The Republic of Buryatia is located in Eastern Siberia next to Lake Baikal and 52% of the republic is located in the lake’s basin. It shares a border with Mongolia and with Russia’s Irkutsk Region, Republic of Tuva and Zabaikalsky Territory. The republic forms the homeland of the Buryat people who share many customs with the Mongols. The Buryat language is also a dialect of the Mongol language. The prominent religions among Buryats is Tibetan Buddhism and Shamanism.
The capital of the republic is the city of Ulan-Ude which is one of the most interesting cities in Eastern Siberia. The city has many monuments - including the world’s largest Lenin head - and museums detailing the history and culture of Buryatia. Most tourists to the republic are drawn to the Buddhist monasteries - known as datsans, with the most famous being the Ivolginsky Datsan outside Ulan-Ude. Another major attraction is the open-air Zabaikalia Ethnographical Museum, also outside Ulan-Ude. In addition the republic has three national parks and three nature reserves. When in Buryatia you should definitely try traditional Buryat cuisine, such as the steamed dumplings known as ‘pozy’ or ‘buuz’, Buryat plov, the lamb noodle soup called ‘shulep’ and Buryat cheese.