Uvs province: A good place to organize and start a trip around western Mongolia
Updated: Jul 2
While countries around the globe have closed borders with their populations under stay-at-home orders, nature has rebounded and come back to life. As of June 29, 2020, the number of new coronavirus infections reached 220 in Mongolia. All cases are imported, including 4 foreigners and 216 Mongolians flew from abroad. No deaths. NO community spread cases. 170 cases are recovered. Most of all businesses, shops, markets, and restaurants are working normally. The majority of hotels, tourist camps are open for locals. Domestic flights, train domestic buses run normally.All tourist attractions in the country are open for the public. So, we decided to use this time positively and started exploring our country more, since we normally have no time to travel the places, we haven’t visited in the busy summertime. Our first destination was to UVS province, the far west unchanged vast wilderness in Mongolia. Every week we will be posting our trip photos and blogs on our website and Face book.
Uvs aimag is one of the provinces of Mongolia, located in the west of the country, 1,336 km or 830 miles away from the capital Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. The road is paved all the way. The capital of Uvs region is Ulaangom, 936m or 3,070 feet above sea level. The province is named after Mongolia’s biggest lake, Uvs Lake. In the north, the province borders the Russian Federation. In the south and west, borders with Khovd and Bayan-Ölgii provinces, which also tourist attracted areas. The total area of the province is 69,585.39 km2, sixty percent belongs to the mountainous climatic zone, and forty percent to the Gobi semi-desert. Uvs is a province of a beautiful high mountains such as Kharkhiraa, Turgen, Tsagaan shuwuut, Deglii Tsagaan, Mungut tsahir mountain are attractions of professional mountaineer and home of many fresh water lakes in Mongolia.
The population is about 83.000. Uvs aimag was established in 1931. The Dorvod people, who still represent just under half of the population of Uvs, speak their own dialect. Other minority ethnic groups include the Bayad, Khoton, and Khalkh. The province is also famous of historical and cultural sights, home of different tribes, lakes, and snowcapped mountains of Altai mountain ranges. Locals are well known for their hospitality to make tasty tea and food.
Uvs Lake Strictly Protected Area is located 36 km from Ulaangom, the largest lake in Mongolia with a total area of 3350 hectares, 84 km long, and 79 km wide. Depth is 12-15 m, in some places up to 29 m. It is 450 km long along the coast. Scientists estimate that it is 200 million years old. 38 large and small rivers such as Tes, Nariin, Kharkhiraa, Turgen, Khondlon, Sagil, Borshoo, Khandgait, and Torkhlig rivers flow into Uvs Lake. The lake's water level is expected to rise over the next 100 years. Lake Uvs is the lowest point of the Great Lakes Basin in Central Asia at 759 m above sea level and is part of the habitat of migratory birds migrating to East, South, and South Asia and Australia. The end of the northern part of the lake is located in the Republic of Tuva, Russia and the lake are remnants of a vast sea of salt that existed thousands of years ago. The ecosystem around the lake is a unique habitat for water birds that lay their eggs and spend the summer, creating a major gathering of central
Asian waterbirds in the fall. Uvs lake is saline and contains 18.7g per liter, which consists of sodium sulfate ions. The shore is rich in salt, so it is suitable for livestock grazing due to its forests such as reeds, straw, bushes, shrubs, sagebrush, willow, and poplar. Herders of several provinces live around the lake for their livestock. The lake is also a home to 362 species of migratory birds, including geese, partridges, yellow-spotted ducks, red-necked falcons, and pike-perch. Scientists have identified 72 species of mammals, 29 species of fish in the Uvs lake basin. The lowest point of the basin is 758.9m above sea level, and the highest point is Kharkhiraa and Turgen peaks which is 4126m above sea level. Uvs lake basin is located on the geographical-climatic boundary of Siberia and Central Asia, so it has an extreme temperature fluctuations 58C minus in winter, 47 C plus in summer.
The lake registered in the Human and Biosphere Reserve of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in 1997. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International importance, especially Waterflow Habitat in 2004. World Natural Heritage list in 2003.