Far East Russia may seem like a desolate place, but in fact a lot of people live out here. The two cities we visited, Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, both have about 700,000 people. They have plenty of buses and trams and a lot of new buildings popping up. They are also very close to the border with China, and there is certainly an Asian influence. There are many tourists from China, Japan and Korea, and many immigrants from those countries. There are also plenty of Asian restaurants.
Traveling through this part of the country we saw land that is very green. Some areas are very poor for agriculture because of the permafrost just under the ground, but you wouldn't know it looking at all the birch and oak trees, and white, yellow and purple flowers. There are lots of hills and rivers, it's very beautiful. We pass by many towns. The small ones are a collection of wood houses with tin roofs and often teal shutters/trim, each with a little garden. The larger towns also have several big concrete apartment buildings.