top of page

TOP DESTINATIONS OF NORTHERN MONGOLIA

KHUVSGUL LAKE

Beautiful lake and yellow flowers.

The two lakes connect through the Eg and Selenge rivers. The Eg is the only outflow of Khuvsgul Lake, and at the same time, it is a tributary of Selenge, which flows into the Baikal Lake. Khuvsgul holds almost 70% of Mongolian fresh-water reserves, and its water is drinkable without any treatment.

It is like Baikal Lake; Khuvsgul is a rift lake. It is 136 kilometers long, and its maximum depth is 262 meters. In the land of deserts and where most lakes are salty, Khuvsgul is considered sacred. The lake is astounding, but the tremendous Sayan mountain range surrounding it creates perfect scenery and makes Khuvsgul a must-see destination if you travel to this part of Asia.
Khuvsgul Lake is located in northwest Mongolia, near the border with Russia. The lake area is a national park bigger than Yellowstone and home to many wildlife species, such as elk, wolf, musk deer, Siberian moose, brown bear, and others. The lake is home to an endangered endemic fish species - the Khuvsgul grayling.

TSAATAN PEOPLE - REINDEER HERDERS

Tsaatan people are reindeer herders and live in northern Khuvsgul Aimag of Mongolia. Originally from across the border in the Tuva Republic of Russia, the Tsaatan are one of the world's last groups of nomadic reindeer herders. They survived for thousands of years, inhabiting the remotest subarctic Ulaan taïga, moving between 5 and 10 times a year. 

The reindeer and the Tsaatan people are dependent on one another. Reindeer provide them with milk, cheese, meat, and transportation. Some Tsaatans say that if the reindeer disappear, so too will their culture. They also sew their clothes with reindeer hair, reindeer dung fuels their stoves, and antlers are used to make tools. They do not use their animals for meat, which makes their group unique among reindeer-herding communities.

As the reindeer populations shrink, only about 40 families continue the tradition today. Their existence is threatened by the dwindling number of their domesticated reindeer. Many have swapped their nomadic life for urban areas.

a man is riding a reindeer.
Very old monastery Amarbayasgalan.
amazing old monastery in Mongolia.

AMARBAGASGALANT MONASTERY

This monastery was built in memory of Bogd Zanabazar's skills, wisdom, intellect, accomplishment, talent, artistic skill, and wisdom by the order of the Manchu Emperor, Enkh-Amgalan khaan, in 1725. Bogd Zanabazar was a great leader of Mongolians. Amarbayasgalant means "peaceful happiness." When Buddhism flourished in Mongolia, the monastery comprised over 50 temples and 6.000 monks. Today, 28 of their temples still stand. Hundreds of monks died during the anti-Buddhist purges in 1937-1938; their rare deities, artifacts, thangka, statues, and manuscripts were looted without rebuilding or compensation.

Later, in 1943, The Amarbayasgalant monastery was taken under state protection and reconstructed. The temple has kept the ashes from the burials of III and IV Bogd, Mongolian Buddhism's leaders, and has become a religious artifact. The monastery keeps many necessary original scripts of cultural heritage, including the 108 volumes of Ganjuur and the 226 volumes of Danjuur. These volumes' original script was written in 1628, containing 1260 parts, including ancient philosophy, medicine, geography, art, science, music, and astronomy. Next to the Amarbayasgalant monastery is a stupa called "Jarun hash" or "lost the promise." The legend of this stupa is that to accumulate merit, a good-hearted old lady wished to build a stupa.

The old lady started building the stupa with the help of 4 boys and one servant. To accomplish this, she first asked permission from the king.  The king's reply stated that she could do what she wished. The local ministries refused it and pleaded to the king that a poor lady building a stupa would harm the king's reputation and the ministries. The king replied that he had already permitted her so he would not break the promise. That is why the stupa is called "Jarun hash" or "lost the promise." It is also called the "Eye stupa" because if the prayers look at the eye on the stupa, all their sin disappears. There is also a 13 m tall Bogd Zonkhoba image with his two disciples and 108 stairs.

URANTOGOO VOLCANO

Uran is an extinct volcano on the western side of Uran-Togoo Tulga Uul Natural Monument in Bulgan province, 80 km west of Bulgan town. Uran means "Artistic," Mongols named it so because it's a ridge of the crater and is one of many examples of circles that arise in nature, resembling a remarkable creature of a craftsman. The area is situated in the Khutag-Öndör district of Bulgan Province. A smaller area was initially protected in 1965. Again, in 1995, it was designated as a Natural Monument with 5,800 hectares.

The peak over 1686 m forms a circle-shaped ridge about 500 m across, containing a crater lake about 20 m wide and 1.5 m deep. The Uran and the surrounding areas are the remnants of an extinct stratovolcano formed about 20-25 thousand years ago. Uran's highest point also provides unobstructed, panoramic views of the volcanic field, distant blue mountains, and valleys filled by sheep herd-like thrown pearls on a green carpet. Uran Volcano also offers visitors excellent opportunities for observing and understanding volcanic formations. The sizeable volcanic field surrounding the monument contains recognizable volcanoes such as Tulga, which means "Tripod," Jalavch - "pot," and Togoo - "cauldron," which are located 12 km south of the Uran Uul. Uran is widely considered by many who visit it to be one of the most stunning parts of North Mongolia. It is beautiful, utterly wild, and unspoiled. It can be climbed from the shadow side in a day, which is considered steep but walkable.

Located within a national park, the law is off-limits to most standard wilderness industries such as farming or mining. A paved road spirals around the Volcano, and visitors can drive to a parking lot at the rim. Hiking trails circle the edge and lead down into the mouth of the Volcano. Uran-Togoo Tulga Uul Natural Monument is one of the outstanding landmarks where the rolling grasslands meet the foothills of the Khangai Mountains. Its soil is very fertile, and steppe or forest-steppe plants grow here. Larch-dotted forests, aspen, and birch trees are grown in the mountain's shadow. The Volcano has breeding populations of various birds: grouse, sparrow, owl, falcon, cuckoo, and hoopoe. Maral deer, argali sheep, reindeer, wild boar, wild goat, marmot, gopher, and steppe rabbit live here. Snakes are widespread.

Urantogoo ancient volcano and blue sky

KHORGO TERKHIIN TSAGAAN NUUR - WHITE LAKE

terkhiin tsagaan nuur white lake and stones

Khorgo Mountain is a dormant volcano located on White Lake's East Shore. Khorgiin togoo is the highest volcano crater in the Orkhon River Valley. From the summit of this basalt-covered mountain, one has a splendid view of the whole region and the lake.

The volcanic crater of the Togoo Uul is 200m wide and 100m deep. The volcano crater of the Togoo Uul is covered with Siberian Larch. One of the most exciting sights of Khorgo is the so-called Basalt Ger, which lies on the southern side. It is a giant solidified lava bubble with a broken piece on one side, which makes a natural door. 
The height of some of these stone gers is 1.7m. Several other ancient volcanoes are close to Khorgo. Lake Terkhiin Tsagaan was formed when volcano lava dammed the Suman River, cutting a massive gorge through the basalt. It is an astonishingly beautiful lake, 20km long, 16km broad, and 4 to 10 meters deep, with an altitude of 2,060m above sea level.

RELATED TOURS

Khuvsgul & Gobi Tour

Khuvsgul & Gobi Tour

14D/13N

Orkhon Valley Horse Riding Tour

Orkhon Valley Horse Riding Tour

10D/9N

Reindeer & Horse Riding Tour

Reindeer & Horse Riding Tour

12D/11N

Blue Pearl Khuvsgul Lake Tour

Blue Pearl Khuvsgul Lake Tour

9D/8N

bottom of page