I stayed at eastories farm for two weeks with Ilja and his family. When I arrived I did not expect such a nice, cosy and comfortable place where to stay. Eastories farm is a perfect spot. I could walk to the lake, hike the mountains, and enjoy the incredible views. Ilja and his family showed to me many things about this region and introduced me to super interesting and unknown culture. I loved very much to eat special organic and delicious homemade food. I recommend eastories farm with no doubts for all of those who really want to live a unique experience.
The village is close to lake Baikal and surrounded by hills. Great to hike around - and find your own path! Lake Baikal is very beautiful... Ilja and his family were very friendly and helpful. A very authentic place to taste typical food and to get a feeling what life in a Siberian village is.
It's hard to describe an experience which is so different to daily life. Nevertheless I'll try to put in words the overwhelming welcome we received and breathtaking nature all around. It was not just the hospitality we experience - for a while we became like a family members. They showed us around, explained local customs, we went together to the Baikal lake, took bania later on. It was indeed an unforgettable experience. Beside, it's impossible to not get stunned by the landscape there, it's one of the most virgin places I've ever seen and I'd love to come back there more then once.
On the shore of Baikal Lake, the farm hosts are the nicest people ever. We got to know their customs, traditions and way of life. The frozen lake is undoubtedly one of the greatest natural wonders on Earth. This experience is a MUST.
Russia, Siberia, and especially area around Baikal Lake is unforgettable and astonishing - views, landscapes, people, distances and... Trans-Siberian railway :) to be honest its unspeakable - You have to discover and experience it by yourself.
And last, but not least - Ilja as a guide - great man, with huge knowledge of the region, languages and local culture.
It doesn't matter if you've never been to Russia, or You're familiar with the region - in both cases it's worth trying.