A (blessedly) short train ride round the southern shores of Lake Baikal brings us to Ulan Ude, capital of Buryatia. We're now so far east that Russia's starting to feel ever more Asiatic - the Buryats are ethnically related to Mongolians, and it shows. More varieties of horse meat on the menus, for a start...
Of course Buryatia didn't escape the cement fist of Soviet rule, and Ulan Ude has the dubious honour of housing the largest statue of Lenin's head in the world. He gazes down on the inhabitants of Sovetov Square, bearing more than a passing resemblance to Ming the Merciless:
As you can see from the photos, Lenin took it all pretty well.