Tomsk Oblast (Russian: То́мская о́бласть TOHM-skuh-yuh OH-bluhst') is a region in Western Siberia, which borders Omsk Oblast and Tyumen Oblast to the west, Khantia-Mansia to the north, Krasnoyarsk (region) to the east, Kemerovo Oblast to the southeast, and Novosibirsk Oblast to the south.
- 1 Tomsk — the capital is a 400 year old quintessential Siberian city of historical importance and famed for its "gingerbread" traditional wooden houses and neoclassical University buildings
- 2 Asino — a large town on the rail line to Tomsk from Taiga
- 3 Narym — this swampy village is the oldest settlement in the region (1596) and was home to numerous exiles, from Decembrists to anarchists to everyday Soviet citizens, including some very famous communists (Stalin, Rykov, Sverdlov, Ruybyshev).
- 4 Seversk — the second largest city in Tomsk Oblast; a major plutonium producing city that is closed to non-residents and was a secret city under the USSR
- 5 Strezhevoy — a small oil-man city on the Ob River to the northwest of Tomsk
The Tomsk region was long an important center of Western Siberia, but lost importance after the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which passed the region by to the south. But due to the discovery of oil in the late 20th century, Tomsk Oblast received a vital injection of economic importance and has reclaimed some of its status as an important region of Western Siberia.
Tourists will find that Tomsk Oblast lives up to their Siberian expectations. It is sparsely inhabited, vast, flat, wooded, and yes, it gets quite cold during the winter! Its principal attraction is the city of Tomsk, which is a worthwhile detour off the Trans-Siberian Railway for its historical importance, architecture, and Siberian culture.
Knowledge of Russian is useful.
You should visit famous uzbek restaurant Osh (Ош) at Timakova street which is very popular especially for foreign students) or eat bliny (pancakes) which you can buy in many kiosk in the city.