Olkhon Island by Maria Nikolaeva in Olkhon Island, Cape Burhan

Olkhon Island. It’s a car (or minibus if you use public transport) drive and a ferry trip combined into 5-6 hours of travelling from Irkutsk. A little far but worth the hassle. One of the main villages (which is where I advise you should go) is called Khuzhir. The nature is very specific on the island: the first thing you’ll probably feel will be isolation and loneliness. But it goes away in 1-2 hours as you get to know the place. You’re very likely to feel spellbound. Olkhon is very very surreal, when you get there you think there’s no way Irkutsk can possibly be somewhere near.

Name:Maria Nikolaeva

Place you live: Irkutsk, Russia

Place your photo was taken: Olkhon Island, Cape Burhan

Occupation: Odd-jobber

Preoccupation: Pictures, music, daydreams

A perfect day in Olkhon? I’m pretty sure any kind of a day at Olkhon Island is going to be perfect in its own way. This place is really special. It’s best to camp and sleep under the stars listening to the waves on the shore. Or looking at the silhouettes of trees above. Make a fire.

For the visitor? Visit Cape Burhan (on the picture). Make a wish. Walk a lot – but be careful, the nature is very tricky and it’s easy to get lost.

A perfect meal? There are plenty of small cafes in Khuzhir. The best food is these things they’re called “pozi” (a kind of dimsims). And “sagutai” – raw fish with salt and spices.

A little known fact about Olkhon? One of my friends said Olkhon Island is the place where important decisions just come to you. She was right.

Your favorite place in the world? Wherever I feel good, this changes.