Trans-Siberian Spotlight: Vibrant Vladivostok
Vladivostok may be end of the line for many Trans-Siberian rail journeys, but there’s so much to see and do beyond the end of the line in this busy seaport city, once closed to foreigners during Soviet times.
Vladivostok is remembered as the place where U.S. President Gerald Ford and Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev met in 1974. Still, it took until 1992 for Vladivostok to open to foreign travelers.
- Cold is colder, hot is hotter: Remember that numbers on the thermometer aren’t what you actually feel. Vladivostok has high humidity; after all, it’s on the water.
- Seafood, a favorite food: No exaggeration, you can eat shrimp as big as your hand. Meander through Vladivostok’s seafood markets, unlike anything in Seattle or Alaska.
- Try Korean and Japanese food: Both cuisines are popular in Vladivostok.
- Souvenir shopping: The town center has stores stocked with Russian military-type souvenirs like Russian sailor shirts. That’s “the thing” to take home.
Camping and outdoor activities are popular: It’s a hilly town, and locals love to walk, especially along the embankment next to the Soviet-style amusement park and nearby sandy beach.
Head to “Kholodilnik: It means “refrigerator” in Russian; this former military bunker is the highest point in the city. Then meander downhill to the lighthouse, often referred to as “the southernmost point in Russia.”
Getting married: Newlyweds visit Eagle’s Nest Observation Point, placing a lock on the railing to signify their marriage. Padlocks of love, Vladik-style.
(Top photo credit: Michel Behar – The sun goes down over vibrant Vladivostok)
PUBLISHED: December 29, 2014