Hövsgöl - Mörön
de
Mörön
Mörön is the administrative center of Hövsgöl. The name of the town, the Mongolian word for "river", is derived from the nearby Delgermörön. The town has one of the largest open-air markets in Mongolia, an airport, a medium-sized hospital, several small factories, and everything else an aimag center needs.

The town has a population of around 35,000. Most of the inhabitants live in the typical Mongolian ger (= Mongolian yurt) quarters, behind two meter high wooden walls. The city center also has a few four-storey soviet-style blocks of flats.

For tourists, the city has rather little to offer, except maybe its relaxed atmosphere. Most visitors only pass Mörön on their way to Hövsgöl nuur. However, the open-air market is a good opportunity to stock up on food supplies, at the post office one can send e-mails or make phone calls back home, and there is a photo shop that within a few hours can print pictures from your digital camera. There are also a few bath houses for those who only need to wash off the steppe dust.

Mörön has a few decent hotels and hostels. For those with an own car, there are also some rather scenic ger camps in the mountains south of Mörön.

The mountains north and south of the town are also nice for small day hikes. The mountains north of Mörön can be reached by taxi, if you pay the taxi driver's trip back into town. The river has nice spots for picknicks and the like, and in summer it is warm enough for swimming.

Mörön has evolved from a monastary founded in 1809, Möröngiin Hüree. At the beginning of the 20th century, Möröngiin Hüree housed around 1300 lamas, and had become the center of a small settlement. Möröngiin Hüree was destroyed and many of its lamas murdered in 1938, during the anti-religious persecutions of the time. From 1990 on, a new monastery has been erected at the western edge of Mörön.

In 1923, Mörön became a district center. In the following years, a modern school, a modern hospital and several administrative structures were founded. In 1933 Mörön became the administrative center of Hövsgöl. In 1956, Mörön had around 3200 inhabitants, in 1979 it had grown to a population of 16,500. During Mongolia's Demoratic Revolution in 1990 Mörön was the site of a hunger strike.

The first power station in Mörön was built in 1951. A regular plane connection to Ulaanbaatar was established in 1956. The first connection to telecommunication networks had been established somewhat earlier: Already before 1921, Mörön had been on the telegraoh line from Irkutsk to Uliastai. In 1954 a direct wire connection to Ulaanbaatar was built. Since 1998, Mörön has a ground station for satellite communication.