Baikal is a blue crescent moon in the heart of Asia, a lake-ocean over the rift of the lithospheric plates, a fearsome character in the ancient tales of the Evenki and Buryat people. The depth of Lake Baikal is twice the height of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, whereas its surface area compares to that of Belgium, although the Siberian lake’s population is much bigger. Around 1,500 species of endemic animals alone inhabit the waters. The smallest of which, the Epischura, is responsible for Baikal’s transparent water; the Cisco, Grayling and Whitefish make up the triumvirate of local delicacies; while the energetic Pusa are able to turn back time, as one look at them makes any tired adult feel like a child again. We will see Baikal surrounded by mountain ranges, age-old cedars and rushing rivers – from the water, air and sun-heated cliffs. We will dive into the icy waves and listen to the ritual songs of the shamans. We will climb to the Khoboy cape and fearlessly look out into the distance where, as though in a different land, we will come face to face with endless natural beauty.
– why Baikal is called the ancient lake and the youthful ocean;
– how many shamans gather for a tailagan at the Olkhon Island every year;
– how the Hamar-Daban ridge grants the lake 2000 hours of sunshine a year;
– why Mongolians consider Baikal to be a holy place and what Genghis Khan has to do with it.