Here are a few tips for independent nature travelers who want to discover the Eastern Shore of Lake Baikal: Ulan-Ude, Ust-Barguzin, and the Zabaikalsky National Park (see Off the beaten path and Travel log).
I traveled there in August, 2000. I took a folding kayak and paddled in the Zabaikalsky National Park (300km/180miles north of Ulan-Ude) for two weeks. I also stayed with a Buryat family for a week.
I went again in August 2001, then in 2002 to visit the friends I had met 2000. Of all the places I have ever visited, Buryatia (the state on the Eastern shore of Lake Baikal) is my favorite.
Indeed, in summer 2003 the friends became family!
I plan to be there for a few weeks in summer 2004 so do not hesitate to get in touch! It would be great to arrange a VT meeting!