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Ulan Ude

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Europe : Russia : Siberia : Eastern Siberia : Buryatia : Ulan Ude
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The Odigitrievsky Cathedral

Ulan Ude (Russian: Ула́н-Удэ́ oo-LAHN oo-DEH) is the capital of Buryatia.

Understand

A pretty wooden house in the old part of Ulan-Ude

The town was founded in 1666, and due to its location on trade routes between Russia, China and Mongolia it developed into a prosperous trading town. Ulan Ude is an important commercial and industrial center of Eastern Siberia, located on the 5640th kilometer of the Trans-Siberian railway. It is the capital of Buryatia republic that is a home for Buryat, Evenk and Russian people. The city itself has a distinct Asian-like feel, perhaps because of the cultural mix and proximity to Mongolia. There are about 400 000 inhabitants, but it seems to be very calm and local people are friendly to visitors.

Climate

The months of January to March are the coldest, with temperature reaching as low as -27°C in January. April and May are also cold, but usually it is above freezing. June to August are the most pleasant months with lots of sunshine and temperatures rising to the low 20s. September and October are bracing months, but not yet very cold. November and December again sees a return to freezing temperatures of around -10°C to -20°C.

Generally, it is very contrast: in summer it may be very hot, and in winter it may be freezing. The months of January to March are the coldest, with temperature reaching as low as -27°C in January. April and May are also cold, but usually it is above freezing. June to August are the most pleasant months with lots of sunshine. Also, the whole Buryatia, and Ulan-Ude particulary, is considered to be the place where there are the most sunny days during the year, comparing to other places around. The average temperature during the year is: January -27 | February -18 | March -9 | April +1 | May +9 | June +18 | July +20 | August +22 | September +10 | October 0 | November -11 | December –19

Get in

By plane

  • There are daily flights to/from Moscow on Sibir airlines (now called S7 Airlines) — the 6 hour flights from Moscow are overnight, arriving around 8:30AM, with return flight leaving at around 9:30AM, arriving Moscow around 10:30AM [1]

By train

  • The most famous way to get into Ulan Ude is to use the Trans-Siberian Railway — a four day journey to Moscow.
  • Ulan Ude is the first major Russian city past the Mongolian border. It takes around 20 hours by train from Ulaanbaatar.

By bus

  • Minibuses operate a service to the Mongolian border town of Kyakhta. The buses depart once they are full and the three hour journey costs 250R.
  • There is a bus service operating to Irkutsk and Chita, but the frequency depends on the season.
  • Travel agents sell tickets for the daily bus service to Ulaanbaatar for 950R. This is a much cheaper and faster alternative to the train.

Get around

Ulan-Ude's Lenin Head is surely the largest in the world

The center of Ulan Ude is relatively compact, and very walkable. Taxis roam the streets for the lazy, but don't expect any of the drivers to speak English. If you don't want to walk, shuttle buses (10-12 seat minbuses) run frequently to all parts of the city for a flat cost of 12 RUB, each route is numbered (on the windscreen) so get help to identify the route you want, flag the bus down to get on, pay the driver and indicate when you want to get off. There are also a limited number of tram routes.

See

City Center

  • The World's Largest Lenin Head, main city square.
  • The merchant's mansions. Historical relics of the town's prosperity as a trading center. The mansions are located along the banks of the Uda River.

Datsans and Churches

  • Odigitrievsky Cathedral. Founded in 1741.
  • Rimpoche bagsha, buddhist center Streletskaya st.,1. Beautiful view of the city.

Museums

  • Ethnographic Museum, Verhnaya Beriozovka. Old homesteads and Buryat wooden yurts have been relocated to the site, and along with reconstructed streets representing traditional Buryati homes, this outdoor exhibition consists of seven large complexies.
  • History museum. Profsoyuznaya st., 29. The rachest musem of the city. 400 years of buryat history.
  • Fine arts museum. Kuibisheva st.,29. Buryat painting, buddhist tankas, horse hair tapistry
  • Nature museum. Lenina st., 46. Flore and fauna of Buryatia.
  • Geology museum. Lenina st., 59.
  • Museum of city's history. Lenina st., 26

Do

  • Rimpoche bagsha, buddhist center, Streletskaya st.,1 (take a mini bus 95 till the final stop). There is a pretty nice view from the hill. You can see the whole city. free.
  • Puppet Theatre Ulger, Lenina street 46, +7 3012 213764. 9am -6pm from monday to friday. The name of the “Ulger” theatre is translated as “legend”. Puppet theatre “Ulger” was founded in 1967 and is the only theatre for young audiences in Buryatia. Among the theatre’s productions are many plays by Russian and foreign playwrights, but the theatre also puts an emphasis on plays by Buryat playwrights. The theatre tours both inside and outside Russia, participates in different festivals, and frequently is a laureate of different contests, winning prestigious professional awards. In 2006 the theatre won the Golden Mask National Theatre Award in the nominations “Puppetry/Best Production” and “Puppetry/Best Actor”. “Ulger” Theatre gradually steps over the boundaries of puppet theatre. In the last five years the dramatic performances Dogs, Zoya’s Apartment, The Space of a Spirit, To Go and not Return were staged at the theatre. The theatre tours extensively in Russia and abroad. In 2006 the production “Singing Arrow” received the Golden Mask Award in the nominations “Best Production” and “Best Actor”.

Buy

Eat

Buryat cousin

  • Modern nomads Ranjurova st., 1; mongolian cuisine
  • Buuza Kommunisticheskaya st., 41a; buryat cuisine

Coffee houses

  • Marco Polo Kommunisticheskaya st., 46; coffee house, breakfast, salads
  • Safari Erbanova st., 20; coffee house

Others

  • Hotel Geser (see 'sleep' section)
  • Marusia Lenina st., 46; russian cuisine
  • Serp i molot Erbanova st., 7a; soviet style cafe
  • Ulger Restaurant & Cafe, Kirova str., 8, +7 2012 21-21-09. A restaurant with traditional Russian and Buryatian food. A nice terrace outside.. 7$ for full dinner;.
  • Zolotoy Drakon, Lenina St., 46, +7 2012 21-80-66. 11.00 to 22.00. Chinese restraunt 5-10$;.

Drink

Sleep

Budget

  • Hotel Odon, Gagarin str., 43 (a 5 minute walk from the railway station). Tel:+7 3012 443-480. Popular with Chinese businessman, rooms and hygiene standards reflect the low price. Single rooms from 400R, doubles from 600R. Cheaper rooms don't have a shower, and there aren't shared facilities on site. Consider getting a better room or hitting up the banya.
  • Homestay, 900-1000 RUB including breakfast. Tel. +7 9025 648278, myasnikova_nat@rambler.ru
  • Baikal Ethnic Hostel [2], 450-1650 RUB including breakfast. 12A Flotskaya Street, Poselye village, Ulan-Ude. Tel. +7 9021 616322. Far from city center, take the no. 4 bus to Lenin head for 12R. On average, the bus takes 25-35 minutes including wait. Wait is much longer at night with bus service stopping altogether by 11pm. At that point you must negotiate for a taxi, typically 150R-200R.

Mid range

  • Hotel Geser, Ranjurova ul., 11. Tel.: +7 3012 211-178, 215-383. Fax: 216-151 E-mail: Hotel_geser@mail.ru [3] A cozy hotel with English speaking staff. Sgl room 2300 RUB (summer 2008)
  • Hotel Baikal Paza, Erbanova ul., 12. Tel.: +7 3012 210 770. Fax:463-828, e-mail: baikal-plaza@mail.ru. Recently refurbished hotel on the central square. A single room w/o a/c is 2000 RUB; twin room with a/c is 3000 RUB. No elevator. 'burnet' wireless internet available (access cards cost 100 RUB). (Summer 2008)
  • Hotel Buryatia, Kommunisticheskaya ul., 47a. Tel:+7 3012 31-18-35. Fax: 21-15-05, E-mail: hotel@burnet.ru About a 10-minute walk from the train station, this central hotel is located in a large and some-what run down complex. Rooms from 700R. However, if you talk to someone from Baikal Naran Tours (their office is conveniently located in the lobby), they may be able to book rooms for 500R.

Splurge

Stay Safe

Stay healthy

  • Medical Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, 6 Sakhyanovoi Street. Tel:+7 3012 334-353, email: ofp@bsc.buriatia.ru — a good place to receive treatment for both acute and chronic ailments using traditional Tibetan herbal compounds.

Contact

Internet

  • Burnet Internet Cafe, Borsoeva, 16 (just opposite to the railway station, after the bridge over the railways). Tel:7 3012 212-886 — open twenty-four hours.
  • Hotel Geser (see 'sleep' section}
  • Central Post office internet cafe, right on the central Soviet square in front of Lenin's head
  • Train station, Ulan Ude train station, 1st floor, VIP hall.

Get out

  • Lake Baikal — the deepest and oldest lake in the world and, by volume of water, also the planet's largest freshwater body of water. It contains 20% of the world's liquid fresh water and is just over one mile deep. A daily bus service runs from the train station, leaving about 7:30AM, returning about 3:00PM, cost 300RUB each way.
  • Ivolginsky Datsan Buddhist Monastery [4] — 23 km from the city. Buses leave the central bus station 10AM, 12 noon and 5:40PM for the forty minute journey (taking the later bus will mean having to spend the night in at the monastery guesthouse or returning by taxi). Alternatively take a minibus to the last stop and transfer to shared taxis that run the route all day: Just say "Datsan, datsan," when getting on the bus. Expect to pay around 30R each way.
  • S7 Airlines [5], 63 Ploshad Sovetov.
  • Buryat-Avia Airline Ticket Agency, 20 Erbanova St. Tel:+7 3012 221-122, 221-133 Tickets sold for all major domestic and international airlines.
Routes through Ulan Ude
NovosibirskIrkutsk  W noframe E  ChitaKhabarovsk





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