It is world known for its coldness and arctic climate. There is a truly mystic side to it. How people survive in these harsh conditions and still choose to inhabit these regions most of which are not accessible by automobile transportation. In these remote regions ancient cultures have been preserved well. Lake Baikal where 20% of all fresh water in the world lies is an enchanting place to discover. There live the Buddhist people of Buryatia. It’s interesting culture within modern day Russia. It is spiritual region where shamans bless people and Buddhism is the major religion. Here you can find culture older than Russian empire and still strong and lively within its current borders. Specialties in Lake Baikal region includes Tuvan throat singing, shaman ceremonies and Buddhist temples and of course untouched nature likes of which cannot be seen anywhere else.
45 km from Lake Baikal located Irkutsk “the Paris of Siberia” is home to a remarkable number of historic churches, there are also a few historical museums in the houses of Decembrist exiles. The Volkonskiy House, located behind the Transfiguration Church off Ul. Timuryazeva near the bus station was one of the focal points of the Decembrists' social life in the mid-19th Century. Also among the Soviet concrete monstrosities, Irkutsk features street after street of atmospheric, decaying wooden buildings. Most of these are either abandoned or still used as private residences, though, and cannot be entered without permission of the owner, but provide for an atmospheric stroll down the street. Bandy is a very big sport in the city. There are several clubs, and the best one, Baykal-Energiya in the highest division of Russian Bandy League, can draw spectator crowds of 30,000.