Having been there, I agree that it deserves its own page. While most visitors (foreign, at least) are going to pass through Irkutsk to get to Baikal, it is a completely distinct and separate destination. And there's a good page on de: about it. Wondering, though, if Listvyanka (which acts as a service town) deserves its own page - or if it should be a redirect to the Baikal page? Gorilla Jones 20:20, 22 February 2007 (EST)
Because it is being used as a region article, why don't we move this to Lake Baikal Region or something of the sort? It would clear things up as an exception to our "no bodies of water" rule, and might help us avoid the slippery slope, since with the exception of its being the largest and deepest lake in the world, plenty of other lakes in the world fit the above criteria as well. Texugo 00:27, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
I think it's being used as a destination article, not a region article. Eastern Siberia is the region. My notes, pamphlets, receipts, and other bits from my trip there are still in storage, so I haven't really gone to work on it since the discussion above, but I think it's possible to stock this article with content that's exclusively about the lake/park. It's not so much a body of water as a park - you can, in fact, sleep there. (Although most people sleep nearby instead.) Gorilla Jones 01:11, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Lake Baikal doesn't fit into our geographical hierarchy very well. I don't agree that the article is in a region format (especially since there is no subregions or cities sections), and it wouldn't work very well as a region article since it would overlap with Irkutsk Oblast and Buryatia. And because the lake is so remote, it way outshines the coastal towns in terms of importance—visitors to the lake's "towns" probably won't even learn the town names.
As it stands, though, this article doesn't use any specific article template, which is un-Wikitravel-like. The best type of template would be a National Park template, except that it would then overlap several national parks/zapovedniki. Ultimately, I think it probably is best to consider Baikal an exception to the rule, in a manner similar to some of the exceptions listed under China's other destinations. I think Gorilla's idea about merging and redirecting Listvyanka (as well as Severobaikalsk and Olkhon) makes a lot of sense, even despite the enormous distances between these settlements. I'll add that to my to do list.
My recollection is that the National Park template was used to create this article...am I wrong? Gorilla Jones 01:48, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Ah yeah, you're right. But lets not call it that ;) Fees/permits should ideally be broken down by individual national park/zapovednik and it should be made clear that if you are not in one of them, there are no fees/permits at all. --PeterTalk 01:53, 13 September 2007 (EDT)