Address: Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal, “the Pearl of Siberia”, is one of the best treasures of Russia. Located at the centre of Siberia, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and renowned for its huge water storage. Take the Trans-Siberia Railway travelling around the lake to Ulan-Ude or Irkutsk, then take a minibus and you will arrive at the lake. In Listvyanka, a small town at the lakeside, your sight will be filled with the colour of blue. The blue lake and sky are boundless, giving you the illusion of staying on the edge of the sea. Take a scoop of lake water, the cold water is simply refreshing.
You can reach the Olkhon Island at the centre of the lake by ferry. On this island, you will find the legendarily mystical religion, Shamanism. Many indigenous people with Mongolian faces living on the island still believe in Shamanism. Believing that there is a spiritual essence in everything big and small, they worship souls and nature and perform witchcraft-like rituals. Among the rituals, “samdambi” had influenced the ethnic customs of Northeast China.
Lake Baikal has totally different sceneries in winter and summer. In the freezing Siberian wind, the lake water forms a thick layer of ice where vehicles can drive past. Lying on the blue ice, glancing at the condensed water bubbles and listening carefully at the tranquil centre of the lake – you will hear a deep voice from the bottom of the lake. The soul of thousands of years is calling upon you while yours, through the ice, connects with the ancient soul for a timeless interaction in the heart.
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