These five places in Russia will have you wondering if you’re still in Russia or have been teleported to another country it so eerily resembles. We knew that nature doesn’t have boundaries, but it took these places in Russia to make us realise it truly. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Moneron Island – Australia
At first glance, the coast of the Sea of Japan could be easily mistaken for the Australian coast. Often known as Russia’s Gateway to Asia, it is the perfect place for sun-bathing and chilling on the beautiful shore for hours. Moneron Island in the Strait of Tartary will give you serious déjà vu if you have watched the TV series Lost, which is to say it is insanely picturesque.
2. Ivolginsky Datsan – Tibet
In the Republic of Buryatia is the city of Ulan-Ude where the Ivolginsky Datsan is situated — a monastery built after World War II in 1945. Like the Buddhist population in Russia, this monastery complex is largely unknown to the world, even though it is home to the Leader of the Buddhists of Russia. There are seven temples and a university in this complex where Buddhist lamas are trained.
3. Lena Pillars – China
Looking at the Lena Pillars in Russia, one can’t help but be reminded of the Chinese Stone Forest, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stones in Lena Pillars started forming 540-560 million years ago on a bed of Cambrian limestone. How to get there is equally interesting — you have to take a small boat from Yatsuk via the Lena River to reach the Lena pillars, beautifully reflected on its calm waters like a perfect painting. Even though not all the pillars can be climbed, there are a few observation platforms, about 100m high, from where this unique landscape can be viewed panoramically.
4. Gorno-Altaysk – Switzerland
The Altai Mountains located in Southern Siberia, bordering Mongolia are one of the most inaccessible parts of the world due to lack of roads. Yet, the regional capital of Gorno-Altaysk gives us reason enough to believe that nature took inspiration from Switzerland for the Altai, or vice versa. Who knows!
5. Zelenogradsk – Germany
The Town of Zelenogradsk in the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad was home to German colonists and Teutonic Knights, which has visibly left its traits on the village. The village itself has a very rich history, and the backdrop of the old-school, quaint houses, and plentiful greenery is just perfect to soak all that in.