Lake Khövsgöl

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Lake  Khubsugul is a high-mountainous lake located at an altitude of 1645 meters above sea level on the southern slope of the Eastern Sayan Mountains.near the northern border of Mongolia.
Khövsgöl is located in the Baikal rift zone, which explains its resemblance to the largest lake in the world. Similar features can be identified when studying the hydrological regime and mineral composition – in both reservoirs, the water is clean and fresh, suitable for drinking in its raw form.
Lake Khövsgöl is located in the north of Mongolia, on the territory of the Khubsugul National Park, at the foot of the high ridges Bayan-Zu, Khiin-Nuuru and Munku-Sardyk (Eastern Sayan), 11 km from the Russian-Mongolian border crossing of Mondy in Buryatia.
Lake Khubsugul is a popular tourist attraction in Mongolia. There are more than 30 tourist bases here, both near the village of Khatgal on the southwestern coast of the lake, and near the village of Khankh in the north. The ferry “Sukhe-Bator” operates.

Access : Coordinates: 51.1, 100.5 / Geographically, the reservoir belongs to the Khuvsgel aimak (administrative unit). The nearest settlements are Turt or Khankh, Khatgal. / It is easier  to get to the Blue Pearl from Irkutsk. The distance from this city to the border point at Mondy is 304 kilometers. It can be overcome in 4–5 hours. You will need to move along the A-333 road, the route partially passes through the Tunkinskaya valley. There are not enough gas stations in Mongolia, so experienced travelers are advised to fill a full tank in Kyren, which is 20 km from the border.
/ By train: a less comfortable way. Trains leave from Moscow and Irkutsk and follow to the Mongolian capital. The distance from Ulan Bator to the lake is 777 km. You can overcome it, for example, with a rented car.
/ Cars can be rented at tourist bases in Khankh, or travel by car. It is best to choose SUVs such as UAZ or GAZ-66 for such trips, or light all-terrain vehicles such as Lada Niva.
/ Water transport: you can travel from the northern part of the lake to the southern part by ferry “Sukhbaatar” but it cannot take cars on board..
/ The northern part of the lake is located 11 kilometers from the Russian-Mongolian border, the Mondy-Khankh checkpoint.

Highlights :

  •  Another fact that distinguishes the lake from others is its venerable age (about 6 million). For this reason, the reservoir is ranked among the oldest water reservoirs on the planet.
  •  Landscape :  Height above sea level – 1645 m. The length of the coastline – 414 km. Length – 136 km. The greatest width is 36.5 km. The maximum depth is 262 m. The area of ​​the water surface is 2760 km². The volume of the water mass is 383.3 km³.
    – 46 rivers flow into the lake and one river Egiin-Gol flows out (left tributary of the Selenga). The volume of fresh water in Khubsugul is 1-2% of the world’s reserves. It is the second largest lake in Central Asia.
  •  Fishing on Lake Khuvsgul : Winter fishing enthusiasts will not be disappointed either. The most ardent adherents of ice fishing can participate in annual international tournaments and championships. The competition is so popular that the application must be sent several months before the start..Organized fishing tours have become increasingly popular.
  •  The deepest and most beautiful lake in Mongolia – Khubsugul (formerly called Kosogol, in Mongolian Huvsgel Dalai) , The water in Khuvsgul is fresh, clean, drinkable raw, with a remarkable mineral composition. About 1–2% of the world’s fresh water reserves are concentrated in Khubsugul alone.
  •  The lake is often called the younger brother of Baikal – and their similarity is not only external. It is only 230 km from the southernmost point of Lake Baikal to the northern point of Khubsugul.
  •  Khubsgul national park : The lake area is a national park with an area of ​​838 thousand hectares, where the Central Asian steppe and Siberian taiga converge,The flora and fauna of the Khuvsgul National Park is rich and diverse: about 750 species of trees, shrubs, mosses and lichens about 170 species of birds, including such rare ones as whooper swan, mountain goose -endemic to mountain lakes of Central Asia.
  •  There are four islands on Lake Khubsugul: The Dalain-Modon-Kuis-Aral  island is the largest, located in the center of the lake, 10 km from the eastern shore.-  The Elisin-Khupsun island is slightly smaller and is located 25 km south of the Dalain-Kui, the third Baga-Kry island is located in the southern part of the lake, the fourth was located opposite the mouth of the Turty river in the northern part of Khovsgul and has already disappeared under water.
  •  Sandy shore. After driving about 25 km from the village of Khanh along the lake to the south towards Khatgala, you can find a picturesque sandy beach surrounded by larch trees, where it will be pleasant to swim and sunbath.
  •  Activities : Mongolian culture, melodies and dances organically incorporated into life, ancient traditions of worshiping spirits, the unusual coexistence of shamanism and Buddhism, the opportunity to touch all this live, no doubt, will leave the most vivid impressions.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / trekking / Ecotourism / go on a horse tour along the coast or to the Darkhad Basin, shoot Mongolian bows / Fishing on Lake Khuvsgul.

Go next : the nearest village of Khatgal  / Lake Shara-Nur. It is located in the north of Khubsugul near Munku-Sardyk. / The Republic of Buryatia is located in Eastern Siberia.

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