After three days in the Russian capital, other three in the middle of Siberia, exploring the mesmerizing landscape offered by the wilderness of forest, plains and cold semi-desert that surrounds the Baikal Lake, and another seven days onboard the Trans-Siberian, we finally arrived at our last destination in the Russian Federation, Vladivostok, the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean.
The unofficial capital of the Russian Far East is located around the Golden Horn Bay, not far from the Russian borders with China and North Korea and is one of the main access points to Japan. Our initial plan was to cross the Sea of Japan onboard of a ferry departing from Vladivostok, but then we found out that the price for the flight to Japan from the city’s airport was much more convincing, so we decided to travel by air.
What to see in Vladivostok
We had a short stay in Vladivostok, but enough to explore the city and get a feeling of what the Russian Federation looks like at the other end of its wide territory. You can easily observe how different cultures get mixed here. Multiple shops and signs in Asian alphabet made us feel the presence of people from East Asia, other than Russians (it is worth mentioning that before two centuries ago the city used to be a Chinese province and after the end of First World War it became a Japanese enclave for a short period of time).
We spent the night at a small and cozy hostel that offered also a beautiful panoramic view of the city and we shared the moments of walking outside in the cold with the ones hiding in coffee places, to refresh and warm-up.
One of the pleasant experiences that we had there was the re-encounter with the ocean. The port is not one of the biggest that we have seen, but the few ships that could be spotted in the area, including a passenger ship, made the general atmosphere feel very familiar to the ones we experienced in the past.
The last morning in Russia happened to be very cold, which helped us get easily over our nostalgia of leaving Russia behind. We took a minibus to the airport (the 107), because of the lower price, but we had to endure a bit more the cold than we were supposed to, as local buses don’t seem to respect their schedule. So, if any of you are planning a future trip leaving from Vladivostok, we suggest choosing the probably more comfortable option, and taking the train to the airport, even if a few rubles extra will have to pay for the extra comfort.
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