Northern Mongolia

Alag Tseel River

Alag Tseel is a deep narrow entrance that takes its source from Deed Tsagaan and joins to Shishigt River. Here, there are plenty of high quality fish like Taimen, Lenok, Siberian Whitefish, Siberian Grayling and Siberian Ide.

Amarbayasgalant Khiid (Monastery of Tranquil Felicity)

It is one of the largest, the most important and well known monasteries in Mongolia, located 60 km southwest of Erdenet city, near a valley named Iven River at the foot of Burenkhan Mountain in Baruunburen village of Selenge province.

The monastery was built in 1726-1736, funded by order of Manchu emperor Kang Xi or Enkh-Amgalan Khaan to commemorate Zanabazar, the first Bogd or spiritual head of Buddhism in Khalkh Mongolia after his death. 3730 kg silver from the state fund were used to build a magnificently styled place for Buddha teaching and practice. The main monastery stands out against the background of the green, making it appear very majestic. It has a group of white Stupas built on the hills, back side of the monastery, according to the principles of physiognomy. The main building here is composed of a hall with giant wooden supports and it is in square shape. Originally the Monastery complex has 40 monasteries or temples. After the restoration, started from 1988, by funding of high ranked Buddhist leaders of Tibet, the monastery complex eventually took its former glory. Today, only 28 temples remain. All the collections in the monastery are precious materials for studying the history and culture of Mongols. In 1937-1938 a fearsome repression covered Amarbayasgalant Monastery and all the highly trained knowledgeable monks were executed. Visitors especially enjoy the magnificent art and architectural construction.

Arsain River

This River takes its source from northern west side gorgeous looking mountain Khoridol Saridag and then flows for 100 km and absorb in Darkhad Depression. If there is plenty of rain, Arsain River flows to Shishigt River through some small lakes of Darkhad Depression.

Darkhad ethnic group

There are 19019 Darkhad people who live in four villages of Khuvsgul province. These people are mostly shamans. These people’s lifestyle is similar to Khalkh (Central Mongolians) who are belonged to major ethnic group. They live in the ger, traditional Mongolian dwelling. They herd sheep, goats, yaks and horses. 

Jiglegiin pass – The highest point of the Khoridol Saridag Mountain Range.

Darkhad valley or depression

It is large geological depression, 100 km in length. It is wide open steppe area surrounded by high mountains of Soyon, Red Taiga and the Khoridol Saridag Mountain range. The altitude of the place is 1700 m above the sea level. This spot is very rich with surface water. There are about 300 lakes and many other rivers and streams in the depression. Many rivers and lakes flow into this river that is one of the originating streams of the Enisei River. In the valley there are many small lakes such as Deed White Lake, Dood White Lake, Targa and Harmai.

Dayandeerkh cave

Cave of Dayandeerh locates around 30 km from Tsagaan uur village of Khuvsgul province. The cave comprises lime stones and granite rocks. Experts considered that the cave was connected to ancient shamanism. This cave has 2 floors and cave is over 30 m long. Total length of the corridor is 224 m. Dayandeerh cave is worshipped by local people. Ruin of the monastery Dayandeerh locates 10 km from the cave. 

Dear stones in Uushigiin Uvur

This place is situated on southeastern sunny side of Rocky Mountain Uushig, 17km west from Murun, Khuvsgul province.You can find square burials and 14 deer stones aligned from north to south in a single column. This memorial contains the most clearly depicted deer stones in Mongolia. Each stone is 3-20 m distant from each other and was made of tetrahedral granite stone in reddish color. A deer, an arch, a shield, a horse, a knife, the moon, the sun and a mirror figured belt were engraved on the stones. These oblong-shaped stone monuments are 1, 5-4,8 m high, 0, 4-1 m wide and 20-50 m thick. Total of 109 deer figures as well as some human figures were carved on 14 stones.

Eg River (Egiin Gol)

The Eg River is the only river which takes its source from Lake Khuvsgul when the other 111 river flow into the lake. It flows about 475 km joining the Selenge River in northern Mongolia and so to Lake Baikal in Siberia. Total area of its water collection is 42400 sq. km. It is 40-40 m wide, 0.3-3.5 m deep and its flow speed is 0.6 m per second. Area of lake is 2760 km2 and it is 1645 m above sea level and is frozen from January until April or May. The Eg River has different species of fish such as Taimen, Siberian Ide and Whitefish, Freshwater Cod, Catfish and River Perch, Brachymystax lenok.

Uur River is 331 km in long with 12300 Mongolian pristine Eg-Uur river basin now remains one of the last strongholds of healthy taimen populations.


It is a village, at the southern edge of the Khuvsgul Lake. A history of transportation of water way in Mongolia started by a Russian merchant who released a small wooden ferry with capacity of 40 tones in Khuvsgul Lake in 1910 and a port was established at Khatgal village. Since that time several ferries has operated at this port. Since 1985, “Sukhbaatar” ferry has been operating between Khatgal and Khankh that is a port located in the north Shore of Khuvsgul Lake. Sukhbaatar ferry is 41 m long, 8.5 m wide and 11 m high and has diesel engine with 800 horsepower, capacity of loading 1800 tons and speed of 20-22 km per hour. Currently, domestic and foreign tourists are being transported on this ferry travelling in the lake.  

Khoridol Saridag Mountain Range

One of the Mongolian most picturesque places described in that region such as mountain meadow, tundra, taiga, forested steppe and mountainous area and sheer high peaks elevated at more than 2200 m above the sea level, which are greatly different in terms of nature, environment, and landscape but located close to each other. This area covers the territory of Ulaan-Uul and Renchinlhumbe villages in Khuvsgul province and occupies 188.634 hectares of land. It was taken under state protection in 1997. Mongolian highest waterfall (70 m) locates in the mountain range. Due to its characteristic, it is the home of many bio-diversity of tundra soil which have become rare and very rare, (S.involucrata, A.altaicum Pall, etc), and wildlife species (argali, ibex, Siberian moose, snowcock, sable etc).

Wild animals such as Euro Asian Otter, Siberian Elk, Red deer, Siberian Ibex, Argali or Wild mountain sheep, Snow leopard, Siberian Roe deer, Wild boar and Musk deer and Wolf, Lynx

Rare birds, Black stork, Osprey and Curlew

Special plants such as Adorns sibirica, Yellow Marsh Saxifrage (Saxifrage Hercules) Valeriana and Saussurea involucrate in the forest

Beltes River- It has its source on the mountain Khoridol Saridag and flows more than 90 km to join the Delger River. The water is crystal clear. There is a waterfall, Ushir, with the height of nearly 4 meters.  

Dorvod ethnic group- One of the minority groups of Mongolia. The population is 66706. Most of these people live in Uvs Province.

Khugiin Gol

This river takes its source from east side of the mountains of Baruun Taiga and flows through Darkhad Depression until joining to Shishigt River. Its water is very clear and pure. This river flows through gorge of forested high mountains; thus making scenery of landscape so beautiful. The river has an abundance of fish such as taimen, lenok and graylings.

Khuvsgul Lake

It contains 1 percent of the world fresh water resource, taking 2nd place in Central Asia, 14th place in the world. The surface area is 2760 square km. It contains 383.3 cubic km of water. In terms of volume, it is 16th largest lake in the world. It holds 70% of Mongolia’s fresh surface water, equivalent to the total flow of all Mongolia’s rivers for 11 years. Its outland is only Eg River, which loops around from the south end of the lake to join Selenge River on its way to Lake Baikal in Siberia. Baikal is larger, older, and deeper-but not as pure. Khuvsgul is higher and colder, rich in oxygen but far less productive. 12 species of fish including Siberian Grayling and Lenok, Baikal Omul and River Perch are inhabited in this lake. 70% of bottom of the lake is more than 100 m deep.

Once you step afoot the shore of the huge lake, be mesmerized by the breath taking beauty of the lush greenery asps pine arch black forest, with exciting attractions that will certainly blow you away! In the winter Khuvsgul freezes over, with ice so thick that the oil tracks was briefly run over its surface. In the summer, its crystalline blue waters are transparent to a depth of 10 meters, and its shores are ringed with the brilliant colors of seasonal wildflowers. Boat tours offered during the warm months are one of the best ways to gain an introduction to the lake, as is hiking amongst the forests and streams of Khuvsgul's parks. The lake region is home to an enormous variety of plants and animals.

The lake has 4 islands. Khuvsgul Lake is the main sight for Mongolian Winter tourism. "Ice festival" and other events become annual year on Khuvsgul Lake.

Khuvsgul National Park

The national park established in 1992, covers 838.000 hectares including the lake and its shorelines, part of Khoridol Saridag Mountain and Sayan Mountain along the boundary between Mongolia and Russia. The highest point in the park, 3491 meter Munkh Saridag, is in the Sayan Range. In 1997, an additional 189.000 hectares of prime mountain wilderness were set aside in the Khoridol Saridag Strictly Protected Area. This area is established to protect endangered population of ibex, argali, musk deer and other wild lives. Together with two areas comprises protected zone is larger than Yellow –Stone National Park in United States. The region is one the most important reserve of biodiversity in the world providing habitat for sensitive species including argali, snow leopard, great bustard, steppe eagle, demoiselle crane, Altai snow cock and of course all the other thousands of creatures that find refuge in this wild land.

Mount Tsagaan Chuluut

This mountain is one of the spur of Right Taiga in Darkhad Depression. Tsagaan Chuluut (means “White Stone”). It is fully covered by forest, representing trait of Taiga. Tsagaan chuluut is outstanding mountain which is rich with many rivers, different colored flowers, various wild animals and birds.


Murun city is the center of Khuvsgul aimag covers 102.9 sq.km2 area and its population is around 40.000. It is located in one of the most attractive area in Mongolia with its stunning nature and gorgeous atmosphere where people are heading in large number every year.

It has hospitals, museums, theatre, post offices, schools, kindergartens and a power plant to supply residents in the city.

As one of busiest towns Murun city has almost everything you need for the trips. One can charge their supply of food and petrol to the vehicles here.

Otgontenger Mountain

Mountain Otgontenger is 4031m tall which is taken as the State sacred Mountain. So every year people come here officially to make an offering for the mountain on certain days. It was first climbed by Mongol expedition in 1955 and is the highest peak in the western part of Khangai chain. It is located in Otgon village, on the border with Aldarkhaan. Between the village center and Mountain Otgontenger is a little temple built in 1994. There is another monastery at Otgontenger as well as several old tombs.

The mountain is approached across a stony area, which opens up to a scenic glacial lake. Climbers will need to be prepared with proper equipment, including crampons and an ice axe. After hiking around the area the hot spring on the northern slopes make for a welcome visit.

Shamanism (ancient traditional religion)

The shaman was a kind of a priest or medium who acted as a conduit between the human world and the realm of the gods, demons, and spirits of ancestors. A person didn’t choose the profession of shaman but was selected for the job by a messenger from the spirit world. The arrival of this representative was usually announced by the chosen person’s falling seriously ill or suffering hallucinations. A shaman, called in to cure the sick person, would pronounce the patient possessed by a spirit, indicating that he or she had been chosen to be a shaman. The chosen person was initiated by an older shaman of the same tribe into the lore of magic formulas and the songs and dances, which the shaman used to combat the supernatural sources of evil. During the initiation rite, the newly chosen shaman was given a staff. Its finial was often carved in the shape of a horse’s head, its lower end in the shape of the hoof. When the new shaman had practiced rituals for a few years, the staff was replaced with a drum. Other paraphernalia of the shaman were successively added to his arsenal.
Shamanism in Mongolia, embedded in the nomadic life style of the people since ancient times, has managed to survive against enormous odds, including centuries of persecution by Buddhists and Stalinist efforts to eradicate this ancient tradition.

Shishigt River

It is the biggest river in Darkhad Valley. This river takes its source from Dood River, and has strong flow. There is a beautiful place called Burkheerneg Doloon Lake on the basin of Shishigt.

Tsaatan People’s (Reindeer people’s culture)

The Tsaatan people are very unique to the world and are a special group of people to be treasured by all about 30 families live in the Sayan Mountains in north of Darkhad Valley. Located in one of the harshest and most inaccessible regions of the world, the Tsaatan are reindeer herders who seemingly live on the edge of civilization. With snow capped mountains in every side, it truly seemed  impossible for man to have stepped foot in some areas of the Taiga region. Huvsgul province is Tsaatan’s country. In winter temperature in this area is -31-50° C.

Religion is Shamanism. Tsaatan people are proud of their rich history; they have refused and avoided attempts to abandon their heritage.

They own horses, but base their lives on reindeer. Spending summers in high valleys above the worst of the biting insects, they move into the sheltering taiga forest for the winter. They live all year in cone-shaped tents similar to the tepees used by Indians on the Great Plains of America a century ago. Once made of animal skins, tent coverings are now sewn from white canvas.

In this part of the world, reindeers were domesticated before horses, perhaps 3000 to 5000 years ago. Cultures based on reindeer once spread all across northern Asia, but are now limited to a few surviving groups including several in Sayan Mountain, region-in Russia, the Todja-Tuvans and the Soyot in Mongolia. Reindeer can carry heavy loads. Their hides make exceptionally warm coats, boots and blankets. Their antlers, grown annually by both males and females, are sold for medical purposes. Does produce only about a cup of milk per day, but the milk is rich. It contains 16%-18% butter-fat. In comparison, cow milk has 4%-6%. 

Ulaan Taiga Forest

Ulaan taiga (means Red Taiga) locates in the west of Darkhad Depression along the Mongolian border. It is uninhabited area by people with green dense jungle and forest and taiga. Also Ulaan Taiga is peaceful and safe land for wild animals to live. This beautiful place is covered by various colored flowers and plants. Natural beauty is stunning and magnificent. The rivers take the origin from the taiga.  So its water is pure clean and transparent. There are different kinds of fish in these rivers.