Two ancient massifs which echo: the Khövsgöl, located at the northern limits of the territory, extends the lush forest and Siberian taiga; the Khangai, in the heart of the country, alternates between wooded slopes and basalt steppes. Both impressive songs of the Earth, between mountains and valleys, volcanoes and faults, gorges and canyons. Their high altitudes and the fertility of their lands make them places of predilection of the nomads and their herds of yaks.
There are two large lakes and their natural parks. The Khövsgöl on the one hand, Blue Bead of Mongolia, the youngest of the Baikal Lake, containing 2% of the fresh water supply of our planet. Immense expanse of pure clear water surrounded by high mountains and vast forests, paradise for fishermen and riders. And Lac Blanc, on the other hand, more modest, enclosed in a striking landscape of lava plains and extinct volcanoes.
To have :
The Monastery of Amarbayasgalant is one of the monasteries that suffered least from the Soviet purges of the 1930s. There remains a set of consecutive temples, well restored and still enclosed within its walls. It is a place of popular pilgrimage, in a framework of “campaign”; one of the most beautiful monasteries of Mongolia today.
Possibility of retirement / stay on site
Around: – climb the hill overlooking the monastery; beautiful view of the valley from the ovoo and Sanskrit writings
RUINES BAI BULAG
These ruins are all that remains today of an ancient city counter of the Silk Road (among the northernmost); one of the many left behind by the Uighurs, whose Empire of the 8th and 9th centuries left Uighur-Mongolian writing as a legacy to the country.
There are the same types of vestiges as Khar balgas, the former capital of the Ouigours, but more modest; today we have only the walls, an ancient fortification in the city’s raw earth.
Erdenet (more than 75,000 inhabitants in 2008) is the second largest city in the country after UB thanks to its position on the Transmongolian line, its carpet industry and, above all, its copper mine – the world’s second Chuquicamata, in the Atacama desert in Chile.
– local market
– the mine can only be visited with prior authorization
Small walk to the cliff of Gelenhüü, to take the height on the surrounding hills and enjoy the panorama: Ider river, numerous khirgisüür and cliff of the local Leonardo da Vinci
LAC KHÖVSGÖL NUUR
The Blue Pearl of Mongolia … this lake, surrounded by wooded mountains of the same name, is even called sea by many of the inhabitants of this region! The lake is 167 km long and up to 12 meters wide, though not the largest in the country. Little brother of the Russian Baikal, it contains alone 2% of the fresh water reserves of the planet. A wonder !
The scenery in which it arises contrasts with the rest of Mongolia; we are more in full taiga, in Mongolian Siberia, on wooded slopes where the primary Russian Siberian forest continues. Walking, alternating with the shores of the lake, is a pleasure for the senses; even leave to bathe there!
The capital of the Khövsgöl province, one of the most populous in Mongolia, the city of almost 40,000 inhabitants is a transit route for travelers to Khövsgöl Lake. In addition to tourism, the region also lives on the classical breeding and exploitation of wood, which reminds us of the physiognomy of the city whose yurts and dachas hide behind palisades; the economy is still based, more original, of the fishing done on the lake and in the many rivers of the region.
LAC TERKHIIN TSAGAAN NUUR AND VOLCAN KHORGO
The Khorgo Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur Natural Park is home to another curiosity due to the tectonic activity of the Khangai massifs; in the midst of the park, the extinct volcano of the Khorgo dominates the whole plain, covered with massive blocks of basalt, second by the passive eruptions of the region, which have opened genuine breaches in the surrounding steppes.
At its feet, the white lake stretches its waters, surrounded by formations of basalt both natural and installed by the hand of the man in homage to the spirits of the places. A nice place to swim, fish and go quietly.
In the heart of the volcanic massifs of the Khangai, between the wooded hills, our camp of organized yurts reserve us a nice surprise: the volcanism of the region resulted in a complex hydraulic system, which we appreciate in this site of hot springs …
In the indoor or outdoor pool depending on the season, a nice break to relax!
Tsetserleg, capital of the province of Arkhangai (North Khangai), is a city set in a beautiful setting, on the side of mountains with a wooded massif on one side and bare on the other. This town of about ten thousand inhabitants lives mainly from its herds of horses and the exploitation of wood; its name also means garden in Mongolian!
The overhanging rocks contain Buddhist paintings and petroglyphs; and its ethnographic museum, housed within the former monastery, deserves a detour for its setting and its collections on lifestyles, costumes and instruments.
Further north of the city, just before the pass, a sacred fountain watered the passing Mongols come to pay homage to him.
VOLCANO URAN TOGOO UUL
Uran Togoo uul is a nature reserve of extinct volcanoes, which is not to remember our French Auvergne.
Its two volcanoes, Uran and Togoo, offer beautiful panoramic views after a difficult ascent.
STEPS AND TOMBS UUSHIGIIN ÖVÖR
The site of Uushigiin övör presents a beautiful set of khirgisüür (cairn tombs running from the Stone Age to the most recent Turks 6-8th centuries) and cervid stelae (steles engraved with deer and stars). the Bronze Age); and is currently excavated by teams of Mongolian and Japanese archaeologists.