Leave Everything, Go Rugged: Olkhon, Eastern Siberia

There are some places in the world that are still untouched. It’s very hard to believe when you look out the window of your 34th floor apartment, trying to ignore the people on the ground that look like little ants scurrying everywhere… but really it’s true!

Recently, BBC’s Travel (to the most remote places in the world) illuminated one of the gnarliest places I’ve ever heard about.

It’s name is Olkhon, and it’s an Island, and it’s located in Eastern Siberia, or for most people that’s Eastern Russia.

Wikipedia tells us that Olkhon Island is the third largest lake bound island in the world. It resides within Lake Baikal, which as you can see from the map above, is just North of Mongolia. Apparently the time to head there is in the middle of the summer. I bet it’s bloody cold any other time.

Photo credit: Erik Pontoppidan, http://www.ponty.dk/eriks-ho.htm

The island stretches 71.5 kms long and has cliffs along its surface that reach as high up at 1276 meters. The highest point along the island is Mount Zhima and it is 818 meters above the water level of the lake, on a calm day.

Photo credit: Erik Pontoppidan, http://www.ponty.dk/eriks-ho.htm

Olkhon has ~1500 people that live on it’s rocky land, who are mostly what are known as the Buryats (Buryat: Буряад, Buryaad), the aboriginals who are actually the largest aboriginal group in Siberia.

Photo source: unknown

As the information goes, Olkhon is half way between Moscow and Beijing, which just happens to be the exact way the Trans-Siberian Express Railroad goes… One can only imagine some of the other sights that would greet the happy traveler along the road..

The following is from Uzury area, Olkhon Island, Baikal Lake.

Photo credit: Dmitry Yurlagin, http://dmitry-yurlagin.livejournal.com/

So, this begs the questions: where is your next trip planned?