Try to imagine a 2760 sq km (1080 sq mi) alpine lake, with water so pure you can drink it. Then add dozens of 2000m (6560ft) mountains, thick pine forests and lush meadows with grazing yaks and horses, and you have a vague impression of Khuvsgul Lake, Mongolia's top scenic heart stopper. This is the deepest lake in Central Asia, with a maximum depth of 262metres and the world's 14th largest source of fresh water. Situated along the border with Russia, the lake is sacred to local Mongolians, who refer to it as 'mother'. It's full of fish and the area is home to wild sheep, ibex, bear and moose, as well as over 200 species of birds. Three separate peoples live in the area: Darkhad Mongols, Buryats and Tsaatan. It is impossible to imagine Mongolia without the uniquely magnificent and pristine land of Khuvsgul or Lake Khuvsgul. Lake Khuvsgul covers an area of and exists at 1605 m above sea level. Its water is crystal clear and fresh.