The westernmost of Mongolia’s three central aimags, Arkhangai is a region of stunning natural scenery. Sitting on the northern edge of the Khangai Nuruu range, the aimag is hilly and heavily forested, lined with rivers and dotted with pristine meadows. The chief attraction of Arkhangai is Terkhin Tsagaan Nuur, ‘The Great White Lake’ nestled amongst hills and ancient volcanic terrain in the west of the region. Smaller than the more famous Lake Khovsgol further north, it is also less developed overall, with the tourist industry limited to a few small ger camps. A prime area for hiking and horseback-riding, the lake is also a fine spot for fishing and swimming (although the water is usually cold!). For those looking for whitewater, river Chuluut river provides a few level III rapids and a serene atmosphere.

The capital of the aimag is Tsetserleg, which is notably more attractive than most Mongolian cities thanks to the terrain. While it offers little reason to stay around, the town makes for a good place to break up a journey, with a couple monasteries and an expat-run restaurant and hostel. Towards Ovorkhangai and Bulgan aimags in the east lie the ruins of the Turkic fortress Khar Balgas, as well as the tranquil Ogii Nuur, a lake famous for its birdlife and fishing.

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