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  One of the distinctive features of the Soviet Union was a constant shortage of foodstuffs as well as other consumer products in the shops. When you come to Russia you will notice positive changes. You will be able to buy almost all necessities and articles of clothes, video- and audio- equipment, household equipment, cosmetics, foodstuffs, alcohol and cigarettes of American, European and Asian manufacture. However, beware of fraud! It concerns primarily alcohol and cosmetics. The largest stores in Vladivostok are GUM (the main department store), Hypermarket, Ignat, Golden Horn, etc. The usual working hours of nonfood stores are 10.00 - 19.00, most work without breaks and seven days a week. Food stores are usually open from 09.00 till 21.00, there are also many 24 hours working food shops and kiosks.

  The official currency of the Russian Federation is the rouble. The exchange rate in October, 2004 was 29,22 roubles per one dollar. One can easily exchange dollars, euros and Japanese yuens for roubles as well as vice versa at exchange offices in the banks.

  Working hours of the Administration, State establishments, enterprises, and banks are 9.00 - 17.00 with a break from 12.00 till 13.00. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Private companies normally work longer, from 9.00 till 18.00 - 19.00. They do not have set break time.

  It is rather easy to find an automatic telephone in the city center as well as in the remote districts. One can use the automatic telephone for communication within the limits of Vladivostok. To make a call, people buy special plastic cards that are sold at the newspaper kiosks. The cards are "charged" with "units" (one unit is less than one minute). Card of 100 units costs 150 roubles. Specialized services, including 01 (fire call), 02 (militia - a city police), 03 (ambulance) and 04 (gas service) are free of charge. You can call the other cities of the Russian Federation or abroad from your hotel or a trunk-call office.

  The following kinds of public transport operate in Vladivostok: trolley-bus, bus, tram, train, funicular, ferryboat and cutter. Hour of operation are from 06.00 till 22.00 for trolleys, trams, from 06.00 till 23.00 for buses and trains, from 07.00 till 20.00 for ferries and cutters. The travel costs differ in different cities. In Vladivostok the travel costs 3 roubles in trams and trolleys, 5 roubles in buses, and does not depend on distance within the city. The prices of the ferry, train tickets, and buses going to the suburbs depend on the distance.

  There a plenty of taxi companies in Vladivostok that work 24 hours a day. Most taxies are not painted with any special marks, so they do not differ from the cars of common people in the city. Usually people order taxi by telephone, and when the car arrives to the client, the taxi company clerk phones the client again and advises the number of the taxi at the plate. Average cost of one-hour trip in taxi is 150 roubles, and most companies count the price according to the time, not the distance within the city. Travels outside the city usually have set prices, for example trip to the airport costs 500 roubles one way (46 km, 40 minutes). Hiking in Russia is also acceptable. Any passing car in the street is a potential taxi. If you need a ride, you place your right arm in the street and any driver who is interested will stop, and will negotiate on destination and price. Do not get into the car until the negotiations are complete and not at all if there is another passenger in the car.



Primorsky region...
Eastern Gate to Russia

   Russian Cuisine
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69, Okeansky pr., of. 206
Vladivostok, Russia,
(+7 4232) 411-949, 411-988
+7 914 729-31-46