Amyrskaya oblast


Upon visiting Zabaikalsky Krai and paying tribute to the great Mongol Genghis Khan born there in 1155 (or 1162), a car traveler continues his way east and after many hours of bumpy ride (the ride was bumpy before 2010) gets into Amurskaya oblast. The oblast lacks tourist attractions. Perhaps the main one is (used to be) the bumpy Amur highway itself and a peculiar pompous monument erected near the small town of Novobureisky. In February 2004 the then Russian president Vladimir Putin staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony in this place and declared the road from Moscow to Vladivostok trafficable and open all the way through. To perpetuate that event local powers-that-be erected an obelisk reading MOSCOW-VLADIVOSTOK in Russian (МОСКВА-ВЛАДИВОСТОК) and a small chapel that remains permanently locked. A must-to-stop spot for all car travelers for pictures.

The president Putin vowed to pave the Amur highway and kept his word. In 2010 the road acquired a hard surface all the way from Chita to Khabarovsk.


The administrative center of Amurskaya oblast is Blagoveshchensk. Settled as a military post in 1644 the city is set on the Amur River across from China rather far from the Amur highway. There are no particular places of interest in Blagoveshchensk apart from observing massive infiltration of Chinese folks into Russian territory.

Some travelers might be attracted by the remnants of the first Russian fortress built in the area in 1650 by Russian pioneers. The site is in the village of Albazino on the border with China. Spas are also available. The Ganzhinsky mineral springs are located close to the Amur highway and are good for travelers who undermined their digestion system during their long road journey.

Smoldering banks of the Amur River

In some places due to scouring action of the river formations of brown coal are exposed to atmospheric air which causes their self-ignition. The banks are smoldering continuously, occasionally producing bodies of flame. The phenomenon has been observed for at least 300 years. In case of interest some of these spots can be reached by car and on foot.