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“Old Believers day tour - Brilliant day trip - must do!”
Review of Za Baikalom

Za Baikalom
Ranked #1 of 2 Tours in Ulan-Ude
Attraction details
Reviewed 20 April 2016

We were interesting in visiting the Old Believers village and we came across Za Baikalom agency through a review on a travel blog. We sent an email enquiring about availability and Elena replied to us very fast and in a very efficient way. We booked the day trip and we were picked up by Aleksey and our guide Darima. On the way to the village Darima gave us a lot of information about Russia, Buryat culture and traditions, history, Siberia, etc. Her English was great and she answered all our questions. We visited the museum and the village Church and got so much information from the son of the priest and Darima translated everything as he only spoke Russian. He was very friendly.
The next stop was a further away village where we visited the house of Dushya. She greeted us with some home-made delicious bread and she was wearing the traditional costume from Old Believers. She was lovely and very friendly. We first had lunch and it was absolutely amazing! Soup, bread, home-made cheese, mushroom pie, kasha, potatoes, piroshky, home-made marmalade, open blackcurrant pie, and tea. We had so much food! We were also introduced to a ritual with samogonka (home made vodka) and Dushya also gave us so much insights into the Old Believers history and ways of living.
After all that delicious food we participated in a wedding ceremony. My husband and I were dressed in the traditional clothing and took part of how a Old Believers wedding is. We had a lot of fun and it was a great way to learn more about their traditions.
We were so happy at the end of the day and we can highly recommend to book a day trip with Za Baikalom to get the best out of a day trip to the Old Believers village.
Thanks to Elena, Darima, Aleksey, and Dushya for a memorable day!

2  Thank Mariana_Nic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 14 of 31 reviews

Reviewed 3 February 2016

We spent a great time with Za Baikalom. They prepared us tailor made trip.
This is very flexible travel agency.
Our guide was Elena Myasnikova very kind,polite and helpfull woman.
She was serving us the best way she could.
We made a big trip starting from Irkuck,Olchon,Turku,Posolsk and Baikal Forest.
They arrange everything in perfect way and always solutions were perfect.
I can advise this office and especially guide.

1  Thank Tomasz K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

I used Za Baikalom to get a ticket to UB in Mongolia for a one week visit, while I was in the Baikal region with the Great Baikal Trail Association for 3 months. The service was wonderful, extremely helpful, and they helped me plan my way from Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude, and procure my tickets, as it was quick complicated with my tight schedule. I ended up having an awful time in Mongolia for a variety of reasons, but getting to Mongolia with the help of Za Baikalom was maybe the best part of the trip.

2  Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Having read a couple of reviews on the Za Baikalom website, we decided to book the Old Believers day tour. We were delighted we did.

Elena, who came to pick us up from our homestay in a car with a driver, was the perfect guide. Her English was excellent - she had spent a year in the US with the Fulbright programme - and she answered all our many questions, not only about the Old Believers but about life in Russia more generally. As we chatted, we discovered our driver had some English too, so we were able to involve him in the conversation as well.

En route to the first Old Believers village, we stopped to climb a hill from which we got a wonderful view of the countryside and then travelled on to be taken round a small museum, stuffed full of local artefacts, by the son of the founder. He spoke only Russian but Elena acted as interpreter. As he was the son of the village priest, he then took us over to the little church and showed us round that too.

The highlight of the trip was a visit to another village, where we were welcomed into her home by a local lady (widow) in bright traditional dress. She gave us a traditional meal in the living room, decorated as it would have been years ago, although we were assured the rest of the house was quite modern! The food was delicious - even the lard from her own slaughtered pig. Dish followed dish and there was plenty which my vegetarian friend could eat, while our hostess chatted to us throughout about all aspects of local life . Again, Elena acted as interpreter and after our meal, we were given a demonstration of a traditional wedding ceremony, where I was dressed as the bride and our driver was dressed as the groom ...

We discovered so much more about the area than we would ever have done travelling under our own steam, although that was generally our preference. We would recommend this trip very highly indeed.

3  Thank margaret_om
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 November 2010

We took two tours with Natalia (also known as Natasha) from Za Baikalom Tours. Natalia speaks English quite well and she is very easy to get along with. We found her to be a very helpful lady. She picked us up from the train station and took us to our accommodation. We were so impressed we instantly booked tours with her. She took us to the Datsan Monastery, to the Old Believers and on a walk through the old city. The tour to the Datsan was very very interesting but the tour to the Old Believers was outstanding. It is one of our absolute best highlights of the four weeks we were in Russia.

You can read about our tours with Natalia here: http://www.railway-train-travel.com.au/train-trip-trans-siberian/20.arriving-ulan-ude.htm

We can thoroughly recommend her services. You can contact her here: zabaikalom@mail.ru

6  Thank jeanmorrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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