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Tourism in Yakutia: exciting and extreme
The republic is ready to attract guests with unique natural beauties, fishing and cold weather
Rostourism urges Russians to visit the Far East more actively in the face of border closures. Yakutia is recommended not to bypass. However, traveling around the republic has its own subtleties. Read more about them in the material from EastRussia.
WINTER AND EXOTIC
The most famous tourist in Yakutia can be safely called the British actor, world celebrity Tom Hardy. He came to the republic in 2012 with the film crew of the Discovery channel in Oymyakon, the coldest point on Earth. In a TV interview, he told how he dived in an ice-hole, took a steam bath, called the Yakut people hospitable and showed him an amulet that a shaman gave him.
His trip was organized by the founder of the TS-Center company Vyacheslav Ipatiev. Since the 2000s, he has been providing individual tours in Yakutia and has worked with journalistic groups that shoot stories about the republic. Mostly tourists want to plunge into the untouched wildlife, test themselves on a trip along the famous Kolyma highway, admire the endless expanses of the Lena River or visit Tiksi, created during the era of the development of the Northern Sea Route in the 30s of the last century.
“Sometimes we receive thematic inquiries, such as participation in the excavation of mammoth tusks, visits to ALROSA's production facilities. Everyone goes for beautiful views. They are impressed by our distances, expanses, and the original Yakut culture. They are surprised that it has survived, ”says Vyacheslav Ipatiev, who has 30 years of experience in the industry.
During this time, his company accompanied tourists from different countries and regions of Russia. Some of them, after the first visit, wanted to return to Yakutia again.
“They are called repeaters in professional language. There are several such tourists in my memory. The Belgian couple first came to Oymyakon. I would like to note that these are very rich people, founders of a world-famous law firm. Then they wanted to go to Magadan. Two years later, they asked to organize a trip along the Magadan highway to Chukotka. This is a very difficult and dangerous route that requires a high level of training and highly qualified performers. Unfortunately, the driver you could rely on passed away. It was difficult to find a new candidate, so we canceled this trip. Now they are asking us to organize a tour to Tiksi on the winter road. They want to feel all the delights of a heavy track, to feel like truckers. We are preparing, we think, we will try to organize it next year, ”says Vyacheslav Ipatiev.
The second tourist, who was accompanied by "TS-Center" - an 80-year-old realtor from New York. He first drove along the highway from Vladivostok to Neryungri, visited the Lena Pillars. Two years later, the company organized a trip for him to Magadan. Another American traveled by car from Yakutsk to Chita, and the next year - from Yakutsk to Magadan. The third time he went to Batagay, Verkhoyansk region.
The very first foreign visitors to Oymyakon in 1999 were meteorologists from Germany, who also returned to Yakutia some time later.
“They measured the outside temperature in Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk. And it was then that I had the idea to launch the Conquerors of the Cold project. I believe that this project has a great future. After all, people come to us for impressions that they will not experience anywhere else, ”says Vyacheslav Ipatiev.
The Cold Conquerors project has already crossed the borders of the republic: it was supported by the Russian Geographical Society, and participation in the expedition to the Pole of Cold is both a challenge and a chance for leading travel journalists and bloggers.
Lena Pillars National Park. These are high sheer cliffs of an unusual shape, as if growing from the bowels of the earth and stretching for tens of kilometers along one of the banks of the Lena River. Their height also inspires respect: the rocks reach as much as 100 meters! Moreover, they are becoming more mysterious and more beautiful every year due to the peculiarities of the local climate. The national park is located 200 km from Yakutsk. The ideal way to get to know them is a boat trip along the Lena River along these giants in the summer (June-September), and in winter you can reach the Lena Pillars directly across the ice of the river by car.
On the territory of the park, tourists can visit the forest bison nursery "Ust-Buotama". The modern inhabitants of the bison were brought from Canada, but the very process of resettlement of forest bison in the republic is associated with the revival of the population of these animals in their historical homeland. It was in Yakutia that scientists found the skull of an ancient bison that lived on this territory 20-30 thousand years ago. The Yakut bison died out about five thousand years ago, and those that moved to North America, over time, were divided into two subspecies: steppe and forest. Now the forest giants are returning to the habitats of their ancestors.
Another unique monument of this park is the sand dunes - "Tukulany". They are considered a real exotic of local nature: a desert surrounded by the Yakut taiga. It looks impressive! There is a dense forest on one side, a noisy river on the other, and in the middle a huge sand dune is an ideal place for photo shoots!
Pole of cold. Where else, if not in Yakutia, you can visit the real Pole of Cold. And the purpose of such a trip is not only to be photographed at the appropriate sign, but also to feel what a “whisper of the stars” and a snow cloud from the water that you just threw out of a mug are, to see the snow-white expanses and feel the phrase “Today is only -35 degrees - real heat. "
Mountains Kisilyakh. These are high rocky pillar-like outliers of a bizarre shape, formed as a result of weathering, which the locals deeply revered and call nothing more than "sacred mountains". There are many legends and myths around these places, but the real stories are such that most of those who visited the Kisilyakh mountains are charged with the strongest energy. It is not surprising, because such beauty is simply breathtaking. Getting to “Northern Shambhala” is not easy - first you need to fly from Yakutsk to the village of Batagay, then by car, and then also by motor boat.
FISHING AND SPECIES
Popular with guests of the republic are cruises on the Lena River, rafting on the Sinyaya, Amga, Keteme, Buotama rivers and fishing for taimen. For many years, In Yakutia has been organizing water, fishing and hiking tours with climbing the Kisilyakh mountains. Rafting along a 390 km long route and fishing for grayling and whitefish will cost 35 thousand rubles.
As the company said, they have a lot of clients who, having tried easier paths, decide to go through difficult routes.
“People come to us from Germany, Switzerland, Korea, Japan, Australia, the USA. Many tourists remain impressed, come back next year and bring their like-minded people with them. "
Local residents also use the services of the tour operator. Yakutian woman Tuyara Nogovitsyna this year for the first time made a hiking trip to the mountains with a height of 1 meters. Tourists spent five days on the route and spent the night at the highest point of the Kisilyakh mountains, which according to Yakut beliefs are considered sacred.
“The mountainous landscapes are breathtaking, the air is viscous, and the silence is deafening. It was so hot that everyone was burned. We enjoyed swimming in mountain streams with crystal clear water, ”says the tourist.
Rafting on the Sinyaya River with a visit to the Sinskie Rocks, fishing with a duration of five to eight days, depending on the tour operator, costs 23-35 thousand rubles. A one and a half day river cruise to Lena Pillars will cost a tourist 37 thousand rubles, if he is accommodated in a luxury cabin, 35 600 rubles is a four-bed cabin.
Cruises are organized by Lenaturflot, a subsidiary of the company with state participation. The services are mainly used by foreigners and tourists from other regions of Russia.
In contrast to tour operators dealing with inbound tourism, some growth is observed in organizers of weekend tours and local routes. A resident of Yakutsk, Veronika Mokhnachevskaya, was going to Europe this spring, but her plans were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic. This trip had to be postponed, but it was possible to realize a trip to his native republic. After him, Veronica says that now the Tompon Mountains are in first place in her personal top of attractions.
“I used to be in Kobyayskiy ulus, in early spring I went on an all-terrain vehicle along the Sinyaya River. It was very beautiful everywhere. But Tompo is certainly better. We went to three waterfalls, which reminded me of Bali, walked along a suspension bridge, climbed the mountains, saw a mountain ram there, hid from a bear, ”- Veronika Mokhnachevskaya.
During the trip, tourists were treated to, in addition to traditional food, elk and bear meat. The girl says that she, as a city dweller, was interested in trying authentic food.
“There was a rafting down the East Khandyga river with a very turbulent current on the rifts for those interested. It was a little difficult, but it was worth it - clear emerald water, dark rocks and mountains. I couldn’t even believe that this was reality, ”says Veronika.
Darina Chudekina and Yulia Nikolaeva began to engage in the tourism business this season. According to them, this was facilitated by the interest in the industry, the desire to develop tourism in Yakutia, the fall of the ruble, the closure of borders and their own abilities.
“Initially, we focused on foreign tourists. After the borders were closed, we switched to domestic tourism, ”says Yulia, founder of Yakutia Explorers, which organizes weekend rafting.
Darina leads everyone who wants to go hiking in the outskirts of Yakutsk.
“My target audience is youth. I believe that people should first be introduced to the cool places that are nearby. I was guided by my feelings - we go hiking with friends, and they are invariably held in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. And when I found out that young people often have no one to go on excursions with, and older tourists prevail in the groups of other tour operators, I decided why not offer them their services. Over the summer, I managed to gather several cool companies that are easy-going. They organized themed outings, for example, once they spent a night on the Vilyui tract, listening to scary stories around the fire. They mostly come to us one by one, and after the hike they are friends. Some of them started to get out into nature on their own, which is very cool. "
Recently it became known that the project of the unique tourist cluster "Lena", which includes objects of the tourist infrastructure of the Khangalassky ulus and the national park "Lena Pillars", became a semifinalist of the competition of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. On the territory of the cluster, there are already a number of tourist routes and objects offering their services to tourists: the art object "The Sacred Herd of Mythical Horses", the tourist and recreational cluster "Northern Mosaic" with its guest houses and excursions around the surroundings, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the river Lena, Orto Doydu tourist complex, including a restaurant, the world's northernmost zoo, Tekhtyur sports and entertainment complex, a real miracle of nature - the Buluus glacier, Kuruluur waterfalls, rock scribes, objects of the Lena Pillars National Park and the Sinsky Pillars, captivating with their beauty each of those who come here.
Another landmark travel news this summer: industrial companies, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yakutia, under the supervision of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, are developing industrial tourism routes. The pilot project will involve ALROSA, Kolmar, Technopark Yakutia, Sakhabult National Concern, and Kierge jewelry company. Enterprises are already developing and will soon offer tourists excursions that will acquaint guests of the republic with the extraction of minerals and the manufacture of handicrafts.
For example, by visiting Sakhabult, you can get acquainted with the full production cycle: procurement and processing of furs, hides, production and sale of sable fur coats, high fur boots (national shoes made of reindeer fur), souvenirs, Yakut knives. The diamond mining company ALROSA, which is the world's largest producer of diamonds in carats (it accounts for 26% of the world and about 90% of Russian diamond production), has an extensive network of tourist resources, in particular, the Historical and Industrial Museum, the Savrasov Kimberlite Museum , an observation deck with a view of the Mir kimberlite pipe, the Live Diamonds of Yakutia park. In the future, the company will be happy to show guests an interactive platform for diamond mining equipment, a light installation of the Mir pipe and invite them to an adventure tour with a unique chance to become a member of a geological exploration expedition.