So a stop that I had to change last Minute but enjoyed it very much was Ulan-Ude, the somewhat different city compared to the other cities that I have been to in Russia.
ULAN-UDE is the capital of the Republic of Buryatia and is located on the other side of the Baikal Lake from Irkutsk. Around 400’000 inhabitants live here and over the last 2 years more cars are roaming the streets, and I believe Buryats are more than 80% of the population.
They are Mongolic people, Asian looking and speak the Buryat language; which is severely endangered
How did I get here?
Well the plan initially was actually to travel to Ulan-Bator from Irkutsk. Now I did board the train, then due to the current Covid-19 situation received a slip to sign; got scanned of my body temperature; had countless hostesses come by trying to ask me questions (they only spoke Mongolian or Russian) … and in the end I received a note that I will not be able to enter Mongolia. That’s how I ended up in Ulan-Ude 🙂
“Stay calm, listen to the experts, and follow the science”Barack Obama
In the end be flexible. These things happen and take it easy. Anyway I have time so I then decided that I would just disembark the train in Ulan-Ude, walk around a bit and find a restaurant where there is WIFI and figure out what I would do, where I would stay and the next steps.
WHERE IS THIS PLACE?
What did I do here?
Walking around. Visit the Ivolginsky Datsan which is around 30 km from Ulan-Ude. Go to the Odigitrievsky Cathedral and one road down (in a side road) is the bust station. Take the Minibus 130 from there that goes every 10 minutes. It costs 50 RUB and pay the driver either in the beginning or when you get off – get off at the last stop and take the next bus (which was right infront of my bus) and there is a picture with the Datsan at the front and pay 30 RUB to the driver as well.
a. Walk around, explore
b. Download the App 2GIS on your phone and you can download offline maps and you can figure out how to take the public transport
c. Visit the two Datsans, walk down the Ulitsa Lenina
d. Restaurants: Try out some Buryatia Restaurants and their cuisine.
Where did I stay?
I stayed one night at the Khutorok Hotel – in the dorms (not the best place) and met Gianluca, an Italian fellar that actually also quit his job end of last year, is travelling around the world and by coincidence is almost doing the same route as me. The following two nights I stayed with Alisa and her son from Couchsurfing and got to know a lot more about Buriat culture.
Couchsurfing preferred 🙂