One of my favourite stops on the Trans-Mongolian was at Irkusk, one of the largest cities in Siberia and the best place to access Lake Baikal. The lake is stunning and the enormity of the largest freshwater lake in the world can’t really be described, especially in winter – instead, here is my Lake Baikal Photo Series.
We got onto the train in Moscow when it was a balmy 26 degrees. Five days later we had watched the seasons change and hopped off in Irkusk where it was snowing and -4 degrees. Only in Russia can you experience all the seasons in only a few days.
Make sure you also take the time to enjoy Irkusk. It has a bit of a college town feel to it and there are lots of trendy places to eat and drink. The vodka is also very tasty and cheap. Which makes for fun evenings that you can’t always remember…
To get to Lake Baikal, you can take a local bus from the main bus station. They are mini van’s and leave whenever they are full. Otherwise your hostel can organise you one. You can meet some entertaining people on these buses as well!!
Learn more about How to book the Trans-Siberian, 5 unusual activities in St Petersburg, Tourist sites v local secrets in Moscow, 7 things I learned in Mongolia, and How to see the Great Wall of China without the crowds!
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