Baikalskoe is a picturesque fishing village on the northern shores of Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest lake. It’s made up entirely of traditional log cabins with picket fences and beautiful carved window frames. Cows, chickens and dogs wander its dusty streets while the inhabitants hunt seals, fish through holes in the ice or herd animals in the surrounding mountains.
There are trekking opportunities in the nearby mountains and forests as well as, apparently, some petroglyphs and holy sites of the local Buryat people. There’s no official accommodation in the village but the school also has a small museum and the curators and teachers should be able to link you up with someone who can put you up and possibly take you to places of interest. Until early May the lake is frozen enough to drive on, so this may be of interest too.
Be careful of wandering the surrounding hills and forests on your own after mid-April. There are lots of bears, sometimes audible from the village. If you do see one, don’t run away, don’t look straight at it and (according to locals) definitely don’t swear at it.
Two buses come here each day from Severobaikalsk, a town on eastern Russia‘s BAM railway. One leaves Severobaikalsk around 8am, returning immediately after reaching Baikalskoe, and the other leaves Severobakalsk around 5pm, also returning immediately. Hitch hiking along the road is also a possibility as is paying for a private taxi.
Click here for my blog about Baikalskoe. It’s 4091 words and 40 photos.
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