The last stop on the Trans-Siberian Express and the so-called "last European city in Asia," Vladivostok, Russia, is 4,000 mi/6,400 km east of Moscow (5,772 mi/9,288 km by train) and set amid hills overlooking the Sea of Japan. For sightseeing, the town offers the Arsenev Regional Museum (natural-history and archaeology displays, and Japanese ceramics; http://www.arseniev.org), the Museum of the Pacific Fleet (http://museumtof.ru) and the Krasny Vympel (Red Pennant), the first ship of the Soviet Pacific Navy.

Vladivostok is also a good center for organizing camping and trekking trips to Siberia and the Kamchatka Peninsula. The city is famous for its fishing industry. Because it is a strategic port city (home to the Russian Far Eastern Fleet), it was closed to foreigners for many years. Pay attention to the flora in the area—only in the far eastern part of Russia will you find huge relict tropical plant species (the reason: no glaciers reached this far corner of Russia during the last Ice Age).

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