Resources of Tourism
Primorsky krai is situated in the South-East of the Russian Far East. Free outlet to the Pacific Ocean, peculiarities of geopolitical situation and largeness and diversity of the territory facilitate development of international tourism.
The Sea of Japan is the Eastern border of krai. Primorye has bordered with China in the west and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the South-West.
Primorsky krai was established as an independent administrative body on the 20th of October 1938. Is square is 164,673,000 kilometers. Its population is 2,124,000 people. Minorities such as Udege, Nanai and Oroches, whose ancestors lived in Kidan, Bohai and Alchun kingdoms, make up less than 0,1% of population.
Most people live in the cities. Vladivostok is the capital of Primorsky krai. Nakhodka, Ussuriisk, Dalnerechensk, Spassk and Artyom are the major cities.
Primorsky krai is connected with other regions and countries by air, railroad, sea and road-transport communication.
Sikhote-Alin mountain ridge with its peak mountain Anik (1933 meters) occupies most part of the territory (80%). Ussuri is the biggest river. Its length is 903 kilometers.
Humid warm summer, plenty of sunshine during autumn and winter, closeness of the sea and mountain ridges and vast forestlands create the most suitable climate for the outdoor activities here.
The North and the South meet here
Primorye…it is a place of a meeting of the North and the South, of Asia and Europe, of the greatest continent and the greatest ocean.
Primorye is a unique corner on the Earth. There are picturesque mountains and plateaus covered with river valleys, lakes and taiga, where Ussuriisk tiger reigns, as well as seashore with sand beaches and unique underwater world in Primorsky krai.
There are more than 520 various unique nature objects (lakes, waterfalls, ancient extinct volcanoes, caves, etc) in Primorye.
Flora of Primorsky krai includes 1720 types of plants. There is almost 4% of endemic plants (the ones that can be found only on this territory) and 8% of plants from The Red Book in Primorye. One third of plants is herbs.
All these facts prove exceptional scientific and educational value of flora in Primorsky krai.
Fauna of krai is beyond comparison because of its diversity. There are 690 kinds of birds living on the territory of Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States. 350 of them can be found in Primorye.
The nature of the region provides an excellent opportunity to engage in various types of adventure and ecological tourism as well as outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, rafting, mountain climbing, yachting sports, participation in archaeological dig, speleologists, hunting, etc.
Hotels, camping, recreation departments, shops, restaurants and nightclubs in Vladivostok and other localities of the region are at tourists’ disposal.
Most of tourist programs start and finish in Vladivostok, the capital of Primorye.
Vladivostok is the gates of Primorye. The city is located on the Southern end of Muravijov-Amursky Peninsula and surrounded by waters of the Amur and Ussuriisk Bays. The territory of the city is more than 625 square kilometers. The population is 600,000 people. There are about twenty islands in Peter the Great Gulf within the precincts of Vladivostok. Russian Island is the largest amongst them.
The capital of Primorye was founded on the 20th of June (the 2nd of July) in 1860. The city was made as a naval base of Russia on the Pacific coast. Artillery batteries, which formed the first defence ring, were built on the coast of the Golden Horn Bay in the 70th of XIX century.
Fortifications, which consisted of 11 forts, base stations and 50 artillery batteries and coastal caponiers, were built around Vladivostok in 1910-1915. Battery named after Voroshilov on Russia Island became one of the most interesting sights.
Today Vladivostok fortress is known as a historical and military-defence architecture memorial. It is a favorite sight in excursions and tourists ate always interested in it.
Vladivostok is the biggest industrial and transportation centre in the Far East. The Trans-Siberian Railway that goes all 9301 kilometers from Moscow ends and sea routes to all Asian-Pacific Region countries start in Vladivostok. The international airport of the city has regular air communications with Anchorage, Seattle, Toyama, Niigata, Harbin, Changchun, Seoul, Pusan, Pyongyang, Bangkok, Singapore and cities of Russian Federation including Moscow.
Vladivostok is by right considered to be the largest scientific and cultural center. There is the Far Eastern branch office of Academy of Science of Russia, wonderful dramatic theater, youth’s theater, and puppet-show theater in the city. 9 state and 39 public museums are also attractive sights for tourists. Primorsky museum of regional studies named by V.K. Arsenyev and Navy museum are the most interesting ones. There are also such places of interest as Primorsky Philarmonic Society, art galleries, circus and aquarium in the city.
However, the main place of interest is Vladivostok itself, which is one of the most beautiful Far Eastern cities. It spread on the hills as an amphitheatre and coastline curves formed small cozy bays. View platforms allow admiring the city during day-time and at night when many lights shine in the Golden Horn Bay.
There are a lot of architectural monuments, which are connected with history of the city and krai. The streets of historical centre, especially Svetlanskaya street, are the most peculiar ones amongst 700 city streets. Classic and Gothic, Modern and Oriental styles made a fantastic mixture in local architecture. Tourists from Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, France and united States of America will be able to find familiar silhouettes easily and feel themselves at home.
One can get acquainted with historical past of Vladivostok during numerous excursions. There is resort and spa area in the suburbs on the coast of the Amur Bay. Every resort has its own specialization. Comfortable recreation departments and camping are waiting for the guests on the coast of the Ussuriisk Bay.
There is a beautiful Botanical Garden in the suburbs. One can both have a rest and find out many new things about unique regional flora here.
Almost 20% of the region is reserved area. There are five preserves, reserves, national and natural parks and memorials of nature.
Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve is the biggest one. Its area is 3470 square kilometers. There are tigers, brown and Himalayan bears, serows and wild boars, Manchurian wapiti deer and elks as well as rare birds, insects, fish and plants here.
There are plenty of fauna endemics in the reserve. There are pale headed chiffchaff, forest stone thrash and grosbeak amongst birds and Far-Eastern mole, Manchurian hare, raccoon dog, tiger and Amur forest cat amongst mammals of the reserve.
Ussuriisk Reserve is one of the oldest in the Far East. It was founded in 1932. Its main natural resources are virgin liana, coniferous and deciduous forestlands, which remained neither in other Far-Eastern regions nor in the neighbor countries. There is an arboretum of mountain and taiga station not far from Ussuriisk Reserve. It has 20 exposition sites with 900 kinds of trees, bushes and wood lianas on 50 hectares. Lazovsky Reserve has the most diverse natural complexes. There are 1609 kinds of plants, 57 types of mammals and 318 kinds of birds, great number of reptiles and unique insects there on 121,000 hectares.
In order to describe Lazovsky Reserve natural resources we can mention ginseng, pointed yew-tree, Amur tiger, serow and musk-deer.
There are two small islands included in the reserve. They were named by and in honor of Petrov and Beltsov, Russian sailors-pioneers.
Petrov Island is a real natural botanical garden. There are about 300 types of plants on 36 hectares. The world’s only grove of pointed yew-trees, a relic of Turgai forests of tertiary era, can be found here. The age of some trees is more than 1000 years. The seals living here obliviously like boulder beaches of the island; one can see the whales proudly swimming by in spring and autumn. There are remains of ancient fortress of Chur Chens epoch on this mysterious island. Many legends are connected with this fortress.
There is Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve in the South of Primorye. One can see the landscapes here, which are rare in the other parts of the Far East. The main secured species living in the reserve are as follows: Far Eastern leopard, tiger, Himalayan bear, Amur forest cat and dappled deer.
One can get acquainted with unique nature of reserves during ecological excursions, which are conducted by local employees. Lazovsly Reserve offers the whole set of various excursions, such as: ecological excursions of general education, children’s ecological excursions, individual commercial excursions and adventure ones. It also organizes and conducts photography, video filming and filming of nature.
There is a nature museum with some expositions in Lazo village. The expositions reflect the whole diversity and uniqueness of reserve fauna.
The pearls of the Far East
There are many beautiful places in Primorsky krai and some of them are considered to be unique ones by right. One of such pearls is situated in the Southern-West of Primorye, in Khasan region. It is the most Southern territory bordering upon People’s Republic of China and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It is washed by the water of the sea of Japan.
Beautiful and unique nature of Khasan region is beyond comparison. That is why the only Russian Far East State Marine reserve, Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve, Barsovy and Borisovsky Plateau reserves as well as Khasan Nature Park are located here.
It is an ideal place for summer rest! Warm waters of peter the Great Gulf, mild coastal climate and unique nature traditionally attracts tourists from Russia and other countries. Khasan coast has as many sunny days per year as famous Russian resorts.
Long sandy beaches of Narva, Baklan, Boisman, Troitsa and Eksditsia Bays are bather’s favorite places. Rocky abrupt coasts with fantastical conglomeration of stones attract those people that like underwater hunting and photo tourism. Most of the firms organizing underwater tours bring their guests to Khasan region. Deer park on Gamov Peninsula and Marine Experimental Station of Pacific Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry of the Far eastern branch of Russian Academy of Science are wonderful.
Khasan region has several historical places, for example, Sidimy historical and natural complex on Yankovsky peninsula or Zaozernaya and Bezymyannaya “heroic mountains” near Khasan Lake.
Local nature is a very rich one. The tourists are interested in Bogataya Fanza Cave, Khasan Cascade of Waterfalls, Stolovye Mountains, red and Blue Rocks and volcano on Krabbe Peninsula.
Local water and swamp resources are unique ones. Thousands of migrant birds such as gooses, swans, sweeps and ducks fill these places with their sounds every spring and autumn.
The fact that World Wild Fund chose this territory as a model proves the uniqueness of Khasan region. In addition, the region became a part of a project of World Tourists’ Organization on tourism development in Tumannaya River basin (Tomen River).
Khanka Lake is a very special place. Vast wetlands on the lakesides have no analogues in the Far East because of their unique flora and fauna. There are 616 kinds of plants, 523 kinds of aquatic plants, 333 kinds of birds, 6 kinds of amphibian, 7 kinds of reptiles, 60 kinds of fish and 48 kinds of mammals on Khanka Lake. Khankaisky reserve was established in order to preserve water and swamp lands.
287 rare birds are included in the attachment list of International Convention “About Protection of Migrant Birds, Birds and Risk of their Extinction and Their Habitats”. 225 of them live near Khanka lake. Egret and some other rare birds live only in this part of Russia. Those who would like to watch them can do it from the observation towers where one can put photo and video equipment comfortably. Khanka Reserve employees conduct highly qualified excursions.
The islands of Peter the Great Gulf
Island tourism can be an unforgettable rest. There are plenty of small islands with very beautiful relief and picturesque coasts. As a rule, there are no permanent residents. So it is possible to organize tourists camps, on the uninhabited islands. It is a great pleasure for people, who are tired of noise of the cities, to spend from two-three days up to week in such reserved place.
The ones, who are used to comfort, can go on sightseeing voyage by the comfortable yacht.
The islands of Peter the Great Gulf are a real paradise for fans of diving. The Sea of Japan takes the first place among other seas of our country because of its underwater world species diversity. Gerasimov, Zheltukhina and other islands are perfect for scuba diving.
Popov Island, which is not far from Vladivostok, has a great diversity of underwater landscapes. There are some almost vertical rocks that go underwater up to 17 meters. There are also sand beaches, kelp and ahnfeltia fields.
Scallops are raised here. There are actinias, sea-urchins, sponges, seaweeds, mussels, perches, rasps, soles, starfish, and water chestnuts under the sea.
There is a museum of the Far Eastern State Marine Reserve on the Popov Island.
Rest for everybody
Recreation resources of Primorye are diverse and we would like to hope that they are inexhaustible, everybody can find rest to their taste. So what can Primorye offer to an experienced tourist?
Fishing and hunting
Primorsky krai is an ideal place for both river and se fishing. There are 872 types of fish in the Sea of Japan; 179 of them is food fish. There are about 100 types of fish in the lakes and rivers.
Hunchback Salmon, Sima, Siberian Salmon and Silversides spawn in Terney, Kavalerovsky and Olginsky regions. Also one can catch hucho, malma, umber, greenling and loach.
Khanka Lake with many carps, sazans, cat-fishes, pikes and other fish is also a good place for fishing. Good fishing is also in Shkotovsky region.
One can catch malma, greenling, minnow and gudgeon in mountain rivers. Smelt, rudd, cod, navaga, rasp, sole, Pacific herring and other fish is traditionally caught in the sea.
There are trepangs, sea-urchins and starfishes in the water of the Sea of Japan. Crabs that live in coastal mountains and stones are very delicious.
Hunters can have a good hunting in Primorye as there are pheasants, ducks, geese, sandpipers and many migrant birds.
Elk, red deer, wild boar, deer, dappled deer and brown bear as well as small animals like brown hare and lepus, badger and fox are traditional objects of commercial hunting and sport hunting. Wolf, sable, squirrel, mink, otter, Siberian weasel, raccoon dog and musk-rat ate hunted for their fun. Ungulate animals, bear, waterfowl and pheasant hunting is very popular amongst local amateur hunters.
Diversity of fauna allows development of scientific and educational as well as sports and hunting kinds of tourism. Foreign tourists visit Khasansky, Olginsky, Chuguevsky, Dalnerechensky, Krasnoarmeysky, Pozharsky and Terney regions with pleasure.
Primorsky krai is interesting for those who like educational tourism. One can find ruins of ancient cities and monuments of past epoch almost everywhere. Golden Empire Churchen and powerful country Bohai were exactly here.
We recommend those who like mysteries and secrets to visit North of Primorye. Meteorite fell down in deep taiga in 1947. It made 200 Sikhote-Alin meteorite craters with total area of 480 hectares. The biggest ones have 30 meters in diameter and 10 meters in depth! Debris of meteorite are spread on the territory of about 200 square kilometers.
North of Primorye is motherland of Udege people, who are taiga hunters, fishermen and poets that can speak with birds and animals. That is why national park Udege Legend was established here. Now we can get acquainted with Udege household and cultural goods in Udege colony in Ostrovnoye village.
There are more than 80 archeological monuments on the territory of national park. Amongst them there is a Bohai ancient settlement with an exposition of ancient man’s dwelling and household goods.
One can get acquainted with original culture of minorities in Terney region. Samarga Udege people live in Agzy village. Curious people will be interested in numerous archeological monuments. Long ago the territory of Terney region was a part of Bohai (698-926) and Golden Empire (1115-1234) medieval countries. One still ca see the remains of ancient settlements, ditches and well-conserved walls.
Many ancient and medieval archeological monuments were found on the territory of Kavalerovsky region.
The whole country knows Dalnegorsky regions because of its minerals. One can see the collection of the minerals in the museum of stone. Its main exhibit is a famous stone mushroom, which is included in all world catalogues of unique minerals. Number and level of exhibits in Dalnegorsky museum of stone makes it one of the famous world museums along with Ural museum, London museum, Paris museum, etc. one can purchase hand-made goods made of Dalnegorsky gems here.
Shine, water, stream…
There are about 1,5 thousand rivers and 3 thousand lakes in Primorsky krai. Only Ussuri River basin has almost 3 thousand small lakes. Here is the biggest natural lake called Khanka.
Amongst other natural lakes we can mention Shanduiskye Lakes hidden in the crater of extinct volcano and Blagodatnoe Lake-lagoon near The Sea of Japan.
Primorsky rivers are diverse and unique ones. Ussuri River is the biggest one. Its clear waters push high hills. Upper river is a perfect place for rafting. When rafting one can see unique landscapes of Southern-Ussuri taiga.
However, most of the tourists that like rafting prefer Kema River with its numerous rapids. They also can raft down Armu River.
Milogradovka River is one of the most beautiful rivers in Primorsky krai. It is squeezed by rocks, which make several major waterfalls in the upper river and numerous rapids in the middle river.
There are about 30 waterfalls in Primorye. The most beautiful and frequently visited waterfalls are Elamovskye Waterfalls, which are situated 30 kilometers from Lazo village. Amgu River waterfalls are an unforgettable sight. Cherny Shaman Waterfalls is the highest waterfall amongst them and in the whole Primorye. Khasansky Cascade and Shkotovsky Waterfalls create an unforgettable impression.
Only mountains can be better than mountains
80% of krai territory consists of mountains, which are popular amongst the tourists that like hiking.
Pidan (1332 m) is the most popular and “mysterious” mountain in Primorsky krai. There is a beautiful view on surrounding valleys and Peter the Great Gulf from the top of Pidan. Tumannaya (Vorobei) and Litovka (Khalaza) mountains in the South of Primorye are very popular amongst the tourists. These mountains are near Vladivostok and easy to climb on.
Fans of mountaineering like Chuguevsky region very much. Here is Oblachnaya mountain (1854 m), which is the “main peak” of Primorye. The one, who will manage to climb on it, will be rewarded. A majestic view of many kilometers seen from the top of the mountain makes life-long impression. Tourists are always interested in Sestra (1671 m) and Snezhnaya (1682 m) mountains. Great Primorsky Ussuri Rever starts from the sides of the latter.
Hiking can be combined with speleology, especially since there are many caves in Primorye. For example, there are many caves in Partizansk city neighborhood. Chandolaz Caves are the most popular ones. Geographical Society Cave is also an archeological monument. Stone tools of ancient man and bones of fossils were found in it in 1963.
Mokrushinskaya Cave in Olginsky region is the monument of nature. It is the biggest cave in the Far East and it is situated in the bosom of Zarod Mountain. There are interesting acoustic effect in one of the halls of upper layer. There is a lake in the depth; its speleofauna has not been adequately studied yet.
Northern-East of Primorye is famous for its caves. Sverchkov Cave, which is a 59 meters-long constantly rising passage, attracts tourists as a magnet in Kavalerovsky region. Today there are only stalactites in it. People used to live in this cave in ancient times.
There are many caves in Dalnegorsk city neighborhood. Nikolaevskaya, Sadovaya and Chertovy Vorota caves are the most interesting ones. Chertovy Vorota Cave is a unique one because archaeologists found remains of five people and many goods of stones, bones and shells there.
Let’s be healthy!
The nature presented Primorsky krai with many healing and health improving resources.
There are all types of treatment mud known in Russia, such as marine silt mud, sapropelic mud and peat mud in Primorye. There are about 100 deposits of carbonaceous cold mineral, nitric thermal, nitric and methane springs and other types of mineral springs in krai.
Blue sea and hot sand
Primorsky krai mans “Sealand”. Primorye is situated in the very South of Russia. In spite of its humid monsoon climate, krai takes one of the first places in the country because of sun energy inflow. The Sea of Japan coasts is about 900 kilometers long and it surpasses other regions considerably because of its diversity and beauty. Khasansky, Lazovsky and Partizansky regions have many comfortable bays with wonderful beaches.
They are the best places to spend summer vocation in. Dalnegorsky region with its lagoons, picturesque rocks and kekurs become more and more popular amongst the tourists. Dva Brate kekurs are the most famous amongst them.
Nosorog and Chasha kekurs in Nepra Bay in Kavalerovsky region are very picturesque ones.
The winter will not catch us home
It is better to go to the central regions of krai in December and February. Arseniev city is interesting for those who like winter kinds of sport. There is a stable blanket of snow, the best mountain-skiing route, tourist center, skating rings, sport centers, swimming-pools and saunas in Primorye.
Skiers go to Shkotovsky and Partizansky regions. Sparkling snow under the bright rays of the sun, blue sky over head and quite suitable temperatures make routs in Ussuriisk taiga an unforgettable ones.
International ring tours
Proximity to the neighbors such as china, Japan and South Korea is a wonderful opportunity for development of new trends in tourism. International World Tourists’ Organization offered one of the most promising projects – a project of ring tours joining several countries of the region.
For example, it can be a ring voyage along the Sea of Japan coast with day and night stops in some ports of Japan, Russia and South and North Korea.
Another tour might encompass mountains of middle height in the Russian part, Chanbaishan Mountains in China and Pektusan sacred volcano in Korea.
It is possible to organize railroad circular tours with visits to four countries – China, Russia and North and South Korea after reunification of Trans-Korean railway.
Ring tour around Khanka Lake is a very promising one. This tour includes Mishan city, Khanka lake, ruins of ancient Ksinkailu, Yuya lake, Khatoisky temple and Gulin city in China. Russian part of the tour goes through the territory of Khankaisky region, where the tourists can have a rest at beautiful sand beaches on the bank of Khanka Lake. The tour might also include rest at Shmakovsky resort and visit to Svyato-Troitsky Nikolaevsky monastery.
Is short, Primorye has many things to offer its neighbors!