Arshan Siberia People and a Few Cows
Mountain Town Sublime
Arshan, Siberia is a mountain town nestled at the foot of snow capped Sayan Range. There are a few things that you should know before you venture up the less beaten track from Lake Baikal to experience it.
Water is the focus for some visitors. Arshan is famed for it and visitors come from all over Russia for the water experience. The name Arshan comes from the Buryat word for “spring”. People come to gulp it, there are bottle filling stations everywhere. If they are not imbibing, they are partaking in it, in a spa sort of way. If neither or both are for you, you can also take in a hike along a mountain stream if you do not want to drink or immerse in it.
If it is nightlife you crave, you had better take the next bus back down to Lake Baikal before your first yawn. Better still, head on back east to Ulan Ude or west to Irkutsk, where you might be able to find a semblance of nightlife. Otherwise, you will be stuck listening to the boom box output of visiting Russians. The toons are far from meditative and echo in sharp contrast to the sublime mountain vista. Besides vodka, it is part of the remote vacation experience in Russia.
Kids make it easy. Discover community life through the eyes of the children. Whether visitors or locals, around the world, curious and innocent, naive and open, kids are kids.
Outdoors - it is a nature kind of place with hikes in some of the purest air available on the continent. Take a breath.
Vodka, like most places in Russia, is more available than groceries and the predominant feature of the popups most resort towns push sundries you may have forgotten. Walls of it. The convenience store walls are reserved for vodka and the small display case in the center has edibles. Vodka prevails over food, get used to it.
Cows are almost as available as vodka. You can meet them on the main street, in the back alleys and just about everywhere else. If the owners do not pay attention to them they come calling.
For more on travel in Siberia and Russia see also: