The fewest visitors will stay in Kultuk for more than one or two days, although the village was originally founded in 1647 by Cossacks, and is therefore the oldest settlement known at Lake Baikal. Coming from Irkutsk, right before the village you will have a splendid view all over the Southern end of Lake Baikal. The street loops down around steep serpentines into the village. At the many viewpoints along the way, almost aggressive and expensive bargainers offer a variety of more or less necessary things. Road M55 and the rails of the Transsib lead further to Sludyanka or Ulan Ude. In Kultuk is a turn-off to the Eastern Sayan Mountains and to the Mongolian border near Mondy.

Kultuk itself is a typical village at Lake Baikal. Due to the fact that the time of Sovjet industrialisation as well as tourism passed by without leaving any marks, the view of the place is characterized by small farmhouses and their bordering fields. Only directly at the street there are a few small shops (Produkti) and a half-closed socialistic store.

Along both sides of the small harbour extends a wonderful sand beach, though in the summer it is a really crowded place.

Preliminary to the village is a small, narrow, 400 m long peninsula, whose tip used to be a place of worship for shamans. From 1868 to 1872, Benedykt Dybovski and Victor Godlevski lived here during their 15 years of exile. Both men spent their time to discover the flora and fauna of Lake Baikal and wrote them down systmatically. Due to their efforts, the scientists’ attention was drawn to the enormous biological diversity of the lake. Until then it had been assumed that, due to its geographical position, only little life existed in Lake Baikal.


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30 Jan 2006

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