Ask Baikal

Hi there! My name is Maxim Milyutin. I am based in Irkutsk, Russia's Siberia. Traveller, organiser of local travel talks, and owner of Irkutsk hostel. Travel for me is not necessary movement to some place far away from home, it's a state of soul. That's why I like to travel around my home region and and abroad as well. I'm happy to share my knowledge about Baikal with everybody! Feel free to ask me about Lake Baikal via the contact form Tatiana Baksheeva, our previous blog runner, remains with us as a contributor.

TOP Places to Visit at Lake Baikal, Russia [tips + video]

Chersky Rock at Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Panoramio.com

On the boat. On Lake Baikal.

Chersky Rock at Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Panoramio.com

Lake Baikal is the oldest, the deepest and one of the most fascinating lakes of the world. Wherever you go at this charming lake, you will feel its spirit, spend a wonderful time and will be filled with its powerful positive energy!

If you arrive in Irkutsk and you are limited in time or have limited budget, then it’s better to visit Listvyanka, which is situated on the shore of Lake Baikal, 70 km (44 mi) from Irkutsk.

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Overall, the health of Lake Baikal is probably very good, says Dr Anson W. Mackay

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Hereby, we are really proud to present an exclusive interview done with Dr Anson W. Mackay, a professor at the Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography at University College London, who shares his thoughts about Russia’s Lake Baikal and its environmental state.

In May of 2011, we were really lucky to have him giving us a like on the Ask Lake Baikal facebook page. Actually, we didn’t do anything to attract his attention. Dr. Mackay is a big admirer of Lake Baikal himself. Has been to the area many times and cares much of its ecology. In our turn, we do what we love to do. We share our passion for the world’s largest & deepest lake.

Our interaction with Dr Mackay started from Voice of Russia‘s live radio story dedicated to pollution in Lake Baikal. There was a live talk on air with Nikolai Yasinsky from the Russian Geographical Society and Dr. Anson W. Mackay. You can listen to it online here.

We had our own questions to the UK-based professor, who, thank God, was really kind to give us answers. Proceed to read the interview.

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Listen to Waves of Lake Baikal, Siberia / Russia

Watch the video and listen to the sounds of waves on Lake Baikal’s Olkhon Island shore. Amazing, isn’t it?.. Sadly, it’s too short.

How to get from Listvyanka to Olkhon Island?

I’ve been asked a question on how to get to Olkhon Island from Listvyanka.

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Lake Baikal map (from www.axiomgear.com). Red dots shows Listvyanka and Olkhon. Click the image to enlarge.

In summer time you can get from Listvyanka villgae to Olkhon Island only by water.

I translated an official timetable for summer 2011. Read more »

Love story: Olkhon Island and Nikita & Natalia Bencharovs

Nikita Bencharov

Dear Readers, I would love to show you not only beautiful views of Lake Baikal, tell you about how to get here ahd there. I also would love to introduce you beautiful people from the area of Lake Baikal. These people live their lives here, love their families, love what they do and love Baikal. Today I would like to introduce Nikita and Natalia Bencharovs.

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Top 10 things to do around Lake Baikal. Travel tips by Lonely Planet.

Snowdrops and Lake Baikal in spring. Photo by Vladimir Tumentsev.

Snowdrops and Lake Baikal in spring. Photo by Vladimir Tumentsev. More spring photographs on the Ask Lake Baikal facebook page.

Lonely Planet has its opinion on everything. For instance, it offers to consider its top 10 highlights for Lake Baikal. Here are some of them:

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Everything has its own deity! Shamanism at Lake Baikal.

He belongs to the Buyan family that has been living in the Baikal region over 400 years. Legends say that there have been 19 generations of shamans in his family, shamanistic knowledge being transferred from generation to generation. The totem of the Byans is a white-headed eagle, the major large bird of the Olkhon Island. The sixth finger on Valentin Khagdaev’s right hand is a sign of being predestined to become a shaman. A baby with six fingers on a hand is given birth in every second or third generation of the Buyans.

Valentin Khagdaev

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