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“Excellent Company and wonderful experience!”
Review of Za Baikalom

Za Baikalom
Ranked #1 of 4 Tours in Ulan-Ude
Attraction details
Reviewed 12 February 2018

Rada and Lena were both absolutely wonderful! They knew so much information about Buryatia, I was sometimes almost overwhelmed.
Our trip had a wonderful mix of the natural scenery, the city (Ulan Ude), as well as the smaller towns.
I especially enjoyed the Old Believers and the Buryat farms. It is so wonderful to see how the agricultural world in Russia works, and the hosts at both places were so generous and warm!
The Buddhist temples were also wonderful, the people there were awesome. Ulan Ude, like the rest of Russia is a beautiful city, and Buryatia has a great history.
I will absolutely recommend Za Baikalom! to any visitor to Buryatia.

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank Prem G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 August 2017

We very much enjoyed two excellent tours with them: Old Believers and Baikal lake. Tour guides were very good, friendly and accommodating. They were both very good and fun company for the day. Visit to Old Believers is particularly recommended.
Make sure that you have cash to pay for the tours as other types of payment are difficult but not impossible.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank DanijelaT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2017

We went for a 7 hour tour with Elena to Old Believers village which included lunch. This was an exceedingly well organised tour and Elena, the director of the company is well worth booking with. She brought an interpreter and we had a fabulous day visiting and understanding more of Old Believers. She is sensitive to exploitation and shared the history of these people very well. This was a highlight of Ulan Ude and I recommend it highly.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank vivien b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2016

We did a half day tour to the old believers village at Tarbagatai as part of our Ulan-Ude itinerary whilst travelling on the Golden Eagle Trans Siberian train, we did not therefore do it through Za Baikalom (although it might have been). However, after reading the previous review what we saw was identical (indeed I even recognised some of the people in the photos). As such I feel safe in adding my thoughts.

Initially I must admit to being a little unsure as to whether I would enjoy this particular trip (not being of a religious bent), but how wrong I was. After leaving the train we boarded a bus and drove approximately 35km from Ulan-Ude following the beautiful Selenge river valley. Stopped about half way to climb a hill with great views of the river.

Arrived in the old believers village at Tarbagatai and was greeted by two of the local ladies in full traditional dress who then showed us round their traditional house (more of her later). We then visited the small local Old Believers church, followed by a visit to a small but fascinating museum put together by the local priest (it was actually one of the most interesting museums I have seen anywhere !!!). We then went to the local village hall for dinner which is where the fun really started. We were served a veritable feast of sumptuous food whilst being entertained with local dancing and folk singing. The meal was washed down with unlimited amounts of wine, beer and vodka which were gratefully accepted. After the meal, but whilst still enjoying the free flowing drinks, the main host, the same lady who initially met us at her house, gave us a brief history of the local Old Believers and their culture. Two of our group were then dressed up in local costumes and went through a mock traditional wedding with much singing, dancing and massive hilarity. I think everyone of our group had a huge happy grin their faces as we exited the village hall.

Finally boarded our coach for a sleepy return to Ulan-Ude and our waiting train. An absolutely brilliant day. All the locals we met including the main hosts, priest, musicians and dancers of all ages were some of the nicest and friendliest I have met anywhere. Given the hardships they have suffered, even in the recent past, their very apparent joy for life was truly infectious. An absolutely must do if you are in the Ulan-Ude / Lake Baikal vicinity.

Date of experience: September 2016
5  Thank MartinBaxter58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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!

Date of experience: April 2016
2  Thank Mariana_Nic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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