Far out of the city – this is where you can feel the real Russia. We want to show you those friendly locals, traditional farming, small villages located very far from each other and vast wild territories of taiga.
- Day 1
Start from Vladivostok
Arrival to Gaivoron village, settling in the house
Excursion to the Siberian tiger shelter & animal research centre
Local farm excursion
A tour around the village: history, way of life
Banya (Russian sauna)
- Day 2
Whole day tour to Khanka lake and the Khanka Nature Reserve
- Day 3
Drive back to Vladivostok
This tour starts on a Saturday morning in Vladivostok with a group gathering. Then we drive by car to the countryside – a village called Gaivoron in the vicinity of Khanka lake. Driving time is about three hours.
Upon arrival, we settle in a comfortable house with an indoor shower, banya, and a cozy summer kitchen.
After you get settled, we’ll take you to an animal shelter and research centre, where a local scientist-enthusiast Dr. Yudin and his wife have been taking care of siberian tigers, himalayan bears, lynxes, foxes and racoon dogs for many decades. The center is associated with Far-Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Science, but the funding is very limited. There you’ll be able to see tigers in conditions close to the wild – the enclosure takes up a very big area.
Later we’ll take you to a large local household to look at the way people farm in a russian countryside. The owners of the farm have a big vegetable garden, livestock – cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens and geese, strawberry plantation and a fruit garden. We can always buy organic milk, eggs, sour cream and cottage cheese.
Then we drive or walk around the village to find out how things work there. We will tell you the long and difficult story of russian villages from the old times, to USSR and until modern times. We will stop by a local river. How local kids love spending time there! In the end of the day we come back to our cozy house and enjoy russian traditional food dinner and banya – russian sauna – after a long day.
The next day we will show you around the beautiful Khanka lake – the largest lake in the region. A part of it belongs to China: they call it Xinkaihu (兴凯湖). Nearby wetlands are home to two species of protected cranes: White-naped crane and Japanese crane. It’s a very important bird protection area for Primorye and for the Russian Far East, as well as an essential birdwatching place. We will have a boat tour around the reserve with a professional guide who will introduce you to the nature of the lake. In august we can enjoy the view of wild lotus flowers.
After we get back from our day trip, we’ll enjoy banya again and the next morning after breakfast we’ll drive back to Vladivostok.
Gaivoron settlement. This village was founded in the beginning of 19th century by ukrainian immigrants. It’s located 10 kilometers away from Khanka lake.
Even though the village is small, it is famous for it’s animal shelter and is known as a “tiger village”. When people are walking from one side of the local hill to another, they often can see tigers following and watching them from the other side of the fence, which separates the tiger enclosure from the forest.
Distance from Vladivostok: 250 km
Khanka lake. This beautiful lake is the largest in the region. The western part of it belongs to China – they call it Xinkaihu (兴凯湖). The wetlands of the lake are of great importance for the biodiversity of the region. Transboundary international russian-chinese Khanka Nature Reserve was created here to protect endangered species, including White-naped and Japanese cranes, Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana), Lotus Flower (Nelumbo Nucifera), Fox Nut (Euryale ferox) and Brasenia (Brasenia schreberi).
Distance from Vladivostok: 240 km