The Ultimate Travel Guide to Ulan Ude: Why This Siberian City Will Surprise You

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Ulan Ude: Why This Siberian City Will Surprise You

In the middle of Russia just east of Lake Baikal is one of Siberia’s coolest cities, Ulan Ude. A smallish city of some 400,000, Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia with a decidedly Mongolian flavor. Ulan Ude is a surprising destination with lots of unexpected things to do and see – and it’s under the radar for most travelers. Now is the time to explore it, while the old traditions are still practiced and the crowds are small. Here are five of our favorites found in this captivating Siberian city… Read More


Trans-Siberian Spotlight: Our Favorite UNESCO-listed Experiences on the Rails

Trans-Siberian Spotlight: Our Favorite UNESCO-listed Experiences on the Rails

One of the world's greatest train routes, the Trans-Siberian is chock-full of UNESCO-listed treasures and traditions. Take a deeper look at our favorites. Read More


The Ultimate Travel Guide to Ulan Ude: Why This Siberian City Will Surprise You

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Ulan Ude: Why This Siberian City Will Surprise You

In the middle of Russia just east of Lake Baikal is one of Siberia’s coolest cities, Ulan Ude. A smallish city of some 400,000, Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia with a decidedly Mongolian flavor. Ulan Ude is a surprising destination with lots of unexpected things to do and see – and it’s under the radar for most travelers. Now is the time to explore it, while the old traditions are still practiced and the crowds are small. Here are five of our favorites found in this captivating Siberian city… Read More


Good Manners and Good Food: A Home-Cooked Meal in Siberia

Good Manners and Good Food: A Home-Cooked Meal in Siberia

During my years of travel with MIR, I've been served a lavish birthday dinner in Uzbekistan, dined at Moscow's venerable Metropol Hotel, coped with the gooey football-shaped potato cepelinai (think Zeppelin) in Lithuania, and been seated at the damasked dining tables of the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. But there's nothing like dining in a private Siberian home. I’ve eaten meals with Siberian families at homestays in Irkutsk and Ulan Ude, and enjoyed a feast with a family of Old Believers in the village of Tarbagatay. Each was thoughtfully prepared and graciously offered, and came replete with leisurely and engrossing conversations about our respective countries, families, kids, professions, and travels. These intimate repasts have been highlights of my travels in Siberia. Read More


10 Favorite Things to Do Along the Trans-Siberian Railway

10 Favorite Things to Do Along the Trans-Siberian Railway

Spanning nearly 6,000 miles and crossing 7 time zones, this epic journey allows passengers to experience remote destinations and see the most of what this vast and variegated region has to offer in the least amount of time. You could easily finish the entire route in as little as six days. But many opt to spend even more time along the Trans-Siberian, breaking up the journey at fascinating points along the line. We frequently hear from past travelers that these off-train excursions are what make the trip so satisfying. Whether you’re wandering the massive metropolis of Moscow, taking in the astonishing beauty of Lake Baikal or mingling with the diverse people that call this region home, the Trans-Siberian is full of surprises. Here’s just a sampling of our favorite things to do along one of the world’s greatest train routes... Read More


A Traveler’s Tale: Hear the Songs of Siberia’s Old Believers (VIDEOS)

A Traveler’s Tale: Hear the Songs of Siberia’s Old Believers (VIDEOS)

An unforgettable highlight in Siberia is listening to the polyphonic singing of Old Believers, exiled here in the 17th century for their religious beliefs. Read More



Siberia and Mongolia: A Perfect Pairing

Siberia and Mongolia: A Perfect Pairing

MIR's Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads small group tour travels by train, hydrofoil and plane into the heart of Mongolia and Siberia, including a trip to the Gobi Desert and visits to Old Believers, nomads, and Buddhist monasteries. Because it shows Siberia and Mongolia at their most beautiful and exotic, this tour is a favorite among our travelers, usually selling out year after year. Read More