The Khovsgol region has become one of Mongolia’s most popular areas for tourism, thanks largely to the celebrated beauty of its long alpine lake. A sort of kid sibling to Lake Baikal across the border in Russia, Lake Khovsgol is Mongolia’s deepest body of water. A small, but growing tourist industry has developed along its shoreline, providing plenty of opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, birdwatching and even swimming in the often chilly waters. Three distinct minority ethnic groups also live in the area, and their shamanist practices show a marked difference to the predominantly Buddhist character of Mongolia. The northern reaches of the region are home to the Durkha people, known for their reindeer-herding.

Although the capital and main city of the region is Moron, most access to the lake is through Khatgal, which lies at its southernmost point.