16th 2012

Ulan Ude was a haven of peace and tranquilty,maybe not surprising with it's close proximity to Mongolia and it's mainly Buddhist population. We were met at the station by a very enthusiastic,English speaking guide and a driver-not something we were accustomed to.We were staying at a large hotel very close to the main city square which has the worlds largest Lenins head - weighing 42 tonnes and standing just over 25 feet high - in it.The square is still used for military parades. We ventured out after checking in and witnessing a huge thunderstorm.The area had not had much rain recently so the violent storm was much needed but the parched ground did not drain very well so the pavements and roads quickly became rivers.... read more
The Triumphal Arch
Worlds largest Lenin head statue
Opera and ballet theatre

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude October 20th 2011

Siberia. It’s one of those places that wakes up long before the sun has broken the horizon. The hazard of dwelling at a parallel this far north, is how drastic the length of day shortens as winter encroaches. I’m used to it, but the Australians argue amongst themselves over what time of day it is. It is almost half eight, but still pitch dark. They grumble. Then without warning someone switches on the sun, and the day officially starts. Our tour leader is a woman from Israel who doesn't speak Russian or Mongolian, or Australian for that matter. She is strict and abrupt and highly offended by us most of the time. When excessively questioned by The Australians about her past, she progressively gets more evasive. I've determined she must be a secret agent hiding out ... read more
Lake Baikal at Sundown
Tasty Lenin
Old Believers Wedding

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