Though Vladivostok is located in far Asia, it can be precisely described as a very “Russian” city. So those who imagined it to be cold with strong winds and populated by severe men are going to be a little disappointed.
The first thing that draws your attention is Japanese right hand drive cars. They make up 90% of all the city car fleet, including police cars and ambulances.
One of the Russia’s largest automotive markets is situated in Vladivostok. There you can mainly buy those previously mentioned Japanese cars.
Its residents prefer changing cars once every 1.5 years. A 10-year-old “Japanese” with a 70.000 km run can be bought, on average, for $10.000. Moreover its condition won’t be very different from that one of the new car.
The most prestigious car is considered to be a left hand drive Mercedes. This car is a sign of prosperity.
The city is located on the hills at the head of Zolotoy Rog Bay.
Vladivostok is going to hold the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2012. That’s why now it looks like a big building site. Two cable-stayed bridges are being constructed here. The first one will be across Zolotoy Rog Bay.
And the second one will be across the Eastern Bosphorus Strait between Vladivostok and Russian Island where APEC is going to take place.
The height of the poles is 100 m yet. Soon it will be 320 m. And it will become the world’s biggest cable-stayed bridge.
Russian Island is larger than Vladivostok by square kilometers. But now there are only 3 miserable villages and a military unit on its territory.
One of the tallest points of the city is the Holodilnik nipple (“Refrigerator”). There are ship cannons at its very top that were intended to defend the land from attacks of the Japanese navy.
A functioning military unit isn’t far from those cannons.
In the distance one can see the poles of the future bridge across Zolotoy Rog Bay.
The lighthouse on the Cape of Egersheld is the nearest to Russian Island point of Vladivostok.
People usually come here to bathe in clean waters of the Amur Bay.
And this is the quay of Vladivostok and a submarine beside it that now serves as a museum.
Inside the submarine.
A railway station. The number written on the pole is the distance between Vladivostok and Moscow. 9288 km.
The central square.
A big traffic jam behind the column.
Vladivostok has the highest number of cars per capita among all Russian cities. The cars are cheap here, so almost everybody can afford to buy it, but the streets are narrow and the roads are honestly awful. And as the city is surrounded by hills, in windless days the air becomes really stuffy.
The streets of the city are full of sailors. And there is a special patrol that watches their behavior.
One can rent a children’s car in the central square. The owner of the cars runs after the kids in a funny way. Maybe he’s afraid of the car theft?
Vladivostok is a very romantic city. Loving couples are almost everywhere.
From here to China is about 50 km so one could probably think Chinese influence on the city is great, but except for several markets and restaurants with Chinese cuisine, actually there is nothing more of the Chinese here.
Vladivostok is a city of marine products. Local restaurants offer crabs, whelks, octopuses, shellfish, squid and others. But the most popular dish is scallops.
But the calling card of Vladivostok is, no doubt, red caviar. Right in front of the airport there are several cars that sell red caviar and other marine delicacies.
A kilogram of red caviar costs 1500 rub ($50).
You can choose between the salmon, silver salmon, red salmon and dog salmon caviar and taste any of them.
And those who want to try something unusual can go fishing at night.