|Further north from Khangai region the mountains get higher and forests get denser and soil gets more fertile as it approaches the most irrigated part of the country. Overlapping with Khangai range in the south smaller range of Sayan dominates the north central Mongolia, occupying most mountainous part of Huvsgul aimag (province) territory. The main feature of this region is abundance of clear water lakes and rivers with the most outstanding being the Huvsgul Lake.|
Numerous rivers including Shishged, Tengisiin gol, Jargalant in the spectacular green plateau of Darkhadiin Kroger and Tsagaan Nuur like are famous destinations. Varied ethnic groups including Khalkha, Buriyat and Darkhat people inhabit the nearby forest and mountainous region, and the Tsaatan reindeer herders live in the northern taiga forest of Huvsgul aimag.
Known as the “dark blue pearl” of Mongolia, lake Huvsgul is one of the largest lakes and it features one of the most spectacular areas of the country. Bordered to the north by Sayan Mountain and to the west by the Horidol Saridag Range, the lake is 136 kilometers long and 36 kilometers wide stretching from north to south.
Huvsgul is the 14th largest fresh-water lake in the world by volume and its 380 cubic kilometers of water make up over 1% of the world’s fresh water. The lake is elevated at 1,645 meters above sea level and, at its deepest, the lake is 262 meters from its surface to the bottom. Huvsgul shares many similarities in origin, flora and fauna with larger Russia’s Baikal Lake, which lies 200 kilometers to the east and is connected to Huvsgul by Egiin River. About a hundred rivers and streams pour into Huvsgul lake, but only the Egiin River exits the lake.
The towns of Khatgal and Khankh are situated on the southern and northern shore of the lake and a ferryboat operates between the two towns. Varied ethnic groups including Khalkha, Buriat and Darkhat people inhabit the nearby forest and mountainous region, and the Tsaatan reindeer herders live in the north west of the lake.
68 species of mammals, including ibex, argali sheep, elk, reindeer, musk deer, brown bear, lynx, marten, wolf, beaver, moose, 244 species of birds inhabit the lake and its surrounding area and the lake itself is habitat for 9 species of fish, including Siberian grayling and lenok.
|The Darkhatiin Hotgor Depression|
The large depression of Darkhatiin Hotgor is located to west of the Huvsgul Lake between the Horidol Saridag range and Ulaan Taiga Uul Mountain. There are a number of lakes, including Targan, Narmai and Tsagaan and extensive marshes in the depression. A number of small streams empty into Tsagaan Nuur Lake, the largest lake in the depression and the only river that exits the lake is Shishged River, the country’s northernmost river and well-known for its strong stream.
Both Tsagaan Nuur Lake and Shishged River where numerous species of fish including taimen, lenok, sig, Siberian graying, roach and burbot live, offer perfect fishing opportunities.
|The Reindeer People (Tsaatan)|
The Tsaatan (meaning “reindeer herders” in Mongolia) are one of Mongolia’s most fascinating ethnic peoples. They live in the rugged taiga-forested mountain areas to the north west of Lake Huvsgul and north of Darkhatiin Hotgor Depression. These taiga forest dwellers use reindeer for transporting supplies, riding, and milk, and are only rarely used for meat.