Arshan Health Resort

Medical springs in the Sayan Mountain Range

Kyngara Waterfall
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Photo: Alexander Osintzev

When leaving the M55 after Kultuk and turning into the Tunka Valley in the Sayan Mountain Range at the southern shore of Lake Baikal, the road will run parallel to Irkut River all the way to the village of Arshan. The place is famous for its sulphurous, supposedly curing water running in a small mountain creek - out of rusty pipes though... Guests of the sanatorium take bottles and flock to the springs, which are also worshipped as sanctuaries by the Buryats. A trip to the nearby waterfall is definitely worth it. For the short hike, you should allow for about 2 hours. Whoever has more time on their hands should do the day trip to Peak Lyubov, the "peak of love". In order to do that, don't follow the path to the waterfall, but keep right of the creek.

Datzan in Arshan
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Photo: Thomas Heidbüchel

When leaving Arshan and driving further into the valley, you will get to the hot springs. "Rich Russians go to Sotchy, poor Russians come here" is a slogan for this popular destination of Siberians. Near the banks of Irkut River, you'll find a small camping ground, a kiosk, and Buryat children who will take tourists for a ride on their horses around the square - for money, of course. Close-by, you can rub your skin with pleasantly warm mud in an approx. 5-m wide hole. After that, you can hide behind a wooden fence to shower with hot water which is spouting directly from the ground with temperatures of 40°-50°C (~104-122°F).


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19 Mar 2006

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