Stopover in Ulan Ude

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
1
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
2
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
1
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
5
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
2
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
1
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
25 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Asia
country
Russia
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 30
Time of year visited
October
Primary Tags
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All Tags
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
325th/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Bottom 10% SUMMARY RATING: Gash

Summary

Ulan Ude is one of the main stops on the Trans-Siberian Railway route and, along with similar stops such as Krasnoyarsk and Omsk, is tempting for a stop to break up the journey.  My suggestion is to stop at only one as it will  give the break you’re looking for and its nice to at least get a brief look at what a central Siberian city looks like.  Whilst Ulan Ude is a little nicer than Omsk and Krasnoyarsk, be sure to lower your expectations- none are particularly pleasant and should be way down the priority list when it comes for the highlights to be seen on the railway journey.  Save your time instead for getting off at Irkutsk to see the gem of the trip, Lake Baikal and, if travelling the Beijing route, the Mongolian Steppes around Ulan Bator

 

Specifically for Ulan Ude, it probably makes even less sense to stop off as it is quite close to Irkutsk and and Ulan Bator.  Might as well just travel directly

 

For tips on the overall trans-Siberian Railway experience, including which stops to take, see the travel entry The Trans-Siberian Railway from Omsk to Beijing

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone