Khabarovsk-Amur-river

Destination: Khabarovsk and the Trans-Siberian Railroad

With the resumption of non-stop Yakutia Airlines flights from Anchorage to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, it opens up the endless possibilities of outdoor adventure and cultural exploration in the Russian Far East.

Khabarovsk

Flights are available from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Khabarovsk, a picturesque river city on the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers. It’s only a short three-hour flight.

Khabarovsk is the second largest city (after Vladivostok) in Russia’s Far East and is the administrative center for the Khabarovsk Krai. Located just 19 miles from the Chinese border, Khabarovsk has long been a tourist destination for both Russians and foreigners alike.

Khabarovsk-fountains

Photo credit: JATM

Once there, spend your days taking in the city’s cultural offerings, such as museums – more than sixty at last count – and the historic waterfront, or browse through shops offering everything from handcrafts made by the Amur Region’s indigenous peoples to jewelry adorned with native rocks, including purple-hued Chaorite.

Khabarovsk-Amur-river

Overlooking the Amur River, the city’s waterfront park, featuring many shops and restaurants, is a popular place for a leisurely stroll. Photo: JATM

While Khabarovsk is a complete destination by itself, one its main draws is easy access to the Tran-Siberian Railway. Considered the longest railroad in the world; from end-to-end, the rail stretches almost 6,000 miles and passes through seven time zones. A modern train station provides an entry point to the iconic ride as it makes its leisurely way west toward Irkutsk and Moscow.

What’s the Trans-Siberian Railway like?

The best advice we can offer about a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway: it’s the kind of travel that is as much about the journey as it is about the views, which alternate between rural Old Believer villages and less industrious urban areas interrupted by rolling hills, scenic pastures, panoramic vistas, and surging rivers.

Lake-Baikal

Lake Baikal is one of the most popular stops on the Trans-Siberian railway. Photo credit: JATM

But Russia’s famous landscape isn’t the only incentive to purchase a ticket on the Trans Siberian this summer: It’s the people.

You’ll encounter Russian culture up close – from the first moment you step across the threshold of the train car. You’ll have experiences that are common for the average Russian but a luxurious thrill for you, the traveler. Enjoy a cup of Russian chai, or tea, from your car’s samovar. Share in communal meals with other train travelers, including home-made pirozhki, an Eastern European stuffed pastry, purchased from local vendors during brief train stops. Learn a bit of Russian as you get to know your fellow passengers. And, if you’re up for it, at least once toast ‘Na Zdorovie’, or ‘to good health’, over a shot of vodka.

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