Earth : Europe : Russia : Russian Far East : Khabarovsk Krai
Khabarovsk Krai (Russian: Хаб́аровский край, khuh-BAH-ruhf-skee krigh) is a region in the Russian Far East, which borders Amur Oblast to the west, Magadan Oblast to the north, Sakhalin Oblast across the Nevelsky Straits to the east, Primorsky Krai to the southeast, and Birobidzhan and China to the south.
Khabarovsk Krai occupies a long swathe of Russia's Pacific coastline, a full 2000 kilometers of it, going as far south as Sakhalin and north to Magadan Oblast. At nearly 800.000 km², it's Russias forth largest province. In the north, taiga and tundra prevail, deciduous forests in the south, and swampy forests in the central areas around Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, as a testament to it's size there are more than 50 thousand lakes to fish in, more rivers and streams than you would care to count, and several mountain ranges intersect the region, including the northern reaches of the Sikhote-Alin mountains shared with Primorsky krai. The highest point is Mount Bery, towering nearly in fact, three quarters of the area is occupied by mountains and plateaus.
Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's 1975 film Dersu Uzala, based on a book by Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev, describes the friendship of a Russian explorer and his Nanai guide named Dersu Uzala. (Wikipedia)
See Russian phrasebook.
Vast, rugged and sparsely populated the krai is not big on roads. Too cold for regular ferry service, since much of the region goes into a deep freeze during the harsh winters, add the presence of Russia's most important aircraft plant to the mix, and you are pretty much left with Soviet era Yakulevs and helicopters to get you around, making exploration an expensive and fairly unnerving proposition. On the upside this also means you'll have some of the planet's most spectacular nature all by yourself if you take on the effort.
The local government have plans on merging these two regional airlines, but so far no concrete plans has surfaced.
The regions major distillery is appropriately called Khabarovsky Distillery (Ликероводочный завод Хабаровский, ), besides the ritual vodka - a full 16 different brands of it - they also make sweet liqueurs, bitters and cognac, check their website with neat pictures of the bottles to spot them in the shops. If you haven't yet acquired a taste for vodka, the local (but Heineken owned) Amur-Pivo (Амур-пиво) is not bad. The (Carlsberg owned) competitor Baltika's main local brand is the ДВ (DV) beer, which is also brewed in Khabarovsk.
Khabarovsk is the hub for regional air travel with important flights to Russian destinations Anadyr, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Magadan, Moscow, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Yakutsk, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, as well as international flights to Niigata, Japan and to Seoul, Korea. There are no direct flights to/from the US.