The Gobi Desert is known worldwide for being a renowned place to visit. Many people fear that it is an uninhabitable place; yet, this same fear of the unknown attracts many travelers. The Gobi covers one-third of Mongolia’s land area; it has many interesting things for its’ travelers to learn about such as its pre-history, history and geography, as well as the plants, animals and people who dwell there. Mongolians catalog 33 different types of desert in the Gobi. The different types of desert are categorized depending upon soil color and composition. The Gobi Desert is quite diverse, containing wildlife parks and mountains to canyons with dramatic rock faces.
Lake Khuvsgul, Mongolia’s “Blue Pearl”, is located two kilometers above sea level in the northernmost province of Mongolia. It is frozen from January until May. The Lake’s unbelievably clear water is still untouched by industry and modern urban life; so much that one can see every detail of fish that are a dozen or more meters under water. Lake Khuvsgul, the second largest fresh water lake in Central Asia, contains two percent of the world’s fresh water. It is supplied by some 96 rivers that flow into the lake.
During winter, over a meter of ice covers the lake. The locals hold annual ice festivals, where ice-skating, cross-country skiing and horse sledding take place. Several ethnic minorities groups such as the Buriat, the Darkhad and the Dukha (also known as the Tsaatan reindeer herders) reside in KhuvsgulAimag.
The Dukha’s days revolve entirely around their reindeer and shaman rituals. Theirs is a unique culture that has for centuries involved a sustainable use of products from reindeers and the taiga (forest). Sadly, this lifestyle is now being threatened by the encroachment of the modern world.