Chukotka General Information including visa rules!
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (Region) is a closed border region. In order to enter Chukotka, you will be required to have a special permission entry form issued by the Government of Chukotka Autonomous Region with an approval from the Russian Federation Security Service and Border Control Service. This entry form is known to Russians as propusk. It takes about 60 working days to process all the necessary paperwork associated with the special permission entry form. For details contact us.
You will be checked, double
checked, counted and observed, at every place you enter in Chukotka
where it is possible for one of the special Border Guards to access
you. When you arrive at Anadyr, as a foreigner, the security officer
will take you aside and check their list for the flight you have
just arrived on. You must be on that special list. If you come
ashore at some remote point, by boat, and there is a border police
post nearby they will need to know you are there and 'check you off!
We can also advise on other routes, via Moscow for example, or depending on schedules when you enquire, via Vladivostok, Yakutia or Khabarovsk. Brent, from Passport Travel who recently did an expedition cruise in this region, flew via Moscow. A flight via Nome (Alaska) is probably the best solution if you are based in Canada, or the U.S. From Europe you are best to connect via Moscow. From Australia the cost via Moscow is a bit cheaper than via Nome, but obviously longer time wise. However the savings can contribute to a stopover in Moscow! In addition you can then 'tick off' one of those 'Travel Records'. The flight from Moscow to Anadyr is the longest scheduled domestic flight within a country - 9 hours 45 minutes. This excludes flight from a country's off shore dependency - ie from the island of Reunion (French) in the Indian ocean to Paris. At this point in time no commemorative T-Shirts are known to exist!
A lot of the beautiful carving and scrimshaw use the ivory tusks of walrus, which the indigenous people hunt as a food source continuing their traditional ways. Some argue this is a sustainable practice as they are no longer hunted in the numbers required were this to be a main source of food. In addition, this is done as a 'cultural practice'. Other will argue that there is no longer the need so the the practice should stop.
Importation of Ivory products from endangered species is banned by most countries with proper outlooks on such matters. There is no official paperwork available from these craft producers to indicate their material comes from a sustainable practice (their terms), so you might experience problems when returning home. Carved work using bones from Reindeer won't bring such problems. The debate is still open regarding the carving done to the bone from a walrus penis - I kid you not there is such a bone!
Back = Ivory carving. Foreground = Reindeer bone carving
Back left = Scrimshaw on ivory. Item in front (dark tinges) = carved Walrus penis bone.