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Darkhad Depression/Mongolia

Introducing Darkhad Depression

About 50km west of Khövsgöl Nuur, behind a wall of mountains, sits a harsh but mystical landscape of prairie, forest and 300-odd lakes scattered over a wide plain called the Darkhad Depression. The depression is roughly the same size as Khövsgöl Nuur and was also originally formed as a glacial lake.

The difficulty in reaching the region ensures the unique Tsaatan people, who are among the inhabitants of the valleys, are able to continue their traditional lifestyle – but tourism is rapidly making an impact. The area is also one of Mongolia’s strongest centres of shamanism.

This is one of the best-watered regions in Mongolia and the lakes are full of white carp and trout. Salmon and huge taimen can also be found here.

One definite drawback to visiting the region is the insects that invade the area in summer. Be warned: these little critters have insatiable appetites for foreign skin and will ruin your trip if you are not fully prepared with mosquito nets and repellent.