Khövsgöl Province

Travel Guide Asia Mongolia Khövsgöl Province

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Introduction

Khövsgöl is the northernmost of the 21 aimags (provinces) of Mongolia. The name is derived from Lake Khövsgöl. It covers 103,000 km2. The population is about 120,000 inhabitants and the cheptel about 3,6 millions animals. The capital city is Mörön, located around 690 kilometres from Ulan Bator.

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Geography

The Khövsgöl province is bounded in the far south by the Tarvagataï mountains range and in the far north by the Sayan and Khoridol Saridag (highest point 3491 metres) Mountains. The province has a border with Russia. Within the Sayan and Khoridol Saridag Mountains are found a dozen of extinct volcanoes. The highest waterfall of Mongolia (70 metres high) can be found here as well. Tthe river rushes down the Arsaïn Khoridol Saridag mountains. Much of Khövsgöl province is mountainous and covered with taiga. The northwest part of the province, between Ulaan null and Renchinlkhümbe sums, is a strictly protected area, as it's characteristic of the tundra. The province has a mountainous and plateau landscape with several lakes and rivers. Besides Lake Khovsgol, the aimag has about 400 rivers and streams, 300 lakesof which 200 are located in Tsagaan Nuur sum. Lakes and Rivers of the province are full of fish: graylings, white salmon and and omul (registered in the "Red Book" of protected species).

Khövsgöl is one of the wettest aimags of Mongolia. Its three largest lakes are Dood Lake, Khovsgol Lake and Dalai Sangiin Lake. Khövsgöl is the most forested province in the country with lots of birch, pine, cedar and larches. There are the tallest trees in Mongolia, some reaching over 40 metres high. The province is home to abundant wildlife typical of the mountainous taiga: deer, wild boars, squirrels, beavers, otters, stoats, martens, sable fur, wolves, bears brown etc. Khövsgöl is the territory of Tsaatans, reindeer herders who continue to live according to ancestral rites. The potential of mineral wealth in the aimag is important. There are coal, graphite, and phosphate. One of the biggest phosphate rock mines in the world was discovered in Khövsgöl; reserves are estimated at over 500 million tonnes.

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Sights and Activities

  • Khövsgöl Lake is the largest fresh water lake of Mongolia and account for 2% of the world's freshwater reserves. It's called the blue pearl of Mongolia. The lake is full of fish, and a great place to observe birds that nest every year in the area. You'll aso find plenty of endemic plants
  • Dakhiad Depression
  • Tsagannuur Lake
  • Stay with Dukhans people, the reindeer herders. The Dukhans are a small Tuvan community living in the far northern taiga in Mongola. Today around 220 people are surviving here having a traditional way based on reindeers breeding. Tsaa means reindeer, so the Tsaatan (other name for Dukhan people) are the ones who live with reindeer. Tsaatans are nomadic people and they migrate around 10 times per year to find new pasture for the reindeers. They live under traditional teepees made in wood and reindeer skin. In each group of around 20 person you will find a chaman who is the leader of the group.
  • Uushigiin Ovor deer stones - In the middle of the steppe, you'll find this beautiful engraved deer stones dating back from bronze age. This memorial composed of graves and granite steles are located 20 kilometres west from Mörön.

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Getting There

By Plane

Mörön has a domestic airport with daily planes to Ulan Bator. Flight time is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The Khatgal Airport only runs scheduled flights from and to Ulaanbaatar in summer, offering a more direct approach to Lake Khövsgöl for the tourists.

By Car

Since 2014 a new road joins the Mörön with Ulan Bator, linking the two cities in around 10 to 12 hours drive.

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Khövsgöl Province Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 14:01 on Mar 3, 15 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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