Read it in French: Toit de L’Altai
The Altai, the roof of the world … from the top of the 4353m of the Tavan Bogd range, its mountains reveal glaciers and eternal snow peaks. Kazakhstan and China, the Altai connects three worlds and contains a rich cultural heritage: deer steles, Türk man statues or Stone Age petroglyphs, enclosed between natural parks, freshwater lakes and frozen rivers.
But beyond the intoxication of its mountains, the Altai is a country that time seems to forget. We meet men of the past traditions, like this Kazakh people who chase the wolf with its eagles today as it did 2000 years ago. Proud nomads dressed in furs and wearing feathers, women embroiderers and weavers of a craftsmanship of great finesse, inside the yurts laughing colors under the air of dombra, an instrument of their own. And the bird, that majestic eagle that shares their life and space in the place of honor. In addition to Kazakhs, another language, a Muslim religion and Turkish affiliation, many ethnic minorities with their own customs and habits inhabit the Altai, such as the Uriankhais, Dörvöts and Torguts, all three descendants of the Western Mongols Oirats, or Tuvas shamans.
To have :
LAC ACHIT NUUR
A freshwater lake that forms part of the “Great Depressions” area between the Altai and Khangai Ranges and is classified as a RAMSAR (Wetland of International Importance) and UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, especially for its wealth in avifauna (wild duck, goose, grouse, partridge, pelican …)
– observation of the avifauna
VILLAGE ALTAÏ SUM
This “yurt” of hosts has the characteristic to be in a house in raw earth, habitat of predilection of the Kazakh families. The head of the family, Ardak, is a eagle (his eagle is called Ana); like the whole valley, populated by family and friends, many of whom are eaglets (almost all Kazakhs).
The best time to discover the eagle hunt while riding all day is from October (from the feast of the eagles) to March.
– eagle hunt (equestrian)
– walking in the massifs and the surrounding plain
– nomadic families, Kazakhs: visit
Situated on the Shiver River, the Goojuur Falls throw their waters 20 meters high, in a magnificent setting of passes, high mountains, sheltered plateaus and imposing stone massifs.
VILLAGE KHOVD SUM
Created in 1924, the territory of the village of Khovd covers 259 hectares and has 2410 inhabitants, of which the 4 / 5th are breeders.
Located on the future Millennium Road, on the Russian Steps and a gateway to the three Western Aïmags, it allows visitors to explore off the beaten track little known and exceptional tourist sites: the Khovd valley , Shaazgai Lake, Goojuur Falls, Otrin Canyon, Olon Nuur Multicolored Lakes, Khargait Glacier
Capital of the Bayan-Ölgii Aimag (in the 30,000 inhabitants) and chief town of the Kazakh minority in Mongolia, mostly in this region; one would almost believe it in Kazakhstan, and many speak only Kazakh … the houses in raw clay more readily replace the wooden houses of the Mongolian dacha type and the prefabricated Soviets. Women are veiled (a little), men drink less (outdoors), and the mosque supplants the Buddhist monastery.
In the yurts, higher and more spacious, one finds mixed with an air of Mongolia, a little of the refinement of the Arab world.
– regional museum – with a whole reserved for the costumes of the various ethnic groups, and panoply Kazakh
– local market
– Kazakh handicraft cooperatives (especially embroidery!)
LAC SHAAZGAI NUUR
We take advantage of these beautiful scenery to walk around the falls and on the shores of Lake Shaazgai, which means pie in Mongolian.
The waters of the lake are renowned for their sodium carbonate content and the care of mud that can be made there.
Capital of the Aizmag of Uvs, where we find a great diversity of population; Khalkha Mongol of the steppes certainly, but also descendants of the Oïrats, Mongol of the forests, like the shaman Tuvas; or minority Kazakh, Muslim and aiglier.
Located in the Great Depression Region, in the 30,000 inhabitants in 2008
– monastery, local market
LAC ÜÜREG NUUR