Far Eastern Federal District
Time: Vladivostok Time Zone (VLAT/VLAST). UTC offset is +1000 (VLAT)/+1100 (VLAST).
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Federal district: Far Eastern Federal District.
Main cities: Nakhodka, Arsenev, Artem, Bolshoi Kamen, Dalnegorsk, and Ussuriisk.
Land and Resources: Primorye Territory is located in far southeastern Russia on the shore of the Sea of Japan. It has an area of 165 900 km2, which is 1% of the total area of the Russian Federation, and is among the medium-sized regions of the country.
Climate: Primorye is a fairly moist zone. Seventy percent of the annual precipitation falls in summer and autumn and only 10% in winter. Summer is the cloudiest season. The amount of precipitation increases as you go from west to east. The cold season in Primorye lasts two to three months; April is the most typical month, with average temperatures of +3 to +5 °C. The snow cover disappears rapidly forming very little meltwater. Summers in Primorye are cloudy but warm and even hot in areas far from the sea. Thick fogs changing to drizzle are characteristic of the coast. Autumn is the best time of year; it is warm, dry, clear, and quiet. The temperature falls slowly, and the warm weather lasts into October. Winter lasts for 3-3.5 months in the southwest and 4-5 months in northern districts. In mountainous areas, the snow cover is 85-100 cm thick, but is intermittent in the south.
Transportation: Vladivostok is Russia`s largest port city on the Pacific Ocean. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The Trans-Siberian Railway was built to connect European Russia with Vladivostok, Russia`s most important Pacific Ocean port. Air routes connect Vladivostok International Airport with Japan; People`s Republic of China; North Korea (irregular); South Korea and Vietnam. It is possible to get to Vladivostok from several of the larger cities in Russia. Regular flights to Anchorage, Alaska and Seattle, Washington were available in the 1990s but have been cancelled since. However, starting in July 2008, Vladivostok Air will resume flying to Anchorage.
The cities of Primorye serve as industrial, transportation, cultural, and administrative centers. They are not only industrial centers specializing in engineering, mining, and woodworking, but are also the sites of some 2000 different historical and cultural monuments.
The name Vladivostok loosely translates from Russian as "rule the East". The naval outpost was founded in 1859 by Count Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky.
Special nature preserves in Primorye Territory:
Primorye State Museum
Memorial house-museum of Arsenyev
Museum of the Sukhanovs
Historical Museum of the Pacific Fleet
Museum “Vladivostok fort”
Memorial submarine С-56
Archeology and Ethnography Museum
Primorye Drama Theatre
Primorye Territory is noted for its diverse plant and animal life. Primorye is the only part of Russia were leopards are found; it is also the habitat of the main tiger population, and more than 400 bird species have been recorded. Nature preserves play a major role in conservation. There are currently 214 identified natural sites with various functions and environmental conditions in the territory. All of them have regional status, although nine have been recommended for federal status. Another 94 sites have been recommended for confirmation as natural monuments.
The most important natural sites are those where rare plant species grow. These include the lotus habitats of the lakes of Khankaisky District, the Ussuri basin, and Putyatin Island; Brazenievoe Lake, the habitat of the rare aquatic plant Brasenia schreberi (common name: water shield); and the mulberry and apricot groves of Oktyabrsky District.
People like to spend their free time in different ways, and Primorye Territory has some special places for everyone, including waterfalls, caves, cliffs, and lakes.
Cliffs and crags are not an unusual sight in Primorye, especially in Vladivostok, but they are all different. For example, the jagged canyons and cliff walls ornamented with remnant rocks of the Lozovy Range reach heights of 500 m. There is one place in the southern part of the range where you can ascend to the summit through a chute. It is a rather dangerous climb for an untrained person, so you can also simply follow a narrow ridge. However, once on top, you will see that it is a sloping, forested plateau with many rare plant species.
The remnant rocks are equally interesting. Wind action over a period of many centuries has carved them into fantastic shapes. The most impressive ones, known as the Dragon`s Teeth, are located on the crest of Mt. Sestra. Some of the granite columns even have holes worn through right them as a result of erosion. All this is at an altitude of about 1500 m above sea level in an alpine tundra zone.
Uniquely shaped remnant pinnacle rocks [kekurs] were formed by the action of ocean waves. In the vicinity of Rudnaya Pristan, there is a small (about 20 m high) islet consisting of a through arch. If you look at the islet from the seaward side, it resembles a mammoth wandering through the water. Within Vladivostok itself, south of Shamora Bay, there is a cliff that when viewed from a certain angle looks just like a seal lying in the shallows.
Lakes hardly surprise anyone, except when they are located right on the very mountaintops. There are a number of such places in Primorye Territory. On Mt. Olkhovaya in Partizansky District, there are two small lakes (several tens of meters in diameter) together at an altitude of more than 1600 in the alpine tundra zone.
Then in Terneisky District right in the watershed of the Sikhote Alin Range at an altitude of 1500 m there is the basalt Ozernoe Plateau with numerous lakes, some of them mover 100 m long. On the mountain slopes to the side of the plateau, you will find beautiful Saturn Lake (diameter 150 m) with a splendid view of the Kema River basin from its shores.
The Kema River also happens to be the most popular river in Primorye for river sports because of its numerous rapids, among which the Beitsevsky, Trekhkaskadny, Kemskaya Truba, and Takunzha rapids are especially popular. There are also waterfalls in the upper reaches of the Kema River and its tributaries.
The Amginsky waterfall in Terneisky District near the village of Amgu is considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Primorye, perhaps even in Russia. Here the water has cut a deep, narrow canyon in which a 35-m-high stream of water roars unceasingly. In winter, the waterfall turns into a giant icicle and the canyon walls form a corridor of solid ice. Avalanches are common in the waterfall basin in winter. A spa with stone baths overflowing with mineral water is located below the falls.
The Rekordny waterfall is also located on the same river. Here, the water falls into the canyon in a foamy pillar from a 30-m-high ledge.
The Milogradovsky waterfall (named after the river; also known as the Vanchinsky waterfall) located in Olginsky District is the territory`s largest. The entire river falls here from a 7-m-high vertical ledge in an unending stream. Alongside the falls are multicolored rock outcrops of rose, green, and other colors, which have given their names to the rapids.
Further up the river and along its tributaries there are several other waterfalls, including the nearly 5-m-high Divny waterfall.
Another unusual place is located at the source of the Milogradovka River. Here the Sikhote Alin, the territory`s main mountain range, is an ordinary bog with larch and bilberry thickets. This is the territory`s highest bog. Its northern end passes smoothly into the Ussuri River valley, but its southern edge ends abruptly in cliff walls cut by the canyons of the source of the Milogradovka River and its tributaries, as if nature had decided to be a little eccentric.
Other well-known waterfalls in Primorye include the Elamovsky waterfall near the village of Benevskoe in Lazovsky District and the Tigrovye waterfalls on the Steklyanukha River.
The most accessible waterfalls to Vladivostok residents are the Kravtsovskie falls near the boundary between Khasansky and Nadezhdinsky districts near the village of Kravtsovka. Here there is a cascade of five waterfalls up to 7 m high cut through a basalt plateau in a canyon-like valley. The falls have been given the vividly descriptive names of Rocky Chaos (Kammeny Khaos), Rocky Bowl (Kamennaya Chasha), Jaws (Past), Step-by-Step (Stypenchaty), and Crystal (Khrustalny).
The caves of Dalnegorsky and Spassky districts are notable among other natural monuments for their uniqueness and beauty.
The caves of Ekaterininsky massif and Chandalas Ridge in southern Primorye are classed as natural historical monuments. They were once a winter shelter for Paleolithic tribes of southern Primorye.
Wall paintings of an ancient artist have been preserved in Sleeping Beauty (Spyashchaya Krasavitsa) Cave.
Spasskaya Cave, the largest cave in Primorye, is located mainly on the northern slopes of Mt. Malaya Sopka. Its passages are more than a kilometer long. The interior of the cave is strikingly beautiful, with crystalline lakes, stalactites, and stalagmites.
Mokrushinskaya Cave located on the southwestern slope of Mt. Zarod is one of the best known caves in the Far East and the most interesting one in Primorye for its number and variety of rooms, corridors, and galleries. The cave is also unique by Far Eastern standards for its wealth and diversity of chemical deposits of various ages in the form of stalactites, stalagmites, stalagnates, cascade deposits, curtains, and dripstone incrustations. The cave has the largest cavities of any in Primorye. The fourth room of the upper tier is the most beautiful, with eight small lakes and a labyrinth of passages between stalactite columns ranging in color from light blue to greenish to reddish brown in the northwest corner. One of the largest cave lakes in Europe, with an area of 300 m2, is located in this cave.
Encarta World Atlas
http://www.primorsky.ru/ - Information Site of Primorye Territory