On this 265 km river-trip we will paddle on the middle and lower part of Ider gol, between Tosontsengel and the Five Rivers Valley. This region, which is shared between the Mongolian provinces Zavkhan and Khövsgöl, belongs to the famous Khangai Mountain range, which is considered not only "classic" Mongolian heartland but also one of Mongolia's best trekking areas. Here, in the Central Mongolian Highland, some of the headwaters of the gigantic Yenisei have their sources. In fact, Ider gol is the longest tributary of the Selenge-Baikal-Angara system, the right arm of the mighty Yenisei, the biggest river of Siberia.
This is a fantastic trip in a not too-extreme environment. The Khangai region has a rather "moderate" climate, usually with considerably less cold than more exposed places like the Altai or the extreme North of Mongolia.
Upon your arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will take the next possible flight to Uliastai. Here is the official start of the tour and here you'll spend the night in Tudevee's Fat Yak Guesthouse. There is the opportunity to visit the town's beautiful Buddhist monastery. the local museum – or simply join your guides shopping on Uliastai's market.
From Uliastai it's only a 200 km drive to Tosontsengel, the starting point of our canoeing.
On the River
The first couple days of our roughly ten or eleven days long river trip lead us through a very scenic and varied mountain-steppe and forest landscape. We'll pass the villages of Ikh Uul and Jargalant where it's possible to stock up our supplies. After that, we'll just pass endless wild countryside without settlements or roads – only nature, nomadic families and their animals.
About three quarters along the way, we'll have to portage our boats and equipment over a small mountain pass. This will require a little effort but we will be rewarded with one of the most scenic camps we've ever had in Mongolia.
From here on, it's one and a half more days of paddling until we reach "tavan golyn belcher", the Five-River-Valley which makes the end of our paddling trip.