Tomsk Oblast (Russian: То́мская о́бласть TOHM-skuh-yuh OH-bluhst’) is a region in Western Siberia, which borders Omsk Oblast and Tyumen Oblast to the west, Khantia-Mansia to the north, Krasnoyarsk Krai to the east, Kemerovo Oblast to the southeast, and Novosibirsk Oblast to the south.
The Tomsk region was long an important center of Western Siberia, but lost importance after the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which passed the region by to the south. But due to the discovery of oil in the late 20th century, Tomsk Oblast received a vital injection of economic importance and has reclaimed some of its status as an important region of Western Siberia.
Tourists will find that Tomsk Oblast lives up to their Siberian expectations. It is sparsely inhabited, vast, flat, wooded, and yes, it gets quite cold during the winter! Its principal attraction is the city of Tomsk, which is a worthwhile detour off the Trans-Siberian Railway for its historical importance, architecture, and Siberian culture.
Knowledge of Russian is useful.