The Tomsk Region is situated between the Tyumen, Kemerovo, Omsk and Novosibirsk Regions and the Krasnoyarsk Territory in the south-eastern West Siberian Plain. A large part of its territory is covered with taiga and swamps with poor accessibility; the region’s Vasyugan Swamp is one of the largest swamps in the world.
The administrative centre of the region is the city of Tomsk which is famed for its wooden architecture and as being a student city, with both Russians and foreigners studying here. Although it is not on the Trans-Siberian Railway, travellers often make a slight detour to come to the city. One visitor though who was not impressed with Tomsk was Anton Chekhov who did not have kind words to write about it. In response the city now has a rather unflattering monument of the great Russian writer. Also in the city is an interesting NKVD Museum located in the building which housed an NKVD prison from 1923 to 1944