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  Main arrow Tour offers and itineraries arrow Special Interest Tours arrow Journey from Mongolia to Baikal En route Ancient Tea Road  
Journey from Mongolia to Baikal En route Ancient Tea Road Print

This great ethnographic and cultural tour itinerary provides unique opportunities in one trip to explore the native cultures of eastern Buryat people who mainly practice Lamaism religion and western Buryats  who mostly remain shamanists’ believers, as well as introducing the “semeiskiye” Old Believers culture in Siberia offers great chances to explore Lake Baikal while  cruising it from its eastern shore to the western one,  then proceeding along the Old Round-Baikal Railway on a special  tourist train enjoy panoramic views of the lake’s southernmost parts. Other tour  highlights include the samovar & pan cake party at the Siberian family, visits to most interesting sites of Irkutsk  and Ulan  Ude en route the ancient Tea Road from Mongolia to Baikal…

Journey from Mongolia to Baikal En route Ancient Tea Road


Duration: 7 nights/8 days;
Availability : June –September


Suggested Itinerary


Day 1

Upon arrival  in Ulan Ude transfer to GESSER Hotel –  tourist class superior hotel located in the very downtown.  Check in. Have some time at leisure before lunch. After lunch we shall proceed by coach for half-day tour to visit Ivolginsky Datsan (Buddhist Temple) located in a picturesque and peaceful place named Ivolga, 23 kilometres from Ulan-Ude. Tour of the Lamaistic Temple here given by huvarak (monk student).

Ivolginsky Datsan  was the only Buddhist monastery tolerated by the Communists, and is  said to have more than 1,000 Buddha statues, from small ones to the one  that is 2 meters high. In its place is a gleaming three-story temple crowned with yellow eaves and guarded by stone tigers, caretaker of the heart of Buddhism in Russia. Ivolginsky Datsan opened an institute of Buddhist learning on its grounds that has expanded to accommodate 110 students.  There are also a library, hotel, the philosophic faculty - Choyra, building of the Buddhistic University - Dashy Choihorlin, museum of monuments of Buryat art, sacred tumbs -suburgans, some service buildings and houses for lamas there. Nowadays The Ivolginsky Datsan is considered to be the center of Buddhism in Russia. It attracts a lot of tourists and believers.

After touring the Datsan we will  we return back to Ulan Ude and visit the central square of the city famous for the Head of Lenin – the world’s largest sculptured head of Lenin.  Then we return back to the hotel for dinner on your own and overnight.

MLS: b/l/d


Day 2

After breakfast we shall tour the city of Ulan Ude and visit the most remarkable city’s sights including the Churh of Odigitria and a walking excursion through the old central part with richly carved wooden house that once belonged to rich merchants.

After lunch we shall depart  to the Nadeino  village of Old Believers – descendants of those Russian orthodox people who opposed in the 17-th century Nikon’s church reforms and escaped to Siberia. The cultural space and oral culture of the “Semeiskyie” –Old Belivers of this village was proclaimed by UNO Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization   a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. 

The Old Believers dressed in their bright folk costumes, wearing large amber necklaces shall meet us near the village and take for a short hike up to the  sacred Omulevaya Mountain. On top of this mountain from which there’re great vistas of the surrounding area and riverside a group of the  Old Believers from Trabagatay village shall give us  a brief   introduction to their culture. Then we proceed to the village Cultural Center to see the great folk concert, learn about the customs of Old Believers, and take part in their “match-making and bride & groom games” in which some of you may be welcome to participate. 

After the show we will follow the female leader of “semeiskiye” to her house for a Gala Dinner at Galina’s home. The dinner besides featuring tasty home made traditional meals of the Old Believers will be also followed by a number of songs performed by the hosts. Certainly, with the help of your lovasl guides you will have an excellent opportunity to talk to and learn much from the “semeiskiye” people.

After fantastic time that we would have spent in Tarbagatai we return back to Ulan Ude for overnight at the hotel.

MLS: b/l/d


Day 3

After breakfast we check out from the hotel for a 3.5 hour transfer to the town of Kluevka  located on the eastern shore of lake Baikal. During this transfer by coach we’ll pass on the way by a number of typical Russian villages with fancy carved wooden houses. We will have an opportunity to stop in a couple of villages to take pictures of the beautiful surroundings. Before lunch time and upon arrival in Babushkin we shall board the private chartered  boat  for a transfer by water from eastern shore of lake Baikal to the western one – to the settlement of Listvyanka - « the Gateway to lake Baikal» located in the mouth of Angara-river, 62 km away from Irkutsk.  During the 5-hour boat ride we shall have plenty opportunities to take pictures of Lake Baikal, enjoy its panoramic views from the board. Lunch shall be served on board.

Upon arrival in Listvyanka we shall be met at the boat station for a transfer to the Baikal Hotel – tourist class superior scenically located on the hill slope that besides very good accommodations offers excellent views form the rooms on the water surface of Lake Baikal .  Upon check in – enjoy welcome drink from Baikal Discovery.  After check in have enjoy dinner and have overnight at the hotel.

MLS: b/l/d


Day 4

After breakfast we will tour Baikal Ecology Museum of Limnological Institute which has a large display of unique exhibits of the lake’s flora and fauna, see an interesting video about Lake Baikal and also visit the Baikal fresh water seal aquarium. Then we undertake a  2-hour hike to the Chersky Mountain. From top of the mountain we shall enjoy great panoramic views of Lake Baikal southern part and the river of Angara flowing out of Lake Baikal. 
Lunch on your own featuring tasty entrees of Baikal cuisine shall be served at the water front restaurant. After the lunch we shall drive 20-kms to enjoy a guided tour of the Taltsy Open-Air Museum of Wooden Architecture – the highlight museum of Irkutsk region, the place for all people to experience the history and traditions of the peoples of Siberia- Buryats, Evenks and Russians. En route stop at the holy «obo»- sight of worship by local shamanism believers where following the ancient local customs you’ll be invited to “sprinkle some vodka or milk “ and tie ribbons on the bushes as if to do offering to the local master-spirits and win them over.

After the tour of the museum we return back to Listvyanka and after short visit to the hotel then  we shall visit the local family to have tea-party with pan-cakes and samovar, dinner and enjoy chatting   with hosts.

After an interesting engagement into the life of local residents we shall return back to the hotel for overnight.

MLS: b/l/d


Day 5

After breakfast to be served at 08:00 we shal take a walking excursion to the  popular functioning St.Nicolas-the-Miracle-Worker Russian Orthodox  Church built of wood without use of any nail . Here we will see outstanding altar section with beautiful iconostasis as well as see how the local people worship their Orthodox faith.
Then we check out from the hotel and get our transfer to the boat station to take a ferry for a 30-min. ride to the Port of Baikal. Here we disembark at the port to take the tourist train for a ride along entire section of the Round Baikal Railway called as “The Golden Buckle of Steel Belt of Russia”, because the last Russian tsar built it at enormous cost. Now this section of the railway not used any more by the Trans-Siberian is considered to be the feast of railway engineering and most spectacular historic railroad of Russia still preserved and functioning. We will ride all the way to Irkutsk that gonna take us more than 9 hours with 5 stops on the way near most spectacular and interesting sights of this unique railway and natural sight . In about 2 hours when the train stops for 40 minutes in a picturesque place and near the village we will have our lunch served as picnic (box lunches with hot tea/ coffee and drinks offered).
When we reach the station of Sludyanka our group well organized will have time to get of the train onto the platform to see and take pictures of the only marble building of the railway terminal on the great TransSib.  As well as here you will be able to buy some freshly smoked omul-fish and other local delicacies from the local people who traditionally approach the trains and offer their food products ( our guide will be there to help you choose the right product). Hot drinks shall be provided on the train at no charge.
Enjoying further our way to Irkutsk we spend another 3 hours on the train before we arrive in this city.
After 9 p.m. we arrive in Irkutsk for transfer to the hotel, check in and overnight.

MLS: B, box lunches & dinner


Day 6

Welcome to Irkutsk - “Paris of Siberia”, capital of its great Eastern part –Siberia’s Microcosm and the gateway to “Siberia’s” Pearl - Lake Baikal!

After breakfast we shall have a sightseeing tour of this beautiful city.  During the tour we visit the city’s historical center and its most atmospheric sights including Znamenskaya Orthodox Cathedral, noted for its original iconostasis, grave of the so-called “Russian Columbus” Grigory Shelekhov who was an early Russian explorer of Alaska and graves of the Decembrists-revolutionaries banned to Siberia after an ill-fated attempt in 1825 to overthrow the Russian tsar; we will also have opportunities to take pictures of  richly carved old-style wooden houses , see the Monument to Russian Pioneers of  Siberia  topped by the bronze figure of Alexander-the 3rd , the White House of Siberian Province as well as the central market. 
Lunch  shall be served in the downtown “Russ” restaurant featuring tasty Russian-Siberian cuisine. After lunch we shall visit the central bazaar where you’ll have a good opportuintiy to feel the atmosphere of the city and its residents as well as buy some souvenirs. Then we undertake a 1.5 hour cruise on the Angara river to view the city from the water. After dinner served at the hotel we can take a good walk along the embankment of the Angara river, meet the local people, see how they spent the leisure time.

MLS: b/l/d


Day 7

After breakfast we will get on the coach for a full-day cultural & ethnographic trip to the countryside We will tour today the town of Ust-Orda tour – administrative center of the  Buryat Autonomous Okrug  ( District) located at the distance of 75 km from Irkutsk. The trip will enable to learn the culture, customs and ways of life of the Siberia’s native people - the Buryats. You will visit on guided tour the Buryat Ethnic Museum ,  see the  Buryat folklore show , and then the local acting shamans will show for you their spiritual rites and customs, including the Purification rite in which some of you, when you fish, will be welcome by the shamans to take part in . Then enjoy lunch of Buryat National cuisine that shall be served in original Buryat yurt and followed by the Buryat folk lore show.
Full of new memories and experience of local life we return back to Irkutsk. Upon getting back at the  enjoy dinner and have overnight at the hotel.

MLS: b/l/d


Day 8

After early breakfast we check out from the hotel for a transfer to the aiprot to board the flight to Moscow.

Have a good flight!

The above tour price on all inclusive as described in the above  tour itinerary ( full board with 3 meals daily, all tours and events, fees and services) on twin room sharing basis.

10-11 pax– 1250 USD per person,
12-13 pax– 1195 USD per person,
14-15 pax – 1090 USD per person,
16-20 pax -1050 + USD per person + 1 FOC

Single room supplement: USD 445 per person.

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