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  • Suhashini L

Day 152 - Embracing Russian Hospitality: Sight-seeing in the City of Chita with Friendly Locals

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Day 152 (o2 June 2023) - Chita, Russia


DAY 152 (02 JUNE 2023) – I arrived in Chita yesterday and planned to visit the city today. I decided to give my motorbike a rest, so I asked the hotel staff if I could take a taxi to the city but there weren’t any.

Another hotel staff by the name of Styesa (53) called up her sister Liana (35) who later arrived at the hotel in her Toyota car. They both offered to take me sight-seeing around the city.

Liana (35) spoke a bit of English and with the help of an online translator, we conversed well with each other. From our conversations, I got to know that Liana has a young son (2) and her husband is a Sarjan in the military. He is currently away fighting in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

They took me for a drive around the city. There was a mix of traditional wooden homes or log cabins and brick apartments everywhere.

The main public transportation in the city are electric buses travelling on fixed route while connected to cables, much like the tram car in Australia.

While it is a common sight in remote villages, it was interesting to see a bore pump in a neighbourhood at the side of the street. It provides water coming from an underground source and is free for the public. People can pump and collect water for daily use.

Styesa and Liana also took me to visit several places of worship in Chita. I got to see the ‘Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God’. The external architecture of this beautiful church is simply stunning. I wanted to go in but it was closed at the time of my visit.

No too far away was the ‘Chapel of the Holy Blessed Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky’. It is located at the top of the Titovskaya Hill. I got a good view of Chita and the surrounding mountains from up here.

Later, they took me to the Decembrists’ Church Museum. This unique all-wooden structure was built in 1776 entirely with logs. Apparently not a single nail was used during its construction in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s suffering. It was originally a church dedicated to Archangel Michael, with regular services conducted. Now it has become a museum with many artifacts and documents relating to the Decembrist revolution.

They also took me to visit the Tank Museum in Chita where I got to see a display of Russia's various tanks and military equiments.

After 2 hours of travelling, I offered to treat Styesa and Liana tea and also pay for the time they took to take me on this tour. They both refused to take money from me! They were both happy to entertain a tourist in their country and were very supportive of my objectives and tree planting efforts.

Liana wanted a Malaysian currency to keep as collection so I gave her an RM 5 note. I am thankful for their help and will never forget their kindness.



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